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1 - 7 DECEMBER 2018 - VOL 47 ISSUE 30

VIRENDRA SHARMA REJECTS BREXIT BILL MAY GOD SAVE THE “BRITISH PEOPLE's” WILL

inside: US offers fresh reward for info on plotters of Mumbai attack SEE PAGE 26

Priyanka Mehta Mrs. May's Brexit Withdrawal deal along with the political declaration was signed off by the European Union on Sunday. The Prime Minister now faces the daunting process of getting the Parliament to vote for “the deal that works both for the UK and EU.” This comes at a time when she lost her majority in the House of Commons after holding a snap general election in 2017 which means she relies on the support of Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) 10 MPs to take Britain out of the EU. Virendra Sharma, Labour MP from Ealing Southall has written to his party members and constituents to confirm that as it stands he will vote against the Prime Minister's current Brexit deal. And as it appears that Mrs. May's version of “only possible deal” amidst concerns over the Irish backstop, trade deals and strait of Gibraltar has her own house divided.

Tick tock, 11 December locked "Many constituents have contacted me, urging me to vote against Theresa May's Brexit deal.” said Virendra Sharma. 11th December is the D-day when

Dharam sabha pushing for the construction of Ram temple Virendra Sharma, MP

Mrs. May would require at least a total of 320 out of the 650 MPs to vote for her negotiated deal assuming that the speaker, his three deputies and the seven Sinn Fein MPs abstain from voting. While the math sounds simple

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enough, as of today roughly about 290 MPs appear to support her deal as she has distinctly presented the choice between “her deal or no deal” for the UK.

Mumbai: Delhi: Hyderabad: Chennai: Ahmedabad: Rajkot: GOA:

SEE PAGE 16-17

Continued on page 6

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Bangalore: Bhuj: Lucknow: Kochi: Kolkata: Amritsar: Dhaka:

£395 £525 £550 £395 £405 £435 £535

Singapore :

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Katmandu:

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Bangkok:

HongKong:

£445

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1 - 7 December 2018

onetoone WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

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Chris Chapman Chris Chapman is the Group Managing Director of GlucoRx which is the largest supplier of Diabetes Management Solutions in the UK. For those who haven't heard of GlucoRx, please take a moment to browse the website www.glucorx.co.uk. Chris started his working life in the Royal Navy, which taught him anything is possible if you try hard enough. He has since held a number of Senior Management Positions in the Police force and within Pharma companies, learning lots over the years but most importantly that people buy from people. He is married to Justine and they have two children Lauren and Ryan. He is a die hard fan of Crystal Palace. He enjoys karaoke and helping people.

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Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? I feel most at home when I'm in London. I love the way its such a mix of architecture, cultures and cuisines - all in one happening city! London makes a great day out with the kids or night out with friends, especially with the easy access when traveling by tube.

Two campaigners have been nominated for an award after raising awareness of the need for more south Asian donors to join a stem cell register. Northwood parents Pankaj Anand and Shrijal Patel have been shortlisted for the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Advocate of the Year Award after supporting the blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan.

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Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? The biggest influence I would have to say, without a doubt, is my mentor/boss/partner and friend Nilesh Nathwani. Nilesh gave me my first job opportunity 14 years ago, is a fountain of knowledge and still regularly tests me to ensure I am up to speed with the latest technology and trends in diabetes research.

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I made a real difference to people in their time of need when I was a Police Officer, including saving lives on occasion. In my current role, I am proud to say our company helps save the NHS money so that funds can be redeployed into additional services, staff and treatments.

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What inspires you?

I really enjoy helping people and making a difference, whether that be at work,

Awards at the Tower of London on November 22. Kaiya’s parents, Ruchit and Annu Patel, told the Watford Observer in May their daughter’s chance for a successful transplant was “not good” because “people of an ethnically Asian background tend to have 30 % or lower chance of finding a match”. Inspired, Pankaj arranged an awareness and

Pankaj Anand (left) and Shrijal Patel

Pankaj and Shrijal were moved to back the charity after learning about Kaiya Patel, a six-year-old girl from Loudwater diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - a rare and aggressive type of cancer affecting the bone marrow. The pair, who both have daughters in Kaiya’s class, will be recognised at the Anthony Nolan Supporter

What has been biggest obstacle in your career? I don’t think I have encountered a big obstacle in my career as such, apart from the odd spelling/punctuation/grammar correction. Luckily I am a whizz on the computer and can talk till the cows come home, which has served me extremely well. I really enjoy talking to people which helps.

What is the best aspect about your current role? Working with some amazing people who all share the same vison as me, to make a real difference to people with diabetes all over the UK. What I love most is when we hear back from patients and health care professionals about the difference we/our products and services have made to their lives.

2 Northwood parents helping to find donor for Kaiya nominated for award What are your proudest achievements?

through volunteering or supporting a charity. I strongly believe in leaving things better then when you find them. I have a burning desire to make everything I am involved in bigger and better!

donor recruitment event at his workplace in which 40 potential donors joined the register. Pankaj and Shrijal also organised recruitment events at City University, worked with parents from Kaiya’s school and held a stall at an Asian music event at Wembley Arena, Diljit Dosanjh. Learning of the nomination, Shrijal Patel said: “It

Kaiya Patel

made me quite emotional to think that the effort and hard work we put in was recognised by people in such an outstanding charity. “Until my friend's daughter sadly got diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year for which she urgently needed a stem cell transplant, I was not aware of the specific need for more donors from Asian, and other minority backgrounds. As soon as we learnt this, we started working with Anthony Nolan to see if we could target young people from a range of backgrounds, aged 16-30 to sign up to the register.” Anthony Nolan chief executive Henny Braund congratulated the pair, adding: “We’re incredibly lucky to have so many people supporting Anthony Nolan’s vital work to find a match for everyone in need of a lifesaving transplant.” For more information, visit www.anthonynolan.org/a wards #CureKaiya

And the worst?

Harsh as it sounds, amputations are currently at an all time high of 135 a week or

7000 a year in type 2 diabetes. Yet with good diabetes management and footcare, up to 80% of these amputations can be avoided - using something as simple as GlucoRx's Allpresan diabetic foot foam cream daily can make a huge difference!

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What are your long term goals?

"To have every football club in the UK help reduce obesity in our children - through diet, exercise, education and playing football. We have started this with Aldershot FC and want to extend the reach further. To ensure that every diabetic has access to a Blood glucose meter so they can self-manage ideally one of mine"

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If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?

This a tough one..there are so many things I would like to change, so looks like I will have to become an MP to fulfil all my dreams. On a serious note in answer to your question, I would start by abolishing prescription fees in England for everyone. Prescriptions were free for all when the NHS was set up in 1948, and I would like to see this return.

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If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. I would like to spend time with Sir Winston Churchill, to understand what his vision was for the NHS and how it compares to what it looks like 70 years later. I would also be be very interested to get his take on Brexit and the Royal Navy today.

Kenyan-Indian chef scores TV series and cookbook Return to Kenya, a seven part TV series coming to Amazon Prime, follows Anita Kerai returning to her birthplace 22 years after leaving. The 43 year old former accountant from Harrow changed career and became a chef. In the show she returns to Kenya retraces her culinary roots and inspiration. Anita says: “Although I’m a busy working mum of two, I always make time to prepare home cooked meals. I hope both Return to Kenya and Flavours of Kenya brings cultures and communities together, because cooking for my family and

friends is my way of showing them love.” The forthcoming TV title, which will be available to stream from November 24, recreates recipes from Anita’s Kenyan-Indian upbringing. A Hindu faith combined with African hardships lend flavour to 100 per cent vegan & vegetarian recipes that intentionally reduce food waste. At the same time Anita will release Flavours of Kenya, a 170-page cookbook which revisits several dishes from Return to Kenya. These include Swahili Vegetable Udhiyu, which draws natural ingredients

Anita Kerai

from Kenya alongside Anita’s ancestral home of Gujarat. Other one-pot recipes were learned in Nairobi and Mombasa from Anita’s parents, grandparents and friends, and then perfected for a global audience.

Wembley woman banned from gym ends up in court for stalking her personal trainer A Wembley woman stalked her personal trainer so excessively she got banned from going to the gym and ended up in court. Binti Patel would turn up outside her victim’s home and outside the school his children attended on a regular basis, while she also sent him chocolates and flowers and bombarded him with hundreds of emails, text messages and letters. Patel, 34, met her victim when he worked as a personal trainer at the Gym Group, in Wembley. She

purchased personal training sessions from him and exchanged contact details as part of this. At one stage it got so bad Patel even fabricated a fiancé and sent her victim a letter from him, calling on the victim to take back the “false allegations” of stalking against her. The letter said: “Take your false allegations back. Apologise with dignity and loyalty. Otherwise I am going to the Citizen Advice Bureau and that will be hell for you.” Another letter sent to

the victim from Patel after she was banned from the gym said: “Still waiting for my diet plan from you.” Patel previously pleaded guilty to one count of stalking from March 2018 to June 2018. On Monday (November 26), she was sentenced to 11 months' imprisonment suspended for two years at Harrow Crown Court. She was also ordered to attend a six-day rehabilitation activity, told to pay a £140 victim surcharge and given a restraining order until further notice.


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1 - 7 December 2018

Jihadi violence, inept western response About a month ago, US President Donald Trump and one of his top generals brushed off the Taliban truculence in Afghanistan, now that the enemy had spurned peace talks with Washington. Obliteration would follow. The recent suicide bomb blast in Kabul (teeming with US and Afghan troops) exposed once more the absurdity of such posturing. The Taliban presence in the country has expanded with telling efficiency; they strike at will, whenever and wherever they wish. Two-thirds of Afghanistan are under their effective control, notwithstanding remorseless US attacks by aircraft and lethal remote- controlled drones. America’s Nato allies have also pitched in with supportive fire, all to no avail. After 17 years of struggle and promises of the elusive victory, the longest war in American history grinds on regardless with no end in sight. Since the fateful 9/11 jihadi air assault on New York and Washington, the US invasion of Iraq in search of Saddam Husain’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ that never were, the George W Bush and Barack Obama administrations embarked on ill-conceived wars of intervention in the Greater Middle East, from Afghanistan to Libya, destroying lives and property with unforeseen consequences. Europe is coping with thousands of refugees fleeing the inferno for the perceived shelter across the waters of the Mediterranean. The templates of European political and social stability have been shaken, possibly beyond repair. According to the US Watson think tank on security, the United States has spent some five trillion dollars, three alone on the Iraq adventure, said Economics Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. Moving on to the present, not much has changed; if anything, is has for the worse.. The rancid clichés keep coming with the numbing echoes of a road drill. Nicholas Burns, a former Assistant Secretary of State in a Democratic administration and now a Harvard University academic, questioned on television on the Trump administration’s policy on Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, upheld Washington’s strategic alliance with Riyadh, Iran being the regional Beelzebub. Burns blotted out the shameful US record in Iran in 1953, when the CIA and British intelligence agencies arranged the fall of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh and his replacement by the Shah’s hateful regime, Its rotten core, in turn, was demolished in 1979 by the clericalist regime of the Ayatollahs. Turkey is visibly miffed by Washington’s cynicism prioritizing mega defence deals with Saudi Arabia, as long as these kept enriching US arms companies and ensured American jobs. America First is President Trump’s clarion call

come wind or high water. It wasn’t so when a jihadi team - of whom 15 were Saudi nationals - piloted their aircraft into iconic buildings in New York and Washington on 9/11, 2001 for the loss of some 3000 lives. Mr Trump, as he was then, denounced Saudi Arabia as a jihadi state grown fat on petrodollars. There was the customary crap-shooting on America’s democratic values and leadership of the notional ‘free world’ – for long an anodyne term for a Bantustan global order. Khashoggi’s longtime residence in America as a featured Washington Post columnist apparently made him an American citizen in all but name, was an affront to American prestige, and hence unacceptable to America’s liberal consensus. Administrations across the aisle have long been addicted to regime change in countries that fall foul of their diktats. Attempted and successful assassinations are well documented.. The international pubic has lost its innocence about the workings of the present global order and its myriad covert and overt operations. Meanwhile the vexed situation in next-door Afghanistan deteriorates by the hour and day. The country’s President Ashraf Ghani, trapped in cloud cuckoo land brims with optimism on the likely turning of the jihadi tide and the dawn of a new age of peace and prosperity and much else that is the stuff of dreams. His deputy in the coalition government Abdullah Abdullah struck a more sceptical tone. Against a fraught background of increasing Taliban and ISL attacks across the country and the mounting losses among the Afghan army the future remained bleak. Britain, meanwhile, wrestles with Brexit, the Parliamentary Committee on national security and intelligence issued a statement highly critical of MI for its failures to detect and abort five jihadi attacks across the UK. The first in Manchester on a children’s pop festival claimed 15 lives, its Libyan mastermind was a known jihadi who travelled frequently to Libya remained at large despite being on the MI radar. The other jihadi attacks occurred in London Bridge, Westminster and Parson’s Green. Having the sown the wind with their collusion with Islamic radicalism, the US and UK are now reaping the whirlwind.[See Mark Curtis, Secret Affairs] To compound this folly, Britain’s army chief General Mark Carelton Smith told the Daily Telegraph in London (November 24) that the biggest threat by far to British security was Russia and not terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. A pre-emptive British invasion (along with Nato) of Russia could follow – a repeat of the British, American, French and Japanese intervention of 1919-20. Nothing forgotten, nothing learned.

India, Australia in closer embrace The relationship between India and Australia is set to transcend cricket and curry houses to exalted heights of investment and bilateral trade. The first visit to Australia by an Indian President has opened a new and exciting chapter of infinite possibilities. President Ram Nath Kovind struck a chord in his conversations with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on subjects of mutual interest. The platform today is firm and encouraging. The two countries have been on the same page on regional peace and security, of which their naval exercises with Japan and the United States are a prime example to be hopefully followed next year with Indian membership of Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation covering much of the Asia Pacific area. Australia has opened its welcoming doors to skilled

Indian immigrants whose presence testifies to the needs of the Australian economy an to a future of rising standards of living. The next level of engagement beckons. Apart from investment and greater volumes of Indian tourism arising from deeper Indian pockets, Australia has started attracting increasing numbers of students to its world-class universities and research institutes, more so as barriers to their entry to the UK and US multiply. Looking to the future, India and Australia signed five Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) concerning bilateral investments. These surely will translate into legal entitlements, given the present climate of optimism that is driving India-Australian ties.

A grim anniversary to remember November 26, 2008 was a day Mumbai and India are destined never to forget. A terrorist team from across the border came ashore and fanned out into different corners of India’s financial capital, occupying iconic sites, spreading mayhem as they embarked on their murderous spree. Around 167 innocents who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time went to their deaths. It was a dystopian experience like no other, a warning of the age we were, and are, condemned to endure going forward. India was introduced to a new style of warfare never experienced before in its annals: no formal declaration, no tanks, artillery, no air strikes, but killers trained to strike at unsuspecting victims at random, irrespective of age, sex, ethnicity or occupation. The exception was the local Jewish Centre, whose young Rabbi and wife were shot dead. The reason cited by the killers’ handlers In Pakistan, was that murdering Jews the surest guarantee of safe passage to Paradise. The primary aim of the exercise was to strike fear among the people of India and those elected to govern them. There was the usual hand wringing and breast beating from the great and good of ‘free world’ and beyond, the same brutal cynicism we witness today.

Islamabad denied all knowledge of the affair, then explained to its US overlords that it was a maverick group from within the notorious Inter Services Intelligence directorate, who had planned and executed the deed. The American scout, born of a Pakistani father and American mother, who had selected the sites to be assaulted was initially protected from interrogation by Indian intelligence sleuths, then reluctantly permitted to do so, was eventually tied by an American court tried and sentenced to a severe term of imprisonment. Eternal vigilance, preparation without let or hindrance in defence capability and deterrence must be the government’s guiding principle. No normal relationship between states is possible until abnormal obstacles are removed. The mere fact that Pakistan’s international cricket fixtures on home grounds are played in Arab Gulf kingdoms because of security concerns is why England, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, to go no further, consider Pakistan to dangerous a place to tour; the risk to life and limb too great. Recent bombings in northern Pakistan and the attack on Chinese consulate in Karachi having a considerable toll in lives. The chickens are coming home to roost.

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. - Hans Christian Andersen

Alpesh Patel

Hindus and Brexit Are there different challenges and opportunities facing the Hindu business community of Europe compared to indigenous or other communities? As co-founder of The Indus Entrepreneurs UK, (TiE-UK) part of over 40 global business chapters and the first European Chapter, and as the longest serving TiE-UK board member, it is an issue I’ve been thinking about for over a decade at least. And now as an Advisory Board Member of the UK based City Hindu Network, an issue I will be thinking about long into the future. But surely business is business. If there is one thing which has only one colour, it is money – and that colour is green. It only has one religion – profits. So are their Hindu-specific or Indian specific obstacles and opportunities? Opportunities, and the obstacles a business faces because of a lack of opportunities, usually occur due to a lack of networks. We trust introductions from trusted parties. We include in our due diligence how much we know about someone already and what others say about them. The more people know you or your product the greater your opportunities and fewer your obstacles. It’s both rational and emotional. It’s human nature. Therefore the greatest obstacle and opportunity to Hindu or Indian businesses is their access to quality networks. Through those networks, you build relationships, access points, know-how to overcome obstacles, information on which opportunities are available and how to access them. Not being from Europe, or having families here for generations, we may be at a networking disadvantage. Of course some have not been held back, but many of us are. It is why I’ve been involved in the establishment and growth of business networks targeted at Indians and Hindus. It is the single most useful thing a businessperson can do for his fellow entrepreneurs – create the infrastructure allowing obstacles to be removed and share opportunities. Indeed if you want to know why Silicon Valley is so successful – it is because it is a network, a cluster, an ecosystem. A network which brings know-how and capital together. It is why the British PM was keen to create TechCity in London – a similar network of capital and entrepreneurs. Through this a virtuous circle of role models and business persons to aspire to can be created. Are there different challenges and opportunities facing the Hindu business community of Europe compared to indigenous or other communities? Yes, not just our lack of Hindu business networks but also our often-times self-sabotaging leaders and our critics who throw stones at the well-networked. The British Government welcomes with open arms companies wishing to set up a company in the UK from which to access the EU. Visit www.dit.gov.uk I’ve helped quite a few companies export through the Government’s assistance into Europe.

Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com INDIA OFFICE Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad-380 015. Tel: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: gs_ahd@abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


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Grindr cheat pharmacist Mitesh Patel claims murdered wife was 'best mate'

The prosecution alleges Mitesh Patel murdered his wife and stage-managed a burglary

A man accused of murdering his wife so he could start a new life with his male lover told detectives he loved her and she was his "best mate", a court heard. Jessica Patel, 34, was found dead at the couple's Middlesbrough home in May. Mitesh Patel, 37, denies murdering her to allow him to claim a £2m life insurance payment. Teesside Crown Court heard that four days after the murder, Mr Patel told detectives that the

couple were "very happy in our little world". Mr Patel denies strangling his wife with a Tesco bag at their home in The Avenue, on 14 May. The court was told that during a police interview, the defendant told detectives: "We always said to each other we'd like to have our own pharmacy. That was our dream. We could work together and spend time together at home. I didn't need other mates. She was my best mate.

not have children. He added: "I used to feel awful, I used to say to her 'it's not your fault'." In the same interview he claimed his wife knew he had cheated on her with men he met through dating app Grindr. He said: "It's extremely embarrassing to discuss these things. Jessica Patel had been strangled and suffocated Yes, Jess knew but we got with a Tesco Bag For Life past it and we agreed to She was my wife. I could tell her put it in the past and have IVF." everything." The court was also told The pharmacist said the coupolice found £2,000 in a plastic ple were trying to conceive and bag when they went to arrest the had undergone three cycles of defendant in Halifax. IVF treatment. The also found £25,000 in a This had caused his wife safe in a storeroom in the anxiety and she lost weight, he Middlesbrough pharmacy, as told police, and he urged her to well as "large amount of" gold stop worrying and they could and silver jewellery, including foster, adopt or use a surrogate if watches, coins, gold bars and IVF failed. Mr Patel said his wife precious stones. was concerned that "culturally", The trial continues. he could leave her if they could

Stoke-on-Trent tutor sexually assaulted sisters at their home Faruque Ahmed was employed to teach the sisters Arabic during two-hour lessons held every weekend at their home in the Black Country. But over the two-year period, the 46-year-old routinely sexually assaulted the youngsters underneath the marble dining room table around which the classes were held on Saturdays and Sundays between 2009 and 2011. The young girls kept quiet about the abuse – until one of the sisters told an NHS mental health nurse about the offences in September 2016. A specially trained Public Protection Officer from West Midlands Police then spoke to the younger girl and uncovered the extent of Ahmed's abuse. She disclosed how Ahmed, a Imam living in Stoke, regularly touched her between the legs – and told how she would be

struck with a bamboo cane if she resisted. Ahmed was arrested in February 2017 and in interview he admitted tutoring the two girls but denied ever assaulting them. He was charged with multiple counts of sexual touching a child and sexual assault of a child. He was jailed for 14 years having been found guilty on 10 of the 13 counts against him at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday. He was also given a sexual harm prevention order – preventing him from working with children – and will be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life. Detective Constable Sarah West, from West Midlands Police's Child Abuse Unit, said: "Both victims want to raise awareness within their community and to urge anyone who’s suffered abuse to speak out. “They know first-hand how

victims can feel pressured to remain silent – that by reporting offences it somehow brings shame on the family – but they recognise now that by doing so it allows offenders to continue offending and puts other children at risk. “The girls have now got justice for the horrible abuse inflicted on them by Ahmed and are getting the support they need to move on with their lives… and they want other survivors of abuse to do the same. “They felt powerless to speak at the time, they were scared young girls, confused, and didn’t really know what was happening. They had never had any sex education discussions either with their parents or at school. “One of the girls described how it was surreal at the time – whilst abusing them under the table he would continue teach-

Faruque Ahmed

ing Arabic, he was very calm and natural so no-one would realise there was anything untoward going on. “With the passing of time, though, it’s become clear to them that they were being abused by a sexual predator – and they have now found the courage to speak out to get justice and potentially spared other girls the trauma of suffering at his hands."

East Midlands Ambulance Service delay investigated after man dies The family of a man who died after waiting more than an hour for an ambulance believe he might still be alive if it had arrived sooner. Suleman Patel's wife called 999 in the early hours of 7 November after he complained of chest pains. She called for an ambulance five times before it arrived at their home - but Mr Patel died shortly afterwards. East Midlands Ambulance Service apologised for the delay and said it had launched an investigation. Mr Patel, 62, from Highfields, Leicester died from a cardiac arrest. His family said they were

told for an hour and a half there were no ambulances available. "His condition was worsening and we explained to them he was deteriorating by the minute," said his son Mohammed Patel. "They just apologised saying we can't get anyone out at the moment but someone will be with you shortly. "You expect them to come quicker but the delay was just too long." "We're left questioning why didn't they come," said Mr Patel's daughter, Sumaiya Abubakar. "It was a life-threatening situation yet she [their mum] was told we have other life-threaten-

ing situations to deal with." East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said the call was classed as Category 2 and the national standard is to answer nine out of 10 of these within 40 minutes. Ben Holdaway, a spokesman for the EMAS, said: "We have already contacted the family to make them aware that we have concerns about our response to the 999 call. "A formal investigation has been started and when it is complete the findings will be shared

Suleman Patel

directly with the family." He said it would look at the reasons for the delay and whether an ambulance could have been diverted from a less serious call. The investigation is expected to take up to six weeks.

in brief CHARITY FOUNDER RIPS FAKE £20 NOTES AFTER 'PRANK' The founder of a homeless charity filmed himself ripping up fake £20 notes he believes were left in a tin as a prank. Arif Voraji was initially delighted to find two £20 notes in a donation box for the Help the Homeless charity. But after realising they were pink on the edges and made of thin paper, he filmed himself tearing the notes up and uploaded the footage to Facebook. The 39-year-old said if the cash was real, it could have bought a sleeping bag for a homeless person or gloves for 40. He said since he posted the video, the charity has made £160 through donations of genuine £20 notes.

MAIDEN YACHT RE-STARTS SAIL TO INDIA AFTER REPAIRS Famous racing yacht Maiden has re-started its round-the-world tour following repairs. The yacht's crew had to pause the first leg of their tour from Hamble to Kerala in India after just 36 hours when a number of issues were found onboard. The all-female crew, who had sailed to Plymouth for repairs, resumed the first leg of their 54,000-mile voyage on Saturday. Maiden is reported to be currently heading to the Gibraltar Straits. A statement posted online said the "skipper and crew were all well and delighted to be on their way". Tracy Edwards said: "It was always expected that there would be some teething problems on the first heavy weather sail. We were glad we had found the issues now rather than later." Led by Tracy Edwards, Maiden made history in 1990 when its female crew became the first to sail the Whitbread Round the World Race. The team won two legs of the race and crossed the finish line second overall. The 58ft (17m) boat was sold shortly after the race and was found in disrepair in recent years in Mahé, Seychelles, before being taken for a refit in Hampshire. The project is being supported by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in memory of her father, King Hussein I.

MAN KILLED WHILE TRYING TO STOP FIGHT NAMED A man who was stabbed to death as he tried to stop a confrontation in east London has been named by police. Zakaria Bukar Sharif Ali, 26, was attacked as he tried to defuse a fight outside the Rolling Stock bar in Hackney on Saturday. He died from his injuries two hours later and no arrests have been made. Police are seeking two suspects; one is described as an olive skinned male, aged in his 20s. The other is a white male with ginger hair and a beard. The first man was described by police as being about 5ft 10ins (1.7m) tall and of stocky build with short dark hair, and the second suspect was described as being about 6ft (1.8m) tall and of heavy build with fair hair and a fluffy beard. Det Insp Rita Tierney, who is leading the investigation, said: "This is a busy and popular area of London. I know that there are people who witnessed the incident or have information concerning the identity of the suspects. I urge those people to call the incident room without delay." There have been more than 124 killings in London since 1 January and includes 70 fatal stabbings and 14 shootings.


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1 - 7 December 2018

Diversification of public appointments Oliver Dowden, Minister of Implementation on 21st November at 10 Downing Street spoke about the significance of diversification of public appointments in public bodies. Every year, the Government makes over 1000 public appointments to the boards of 500 public bodies, which between them spend over £200bn of public money a year. Public bodies play an important role in public life, across sectors from healthcare to education, criminal justice to trade, energy, security and defence. Roles of public bodies include NHS England, the British Museum and the Big Lottery Fund. Public appointees provide leadership, strategic direction, and hold public bodies to account; or they provide specialist expertise. At present, 43% of our public appointees are women, and only 10% are from an ethnic minority background. Speaking about how it is important to create more awareness among the people about public appointments, the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Dowden said to Asian Voice “We are trying to pull in more talent for engagement in the process of decision making. And this

sion making process.” Lord Jitesh Gadhia from Northwood who has played an important role in connecting emerging market companies with developed markets, especially in developing countries like India, China, and Brazil said “you manage what you measure and it is about bringing that expertise in these public bodies which is so valuable.” Lord Gadhia who was appointed by HM Treasury to the Board of UK Financial Investments in 2014 also Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden at the diversification of spoke about the two-way public appointments event advantage of giving and gaining in these pub[event] is only the lic appointments. first of the series. Keith Fraser who The real challenge is a retired Police lies not in the Officer, and has awareness building worked with the City measure but in of Wolverhampton building confidence to prevent gang among the people involvement and that they should youth violence was come forward and also present at the apply to such posievent. He led an tions.” Rachel Wang who Left to Right: Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, innovative preventative project, targetis the trustee of Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Rachel Wang ing over 7000 young British National mate her love for art and people, working with Sport Portrait Gallery, was also focus on the gallery's need at England. He was also the part of the panel and speakthe digital front. strategic Police lead for the ing about her love for art She said: Princes Trust across the said how her husband's sup“Diversification is important West Midlands. He is now a port in the application probecause they need our voictrustee and patron of three cess helped her to amalgaes to be a part of the decichildren focused charities.

The Asian Circle fundraise to help women against sexual abuse The Asian Circle, a network of UK based Asian Women celebrated their 5 year anniversary by hosting a fundraiser “Chai Day” at The Lalit in association with Oxfam India to support women suffering from sexual violence in Chattisgarh, India as part of the UN International Day for elimination of violence against women.. Annie Lennox OBE, Founder of The Circle NGO, specifically sent in a message wherein she said how it was time it is time to bring about social change in attitudes and behaviours so that women are empowered, protected and respected. She also spoke about how women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria. Santosh Bhanot who

The Asian Circle celebrates its 5 year anniversary at The Lalit, by hosting "Chai Day". PC: New Asian Post

gave up her professional career for her services to the women and girls lacking opportunities and means to support themselves said“It was a huge leap of faith for me...but over the five years we have helped provide support centres for counselling and legal aid, create vigilance networks of women to support each other and training pro-

grammes for the police.” The Asian Circle was formed in the summer of 2013 when 20 South Asian women from the UK came together at the Oxfam offices to work with vulnerable women in South Asia. Over the years, they have raised awareness and funds to support a pilot project amongst the tribal communities of Chattisgarh, India

Single mums challenge UC working allowance Single mums are to challenge the government in court over the Universal Credit payment system which is inflexible and doesn’t reflect reality. The rigid ‘assessment period’ causes wildly fluctuating benefit and debt. Parttime dinner lady Danielle Johnson from Keighley, West Yorkshire, is paid on the last working day of the month. But her monthly UC

assessment periods are rigid – running from the last day of each month, meaning that if she is paid before the last day of the month, because payment falls on a weekend or non-banking day, she is assessed as having been paid twice that month, and not at all the next month (so she could be subject to the benefit cap). Claimants are unable to change their assessment

period. Ms Johnson also argues that the system is discriminatory because it disproportionately affects mainly single mothers. Child Poverty Action Group and Leigh Day solicitors have joined together the Women's contingent to mark the UN 16 days of ending violence against women and children as part of protests against Universal Credit.

to end domestic violence and empower women and girls. The project, till date, has helped 18,000 women and girls and a further 9000 men and boys in the two states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha. This work has also helped influence government policies and ensure women’s rights are met through active campaigning. As part of their five-year celebration, Rav S Bansal who was the first vegan baker on the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) had baked a vanilla sponge cake especially for this occasion. Bansal said“For me, women empowerment is a close subject primarily because of my mom who in my childhood told me that if you are sister has to be in the kitchen then there is no reason for you to not be there.”

Clough Manor fined over £13k over dead mouse and expired food Environmental health officers found a dead mouse during a routine food hygiene inspection at Clough Manor, Rochdale Road, Denshaw during their visit in February this year. Clough North, trading as Clough Manor, was found guilty in November at Tameside Magistrates’ Court of 19 offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, Regulation 19. The company was not represented in court but was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,250 plus a victim surcharge of £170. The venue is no longer open for business. Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said- “The owners of this venue clearly disregarded the safety of residents and visitors, potentially putting their health at risk.” Officers found a number of issues that breached food hygiene laws. Cobwebs, dirt, dust, food debris and grease were found in the kitchen, bar and pot wash areas and there were inadequate pest control measures in place. A range of out of date food, including smoked salmon – gone off by nearly two months – cheese, yoghurts, sausages and pepperoni was

Mould and expired food at Clough Manor

also found in the food preparation area. Councillor Shah said- “We are continually carrying out food hygiene visits to make sure businesses are selling food from clean premises. If they aren’t operating within the law then we will not hesitate to take action against them.” All food businesses inspected by the council are given a rating based on their compliance with the legal requirements for hygiene, structural condition and confidence in the management. Following a food hygiene inspection a business is rated from five for a very good through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently. It is voluntary for the businesses to display the rating but gives the consumer an indication of its overall level of food hygiene compliance. Consumers are urged to check food hygiene ratings before they eat out or order meals online.

Indian High Commission in the UK marks 10 years of 26/11 Mumbai attacks Indian High Commission in the UK on Monday commemorated the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 Taj terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Lord Ranbeer Singh Suri, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Virender Sharma MP, Fergus Auld from FCO, members Indian High Commission in the UK shows of the UK police, solidarity for 26/11 Mumbai attacks who lost their lives in this high commissioner of Sri dastardly deed, a release Lanka to the UK, and varifrom Indian High ous other community memCommission in the UK said. bers came together to High commissioner, remember the victims and Ruchi Ghanashyam, in her show solidarity in the fight address stressed about close againstterrorism. Those cooperation and strong present on the occasion commitment between India observed two minutes and the UK to combat tersilence and lit candles to pay rorism. homage in memory of those

Fraudsters jailed for £13million immigration scam Five fraudsters in the UK who falsely claimed £13 million in tax repayments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over a six-year period, and facilitated around 900 bogus visa applications, have been sentenced to a total of more than 31 years in jail. Abul Kalam Muhammad and Rezaul Karim (42), were the ringleaders of the organ-

ised crime group. He and his four accomplices set up 79 bogus companies and created fake documentation which were used by Bangladeshi nationals in fraudulent visa applications. The immigration fraud was uncovered in 2011 when the Home Office identified a suspicious pattern in a series of points-based applications for tier one general

and entrepreneur visas. The defendants were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court. The five fraudsters- AKM Karim got 10 years and six months, Enamul Karim nine years and four months and Ullah five years and ten months. Trivedi was handed a threeyear jail sentence, and Uddin two years and six months.


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Buddhist community centre burgled in Aldershot

Minister backs Sikh community to prevent criminalising larger Kirpans by the offenasive weapon bill

After Shree Swaminarayan Temple on Willesden Lane and the Shri Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple (SKSS) Temple on Westfield Lane in Harrow were burgled within five days of each other in November, burglars have now stolen £10,000 worth of donations from Buddhist community centre in Aldershot. Police Officers are appealing for witnesses after £10,000 worth of donations were stolen from the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK), High Street, Aldershot. On November 15th, in a distraction burglary, a man and a woman entered BCCUK at around 5:15pm, asking to be shown around, as they wanted to get married there. As they were taken on a tour of the building, five other people, a man and four women, walked in and started searching different rooms. When they all left, just before 5:30pm, it was discovered that money and other items had been stolen – including a suitcase containing £10,000 worth of donations, along with $1,000 and personal documents. Clothing was also

Rupanjana Dutta

Buddhist community centre UK in Aldershot

stolen and white scarves which the Lama wears as part of his dress. Chief Inspector Karen McManus said, “It is shocking that such a well-loved part of our community has been targeted in this way. “This community centre is used by so many people and offers great comfort and support to those who live and work in the area. “The money stolen is vital to keeping the centre running and was generously donated by the community. “We know that this will have caused huge upset, but I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to find the people responsible.

“If you saw a group of men and women in the area acting suspicious that day, please speak to us. “Anyone with information is asked to contact us on 101, quoting 44180429793, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.” The distressed community has no idea if all the burglaries are related. But a community leader told Asian Voice, “It looks like an organised attack on our temples and places of worship, because of the wealth associated with the community and their faith. It is a shocking chain of incidents.”

VIRENDRA SHARMA REJECTS BREXIT BILL Continued from page 1

“I have judged the Brexit deal against the six tests that were set out by the Shadow Brexit Secretary in March last year. These tests are based on promises made by the Government about the kind of Brexit deal it would deliver. However, the Prime Minister has not delivered a deal that meets these tests and as it stands, I intend to vote against the Prime Minister's deal.” Virendra Sharma has written. So what happens in case Mrs. May's deal is not approved in the Parliament? Following the vote, ministers would have up to 21 days to make a statement in the Parliament on how to proceed which would then allow a further seven days to the government to move a motion in the Commons where MPs may express their view on the government's course of action.

Back to square one & another referendum? The interim period allows the Prime Minister a second attempt at passing the deal through the Commons, perhaps go back to Brussels for a renegotiation wherein, Brussels may address the concerns of the MPs and decide to tweak the deal a little in the UK's favour. “The way the Prime Minister has handled the negotiations with the

European Union over the past two years has been disastrous. We now face a situation where we have a bad deal that does not work for our country and is unlikely to be endorsed by Parliament.” Worse comes to worse, the government decides to call for a second referendum wherein, a legislation has to be passed by the majority of the House of Commons. However, with the way Mrs. May has challenged Jeremy Corbyn to a national TV debate that looks almost unlikely. Especially considering the fact that she is now appealing for popular vote by travelling across the countries so that the MPs understand the risk of losing their seat if an election were to be called and Labour were to win. However, Britons appear to admire Mrs. May's determination in pushing the deal which she is so convinced does naot have a plan B despite the continued opposition. And this admiration is perhaps reflected in a YouGov poll for The Times last week which was conducted when her fellow Tory Brexiters were trying to oust her from office. Mrs. May's approval ratings jumped dramatically from 33% to 46% over the course of one week where Britons appeared to want her to stay in power. But this hasn't stopped some MPs such

as Virendra Sharma to oppose the Prime Minister. “Unlike the Prime Minister, however, I do not believe that Parliament's choice is simply between her deal or no deal at all. I think a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic and the Government does not have the right to plunge our country into chaos because of its own failure to get a good deal. I cannot in good faith vote for a deal which leaves us worse off, with fewer rights and fewer jobs, as it stands I believe leaving the EU will be extremely damaging to the UK and cannot support it. Therefore, if Parliament votes down the Prime Minister's deal, I believe the public should have the final say on the UK’s relationship with the EU and that a remain option should be on the ballot paper.” said Virendra Sharma. Unlike the division in MPs, the Executives in the City of London have urged the MPs to vote for Prime Minister's deal to avoid a no-deal Brexit that would harm the UK economy. Whatever be the outcome and out of all the uncertainties Mrs. May definitely appears intent to have a national debate with Jeremy Corbyn and with the way she insists that she has a plan as opposed to him, it seems she is not ready to leave her throne anytime soon.

To ensure the offensive weapon bill can legally safeguard the sale, possession and use of large kirpans, MPs and Sikh representatives recently met with Victoria Atkins, the Home Office Minister in charge of the OWB, going through Parliament, that aims to place restrictions on the sale and use of knives and corrosive substances like acids. The government is trying to put knives and acids as restricted objects and the bill promises to have cross party support. The community is trying to ensure that this bill does by default criminalise the possession and use of larger kirpans, as they are commonly used on Sikh religious occasions and often kept at home. Kirpans are one of the essential articles of the faith, worn by Sikhs. They are usually small daggers, but during ceremonies, big ones are in use or display. MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Sikhs, led by chair Preet Gill, Pat Mcfadden and Dominic Grieve raised the issue with Victoria Atkins, the Home Office Minister in charge of the bill.

MPs from the APPG for UK Sikhs- Preet Gill, Pat Mcfadden and Dominic Grieve meet wVictoria Atkins, the Home Office Minister in charge of the OWB with representatives of the Sikh communit

Following the latest meeting with the Minister on wed 21 November, she made clear the Government would bring forward its own amendment to ensure the status quo would prevail and there would be no change in the law relating to the larger kirpan. As we went to press, the bill underwent a third and final reading in the House of Commons. Following the meeting Pat McFadden, Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, told Asian Voice, “I don’t think the Government ever really intended to restrict the use or ownership of the kirpan but the way the bill is currently drafted that could have been the effect.

“I am glad the Minister has listened to our representations and said that the Government will now bring forward an amendment to the bill to ensure that the status quo prevails and that there is no change on the rules governing the ownership or use of the kirpan. “This means my Sikh constituents and the Sikh community throughout the UK, can continue to practise their religion freely. This is a good example of cross party working to ensure a sensible outcome. “ I am grateful to Preet Gill MP, Chair of the APPG for UK Sikhs, to Dominic Grieve MP and to the other MPs who supported the case we were making.”

The Bhavan celebrates annual Diwali fundraiser dinner On 25th November, The Bhavan celebrated annual Diwali fundraising gala 2018 at the Radisson Portman Blu. The event was celebrated in the eminent presence of the new Indian High Commissioner to the UK, her excellency Ruchi Ghanashyam. Baroness Usha Prashar, Lord Swraj Paul, Virendra Sharma MP, Rishi Sunak MP, Akshata Murty Sunak and The Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Councillor Daryl Brown were also present among other dignataries and members of the British Asian communities. The keynote speech was given by Her Excellency, Ms. Ruchi Ghanashyam who welcomed the support of The Bhavan by so many in the Indian community and recognised The Bhavan's long adherence to the values of family, community, and enlightenment which Diwali represents. “What better organisation than Bhavan to epitomize those values, [the victory of the good over evil] than The Bhavan!” her excellency said in her first public appearance speech in the UK. Amidst the joy of Diwali celebrations the high commissioner also took the opportunity to congratulate Mary Kom on her 6th Gold medal, the only Indian

L to R: Rami Ranger CBE, Dr N M Nandakumara, Executive Director , Bhavan UK with guests and the High Commissioner of India to the UK

Joginder Sangar, Chairman, Bhavan UK with her excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to the UK

woman to have won 6 Gold medals. The Bhavan, is the largest centre for classical Indian arts and culture outside India, also celebrated its 40th anniversary by showcasing a broad range of authentic Indian classical dances including Kathak and Bharatnatyam by both students and teachers. This organisation helps raise

£40,000 or more each year through the generous support of individual and corporate donations and this support is crucial to sustaining the activities of the charity which is committed to keeping the rich artistic and cultural heritage of India alive and available to all in London through year-long programmes of classes and events. “Bringing creativity, arts and value to the community are what The Bhavan strives to do every day. And it would not be possible without our patrons, teachers, students, and audiences,” said Mr. Joginder Sanger, Chairman. Dr. Surekha Mehta, a member of Bhavan's Executive Committee, was the driving force behind the campaign this year, with able support from the staff and volunteers at The Bhavan.


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Starling Bank revolutionising digital banking Rupanjana Dutta Founder and CEO of Starling Bank, a UK mobile-only bank, Anne Boden is a familiar figure in the banking industry. An entrepreneur and a revolutionary, she started Starling with the sole mission of improving financial health and making banking all about the customer again. UK’s first same-day payment service that transformed electronic money, Starling has been making inroads into the UK market. In an exclusive interview with Asian Voice, Anne spoke about digitisation, the consequences of Brexit and how Starling engages with the community and small businesses. According to her, “The digitisation of banking is revolutionising the way customers access financial products and manage their finances. Through Digital technology we can create an ecosystem of financial products. We don't up-sell our mortgages or insurance, instead, we provide our customers with choice and connect them with the best in class products in the market.” There is a perception that a segment of the older generation is not very familiar with the digital revolution, so how would they buy into a bank which solely depends on mobile technology? “Starling is for everyone,” says a confident Boden. “Research has consistently

will launch our mobile- only current accounts. When the UK is no longer part of the EU, we'll be able to use our banking passport in the Republic of Ireland to move into other European markets. Our cross-border passport therefore brings Starling closer to fulfilling its aim of providing everyone in the world with the opportunity to open a Starling account and have a better banking experience.”

Small businesses and community

Anne Boden

indicated that over 70 % of 55 to 75 year olds use mobile handsets and Starling has several customers in their 80s. Mobile banking offers easy accessibility and gives customers better control over their personal finances without having to visit a bank branch or use a laptop,” she adds.

Brexit and its consequences Boden also spoke on the impending consequences of Brexit and added that it hasn’t slowed their ambitions for European expansion. “In June 2017, Starling was granted a banking passport into the Republic of Ireland, where we

Boden also elaborated on the special services for small business owners and the local community and said that Starling’s app allows small business owners to open an account in less than 10 minutes from their smartphones. “There are no fees for having an account, no fees for making a payment to another bank account, and no fees for withdrawing cash,” she added. “The app contains a range of features to make business banking accessible and straightforward. Customers can make in- country and international payments to suppliers, see monthly categorised breakdowns of transactions and export transactions directly to their accounting software to expedite burdensome administrative processes. The Starling for Business Marketplace will also ensure customers have access to straightforward accounting and invoicing platforms with seamless integrations.

“We cater to all communities across the UK by delivering a better banking experience. Our business account is for small business, sole traders and single director companies - many of which are Asian owned - and use Starling to take some of the stress out of managing their money.”

“Door is always open” She said, “We engage with customers in a variety of ways. We attend events such as CountryFile Live and Stylist Live where we meet potential business and personal current account customers and demo the app. We are active across all social media channels, answering questions and sharing updates from the team with new and existing customers. We also have a blog where we share posts about financial education, product roadmaps, customer stories and career advice from employees. Once a customer has signed up, we engage with them by email sending product updates through our newsletter and tailored emails depending on the features they might find helpful. Whenever a customer needs help, our customer service team is on hand round the clock, available to engage through the app by phone or by email. We may not have branches but our 24/7 customer service means our doors are always open. “Starling's technology, built from the ground up in the past three years, is the foundation

of the product and what differentiates us from our competitors. Starling's four pillars: current accounts, business banking, Marketplace and Banking- as-aService are built on innovative technology. We are developing Starling to benefit from regulatory changes such as PSD2 and Open Banking. Our technology has been developed to protect our customers' data and work with our partners to offer our customers new products.” With fear of cyber attacks being real today, how does Starling Bank protect its system which is entirely based on the internet? “There are two key principles when it comes to building good online security. Firstly, don't rely on a single layer of security no matter how strong you think it is. Good security architectures have multiple layers, which greatly reduces the probability of someone being able to get unauthorised access. The second principle is that you have to attack your own security regularly so that you can find and fix weaknesses before criminals have a chance to find and exploit them,” says Anne. So, what is next for Starling Bank? Anne added, “Starling is ambitious. We're focusing on the implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence to further guide our customers in their financial life and help them select the best services for their individual needs.”


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Top talent inspires rising stars at WMC 2018

Community hero nominated for local awards

Dhiren Katwa This year’s World Music Conference (WMC) has once again been hailed a huge success. The two-day festival, which attracted 34 speakers, over 200 primary school pupils from across the West Midlands and representatives from over 12 countries, was organised by the British Carnatic Choir and hosted by the University of Wolverhampton. The core objective of this year’s event was to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of introducing music education to children at an early age. The first day, last Thursday, featured Chinese dancers, guitarist Pally Matharu and the National Polish Folk Choir. Chief guest Mr CB Patel, editor and publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, along with Dr Paul Sabapathy CVO CBE and Dr Aman Puri, Former West Midlands Lord Lieutenant and Consul General of India in Birmingham, respectively, presented awards to the following for their “outstanding” contributions to Arts & Culture 2018: David Burbidge, Chairman, Coventry City of Culture; Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts, Principal Director of Music, British Army; Sue Williamson, Regional Director, Library & Museums, Arts Council England. Accompanying Shri CB Patel was Kokilaben Patel, Managing Editor, Gujarat Samachar. The second day (Friday) featured panel discussions, each led by an eminent artist. The lead moderator was Mr Kevin Stannard,

Harkishan Mistry Shri CB Patel presents award to David Burbidge; From left to right – Dr Ramakrishnan, David Burbidge, Dr Paul Sabapathy, Shri CB Patel, Dr Aman Puri

Musician and Head of Performance and Outreach at University of Wolverhampton. Topics included: Creativity & Curriculum; Building

Pakistani, Polish, Romanian, Indonesian, African – to list but a handful. The evening programme featured the popular British Carnatic Choir

National Polish Folk Choir

Communities through Music & Arts; Music & Mental Health; Music & Humanities; Music & Religion; Music & its influence in the workplace. There were performances from artists representing several nationalities and communities. The list included, Indian, Chinese,

with participation from students from the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Certificates were presented to participants and awards were bestowed upon the following individuals for their “remarkable role in promoting British Values through Arts & Culture” - John Crabtree

Honoured for services by Harrow Mayor On behalf of the Harrow Borough Council, the Mayor of Harrow Cllr Kareema Marikar presented His Grace Sruti Dharma Das a special award, in acknowledgement of ‘His exceptional and distinguished services to Harrow Council and faithful devotees of Harrow'. During his years as Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor, Sruti Dharma was also Chaplain to Harrow Council for two Mayors and an important faith leader in the Borough and beyond. On receiving the award His Grace said 'I am humbled and honoured for having the opportunity to serve. It has been the foundation of my life and Mayor of Harrow Cllr Kareema Marikar presenting a special award to His Grace Sruti Dharma Das happiness'.

OBE, Lord Lieutenant for West Midlands; King Gurcharan Mall, worldrenowned Dhol exponent. Due to a large representation from Commonwealth Nations, the delegates were encouraged to sign a lifesize ‘World Music Conference’ card which will be delivered to HM The Queen by the event chief organiser, Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA. “We are hugely proud of HM The Queen and all that Her Majesty does for our nation but also for the Commonwealth. This card is a token of our respectful gesture to HM for embracing the sheer cultural diversity that we have here in Great Britain”, said Dr Ramakrishnan FRSA. The event was once again supported by several organisations and individuals, promoting all professional sectors, in particular the Cultural and Creative Industries. To find out more visit www.worldmusicconference.co.uk

Harkishan Mistry has been nominated as a Community Champion at the Community Star Awards for his work for over 30 years, giving time to numerous community projects. The Community Star Awards, presented by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, and sponsored by the Telegraph and Argus, Better Start Bradford and Bradford Council is open to online voting. Mistry was the driving force behind the Govindbhai Foundation, a family-based charity that raised £139,000 for great causes in 10 years. He works with SewaDay charity, encouraging members from the Indian community to commit 1 day to community projects. He led a successful drive to increase the number of blood donors from within the Asian communities of Bradford resulting in more registered donor centres, more sessions and more donors. Nominated by his brother Suresh Mistry for the awards, the nomination

reads as, “The UK Blood bank has a shortage of donors from the Asian community, which has consequences for treatment. “He has led a drive to increase blood donations, through a huge communication and educational campaign across the community. “He visited temples and community centres, liaised with the blood service to get new donation centres approved and encouraged new first-time donors, leading to 47 more blood donation sessions, almost 450 more donors from the Asian community and nine more sites such as temples being registered as donation centres.” On being nominated, Harkishan told Asian Voice, “I feel very privileged and happy – it’s nice to be recognised.” To vote for Harkishan please see http://peoplecanbradforddistrict.org.uk /community-star-awards2018/community-champions/#voting%20hashtag%23voluntary

Coventry supermarket crash: bus company fined £2.3m after man killed two Midland Red (South) Ltd the bus company has been handed a £2.3million fine after ignoring 24 warnings about Kailash Chander's erratic driving. Chander an 80-year-old bus driver with dementia had smashed into a Sainsbury supermarket in Coventry killing two people including a seven-year-old boy in 2015. Mr Chander had been driving dangerouslywhen he mistook the accelerator for the brake, a fact finding trial concluded and is now deemed unfit to stand trial due to dementia. But he has received a two-year medical supervision order after a two0day hearing at

Kailash Chander

Birmingham Crown Court. The bus company, which is part of Stagecoach group, admitted allowing Mr Chander to work more than 70-hours a week.It also admitted allowing him to continue working despite warnings about his driving. Phil Medlicott, manag-

ing director of Midland Red (South) Ltd said the company was "deeply sorry" and "bears the weight of our responsibility for this tragedy". The company has "made several key changes", Mr Medlicott said, including stronger controls on working hours and more medical testing for drivers.


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Making contributions to British life: Indians and Jews - Lord Jitesh Gadhia & -Zaki Cooper At a time of political polarisation and division over Brexit, it’s important to remind ourselves what we have in common. As Indian and Jews, we have a very special connection, united by common values and ideals. Last week, during InterFaith Week, leaders from the Indian and Jewish communities gathered at Western Marble Arch Synagogue. The Chief Rabbi, along with other religious, political, business and cultural figures reinforced the ties of friendship between two of Britain’s most successful minority communities. The distinguished guests included an Old Bailey Judge, members of the House of Lords and top entrepreneurs. This was one of the major events of Inter-Faith Week, which saw well over 500 inter-faith events and initiatives all over the UK. The blossoming ties between Indians and Jews is part of the rich tapestry of the UK's inter-faith relations and a crucial axis at an

The late Lord Noon MBE

anxious time for both communities. There has been anugly rise of anti-Semitism in Britain, as well as continued hate crime aimed at Indians (just two weeks ago, two Hindu temples in north London were ransacked). However, the UK is enriched by its population of 1.5 million Indians and 300,000 Jews. We believe that the convergent values and stories of both communities offer an inspirational message to the whole of Britain, and that there are at least four clear recurring themes. First, although both communities continue to face prejudice, we have not

Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman & CEO, Edwardian Hotels London

let it define us. Both Indians and Jews have embraced Britishness, and are amongst the most patriotic of citizens. Indeed, they have a long history of military service supporting the armed forces. For instance, 1.5 million Indians and 50,000 Jews (a high proportion from a small community) served in the First World War. The second lesson we can learn from both communities is that with hard work and tenacity, you can fulfil the "British Dream." Both communities came to this country with modest means, and through their perseverance, not only made a life

here but a disproportionate contribution to all walks of life. Many worked in the clothing, textile and food industries. Jews were often market traders and the Asian corner shop is now part of common folklore. As the communities have integrated, and benefited from a high quality education, many Indians and Jews have become professionals meeting their parents aspirations for their children to become lawyers, doctors and accountants. Third, each community has shown a flair for entrepreneurship. Historically, because access to some jobs was restricted, Jews and Indians relied on their wits and created their own businesses. There have been stand-out success stories from both communities, such as Jewish business people the late Michael Marks, co-founder, Marks & Spencer; the late Sir Jack Cohen, founder, Tesco Supermarkets; alongside the late Lord Noon MBE, founder, Noon Products; and Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman & CEO,

The Kumars at No. 42

Edwardian Hotels London. Incidentally, our two communities have also contributed to UK cultural life, and this “soft power” has enriched the country. As an example, many Jewish playwrights and comedians have left their mark, while Indian food and dance has become hugely popular – and curry is now the nation’s favourite dish. Fourth, family and community life lie at the heart of both communities. The television series, The Kumars at No. 42, depicted a close-knit Indian family and it contained familiar themes for the Jewish community. At their best, each community balances indi-

vidual responsibility, with obligations to their families and wider society. Indians and Jews have made and are making a vast contribution to all areas of British public life. Through a positive attitude and an embrace of British values, our communities continue to thrive and provide a role model for others. In the present season of Diwali and Hannukah, both festivals of light, we hope that the current darkness of anti-Semitism and race hate will make way for a brighter future. Lord Gadhia is a British Indian Peer and Zaki Cooper is a Trustee of the IndianJewish Association.


10 READERS VOICE

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Save Those Legs At one of our recent social gatherings, I met someone whose both legs were amputated and he walked with, not one but two, crutches. On making enquiries of him I was told that this was the result of his untreated diabetes. The encounter has been bothering me ever since and I regretted that I had consumed a fair amount of Indian sweets (mohanthar, amritpak, jalebi, ladoos etc) at a few recent Diwali parties. To add fuel to the fire, a report published last week indicates that almost 7,000 people under the age of 25 are being treated for diabetes in England and Wales. One shudders to think what the total number including adults would be. It would not surprise me if most of these are south Asians! We know for fact that the consumption of too much sugar causes diabetes and associated health problems including kidney failure and heart problems. We also know that eating too much salt results in high blood pressure and eventual packing up of the kidneys and other irreversible problems But we get tempted at the sight and smell of foods containing these two white poisons. Yet we consume them regardless of the consequences. Human nature being as it is we go on consuming these two white ingredients regardless of the tremendous health problems until it is too late to reverse the damages. So beware of the consequences of the consumption of these two white poisons and save those legs! Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Dementia: The Scourge of Old Age Few decades back, the word dementia, organic cerebral disease, a condition of permanent mental deterioration, was hardly mentioned, not even in GP surgery. Now there are just under nine hundred thousand people officially diagnosed as victim of this dreadful illness that turns people to vegetable state. Many sufferers are waiting to be officially diagnosed, as demand is great and resources limited due to financial constrain inflicted on the nation by bleeding heart politicians. Even though vast amount of resources are deployed in research to find cure, condition is on the rise. The medical reasons that are allegedly responsible for this dreaded illness are vast and varied, including low blood supply to brain, increase in life expectancy, improved diagnosis and according to latest research in America, loneliness, cut-off from family members and friends, all contribute to the spread of this condition. These are symptoms of what we call modern, independent life-style. At one time, family life, two or even three generations living under one roof was the norm. Now it is rarity, children moving out as soon as they get married, moving further away, even migrating to greener pasture of Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand. Recently this trend has somewhat diminished, in decline, mainly due to ever spiralling cost of buying houses that not many could afford. Children stay at home in order to save on rent and get on property ladder, many helped by their parents and grand-parents. So property boom is having beneficial effects, especially on the elderly who now enjoys better living standard than ever. Humans are gregarious, social minded people who thrive on integration and assimilation with their fellow humanbeings that keep them cheerful, mentally alert, healthy, active and young at heart if not physically. Loneliness is the curse, especially during our harsh, bitterly cold winter months when day light and warmth is at premium. Many OAPs try to spend these cold months in tropical countries like India, East Africa and West Indies. But with advancing age and inferior mobility, long distance air travel that may take whole day, from leaving home to reaching destination, is becoming unmanageable for most of us. One welcoming step we are taking is to move to shelter accommodation where one is in social environment with plenty of social and cultural activities. Some of our nursing homes are like 5* hotels with every conceivable amenity. But cost is prohibitive, up to £1400 per week, out of bound for most people, even with Council’s contribution. Let us have our own retirement homes, in line with enlightened Jewish community! Kumudini Valambia By email What do you think? We want to know your views on any issues. Write to: Asian Voice, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW or e-mail: aveditorial@abplgroup.com

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Unjust Country Rudy Otter has made a good point in his letter Name Calling of AV 17-23 Nov 18 ” Why Pakistani hates to be called Pakis when.......”. I have often wondered about this myself. Could this be a low self esteem! Looking deeply into Pakistan's affairs, there are many things that baffles me. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan was a son of Hindu converts Shia Muslim. Jinnah alike other Shia Muslims differ in beliefs with dominant Sunny Muslims. Jinnah is only remembered in name in Pakistan whilst his community is being persecuted. Most Pakistanis have Hindu ancestry though they shy away in acknowledging this fact and show contempt for 5000 year old rich Hindu culture and incline themselves with Arabs that class themselves superior to other converts. Pakistanis know that the country they live in was an integral part of India taken away unjustifiably. Not yet content they despise India and unashamedly trying to grab more through aggression and violent means thus creating insecurity in the region. Pakistanis have failed to manage their country properly; it lacks economic progress and has bad reputation internationally. On the other hand, India with its sizeable Muslim community and with all the problems that go with it is thriving. Pakistanis even as immigrants have created so much fear in peoples’ minds in UK that on committing heinous crime by a national of Pakistani origin, the politician and journalist avoid to use the term Pakistani and opt for Asian. Pakistan has not been created on righteous foundation. Its people have identity crisis. The country is struggling and is a threat to the entire world Niranjan Vasant By email

All Creatures, Great and Small While West has moved on with time, taking cruelty to animals seriously, improving zoo environment to match their natural habitat in the wild, thus helping breeding programme for endangered animals, like rhinos, gorillas, Asian lions and tigers and banning use of animals, especially wild animals in circus, a cheap but cruel way to entertain children, the rest of the world has not moved in time and in step with the West. Such animals are still widely used and abused in circuses in many countries, namely Russia, China and some South American countries where animals like bears, chimpanzees, tigers, elephants and lions are trained to perform under harsh conditions, for the entertainment of paying public. Those who are regular visitors to Spain and have attended bull-fight, a blood-sport in the extreme, would know how cruel this sport is, where innocent bulls are used for cheap entertainment, in the name of tradition and then butchered, killed with a sharp sward. Yet Spain is EU member, supposed to be a gathering of civilized nations where human values are supreme! EU, dominated by France and Germany, is an inward looking opportunist union without principle or morals! Recently Russia’s Nikulin Moscow circus was in the news for all the wrong reasons. It proudly exploits animals for entertainment of paying public, mainly children, where so often such animals are tightly held in chains, in great discomfort, for children to observe them from near, as well as stroke them in safety. How could it be acceptable to cage and torture these animals for cheap entertainment, using children as excuse! When they are unable to perform, due to age or injury, they are put to sleep, as it is indeed costly to feed lions, tigers and especially elephants. This is how we the supreme life on the planet earth treats these God’s creatures somewhat down the evolutionary ladder, with utter and habituating contempt! How comforting that in our culture and religion, “All Creatures Great and Small” are treated with dignity, old cows unable to yield milk due to old age, are put to graze until death do us part! No wonder heterogeneous “Hare Krishna Movement” is greatly respected throughout the world, drawing millions of ordinary as well as intellectuals from all walks of life, from politicians to scientists, saints to humanists, giving up their valuable time to serve Lord Krishna, unique human being who attained the honour to be called Bhagwan (God) and revered by one and all! Let us be proud of our unique culture and tradition that oozes nobility, decency and goodwill to mankind! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 450 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons. - Asian Voice

The Sabarimala Row: Right to Equality This is regarding the Sabarimala temple row that’s taking place in India since the last many months where women are not allowed to enter the temple to pray. The Catholic Church is the only place of worship where not only women but people of all faiths and communities are allowed to enter. When God created human beings in His own image and likeliness (Genesis 1: 27), why are women being discriminated from entering temples? Isn’t it unfair and disgusting that women are treated inferior to men by some people of a certain community? When will men learn and treat women in par with them? When Adam was without a partner, God created woman and named her Eve. This Eve should not be treated as a sex symbol. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Statue race The recently unveiled ' Statue of Unity' in Gujarat, is a befitting tribute to the well-deserving Indian patriot Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This event has however stirred up a hornet's nest in India resulting in a statue race in the country. Maharashtra Government, with the backing of Shiv Sena, has now plans to erect a statue of Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj off the Mumbai coast in the Arabian Sea. This will be 212 metres tall with the approximate expenditure of Rs 2,800 crores. Karnataka Government has started work on constructing a statue of Mother Cauvery in Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir in Mandya District near Bengaluru. This will have a height of 125 feet costing Rs 1,200 crores. Rajasthan Government has come out with an idea of building a 351 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva near Nathdwara that will be unparallel in the world. The ex-Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Ms Mayawati, is already infamous for erecting statues of herself, her party's founder late Kanshiram and BSP's election symbol 'Elephant', all over UP. No wonder then, very soon India will be known as a country with the highest no. of statues in the world or 'Statue Capital' of the world. Undoubtedly, Indian mythology is full of gods and goddesses that are all worshipped with great faith. Similarly, Indian history contains names of a no. of heroes, warriors and protagonists that deserve a lot of recognition for their patriotism, philanthropy and unselfish services. However, entering in a 'Statue Race' as a matter of futile competition should be avoided as it involves taxpayer's hardearned money. Moreover, the country is faced with several other pressing problems that demand a much higher priority. Bharat Shah Rayners Lane

Adverse effects of austerity Eight years of unnecessary austerity has played havoc on the most vulnerable people of the country. Prime Minister Theresa May says austerity has ended whereas her Chancellor of exchequers Phillip Hammond says it is coming to an end. This means it is still hanging on and not gone. Even the government does not know whether it has ended or it is coming to an end. This whole issue of austerity and hardships facing people has been lately been over shadowed by Brexit making the situation worse. 'Austerity has created vacuum being filled by drug gangs exploiting children. Where public services have shrunk there’s a vacuum, and what’s stepped into it is ‘gangs'. Austerity and rampant drug dealing have created a “lost generation” of children living in fear of violence across the UK, police and former gang members have said. There are fears the recent spate of bloody street stabbings in London, where 20 teenagers have been killed so far this year, will not be the last if funding to police and public services is not urgently increased. Professor Philip Alston, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights lambasts Austerity and Government cuts. Government cuts have inflicted “unnecessary misery in one of the richest countries in the world” and entrenching high levels of poverty, a UN investigation into poverty in Britain found. He has spent 12 days investigating the impact of austerity measures, Universal Credit, and Brexit in Britain. In a remarkable conference in London he came to present his preliminary findings. Speaking on the impact of austerity, Alston said: “In the fifth richest country in the world, this is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.” In the view of the foregoing it is high time the British Government got its act together and ended austerity for good and to put a stop to the suffering of the British people who facing homelessness, poverty, increase in crime, violence, and depending on food banks. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow


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EDUCATION

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1 - 7 December 2018

Half of university tuition fees spent on teaching

UWE Bristol project to close race pay gap faced by graduates

Less than half of the tuition fee paid by students in England can be spent on the cost of teaching, says research from a university think tank. The Higher Education Policy Institute says the rest is spent on buildings, IT and libraries, administration, or welfare such as mental health support. It comes as a review is scrutinising the cost of student fees and loans. A separate public spending watchdog report warns that the sale of student loans is providing poor value. The Public Accounts Committee says that student loans with a face value of £3.5bn were sold last year to private investors for £1.7bn - with MPs unconvinced this was a good deal for taxpayers. The review of post-18 education funding, commissioned by the prime minister, is examining how to redesign university fees and student loans. There have been suggestions that the review is looking at cutting fees to £6,500 - raising questions about the cost of delivering courses. Both university reports from the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Public Accounts Committee examine whether students and taxpayers are getting value for money.

A project to close the race pay gap experienced by graduating black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) students is rolling out across a university. The Equity programme gives students at the University of the West of England (UWE) tailored mentoring, entrepreneurial and coaching sessions. Its founder Dr Zainab Khan said "the outcomes do not look good" for the increasing numbers of BME students. In its first year, the project mentored 200 business and law students. The project at UWE in Bristol works by discussing race and identity, and gives advice on overcoming racism and exploring traditional leadership values. Dr Khan, faculty director of student experience at UWE Business and Law Schools, said: "I spent several years in different committees looking at BME students and attainment, and I'd grown quite tired of conversations that did not develop into action. "We want to see more of our BME students getting high value, prestigious, professional level employment at the same rate as their white counterparts. "We want to see lower-

The think tank report says that universities might only spend 45% of tuition fee income on teaching with the rest spent on other services or administration. Students should be given much more information about how their fee is being used, says the study. A breakdown from Nottingham Trent per student showed: - 39% spent on academic staff, course equipment and staff-related costs - 36% spent on buildings, libraries, IT, sports, careers, admissions, staff, administration and widening access to poorer applicants - 17% invested in "enhancing teaching, research infrastructure and the student experience" - 8% spent on professional services, including marketing, finance and the vicechancellor's pay The research also shows that universities can have

very different levels of dependency on the current £9,250 annual tuition fees. Tuition fees were only 15% of income for Cambridge, but at Falmouth it was 83% and Nottingham Trent was 81%. This puts financial pressure on universities to recruit - and last week it was revealed that a university had to be bailed out with an emergency loan. "Tuition fees were introduced 20 years ago and they have been tripled twice. Ministers and regulators have repeatedly demanded information on where the fees go. Yet there is still little information available," says the institute's director, Nick Hillman. The Office for Students said: "We can identify and will act when they are not transparent about value for money or are not delivering strong enough outcomes for students or taxpayers."

Parents 'not wholly to blame for child weight gain' Pointing the finger of blame at parents for children's weight gain may be unfair, research suggests. It has been thought that parents' feeding patterns are a major factor in whether a child is under or overweight. But a study suggests parents adapt their feeding styles in line with a child's natural weight and size, which is largely genetically influenced. The study was carried out by researchers at King's College London and

University College London (UCL). The research says that, since the onset of the childhood obesity crisis at the turn of the century, the spotlight has focused on environmental factors for the problem - in the hope of finding solutions. The study notes that two types of parental feeding styles, in particular, play a role in how parents regulate children's eating habits: - restriction of food, which is thought to lead to weight gain because children

overeat when the restriction is not there (the "forbidden fruit" effect) - pressure to eat, which is thought to make children with low appetites anxious, and compromise weight gain But rather than dictate children's habits, the research suggests parents are "responding to their child's emerging characteristics, not simply causing them". The study is published in PLOS Genetics.

At least '320,000 people homeless in Britain' This year, 320,000 people were recorded as homeless in Britain, analysis from housing charity Shelter suggests. It is a rise of 13,000, or 4%, on last year's figures and equivalent to 36 new people becoming homeless every day. London has the highest rate of homelessness, but it is growing fastest in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and northwest England, the analysis says. The government says it is investing £1.2bn to tackle homelessness. The report, which is published as temperatures start to plummet, says the real level of homelessness is notoriously difficult to measure.

Only individuals in contact with local authorities or in hostels are included in the official figures. Shelter analysts arrived at the total of 320,000 after collating official figures for those living in temporary accommodation, sleeping rough and the number of hostel places taken up, reducing them to compensate for potential doublecounting. The charity says its figures are likely to be a conservative estimate, as they do not include people unknown to the authorities or experiencing other types of homelessness not included in the figures. They add that rough sleeping figures are partic-

ularly difficult to record because many people hide and remain out of sight for safety reasons and are not seen by the council officials who carry out the counts. So, those who bed down for the night in derelict buildings rather than the more obvious shop doorways are often missed out of the tally. But the figures show that since Shelter first carried out this kind of analysis in 2016, an extra 25,000 people have become homeless. They also mean one in every 200 Britons is either sleeping rough or living in temporary accommodation, such as hostels and B&Bs.

Dr Zainab Khan (far right) set up the programme to help the students improve their job prospects

ing levels of unemployment - in particular black graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed than white graduates." A government report, Race in the Workplace published in 2017 showed that people from BME backgrounds held only 6% of management positions. It also found that BME groups were "more likely to be overqualified than white ethnic groups but white employees were more likely to be promoted than all other ethnic groups". Second year law student Donnell Asare, who joined the Equity scheme a year ago, added: "You find when you get higher up, there's a lot of white people and you don't see a lot of people who look like you. "It's quite discouraging

when you're in these spaces and you don't see people like you and you think, 'Is there something wrong with me?', [and] 'do I not deserve to be there?' "A lot of BME students have this imposter syndrome and think, 'I'm not capable'." This year the project will expand across to all the university campuses, having initially being piloted at the Law and Business schools. Dr Khan said: "You can forge your own path and you shouldn't think of your career as a linear route. "You can have a portfolio career where you try lots of different things. "Some of the students are doing lots of different types of activities because it's too soon to count yourself out of anything."


12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S There was turbulence at the Supreme Court during the hearings of the case involving the two seniormost officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), whose ongoing feud has brought the body, its personnel and even the government itself into disrepute. Irritated by the flagrant breach of its orders for strict confidentiality in matters pertaining to the subject the Supreme Court Bench scathingly observed to the CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma and others, ‘we do not think any of you deserve a hearing’ – and promptly adjourned Alok Kumar Verma further proceedings. Reasons for Court’s strictures Leaks of CBI Director General Manish Kumar Sinha’s petition accusing top government officials and CBI chief Alok Kumar Verma’s response to Central Vigilance Committee’s inquiry, the Supreme Court had ordered that both documents be in sealed cover. As this order had not been followed, the Court said: ’We don’t think any of you deserve a hearing…Our efforts to maintain the respect and dignity of the of the institution (CB I) is, unfortunately, not shared by others. ‘The purpose of sealed-cover proceedings was to keep the sensitive issue confidential…but it was on the front page of the newspapers.’ Senior and junior counsels representing Alok Kumar Verma are at odds on the advice given to their client. Confusion is worse confounded (Times of India, Hindu November 21). Terror attack in Punjab A grenade attack on the Nirankari Satsang Bhagwan (templer) near Amritsar by two hooded men on a motorcycle near Amritsar in Punjab which claimed three lives and injured 15, has been attributed

strike and other such strikes in Punjab over the last two years. The Punjab police had busted may other terrorist attempts to hit the State. Amarinder Singh detected the hand of Pakistan’s Interr Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) in activities designed to disturb the peace (Times of India, Hindu November 22). RBI-Govt accord The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have reached an accord under which the RBI will extend the timeline by a year for full implementation of Basel III rules capital, thereby freeing up Rs 3.7 trillion for potential lending. The extension of the deadline will give the government breathing space on bank recapitalization. The government and RBI were in dispute on a number of issues, including a liquidity squeeze on in the bankiung system (Mint, Hindu November. XIAOMI in rural expansion China’s XIAOMI, the biggest smartphone manufacturer in India and the largest sales, is planning to increase both offline sales channels and introduce new, which franchised outlets called MI stores in III tier towns and tier IV cities. The consumer electronic company, which sells products from smartphone s - of which India is the world’s largest market - televisions, etc (Mint November 21).

India, Russia frigate deal India has signed a $500 million deal with Russia on the construction of four advanced stealth frigates, two of which are to be built at the local Shipyard Limited with technology transfer There will also be a lot of Indian technology as well in the vessels, including the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles and other weapons sys. While the ships are Russian, the engines will be supplied directly from Ukraine. The Goa shipyard has a good track record, meeting delivery dates, sometimes ahead of schedule. The basic structure of the two frigates already complete and is expected for delivery by Russia’s Yantar shipyard in 2020, the rest to follow through to 2026 (Hindu, Times of India November 21). India, Singapore call for open seas India and Singapore have reiterated their call for freedom of navigation and freedom of the skies along these sea routes in keeping with international law and the United Nations Convention against the tense backdrop of China’s muscular rhetoric and conduct in the South China Sea. Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Singapore counterpart Ng Eng Hen during their meeting in Visakhapatnam were in accord that disputes on these issues should be resolved peacefully (Times of India November 21).

Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Relations between the two countries were raised to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam a couple of years ago. Cooperation between the Indian and Vietnamese services have expanded exponentially in all fields, from training programmes to weapon systems and exercises, which are set to continue to higher levels (Times of India November 21). India-Bhutan Dialogue With the installation of a new government in Bhutan following the recent general election, Indian foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale concluded a two-day visit to Bhutan for conversations with the country emergent leadership. Economic and development cooperation topped the agenda. Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tsering is likely to visit India soon, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reciprocating with a visit to Bhutan sometime early in 2019 (Times of India November 21). Venkaiah Naidu’s call for liberal leadership Speaking in New Delhi at the 104th birth anniversary of former Supreme Court judge Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said there was a

India, Vietnam draw closer Addressing the Vietnam National Assembly in Hanoi, President Ram Nath Kovind said India offered a model of regional cooperation that ‘opens not one but many roads’ – perhaps a veiled reference to China’s mooted ‘One Belt, One Road Initiative. With Vietnam scheduled to host the first maritime security dialogue with India in 2019, Hanoi was keen to push its relationship with India to a higher level of engagement. Army chief heads for Hanoi Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat is to follow in the footsteps of President Kovind to Hanoi for talks with his

Nampoodripad. ‘We need men and women who are sensitive to the complex interplay of socio-economiccultural and political realities of contemporary India,’ said the Vice President (Hindu November 21). Warning to India One of Pakistan’s foremost scientists, Pervez Hoodbhoy, has warned India against becoming like Pakista through bigotry and religious obscurantism. Writing in the country’s Dawn newspaper, he said he was appalled by the obscenities posted of the Sangh Parivar social media targeting Jawaharlal Nehru. It was Nehru, he averred, who had sowed the seeds of India’s scientific temper that had flowered in Indian physicists such as Ashok Sen FRS, a leading contemporary string theorists. US companies in India for talent US multinational companies are beating a path to India to plumb the country’s engineering talent. In 2017, 976 of them opened Research & Development centres across the country, with numbers set increase this year. The Indian staff is expected to rise to 435,000 this year, up from the 343000 last year. The numbers do not include ITspecialists (Times of India November 17). Festival sales drive up TVS, Bajaj revenues ALHH TVS Motor and Bajaj have increased their market share in scooters and motorbike segments by17 per cent respectively during the recent festive season. Bajaj Auto bucked the trend in the motorcycles with growth of 33 per cent.TVS Motor has maintained double-digit growth in scooters and higher growth in motorcycles. Jaswant’s son in tussle with Raje

Venkaiah Naidu

need for men and women to listen respectfully to different voices, and called on citizens to nourish institutional structures put in place by the nation’s Constitution. He recalled the Justice Iyer had served at one time in the State government of Kerala under Communist Chief Minister E.M.S.

Manvendra Singh, son of the late Jaswant Singh, once a BJP stalwart and foreign minister in the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is standing on a Congress party ticket in the Rajasthan Assembly elections from Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s constituency. The outcome will be awaited with keen interest across India, with an general election due in May/June 2019 (Times of India November 18).

New Chapter in India, Australia ties

Small town Indians globe trotting

Amarinder Singh

to the outlawed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) following the arrest and interrogation of one of the assailants by the police. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced this at a press conference. He said the Pakistanbased KLF mastermind Harmeet Singh Happy had coordinated the

Cash in hand families from India’s small towns have developed an itch to travel abroad and living the experience. Some 30-40 per cent for both online and offline tour operators now come from the tier II and III towns, according to tour companies like the internationally renowned Thomas Cook, among others. Such growth is way higher than figures from the cities year-onyear, proof that disposable incomes are on the increase plus the immense strides in the development of airport infrastructure (Mint November 16).

General Bipin Rawat

Vietnamese counterpart Lieutenant General Pham Hong Huong, as well as tour the country’s different military establishments during his fourday visit to the country.

President Ram Nath Kovind with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Australia marks a new chapter in their relationship. See page 3.


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Murder trial hears of defendants' movements on day of Leicester explosion

Labour MP faces retrial

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya

L to R : Hawkar Hassan, 32, Arkan Ali, 37, Aram Kurd, 33

A murder trial jury has seen footage of a huge shop explosion in Leicester, in which five people died. Coventry man Hawkar Hassan, 33, is one of three people who denies murder or manslaughter at Leicester Crown Court in connection with the explosion, which took place on Sunday February 25, just after 7pm. Footage seen by the jury included a Leicester City Council CCTV scene of Hinckley Road - as the Zabka supermarket and two storey flat above suddenly

erupted onto the road, amid a huge cloud of masonry, dust, and smoke that completely obscured the highway from view. Shopkeeper, Aram Kurd, 34, and Arkan Ali, 37, and Hassan all deny five counts of murder or manslaughter. Those who died were Mary Ragoobeer, 46, along with sons Sean Ragoobeer, 17, Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and Shane’s girlfriend, Leah Beth Reek, 18 - who were in the two-storey flat above. Ali’s girlfriend, Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, who was in the

Arena attack memorial 'should be a tranquil space'

Survivors and relatives of those who died in the Manchester Arena bomb would like a "tranquil" space to be created in the city as a memorial, initial feedback to the council has suggested. An advisory group will liaise with those most affected by the 22 May 2017 blast, which claimed 22 lives, on what exact form the memorial should take. One idea is for a gardenstyle setting. A public consultation will also help ensure "we get it right", says advisory group chairman Malcolm Press. No plans on the memorial's location, form or specific design will be considered until the consultation about the "principles underpinning the memorial, or memorials" is completed. "Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017," said Mr Press.

shop, also died. Kurd, Ali, and Hassan, also deny conspiring together and with Miss Ijevleva to commit insurance fraud allegedly relating to a deliberate fire at the shop, which was expected to pay out up to £300,000. The jury were shown clips of the defendants’ movements on the day before, when Hassan purchased 26 litres of petrol he then allegedly used to torch the basement under the shop. The trial continues.

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya who is accused of lying to avoid a speeding fine is facing a retrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict. The MP for Peterborough, 35, allegedly colluded with her brother Festus to escape prosecution for going 41mph in a 30mph zone on 24 July 2017. Onasanya denied one count of perverting the course of justice during her trial at the Old Bailey and after several days of deliberating the jury could not come to a decision. Her 33year-old brother Festus, from Cambridge, has admitted three charges of perverting the course of justice, including over the 24 July incident.

Drugs and guns accused on run after vanishing before trial A man accused of drugs and guns crimes is on the run after he fled before his trial. Mohammed Anwaar disappeared days he was due to face a jury accused of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, two of money laundering, possession of cannabis and possession of a firearm. The 29-year-old is from Sheffield but has links to Birmingham, as well as Manchester and Derbyshire. He was due to stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday, October 17. Det Con Paolo Messina, said: “Anwaar is fully aware that he is now wanted by police and that he is potentially facing a stint behind bars. "It is absolutely essential that we hear from anyone who has seen or spoken to

Anwaar recently and I’d urge people who do have information as to his whereabouts to get in touch with us. “He has links to Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester and Derbyshire. "If you see him, please do not approach him but instead call 999 straight away. "Any further information can be passed to 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting incident number 251 of 23 October 2018.”

Mortgages.....Mortgages......

"We are determined to ensure a fitting and enduring memorial. While the whole city was touched by events, and everyone will have their own personal experience, we know people will understand that the views of those most closely affected by the attack have to be paramount." A memorial fund has been set up to help pay for the tribute. People can take part in the memorial consultation online before Monday 17 December.

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13

The Housing Crisis this Christmas: 300,000 People Need a Home 1 - 7 December 2018

At a time when family, community and a roaring fire are the comforts of the season, many urgently need shelter and the basic necessities that can be taken for granted by those of us preparing for the festive period. The housing crisis remains a serious concern, with Shelter revealing approximately 320,000 people in the UK will be homeless this Christmas. Many are calling for Amber Rudd to take measures to address housing as a priority as she begins her role as work and pensions secretary. She has already acknowledged the flaws in the Universal Credit system which is failing those relying on it to support them. Where delays arise, many risk rent arrears and even eviction, which can lead to homelessness. In the meantime, many housing charities have launched their Christmas campaigns for those seeking a roof over their head this winter. Some will be long-term applicants for housing who are still waiting on suitable accommodation to be assigned by their local authority. Local authorities are required to ensure that anyone requiring housing is put on a list for suitable accommodation, with the most vulnerable placed at the top of the waiting list. Youths, the elderly, people with mental health problems or with a disability and mothers with young children can expect to be made a priority, and yet there are times when even they are left waiting as the lists get longer and delays occur. There are common misconceptions that only those that have been forced to sleep on the streets are considered homeless. Under the homelessness test you are classed as homeless if you: l Rely on friends/ family for temporary accommodation l Live out of a hostel or night-shelter

l

Live somewhere that is so overcrowded or unhygienic that it might be damaging to your health For more information on the homelessness test, see our website. It is important to understand your rights and where to get help. We at Duncan Lewis are aligned with a number of Citizens’ Advice centres across England and Wales, offering pro bono assistance to those requiring housing advice. Anyone who is seeking social housing can attend for free and speak to one of our specialist legal practitioners who regularly act on behalf of those dealing with homelessness. There can be times when local authorities have offered unsuitable accommodation for yourself, or a loved one. In this case, you are entitled to challenge the offer. We are able to assist with these matters and always act in our client’s best interests.

Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Manjinder Kaur Atwal, a director/solicitor of housing based, alongside Amrita Bharj and other team members, works closely with Citizen Advice in Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield, Milton Keynes, Hillingdon, Hayes, St Mungos and Harlow Law Clinic to help those seeking advice on a range of housing matters, including eviction notices, challenging local authority decisions and homelessness. For advice on homelessness, or another housing matter, contact Manjinder on 02031141269 and manjindera@duncanlewis.c om, or Amrita on 02031141299 and amritabh@duncanlewis.com


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New report says religious institutions can save India millions by deploying green energy methods A new report was launched on Monday 19 November at the House of Commons that reviewed best practice amongst religious institutions in India and identified initiatives that had impacted more than a million people and cut conventional fuel use by more than 70%, saving those organisations £1m annually. The “Rise to Shine” report featured case studies from across faiths, including ten Hindu, five Islamic, three Jain, two Sikh and Christian, and eight spiritual organisations, and conducted interviews with more than 40 heads of major religious and spiritual institutions across the country. It showed that such institutions offer untapped potential for accelerating efforts to end the energy poverty that still afflicts more than 200 million people in India. The case studies showcased pragmatic, on-site renew-

(from left-to-right) Report lead author Pratik Dattani, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Tan Dhesi MP and an audience member

able energy solutions to reduce operating expenses and provide back-up power during public power outages. The report suggests that collaboration with Indian social entrepreneurs in the field of energy access could

enable such communities to dramatically accelerate the pace of distributed renewable energy development in rural areas of India which lack access to energy. This approach to localised clean energy development would also benefit from the social

and economic capital that these spiritual communities have developed over decades of service in their communities. The report was written by Hindu advocacy group The Bhumi Project, interfaith environmental organi-

zation GreenFaith, economic and strategy consultancy EPG. The launch featured a number of UK Parliamentarians, including Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Tan Dhesi MP. Other guests included representatives from Hindu, Sikh, and Jain religious groups from across the UK. Gopal Patel, Director of The Bhumi Project, said, “This report shows that these faith groups can be strong advocates for climate action in India. By working with social entrepreneurs they can help close India’s energy gap.” Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, said, “India’s religious and spiritual institutions have a vital role to play in ensuring that every Indian man, woman and child has access to clean, safe, affordable, reliable sources energy. This report describes the support these

institutions need to play their unique role.” Pratik Dattani, Managing Director of EPG, said, “India has made enormous strides on a global scale in promoting renewable energy, for which it has been commended on international platforms. This report however shows the untapped potential of faith communities to reach a previously untapped market through smart procurement, promotion and concerted outreach.” Jasvir Singh OBE, Chair of City Sikhs, said, “We are a non-profit organisation that is a voice for progressive Sikhs. It is terrific to see Sikh organisations such as the Golden Temple and EcoSikh highlighted in this report. The level of interest generated in the report shows that faith communities are concerned about climate change and are seeking to pioneer innovative solutions.”

WMG sees titans of industry highlight untapped potential for British businesses in the growing Indian market Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) saw titans of industry highlight the huge untapped potential for British businesses to tap into the ever growing Indian market. The conference took place at WMG, which recently saw the soft opening of the National Automotive Innovation Centre, a GBP 150 million facility, the largest single automotive facilityin Europe, now renamed as Lord Bhattacharya Building in honour of the Founder and Chairman of WMG. Lord Bhattacharya has made extraordinary contributions to the regeneration of British industry over the last four decades. He was also instrumental in the acquisition of JLR by Tata Motors, in addition to supporting several well known Indian automotive companies in their R & D strategies. This conference was jointly hosted by WMG, CWLEP and Consulate of India as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival, supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the CWLEP Growth Huband was attended by representatives from Industry, Government, Academia and Trade bodies. Speaking at the conference Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya stated that Tata Motors and JLR specialists are working together with academics and experts from WMG to develop the cars of the future, and the

Amo Kalar, Kiran Khatri, Vinnie Mehta, Ralf Speth and Lord Bhattacharyya

soon to be opened centre will become an innovation hub, setting a new benchmark for the world. Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover stated, “Ten years ago, Ratan Tata had the vision to bring Jaguar Land Rover into the Tata family. Since then, JLR has grown to become a global player in the luxury, premium and performance marketplace, an exemplar of British invention and engineering excellence. “For many years at the helm of Tata Group and now as Chairman Emeritus, Ratan Tata has encouraged group companies like JLR to continuously rethink about how we do business, how we innovate. “In automotive, we will

see more change in the next 5 years than in the last 50 as autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles, what we at JLR call ‘ACES’ are becoming real. At JLR, we call this future mobility as Destination Zero: zero emissions, zero accidents, zero congestion; and our journey towards Destination Zero has already started. The Jaguar I-Pace, the world’s first premium electric SUV, is the latest step. “Collaborations are vital – for no company alone can deliver Destination Zero. This is why JLR, Tata and WMG have together now invested £ 150 million in the largest single automotive technology facility in Europe, now officially

named as Lord Bhattacharya building. “In skills, India leads the way, producing more qualified engineers than anywhere else in the world. In technology, I think of the Indian graduates who were drawn to Silicon valley in the 1970s and 1980s. They have since been at the forefront of the digital revolution that has defined California – and changed the world for the rest of us. “India is well positioned to respond to the rapid pace of change because it has innovation embedded into the fabric of its society. The opportunity for today and tomorrow is to harness India’s rich expertise and skill in a new mobility ecosystem. Not just to

MakeIN India, but to Make WITH India and to Make FOR India. “Prime Minister Modi said ‘Make in India’ is a lion’s step. From the home of the British Jaguar, we encourage and support you in taking this Indian ‘Lion’s step’.” Amo Kalar, Deputy Trade and Investment Commissioner, British High Commission in New Delhi welcomed WMG’s commitment to the India - UK Tech Partnership, announced by Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of UK Ms. Theresa May in April, 2018. He observed the scale of opportunities provided by bilateral economic collaboration, such as the 1,10,000 plus jobs by the Indian companies in UK, many bringing in highly skilled professionals. Amo Kalar encouraged businesses to attend the UKIndia Future Tech Festival scheduled on December 1112, 2018 in New Delhi. Consul General Aman Puri stated that both the UK and Indian Governments are collaborating to support businesses, and strengthen the two wayTrade and Investment relationship between the two countries. Kiran Khatri, Second Secretary (Economic and Public Diplomacy), High Commission of India, London highlighted the success of Access India programme (AIP) as a unique integrated market-entry support programme which is the first of its kind for sup-

porting UK businesses, and is solely focussed on UK SMEs. She stated that AIP is currently supporting 24 SMEs, and High Commission will soon be releasing the list of second cohort of companies who have been accepted as members. Other speakers included Vinnie Mehta, Director General, Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA), India, Jonathan Browning (Chairman – Coventry and Warwickshire LEP) and Richard Lidstone-Scott, CEO of Tevva Motors. Dr. Param Shah, Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry – UK (FICCI-UK) stated, “The Indian automotive industry has started to experience the effects of this global disruption. Four technology-driven trends—electrification, shared mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving—are leading the automotive industry to this disruption. These trends will shift markets and revenue pools, change mobility behaviour and build new avenues for competition and cooperation.” The expert panel comprising of Prof Lord Bhattacharya, Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, Mr. Amo Kalar, Mr. Vinnie Mehta and Ms. Kiran Khatri engaged with the audience, replying to their queries on the prospects of UK-India partnership in Automotive and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.


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1 - 7 December 2018

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Shoaib Bajwa:

FAMILY'S FEAR AFTER WINDOW SMASHED AND DEATH THREATS

CTD Advisors and a New Era of British Business Sunetra Senior

proverbial quality goods as well as the stellar advertorial vision. “We can proTD Advisors are at the forevide the strategic communication, front of UK business, advanced engagement and strategic intelligence and highly focussed, in a world needed to make informed decisions that’s perpetually morphing, and and gain that competitive advantage,” finding itself somewhat overShoaib aptly summarised. The CEO whelmed. “Since the time of the himself has scores of knowledge in Second World War,” Shoaib, founder investment banking and international of the specialist strategic intelligence business, always having kept a keen eye firm, told us, “Britain has gradually on the changing contexts and patterns lost influence in commonwealth of international affairs. “It’s a pleasure states and the emerging markets. It to be able to combine so many of my has constricted itself by the EU and natural interests in one, very rewarding kept itself tied to that region.” job,” he commented, “and to help The company wants to help condevelop so many businesses and the struct new economic corridors, from economy at large. We can advise on the within places such as Nigeria to counbest areas of a country to invest in, tries and continents that are as far local partners integrity assessments, on flung as India and Asia. Essentially, the reputational and political risks, on rebuilding a “Global Britain” in modern whether an investment should be long times. Another key reason why or short term from changing geo-ecoinvestors, corporates and governments nomics circumstances, the time perihave refrained from expanding ods which are smartest, and the geopoEastward, Shoaib elaborated: “is the litical impact on the industry into volatility of those particular which a company or state is trypolitical landscapes.” It ing to tap.” seems Western businesses Here, Shoaib emphaI want British are challenged by unfasised the “importance of miliar obstacles such as human capital”. Not just businesses to great social upheaval, abroad with the respechave a footprint foreign business models tive target consumer, but and state ideology, and for CTD Advisors’ signaoutside of ultimately a severe lack ture methodology and the Europe of insider knowledge: company’s own team: “a big “navigating through these mistake many businesses international, emerging marmake is to obsessively chase sales kets then becomes high risk. Let’s take and neglect good relationship managethe small example of Pakistan. There is ment. Good relations are integral to a a huge market of 220 million people, a booming business, and if you upset lot of whom are under the age of 35 and people, the sales fall through anyway. whose first or second language is As we are so connected and socially English, in a country where the GDP is aware, we’re able to help foster the best moving at 5%. business communications which garAdditionally, the location is prime ner both profit and respect. It’s better for UK business to invest: it’s into be patient and invest in mid to longbetween the two largest growing term strategy then to rush. The busieconomies, China and India, where the ness culture around emerging markets former is a new superpower with is still very communal, and recommenopportune trading channels to the dations spread through word of mouth. Middle East. However, Pakistan Again, my group has first-hand is also a country complicated experience in this respect by multiple uncertainand can negotiate with ties.” This includes milithe utmost receptivity. A big mistake tary rule for “over thirCTD members have many businesses ty years, religious worked closely to extremism and termake is to obsessively advise Presidents rorism.” The broader chase sales and Prime and neglect Ministers, factors make UK and big good relationship businesses more corporations to apprehensive about make informed busimanagement investing when there are ness or national securistill massive business ty decisions from emergopportunities available. ing markets perspective “Those populations especially,” i.e. while our talented staff members those in developing worlds, “require have written much on economic services, from basic housing and conopportunities and geopolitical situasumer goods to basic healthcare and tions.” This means CTD Advisors are other essential products.” also in the unique position of providing clear analysis of otherwise mystified *** and unexplored foreign business: “with To this end, the collected business a lot of these emerging markets, public leader and his executive team at CTD information is not reliable or at all Advisors are inimitably placed. transparent.” Spanning the arenas of politics and Thus, crafting an effective business academia to security services and busiventure that has as much socio-politiness, the team is compromised of the cal impact as it does financially, Shoaib most experienced, senior professionals, promisingly demonstrates the power of all of whom have “extensive practise in meditated and nuanced thinking to advising prime ministers, cabinet restore the balance in times of great members, multinational corporations, uncertainty. This was even reflected and even security agencies on business, through the founder’s sensitivity to a commercial and geo-political issues.” truly multicultural terrene moving forThe company then possesses the wards. “One must remember that

C

Shoaib Bajwa

Western values might not always translate to Eastern communities,” he replied when asked on the compatibility of moral values with corporate ethic: “yes, they generally go together, but we must try to understand individual local and regional backgrounds, and these can be entirely different worlds. Our standards can be harsh in social isolation.” CTD Advisors will open new offices in Washington DC next year, bringing its targeted yet equalising intelligence to the influential powerhouse that is the USA. “I want British businesses to be as bold as American enterprises,” Shoaib finally asserted, “and to have a footprint outside of Europe. Britain can emerge stronger while taking calculating risks.”

What have been some of your most successful, highlight moments as a specialist intelligence strategist? We recently worked with a client who provides oil and gas related services to emerging markets, in one of the highrisk country of North Africa. Obviously, there are multiple power corridors etc. and our recommendations from managing geo-political risks angle were correspondingly on point. We advised that investments be made from a 6-month to 6-month basis over careful instalments. We advised on what regions were more feasible and politically sound to provide their equipment, and who would most demand that product.

What are some general pointers for what ‘works best for business in the Pakistani market’? Just by tapping into the market a lot can happen. There is a huge market for the British industry who have a vast past knowledge of consumer goods. Secondly, there are many internet users in the country: 45 million. There is then great scope for digital businesses such Fintech outfits and E-commerce websites. This would also mean more British Angel investors and private equity could thrive. Alibaba is doing really well there, but there aren’t such British investors there.

Finally, what grabs you most about your work with CTD Advisors? No one day is ever the same. As a bespoke strategic advisory firm, every client engagement is always different and needs a lot of research and planning. You always navigate delicately and think creatively outside of the box for the clients. W: http://www.ctdadvisors.com

A family say they are extremely worried about their safety after they received death threats on Facebook and by phone, and a window was smashed at their home. The problems began on Wednesday, November 14, when Ahmed Muslah Uddin received the first threat Ahmed Muslah Uddin and wife, Ananna online. Speaking through an interpreter, the 46-year-old, who lives with his wife, Ananna, and their children, Rubaiya, 14, and Marzuq, six, in Connaught Street, Highfields, Leicester, told Leicestershire Live: “Last Wednesday, for an unknown reason, I received the abusive and aggressive and threatening messages on my Facebook page, and subsequently over the phone on the Friday. He said he also believed that the threats and vandalism were connected to an attempted robbery at his business premises in Highfields. Ahmed said he was not happy with the way the police had responded to the crimes so far, and hoped that something could be done to make him and his family feel safe.


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THE LOHANAS OF GREAT BRITAIN A number of people will know and may have read my articles on the history of the Lohana community.

Subhash V Thakrar Founder, Charity Clarity Former Chairman, London Chamber of Commerce Non Executive Director in Various companies and Charities. long with my friend Hasu Manek, we continue to study this history with a great deal of interest and have hired the professional help of Professor Gijsbert Oonk of Netherlands University so that we build up an authentic record of this very fascinating history. One day we hope we can reveal to the public.

A

Our interest in the history of Lohanas started from discussions that we used to have with one of our community leaders, late Shree Haribhai Samani. We even tape recorded our interviews with him. We recruited services of Dr Katherine Prior from Oxford University, who extracted records about Lohanas from the British history library. We also hired, Professor Rohit Barot of Reading University to translate some Gujarati books on Lohanas in to a summarised English report. So we have been busy finding more about our history. This is a beautiful history which many young Lohanas or Louis may not be aware of. I hope this article will give some flavour to what deserves a book or even a documentary. The Lohanas of Great Britain are today a very proud and well established commu-

nity. In many ways they have demonstrated great leadership in the wider communities in the sectors of business, politics and philanthropy. This is the community that has made enormous economic progress in the last 50 years of existence in the UK. The Lohanas of UK are around 60,000 and largely hail from Uganda having been part of the Uganda exodus in 1972. This is the community that has been praised by both Houses of Parliament as a model immigrant group in Britain‘s history. Lohanas have worked tremendously hard in establishing businesses and achieving a great deal of success. Initially these businesses were shops that opened for long hours 7 days a week. Indeed Sunday opening was started by this community which eventually was adopted by the large chains. They made money despite competition from the big chains! Some powerful examples of amazing successes include the Dhamechas cash and carry, V B and Sons, Popat stores, Thakrars with HT Group, the Jatania brothers with their fragrance business and Thakrars of Tilda Rice. Many have ventured outside the old trading businesses and made great strides. These include Ramesbhai Sachdev, the Popat family and Sai Ram Nursing homes and hotels. In the pharmaceutical industry,

Lohana men in western India (c. 1855–1862)

Lord Dolar Popat

Baroness Shriti Vadera

we have Nitin Sodha with Lexon Group, the Karias with Chemlines Group and the Chotais with heir Waremoss Group. In the hotels sector we have the Bhatessas and Chatwanis. Of course the

the Jalaram Mandir London, Pramod Thakkar with the Leicester Jalaram mandir, Vinubhai Bhatessa and Nitin Palan OBE, with BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir of Neasden, just to name a few.

Nanji Kalidas Mehta

Madhvanis and Mehtas are legendary business houses with their worldwide presence. Many Lohanas have also benefited from best of educations and progressed to being part of large banking and professional groups. Amongst the notable achievers are Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Baroness Vadera in banking, Sunil Gadhia in the legal profession, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani and Bhikhu Kotecha in the medical sector. There have been so many successes in all professional areas which are quietly very successful. These range the accounting, legal , dental, pharmaceutical and medical sectors. In philanthropy, Lohanas today provide clear leadership in various Hindu organisations and temples. For example, we have Narendrabhai Thakrar who heads the Hindu Mandir of Wembley, Piyoosh Chotai at the mandir of Crawley, Rashmi Chatwani at

Lord Jitesh Gadhia

their past history. Some 500 years ago, Lohanas were the warrior class who defended the old Bharat in northern regions of today's Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. They represent-

Manubhai Madhvani

Then there have been veterans like late Manubhai Madhvani , Gopalbhai Popat and Dhanjibha Tanna who have led many charitable organisations over many years when they have been active. Also, the name of Nanji Kalidai Mehta is renowned with philanthropy in India and his pioneering venture in to East Africa at a very young age. In the political arena, we have stalwarts like Lord Dolar Popat, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, and prospective politicians like Kishan Devani as well as Resham Kotecha. In the entertainment sector, there is Nitin Ganatra who is making great strides. I feel that leadership, entrepreneurship and philanthropy runs in the blood of Lohanas of today. Their ability to adopt to any environment gives them great strength. These qualities , in my opinion, have come from

ed various kingdoms which were named after many of the surnames of Lohanas today. These included Thakar, Unadkat, Sachdev, Chandarana and others. Lohanas and King Porus fought against the invasion of Alexander the Great from Greece. His other name was Sikandar. It is a fact that Alexander never conquered India and many of his soldiers stayed back and interacted with the Lohanas. The modern day scientific proof is that Lohanas are amongst the only Gujarati community who are carriers of the blood disorder called thelesimia. Even bigger carriers of this condition are the Greeks. So there must have been some blood connection. Lohanas also have a different physique and skin complexion from other Gujaratis. Lohanas are hardly big landowners or in agriculture. This is because Lohanas are immigrants in Gujarat where they have adopted

themselves to being modern day Gujaratis ! When I checked out my DNA it was interesting to note that 8% was African as is common for most humankind, but 25% Mediterranean which indicates the Greek connection. The rest of the DNA was Asian. I urge readers to check out their own DNAs and let us know what they find. Lohanas migrated from the north to today's Multan region of Pakistan where they protected a fort called Lahorghat from where they became known as Lahoranas which has changed to modern day Lohanas. Even today there are Lohanas living in Pakistan and know themselves as Luvanas. Sadly a number of them have had to convert in to Islam. All the Khojas and Memons are all converts from Lohanas. It has really amazed me on why Lohanas ever did feel like converting to Islam in those days. One leading example was the father of the nation in Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Zina, whose family are Khojas converted from Lohanas. I have been asking this question to a number of historians like Dr Hari Desai, Professor Oonk and Professor Palan to get a handle on this. Plausible explanations are that some 400 years ago, India was ruled by the Moguls. The Lohanas had started to lose some of the battles in the north and started to migrate south where they finally settled in the Kutch and Saurastra regions of Gujarati. Their warrior profession was no more useful and many decided to become vaishyas i.e. business class. This was the time of extreme poverty in the community as it never is easy for soldiers to get a job or have ability to start a business. So they had to survive economically. This made them convert so that they would be looked at favourably by the then rulers. This was also the time when there was hardly any difference in teachings and guidance of an Imam or a Guru. So whoever they met first and felt impressed with, they followed. In later years it was this poverty that forced many Lohanas venture in to new shores of Africa. Here again they were able to adopt and settle as well as succeed in business. The above demonstrates great ability of Lohanas to

adopt to any new environment. This remains a notable quality even today. Often, one would see Lohanas amongst the first members of the community to get involved and adopt to the habits and pleasures of the new society they live in. This includes joining clubs as well as enjoying high end pleasures of cars and big houses. Of course not all of these are commendable or good. Given the royalty or warrior class background the community is naturally more philanthropic even today as such qualities are always embedded in royalty. One can only look back in fascination

Rashmi Chatwani

Narendra Thakrar

Nitin Sodha

Ramesh Sachdev

Nitin Ganatra

Mike Jatania

Sandip Ruparelia and wife

to what is a unique and fascinating history of a community which now sits proudly in the UK society as British Gujarati Lohana.

Let us know each other a little better! Asian Voice is the voice of British Asians. British Asians are UK residents with origins from the Indian subcontinent- now called South Asian. It includes the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives. This piece by Subhash Thakrar is not only informative, but also inspiring. Let us all take a leaf out of his book and start an initiative; an initiative to know and understand each other better. Shine a light on your community and its history. No charge. Those interested, please contact CB Patel at cb.patel@abplgroup.com, and send in a little introduction about yourself and your community.

Bhikhu Kotecha and family

Jawahar Chatwani

Satish Chatwani

Thakkar brothers L/ R Pramod, Prakash, Sudhir and Vijay Thakkar

Sandip Ruparelia and group

Dhamecha C&C opening in Leicester

Doyen of Gujarati business: Dhamecha Family

Shri Jalaram Mandir, Leicester


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THE LOHANAS OF GREAT BRITAIN A number of people will know and may have read my articles on the history of the Lohana community.

Subhash V Thakrar Founder, Charity Clarity Former Chairman, London Chamber of Commerce Non Executive Director in Various companies and Charities. long with my friend Hasu Manek, we continue to study this history with a great deal of interest and have hired the professional help of Professor Gijsbert Oonk of Netherlands University so that we build up an authentic record of this very fascinating history. One day we hope we can reveal to the public.

A

Our interest in the history of Lohanas started from discussions that we used to have with one of our community leaders, late Shree Haribhai Samani. We even tape recorded our interviews with him. We recruited services of Dr Katherine Prior from Oxford University, who extracted records about Lohanas from the British history library. We also hired, Professor Rohit Barot of Reading University to translate some Gujarati books on Lohanas in to a summarised English report. So we have been busy finding more about our history. This is a beautiful history which many young Lohanas or Louis may not be aware of. I hope this article will give some flavour to what deserves a book or even a documentary. The Lohanas of Great Britain are today a very proud and well established commu-

nity. In many ways they have demonstrated great leadership in the wider communities in the sectors of business, politics and philanthropy. This is the community that has made enormous economic progress in the last 50 years of existence in the UK. The Lohanas of UK are around 60,000 and largely hail from Uganda having been part of the Uganda exodus in 1972. This is the community that has been praised by both Houses of Parliament as a model immigrant group in Britain‘s history. Lohanas have worked tremendously hard in establishing businesses and achieving a great deal of success. Initially these businesses were shops that opened for long hours 7 days a week. Indeed Sunday opening was started by this community which eventually was adopted by the large chains. They made money despite competition from the big chains! Some powerful examples of amazing successes include the Dhamechas cash and carry, V B and Sons, Popat stores, Thakrars with HT Group, the Jatania brothers with their fragrance business and Thakrars of Tilda Rice. Many have ventured outside the old trading businesses and made great strides. These include Ramesbhai Sachdev, the Popat family and Sai Ram Nursing homes and hotels. In the pharmaceutical industry,

Lohana men in western India (c. 1855–1862)

Lord Dolar Popat

Baroness Shriti Vadera

we have Nitin Sodha with Lexon Group, the Karias with Chemlines Group and the Chotais with heir Waremoss Group. In the hotels sector we have the Bhatessas and Chatwanis. Of course the

the Jalaram Mandir London, Pramod Thakkar with the Leicester Jalaram mandir, Vinubhai Bhatessa and Nitin Palan OBE, with BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir of Neasden, just to name a few.

Nanji Kalidas Mehta

Madhvanis and Mehtas are legendary business houses with their worldwide presence. Many Lohanas have also benefited from best of educations and progressed to being part of large banking and professional groups. Amongst the notable achievers are Lord Jitesh Gadhia and Baroness Vadera in banking, Sunil Gadhia in the legal profession, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani and Bhikhu Kotecha in the medical sector. There have been so many successes in all professional areas which are quietly very successful. These range the accounting, legal , dental, pharmaceutical and medical sectors. In philanthropy, Lohanas today provide clear leadership in various Hindu organisations and temples. For example, we have Narendrabhai Thakrar who heads the Hindu Mandir of Wembley, Piyoosh Chotai at the mandir of Crawley, Rashmi Chatwani at

Lord Jitesh Gadhia

their past history. Some 500 years ago, Lohanas were the warrior class who defended the old Bharat in northern regions of today's Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. They represent-

Manubhai Madhvani

Then there have been veterans like late Manubhai Madhvani , Gopalbhai Popat and Dhanjibha Tanna who have led many charitable organisations over many years when they have been active. Also, the name of Nanji Kalidai Mehta is renowned with philanthropy in India and his pioneering venture in to East Africa at a very young age. In the political arena, we have stalwarts like Lord Dolar Popat, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, and prospective politicians like Kishan Devani as well as Resham Kotecha. In the entertainment sector, there is Nitin Ganatra who is making great strides. I feel that leadership, entrepreneurship and philanthropy runs in the blood of Lohanas of today. Their ability to adopt to any environment gives them great strength. These qualities , in my opinion, have come from

ed various kingdoms which were named after many of the surnames of Lohanas today. These included Thakar, Unadkat, Sachdev, Chandarana and others. Lohanas and King Porus fought against the invasion of Alexander the Great from Greece. His other name was Sikandar. It is a fact that Alexander never conquered India and many of his soldiers stayed back and interacted with the Lohanas. The modern day scientific proof is that Lohanas are amongst the only Gujarati community who are carriers of the blood disorder called thelesimia. Even bigger carriers of this condition are the Greeks. So there must have been some blood connection. Lohanas also have a different physique and skin complexion from other Gujaratis. Lohanas are hardly big landowners or in agriculture. This is because Lohanas are immigrants in Gujarat where they have adopted

themselves to being modern day Gujaratis ! When I checked out my DNA it was interesting to note that 8% was African as is common for most humankind, but 25% Mediterranean which indicates the Greek connection. The rest of the DNA was Asian. I urge readers to check out their own DNAs and let us know what they find. Lohanas migrated from the north to today's Multan region of Pakistan where they protected a fort called Lahorghat from where they became known as Lahoranas which has changed to modern day Lohanas. Even today there are Lohanas living in Pakistan and know themselves as Luvanas. Sadly a number of them have had to convert in to Islam. All the Khojas and Memons are all converts from Lohanas. It has really amazed me on why Lohanas ever did feel like converting to Islam in those days. One leading example was the father of the nation in Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Zina, whose family are Khojas converted from Lohanas. I have been asking this question to a number of historians like Dr Hari Desai, Professor Oonk and Professor Palan to get a handle on this. Plausible explanations are that some 400 years ago, India was ruled by the Moguls. The Lohanas had started to lose some of the battles in the north and started to migrate south where they finally settled in the Kutch and Saurastra regions of Gujarati. Their warrior profession was no more useful and many decided to become vaishyas i.e. business class. This was the time of extreme poverty in the community as it never is easy for soldiers to get a job or have ability to start a business. So they had to survive economically. This made them convert so that they would be looked at favourably by the then rulers. This was also the time when there was hardly any difference in teachings and guidance of an Imam or a Guru. So whoever they met first and felt impressed with, they followed. In later years it was this poverty that forced many Lohanas venture in to new shores of Africa. Here again they were able to adopt and settle as well as succeed in business. The above demonstrates great ability of Lohanas to

adopt to any new environment. This remains a notable quality even today. Often, one would see Lohanas amongst the first members of the community to get involved and adopt to the habits and pleasures of the new society they live in. This includes joining clubs as well as enjoying high end pleasures of cars and big houses. Of course not all of these are commendable or good. Given the royalty or warrior class background the community is naturally more philanthropic even today as such qualities are always embedded in royalty. One can only look back in fascination

Rashmi Chatwani

Narendra Thakrar

Nitin Sodha

Ramesh Sachdev

Nitin Ganatra

Mike Jatania

Sandip Ruparelia and wife

to what is a unique and fascinating history of a community which now sits proudly in the UK society as British Gujarati Lohana.

Let us know each other a little better! Asian Voice is the voice of British Asians. British Asians are UK residents with origins from the Indian subcontinent- now called South Asian. It includes the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives. This piece by Subhash Thakrar is not only informative, but also inspiring. Let us all take a leaf out of his book and start an initiative; an initiative to know and understand each other better. Shine a light on your community and its history. No charge. Those interested, please contact CB Patel at cb.patel@abplgroup.com, and send in a little introduction about yourself and your community.

Bhikhu Kotecha and family

Jawahar Chatwani

Satish Chatwani

Thakkar brothers L/ R Pramod, Prakash, Sudhir and Vijay Thakkar

Sandip Ruparelia and group

Dhamecha C&C opening in Leicester

Doyen of Gujarati business: Dhamecha Family

Shri Jalaram Mandir, Leicester


18 FINANCE - UK

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Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Do you ever feel people only hear what they want to hear? Certainly, with Brexit it feels that way doesn’t it? That’s a cognitive bias. It’s a blockage for making money too. When I wrote my first book, there was a very good reason I called it ‘The Mind of a Trader’. Every one of the 10 leading traders of the world I interviewed for the book told me that psychology was key to success and wealth. One of my favourite interviewees was Bill Lipschutz, who was Global Head of Forex at Salomon Brothers so pretty much the largest forex trader in the world. His Chairman was Warren Buffett. Your Mind is Your Profit There are many biases that influence our reasoning. Popular literature recognizes 53 different types of cognitive biases however, four of them are particularly important and significantly influence risk calculations and strategic decision making. These cognitive biases are: • Prior hypotheses and focusing on limited target- this happens when a decision maker brings hypothesis and personal beliefs into decision-making process without previously inspecting the relevant data. Consequently, the decision-maker tends to overlook the information and evidence that can prove the opposite of what he thinks. This is a major problem for traders because instead of being detached and dispassionate when looking at data, they let their pre-existing trades and losses affect their future decisions. • Exposure to limited alternatives- in the situation when data is incomplete, decision makers tend to focus on limited numbers of alternatives because they usually fill in the missing data with intuition instead of trying to get additional information. Traders here do trades they shouldn’t. Instead of waiting for high probability trades, instead they dive in impatiently. • Insensitivity to outcome probabilities- if a manager is influenced more by the value of possible outcomes then by the magnitude of probabilities, he/she will tend to make very risky and hazardous decisions that are not based on statistical calculations of probabilities. Here the trader thinks how much money he will make, not how likely he is to make it. In trading, all we are trying to do is make small incremental gains, not huge windfalls. In trading we need high probability trades. • Illusion of manageability- when decision-makers intuitively believe that success is more probable than what statistical models predicted they can become overly optimistic. Consequently, they tend to overlook risks and develop illusion of control in uncontrollable situations. In addition, in these situations, they irrationally think that they can and will solve every possible problem that arose as a result of their decisions . When it comes to trading, it is vitally important to be aware of the biases which inflict everyone. Alpesh Patel Her Majesty’s Government’s Dealmaker For a free online trading course visit www.alpeshpatel.com

‘Big Four’ accountancy giants face probe in UK The “Big Four” accountancy firms - Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – are in spotlight following a strings of scandals in Britain. These firms, according to experts, have a longestablished oligopoly to advise and monitor big business. The powerful companies engage in a wide range of activities, from accounts auditing and strategy consulting to proposed mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and taxation. However, a series of high profile corporate collapses in Britain - including retail giant BHS in 2016 and construction company Carillion in early 2018 - have put them into the crosshairs of the authorities. The Competition and Markets Authority watchdog launched a sector review in October and is expected to report back before Christmas. Despite the controversy, firms feel they need one of the 'Big Four' on their side as investors usually want to see their labels when they scrutinize the quality of companies. “Firms need to placate financial markets and having a ‘Big Four’ badge is one easy way to do this,” Professor Crawford Spence at King’s College London said. “These symbolic aspects are very important.” The Big Four audit all but one of the 100 companies listed on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 stocks index, media reports say.

Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin launched in the UK Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin was launched in the UK to coincide with the recent Diwali celebrations. It is available exclusively at The Whisky Exchange and rolling out to retailers throughout the UK in time for Christmas. The gin is a product of Radico Khaitan, one of the oldest whisky distillers in India with a reputation for quality and innovation and the ability to grow brands internationally. Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin is triple-distilled and handcrafted in a traditional copper pot still in small batches by Master Distiller Anup Barik at Rampur Distillery – the makers of Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky. The distillery is one of India’s oldest, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Anup Barik, who comes from a family of Indian master distillers, wanted to retain the classic gin flavour using juniper berries whilst adding a refreshing twist with Indian botanicals. He has chosen seven of the 11 botanicals used in the distillation from all four corners of India. The Coriander and Vetiver, a complex spice with intriguing peppery notes, are grown in the fields around Jaisalmer in the North of India. The sweet orange peel, which complements the citrus and floral tones of the gin, comes from Central India. Cubeb Pepper berries and Lemon Grass from Southern India, Darjeeling Green Tea leaves from Eastern India and Lemon Peel from Western India make up the remaining Indian-sourced botanicals. Other botanicals include angelica root, liquorice and caraway seeds which lend a spicy, slightly anise-tinged flavour to the gin and the all-important juniper berries from Tuscany. Sanjeev Banga, President – International Business at Jaisalmer’s owners Radico, says, “We’re delighted to be launching our first Indian Craft Gin and are excited about the heritage behind the brand as well as the Indian craftsmanship our Master Distiller uses to distil our new gin. Jaisalmer’s signature serve, the Jaisalmer Gin and Indian Tonic tastes like an oasis in the desert and we describe it as a drink fit for Royalty, harking back to the imperial age of the Maharajas and

Sanjeev Banga

their moments of leisure and pleasure. Jaisalmer also makes an excellent base for exotic gin cocktails to be enjoyed by consumers especially in the UK, USA, the rest of Europe and other countries worldwide.”

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta failing to pay bills, say suppliers Suppliers to Sanjeev Gupta's expanding Liberty House have shed some light on their struggle to get credit insurance, warning that they are owed substantial sums. Five companies that supply goods and services to parts of the Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance's British operations, said they were struggling to secure payment from the steel, commodities and energy conglomerate. Credit insurer Euler Hermes is understood to have withdrawn cover entirely from suppliers to Liberty House, a collection of businesses under the GFG umbrella. Several suppliers said they could not avail credit insurance for Liberty House. While two of the biggest providers, Euler Hermes and Atradius declined to comment, another big supplier said it was refusing to supply Gupta's speciality steel business until its outstanding debt was paid. A third supplier said it was pursuing a county court judgment against GFG because a debt worth tens of thousands of pounds was threatening its viability. “There could be multiple reasons for

an overdue payment, very often related to problems with supplier's paperwork. This is not unusual in the steel industry. Some of our units are still in turnaround mode following administration or re-starting from scratch following closure and this can sometimes pose challenges with payments and rebuilding supplier relationships.” It added, “On the whole, we are confident these issues have been largely resolved and it is company policy to pay within agreed periods wherever possible.” GFG also said the “overwhelming Sanjeev Gupta majority of credit insurance underwriters are supportive of the business. They have significantly increased the cover written on the group today than 18 months ago and as we grow further we expect that to continue.” GFG's operations have more than 14,000 staff and £11.7 bn of turnover. The business is set to expand further with the impending purchase of steelworks across Europe from ArcelorMittal, plus the $500 m acquisition of an aluminium smelter in Dunkirk from Rio Tinto. CEO and Cofounder of accelerator program, EFI Hub, Anu Shah (Second from left) recently received the Inspiring Achiever Award, organised by the South Asian and American Indian Community in New York City. She received the honour in presence of noted dignitaries like Tonino Lamborghini, Lindsay Lohan, Rohit Roy, and Karan Kapoor.


BOILING THE MILK

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The deal is off market, or so I have been told, for a little while before it comes on.

The rental market is not prone to fluctuations in the same way house prices are. Therefore, it is fairly easy to predict the income this site will generate with accuracy. There are a couple of ways to increase the normal rental.

Everyone knows the market is subdued, therefore, one cannot expect market price for sites. The variables are higher for a development site than in purchasing a BTL property. If the current market conditions are uncertain, you will be adding even more uncertainty in with a site, as you are trying to predict the market at the point you complete the deal.

One is to turn the flats into serviced apartments. This means your tenants could be staying in the property for as little as a few days. With the hospital nearby it would suit foreign patients who come here for treatment.

There is an interesting angle to this deal, as far as the commercial element goes. There is a possibility to convert this all to residential. In very rough terms this means you double your resell value. In this scenario, you will be adding roughly £400k to the resell value.

Another is to go back into planning and adjust it, so you can run the property as an HMO. Note, you do not need planning to convert a property into an HMO, just a license. It is, however, worth checking with the local authority to check the criteria, as there are two levels of

THE WEALTH OF CONNECTEDNESS Due to the unpredictably of the

We define ourselves as "human beings" not "human doings". This implies that our "beingness" is very important to us. The 17th century philosopher, Descartes, gave us the maxim "Cognito, ergo sum" which means "I think therefore I am". Thus, these two observations can be merged together by observing that what makes us unique is the degree to which we can think about our beingness. How we think about and pursue our happiness and peacefulness shapes us and

drives us.

realising it.

And at the core of this beingness is the degree to which we feel connected to others in a positive and meaningful way.

As property people it is important to know how our material wealth will bring us happiness. My experience is that being without material means brings unhappiness. But beyond a fairly low point of material wealth, there is no correlation between wealth and happiness.

In business, especially the property business, it is easy for our connections and relationships to centre around property and money. This is especially true due to the transactional nature of the business. We can lose our sense of relationships to others. We can isolate ourselves without even

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP!

market, this deal is best done on a develop and rent model. With the aim of extracting most of your capital put in to the deal at the point of completion via a BTL remortagage. If this is the route, it’s worth revisiting the planning again to see if the rental can be enhanced.

The site comes with planning for three residential flats, along with commercial on the ground floor.

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

19

1 - 7 December 2018

This week we are looking at a deal in Fulham, a stone throw away from Charing Cross Hospital.

Suresh Vagjiani

REAL ESTATE VOICE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Q: What is a cannabis factory, and how do I spot one? legislation; a national and a local one. There are councils who make the process very cumbersome to execute, and even some who actively have a ban on HMOs as a consequence of over enthusiastic developers doing too many. You could have a combination of the above, meaning an HMO which you use as short lets. We have arranged a couple of buildings like this already for our clients, which are being rented. The current technology allows one to gain entry using their phone. This avoids running around with keys all hours of the day. It pays to know in advance what you will be doing with the asset, as when planned properly it can be turned into a very strong yielding property.

It is our connectedness and the quality of our relationships which greatly determines our happiness. What this has in common with property is that to derive such happiness we must

A: Most tenants will respect your property and the terms in the agreement. However, there are a small minority that will cause problems. Some problems are minor, and some are a little more on the larger scale, for example finding that your property is being used as a cannabis factory. The media will have you think that this is a common occurrence, however, in over 12 years in the industry I have only come across this issue once. They can be easily identified, as you will find green plants everywhere, irrigation systems hanging from the ceiling, and lighting and ventilation fans within the property. That is all very well if you have access inside the property. Telltale signs from the outside are: l

smell – it is strong and sickly sweet you spot equipment such as lighting racks and ventilation fans being taken in l perhaps the windows have been blacked out or permanently covered l people coming and going at all times of the day and night l through a gap in the window you spot strong lights being left on day and night l constantly misted windows and signs of condensation l

If you suspect that your property is being used as a cannabis factory, you must inform the police right away, and refrain from tackling any of the occupants themselves as they are likely to be criminals involved in serious crime. "invest" in our relationships. But the currency of such investment are such things as time, love, kindness and selflessness.

Richard Bond

Abraham Goldberg

l Two bedroom, first floor flat l Long lease l Low service charges l Rental income expected is approx £950 per month, generating an excellent yield of 6% per annum

A great catch!!! Purchase Price: £185,000 Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

l Superb capital and rental growth expectations due to Crossrail 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


20 FINANCE-UK

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1 - 7 December 2018

Entrepreneur Awards win for Pharma Businessman The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2018 have named a pharma-sector businessman as Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year. Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, who is Chief Executive of Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals, won his category at the regional ceremony for the Midlands, held at the Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. The annual awards acknowledge the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. The award was presented by Wynne Evans, famous for his performances as a tenor, in well-known insurance adverts, and entrepreneur Oli Barrett MBE. Dr Kotecha said: “I was truly humbled to be nominated for this award alongside so many amazing entrepreneurs, who are using innovation and a pioneering approach to do

great things. “To win this award is a great honour and is very special for me, as Morningside has been built on using innovation to embrace challenges with heavy investment, including research and development and launching new niche molecules. “The end result has led to greater choice for both pharmacists and patients, as we have developed new ways to take the medicines we manufacture. These include slow and prolonged release tablets and capsules, as well as under the tongue dissolvable tablets. “We were

also immensely proud to be the first company to launch the generic version of the contraceptive pill in the UK. “I would like to thank my team, who are all dedicated individuals and the driving force behind Morningside’s significant growth.” Morningside Pharmaceuticals specialises in manufacturing and supplying generic and branded pharmaceuticals to UK hospitals and pharmacies, as well as essential medicines to global aid agencies. Speaking about what impressed the judges, Elliott Denham, from Growth Enabler, said: “Dr Kotecha's commercial acumen, combined with his in-depth research background, has enabled both Morningside and himself to become even more charitable when experiencing growth." The awards are held in five regions across the UK with the winners from each region winning through to the national final.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE

UK court asks Mallya to pay £88,000 to Swiss bank The high court in London has directed Vijay Mallya to pay £88,000 to Swiss bank UBS as part of interim legal costs in a case filed by the bank seeking possession of his Baker Street house. The bank alleges that Mallya was given £20.4 million mortgage on which he has defaulted. Mallya had bought the property in a Grade 1 listed building overlooking the landmark Regent’s Park in 2005. In March 2012, he borrowed £20.4 million from UBS for a period of five years. Mallya, however, claims that UBS called the loan early and that he, his mother and son were entitled to “occupation rights” in the property. The main trial is scheduled in May 2019 at the end of which the court will decide whether Mallya can hold on to his luxury pad in London. Chief Master Mathew Marsh in the Business and Property Court passed the order during a one-hour hearing. The order came after the lawyer representing UBS made submissions for order relating to legal costs. The issue of cost arose after the court set aside several objections raised by

Mallya as they were “bound to fail.” There were some indications of Mallya’s precarious financial condition after his lawyer suggested that the court should look in the range of 30,000-40,000 pounds as legal costs with the time limit of up to eight weeks for the payment. The judge, however, stated that “this was a complex application” and that the figure of 88,000 pounds was a “proper amount”. UBS’s lawyer also brought to the notice of the court that the slow response from Mallya on the payment of previous legal costs “makes us nervous”. The court then instructed Mallya’s defence that the deadline of January 4, 2019 was not an “aspirational date” and that payment must be made in full. Chief Master Marsh termed the deadline as “an extended period which erred on the side of generosity”. Mallya has been fighting the extradition battle with the Indian government on allegations that he defaulted on loans

Vijay Mallya

worth £900 million given to now defunct Kingfisher Airlines by Indian banks. The verdict is expected on December 10 at the Westminster Magistrate Court where Mallya has voiced vehement protests against the prison conditions at Arthur Road jail. Mallya's plea dismissed Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has dismissed appeal filed by Mallya seeking stay on ED's request before trial

court to initiate proceedings against him under the Fugitive Economic Act. The Enforcement Directorate wants Mallya to be declared as a fugitive economic offender and his properties to be confiscated under the act. Mallya, his now defunct venture Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, and others availed loans from various banks and the outstanding amount, including interest, against him was around £999 million, the officials had said while filing the plea under the new law. Mallya is currently contesting his extradition case in London filed by the Indian government on behalf of the CBI and ED. Mallya, in the past, had said that he had become the “poster boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger. “I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with £900 millionthat was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter.”

New ombudsman to tackle complaints Banks extend UK plc's of dissatisfied rail commuters overdraft ahead of Brexit Passengers dissatisfied with how train companies handle complaints can now appeal to an independent arbiter, as a new rail ombudsman service comes into force. The ombudsman will have binding powers over train firms should it uphold a customer complaint. But the service has been criticised by Labour as toothless and unable to tackle important issues facing passengers such as rocketing fares and complicated pricing tariffs that vary from one operator to another. The ombudsman will focus on providing a free service to passengers objecting to an operator’s response, or if a complaint has not been resolved within 40 days. Train companies will fund the ombudsman and have agreed to abide by its rulings. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said it showed the industry was trying to “uphold the highest standards” in its complaints processes which have come under criticism from consumer groups. According to data from the Office of Rail and Road, fewer than half of rail passengers who complained last year felt their issues received an adequate response, although only 1.1% of complaints ended up in an appeal process. The ombudsman will deal primarily with disputes about delayed trains and passenger compensation. More than £80m was paid out in 2017-18 to passengers

for delays – a figure that is likely to have escalated significantly following the timetable chaos in May this year, which saw thousands of services cancelled and severely delayed. But a Department for Transport study published last month found that only 39% of eligible passengers claimed compensation for delays, with most of the rest saying it was not worth the time and effort. Andrew Jones, the new rail minister, said: “This is a significant step forward for passengers’ rights. This independent ombudsman will make sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short. “Rail firms must take this opportunity to improve their complaints process and to increase customer satisfaction.” Labour, however, gave a muted welcome. Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, said: “With over 50m products, the UK rail fare system is probably one of the most complex in the world. Passengers urgently need simpler and more affordable fares. The rail ombudsman’s voluntary code and limited powers will do little to address these problems.” The service will be provided by a private company, the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, which has so far concentrated on consumer disputes in the furniture and removals sector.

Banks in Britain are trying to prepare businesses for a potential cash crunch after Brexit, whether or not a deal agreed by the UK and Brussels this weekend is approved by parliament next month. Banks fear Britain’s departure from the European Union could cause a spike in bad loans with corporate clients, if it leads to delays in cross-border shipments and payments or big swings in sterling. To protect against these risks some banks are extending credit to companies and selling insurance against volatility in sterling. State-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) trebled its “growth fund” for small businesses last month from 1 billion to 3 billion pounds, saying it had set aside extra cash to help customers to get through Brexit. It said it may need to top up the pot again. “To a large extent it depends on the type of Brexit we get,” Mike Slevin, head of capital management at the bank, said. It has identified nearly 2,000 at-risk companies across several sectors it believes are exposed to a Brexit fallout. These include those reliant on complex overseas supply chains – such as car part manufacturers and medicine makers – and those susceptible to an economic downturn - such as leisure and construction. Credit being offered by RBS includes increased import and export funding, supply

chain finance and bigger working capital lines for everyday operations, Slevin said. It is logging where credit is taken up due to Brexit to track the impact. But take-up has been slow so far and small firms are not as prepared as they ought to be, Slevin said. “Many want to hold back from increasing lines until a little closer to the time because of the cost. So it’s a slow burn.” CYBG (CYBGC.L) - which owns the Clydesdale, Yorkshire and Virgin Money brands – has also been contacting businesses to offer credit, including farmers across Yorkshire and Scotland that account for a significant chunk of its business loan book. British farmers are reliant on support payments from the EU, and while these are guaranteed by the British government for up to three years after it leaves the EU in March next year, the FTSE 250 lender wants to smooth any bumps in the road. “We have worked with a good number of our customers in agriculture. We are making sure they are financially ready,” CYBG chief financial officer Ian Smith said. Silicon Valley Bank, a US-based lender focused on the technology sector, has in recent months sold a large number of currency hedges to startup companies in Britain exposed to fluctuations in the sterling/dollar exchange rate.


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FINANCE-INDIA

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1 - 7 December 2018

in brief GOVT PLANS INTERIM BUDGET NEXT YEAR The government of India is planning to stick to convention and present an interim budget for 2018-19, amid indications that it may not be averse to initiating some tax-related changes, ahead of next year’s general elections. Government sources said in the past, only interim budgets were presented in Parliament ahead of polls, along with a demand for grants, which helps the government get authorisation to carry with regular spending till the election is over and a new government is in the saddle. They indicated that the Narendra Modi government may carry forward the tradition. At the same time, they also pointed out that in 2009, when Pranab Mukherjee announced a stimulus, he had added tax proposals, while responding to the interim budget in Parliament. In 2014, P Chidambaram had reduced the excise duty on automobiles, capital goods and consumer nondurables, arguing that these were interventions that were warranted due to the economic situation. Rates were also rejigged for mobile handsets.

‘HALF OF INDIA’S ATMS FACE CLOSURE

Following the recent regulatory changes, including those on hardware and software upgrades, coupled with mandates on cash management standards and the cassette swap method of loading cash, will make half of India's 2,38,000 ATM operations unviable by March 2019, the Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi) warned. The new cash logistics and cassette swap method will alone result in costs of £300 million for the industry, it estimated. Closure of the ATMs will impact thousands of jobs and also the financial inclusion efforts of the government, the industry body said. “Service providers may be forced to close down almost 1,13,000 ATMs across India by March 2019. These numbers include approximately 1,00,000 off-site ATMs and a little over 15,000 white label ATMs,” it said. The industry has reached a “tipping point,” the body added.

20 COS KEEN TO SET UP PROJECTS IN DHOLERA SOLAR PARK As many as 20 solar power producers have shown interest in setting up their projects in a proposed 5000MW solar power park in Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) near Ahmedabad. Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) has received expression of interest from 20 firms for development of 1,000MW solar power projects in the first phase of the ultra-mega solar park. “The companies that have evinced interest in setting up their projects in the solar park include names such as Tata Power Renewable, NTPC Ltd, Azure Power, Adani Green Energy, Torrent Power and Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd,” said a source. As part of the first phase of development, the state-run power utility had in August invited EOIs from interested players to develop solar power projects for 1000 MW. The deadline for submitting EOIs was October 29. GUVNL, however, is yet to decide on the bids to be invited from these players. “The final selection of developers for the projects will be done through competitive bidding followed by reverse e-auction,” GUVNL had stated while inviting EOIs.

21

I-T dept sells £550 mn worth Cairns shares in Vedanta India's Income Tax department has cleared most of the 180 million shares of Cairns PLC in Vedanta worth around £550 million, with only 25,00,000 shares remaining to be disposed of against the department's demand of over £1 billion in capital gains tax from the UK oil major. The IT had passed an assessment order on January 25, 2016, raising tax demand of £1.03 million against Cairn PLC for capital gains as it had sold Indian assets to Vedanta. When it refused to pay the tax, the department on June 16, 2017, attached Cairns PLC's 4.9 per cent shares in Vedanta, which were 180 million shares. The IT department has also appropriated dividends paid by Vedants to Cairn in two tranches for £105 million. These dividends

were paid twice- first in September 2017 for £66 million and again in March 2018 for £39 million. In a statement, Cairn PLC said, “The international arbitration case under the India UK bilateral Investment Treaty is in its final stages. In March 2015, Cairn filed a

notice of dispute under the Treaty in order to protect its legal position and seek restitution of the value effectively seized by the IT department since January 2014.” It further added, “Cairn's principal claims are that the assurance of fair and equitable treatment and protections against expropriation afforded by the Treaty have been breached by the actions of the IT department, which is seeking to apply retrospective taxes to historical transactions already closely scrutinised and approved by India.” Cairn has sought recompense from India for the loss of value resulting from the 2014 attachment of shares in CIL and the withholding of unrelated tax refunds, which together total approximately $1.4 billion.

India is second-fastest growing innovator in Asia India is now the second-fastest growing innovator after China among major Asian countries, according to a new report. The 'India Innovation Report' by Philadelphiaheadquartered Clarivate Analytics also showed that India is fourth among the major Asian countries in terms of overall patent publication volume and second in terms of growth rate. Patent activity in India is growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8 per cent in patent activity over the past five years, second only to China which is growing at a CAGR of 15.5 per cent, among the top Asian countries. Arvind Pachhapur, Vice President, Clarivate Analytics, said, “The sustained growth rate of innovation in India, as

represented in patents published, is promising. In the past two years, the most significant growth stems from India's top four technology categories, computing,

polymers and plastics, communications, and pharmaceuticals, demonstrating an increase in convergence of technologies with computing and communications at the core of several industries.” The report is based on patent data from Derwent Innovation, a patent research application that provides access to patent intelligence and scientific literature. The top patent filing organisations in the country are an equal mix of resident (Indian origin) and non-resident companies. Some of the noteworthy resident organisations are Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Cadila Healthcare and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the report said.

India set to beat Brazil in sugar output after 15 years If a latest report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to be believed, India is set to push Brazil to second position in sugar production during 2018-19 after 15 years. The country's sweetener production is estimated to touch 35.9 tonnes, registering an increase of about 5.2 per cent than last year. The report by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service wing has estimated Brazil's sugar production to dip by 8.3 MTs and bringing its total production to 30.6 MTs during this sugar year. It said the 21 per cent drop in sugar manufacturing is primarily

“due to lower sugarcane yields and more sugarcane being diverted towards ethanol production as record global sugar supplies have led to weak prices.”

The report attributed that the higher area and yields would push the sugar production in India, adding that consumption is also forecast at a record 27.5 million tons due to a growing population and strong demand from food processors. “Exports are forecast to more than double to four million as sugar mills seek to reduce stocks which are expected to soar to a record 18.1 MTs,” the report said. It added that India's huge sugar pile-up due to consecutive years of surplus production will push the global stock to a new high of 53 MTs.

India looking to protect market from Chinese goods The government of India is seeking to lower import duties on fewer Chinese goods or do away with customs duty over a longer period as it seeks to contain a possible surge in imports from across the border after the two Asian economies joined the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, pitched to create the world’s largest free trade bloc. “India is looking for less than full reciprocity and the Chinese side understands that,” said a source. This means that India is willing to cut or remove duties on fewer goods imported from China or gradually pare duties over 20-25 years, while Beijing reduces tariffs faster. The government has agreed to reduce import duty, and ultimately eliminate it, on 80-86% of the goods imported from China, Australia and New Zealand, while the coverage will be 90-92% for countries with which India already has a free trade

agreement, including, Japan, South Korea and the 10 Asean members. There are fears that the massive trade deficit with China, estimated at $63 billion last year, is expected to surge after RCEP agreement is signed as India will be forced to allow duty-free or lower duty imports from across the border.

Already, Chinese goods have swamped the market in several segments, ranging from the mobile phones and garments to Ganesh and Lakshmi idols sold around Diwali. With negotiations entering the last lap before the agreement is finalised by 2019-end, key focus of talks will be on China, with officials from both sides holding detailed discussions earlier this month and another round planned shortly. “These talks will decide the course of RCEP,” said an official, indicating that India will move forward at a faster pace once it clinches an acceptable deal with China, which is seen as the biggest threat for domestic manufacturers. Already there is demand to keep several sectors, such as automobiles, steel and electronics, out of the ambit of the concessions to ensure that local manufacturers are not wiped out.


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PAKISTAN-BANGLADESH

Sikh pilgrims gather in Pakistan's Gurdwara Panja Sahib ISLAMABAD: Sikh pilgrims from all over the world on Monday poured into the Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Pakistan's Punjab province to celebrate the 549th birth anniversary of Sikhim's founder, Guru Nanak Dev. Over 3,800 Indian Sikh pilgrims, 148 from the UK, seven from the United Arab Emirates and thousands of Sikh and Hindu devotees from various parts of Pakistan, especially Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and interior Sindh, arrived at the gurdwara deemed as the third most sacred place of Sikh religion, to perform their rituals which include 'Akhand Path', 'Ashnan', 'Matha Tek' and 'Kirtan'. Elaborate security measures were taken in and around the gurdwara where dozens of officials from the security agencies were deployed. Talking to the media, leader of the Indian pilgrims Marjeet Singh lauded the role of the Pakistani government in opening the Kartarpur corridor. He said with this, the Pakistani government had won the hearts of millions of Sikhs living on the other side of the border. The number of pilgrims had also increased compared to last year, he added. Raminder Singh, leader of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak committee, echoed the sentiments, saying that more corridors between the two countries needed to open. Sohan Singh, contingent leader from the Bhai Mardana Sikh committee, said every religion taught love, tolerance and respect for humanity. However, leader of female contingent from India Manmohan Kaur

Sikh pilgrims from all over the world poured into the Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Pakistan's Punjab province to celebrate the 549th birth anniversary of Sikhim's founder, Guru Nanak Dev.

expressed her displeasure over the mismanagement by the railways department as a result of which over 113 pilgrims were left behind at Nankana Sahib also in Punjab province. Talking to the media, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Shrines Imran Gondal said mismanagement was due to the negligence of the railway authorities and the pilgrims' displeasure was communicated to the relevant authorities. The Kartarpur corridor will formally be

inaugurated by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan this week while Punjab Governor Mohammad Sarwar would host a reception in honour of the Indian Sikhs in Lahore. The Indian pilgrims would visit also Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore followed by Gurdwara Rohri Sahib in Emanabad and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. The pilgrims are slated to depart for their respective countries on November 30, according to Gondal.

US suspends $1.66 bn security aid to Pakistan WASHINGTON: The United States has suspended USD 1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, following President Donald Trump’s directive early this year, the Pentagon has said. “USD 1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended,” Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defense told reporters in an email response to questions. According to David Sedney, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia during the previous Obama administration, the blocking of military assistance to Pakistan, which began in January this year is a strong signal of American frustration. “But, so far Pakistan has taken no serious

Donald Trump

steps to address the core US concern - that Pakistan tolerates and often encourages

groups which use violence against Pakistan’s neighbors,” Sedney said. “Pakistan’s leaders have promised cooperation, but beyond words, serious cooperation has not happened, therefore President Trump is frustrated and so are most Americans,” he said in response to a question. “This frustration does not ignore the suffering that Pakistani people have undergone. It just asks Pakistan to recognise that it should act to help stop the suffering of others,” said the Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank. Previously, Sedney was at the Department of State and the National Security Council, as well as Acting President of American University of Afghanistan.

Protest in Rakhine 37 killed 2 terrorist attacks in Pakistan against return of Rohingya SITTWE (MYANMAR): Protesters in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state demonstrated against the planned repatriation of Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh, referring to them as “runaway refugees”. About 100 people led by Buddhists monks marched through the state capital Sittwe holding red banners and chanting slogans. “All the people of the nation are responsible to protect the security of the country,” one monk said, according to a Facebook live streaming of the protest. “There will be no benefits to us or our country if we accept the Bengalis,” he added, using a derogatory term for the Rohingya that falsely implies they are newcomers from Bangladesh. The demonstration comes 10 days after Bangladesh and Myanmar were supposed to officially start repatriating members of the Rohingya minority who had fled violent military operations in August 2017.

ISLAMABAD: At least 37 people were killed in two terrorist attacks in Pakistan last week. In the first attack three heavilyarmed suicide bombers stormed the Chinese consulate in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, killing four people, including two policemen, before the attackers were being shot dead by security forces. The attack was claimed by the outlawed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) which said it would not tolerate “any Chinese military expansionist endeavours on Baloch soil.” Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility, Karachi police chief Amir Shaikh said. Nine hand grenades, Kalashnikov assault rifles, magazines and explosives were recovered from the possession of the terrorists. In the second attack, a suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed through a market place outside a Shia religious seminary, in northwestern Orakzai district near the border with Afghanistan, killing at least 30

people, including members of minority Sikh community. Over 50 people were injured in the terror attack targeted at Shias, the minority sect in the Sunni Muslim-majority Pakistan. Abbas Khan, a district management official said, “A suicide bomber drove a motorcycle into a busy shopping centre at a weekly festival (Juma Bazar) before detonating his explosives.” Among the dead were three members of the minority Sikh community and two security officials, he added. “The majority of the dead were Shia,” Aminullah, an official of local administration said adding that at least 51 people were injured, 17 of them critically. The injured have been shifted to hospitals. The suicide attack took place outside an imambargah (a religious seminary of Shia Muslims) in Kalaya Bazar a Shia majority area in Lower Orakzai district. Lower Orakzai was one of the tribal agencies before its merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by the previous government.

INDIAN AMERICAN ACTRESS TO PLAY LEAD ROLE IN ‘JUNGLE CRY’ Indian American actress and beauty pageant winner Emily Shah has joined the heartwarming family drama film, “Jungle Cry,” produced by Bollywood Hollywood Production, and set in Mumbai, Wales and London. The former Miss New Jersey joins Abhay Deol, Stewart Wright, Julian Lewis Jones and Rugby World Cup referee Nigel Owens, along with the World Rugby Union, Swansea University and the nearly 150-yearold rugby team ‘Scarlets.’ Shah, the daughter of Hollywood film executive Prashant Shah, recently graduated from California State University in entertainment media management with credentials as assisting the director for “Fast and Furious 7,” “Captain America,” “Run All Night” (with Liam Neeson) and Clint Eastwood on “Jersey Boys.” “Since my modelling days I have been a supporter to end polio with UNICEF, so it’s only natural to continue to give back with this film. The outpouring of support by the entire World Rugby Union community in Wales and London, for the film, has been incredible,” said Emily.

PIO WHO FAKED MED DEGREE FACES JAIL IN UAE A 38-year old Indo-Canadian woman has lost her appeal against a six-month jail term, months after being found guilty of using a fake degree to practice medicine in the UAE. The Court of First Instance in April convicted her of charges of practicing medicine with a licence she had wrongfully obtained and committing forgery, reports said. Public prosecution records showed that she managed to have the licence to work as a dermatologist issued for her after filling in her application form with false information.

INDIAN YOUTH FOUND HANGING FROM TREE IN TORONTO An young Indian man was found hanging from a tree outside his home in Toronto. The man, hailing from Punjab, was pursuing a course in hotel management. The Canadian police informed the family members in Nabha. Soon after the news, the family of the young man - identified as Vishal Sharma (21) – are in shock. Though the police are clueless whether it was a case a murder or suicide, family suspect that it to be a murder as the body was hanging “too high.” The family are of the opinion that there was no reason Vishal could have committed suicide as he was very happy there. He even visited the family in Nabha in July to attend a marriage and went back in September. His father said, “We had a telephonic conversation with him on Saturday and even on Sunday, he talked to his cousins and everything was fine. We don’t know what happened.” As per to the latest information, the family had requested the body of Vishal for cremation.

PAK FACTORY FINED FOR ‘DRAINING’ SACRED TEMPLE POND Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered a cement company to deposit Rs 10 crore into its dam fund for using underground water that lead to rapid drying up of the ‘sacred pond’ at the Katas Raj temple complex - considered sacred by Hindus. The apex court began proceeding after media reported about the extensive exploitation of underground water by the cement factories located near the historic Katas Raj temple in Chakwal district of Punjab was drying up the pond. A threemember bench already had banned the use of underground water by cement factories to save the pond. The court also ordered authorities to refill the pond even by using water tankers. The court ordered DG Khan Cement company to deposit Rs 10 crore into the Supreme Court Dam Fund, including Rs 8 crore as payment for water utilised and Rs 2 crore penalty for misleading the court.


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in brief PAKISTAN ARRESTS 300 SUPPORTERS OF DETAINED CLERIC Police in Pakistan have arrested some 300 supporters of a detained radical Islamic cleric who disrupted daily life with nationwide rallies following the acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy. Senior police officer Tahir Mahmood said that supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party were picked up in sweeps across Punjab province following the arrest of its leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Police also arrested scores of Rizvi's supporters as they took to streets to protest his overnight arrest. Rizvi's supporters held violent rallies against the Supreme Court's Oct. 31 acquittal of Aasia Bibi. He has called for more protests. Pakistan's hard-line Islamists have threatened to kill anyone who insults Islam or who speaks out against the blasphemy law.

IS SUPPORTER JAILED FOR 38 YEARS IN AUSTRALIA A supporter of the Islamic State group who helped a teenager kill a police accountant outside the state police headquarters in Sydney has been sentenced by an Australian judge to 38 years in prison. Milad Atai had pleaded guilty to assisting and encouraging the 15-yearold to shoot the accountant as he walked from the police building in 2015. Atai also pleaded guilty to helping the shooter's sister fly to Syria. The shooter was shot dead by police and the sister died in an airstrike in Syria. Justice Peter Johnson ordered 22-year-old Atai to serve a minimum 28 ½ years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. Johnson says Atai had supported extreme jihad for several months before the shooting and appeared to still hold radical views.

DEADLY CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE FINALLY CONTAINED The massive wildfire that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in Northern California has been fully contained, after burning for more than two weeks, authorities said. The fire department said the "Camp Fire" had been surrounded by firefighters after several days of rain in the Paradise area. The wildfire had started on November 8. The nation's deadliest wildfire in a century killed at least 85 people, and 249 are on a list of those unaccounted for. The number of missing dropped in recent days as officials confirmed that more people were alive. The fire began in the parched Sierra Nevada foothills and quickly spread across 620 square km, destroying most of Paradise in a day. Nearly 19,000 buildings in California, mostly homes, are gone. In Southern California, around 250,000 had fled their homes, three died, and 1,643 buildings, mostly homes, were destroyed. However, residents are returning to evacuated areas now, as crews repaired power, telephone and gas utilities.

SOUTH KOREAN NAMED INTERPOL PRESIDENT South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president, edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services who was strongly opposed by the US, Britain and other European nations. Kim’s election was seen as a victory for the White House and its European partners, who had lobbied against Alexander Prokopchuk’s attempts to be named the next president of the policing organization. The US and others expressed concern that if Russia’s candidate had been elected, it would lead to further Kremlin abuses of Interpol’s red notice system to go after political opponents and fugitive dissidents. Russia accused its critics of running a “campaign to discredit” their candidate, calling Prokopchuk a respected professional. Kim’s win means he secured at least two-thirds of votes cast at Interpol’s general assembly in Dubai. He will serve until 2020, completing the four-year mandate of his predecessor, Meng Hongwei, who was detained in China as part of a wide anti-corruption sweep there.

122 MPs move court against Rajapaksa's leadership COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal on Monday accepted a legal challenge against newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cabinet, deepening the political crisis that enters its second month in the island country. The court accepted the petition filed by 122 legislators against Rajapaksa and 48 others who have been named as ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in the new government appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena. The case will be taken up for preliminary hearing on Friday. The petitioners are seeking an interim order preventing Rajapaksa and his government from exercising any authority of a legitimate Cabinet. The legislators who have filed the petition are from ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. They argue that a "state of anarchy and chaos" would ensue in the country given that Rajapaksa's Cabinet had lost two no-confidence motions and does not command a majority in Parliament. Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a severe political crisis after Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister on 26 October. Sirisena won't appoint Wickremesinghe again as PM President Sirisena asserted that he will not appoint Wickremesinghe as Prime

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Minister again. According reports, Sirisena said that he has even apprised his party, the United National Party (UNP) about this decision. "I will not appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister in my lifetime. I have told them very clearly not to bring Ranil Wickremesinghe to me even if it's proven legally that the UNF has the majority," the report quoted President Sirisena as saying. Sirisena made this statement at a meeting with foreign journalists. Sirisena defended the removal of Wickremesinghe, appointment of a new Prime Minister, the dissolution of the cabinet and the Parliament. The Lankan President also stated that the Central Bank bond scam which was exposed three months after

Wickremesinghe's appointment derailed Sirisena's plans of providing clean and good governance. Srisena added that owing to rampant corruption and Wickremesinghe's stubborn attitude, he had to remove him from the ministerial post and replace him with Rajapaksa for the good of the country. "He was very stubborn and was not accommodative. He even exercised my powers. He not only exercised prime ministerial powers, he also began using the powers of the President," the President added. Sirisena also hinted about constituting a commission that would probe the corruption and fraud which took place during Wickremesinghe's tenure. Wickeremesinghe’s alliance wins control Meanwhile, Wickeremesinghe’s alliance won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a major blow to Sirisena and Rajapaksa. Sirisena’s party members walked out of Parliament, which resumed its session on Friday after being adjourned on Monday, protesting against Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s move to appoint five members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which is led by the President. The Speaker named five members from the United National Front (UNF) of Wickeremesinghe and one each from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). This is in continuation of the political unrest plaguing the country since October 26. Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime minister. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

UAE pardons Confederation of British academic Overseas Citizens of India (COCI) convicted of spying

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ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates pardoned a British academic sentenced to life in prison on charges of spying in the Gulf Arab country, showing videos of him purportedly acknowledging that he worked for MI-6, the British intelligence. The announcement on Matthew Hedges' upcoming release ends a diplomatic headache for the UAE, a staunch American and British ally in the Mideast. However, Emirati officials made a point of insisting their arrest came on solid ground, showing a closed-door meeting of journalists hastily convened in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, short video clips of Hedges allegedly acknowledging his intelligence work. "He was a part-time PhD researcher, a part-time businessman, but he was a 100-per cent a full-time secret service operative," said Jaber al-Lamki, an official with the UAE's National Media Council. "Mr. Hedges has been found guilty of espionage. He sought out sensitive information he knew had access to it. He was here to steal the UAE's sensitive national security secrets for his paymasters," al-Lamki added. Daniela Tejada, Hedges' wife, told BBC that she does not believe her husband is a spy, saying the ordeal has "been an absolutely nightmarish for seven months."

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SOUTH INDIA

TN seeks £1.5 bn aid from Centre for flood relief CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has sought £1.5 billion as Central assistance towards relief and rehabilitation activities in districts affected by Cyclone Gaja in the State. Chief Minister K Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi with a plea for Central assistance for various sectors in the affected areas. Speaking in Delhi, Palaniswami said, “I have submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister detailing the extent of the damage caused by the cyclone.” He said he has also urged Modi to depute a Central team to assess the damage, besides seeking an immediate release of almost £1.5 billion towards “temporary renovation” activities. According to the abstract of the memorandum submitted to Modi by Palaniswami, TN has sought a total sum of £1.49 billion towards permanent renovation activities in various areas, including the power sector that has been badly hit. Over 1,00,000 electric poles had been uprooted

K Palaniswami presenting a memorendum to prime minister Narendra Modi detailing the extent of damage caused by the cyclone

and a significant number of power substations damaged, with reports suggesting that many parts are still without power. Cyclone Gaja had crossed the Tamil Nadu coast on November 16 between

Nagapattinam, about 300 km from Chennai, and nearby Vedaranyam. It claimed 46 lives and left a trail of destruction in over 10 districts, including Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Puthukottai, and Thanjavur which suffered severe damage. The state government has already released a sum of £100 million for immediate relief and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas. Meanwhile, Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has asked Modi to visit the cyclone-ravaged districts of the state, saying it would make the government machinery work faster to address people's issues. The ongoing relief activities should not be a mere “fire-fighting exercise” but should be a long drawn one. “The Prime Minister should immediately visit the affected areas. If the PM visits, the government machinery will work faster,” Haasan said. He added that affected areas should be declared as a “Smart Integrated Agricultural Zone”, with a view to protecting farmers.

PUNJAB-HARYANA

Venkaiah Naidu lays foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor GURDASPUR: India's Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for the construction of Dera Baba Nanak Kartarpur Sahib road Corridor at a function in village Mann in Gurdaspur district of Punjab on Monday. Union minister for road trip and highways Nitin Gadkari, union minister of food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Punjab chief minister Capt Amrinder Singh were present on the occasion. In the landmark decision, the Union Cabinet had last week approved building and development of Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to International Border to commemorate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji in 2019. Amarinder rejects Pak invitation Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder on Sunday declined Pakistan's invitation to attend the Kartarpur corridor foundation stone-laying ceremony on the other side of the international border, citing terror attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan troops as the reason. In a letter to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Singh said it is a historic occasion, but regretted his inability to be present. The chief minister said his reason for declining the invitation was two-fold. "Firstly, not a day passes when Indian

AP’S NEW ASSEMBLY TO BE TALLER THAN STATUE OF UNITY The Statue of Unity has apparently kicked off a competition with states competing to see who makes the tallest architecture. The latest to join the list of tall structures in India would be the Andhra Pradesh Assembly building that will be built in Amaravati. The proposed design that has almost been finalised by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will make the Andhra Pradesh Assembly building taller than Gujarat's SoU by 68 meters. The three floor Assembly building will have a 250-meter tower making it taller than any other in the country. Minister for Municipal Administration P Narayana said the proposed structure would be shaped like an upside-down lily.

30 KILLED AS BUS FALLS INTO CANAL IN KARNATAKA Thirty people, including five children, were killed and four rescued after a bus fell into a canal in Mandhya, 105 km from Bengaluru. Around 35 people were travelling in the private bus. The bus plunged into the canal after the driver lost control, the police said. Many passengers could not escape as the bus fell to its side, trapping the doors of the bus on the floor of the canal. The driver reportedly managed to escape and swam to safety. Farmers working in nearby fields started rescue work immediately and saved a few passengers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled the death of passengers.

SIT QUESTIONS AKSHAY KUMAR OVER SACRILEGE

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh with others during foundation stone laying ceremony for Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur

soldiers are not killed or wounded on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Rather than moving towards normalcy, these incidents are escalating," he said. Secondly, the chief minister claimed, Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) has started its nefarious activities in Punjab. "I hope that the prime minister (of Pak) will understand these circumstances... It will not be possible for me to be present in Pakistan on this historic occasion, despite the fact that paying my respects at Gurdwara

Sri Kartarpur Sahib has always been my cherished dream which will hopefully be fulfilled once these hostilities and killings are stopped," he said. His cabinet colleague and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, meanwhile, expressed a desire to accept Pakistan’s invitation but added that he was awaiting go-ahead from the Indian government. “I look forward to meeting you on this historic occasion. My application for permission to attend is now lodged with MEA,” he said.

WEST BENGAL

TMC gears up to fight LS polls in 4 more states KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) would contest in four other states apart from West Bengal, in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019. The states where TMC will be contesting are Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura. She has also distributed responsibility of a few states to senior leaders in her party. Firhad Hakim was assigned with organisational responsibility for Assam and Tripura. Derek o'Brien will look after Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland. While Arjun Singh and Subhendu Adhikary have been given the responsibility of Bihar, Jharkhand will be looked after by Arup Biswas along with other leaders. Subrata Bakshi and Subhendu Adhikary will look after Orissa. Mamata has directed all leaders to work from grassroots in the states. She will also reportedly be targeting Delhi. Meanwhile, TMC will try to gain public support in Assam as there is 28 per cent Bengali population there. “People should unitedly do the

movement in Assam and we will give full support. All Hindus, Muslims, Bengalis should unite in Assam. People who are residing there are from 60 years.” West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha constituency and the West Bengal Chief Minister aims to get the maximum number of seats from her homeland. Last week, Banerjee came down heavily on the Centre for allegedly causing delay in clearing a proposal to rename West Bengal to “Bangla”, a proposal unanimously passed by the state assembly in July this year. She also said the delay “clearly shows deprivation to the people of Bengal.” Banerjee slammed the ruling BJP, accusing them of changing the names of historical places and institutions unilaterally for their own political vested interests. She ended her statement asking who should decide the name of the state, if it should be a “political party with zero strength in the state” or the “unanimous resolution passed by the State Assembly in accordance with the Constitutional obligations and federal structure.”

Actor Akshay Kumar has appeared before a special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police which is currently investigating the incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent firing of protestors in 2015. Kumar arrived at the Punjab police headquarters in Chandigarh after the special team sent him a notice under Section 160 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). “I don't know why I've been dragged in this case. All allegations of the meeting looks like a script of a movie. I was in Punjab in 2011 for a performance that's when I happen to meet Sukhbir Badal.” He was questioned regarding his alleged role in brokering a deal between the controversial godman, who was later convicted of rape and sentenced of 20 years' imprisonment and Sukhbir Badal in Mumbai in 2015.

KOLKATA GETS ITS FIRST MUSLIM MAYOR Firhad Hakim, minister in the West Bengal government has been named the new mayor of Kolkata following the sudden ouster of Sovan Chatterjee. He is currently the minister for Municipal and Urban Development Affairs. Reports suggest his experience in matters related to the municipal affairs helped him emerge as a frontrunner for the top civic post. Chatterjee resigned as the minister on November 20, after which, he was asked to also step down from the post of the mayor by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Hakim was named for the post after a bill was passed in the state Assembly that would enable a non-corporator to be appointed as a mayor of the corporation. Known to be a Mamata loyalist, Hakim has to get elected as the corporator within six months.


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The Dream of India by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar • Babasaheb had many feathers in his cap despite being a mass leader • Ancient India was the master of the World with intellectual freedom

Y

ou may find contradictions in the life and works of the personalities but none can deny the contribution of such national or international icons. Barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is revered as the Father of the Nation in India used to say that if someone felt contradiction in his opinion or action, the latter be considered as his revised or updated view. Same may be the case with the life and works of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar who became darling of all those who cared for social justice and uplift of the depressed classes. He was opposed to the establishment of the Constituent Assembly but he joined it once he was elected to. He preferred upliftment of his depressed society to the political freedom from the British. Barrister Dr. Ambedkar, affectionately known as Babasaheb, was born in a Mahar community on 14 April 1891. Despite facing adversities like untouchability, he could become not only the Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in pre-independence era but also was invited to be the first Law Minister of independent India in the Nehru Cabinet. Bhimarao’s biographer Narendra Jadhav, MP, writes: “In the course of his most eventful life, Dr. Ambedkar made outstanding contribution as an economist, sociologist, anthropologist, educationist, journalist, as an authority on Comparative Religion, as a policy-maker and administrator, and as a parliamentarian, besides being a jurist who became the Principal Architect of the Indian Constitution. In spite of being a statesman and a mass leader, Dr. Ambedkar always remained a reflective thinker and erudite scholar. Even while being fully engrossed in mass movement and political upheavals, he wrote remarkable treatises on Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Politics, Law, Religion and Culture which is clearly the mark of a true intellectual.” Dr. Ambedkar had bitter encounters on so many occasions with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel in the past but both were instrumental in inviting Babasaheb to join the first Union Government as the Law Minister headed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as they thought his talent must be utilized in nation building though he was not a Congressman and was to be the bitter enemy of the Congress in future. In September 1951, Dr. Ambedkar resigned following his differences with PM Nehru basically on the Hindu Code Bill. It would not be out of place to mention here that right from the initial days the President of India

Dr. Rajendra Prasad along with two of the Cabinet colleagues Sardar Patel and Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee were resisting the draft bill of the Hindu Code Bill calling it an undue interference in the Hindu religion. PM Nehru was solidly in support of the bill drafted by Dr. Ambedkar and was prepared to sacrifice his Premiership. Later, Nehru could not resist the pressure to scuttle, getting it approved in the Parliament and had to face the

attempted to present his Principles, Policy, Programmes and terms of Co-operation with other political parties in the manifesto of his party in October 1951. Some of the key points of his vision mentioned in the manifesto are as under: (1) It will treat all Indians not only as being equal before the law but as being entitled to equality and will accordingly foster equality where it does not exist and uphold it where it is denied. (2) It will stand for the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar with his wife Ramabai and family Parliamentary System of higher classes and lower classes Government as being the best form based on birth must come to an of Government both in the interest end soon. (7) The Problem of of public and in the interest of the Poverty be resolved by more individual. (3) The policy of the production both in Agriculture and Party is not tied to any particular in Industry. Rapid dogma or ideology such as industrialization and mechanized Communism, or Socialism, Agriculture. (8) Land to landless Gandhism, or any other ism…Its and the principle of minimum outlook on life will purely rational wages. (9) The creation of and modern, empiricist and not Linguistic States. (10) Punishing academic. (4)The programme of corrupts and tackling inflation. (11)

The Union Cabinet of PM Nehru

blame for taking U-turn which led to the resignation of Babasaheb from his Cabinet. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had not wound up his political party i.e. the Scheduled Castes Federation (SCF) even when he joined the Nehru Cabinet in 1947. He had dreamt of the Republican Party in India but could not establish it during his lifetime. In 1942, he had founded the SCF. Hence, he decided to contest the first Parliamentary i.e. Lok Sabha election 1951-52 under the banner of the SCF. He

any Political Party in India must be integrally connected with the legacy left by the British on the credit or debit side must be reckoned. (5) The SCF will fight for the raising of the Backward

Next Column: Sardar Patel: A Champion of Hindu-Muslim Unity Classes, the Untouchables and the Tribal people both in the matter of Education and Services. (6) The artificial distinction between

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Friendly relations with all the countries and not just playing proMao against anti- Chaing Kai Shek. (12) Kashmir to be partitioned- the Muslim area to go to Pakistan (subject to the wishes of the Kashmiries living in the Valley) and the non-Muslim area consisting of Jammu and Ladakh to come to India. (13) The SCF will not have any alliance with any reactionary Party such as the Hindu Mahasabha or the RSS. (14) No alliance with a Party like the Communist Party the objects of

which are to destroy individual freedom and Parliamentary Democracy and substitute in its place a dictatorship. (15) Reduction of Expenditure over the Army (16) Re-lavy of the Salt tax. (17) Abolition of prohibition and the saving of Excise Revenue (18) Nationalization of Insurance. While referring to ancient teachers who believed in twoparty system of Governance, Babasaheb stressed on the role of the opposition in the Parliamentary democracy: “One important thing in the Parliamentary Democracy is that people should know the other side, if there are two sides to a question.” Even after resigning from the Nehru Cabinet due to differences, Ambedkar continued to propagate his views on the Parliamentary Democracy and follow the cardinal principles in his personal political life too till his death on 6 December 1956. He used to say: “Unfortunately, we have lost all this past heritage that was good. Historians of India must tackle this question as to why these Parliamentary institutions disappeared from our land. But I find that they cannot or do not want to find out the reasons for it. Ancient India was the master of the World. There was such intellectual freedom in ancient India as was nowhere else to be found…”

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26 INDIA

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1 - 7 December 2018

US offers fresh reward for info on plotters of Mumbai attack On the tenth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the US has announced a fresh reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual involved in the plotting or facilitating of the 2008 attack. It called it a “barbarity” and asked Pakistan to uphold its obligations to implement the sanctions against those responsible for the act of terror. The State Department released a statement saying, “The US Department of State's rewards for justice (RFJ) program is offering a reward of up to US $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who committed, conspired to commit, or aided or abetted in the execution of the 2008 Mumbai attack.” In a separate statement, it said, “Key members of this heinous plot remain at large, and this investigation remains active and ongoing. This reward offer extends to any individual who bears responsibility for this act of terror.” The move came less than a fortnight after Vice President Mike Pence held a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Singapore, during which he is believed to have himself raised this issue and rued that the perpetrators had not been brought to justice. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “It is an affront to the families of the victims that, after 10 years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement. We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkare-Taiba and its affiliates.” The announcement marks the third RFJ reward offer seeking information on the perpetrators of the Mumbai

attack. In December 2001, the Department of State designated LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. In April 2012, the US had announced a $10 million bounty on LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, but despite periods of detention, he currently moves around freely in Pakistan. India asks Pak to give up double standards On the tenth anniversary of the attacks, India yet again called upon Pakistan to abandon “double standards” and expeditiously bring the perpetrators to justice. In a statement, an MEA spokesperson said Islamabad had shown “little sincerity” in punishing those involved in the attack and its planners were still roaming the streets of Pakistan with

“impunity”. The statement said, “The attack was planned, executed and launched from Pakistan. The former PM of Pakistan had earlier this year admitted that terrorists were sent from Pakistan’s soil. We once again call on Government of Pakistan to give up double standards and expeditiously bring the perpetrators to justice. This is not just a matter of Pakistan’s accountability to the families of the innocent victims, but also an international obligation.” Meanwhile, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh struck a combative note at an event where he laid the foundation of the Kartarpur corridor. He delivered a sharp warning to Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa asking him to stop the brutal killings of Indian soldiers and innocent civilians. Memorial event held in Berlin A memorial event to pay tributes to the victims of Mumbai terror attack was held in the Indian embassy at Berlin. On this occasion, Ambassador of India to Germany Mrs. Mukta Dutta Tomar lit a candle along with Director General of the German Federal Foreign Office Ms. Ina Lepel to pay homage to the victims of the attacks. Expressing heartfelt condolences to the victims and the security forces who lost their lives in the attacks, she highlighted the resolve of the Indian Government to fight against terror. She also appealed to the International community to unite in their condemnation of global terrorism in all its forms. Ms. Ina Lepel highlighted India-Germany bilateral cooperation in tackling terrorism and reiterated the commitment against terrorism made by PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel in their Joint Statement of May 2017. The event was also attended by Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of the Indian community.

Dharam sabha pushing for the Vibrant Gujarat roadshow construction of Ram temple held in Mumbai With a congregation of seers, sadhus and Ram bhakts coming together for a dharm sabha, Ayodhya has been turned into a fortress to counter any “untoward incidents by frenzied karsevaks”. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been campaigning nonstop across Madhya Pradesh for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site. It is from his Gorakhpur bastion that 50,000 karsevaks have rushed to the venue ahead of the event. ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said movement around the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi complex is restricted and multiple layers of security are in place across the temple town. Notwithstanding the curfew, organiser the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is upbeat. The outfit's media-in-charge Ambuj Ojha said, “The moment is here- the temple must be built where Ram Lalla is currently installed.” VHP organisational secretary of Awadh region, Bholendra Singh said, “Crowds will be much more than expected. This will be our last dharm sabha in Ayodhya, now only construction of Ram temple will start.” Shiv Sena activists, led by its chief Uddhav Thackeray, visited the town for two days and offered prayers at the make-shift temple of Ram Lalla. Thackeray demanded that an ordinance be issued to pave the way for construction of the temple. He met seers at Laxman Qila and later performed puja and participated in Saryu aarti. The visits have definitely intimidated Muslim-dominated localities, where locals are dependent in the security provided. All the areas have been cordoned off by the CRPF and will remain under police and CRPF's vigil till the conclusion of VHP's

event. Faizabad administration has deployed special forces for two Muslims litigants in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mahboob, and local cleric Haji Sayyad Ekhlaq. Meanwhile, it is believed that VHP and Bajrang Dal activists held closed-door meetings with seers and BJP. A UP police spokesperson said, an additional DGP, one deputy inspector general, three senior superintendents of police, 10 additional SPs, 21 deputy Sps, 160 inspectors, 700 constables, 42 companies of PAC, five companies of RAF, anti-terror commandos and drones have been deployed. Security forces also conducted a march on the national highways around Ayodhya. Govt to wait for SC verdict Amid rising tensions, BJP president Amit Shah said the government would wait for the Supreme Court to hear the matter in January. “The matter is pending in Supreme Court and let us wait until it is heard,” he said. The statement came as an indication that the government has no current plans to enact a law to help construction of the temple. He, however, did express hope that the SC would rule in favour of a temple and alleged that the Congress had sought postponement of hearing until after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held a roadshow in Mumbai on November 26, for the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019. Speaking at the event, he said, “Vibrant Gujarat has contributed greatly to the the overall growth of the State. The summit was originally conceptualised to rope in investments and build Gujarat's image as a business friendly destination. Today, it has grown into a knowledge sharing platform, where world leaders deliberate on pressing global issues. The summit allows not just Gujarat but other Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inviting Industrialist from Mumbai for Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 States also to come Canada, Denmark, Japan, France, together and position India as a lucrative Netherlands, South Korea, Thailand, Czech investment destination.” Republic and Uzbekistan. Rupani also said Addressing the attendees of the event, that Gujarat and Maharashtra are sister the CM said, “Vibrant Gujarat Summit in states, which were separated in 1960 from earlier editions laid stress on investment and one state entity, and stated that his cash flow in Gujarat but now this platform government had initiated the online will talk about and find solutions for global permission for non-agriculture title for land issues and challenges. We will also ponder in urban areas. He also announced that his the opportunities available in the world.” He government would bring the same system added, “The ninth edition of the event will into force for rural areas as well. be based on the themes of new India, new On the sidelines of the summit, Rupani investment, new technology and the whole also met with leading industrialists and world will see the new technologies for the heads, like N Chandrasekaran, Kumar very first time. We are also aiming to bring Mangalam Birla, Harsh Goenka, Niranjan happiness to all. Be it a poor person or rich, Hiranandani, BK Goenka, Adi Godrej, Anand we wish to see a smile on every face.” For the Mahindra, and Rahul Bajaj. 2019 summit, Gujarat has partnered with


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

27

1 - 7 December 2018

Chia Seeds Are Beneficial For Gut Health

Good things come in small packages - the same is true for chia seeds. Chia seeds are a powerhouse of essential nutrients. From promoting healthy heart to keeping the gut healthy, these extremely tiny seeds could possibly do wonders for your overall health. One of the most interesting things about chia seeds is that they are hydrophilic in nature, which means they can be mixed with water and can soak up to twelve times their weight. This particular quality of these wondrous seeds makes them perfect for a healthy gut. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "The mucilaginous (gum-like) fibre in the sprouted seeds promotes bowel regularity and helps stabilise blood sugar levels. Briefly soaking the seeds for one hour releases more of their beneficial fibre. Or, leave to soak

for longer and sprout the same as you would for other seeds." It is of utmost importance to build and maintain a healthy gut flora as it is connected to everything that happens in our body. Chia seeds help promote growth of healthy bacteria and come loaded with dietary fibre. A 100-gram serving of chia seeds will give you close

to 40g of dietary fibre. Fibre can help you keep bowelrelated ailments at bay as it is an excellent agent for digestion. Various health experts advise that it is best to start your day with small snacks to get your metabolism going. Soak a teaspoon of these super seeds in water overnight and have them once you wake up. These

can also be soaked in coconut milk or almond milk. Apart from having all nine essential amino acids, these tiny seeds are packed with healthy fats and protein, and have an amazing effect on your digestive system. So, include these tiny seeds in your daily diet and say bye-bye to gut-related problems!

Diabetes UK slammed for signing £500,000 'blood money' deal with makers of Tango and Pepsi Britain's biggest diabetes charity has come under fire for signing a £500,000 contract with the makers of Tango and Pepsi. The three-year partnership between Diabetes UK and fizzy drinks firm Britvic will fund the charity’s schools, education and awards programmes. Doctors and campaigners described the deal as ‘appalling’. Diabetes UK has long warned that sugary food and drink is fuelling Britain’s diabetes epidemic. Just last week the charity released figures showing 7,000 under-25s are being treated

for type 2 diabetes – ten times more than previously thought. However, it said it was ‘thrilled’ by the partnership with Britvic. The charity’s chief executive, Chris Askew, last night defended the deal, stressing that his organisation ‘cannot tackle

the diabetes crisis in isolation’. He said: ‘We recognise that partnerships – and the opportunities they present both to influence industry, and to amplify our work – are one of the key ways for us to make change happen.’ He insisted the new deal

is ‘in line’ with the charity’s funding policy, written just five months ago, which states: ‘No commercial partnership will be entered into with a company whose product or service is considered to be detrimental to people living with or at risk of diabetes.’ The charity has ruled out working with tobacco firms, and insists that deals with food and drinks companies ‘will be subject to a full risk assessment’. The deal with Britvic specifically relates to type 1 diabetes – an autoimmune disease which has no link to obesity or diet.

Tube 'junk food' advert ban announced by London mayor A ban on junk food advertising across London's entire public transport network will be introduced next year. Under the scheme, posters for food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar will vanish from the Underground, Overground, buses and bus shelters. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he wants to tackle the "ticking time bomb" of child obesity in the capital. The Advertising Association has said it would have "little impact on the wider societal issues that drive obesity". The ban will take effect across the Transport for London (TfL) network on 25 February. In addition to the buses, Tube and train networks

which are run by TfL, junk food adverts will be banned on: - Roads controlled by TfL, including adverts on roundabouts and at bus stops - Taxis, private hire vehicles and Dial-a-Ride - River services - Tram - Emirates Air Line cable car - Victoria Coach Station After plans were first announced in May, 82% of 1,500 respondents to an online consultation backed the proposals, City Hall said. Mr Khan said "tough action" on child obesity was necessary. "Reducing exposure to junk food advertising has a role to play in this - not just for children, but parents, families and carers who buy

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Junk food adverts will be banned from bus stops owned by TfL

food and prepare meals," he said. The scheme is backed by child health experts including chief medical officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies who described it as an "important step in the right direction". However, the Advertising Association said commuters could suffer as a result of the ban. Chief Executive Stephen Woodford said the UK already has "the strictest rules in the world when it

comes to advertising high fat salt sugar foods", which mean under-16s cannot be targeted. "This will lose revenue from advertising for TfL and that will potentially have an impact on the fares that passengers have to pay," he said. London's mayor previously banned adverts on the Tube which promoted negative body images, following complaints about a weightloss advert that asked customers if they were "beach body ready?"

How NHS 111 can help you NHS 111 call handler, Ahreni Athessan explains how NHS 111 works. What is NHS 111? NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to fully trained advisors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who can put you straight through to relevant healthcare professionals. Ahreni Athessan What happens when you receive a call? We ask a series of questions to help us assess the condition of the caller or the individual they are calling on behalf of to ensure they are directed to the most appropriate healthcare professional or service. What medical support do you receive? There are a lot of healthcare professionals present whilst we’re taking calls so if I have any concerns I can alert a healthcare professional to come and help me with the call. What is the role of the call handler? Other than take calls and advise on the best course of action, we can also arrange face-to-face appointments, and if you are assessed as needing an ambulance, we can organise one to be sent directly. Can you tell me about the NHS 111 confidential interpreter service? Sometimes for a call handler it can be challenging getting to the bottom of the problem if the caller is not fluent in English. We can access a language line to help interpret the caller so it becomes a three-way call. The interpreter service is available in many languages. Callers simply mention the language they wish to use when the NHS 111 adviser answers the call. Visit nhs.uk/111 for more information

in brief FAMILY SIZE SHRINKS TO RECORD LOW OF 1.89 CHILDREN The number of children women are having is continuing to decline, to a record low of 1.89, according to the Office for National Statistics. Its study compared two groups of women: those born in 1972, who are now in their 40s, with those born in 1945, who had an average of 2.19 children. The numbers of families in England and Wales with just one child grew from 14% to 18%. Childlessness also increased in women, from 10% to 18%. Another factor is the continuing decline in teenage pregnancy. In the 1945 group, 17% of women had at least one child by the age of 20. By 1972, this had come down to 13%. Fertility rates are also rising for women aged between 40 and 45, although the numbers overall remain small.

1 IN 4 YOUNG WOMEN STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH Nearly one in four young women has a mental illness, with emotional problems such as depression and anxiety the most common, figures for England show. The official NHS report found young women aged 17 to 19 were twice as likely as young men to have problems, with 23.9% reporting a disorder. Problems are less common in younger age groups, but are rising, albeit slowly. In children aged five to 15, one in nine had a disorder, up from one in 10 when the review was done 13 years ago. The findings are based on a survey of more than 9,000 young people. The results have been gathered by statistics body NHS Digital and assessed by experts to try to ensure only diagnosable conditions are included. Dr Bernadka Dubicka, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the numbers of young women with problems was "alarming". She said body image pressures, exam stress and the negative effects of social media may all affect girls disproportionately, while they were also more likely to be victims of abuse and sexual assault. It comes as the Children's Commissioner for England warned there was a "vast gap" in NHS mental health support. Anne Longfield's report criticised slow progress made in improving specialist community services for children.


28 BOLLYWOOD

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1 - 7 December 2018

Deepika-Ranveer's grand Bengaluru reception Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh's first wedding reception held in Bengaluru was an exquisite and classy affair. The newlyweds not only went all out on the arrangements, they also dressed themselves into beautiful dreams. While Ranveer was seen in a black-golden Rohit Bal sherwani, Deepika glowed in a shiny golden silk saree gifted to her by mommy dearest. The reception was held at the grand Leela Palace Hotel. Hosted by Prakash and Ujjwala Padukone, the venue was decorated with red flowers and surrounded by tight security. Deepika personally surveyed the venue and was seen taking a tour of the hotel. Ranveer's parents Jugjeet and Anju Bhavnani reached the city prior to the event. The couple have now returned to Mumbai, Deepika Padukone with Mother Ujjala along with the Padukone (L) and Pooja Makhija (R) Bhavnanis. The couple are now expected to host three receptions in Mumbai. Bollywood celebrities will reportedly join the couple in their wedding celebrations on December 1 at the Grand Hyatt. The other two receptions will take place on November 24 and November 28. Former crickter Anil Kumble with wife

Nickyanka's Thanksgiving Dinner in Delhi

An elaborate Thanksgiving spread was organised for Priyanka Chopra and fiance Nick Jonas in New Delhi recently, where the actress is filming Shonali Basu's 'The Sky is Pink'. The actress usually celebrates Thanksgiving in the US, where she was stationed semi-permanently because of her recently concluded television show 'Quantico', however, this year, her singer partner joined her in the Indian Capital. While Jonas took the main host's seat at the table, Chopra took the spot for guest of honour and held Nick's hand for the photo. Continuing the wedding boom in Bollywood, the adored couple are rumoured to hold their wedding in Jodhour, on December 2 and 3. It is suggested that Nick will perform at the sangeet ceremony, including a couple of

Priyanka's Bollywood songs. Their prewedding functions will begin from November 29. Nickyanka has reportedly finalised Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort as the venue for the pre-wedding events while the main function will be hosted in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. Mother Madhu Chopra is herself supervising the arrangements. Ceremonies will be conducted in both, Hindu and Christian traditions. Just like Deepika, Priyanka’s wedding celebrations are expected to be a lavish affair too. Not to be fooled by her choice of venue, home girl threw a star-studded bridal shower in New York, followed by a bachelorette and pajama party in Amsterdam. Meanwhile Nick hosted a sailor-themed party on a yacht for his friends before leaving for India.

Badmington Player P V Sindhu

Anushka unveils interactive wax figure Actress-producer Anushka Sharma has unveiled her interactive wax figure in Madame Tussauds Singapore. The life-like figure of the global power brand holds a phone, personally inviting visitors to snap a selfie with her, which can be digitally shared with others. She is the first wax statue in the Singapore museum to boast of this feature. “I am glad that my wax figure is the first ever talking and interactive wax figure in Madame Tussauds Singapore. I had a special fan take over my Instagram page today to capture the Madame Tussauds experience and I am thankful for the love and support that they are constantly given me,” Sharma said in a statement. She also added, “My fans who visit Madame Tussauds Singapore can engage with my interactive figure and also take a selfie.” General Manager, Madame Tussauds Singapore, Alex Ward said, “Anushka Sharma is a big star, and she is so nice to work with... Anushka's new interactive figure will be a great addition for our visitors and we will continue to grow our attraction in 2019. With much more interactives and Indian film stars coming to Singapore.” With the wax figure, Anushka now joins the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, and Kareena Kapoor Khan.


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BOLLYWOOD-KOLLYWOOD

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1 - 7 December 2018

Playback singer Mohammed Aziz passes away

Playback singer Mohammed Aziz passed away on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest. He was 64. The singer breathed his last at Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. Mohammed Aziz’s daughter Sana Aziz said, “he was travelling from Kolkata to Mumbai. There is always someone or the other travelling with him, so we got a call saying that dad was feeling unwell. He was suffering from heart blockage, and he just collapsed at the airport. He was not feeling too good even before boarding, but he still boarded as he wanted to come back home. He was doing a lot of shows in Kolkata, and the north-east in the last few months.” Aziz was part of the music industry for the past three decades. He did playback singing in Hindi, Bengali and Odia films, apart from several stage shows and concerts in India and abroad. With a strong influence of legend Mohammad Rafi, Mohammed Aziz made his singing debut with Bengali film 'Jyoti.' His first Hindi project was 'Ambar' in 1984. Music composer Anu Malik gave him his big break by offering him the chance to croon two songs for Amitabh Bachchan in 'Mard.' Aziz was very close to Laxmikant-Pyarelal with whom he had several successful collaborations. His other associations included Kalyanji-Anandji, RD Burman, Naushad, O. P. Nayyar and Bappi Lahiri among others. His most memorable tracks have been duets with Anuradha Paudwal, Asha Bhonsle and Kavita Krishnamurthy in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of Mohammed Aziz’s popular songs are “My Name Is lakhan”, “Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka”, “Aap Ke Aa Jane Se”, “Main Teri Mohabbat Main” and “Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya”.

Malaika, Arjun Kapoor buy house together? Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora’s blooming romance is making headlines these days a lot. From being spotted on airports together to attending parties, the duo is frequently seen in each other’s company. Even there are rumors doing the rounds that by the beginning of next year, Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora are planning to tie the knot. While the duo is still mum on the topic of marriage, reports suggest that the rumored couple has jointly purchased a new property at a location near Mumbai's Lokhandwala Complex. According to reports, Arjun and Malaika are planning to move in together anytime soon but as per the reports, they acquired the property for privacy purposes. The publication quoted a source saying, "Arjun and Malaika have together purchased a flat in a plush society near Lokhandwala Complex. It is their joint investment together. Whether they plan to live in or no is entirely up to them. But they are surely getting a space for themselves." The source further revealed that the interiors of the house are currently being set up, which the rumoured couple are closely monitoring: "Currently, the interiors of the house are being done and both Malaika and Arjun are looking into the details."

Rajini's '2.0' earns £37 mn in advance Rajinikanth's upcoming '2.0' is the costliest film made in the history of Indian cinema, with an unheard budget of $75 million. The Shankar directorial is a sequel to 2010's much-loved 'Endhiran'. According to trade analyst Ramesh Bala, 2.0 has had a record-breaking advance booking. Even before the release, the movie has amassed a whopping Rs 120 crore just in advance booking. With this, it has become the first film in Tamil cinema to go past Rs 100 crore. The film was announced three years ago, and it took the makers all this time to complete the magnum opus. The trailer that was released early this month went viral on the internet within minutes. Director Shankar recently opened up about the budget of the movie. He said, “Lyca Productions, the production house, knows the exact amount. I narrated the entire story before we went on floors and they sort of knew how much money would be required to complete the film. They agreed to fund the

project, knowing how much it would cost them. Beyond our calculations, we had some unexpected expenses for the VFX.” He elaborated, “As far as I know, the budget stands between Rs 400 to Rs 450 crore for the film alone. In addition, the producers have spent a huge chunk for the publicity and other production costs.”

Prabhu Deva debut as lyricist Multi-talented artist, Prabhu Deva has his fingers in different pots. Known for his acting, writing, directorial skills, and dance, there is yet another craft he has taken upon in his next film. Prabhu has turned lyricist for his upcomign comedy entertainer, 'Charlie Chaplin 2'. With music by Amrish, his first song is called 'Ivala Ivala Romba Pidichurukku', and was released on November 26. Music director turned actor GV Prakash Kumar released the song online on his social media space. 'Charlie Chaplin 2' already has two viral hit songs in the form of 'Chinna Machan' and 'I Want to Marry You Mama'. 'Chinna Machan', which is sung by couple Rajalakshmi and Senthil Ganesh, has already crossed over 47 million views on YouTube. Produced by Amma Creations T Siva, the film is directed by Shakti Chidambaram who directed the sequel. 'Charlie Chaplin 2' also features Nikki Galrani, Adah Sharma, and Prabhu in pivotal roles. Shoot of the film is almost over and the makers are planning for early 2019 release.

Pawan Kalyan says no to acting

Leading actor Pawan Kalyan has announced his decision to quit acting and focus on his political career and serve the people through a press statement. He said he has not accepted any film offers an will be concentrating completely on his political work. The statement came in response to rumours on social media about his film signing. The actor was last seen in Trivikram Srinivas' 'Agnyaathavasi'. Distributor Ramakrishna reacted to the announcement, saying it is a bit too early for the actor to quit the industry. “Pawan has three to four years more at the top since his fan following is at its peak and even his onscreen charisma still intact, but he chose not to don grease paint again,” he said. Ramakrishna also added that the actor was ahead of his rivals, touching the Rs 100 Crore business mark way before his arch rivals like Mahesh Babu and Jr NTR could achieve it. “He became a superstar with blockbuster 'Kushi' and went on to deliver smashing hits like 'Jalsa', 'Gabbar Singh' and 'Attarintiki Daredi'. He was the uncrowned king of the Nizam and Andhra regions and even gained a solid position in the Ceded region and was darling of the masses,” Ramakrishna added.


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Sardar Patel Nirvana Day

Bochasanwasi Shri Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha's (BAPS) head Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Bochasan

On November 20, Pratik Yogi Jayanti was celebrated in the evening assembly. Pujya Mahant Swami addressed children, youths and the elderly. With told stories to the little ones, and with the adults, he conducted a question-answer round. On the 21st, the Hindola festival was celebrated. Other saints urged Mahant Swamiji to sit on the hindola along with Harikrishna Maharaj. On November 23, during the Dev Diwali celebrations, approximately 30,000 saints and haribhakts participated. In his address to the people, he inspired every one to act with the will of God in their hearts. He said Pujya Shastriji Maharaj had opened the doors of worship and blessed the lives of lakhs of people. On November 24, Pratik Rath Yatra Utsav was celebrated.

Coming Events

l The Leicester Friends invite you to Scripture in Conversation, a talk by Dr Ramesh Pattni of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and Revd Dr Tom Wilson of the St Philips Centre, on December 1, Saturday, 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm, at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Leicester LE4 6LF.

Man charged with murder of pensioner in Smethwick A man has been charged with murder after a pensioner was found with 'blunt force' injuries at his home. The incident happened in White Road, Smethwick at around at around 2.45pm last Friday (November 23). The victim - who is believed to be aged 70 but has yet to be formally identified - later died in hospital. A post-mortem examination revealed he died as a result of a blunt force injury. Palvinder Hayre was arrested in connection with

Dudley Magistrates' Court.

the death of the pensioner. Hayre, 50, of White Road, Smethwick, has been remanded in custody. He appeared before Dudley Magistrates Court Wednesday.

Sneh Joshi

Avoid more crime by not locking up children used to sell drugs urges families minister Vulnerable children used as drugs mules by ‘county lines’ gangs must be helped rather than locked up, the families minister has urged. Nadhim Zahawi said too many youngsters in care are getting caught up in the criminal system after being coerced by drugs gangs. In the first guidance of its kind he is urging police, social workers, teachers and the courts to spot the signs of grooming and intervene before it is too late. He warned that children in care are often ‘overrepresented in the criminal justice system’, which can make their ‘lives unravel’ fast. He urged professionals to work together to

gangs, which recruit youngsters to transport and sell drugs from cities to smaller towns and rural areas. Youths are lured with promises of friendship or gifts, but once they begin work they are threatened with violence and trapped. It is believed up to 50,000 are being exploited, with children Nadhim Zahawi in care prime targets. ‘break the cycle of adversiStaff must have an ty’. understanding of how His warning comes trauma affects behaviour after the head of Ofsted, and how children ‘may Amanda Spielman, said have been coerced and subchildren as young as 12 are sequently criminally being forced to act as drug exploited’. runners for criminals. Examples include A national media outlet ‘through running county has highlighted the growlines or in cannabis cultivaing scourge of county lines tion’.

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 A wind of change may be in the

air; attention should turn to the wider world and benefits come from broadening of horizons and mental stimuli. This is an opportune time to go ahead with your plans. All things considered, your health should be robust. The more you live up to your own set of principles the more you’ll gain.

Business partnerships are testTAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 ed, some of them could challenge your authority. The more you live up to your own set of principles the more you will gain. Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities. Once you set your mind on a goal you stay the course no matter what obstacles you encounter. is a good time to cut back GEMINI May 22 - June 22 This on extravagant spending and

consolidate your finances. Your social calendar is likely to keep you very busy and you will have lots of opportunities to promote yourself. For some of you this is also a good time to meet likeminded people which could lead to romantic liaisons. Work is going to play a great part for some of you, who are widening their horizons. An important time to build too, as Saturn can be very severe and cold especially regarding relationships. Regardless of the limits, you have the capacity to turn the course of your life in a more fulfilling direction.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Sardar Patel Memorial Society UK has organised 68th Nirvana Day of Sardar Patel on 15th December 2018 at Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF from 5.30pm to 8pm. The keynote speaker will be Mr A S Rajan, Minister CoOrdination, India House, LONDON. Well known broadcaster Mr Ravi Sharma will pay a special tribute to Sardar Saheb. The entry is by special invitation card only, priority for the Life Members of SPMSUK. If you wish to become life member, please fill up the form. For further information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Mr Kanti Nagda (CEO) by email: kantinagda@hotmail.com

You will continue to be in a restless mood for some time to come. This makes you impatient with restrictions and even more determined to cut your own path. Do not get over-anxious if everything seems to be in slow motion - it is time to pull a few strings. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Career-wise you cannot go wrong provided you do not act in a way that threatens other people's egos. An ambition that you have been striving for is likely to come to fruition which could mean promotion and a boost in status. Play your cards right and you can pull strings in you favour. Personal relationships may be more intense with some heavy sacrifices of personal freedom.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Responsibility is your key word, especially at work. Set your own goals, rather than trying to meet those set by someone else. Your ability to manage what you have on your plate earns respect from others around you. You will benefit in every way if you learn to selfdiscipline and pace yourself wisely.

From a financial point of view take stock of where you’re at rather than to launch any ambitious new business plan. Opportunities abound, professionally and socially, so make the right choices. There may be something to sort out with a partner, particularly of a financial nature. Please ensure that it won’t be all work and no play: there’s fun in the romantic department, too.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Make a very conscious attempt to stick to main priorities. Organise your time so that it is not taken up entirely by the demands of other people. Ego confrontations with family members are possible now, but the best way to handle this energy is to do your best to strengthen your relationship with your family and your home base.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

This is a favourable time for getting away from usual routines and seeking a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in such things as meditation, yoga and therapies that help you to get in closer touch with your inner self. This will not only prove to be highly enjoyable but it will have a decidedly beneficial effect on your physical and psychological well-being.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Mars and Saturn placement in your chart sets a rather challenging theme. Although this gives increased potential for tension and conflict with other people, it is also a time for retrospection. Unpredictable energies continue to influence your health sector, bringing erratic highs and lows. The key for you as always is to remain calm and collected.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Try to take things in your stride rather than anticipating what might happen. Keep calm as conflict and disagreement could be sparked off by your short-sightedness. Think carefully about the implications of your actions. Intense focus is what is needed now so do not let yourself be distracted by non-essentials.


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1 - 7 December 2018

in brief DIPA KARMAKAR WINS BRONZE AT ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS WORLD CUP

Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar claimed a bronze medal at the vault event on the third day of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany. The 25-year-old from Tripura, who had an injury-marred campaign at the Asian Games, scored 14.316 to secure the bronze in the tournament, which is also a part of the eight-event qualifying system for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Dipa had qualified for the vault finals, scoring 14.100 to finish at the sixth place out of 16 gymnasts in the qualification. Dipa had won a gold in the vault event of Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey in July for her first medal after returning to action following a long lay-off of nearly two years. However, she had hurt her knee again during the Asian Games, missed the vault final and was forced to pull out of the team event. With this performance, the Indian, who had finished fourth at the Rio Olympics, inched closer to qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

INDIA'S FIVE TOP ATHLETES FAIL DOPE TESTS

England seal first series sweep against Lanka England overcame some spirited late resistance from the hosts to a seal a first 3-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka when the tourists wrapped up a 42-run victory shortly after tea on the fourth day of the third and final Test on Monday. Chasing an improbable 327-run target, Lanka's last six batsmen combined well to get to within less than 50 runs of what would have been a remarkable triumph after they resumed on 53 for four at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) set the tone for the hosts with a dogged 102run sixth-wicket stand in an exemplary display of defiance spread over 30 overs as Sri Lanka sought to end a disappointing series on a high. After Mendis was run out, Malinda Pushpakumara (42 not out) survived a sickening blow to the helmet to raise 58 runs with Suranga Lakmal for the final wicket to give England some jitters before the tourists secured victory in the first over after tea. England looked on course for a routine triumph after half an hour of play when Jack Leach angled one into the leg stump and nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan could only edge the ball to Ben Stokes at slip to depart after making seven. The hosts rallied and Mendis brought up his seventh Test 50 as Silva shrugged off occasional discomfort against all-rounder Stokes' awkward bounce to thwart the England attack. Leach's left-arm spin could not separate the duo but his right-handed throw did, as the Somerset bowler charging in from

England Captain Joe Root poses with the Trophy

backward square leg to throw down the stumps at the non-striker's end to end Mendis innings. It was a tragic end to a stellar innings by the right-hander, who hit eight boundaries and a six in an assured knock. Leach (4-72) struck again to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella for 19 with Keaton Jennings enhancing his reputation as an exceptional close-in fielder by taking a smart bat-pad catch at short leg. Moeen Ali (4-92) then dismissed Dilruwan Perera and Silva but Pushpakumara engineered a spirited

counter-attack with stand-in skipper Lakmal, who was the last man out. England triumphed in the series opener in Galle to end a 13-match winless streak in overseas Tests and won in Pallekele to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, ending the side's 17year wait for a Test series victory in Sri Lanka. In response to their poor showing, Sri Lanka sacked the entire selection committee on Sunday and replaced them with a new panel headed by former Test player Ashantha de Mel.

Aussie women claim fourth World T20 title Nirmala Sheoran Indian athletics continued to add to the doping hall of the shame with reports emerging that five of the top stars including, 400m runner Nirmala Sheoran, have allegedly failed dope tests. The others in the list who have failed the dope tests conducted by world athletics body’s (IAAF) Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) are Sanjivini Jadhav

Sanjivani Jadhav

(5,000 and 10,000m), Sandeep Kumari (discus throw) and Jhuma Khatun (1,500m). The only male athlete to figure in the new list of dope cheats is shot putter Naveen Chikara. While two of the athletes caught were training at the national camp at the SAI South Centre Bengaluru, the others were part of the federation’s list of athletes who were to train at the NIS in Patiala. Star athlete Nirmala, who had disappeared for long periods before being flown into Jakarta for the Asian Games, has been traced but she hasn’t joined the national camps, sources said. “There are reports that these samples were collected during the Inter-State meet held in Guwahati. These results have arrived only now and that’s why some of these athletes were able to compete at the Asian Games,” sources said. “There is no change to the situation from what it was before. Even the other day, some athletes ran away from the camp when Nada officials made a surprise visit to collect samples,” sources added, stressing the fact that athletes continue to do the disappearing act with active connivance of the authorities.

Australia breezed to their fourth Women’s World T20 title, thrashing England by eight wickets in the final at North Sound (Antigua). England faltered with the bat after winning the toss, struggling to 105 all out in 19.4 overs with opener Danielle Wyatt (43) being the top scorer. Pacer Megan Schutt (2/13), leggie Giorgia Wareham (2/11) and allrounder Ashleigh Gardner (3/22) led Australia’s clinical effort with the ball. Chasing a comfortable target, Australia raced to victory in 15.1 overs with Gardner and captain Meg Lanning remaining unbeaten on 33 and 28 respectively. Interestingly, England had also mustered 105 against Australia in the final of the 2014 edition and even on that occasion, the team from Down Under cruised to a famous win. With another emphatic win, Australia extended their dominance in the showpiece event of the shortest format, lifting their fourth trophy in tournament’s sixth edition. Australia are also the most successful team in ODI World Cup with six titles. Brief scores: Australia 106/2 (Gardner 33*, Lanning 28*) beat England 105 (Wyatt 43, Knight 25, Gardner 3-22, Wareham 2-11) by eight wickets. England halt India's march India’s dreams of winning a maiden

Aussie women celebrating victory

global title was shattered after a questionable omission and an inexplicable batting collapse saw them crash to an eightwicket defeat against England in the semifinals. India decided to leave their

HARMANPREET NAMED CAPTAIN OF T20 WORLD XI India’s batting star Harmanpreet Kaur was named captain of the ICC Women’s World T20 XI, which also featured opener Smriti Mandhana and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav. Team: Alyssa Healy (Australia), Smriti Mandhana (India), Amy Jones (England, wicketkeeper), Harmanpreet Kaur (India, Captain), Deandra Dottin (Windies), Javeria Khan (Pakistan), Harmanpreet Kaur Ellyse Perry (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), Anya Shrubsole (England), Kirstie Gordon (England), Poonam Yadav (India), 12th player: Jahanara Alam (Bangladesh).

senior most player Mithali Raj, and India lost their last eight wickets for 24 runs to end up scoring just 112 in 19.3 overs. It was a an easy walk in the park for England as seasoned campaigners Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver added 92 runs for the unbroken third-wicket stand to finish the match in only 17.1 overs. It was yet another story of Indian women not showing enough temperament during big match days, having lost the 50-over World Cup final to England at Lord’s last year and the Asia Cup T20 final to Bangladesh earlier this year. As many as seven players failed to get double-digit scores and the spin attack was unable to adapt to a different surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium after playing all their matches at Providence in Guyana. The decision to drop Mithali, the highest rungetter in shortest format, may haunt the Indian team for the longest time to come as coach Ramesh Powar and captain Harmanpreet Kaur will have a lot of answering to do in the coming days.


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India's Mary Kom creates history with 6th world title India's Mary Kom became the most successful woman boxer in history. She beat Ukraine's Hanna Okhota, 22, in a unanimous 5-0 verdict in the 48kg category summit bout. The mother of three had won gold in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 editions of the Women's World Boxing Championship and was tied at five gold medals with Katie Taylor of Ireland. Having won a silver medal in the 2001 edition, the 35-year-old Manipuri boxer now has record seven medals to her name in the biennial amateur boxing event. With this gold, Mary Kom also matched Cuba's Felix Savon as the joint most successful boxer - men and women - in the World Championships history. Felix Savon, who also won three Olympic gold medals during his illustrious career, has won six gold and one silver in heavyweight in the World Championships between 1986 and 1989. In the semi-final, Mary Kom had defeated North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in a unanimous 5-0 decision to enter the final of the championships.

Mary wants one more go at the Olympics Thirty-five is an age when most athletes start planning their retirement but not Mary. She is already thinking ahead to 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “I will try my level best to qualify for the Olympics. The work for that begins right now. I will change my weight category. But I can’t do it alone. I’ll need help from my nutritionist, physio and coaches, only then can I perform in the ring,” Mary, who came down from 51kg to 48kg after failing to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, said. Mary won the World title after a gap of eight years and said that the fact that she had to change her weight so many times after 2011 led to that. “I have always said if I train regularly, no one can beat me. Winning is getting easier for me these days. Earlier, I had to use a lot of energy and power but with experience I have improved my skills. I had to change my weight categories so often. If I had continued in 48kg, I would have won more medals,” the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion said. After failing to qualify for Rio, Mary took a break from the game till 2017 Asian Championships in Ho Chi Minh City, in which she promptly won gold followed by another gold at the CWG in Gold Coast this year.

Now, IOC puts Virat Kohli's knock helps India question mark level series with Australia over India as a host It was a matter of time that International O l y m p i c Committee’s (IOC) hammer will fall on India. Close on the heels of international boxing federation (AIBA) announcing that it will need to take a relook at India’s right to host the 2021 Elite Men’s World Boxing Championships, the IOC dashed off a letter to all its member International Federations (IFs) asking them not to consider India as host of tournaments unless participation of all countries and delegates is assured. India is facing the repercussion of denying visa to Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku to participate in the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Delhi because the Indian government doesn’t recognise Kosovo as a nation. “It is requested that when sporting delegations come from a country/territory not recognised by the host country, specific practical measures are taken by the local organiser/host country to secure the participation of these athletes and sporting delegations under the same conditions as any other participating delegation,” a letter signed by IOC deputy director general Pere Miro addressed to all IFs, read. “The latest incident occurred in India... This shows clearly that, until this matter is seriously addressed and resolved by the competent Indian authorities, India is not in a position to host international sporting events in which a sporting delegation from Kosovo is due to take part,” the letter said. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra requested the Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh in his position as the IOA Coordination Committee chairperson to open a dialogue with the Indian government at the earliest.

Skipper Virat Kohli scored 61 not out and guided India to a six-wicket victory over Australia and level the three-match rubber 1-1 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday. The visitors were in a must-win situation as Australia had won the first T201 at Brisbane while the second game was washed out at Melbourne. The Indian skipper, who hit the winning runs, came in the sixth over when India were 67/1 and made sure his team crossed the line well in time to deny the hosts a series win. Kohli's knock was laced with four boundaries and a couple of sixes. The Indian skipper was involved in a crucial 60-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik, who provided valuable support with his unbeaten 18-ball 22 runs. Chasing a 165-run target, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma lit up the early stages of the run chase with some awesome strokeplay. The duo hammered Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Stoinis for 20 and 22 runs in the fourth and fifth over respectively as India's scorecard read 62/0 after five overs. Mitchell Starc gave some respite to Australia by breaking the 67-run partnership as the pacer picked Dhawan before the wickets in the sixth over. Leggie Adam Zampa then struck to dismiss Rohit (23) with India's scorecard reading 67/2. Lokesh Rahul (14) and Kohli then tried to rescue India, adding 41 runs for the third wicket before the former, while trying to clear the fence off a Glenn Maxwell delivery, was caught at long-off. In the very first ball of the next over, it seemed Australia were back in the contest as medium pacer Andrew Tye sent back stumper Rishabh Pant, who failed to open his account and India were reeling at 108/4 in 13.1 overs. However, Kohli was then joined by Karthik and the duo denied the hosts any further celebration as they guided India

home with a match-winning 60-run partnership. For Australia, Starc, Zampa, Maxwell and Tye picked a wicket each. Earlier, a collective batting effort guided Australia to post a respectable 164/6. Left-arm off-spinner Krunal Pandya returned with career best figures of 4/36, while chinaman Kuldeep Yadav was also impressive by conceding just 19 runs in his four overs and also picked a wicket. Opting to bat, Australia were off to a decent start as openers Aaron Finch and D Arcy Short played sensible cricket and the hosts raced away to 41 runs in just five overs. Just when the partnership between the openers seemed to be getting bigger, Krunal came in with the much needed breakthrough, picking Finch (28) before the wickets, with Australia at 68/1 in 8.3 overs. With the addition of another five runs on Australia's scorecard, Kuldeep gave another jolt as the chinaman packed back a well-settled Short (33) in the 10th over. Krunal then dismissed incoming batsman Ben McDermott on a duck, leaving the hosts at 73/3. His fall saw Maxwell come in the middle, but while trying to launch a ball of Krunal into orbit, the batsman was caught at long-on by Rohit, leaving the hosts tottering at 90/4. Stumper Alex Carey (27) and Chris Lynn (13) then added 29 runs for the fifth wicket, helping their side cross the three digit mark. However, Krunal was in no mood to spare the Aussies, who had clobbered him for 55 runs in Brisbane, and picked his fourth wicket by sending back Carey in the 16th over. Brief scores: Australia 164/6 in 20 overs (D Arcy Short 33, Aaron Finch 28; Krunal Pandya 4/36) lose to India 168/4 in 19.4 overs (Virat Kohli 61 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 41; Mitchell Starc 1/26)

in brief FARAH TO RUN 2019 LONDON MARATHON

European marathon record holder Mo Farah is the first major name to sign up to compete in next year's London Marathon, organisers said. The 35-year-old Somaliaborn Briton decided to quit the track after last year's world championships and focus solely on the marathon. It paid off - he set a new European mark of 2hrs 05mins 11secs when winning the prestigious Chicago Marathon in October. Farah, a quadruple Olympic champion having achieved the distance double of 5,000 metres and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016, said he was looking forward to pitting his wits against the traditionally strong field the race attracts.

WRESTLER BAJRANG TO MISS NATIONALS

India celebrated Bajrang Punia’s historic silver at the World championships in Budapest, but little did the fans know that the champion wrestler took injections and several painkillers to counter a serious elbow injury that threatened to end his medal charge at the Worlds. Now, the pain has got aggravated to such an extent that it will keep Bajrang away from the mat for nearly two months, resulting in the 65kg freestyle wrestler skipping the upcoming Nationals in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda from November 29 to December 2. According to Bajrang, he’s undergoing rehabilitation and isn’t practising. He expects to return during the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) in January, but it will all depend on his recovery. “I suffered injury to ligament of the right elbow joint a week prior to the start of the Worlds. It happened during training. But,I didn’t disclose it to anyone, else people would have said I was making excuses after losing the final,” Bajrang said. “I was in immense pain, but couldn’t have afforded to pull out of the Worlds since it was a big event. My physio gave me injections and painkillers to keep the pain under control. Painkillers were given to me during the bouts as well. I forgot the pain in my pursuit for a medal. I have been away from the mat for 7-8 weeks,” he added. The silver at the Worlds took Bajrang top of the world rankings in the 65kg. While Bajrang could afford to miss the Nationals, next year is crucial to his 2020 Tokyo Olympics dreams. It will mark the start of the Olympics qualification cycle and first up would be the Asian championships, the selection trials for which will be conducted in early part of 2019.

AV 1st December 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 30)

AV 1st December 2018  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 30)