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2 - 8 FEBRUARY 2019 - VOL 47 ISSUE 38

INDIA CELEBRATES REPUBLIC DAY

inside: IMF Chief Economist, Norwegian MP among 30 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees SEE PAGE 23

Priyanka Gandhi joins politics with a bang SEE PAGE 26

Major Khushboo led an all-women contingent of Assam Rifles for the first time during the 70th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi on Saturday 26 January 2019

Rupanjana Dutta Diaspora across the world celebrated India's 70th Republic Day over the weekend. Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of

India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. While the country showed off its military and cultural might on the Republic Day celebrations and parades in New Delhi, in London, the High Commission of India organised their annual reception for the diaspora at City's Guild Hall. Continued on page 16

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WITH KEITH VAZ, MP

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag's newest book is The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019). He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging HumanTechnology Civilization (2012). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has traveled to more than 100 countries and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

1

Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? As much as I was born in India and feel home there, I've never properly lived there. I'm very at home in Dubai (where I spent my early childhood), New York (where I grew up), Germany (where I lived several times from my teenage years and even as a graduate student and later on sabbaticals), London (where I did my PhD at LSE), and now Singapore, the place I've called home for several years. I think of

identity as cumulative, not substitutive. Indians call me a global Indian, and I believe that is true. I am also I suppose a 'global citizen'.

2

What are your proudest achievements?

As you can imagine, it was not easy pursuing a social science path in a more science and business oriented family, but it has worked out

very well. THE FUTURE IS ASIAN is my sixth book and all have been successful to varying degrees. I've completed my academic training while also working at high levels of policy as well. Most of all, my family life is happy and I get to pass on the gift of travel to the next generation, with my kids also being very active travelers.

3

What inspires you? There's no question that most of my inspiration comes from travel. I have been to probably 150 countries, and certainly all the ones that I actually want to go to. So now I am more in the process of revisiting places to see how they've evolved since I first visited and wrote about them. I can still remember where I was when I had certain ideas that appear in the pages of my books.

4

What has been biggest obstacle in your career? The biggest obstacle I have faced is the entrenched mindsets that go with the academic, government, media, and intellectual communities in various countries. For better or worse, there is still 'American', 'British', 'Indian', 'Chinese' and other assumptions about how the world works and even worldviews that are, quite logically, only partially correct and irreconcilable with others. Not enough people strive to have a holistic worldview.

5

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Perhaps that would be the journalist Robert Kaplan, an American author who has been a war correspondent and strategic commentator for nearly 40 years now. His dozens of books have presciently forecast our emerging neo-medieval world. I'm lucky to count him as a mentor. What is the best aspect about your current role?

6

I have total freedom over my professional iife. I decide when and where to travel, what projects to take on, whom to work with, where I want to live, and so forth. I would not trade this freedom for anything!

7

And the worst? In this situation, one has to be 100% motivated all the time. There is a great deal of self-reliance involved and no safety net.

8

What are your long term goals? I like to have at least 2 or 3 major projects ongoing at the same time. One of them is usually a book, but then I am also working with at least 1-2 major clients at a time, and usually advising a government on serious policy issues, and advising a range of students or young professionals. I now want to add a documentary series based on my travels along the new Silk Roads to the mix.

9

If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I strongly believe there should be mandatory universal voting for all citizens age 16 and above. This would be the most simple and effective step to promote a democratic culture of political and social awareness and civic ethics. There is much else we must do to cultivate a citizenry capable of making informed choices, but this is the simplest place to start.

10

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. At the moment I'm inclined to say Jean Monnet, whom I've written about as one of the first great diplomatic entrepreneurs, someone who operated both personally and professionally as a multi-state diplomat during a very turbulent set of decades in mid-20th century Europe. It's very important, especially today, that more people learn from his story and experiences.

Dental intern with own food charity in Miss England 2019 heat Anika Walia, 23, is a Dental Intern from Middlesex and is one of the finalists competing in the first Miss England photo heat for entry to Miss England 2019. An interesting fact about Anika is that she has setup her own charity called the AFC (Anika Food Charity) When entering Miss England , Anika said “I'm proud to say that we distribute food to the homeless people, we act as a food bank for them and provide the necessary support & counselling to help them. We also provide classes to

help people rehabilitate back into society such as CV writing classes and cooking classes. We also distribute toiletries, sanitary kits and dental kits to those who need it. At AFC, we strongly support women who have suffered from domestic violence, acid attacks, young people with learning disabilities & mental illness. “ The public vote has started and acts as one judge on the panel. Anika needs the support before voting lines close in order to secure a place in the Miss England semi-final held in June 2019.

Anika Walia

Voting closing on Monday 5th February 2019 and the public vote will help select the shortlist of contestants for the semi final. The contestants also have to raise funds for Beauty with a Purpose and gain support in the public vote to help them with their bid to reach the semi final of Miss England.

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2 - 8 February 2019

Republic Day: A balance sheet Republic Day, January 25, and Independence Day, August 15, are points on the calendar for the Nation’s accounting, especially as the two dates are almost evenly spaced. Materially, India has done rather well: living standards across the broad spectrum of the population have risen appreciably since fundamental economic reforms were initiated in mid-July 1991. The situation then was dire. The sudden rise in oil prices had bankrupted the national exchequer, and the Finance Minister was required to accompany the country’s gold reserves to London to deposit before a badly needed international loan was issued. Having peered into the abyss, then Congress Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, bit the bullet, asked the former Reserve Bank of India Governor Dr Manmohan Singh to take charge as Finance Minister and get rid of the sacred cows that had hobbled India to what derisively was described as the ‘Hindu rate of growth.’ The old licence and permit raj was dismantled, amidst howls of protest from the BJP and Communist benches in Parliament. The economy spurted upward into an approximate 6-6.5 per cent growth. When the first BJP government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee took office around March 1998, remaining in power until 2004, the reforms agenda remained in place, with growth steady rather than spectacular. Congress returned to power in mid 2004, with Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. Economic growth reached a new 8-9.5 per cent. India weathered the global economic crisis of 2008, with slowing growth in the aftermath. In the 2014 general election, Congress was demolished, with its 200 plus seats in Parliament reduced to a paltry 44. The new BJP government with Prime Minister Narendra Modi commanded an absolute majority in the House. Economic reforms continued apace. Foreign investment took a quantum jump, as controls and regulations were simplified, and some abolished. India’s place in Ease of Doing Business, according to the World Bank, rose to 77, as opposed to the earlier 130th place

among 192 sovereign countries. The present momentum should take India to 50 th position in the not too distant future. India is poised to overtake Britain as the the world’s fifth largest economy. It is already the world’s fastest growing large economy, having recently surpassed China in top position. World Bank and International Monetary Fund projections for the next few years tell of an ascending growth cycle. Destitution has declined to 20 per cent and decreasing, although general poverty is unacceptably high. Dollar billionaires are remarkably high, pointing to disturbingly wide income differentials. Prime Minister has done well on the whole in his government’s management of the economy. In hindsight it may have done better. Prime Minister Modi has steered Indian foreign policy deftly; perhaps defence expenditure could do with an increase in the context of China’s rise and regional turbulence. India’s achievements in space have been noteworthy and further frontiers, including manned missions are now within India’s reach. That said, the political discourse in India is disturbingly spiteful and frenzied. Some BJP leaders’s attacks on opponents, notably the Congress leadership present and past are unbecoming of a matured democracy. A robust democracy is based on respect for the opinions of opponents. This, sadly, has been lacking. The BJP fringe, and even the mainstream on occasions, have been associated with Congress’ outbusrts are increasingly becoming unscceptable. Intellectual and obscurantist absurdities contesting the discoveries of Newton, Einstein and Darwin, and by extension the work of Indian scientists, who have, and are, working in related fields. Calls for the banning of books and films reached a crescendo in BJP-ruled States, before the Supreme Court intervened with verdicts upholding the Constitutional sanctities of free speech and thought as fundamental rights of all Indian citizens. Liberty and development are inclusive; recognizing this truth will make them an enduring way of Indian life.

Challenges of global disorder In an interconnected world, isolation is a non-starter. Events in one corner of the globe can reverberate in its farthest corners. Venezuela, an oil-rich country in the north of South America is in turmoil. Its head of state President Nicolas Maduro has been challenged by the Speaker of the country’s Parliament, Juan Guido, with a declaration that he was the rightful President, even if unelected. Venezuela’s economic woes are as deep as the consequential social turbulence. The United States, which has a long, disquieting record of hemispheric interventions – witness the overthrow of the Allende regime in Chile, the military coup in Brazil in the 1970s, the attempted overthrow of Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavis, to name but a few examples. The US announced its recognition of Juan Guido as Venezuela’s new President on the specious ground of promoting democracy and human rights of Venezuelans. US satraps on the continent and in Europe lined up cravenly in support of the measure. Mexico, Bolivia and Cuba affirmed their support for President Maduro. At a farther remove so have Russia, China and Turkey. Imagine a state recognizing, say, Hilary Clinton, the Democratic party candidate who lost the US presidential election to Donald Trump, arguing that she had received more popular votes than her rival. French President Emmanuel Macron defended the attempted coup against Maduro when, ironically, France is rocked daily by Yellow Shirt protesters calling for the removal Macron. The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has called on the French people to replace Macron, much to the annoyance of Paris. The

US-orchestrated charade is truly breathtaking in its cynicism. France, once a collaborator of Nazi Germany through its infamous Vichy regime, sent its Jewish population voluntarily to the Nazi death camps, yet sits today in the UN Security Council as a permanent Great Power pontificating on human rights, even as it shores up its venal authority in West and Central Africa. Should the outcome of the forthcoming Indian general election be unpalatable to US and Europe, what then? The US is wooing Pakistan with the carrot of free trade and more, if it would play ball on Afghanistan; The Times of India, on cue, (editorial, January 25) argued for open negotiations between India and the Pakistan military for the betterment of Indo-Pakistan ties. As Pakistan has had military governments in the past, the advice was strikingly rancid. The worldly-wise Modi government and the Opposition Congress party and others would do well to initiate a dialogue on how best to safeguard India’s sovereignty in face of possible threats. Referring to Venezuela, President Trump from his Oval Office in the White House pronounced, ‘all options are on the table’. Cosying up to Uncle Sam on the plea of shared democratic values and institutions has its perils. The founding fathers of the American Republic were slave owners of blacks; successive administrations oversaw the decimation of the country’s native Indian population. A global order of ruling Herrenvolk lording over subjected Bantustans is scarcely fit for sale. Caveat Emptor!

Cricketers rally to stricken star Jacob Martin, 46, a stalwart who played for Baroda and captained the side when it won the Ranji Trophy in 2001, was part of the Indian squad in ten ODIs. He was seriously injured in a road accident and was put on a life support system. The hospital expenses were heavy and his wife soon ran out of the family’s savings. The search for financial assistance is never easy with family pride involved. However, desperate situations call for desperate remedies, hence the Martin family gave the go-ahead to a friend Sanjay Patel, a former secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Baroda Cricket Association, to seek help for the stricken

cricketer fighting for his life. Hearing of his plight, excricketers rallied to the plight of Martin’s wife and family. They include Ravi Shastri, currently coach of the Indian Test team and once a distinguished Test cricketer himself, Saurav Ganguly, Test batsman and captain, Zaheer Khan, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, Krunal Pandya, all of whom have played in Indian colours, in Tests or ODIs. In all, Jacob Martin, middle order batsman, aggregated over 9,000 runs if First Class cricket at a healthy average of 46.66. We wish him a speedy recovery from his terrible ordeal.

Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results - George S. Patton (1885-1945)

CIIr Ketan Sheth Councillor for Tokyngton Wembley Brent Council’s Chair of Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

Brent’s New Employment Advice Initiative Last December, the Government set out what it claimed to be the biggest package of workplace reforms for 20 years after having failed to appeal to voters who are “just about managing”. Legislation now imposes fines for employers who have deliberately victimised their staff and give workers details of their rights from the first day in their job. The reforms plan to stop the unfair use of pay between assignment contracts, which allow businesses to opt out of equal pay arrangements for agency employees. Measures will also be taken to ensure that seasonal workers get the paid time off they are entitled to. However, the reforms won’t do anything for people on highly controversial zero-hours contracts - where an employer don’t have to offer work and an employee has no obligation to work when asked. This is a missed opportunity to rebalance power in the “gig economy”. The reforms, covered in a report called the Good Work Plan, are based on the recommendations made by Matthew Taylor in his review into employment, especially in the so-called gig economy. The Government has pledged to implement 51 of Taylor’s suggested 53 reforms. Legislation will be introduced to give workers details of their rights from the first day in a job, such as eligibility for sick leave, pay levels, maternity and paternity leave. The maximum employment tribunal fines for employers demonstrated to have shown malice, spite or gross oversight will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. The Government is also committing to legislate to improve employment status tests to reflect the reality of the modern working relationships. Despite calls, the reforms won’t ban zero-hours contracts, in keeping with Taylor’s recommendations, because that would “negatively impact” more people than it helped. These proposals do nothing to tackle the growing number of people on precarious zero-hours contracts and with Brexit looming accessing the employment rights will be a major concern for many Brent residents and workers. So, the new initiative by the Brent Community Law Centre will go some way to help residents to understand their rights and challenge employers. Brent has 33% of households living in poverty and 32% of employees earning less than the London Living Wage – a higher rate than any other borough except Newham. Private rent is very expensive relatively to local low earnings – only Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Camden have more expensive lower quartile rent compared to lower quartile salary. With low earners spending so much on housing, it is not surprising that people are struggling. Therefore, measures which offer protections for agency workers and heavier fines for malicious employers will help to redress these issues. 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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Woman jailed for blackmailing girl over indecent images A teenager tried to kill herself after being blackmailed by a "callous" woman who threatened to share indecent images of her, a court heard. The girl was contacted through social media by Shilpa Uga, posing as a 21-year-old man who asked her to send intimate photos and videos. Uga then demanded large amounts of money from the girl. She was jailed for three years after admitting blackmail and five counts of having indecent images of a child. Leicester Crown Court last Friday heard Uga had been in contact with the girl between January and April 2014, when the girl was

Shilpa Uga (left) and Jatin Gohil admitted making and distributing images of girl

aged 16. Uga, 26, later threatened to post the images she had received online if the girl did not hand

over the cash she had asked for. Uga's offences only came to light when the teenager tried to take her own life and was found

by a family member. During the police investigation it was revealed Uga had also shared the photos and videos with Jatin Gohil, 28. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to seven counts of possession, making and distributing indecent images of a child. He was also jailed for three years, and both defendants were placed on the sex offenders register. Det Con Skarv Hussain said: "This was an extremely traumatic period for the victim who felt she had no alternative than to take her life. Uga's actions were callous and she had no regard for the effect it would have on the young victim."

Acid attack accused 'threatened to kill family' The father of a three-year-old boy who was badly injured in an acid attack previously threatened to kill his wife and children, a court has heard. The mother of the boy, who cannot be named, told Worcester Crown Court she was scared of her husband. Prosecutors allege he arranged the July attack on his son, leaving him with serious burns to his face and arm, during a parental custody dispute. He and six other people deny conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm. The boy was squirted with sulphuric acid at Home Bargains in the Tallow Hill area of the Worcester on 21 July. Giving evidence via videolink, the mother told of how her

The six men and one woman are charged with conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm

estranged husband, 40, had threatened to kill her and their children after she left him in 2012. "Whenever he became angry I was worried and trying to keep

quiet. Because he told me himself whenever he becomes angry he can do anything, even kill someone," she said. In 2016 she left him permanently, taking her three children

with her to a refuge. Asked why she never sought help, she told the court her situation would "get worse" as her husband would "be violent" with anyone who intervened. The father, originally from Afghanistan, is alleged to have enlisted the help of others to attack the three-year-old in an attempt to show his wife was an "unfit mother" and thus win improved custody rights. The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused alongside Adam Cech, 27, Jan Dudi, 25, and Martina Badiova, 22, all of Birmingham; Norbert Pulko, 22, and Saied Hussini, 41, both in London and Jabar Paktia, 41, from Wolverhampton. The trial continues.

Arsonist Hamza Nadeem targeted mill building A teenager with a fire "obsession" has been detained for starting a blaze that engulfed a fourstorey mill causing £500,000 worth of damage. Eighty firefighters tackled the fire on Rebecca Street, Bradford, in December 2017, the city's crown court heard. Hamza Nadeem, then aged 18, told a hostel worker he was annoyed with lawyers who had an office there. Nadeem was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institution and four years on extended licence. The hostel worker contacted the police when he later saw media coverage of the huge

blaze, and last June Nadeem, now aged 19, was found guilty of arson by a jury. Glenn Parsons, prosecuting, said that Nadeem, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of seven, had spoken about his fascination with fire and had footage on his mobile phone from other fires. The court heard he suffered from "cognitive impairments", and his barrister Simeon Evans said the teenager had clearly not had the assistance he needed. Mr Evans said there was no evidence that Nadeem had started the fires captured on his mobile phone, and he suggested that the teenager's interest was

in fire engines and the response to fires. The judge, Recorder Simon Eckersley, noted that Nadeem's mother had expressed concern

about his "obsession with fire and fire-starting" as long ago as 2007 and the teenager himself had reported setting fires previously.

Muhammad Abdulmuheet said support from the local community since the attack had been overwhelming

The prayer area was targeted in an overnight attack

to say?," he said. "We want to say to them, whoever they are, come and speak to us, we want to inform you that we are not really what

'MILLIONS' OF FAKE CIGARETTES SEIZED

Millions of fake cigarettes are entering the UK and undermining efforts to cut smoking, councils have warned. Herefordshire, Lincolnshire and Durham county councils in 2018 found illegal stashes of cigarettes behind shop walls, in sweet boxes and toilets. Fake or "bootlegged" tobacco products are sold on the black market to avoid paying duty, the Local Government Association (LGA) said. The illegal trade diverts £2.1bn a year in tax from HM Revenue and Customs. In one case, Peterborough man Karwan Salim Ahamed was sentenced last month after using fake Facebook profiles to sell illegal cigarettes on the social media site's "Lincolnshire + Boston + Spalding + Skegness + Sleaford + Kirton + Heckington etc" group. Mr Ahamed was ordered to do 200 hours community service and pay £5,000 in costs. The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling on the government to increase fines and penalties for those found guilty of trading in fake or tax-free cigarettes and tobacco.

MISSING THORNABY WOMAN 'BELIEVED MURDERED'

Naheed Khan Hamza Nadeem was convicted of starting the fire at the mill

Islamic school leaders 'reach out' to vandals Leaders of an Islamic education centre that was vandalised have said they do not want to punish those responsible. Users of the Bahr Academy in Newcastle would like to talk to the perpetrators about acceptance. Graffiti was scrawled on walls, furniture overturned and copies of the Koran thrown on to the floor. The centre's trustees said they wanted those involved to come to get to know its members, as talking could prevent further attacks. Muhammad Abdulmuheet said he was shocked when he saw the damage, which included a swastika on one of the walls. "I thought we'd moved away from that. What are they trying

in brief

you might have thought we are," Mr Abdulmuheet said. "We want to speak to you, so you can find out what we are about and teach you what Islam

actually says, so you have a correct understanding of what we are trying to do in these places." Northumbria Police has said the attack, which happened between Thursday night and Friday morning, was being treated as a hate crime and appealed for information.

Police believe a woman who has been missing for eight months may have been murdered. Naheed Khan, 43, from Thornaby, Teesside, was reported missing on 12 June but had not been seen by her family for three weeks before then. Cleveland Police said Mrs Khan, a grandmother, had not accessed her bank account or used her mobile phone. Police said there was no tangible evidence of a crime but they feared the worst. Officers have begun fresh searches of her home and land close to the A174 near Stockton. Det Ch Supt Jon Green said police had followed up more than 1,000 lines of inquiry and spoken to almost 400 people. He said: "Naheed has not been in touch with her family despite the birth of her first grandchild. There is... no proof of her being alive and in my professional judgement Naheed has sadly come to some serious harm. I have therefore classified this case as one of suspected murder." Mrs Khan's mother Gazala Khan, said: "Naheed is a loved mother, daughter, sister, aunty and would have been a loving grandmother. It is totally out of character for my daughter not to return home no matter what the situation. She comes from a very supportive family where the door is always open."


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Golden Jubilee Moresand Group ushers in new year with Kenya Exodus and Settlement in Britain

Dear Readers, We are virtually overwhelmed with the amount of responses we have received in the past couple of days in connection to our upcoming special issue on Kenyan Asians. We have received different kinds of wonderful stories that are just bursting to be heard, queries showing interest, and even suggestions encouraging our endeavour. We can't begin to thank all those who have only reciprocated with contagious optimism and sent positivity our way. For the past few weeks we have been rather vocal about our keenness to issue a magazine celebrating the mass exodus of Kenyan Asians in 1963. To be published in March, the magazine is our way of honouring the golden jubilee of the forced-migration of Asians who had made Kenya their home. The individuals and families who were obligated to leave Kenya, today comprise one of the most leading communities in the country. Not only are they active members of the society, they are also huge contributors to the British economy. As proud promoters of the Asian community, we want to grab onto this opportunity to celebrate such individuals and families. Our special on Kenyan Asians will feature relevant information about their migration from undivided India to East Africa, particularly to Kenya. We will also record their contributions to the Kenyan economy and society. We welcome all British Asians who were part of the exodus, or know family members/friends who were part of the exodus to reach out to us and tell us everything about their journey to Kenya, their stay in the country, how they settled there and began new lives. We are keen on details of their businesses and jobs and the process of winding up everything to move to another land. We would especially also like to report how they were able to settle here in the UK, going through the entire process of securing jobs, joining businesses, finding residence, education for their children and any related information which is now contented as world history. We expect a revenue-based support from those keen on bigger space in the magazine, for promotion-basis, or publish their profile. Deadline for the information is February 15, but we would welcome them sooner. Deadline to submit material: March 30th Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com

'Beat The New Year's Blues' luncheon

Moresand Group, one of the largest independent travel agencies in the UK, hosted its 22nd 'Beat The New Year's Blues' luncheon at The Grand Sheraton Park Lane, London on 10th January 2019. The event was attended by over 200 representatives from all the major international airlines. The Group which began in 1983 with a turnover of £800,000 has now registered a turnover of around £200 million and employs over 600 staff worldwide. It has four outlets in the UK consisting of Crystal Travel, Sam Travel, Paramount Cruises, Taprobane Travel, Air Travel Guide and Tour Center. This year holds special significance for Mr Kang both on the personal and business front. He completes 35 years in the travel industry and business has been excellent with a 25% increase in revenue and a 35% increase in profits. Mr. Kang has also

reached his own personal goals. He has been married for 35 years and became a grandad for the first time. PS Kang's two sons Sukh Kang and Sawan Kang head the finance and marketing functions of the Group. Despite various challenges, including Brexit, Mr Kang aims to make Moresand Group one of the top five independent travel agencies in the next five years.

P S Kang, Chairman and Managing Director

Sukh Kang, Finance Director

Worldwide staff of Moresand Group with PS Kang (centre) and directors Sukh Kang (3rd left) and Sawan Kang (3 from right)

Turbans and Tales launched 'Turbans And Tales’ authored by Amit and Naroop, directors and photographers, was launched at the National Army Museum. British actor Jassa Ahluwalia, magician Magic Singh, fashion designer Mani Kohli, property magnate Sukhi Wahiwala, world pool master Raj Hundal among other influential personalities came down to support the launch. The duo Amit and Naroop shared their four-year journey into the making of the book 'Turbans and Tales'. Showcasing 72 powerful images of Sikh individualsBoxer to a magician- in Turbans from the UK to the USA this book aims at breaking the barriers of identity and perception alongside sharing diverse stories with the history of the turban.

Gurjeevan Singh Plahe with his portrait at the launch of 'Turbans and Tales'

“Turbans And Tales' looks at the contemporary turban in today's society. The National Army Museum’s rich collection allows us to track back to its origins worn by maharajas,

soldiers, even British royalty, it has always been a fabric of Indian cultural heritage" said Jasdeep Singh, Curator at the National Army Museum. The book features Jasdeep's historical insight

as well as images from the Museum's collection. Aside from celebrating the pride of the turban, Bhangra Dance London, the UK's Bhangra dance academy presented a special folk performance while Jaskeerth Singh (JGSK) delivered a rap performance "Turbans And Tales" entertaining the Sikh community gathered on the evening. Panel discussions with Magic Singh, Chaz Fly and Madhu Singh, known best for his performance on TV Show, Britains Got Talent also formed part of the launch ceremony. The portraits of "Turbans and Tales" have been exhibited in London and across America before, through “The Singh Project”, which saw over 7,000 plus visitors within 8 days in New York alone.

Siddiq makes history as first MP to vote by proxy New mother Tulip Siddiq, who deferred child birth by two days to attended the House of Commons vote on Brexit, has become the first MP to vote by proxy on Tuesday night. Her votes in the critical Brexit divisions were being cast on her behalf by fellow Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft. It will be the first time an MP has had a vote counted without being present on the parliamentary estate. New rules that were agreed on Monday night

for a one-year trial will only apply to MPs on parental leave, but may in future lead to an end of the tradition of forcing seriously ill MPs to vote in person. Ms Siddiq, the MP for Hampstead & Kilburn, in her tweet wrote, “I believe I will be the first MP to vote by proxy tomorrow! I've asked @vickyfoxcroft to do the honours. Thank you Speaker. @andrealeadsom @HarrietHarman @joswinson & others. Raphael & I are so grateful that I can represent my constituents

Tulip Siddiq with son Raphael

in these important votes.” She delayed the birth by caesarean of son Raphael, her second child, to take part in a key Brexit vote.

Her appearance in a wheelchair galvanised a cross-party campaign led by women MPs to update parliamentary rules.


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2 - 8 February 2019

New funding announced to drive diversity in cyber security Four new projects across England to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates into a career in cyber security have been announced by Digital Minister Margot James on Monday. They will each jointly benefit from a total investment of at least £500,000 as part of the next round of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF). The aim of the Fund is to boost not only the total number, but the diversity of those working in the UK’s cyber security industry. It will help organisations develop and sustain projects that identify, train and place untapped talent from a range of backgrounds into cyber security roles quickly. Digital Minister Margot

James said: “Our cyber security industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match. These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cyber security profession. We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.” The projects receiving funding are Crucial Academy: Diversity in Cyber Security, Cyber Software Academy for Women, Blue Screen IT: HACKED and Hacker House Ltd: Hands on Hacking, Training and Employer Portal.

'Military jihad' probe dropped at Didsbury Mosque An investigation into a sermon at Didsbury Mosque has found that no offences were committed. This is the Mosque where the Manchester Arena bomber worshipped. Two Muslim scholars claimed that Imam Mustafa Graf at the Mosque called for the supporters of fighters in Syria in 2016. The sermon was held at a time

when Aleppo in Syria was in the middle of a four-year deadlock. Six months later Salman Abedi killed 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert. Mr Graf has denied preaching Islamic extremism and police have said their investigation has now been dropped. Mr Graf also denied that he had called for armed jihad.

Asma Khan helps fundraise for ISIS survivors Asma Khan, owner of Darjeeling Express and Women’s rights activist is helping to raise funds worth £30k in collaboration with charity The Lotus Flower to establish new cafés for female ISIS survivors. The charity is behind the establishment of women and girl centres at camps in Kurdistan, northern Iraq. The cafe needs to raise £30k for the first year; after which it will be able to fund itself. They already have the space and the money is required for setting up the kitchen, training the women, buying the ingredients and also to have cooking lessons for the younger girls – many of whom were abducted at a young age and never had a

Online banking: Who should our old people bank on? Priyanka Mehta Nalini Dave is a 70-year old resident of Rayner's Lane who has her bank accounts in NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland. Although, she knew online banking once upon a time, she is neither confident nor able to retain the navigation process at the online portal. So, she prefers to personally go to the bank branch which is a good half an hour walking distance from her house. “At least there are people who will be able to guide me whenever I am stuck and it also helps that they speak to me in my language,” she said. But Nalini is still lucky in a way that she has a bank branch in her locality which is just four bus stops from her house. The same cannot be said for Mr. Kantilal Pabari, a disabled citizen from Wealdstone, who holds his account with NatWest and Llyods Bank. “I'm computer literate but I'm not comfortable with online banking system,” said Mr. Pabari.

Santander announces closure of 140 branches in the UK

when Santander has announced that it will close 140 branches in the UK. The branches involved include those that are not visited frequently and are in close proximity to another branch. Following the closures by the end of the year, Santander will retain a network of 614 branches with its customers also providing the option to bank using the more than 11,000 Post Office sites across the UK. Additionally, the funds raised by these banks after selling off their properties can be utilised elsewhere in

Disabled and displacements? Walking with a limp, Mr. Pabari lives with his daughter, who helps him in his transactions on an everyday basis. He withdraws cash from different ATM slots, but has to travel four stops down his house to Harrow Central at least three to four times a month for deposits and other activities and even his pension gets credited to his bank account. “I don't like the machine service. I prefer counter service because I'm retired and I don't want to learn new things at this age. I want to relax and at the counter at least I can enquire and consult with the staff. Who do I ask when I am using the machine?” he asked. This comes at a time

Rameshbhai Parikh at Jaspar Centre

the business. But, Reshma Patel is concerned about her mother who lives alone in Leicester. “Santander has announced that their branch is supposed to close down over there as well. But I

haven't told my mother about it because I know she will be very worried,” said Reshma. Digital only banks but language barriers? Over the past three years the number of transactions carried out at Santander branches fell by 23%, while transactions online and on mobile phones soared by 99%. Following the digital trend lenders such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are also closing stores to deal with customers' changing banking habits. In addition to meeting with the challenges posed from new digital only banks such as Starling Bank and Monzo, these banks are also burdened with the maintenance costs that are incurred in running physical branches. A report published last year by UK Finance claimed that 13% more transactions were done through online banking apps than the previous year. “I think there is not much awareness in the Asian community with respect to classes being provided by the Government, colleges and sometimes perhaps even community centres over computer literacy and online banking” said Ramji Chauhan, councillor for Harrow Weald. However, there are hardly any classes being run in ethnic minority lan-

Ramji Chauhan, Councillor for Harrow Weald

guages for the old people who are not fluent in English language to navigate through the technical terms of online banking. The underground Tube services have automated machines for recharging Oyster cards wherein the language varies from English, French, Gujarati and even Tamil. This helps not only the old people but also those minorities who are visiting the UK (married adults who are on spousal visa, low-skilled labourers among others) and are not well-versed with the country's language. While some online banking portals offer French as an alternative to English, the translation languages could be extended to accommodate other regional languages as well. Santander has also announced that it will spend £55 million refurbishing 100 branches over the next two years in order to "focus on personal service, convenience and community engagement". Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking at Santander, said: "The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels” Banks and building societies had 20,583 branches in 1988 according to parliamentary records, studies indicate that the figure has dwindled to a mere 7,586 branches.

Majority of young offenders are ethnic Asma Khan

chance to learn to cook from their mothers and grand mothers. And similar to her award-winning London restaurant Darjeeling Express, these camp cafés will also be managed and operated by an all-female team.

Figures from the Inspectorate of Prisons’ annual report highlight that 51 per cent of teenage boys in youth jails across England and Wales are of black or minority ethnic heritage in comparison to 48 per cent in 2017-18. The proportion is the highest record since figures were monitored in 2001. The experiences of those from a minority background to their white peers was significantly different in various areas, including treatment from staff according to the report. Those from an ethnic background were less likely to be asked about their welfare by staff, have access to a chaplain and helplines or feel that complaints were sorted out fairly and promptly.

tody,” the Tottenham MP These revelations said. come after Labour MP He expressed shock at David Lammy's 2017 the figures, referring to report which highlighted them as “alarming”. the disproportionate Lammy added: amount of ethnic minori“England and Wales are ty young people offending now hitting an American for the first time, rescale of disproportionality offending and in youth in our youth justice syscustody. tem. The government Reacting to the latest urgently needs to step up statistics, Lammy said implementation of my that he hoped it acted as a MP David Lammy review. “wake-up call”. In response to the “After years of cuts and report, the Ministry of Justice promised austerity, we need to start funding that youth justice was being reformed youth services in urban communities to focus on rehabilitation. properly so that fewer end up in cus-


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2 - 8 February 2019

IS it Time you set up a limited company? let us help!! If you’re planning or have already started a new business, Now is a very popular time of year to finally make the leap from employee to entrepreneur, with all those New Year’s resolutions underway. The early days of a business are an exciting time. You can’t wait to get started and set up shop, ready for all your new customers and profits to come rolling in. “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.”. Unfortunately, taxes are not something you can James Backhouse really ignore or save until later. If you do, you’ll find your dream of running a successful business is dampened by HMRC

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EXCLUSIVE

India's On-Your-Own (OYO) sets up shop at the helm of Brexit

Corporation tax – for limited companies If you choose a limited company over a sole trader, the main difference is that you will have to pay Corporation Tax. Corporation tax is paid at a rate of 19% of all profits for most companies. In order to pay it you must prepare and submit a Company Tax Return, which is slightly more complicated than just a basic sole trader Self Assessment tax return. We’d recommend you get professional guidance with this if you’re unsure. VAT If you expect to make more than £85,000 a year you will need to register for VAT. This means that you’ll have to add a rate of 20% onto whatever you sell.However, if you sell things like children’s car seats or home energy, you’ll only have to charge the reduced rate of 5%. Some things are exempt entirely, such as most food and children’s clothes.How much VAT you’ve charged and how much you’ve paid through business-related goods/services must be reported to HMRC. This is usually done every 3 months. Paying yourself a salary As a director, you can pay yourself a salary which you must then pay Income Tax on, the same way as if you were employed or a sole trader. Luckily, there are some (perfectly legal) ways to reduce your tax bill. One way to reduce your Income Tax bill is to take a small salary and make the rest up as dividends. This means you can take advantage of both the Personal Allowance (£11,850) and also the dividend allowance (£2,000) before you need to pay tax. That’s £13,850 tax free earnings! Another reason to use dividends is because the tax on dividends is lower than regular Income Tax. The basic rate is 7.5%, rising to 32.5% for higher rate and 38.1% for the additional rate. Compare this with 20% basic rate Income tax, 40% higher and 45% for the highest. Claiming for expenses Claiming for expenses can help you reduce your Income Tax bill if you’re a sole trader, and also your Corporation Tax bill if you run a limited company.But how do they work? Essentially, any money you receive that you spend back on the business is not profit, it’s an expense.Income – expenses = profit. Registering for Self Assessment Most self-employed people, or those earning money through property or dividends, will need to complete a Self Assessment tax return each year. In it, you must report all your earnings and expenses to HMRC. Once you register, you’ll receive your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) which you must keep hold of to use HMRC’s online services or if you hire an accountant to help you.

OYO’s first UK Property at 30 Sussex Townhouse

Priyanka Mehta OYO Hotels, India’s largest and fastest-growing hotel chain, aims to break into Britain’s budget accommodation market and challenge AirBnB by launching over 700 signed rooms with 25 properties that are likely to go live by the first week of March. Anurag Kamundala, the supply head of OYO revealed that out of the company's 25 properties, 23 of them are currently in London, the other in Glassgow and Blackpool. But at a time when Brexit seems to be driving every aspect of business forward, he talks about the potential of the market in Manchester. “Manchester is going to be the third biggest market for us after London and Edinburgh looking at the increasing investment in the city both in terms of capital and human resources” he revealed OYO's first property went live on 12th July last year at 30 Townhouse Sussex. But the company is now focussing on the regions around London from Torquay to Portsmouth wherein they are looking to leave their footprint over at least 3035 cities by the end of this year. Whitbread’s Premier Inn chain is the leader in Britain’s economy hotel industry. Other branded operators include private equity-backed Travelodge and Holiday Inn Express, a unit of Intercontinental Hotels Group, AirBnb and even Ibis group. But how does OYO penetrate an already saturated tourism market of London? Artificial Intelligence helped increase revenue by 35%

Offices in Harrow, Birmingham & Cambridge For more information please call 020 3763 8500. 262 High Road, Harrow Weald, HA3 7BB

“We've tried various routes of realestate agents but we've realised that the personal touch is missing and that is why we have a team of Business Development Managers (BDMs) who are meeting on a one-

to-one basis with these property managers,” he said. Premier Inn reported turnover of £2.01 billion in its latest fiscal year, offering nearly 72,500 UK hotel rooms at the end of 2017. It aims to have 11 percent market share by 2020, up from 6 percent in 2010. Whereas Travelodge, offers about 40,000 UK rooms and reported revenue of 637 million pounds in 2017. Does this worry the millennial startup group? “We experimented with our first property OYO Townhouse 30 Sussex where we observed that we have at least increased the overall revenue by 35% and this is over a three month period. So let's say that the hotel was doing a business of roughly about £350,000, and now it has increased to somewhere around £450,000,” he explains The properties in London run at a

great occupancy rate of 80-85% and so in a way the traditional budget hotels, according to Anurag, never had to re-invent themselves. But, he says that “OYO is figuring out if the pricing can be changed using our Artificial Intelligence algorithms and if we can increase the revenue for each of our hoteliers.” Anurag who has been a member of the OYO family for the last three years spoke about the manual system of revenue changes that London continues to follow. The property man-

agers also act as revenue managers and London follows a manual system where if the former makes any changes then the whole cluster follows. While the company has still not decided the price points of their properties, Anurag talks about the use of AI and technology as the determining factors. OYO Homes to be facilitated by AirBnB “We follow two systems of pricingconsumer based pricing wherein we understand the price point's affordable to the consumer, we understand the signs of conversion and positive trails that are left behind on social media. The data team ensures that the price keeps moving and because we work with a lot of Online Travelling Agents (OTAs) such as booking.com, we understand how to better sell our product,” he said. At a time when the British Pound hasn't regained its initial highs and different industries from food to pharmacy are reacting to fears of a nodeal Brexit and dipping their feet into stockpiling products, Anurag doesn't seem concerned about the elephant in the room. Regardless of the uncertainty around the subject Anurag thinks that it is not going to bring a downward trend in their business and tourism will continue to be a boom. “We never thought that there would be an OYO which would be going at £160 when we initially started at £110. But we still have to figure out the price point for our properties. And at the same time we're also bringing in this concept of OYO Homes where AirBnB will become a facilitator for us,” he revealed At present OYO has about 1000 signed rooms in the whole of Europe and apart from the UK they are now looking to expand in Eastern Europe as well.


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2 - 8 February 2019

Travel Insurance: What is the cost of your health? Shamji Murji Vagjiani is in his mid 80s suffering from diabetes among various other ailments including fluctuating Potassium levels. He travelled to India in September 2018 on a three month trip that was cut short within a matter of weeks because of his failing health and lack of a medical travel insurance. “My assumption was that with his pre-existing conditions and his age nobody would ensure him or it [the cost] would be so high that it won’t be worth the insurance, perhaps a wrong assumption now” said his son, Suresh Vagjiani. Samji frequently travels to India almost every six months perhaps and he has never taken a travel insurance. This year he travelled to a village, Bhuj in Gujarat. However due to his failing health, he wanted to fly down to the UK to be plugged into the NHS Healthcare. “But at the gates for Jet Airways, they looked at him, saw his condition and refused for him to fly,” said Suresh. Nanavati Hospital charged about £1000 per day The plane was held back until the doctor had arrived, checked him and admitted Mr. Murji straightaway to the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. He remained in the hospital for about two weeks. “We had issues with the Indian hospitals because they were charging ridiculous amount of about £1000 a day and when we were

£120,000 for a private jet

him back to the UK was a challenge. “Our first try was with Air India, but they refused based on his medical records and not having a fit-to-fly certificate. We then managed to book 7 seats with Turkish Airlines and had 2 doctors - one from Delhi and the other being the ex-director of Nanavati Hospital, flying with the patient,” explained Shamji Murji Vagjiani Suresh. given the payment bills, we discovThe Turkish Airlines pulled up ered that they had 7-8 consulthe seats and used the space to tants,” revealed Suresh. But for bring in the hospital bed. The whole Suresh and his family cost was not medical process costed Suresh the only issue with the healthcare about £40,000 which included administration. “I saw them feed£14,000 as hospital fees and more ing my dad sugary biscuits and he than £25,000 in flying him back. is a diabetic who was on Insulin,” Turkish Airlines by taking him on said an outrageous Suresh. board had risked re-routing the But because Suresh's father did plane in case anything were to hapnot have medical insurance, flying pen to the patient on air.

But if the Turkish Airlines would have turned them down then their only other option, was to fly him on a private jet. Initial talks indicated the whole cost to be roughly about £70,000 but a further look at the paperwork meant something around £120,000. “We don’t realise the healthcare facilities that we have here in the UK until something of this kind happens,” said Suresh. Sambit Biswas is the Founder & CEO of Advatech Healthcare works with Ambufly which helps in flying medically ill patients either by road, train, air ambulance and even sometimes by converting a commercial flight into an air ambulance. “In Mr. Vagjiani's case even the doctors were not very hopeful in his recovery chances in India, his heartbeat was fractured and the Nanvati medical report clearly mentioned he was not stable to fly back to the UK,” revealed Sambit. But even if Mr. Vgjiani had had medical travel insurance he would have had to fly back to the UK within 30 days of reporting the illness. That is the way global medical travel insurance works. Pay £500 annually and remain hassle-free Sambit explained how medical travel insurance for an older person could start from £500-600 annually giving a coverage of maximum of 183 days in a calendar year

and not more than 45 days at a stretch. This can go up depending on the medical history of a person where they have a cap of covering medical expenses worth £3500 per day. But Sambit says that“The advantage is of having a medical insurance is that the logistics end of getting the patient transported from one country to another right from medical hub centre, immigration and then admission into the hospital. “If Mr. Vagjiani were to have a travel insurance then it would've covered all his expenses from his stay at the Nanavati Hospital to ensuring his transportation back in the country,” he said. Lucky for him, Suresh happened to know very well-connected people who helped him through the process. But more than financially, Suresh says how the situation was “emotionally very draining, uncertain, and disempowering because we were essentially relying upon other people.” This case study only highlights the urgency of travelling on medical insurance. Had Mr. Murji been medically insured then could’ve been on the first air ambulance and shipped straightaway to a hospital in the UK without the financial and emotional hassles. “Especially for the elderly, insurance is vital. Anyone over 55 years should get an insurance. It may be expensive but the downside is not just financially expensive but the emotional trauma and hassle is far higher,” said Suresh.


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2 - 8 February 2019

Is he the greatest?

Happy Republic Day

Beware of TV licence scam

I think Narendra Modi is proving to be India's greatest prime minister so far and Gujaratis everywhere are sure to agree with me. However, what do non-Gujaratis think of Mr Modi? Are they also delighted with his premiership? If so, what do they particularly like about Mr Modi's performance? If not, why is he failing to impress them? Rudy Otter By email

Motherland, means to be loved as much as we love Mother. We love Mother at any age, in any shape more than ourselves. Non residents in general never like if their Motherland is criticized in any form even if it is most of the time constructive, How NRIs can help ? At least pay taxes in India honestly if you have taxable income in India the way we pay honestly here. Make payment by cards, cheques whenever possible, Insist for tax paid receipts for purchases over 1000 -2000 rupees. Money exchange also must be through official routes. Avoid little greed on these financial support to country. It could be an example for others and will help governments and people. We know success of western world and other most prosperous countries is largely due to honesty in people and governance. Let us make a commitment on Republic day. Vidyut Mehta South Wales

There is no shortage of heartless sanctimonious scammers who would not hesitate to milk any one of their last penny, using every trick in the trade to carry out their clever traps. The latest scam is to send emails to thousands of unsuspecting people, especially to trusting elderly people they think are easy picking; will fall in their trap. They are scallywags of the worse type, “Shylocks, Merchants of Misery” who make a living by conning decent people. The latest scam is sending emails to thousands of people, perpetrating to be from TV licencing authority, informing recipients that their TV licence is about to expire, asking them to reapply immediately, attaching the Form to be filled in that include their Credit Card number, Card Verification Value (CVV), bank details and even personal information like birth date, telephone numbers and full address. This scam is the latest effort by criminal gangs, many based overseas, in Nigeria, Philippines and India, to hijack official sites, using so-called phishing emails, using sonorous language. Although most regular users of computers, regularly dealing with emails, will not fall in such a trap, as we all receive numerous such emails, which in most cases go straight to our junk email box. But there is a tiny minority, over-trusting and somewhat senile elderly who may fall for it. Even if one in thousand falls for it, they could make a fortune! Another recent scam we have noticed is text messages we receive, such as, “We will start work on your new roof on such a day, early in the morning, at 7am as agreed. If the time and date is not convenient, please give us a ring to arrange another mutually agreed time and date. We may think that this is a genuine message came to wrong person and will ring them on “Premier Line Number” that may cost us a fortune, anything from £10 to £100 per minute and the Call may last from 5 to 20 minutes, using every trick in the trade. The best way to avoid such traps is to bar premium line numbers, thus making it impossible to ring such numbers even by mistake. These fraudsters are clever, always one step ahead of their victims. So best policy to retain our sanity is never to act on such emails and texts unless we have requested such services and expecting their emails or phone Calls. It is better to be “Safe than Sorry!” rather than ”Be Wise After the Event!” Kumudini Valambia By email

Indian election A donkey said to a tiger, 'The grass is blue.' Tiger said, 'No grass is green.' Then the discussion between the two became intense. Both of them are firm in their own words. To end this controversy, both went to Lion – King of Jungle. In the middle of the animal kingdom, sitting on the throne was a lion. The donkey started yelling before the tiger could say anything. “Your Highness, the grass is blue, isn’t it?” Lion said, 'Yes! The grass is blue. ' Donkey, 'This tiger does not believe. Annoys me He should be punished properly. ' The king declared, 'Tiger will be jailed for a year. King's verdict was heard by donkey and he was jumping in joy in entire jungle. The tiger was sentenced to one-year jail. ' The Tiger went to the Lion and asked, 'Why Your Highness! Grass is green, isn’t it? ' Lion said, 'Yes! Grass is green.’ Tiger said, '... then why am I sentenced to jail? ' Lion said, “you did not get punished for the grass being blue or green. You have been punished for debating with that stupid donkey. Brave and intelligent creatures like you have argued with a donkey and have come here to get a decision” Moral of the story: In 2019 give your vote to the best candidate Sri Narendra Modi. Just don’t debate with donkeys or you will be punished for the next 5 years. Jai Hind Rami Ranger CBE www.sunmark.co.uk

People’s protests In recent days, some of the countries in the world have witnessed unprecedented public unrest. In our neighbouring country France, there have been violent protests called 'Yellow Vest Protest'. It all started with riots in Paris but then spread to several other towns and then further to bordering countries like Netherlands & Belgium. The discontentment was about the fuel tax hike and an increase in living costs. The agitation has not stopped even after the announcement of a few concessions by the president Macron. In the South African country Zimbabwe, there have been violent protests over the doubling of fuel prices. Hundreds of people have been arrested and the crackdown by security forces have even killed several protesters.Shops have been closed and there has been a widespread damage to the property. In the South American country Venezuela, the political unrest was ignited due to acute food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation. There has been a mutiny by a national guard unit and the armed forces have used tear gas on protesters. Several countries, including the UK, have disregarded the current regime and instead recognised the opposition leader as its legitimate president. Though these are all separate events yet a scrutiny points out a few similarities that highlights an underlying trend. In most cases, the agitation was led by people at large without any formal leadership and real structure. Masses have become restless over the indifferent attitude of the regime over their woes. They are terribly frustrated over the uneven distribution of income and wealth. The discontentment is so large that people are unhesitant to take law into their own hands and public property is vandalised. Moreover, widespread use of social media has played a very prominent role in spreading the turbulence. There have been determined efforts by the rulers to cut off the internet but all in vain. The use of coercion that includes assault, torture, arrests and shootings have not deterred protesters but instead has added fuel to fire leading to further spread of discontentment. People are desperate to see change happen. The dialogue in a prominent bollywood movie is very relevant that says, ' Do not underestimate the power of a common man'. Bharat Shah Harrow

We are grateful to all letter writers for more and more versatile letters well within word limit. Please keep contributing as always. If you are new, then write to Rupanjana at rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com - AV

Rise in violent crime There has been an increase of 14 per cent - the highest since 2008 in homicides which is a worrying situation. We need more bobbies on the beat to face this rise in crime, anti-social behaviour and homicides. It is time now to restore the Police force to its original numbers and re-instate the 21,958 police officers reduced because of the government unnecessary cuts. Protection of the people is more important than saving a few quids in the name of reducing the deficit. It hardly makes any dent to the deficit instead causes more misery for the people. The police federation of England and Wales said it shows’ a country in grip of a terrifying spiral of violence and an embattled police service struggles to cope’. The federation’s national chairman John Apter said: ‘ Society just isn’t as safe as it once was, and although the police service is doing everything within its power, we are swimming against the tide and it is the public who are being let down’. Also, Chief Constable Bill Skelly, National Police Chiefs Council lead for crime recording and statistics, said: ‘Rising crime, increased terrorist activity and fewer police officers have put serious strain on the policing we offer to the public’. This dire situation cannot be allowed to continue where public have to suffer because of the governments complacency. Government, the parliament and councils should address this matter as a top priority before it is too late to stop further increase in violent crime. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow.

On a knife's edge The worrying figures published by the media indicate that the number of knife and gun crime offences went up by an alarming rate last year. 132 people became victims of knife crime in London last year. In March 2018 the figure was 40,000 in England. Children as young as 5 years old take knives to schools. They learn from their siblings and peer groups. The fear of being hurt may be one of the reasons why your child may be reluctant to go to school. Imagine yourself being confronted by a man wielding a knife and threatening to harm you. It must be a very frightening experience. People who are victims would probably live the rest of their lives on a knife edge, jittery and afraid to go out any time of day or night.There has been a worrying increase in the number of children carrying knives to schools. Thousands of weapons including samurai swords, axes and air guns have been seized from schools. But then how could we stop this? What needs to change is the person or the environment they are brought up in. The culprits and their victims need more support from their peers. However, the poor victims of a knife crime would probably live the rest of their life on a knife's edge. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD 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 250 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

Pitfalls of old age I refer to the article “The Baggage of Old Age” in last week’s AV, which vividly describes dilemma facing elderly parents, especially single parents when one partner passes away. Normally ladies are the ones who are left behind, due to their life-longevity. While most children, especially those who are brought up in joint families, under the care, culture and family tradition of love, respect and appreciation, are culturally wellversed, took good care of their elderly parents and grandparents in their hour of need. Unfortunately, the trend is moving in the wrong direction under the influence of Western culture. The fault line lies fairly and squarely at the foot of parents. When we were young, it was family tradition to hold satsang (Prayer Meeting) at least once a month when all family members and few close friends get together for an hour or two singing bhagans (Devotional songs) dhoon (Chanting) and at the end Arti with delicious Prasad. So often knowledgeable Vadils (elderly) will give a short talk on religion, culture, obligation and family tradition and will answer questions from inquisitive youngsters. This type of gathering used to build love, respect, loyalty and unity among family members that served us well in our old age. But unfortunately this is not the case, the trend among younger generation parents who may prefer family gathering in restaurants or pubs, over meals, an outing, celebrating birthdays, Diwali and other such occasions. While such gatherings should not be frowned-upon, as they serve their purpose, give momentary pleasure. But it is not the same as old type Satsang in one’s own home that builds characters, bind families together, even during long interlude when children are away studying at universities. As Kantibhai Nagda so eloquently put, “How scenario of the conditions of old people in Asian community have changed over the years”. Now we put more emphasis on wealth in ever changing materialist world. Parents so often transfer their wealth, including their homes to their children’s names, for meretricious reasons, without thinking of their future, as most parents believe that their children will take care of them in their old age and so often end up homeless due to mistakes of first magnitude! One good trend is that our elders now move to Sheltered Homes where they are well looked after, enjoy company of their fellow septuagenarians. But it is time for our elders to think and obligatory consult professionals, follow their advice and not to act on impulse! No wonder so many elderly people are found sheltering in shopping Center during winter months to save heating cost at home! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email


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Clampdown on luring students with unconditional offers Universities that use unconditional offers to pressurise students into accepting places could be fined or even lose their university status, England's higher education watchdog says. The Office for Students (OfS) compares the indiscriminate use of unconditional offers to pressure selling and says it could be in breach of consumer law. There has been a steep rise in students offered places irrespective of grades. But Sheffield Hallam University said such offers could help some students. It makes hundreds of unconditional offers each year to students with high predicted A-level grades.

And vice-chancellor Chris Husbands said unconditional offers had a place, particularly for young people who "might otherwise not have the opportunity to study at a very high level". OfS researchers looked at the two different kinds of unconditional offer, those that: - guarantee a place, with no conditions - are unconditional only if an applicant makes the university their first choice Overall, the number of unconditional offers to 18year-olds rose from 3,000 in 2013 to 117,000 in 2018, while "conditional unconditional" offers rose from zero in 2013 to 66,000 by 2018.

Applicants who accepted an unconditional offer were more likely to miss their predicted grades by two or more grades, the researchers found. Schools and colleges have voiced concerns that students with unconditional offers can underachieve in their exams as they "take their foot off the gas" during revision. OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge said she was concerned about the rapid rise in unconditional offers, "particularly those with strings attached, which are akin to pressure selling". Overall, 14% of students received unconditional offers last year - but this varied widely between types of institution.

Justine Greening wanted to scrap tuition fees Justine Greening says she had plans to scrap tuition fees, before she lost the job of education secretary a year ago. She says she wanted a graduate contribution scheme to fund England's universities where "you wouldn't have a loan, you wouldn't have tuition fees". Ms Greening says she was worried that tuition fees of £9,250 per year could start to put off poorer students. The government said its review of fees would make sure there was "value for money for both students and taxpayers". Ms Greening, education secretary until last January's

reshuffle, says she had concerns that excessively high fees and levels of debt could become a barrier to social mobility. She says she had been working on a radically different system which would have removed fees but instead the prime minister launched a review of student finance, chaired by financier Philip Augar. Ms Greening is scathing about the review, which is expected to report back next month. She says its public remit is confused - without any "clear objectives of the problem it was trying to fix". And she says its private purpose was to buy time and

continue to work to bring net migration down to more sustainable levels.” However, Downing Street has hit back, claiming that the 100,000 target is still in place. Theresa May's official spokesman said“Sustainable levels is the tens of thousands - it’s included within the manifesto on which the government was elected.” The latest figures estimate that to June 2018, net migration to the UK was 273,000. Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a free think-tank in January, dubbed the UK's approach

only "tweak" a few of the most politically toxic aspects of the current system. Even if, as suggested, it lowers tuition fees to £6,500, she says it will still be a temporary sticking plaster.

and languages, can receive a bursary of up to £26,000, but there are no further payments. The so-called "early career payment" scheme, which rewards teachers for staying in the classroom, has already been trialled for maths teachers. Labour has criticised the plan, saying the plan will not reverse "six consecutive years" of missed teacher recruitment targets. By 2025 the number of secondary school pupils in England will have gone up by 15%. For several years England has had an unfolding teacher crisis, with too

few starting to train and too many leaving. In 2018/19 the number starting training as secondary school teachers was 17% below target. Subjects such as physics, chemistry and computing face the largest shortfalls. This has led to a growing proportion of lessons in some secondary schools being taught by teachers who are not specialists. And there has been growing concern that young teachers are leaving because they feel overworked, burnt out and disillusioned. Of those that started in 2012, a third were not teaching five years later.

Secondary tables - poor pupils behind for next 70 years As secondary school tables are published, BBC analysis shows it will take over 70 years for poorer pupils to catch up with their peers at GCSE. If the pace of change remains the same as it has been since 2011, poor pupils will not do as well until the 2090s. The data shows the achievement between the poorest pupils in England and their classmates is clos-

ing but very slowly. This year, 24.9% of the poorest pupils got good passes in English and maths GCSE, compared with 50.1% of the rest. The league tables give national data, as well as details of how each school has performed. Readers can check how schools in their area have performed through the BBC's postcode search

below. The disadvantage gap has shrunk almost every year since 2011 but at a slow pace. To assess this gap, the government uses GCSE results in English and maths. The results of pupils classed as the most disadvantaged are compared with the results of all the other pupils.

JOB OPENINGS HEAD OF POLICY AND CAMPAIGNS – £45K-£55K PERMANENT Do you want to want to join the fight for gender equality and women’s rights? Are you a strategic thinker with experience of research and running impactful, evidence-based campaigns? Then we want to hear from you. The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading feminist campaigning membership charity. We are looking for a Head of Policy and Campaigns to join our Senior Management Team. This role’s primary purpose is to provide oversight and leadership of Fawcett’s policy, research and campaigning activity and to drive change in an evidence-based, impactful way.

Sajid Javid

to immigration policy "economically damaging" and "too restrictive" when applied to high-skilled workers. The IEA said that as well as scrapping a target for net migration, the government should also remove caps on visas for the high-skilled and restrictions for working foreign students.

Girl uses Eyegaze technology to name the reckless driver A girl paralysed in a car crash used eye movement technology to tell police the name of the reckless driver behind the wheel. The 18year-old girl spelled out Asman Nawaz, a convicted drug-dealer's name by looking at the letters on the screen. Through Eyegaze, she gave a statement which her grandmother read at Luton

Cash incentives and a better work-life balance are part of a new attempt to solve England's teacher shortage. Plans published on Monday by ministers will offer some young secondary teachers £5,000 in their third and fifth years in the classroom - on top of initial £20,000 training bursaries. Young teachers could also have some protected time for extra training. Head teachers' unions said more help for young recruits was essential to tackle the crisis in teacher numbers. Currently, teachers in subjects with shortages, such as physics, chemistry,

Justine Greening

No. 10 challenges Javid over net migration target Reducing net migration to below 100,000 is still the government's policy, Downing Street has insisted-despite the home secretary saying that there are no more targets. Sajid Javid was asked if the government was “formally dumping” its longstanding measure of controlling net migration into the tens of thousands to which the home secretary replied that- “There are no targets in our White Paper, which sets out our approach to the future immigration system. “That said, we are still very clear, as I have already set out, that we must

Teachers to be offered cash to stay in school

Crown Court- “I can't move and I can't breathe on my own. I will never get a job or have any freedom and I am in pain all the time.” Nawaz was giving a lift to the girl to her college when he lost control and hit the tree and he is now sentenced to serve 41 months jail-time.

You will need a good understanding of the gender equality agenda, a proven track record of success in commissioning research, developing policy and running campaigns, but not necessarily at senior management level. This could be a step up for an experienced manager or an opportunity for a returner. In return we offer flexible working, the opportunity to represent the organisation at a senior level in an exciting fast-paced environment.

Apply by emailing your completed application form to recruitment@fawcettsociety.org.uk. Closing date is midnight on Monday 11th February. Interviews will be held in London w/b either 25 February or 4 March. TO DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: HTTPS://WWW.FAWCETTSOCIETY.ORG.UK/WORK-WITH-US If you would like to send your application to us in the post, please use this application form and send it to: FAO Recruitment, The Fawcett Society, Studio 222, China Works, 100 Black Prince Road, London, SE1 7SJ.


12 MEDIA WATCH

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SCRUTATOR’S India’s print media and TV channels were agog at the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as Congress General Secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, with Jyotiraditya Scindia taking charge of western Uttar Pradesh. The announcement by Congress President Rahul Gandhi was a bolt from the blue, unexpected and intriguing in its possible consequences. Whether Priyanka stands in the election from a constituency in her bailiwick should become clear in the coming weeks. She has charm, charisma and a keen intelligence. Cast in the image of her formidable grandmother, Indira Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s role in a State with 80 seats in Parliament in the Congress Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, with Rahul Gandhi party election campaign is likely to Economy, stupid attract considerable public attention across the country. The Years ago, on the US Presidential 2019 general election has been trail, Bill Clinton, asked by a truly joined (Hindu, Times of reporter about the issue that truly India, Statesman, Mint January mattered, replied jocularly, ‘It is 24). the economy.’ This is doubly so for an India in transition, Boiling, bubbling economic backwardness and extravaganza poverty in co-habitation with advanced industries and abundant The scene at Kolkata’s Brigade wealth. Parade ground witnessed a gaseous event of sound and fury with a cast of thousands bused in from every corner of Bengal. On the dais was an array of Opposition leaders from other states with grievances aplenty against Prime Minister Modi and

India to surpass UK economy

India is set to surpass the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth largest economy in the 2019 financial year. Britain and France have been moving neck and neck in recent years, with inching ahead of the other and then being overtaken by its rival. Passing Britain to occupy fifth position ensures a measure of permanence. According to PwC’s Global Economy Watch, India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.6 per cent, UK by 1.6 per cent, France by 1.7 per cent. With Britain in turmoil over Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing the Brexit, its growth is Opposition rally in Kolkata likely to suffer. his government in New Delhi. The orchestrator of this tabloid was host Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. This rhapsody of incoherence and the larger public inconvenience may be the city’s abiding memory. (Statesman, Telegraph, Times of India, Hindu January 20).

India’ potential

Mike Jakeman, Senior Economist at PwC, said India was the fastest growing large economy, with its huge population, favourable demographics and high catch-up potential due to a low initial GDP per head. The factors driving India forward will be rising Bharat Ratna for efficiency, gains from Pranab Mukherjee recently promulgated GST and policy implementation Former Indian President in the first year of the new Pranab Mukherjee and government post the the late Assamese singer looming general election. Bhupen Hazarika and late The list of the world’s RSS leader Nanaji Desh largest economies is as mukh were awarded the follows: 1. US [size 19.39 Bharat Ratna on Republic trillion dollars; 2. China Day. Pranab Mukherjee

[size 12.23 trillion dollars], 3. Japan [size 4.8 trillion dollars, 4. Germany [size 3.67 trillion dollars]. India in sixth position had an economy worth 2,59 trillion dollars. At the projected fifth place this figure will have risen by some billions (Statesman January 21). HDFC Bank surge India’s largest private sector lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank reported a net profit of Rs 05,586 crore for the third quarter of the current financial year ended December 31, 2018, an increase of 20 per cent over the same quarter of 2017. HDFC branches nationwide are significantly lower at 3 per cent of its nationalized competitors; but its deposits are 7 per cent of the entire banking sector. Its profits are a stark contrast to the heavy losses incurred by nationalized banks in last financial year ended March 31, 2018 (Times of IIndia January 21). Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor Investments worth Rs 3,123 crore by the Ordinance Factory Board, Defence public sector units and private sector companies, such as the TVS Group, Data Patterns, Alpha Designs and Aerospace Engineers are integral to the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor, which includes Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Coimbatore and Tiruchi. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a series of projects in the corridor (Business Line January 21). Adani Group eyes Tamil Nadu The Adani Group and Indian Oil Corporation were in the lead at a two-day investors’ summit in Chennai, with the former committing Rs 12,000 crore investments in the state. Of the Rs 12,000 crore, the company will invest around Rs 10,000 crore in port and port-led industries, industrial parks, defence units and on oil pipeline distribution (( B usiness Line January 24). IMF projects India GDP at 7.5 per cent in 2019 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India’s economic growth at 7.5 per cent for the fiscal year commencing March 31, 2019, even as China’s growth slips to 6.2 per cent. India’s growth for the following financial year commencing March 31,2020 is estimated grow by 7.7 per cent (Business Line, Statesman, Times of India January 22). Bihar, Bengal recovery GSDP growth Bihar topped the list of 17 states in economic growth in 2017-18, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. West Bengal gained a foothold into the top three with GSDP growth at 9.1 per cent yearon-year as compared with 4.8 per cent in the previous fiscal. Growth is measured against inflation in the listing. Jharkhand, Kerala and Punjab were bottom of the list.

BHEL deal State-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), one of India’s largest power generation equipment manufacturers is in talks with the LIBCOIN consortium to build India’s first lithium-ion giga-plant as part of the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. Commenting on the talks, LIBCOIN Chairman Rajan Dugal said: ‘Our plan is to be the largest lithium-oin battery manufacturer in India, and we aim to be the first mover in one of the world’s largest markets. The interest this project is generating, especially in the Indian automobile sector….with a partner who possesses the skill and expertise of BHEL is exciting for the company ’ (Hindu January 22). Tata Hitachi in Bengal Tata Hitachi, a joint venture of Tata Motors (40 per cent) and Hitachi Construction Machinery (60 per cent) plans to sell 200-250 its new backhoe loader, Shinrai. per month in the next two to three years. With one of its manufacturing plants in Kharagpur, Tata Hitachi sees new opportunities in the state. It has invested in South India, Chhattisgarh, Nagpur, Bihar and Odisha in road building, railways, agriculture, irrigation, mining and real estate (Times of India January 22). P:E, VC investments Private equity (PE) and Venture capital (VC) investments in India have grown by 38 per cent to rach $35 billion in 2018 compared with $26.1 billion in 2017. ‘2018 has been the best year for PE/VC investments and exits. As forecast by us…PE/VC as well as exits have touched s new record high in 2018,’ said EYY’ s partner Vivek Soni in a report (Statesman January 21).

see firms like TCS, Wipro and Infosys prepared to take risks in to win clients over and also take more complex projects and commit to outcomes,’ said Phil Fersht of IT consultancy HfS Research. This is also a war for talent (Times of India January 23). Science education India’s performance in science education rankings of the prestigious (London) Times Higher Education Emerging Economies, has improved with 49 institutions making it to the list, with Chinese institutions in the lead. Heading India’s table again is Bangaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (14th in the overall list) followed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (27th). India has 25 universities in the Top 200, up from 17 in the previous year. The 2019 ranking comprises 450 universities – a rise from 378 last year, across 43 countries (Business Line January 17). Anti-terror squad bust jihadi plot The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad revealed that nine suspects – four from Aurangabad, five from Mumbai - were arrested for plotting to poison food and water at public events attended by large crowds Bottles of chemicals were seized A jihadi was arrested in Delhi for planning an attack in the capital on Republic Day(Hindu January 24, 25). King Kohli

IT surge in global banking services Indian IT services companies have surged ahead in the outsourcing sector by global banking, financial services and insurance entities. Data from IT outsourcing advisory Everest Group indicates that the Indian services provider group Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Cognizant, HCL, Technologies and Wipro gained a significant share of the global market. Bonding

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has been awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy by the International Cricket Council as the world’s finest batsman in all formats of the game, Tests, ODIs and Twenty/20s. The Indian captain said he was honored by the award. A business paper likened Kohli to Steve Jobs, inventor extraordinary, who made his high-tech company Apple a global power.

‘Indian heritage IT services majors are continuing to increase their wallet share at the expense of IBM, DXC, and others due to strong execution and capabilities, aggressive pricing and a genuine empathy from IT leaders to working with Indian firms, which has been 20 Republic Day parade, with Chief Guest President years in the Cyril Ramaphosa and PM modi. See page 3 making. Plus we


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in brief A Republic Day Speech Each year that we gather to celebrate our Republic Day we must affirm the promise of our democracy. We must recall that what binds this nation together is not the caste of our forefathers or the tenets of our faiths or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional -- what makes us Indian -is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made less than a century ago. That we are Independent, slaves of no master, ancient in our beliefs but young in our outlook. We heard Mahatma Gandhi proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. This is what it means to be an Indian. Entrusting every generation to keep safe our founding creed. The patriots of 1947 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with privileges to a few. Through blood drawn by lathi and bullet we learned that our strength lay in our non-violence, and that our ability to suffer pain was our strength not a weakness. Together, we determined that that we are a nation and refuge for all the world’s faiths for over two thousand

years, but our warm welcome should not be mistaken for a lack of steadfastness in our own beliefs. Together, we resolved that a great nation must be willing to shed the blood of its own sons to protect the values of freedom around the world it holds dearest. Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all the society’s ills can be cured through a government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character. India’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for re-invention. My fellow Indians, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest graves of poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an Indian; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of

God but also in our own. It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn respect equal to our own in deed, and not just in word. We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Indians is not just to ourselves, but to all of humanity - commanded to our care by God. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will forever keep us vigilant against those who would do us harm. You and I, as Indians, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time -- not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. Let us, each of us, now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birth-right as Indians. With common effort and common purpose, passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom, human dignity and justice.

Immigration detention centre detainees 'felt unsafe' The final inspection of an immigration detention centre in Oxfordshire before it closed found that 41% of its detainees felt unsafe. In September the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons made an unannounced visit to Campsfield House in Kidlington. He also criticised the damp and deteriorating conditions, but described his overall report as positive. The Home Office did not renew its contract for the 257-capacity facility, and it closed in December. In his report, Peter Clarke said the reasons for detainees feeling unsafe were unclear and needed further investigation. In the previous inspection in 2014, 19% had reported feeling unsafe. While there had been 14 assaults in the previous six months, including two assaults on staff, the report described this as a "relatively low number". On conditions at the site, Mr Clarke wrote: "Many rooms were cramped and standards of cleanliness were variable. Many required redecoration and were blighted by damp and peeling paint. Rooms were inadequately furnished, with a lack of tables and chairs." But he wrote that there was a "calm and relaxed atmosphere" and "little evidence of violence". Of the 1,809 detainees moved during the previous six months, 25% had been removed from the UK, 45% released into the community and the rest moved to another centre. The report found that 80% of detainees thought

most staff were respectful. The average length of detention was 55 days, but some were held for "excessive periods, with the longest detention at one year, five months". Originally a young

offender institution, Campsfield became an immigration centre in 1993. The Home Office said it was in discussions about its future, but would not confirm where the detainees had gone.

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VEGETARIANS BLAST MCDONALD'S AFTER THEY ARE SERVED MEAT FREE WRAPS ACCIDENTALLY PACKED WITH CHICKEN NUGGETS INSTEAD OF A RED PESTO GOUJON

Vegetarian customers at McDonald's across the UK have reported finding chicken nuggets in meals that are sold as meat-free. The fast-food chain launched its spicy veggie wrap in early January but restaurant staff appear to be struggling with the recipe. Its main ingredient is supposed to be a red pesto vegetarian goujon - customers have been given chicken nuggets instead. It's been happening all over the UK. Twitter users in Liverpool, Birmingham, Kent, Lincoln, Yorkshire, Elgin, London and Bristol have shared their experiences. Vegetarians have been finding chicken nuggets in their vegetarian wraps as recently as this week, despite flagging the mistake to McDonald's on Twitter throughout January. McDonald's has issued an apology to customers who have found meat in their meals. "We have a number of procedures in place to avoid inaccurate orders. After we saw that mistakes were being made, we introduced a number of additional measures in our kitchens and communicated with all stores to reduce inaccuracies quickly and effectively. We are disappointed that mistakes are still being made. We never want to disappoint customers, and any inaccuracy is not good enough," it said.


14 COMMUNITY

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GUL MAKAI: 'I hope Malala likes our movie'

Words spoken by Pakistani nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai echoed once again loud and clear and this time in Reem Shaikh's voice at the premiere screening of 'Gul Makai'. Directed by Amjad Khan, and written and researched by Bhaswati Chakrabarty, this movie transcends from the nozzle of Taliban's AK-47's to the power of Malala's pen as she documents her fearful life in Swat, Pakistan. While Shaikh portrays Malala, and Divya Dutta plays her mother Toor Pekai, it is Atul Kulkarni in the fatherly shoes of Ziauddin Yousafzai who injects the passive rebellion spirit by constantly battling against the system and the rule of Shariya that prohibits girl education. “The script-it was so good that I just had to be part of the movie,” said Kulkarni to Asian Voice. Veteran actor late Om Puri also makes a short appearance in the movie, as General Kayani who tries to ensure civilian safety in a terror-stricken Pakistan where girls like Malala are not even allowed to step out of their houses without the company of a male figure-

Photo courtesy: Vineet Johri

“One child, one teacher, one book & one pen, can change the world”

(L-R) Reem Shaikh, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Divya Dutta, Atul Kulkarni

head. From hallucinating about her father's death to being unable to sleep at nights, the movie delves deep into the socio-political problems that plague Pakistan but captured from

Malala's lenses. “I haven't met Malala. But I had opportunity to meet Ziauddin sir, for the first time today and he said he really liked my work and that means a lot. But I really

hope that Malala likes our movie,” said Reem to the Voice. The screenplay pans from misguided religious beheadings, zooming into the paradigmatic shifts in Pakistan's political governments from Benazir Bhutto's assassination to Zardari's resignation and comes to an end with Malala being shot when she was going home from school after writing her exam. But that is not the end of the story. Makers of Gul Makai are already planning to start on documenting and filming the second part of the movie. The movie premier saw representatives of Pakistani High Commission, British officials as well as members of the UN and IIMSAM (Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition) and Ziauddin Yousafzai, himself. Meanwhile, the movie that will also be screened at the UN and is slated to release sometime around April this year. However, there is speculation about the release of the movie and inside sources say that the movie is likely to be banned in Pakistan.

Devon farmer 'too upset' by slaughter gives lambs to Kidderminster sanctuary A farmer who became too upset when taking his lambs to the abattoir gave his flock to an animal sanctuary. Sivalingam Vasanthakumar, from Totnes, Devon, took the 20 male lambs nearly 200 miles (321km) to Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries, near Kidderminster. Mr Vasanthakumar, a farmer for 47 years, said: "I just couldn't cope any more and I had to say no." The sanctuary said the "lucky" lambs would have fetched about £9,000 if they had been sold. Mr Vasanthakumar said he had previously worked as a dairy farmer with his par-

Sivalingam Vasanthakumar believes lambs will be "looked after well"

ents in Sri Lanka but had also been a farmer in the UK for "many years". "It was taking them to the slaughterhouse and that was stressing me out a lot," he said. Mr Vasanthakumar said he also hated to see the

"animals going through that stress". Mr Vasanthakumar decided to change his career several months ago when he would normally take the lambs to market. "I realised this year, I

couldn't do it. The emotional toll had become too much," he said. He said he cooks Indian dishes and planned to sell these and his home-grown vegetables at a Totnes street market instead. "I will still be in the farming world, but not livestock farming anymore," he said. The sanctuary, which looks after 220 animals on its 91-acre site, said it had never received lambs from a farmer before. Sanctuary manager Dave Bourne said there were only a "handful" of sanctuaries the UK that rehomed rescued farm animals.

British Tamils celebrate Pongal in India House FeTAUK hosted 'Thiruvalluvar Day' in London, commemorating the contributions of the great Tamil philosopher Thiruvalluvar on 18 January 2019. Professor Edward Simpson, Director of the SOAS, University of London joined along with A S Rajan, Minister (Co-ordination) at the High Commission of India. They gar- Jacob Ravibalan felicitating the Deputy High Commissioner of landed the Thiruvalluvar statue India to UK Charanjeet Singh on behalf of FeTAUK and World outside SOAS, which was reno- Tamil Organisation vated by FeTAUK and WTO(UK) Entertainment was provided by stuin 2013. This was followed by a reception dents from various Tamil organisations at India House where Charanjeet Singh, including UK Makkal (School- NTA), Deputy High Commisioner of India to UK Kshetra Dance Academy, Orpington and Virendra Sharma MP of Ealing Tamil Sangam and Croydon Tamil Southall joined the celebration. Khazagam.

Deputy Mayor inspects inadequate step-free access route at Stanmore

Navin Shah AM, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, Joe Gilbert, a wheelchair user and Duty Manager at Aspire leisure centre and others

The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, paid a visit to Stanmore Underground Station on Friday to address long-standing local concerns about the stepfree access facilities on offer. Local London Assembly Member, Navin Shah AM, praised the visit as a “way forward in a long and hard-fought campaign” for lifts to be installed at the station. During the visit, the Deputy Mayor walked the current step-free access path alongside Mr Shah, the leader of Harrow Council, representatives of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) and spinal-cord injury charity, Aspire, and members of the Stanmore Society. Mr Shah, together with local campaigners, has been pressing for improved stepfree access facilities at the station over the course of a decade. On Friday, he explained to the Deputy Mayor the plethora of issues that passengers with disabilities, mobility issues and with buggies face when trying to reach and depart from the station platform. Joe Gilbert, a wheelchair user and Duty Manager at Aspire leisure centre, also gave a demonstration of the challenges involved in navigating the tortuous access path, due to its length, steepness, uneven surfaces and multiple tight turns. In addition, the group also raised the potential dangers presented by a narrow section of that stepfree access route on a steep road used by cars, marked out only by a painted strip. Calls for lifts to be installed at Stanmore Underground Station have

been given greater pertinences by the fact that it serves as one of the main transport links for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, which provides worldrenowned specialist care to patients across the country. Mr Shah is also currently working with local groups to campaign for a direct bus route to be introduced between the station and the hospital. Local London Assembly Member, Navin Shah AM said, "I'm delighted that the Deputy Mayor for Transport visited Stanmore to personally examine the poor accessibility of this station and to meet local campaigners. “It is evident that the step-free facilities at Stanmore are wholly inadequate, with Joe Gilbert, a wheelchair-user, clearly demonstrating the many difficulties those with mobility issues and disabilities face when trying to access and leave the station platform. “The solution required is to install lifts at the station, and I was grateful to discuss the viability of this option directly with the Deputy Mayor. “The visit has been a way forward in a long and hard-fought campaign led by myself and local campaigners including John Williams, Chairman of the Stanmore Society, Rob Hurd, Chief Executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire. “With the great support we have from local residents and campaigners behind us, I am absolutely determined to persist with our campaign until we succeed."


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Chakra chef believes Indian restaurants unlikely to suffer post-Brexit Rupanjana Dutta Among Brexit worries and how it is going to affect the Asian restaurant industries, London can see a growing number of restaurants with Kolkata roots. After restaurants like Darjeeling Express, Little Kolkata promoting Bengali cuisine from India, Chakra's new chef Satyabrata Jena, joins the bandwagon. Jena originally from Kolkata is bringing in the new flavours of Bengal to the restaurant in its summer menu. He grew up in Kolkata, though his father is Oriya and mother is Bengali, speaks, writes and reads fluent Bengali. Though proud of his roots, Chakra is not just promoting Bengali cuisine, but a variety of dishes from the subcontinent. Speaking to Asian Voice in an exclusive interview, he said, “Making a purely Bengali menu for a group like ours is difficult. But our

Satyabrata Jena

menu is seasonally changed, and it includes variety of dishes- regional curry from Kerala to Kebabs from North India. In winter we have some heavy items. But in our summer menu in April, we are planning to add items like prawn malai curry. “The type of ingredients we use are fresh and locally resourced, provide an upmarket menu at a reasonable price,” added Jena. He

has worked in India's top hotels for years, including in brands like ITC Sonar Bangla at Kolkata, before joining the restaurant team at Tamarind in London, followed by a short stint in Jamavar and Gymkhana in Mayfair. He has recently joined the Chakra team, as their Executive Chef. The hospitality and restaurant industries heavily depend on workers from the EU. Though fears are increasing about scarcity of food supply and ingredients, Jena does not feel it is a worrying matter particularly for the Indian restaurant industry. “The Indian food market supply chain does not depend on the EU, it comes from India and America. So I don't think it affects us as much.” The hospitality sector which is UK’s third biggest employer, is providing jobs to 2.9 million people (7% of the working population). The industry is facing increased staffing and

recruitment pressures due in part to uncertainty ahead of Brexit. Speaking on the issue, Arjun Varma, CEO, Chakra said, “Brexit will cause a massive issue with staff. Huge chains like even Jamie Oliver's is struggling, because there are chef shortages. As we grow, we are planning to open 3 more sites in London in 2019 (Camden Market, Fulham/Battersea and in North London), and we will again face staff issueswhere we have to train nonethnic staff to try and complement the team.” Chakra already has an Italian, Polish and Lebanese chef in their team who are trained in cooking Indian dishes for their two restaurants. Chakra also caters for events and destination weddings. Not a fan of the tapas style dishes in Indian restaurants, Jena's team has a fabulous vegan menu and is now preparing for the Valentine's day special menu.

Mangalyam Meadows : Where Indulgence meets Nature Now luxury has a location... Dalal Gruh and Infra Projects (DGIP) bring you a luxurious project that provides a top-class and clean lifestyle. Mangalyam Meadows is a dream come true for those looking for the best. High-end villas filled with top quality provisions and the purest atmosphere. Adapt a farm to table lifestyle as Mangalyam Meadows brings you the freshest of produce sourced from nearby farms. Located in Valsad, the property is surrounded by Mango and Chikoo orchards on all sides, giving you pollution free air all year round. Even though the property stands miles away from the chaotic city, you will find facilities like supermarkets, malls, and health institutions, all within a few kilometres. Mangalyam Meadows is designed and executed in keeping with international standards. It maintains a perfect balance

between a contemporary lifestyle and a stress-free environment. The villas and the clubhouse is inspired by a mix of tropical and mediterranean architecture. Each space within the clubhouse has a thematic concept and is inspired by iconic structures and geographies. DGIP is wholeheartedly engaged in developing enjoyable and safe living spaces that are not only clean, but also environment conscious. They are extremely focused on developing spaces around them that would afford a healthy lifestyle in close proximity to towns and cities. They believe the way forward is

with tremendous development in road infrastructure and public transportation. DGIP is keen on providing solace and serenity to their residents, but also providing them with a sense of community living, keeping in mind modern and relevant connotations. First phase of development of 0.7 million sq ft is completed and handed over to overjoyed buyers. The group also has plans to develop 3 million sq ft with a land bank of 6 million sq ft mainly focused in the Mango Country, Valsad, south Gujarat. With their roots dating back to the Independence era, founda-

tion of their company was laid by their forefather Mr Lukhmidas in association with the legendary English trader and visionary, John H Aspinwall on November 1, 1949. The builders are soon going to start construction of Derasar Temple within the complex to help people practice their faith. They have built a specialised/customised mobile application which helps residents avail all services like housekeeping, landscaping, ordering food, booking a movie ticket and so on. Soon, they will start construction of multipurpose sports court to enjoy various outdoor sports activities, and will in time, introduce time share facilities within the complex, emergency medical services, and shuttle services from the property to Valsad City, shopping mall and the railway station. Those interested, please call on +44 1507 823004 or visit their website www.mangalyammeadows.com

‘Food For Life’ urging people to help them feed the homeless With increasing homelessness in the UK, charities such as Food For Life' are becoming more relevant, coming forward to feed the rough sleepers across the country's capital. The number of people officially recorded as homeless and sleeping on the streets of England rose from 1,768 in 2010 to 4,751 in 2017, but charities estimate the true figure has been more than double. There has also been an increase in homeless families housed by local authori-

ties in temporary accommodation, rising from 50,000 in 2010 to 78,000 in 2017. And in London alone there are an estimated 225,000 “hidden homeless” people aged 16-25 – arranging their own temporary accommodation with friends or family (see Story 'Home-less or Homeless?' AV 12 January 2019 p1) ‘Food For Life’ – is a project which has been feeding the homeless for over 20 years in London. They are currently appealing for £15,000 to start a a new

catering van for the disadvantaged. This Londonbased activity is part of the ‘Hare Krishna Food for Life’ project – the world's largest vegetarian non-profit food relief organisation, providing over 2 million free meals daily globally. People are served a sumptuous blend of rice, lentils and vegetables, accompanied with mouthwatering cake, salad and a hot drink. The volunteers distribute the meals with a smile and greet receivers

with the phrase ‘Hare Krishna’ – representing unconditional love and service. A spokesperson told Asian Voice, “Your support will mean that hungry Londoners will get a free nutritious meal every evening six days a week, approximately 30,000 hot meals a year will continue to get served and the amazing volunteers who take out time after work will get to help smoothly with a well working new van.”

UK

CITY OF LONDON CORPORATION POLICY CHAIR VISITS INDIA FOR THE FIRST TIME The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness has made her inaugural visit to India from 27 to 30 January 2019 to strengthen ties in financial and professional services. The Policy Chair, who is the political leader of London’s historic ‘Square Mile,’ or financial district, travelled to Delhi and Mumbai for meetings with senior government and industry leaders to discuss how to boost relations and knowledge sharing in areas like fintech, green finance, (re)insurance and non-performing assets. During the visit she launched a new report on regtech. The publication is the third and final document in a fintech-related series produced by the City Corporation alongside PwC India, and outlines UK regtech expertise, the market opportunity in India and a recommendation on how to improve collaboration in the sector.


16 R-DAY SPECIAL

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

R-DAY SPECIAL

2 - 8 February 2019

2 - 8 February 2019

INDIA CELEBRATES REPUBLIC DAY

India’s next Big Dream! Send an Indian into Space on Indian Technology

Pallava Bagla

President Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Chief Guest of the Republic Day, President of the Republic of South Africa, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, at the 70th Republic Day Celebrations. Continued from page 1

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Media, Rt Jeremy Wright MP was the Chief Guest. In Washington DC, Indian-Americans, proudly waving the tricolor, turned up in unprecedented numbers outside the Embassy to celebrate. High Commisioner of India to UK, HE Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam addressing the gathered audience at the evening reception on Monday 28th, that saw hundreds invited, said, “This year India would host 17th Lok Sabha elections. Where 900 mn voters will exercise their franchise. Today India is world's fastest growing economy, with the youngest population in the world. India has excellent growth prospects to unlock its full potential and fulfill the aspirations of its people. India's 70 years of journey is a strong statement of truly inclusive achievements obtained by ever growing number of people working coherently in a harmonious and democratic environment.... “India enjoys close cordial relationship with UK. Our relationship is connected by living bridge made of 'iron' will, 'steel' determination, lasting personal and professional bonds of a large and vibrant Indian diaspora. India-UK relationship draws strength from shared values and commitments to a rulebased international system. We work closely together on bilateral and multilateral forums such as G20 and also the Commonwealth to address local challenges. During the last 3 years, we have exchanged three Prime Ministerial visits and official exchanges.” Speaking about 'India's spirit of partnership' and the role of the High Commission of India to do so, she added, “The High Commission of India will continue its work tirelessly to further consolidate and deepen India-UK hugely beneficial ties as well as serve Indian citizens and people of Indian origin in the most

17

efficient and friendly manner. “The High Commission is bringing its consular services to the doorstep of the Indian diaspora.” The High Commission will be commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 555th birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru Shri Guru Nanak Devji with a series of events. Rt Hon Jeremy Wright, who started his speech in Hindi, went on to say “The links between UK-India are growing stronger. Last year we celebrated UK-India Year of Culture. We are thrilled to be welcoming the Indian cricket team for World Cup this summer. I hope we will have lots of visitors from India. We are also looking forward to visitors from India and all over the world for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022...Recently there has been £8bn worth Indian direct investments in UK...” Emphasising on the relationship between UKIndia, especially the visa issues, he said, “The economic relationship between our countries is a thriving one. I understand that the issue of visas is certainly an important one. Last year, we saw a 33 per cent increase in student visas issued alongside a 10 per cent increase in visitor visas. The UK issued more Tier 2 skilled work visas to India than all the other countries in the world combined.” FCO does not 'condone' flag burning A small group of Khalistan supporters and activists in Kashmiri outfit, gathered outside India House in London on the Republic Day (January 26) burning India's flag and waving placards against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chanting anti-India slogans. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office expressed their regret over the incident, said they do not 'condone' such activities, but added they fiercely 'protected' the right to protest peacefully. The spokesperson in a statement said, “We are

disappointed that anyone would chose to burn the Indian flag on any day, let alone the celebration of Republic Day, and we regret

Rajpath comes alive with the dare devil stunts of motorbike riders of Corps of Military Police

military might and cultural diversity. The parade, led by Lt-General Asit Mistry, GoC, Delhi area, began at 10.15 am, cheered on by foreign dignitaries and the pantheon of Indian politics, from former

HE Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to UK and Chief Guest, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Media, Rt Hon Jeremy Wright at Guild Hall

the upset that this will have caused... "We congratulate India on...Republic Day celebration, and look forward to deepening our relationship further as we prepare to leave the European Union and forge new partnerships with key global allies.” The Metropolitan Police said in a statement said, “On Saturday, 26 January a demonstration took place outside India House in Aldwych, WC2. An appropriate policing plan was in place. "There were no incidents of note and no arrests. No allegations of crime have been reported. We are aware of a social media video that appears to be from the demonstration outside India House in Aldwych on Saturday, 26 January. We are working to establish the exact circumstances of it.” India’s military might, diversity of life on display Over 1,50,000 people gathered at Rajpath to celebrate India’s 70th Republic Day on Saturday. With this year being Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, facets from his life loomed large over the parade, but the nation - and chief guest Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa also saw once again India’s

prime ministers to cabinet ministers and leaders such as Congress president Rahul

died fighting terrorists in his home state of Kashmir. The parade began then, and as a new tradition, the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force contingents were all led by women. Woman power was later accentuated in a show of daredevil stunts by a woman biker from the Corp of Signals. Lines from Rabindranath Tagore’s poems found mention in the parade commentary focused on empowerment of youth and women. With the strength of the armed forces on show, it was perhaps the opportune moment to showcase the newly inducted M777 howitzers and the K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers. The colourful tableaux from 16 states showcased culture and life in India. The ones related to Gandhi, particular the one created by ministry of power, were well appreciated. It was dedicated to the journey from barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to father of the nation

biofuel in the aircraft participating in the flypast, the 70th Republic Day had a number of firsts. One first that touched the hearts of the crowd was the sight of Indian National Army soldiers, the wizened veterans never having been seen on Rajpath earlier. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi broke traditions by becoming the first woman to lead a male army contingent, that of the Army Service Corp. This was followed by the allwomen contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, led by Major Khusboo Kanwar. Kanwar is the daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan. Taking part in the parade for the first time, four INA veterans, all over 90 years old, rode in open Army jeeps. were included in the parade. There was also the first-time use of indigenously developed biofuel by the Indian Air Force. Its lead aircraft, AN-32 Sutlej transporter, used fuel

India has a new dream to launch an Indian into space, from Indian soil on an Indian rocket by 2022 which is before the 75th birthday for India’s independence. Work has started in right earnest at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which is expected to deliver this Herculean task in less than 1.4 billion dollars, possibly the cheapest human space flight ever to be undertaken in the world. This confidence and promise comes riding on the repeated successes that the Indian space agency has tasted in the past. Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi, on August 15, 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “we have a dream; our scientists have a dream. We have resolved that by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence or

Lt Bhavana Kasturi becomes first woman to lead an all-men contingent

Mahatma Gandhi. The parade culminated with the Indian Air Force flypast, comprising upgraded aircraft in the traditional vertical Charlie and trishul formations. After the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as usual, strode along Rajpath greeting the children and youngsters lined up along the barricades and waving out to the others. Women marchers, biofuel aircraft steal the show From the all-women marching contingent of Assam Rifles to the use of

produced from the jatropha plant, developed and patented by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial ResearchIndian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun. Every year children honoured with bravery awards rode on elephants at the parade. This year, the children in open roof Gypsy vehicles were not only bravehearts but also innovators, outstanding sports, cultural and social activists, all winners of newly named Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar.

first step an Indian son or daughter will be launched into a low Earth orbit and then to a space station following which human missions to the Moon and Mars will be considered. India already has end-to-end capabilities in space technology, making and launching its own rockets, its own satellites and in the area of application the Indian space agency is considered one of the best. With almost four dozen satellites in orbit, in the Asia Pacific region India is a leader. India has conducted a little over 60 launches from its space port at Sriharikota situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Today ISRO is considered a reliable low cost launcher and in 2017 in a single launch using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) India set a world record of launching a flock of 104 satellites in a single mission. In 2018 India conducted 17 space missions and in 2019 Sivan has promised to undertake 32 missions, which will include India’s second visit to the Moon through Chandrayaan-2 which will include an orbiter, a lander and a six wheeled rover. India hopes to land on the South Pole of the moon to conduct

experiments on the lunar soil. India also set another global record when in 2014 its satellite Mars bound satellite the Mangalyaan reached the orbit of Mars and India became the first country in the world to succeed in this difficult mission on its maiden attempt. India has its very own purpose built satellite based navigation system a kind of a `desi-GPS’ called ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system. NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system also aids India’s defence forces. The only Indian ever to fly into space has been Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma who flew on a Russian mission in 1984 and he gives a thumbs up to India’s plans of sending astronauts into space using Gaganyaan saying ‘a manned space flight is a natural corollary of every space programme that has attained a level of maturity – a coming of age.’ Towards this the 16,000 strong space agency hopes to use the country’s heaviest launcher, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III or

GSLV Mk-III. This 640 tonne, 43 metre tall rocket also dubbed the `Bahuballi’ and has had three successful flights. This Indian made rocket can launch 10 tonnes into a low earth orbit which will be more than enough to send a crew into space, says ISRO. The Indian made crew module has been made to accommodate a crew of three and it can store provisions to withstand a flight of up to one week in space. For meeting the stiff deadline for Gaganyaan, ISRO has already developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system required for this programme. India makes its space prowess available to the world and has launched 239 satellites for 28 different countries as of October 2018, which includes countries like USA, Canada, UK and Israel. This year scientists from ISRO will train participants from 17 countries the art of making nano-satellites as part of a major global initiative. In 2017 on the advice of Prime Minister

Modi, ISRO launched free of cost the South Asia Satellite, a 2,230 kilogram communications satellite that is aimed to provide satellite based connectivity to India’s neighbours such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. This was a major effort in using space as a diplomatic tool to win friends on Earth. By 2021 in a collaborative venture India and USA will launch the world’s most expensive earth imaging satellite ever to be made at cost of 1.4 billion. The NASAISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) that will be launched from India and it will among other things help track climate change. ISRO is India’s darling and its chairman Sivan says, `failure is not an option’ the ebullient rocket scientist adds that `team ISRO will rise to the challenge to make sure that an Indian is launched into space by 2022.’ (Pallava Bagla follows the space program very closely and is author of the book `Reaching for the Stars: India’s Journey for Mars and Beyond’ published by Bloomsbury. He can be reached at Pallava.bagla@gmail.com or Twitter: @pallavabagla)

Some conceptual underpinnings of Indian Foreign Policy Today

T.C.A. Raghavan

Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Rajpath in usual fervour. He and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman greeted the chief guest and President Ram Nath Kovind. Modi also walked up to and greeted former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Ashok Chakra was awarded to lance naik Nazir Ahmed Wani posthumously in honour of the former militant and later a soldier from Kashmir who

maybe even before that, certainly some of our young boys and girls will unfurl the tricolour in space. With Mangalyaan our scientists have proved their capabilities. I feel proud to announce that very soon as a part of our manned-space mission; we shall be sending an Indian into space. This will be done through the pursuit of our esteemed scientists, and we will proudly find ourselves as the fourth such nation to have launched a successful man space mission.” When India succeeds it will be the fourth country after Russia, USA and China that have independent capabilities to launch humans into space. China joined this select club in 2003 and the first man to be launched in 1961 was Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Neel Armstrong became the first American astronaut to set foot on the moon in 1969. Unlike other nations, India aspires to send a woman as the first astronaut and the human space flight is part of a sustained long term endeavour. Dr K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, says “not far into the future humanity will definitely colonise space and 1.3 billion Indians just can’t be left behind” so as a

A synoptic overview of Indian Foreign Policy from the perspective of early 2019 throws up some broad conceptual themes: neighbourhood first; balancing the continental and the maritime; balancing regional and extra regional powers; consolidating a favourable external environment for domestic economic growth and safeguarding national security. This cocktail of priorities is not substantively new in themselves but each of its themes constantly acquires new characteristics. The recent context to our neighbourhood policy comes from an energized electoral cycle. In South Asia a principal axis of change over the past two years was elections. Elections led to new governments in Nepal in Nov-Dec 2017, Pakistan (July 2018), Maldives (September 2018) and Bhutan (October 2018). In each case electoral verdicts were

unambiguous – this trend most strikingly demonstrated in Bangladesh (December 2018) in favour of the existing ruling party. The year 2019 may also see Presidential elections in Afghanistan and in Sri Lanka. Continuation of the same trends as elsewhere in South Asia would be to the advantage of the region as a whole and certainly be a factor in facilitating strong relations with India. The frailties of the election process were, however, also evident in Afghanistan where results of the Parliamentary election held in October 2018 are still trickling in. How much the security situation erodes normal function of institutions and prevents stability is the obvious takeaway. Alongside the election cycle another institutional factor was that of the judicial process playing a major role. In both Sri Lanka and Maldives the Supreme Courts look firm stands based on constitutional norms and provisions. A contrarian trend was, however, visible in Pakistan. Its Judiciary and legal fraternity had been a strong protagonist of democratic norms just over a decade ago. In 2018 the judiciary, however, appeared bent on being an active and somewhat partisan player in the political milee as it unseated a prime minister and then effectively kept him out of the poll process.

Expanding the lens to include the subcontinent's flanks on the east and the west shows a considerable contrast. Our Act East Policy looks at South East and East Asia and provides a conceptual underpinning for our bilateral and regional initiatives. BIMSTEC and the expanded ASEAN mechanisms and summit processes alongside strong bilateral relationships are institutions that sustain a web of interactions. The other flank comprises the littoral of the Arabian Sea and is a region no less vital for us in terms of trade, investment, remittances and finally as a source of hydrocarbons and a place of employment for large numbers of Indians. As is the case of south east Asia and the Bay of Bengal littoral countries, we have strong bilateral relationships with Iran and all the Gulf countries. The contrast between the two littorals is, however, considerable. While on the east, these are frameworks such as BIMSTEC, the ASEAN and all its ASEAN plus mechanisms that work towards stability, on the west there are none. Intra GCC tensions, rivalries with Iran and poor US-Iran relations are therefore factors that mean balancing by India between different interests is a much more delicate and sensitive process. A broader focus unites both the Bay of Bengal and the

Arabian Sea into the wider maritime framework of the Indo-Pacific. For India its utility lies in the fact that it underscores the growing importance of foreign trade, much of it being sea borne, in our total economic profile. The criticality of openness of oceans and free navigability has therefore expanded greatly for our national interest. The Indo Pacific domain for India unites a number of themes: our traditional links with Africa and other littoral countries of the Indian Ocean, the importance of the western Indian Ocean as it merges into the Pacific and freedom of navigation and trade in all these spaces. Bilateralism, multilateralism, naval diplomacy and economic imperatives all merge together under its rubric. That the Indo Pacific is fundamentally a maritime concept also means the reentry of the maritime into the otherwise largely continental perspectives that have traditionally dominated Indian foreign policy. Obviously there a mix of reasons for this – in particular the changes in our macro economic profile and structure and the emergence of China as a major economic and military player regionally and globally, including in the maritime domain. This focus on the maritime cannot, however, imply any dilution in the continental emphasis of our foreign policy. China, Central Asia, Pakistan

and Afghanistan all fall in this domain and here too both major opportunities and real threats jostle against each other. Full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and adding even more ballast to our traditionally strong relations with Russia provide a platform to maximize opportunity and manage the threats and challenges. How we manage our continental concerns while simultaneously balancing the maritime and continental domains may well prove to be the litmus test for Indian foreign policy in the future. Balancing between major powers is not a new challenge. China's emergent profile, US-China, US-Russia relations and finally our own substantive relationship with each of the three means that such balancing will have a continuously kinetic quality to it as also occupy a high priority in our external policies. The difference in the situation is that in the past balancing was postulated on the premise that keeping South Asia free from great power rivalries was in the region's overall interest. The situation now is that South Asia is more open and a major power in the form of China adjoins it. Balancing has therefore a new character and perhaps even greater criticality. India, however, has challenges and expectations to meet that go far beyond

geopolitics and geo economics. None is more pressing now as that of social development. How we address issues of malnutrition, illiteracy and healthcare falls largely in the domestic domain. To the extent that an external facilitatory environment can be achieved, that will remain a principal objective of Indian foreign policy. Ultimately, however, it is only success on the domestic social development front that can cement India's progress externally. Finally national security and foreign policy. The rise of the terrorist threat from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1990s and post 9/11, the morphing of this threat with a larger global concern with terrorism has since been a near constant feature in our external policies. Developments in the middle east and nearer to us in Afghanistan and Pakistan underline how this will remain a principal challenge. Addressing national security concerns will thus require working with others and building concerts and alliances with the like minded. This is, as it has always been, the traditional domain of diplomacy and foreign policy and must remain one of our principal thrust areas. (T.C.A Raghavan is a former Indian diplomat and currently Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs. The views expressed are personal.)


16 R-DAY SPECIAL

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

R-DAY SPECIAL

2 - 8 February 2019

2 - 8 February 2019

INDIA CELEBRATES REPUBLIC DAY

India’s next Big Dream! Send an Indian into Space on Indian Technology

Pallava Bagla

President Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Chief Guest of the Republic Day, President of the Republic of South Africa, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, at the 70th Republic Day Celebrations. Continued from page 1

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Media, Rt Jeremy Wright MP was the Chief Guest. In Washington DC, Indian-Americans, proudly waving the tricolor, turned up in unprecedented numbers outside the Embassy to celebrate. High Commisioner of India to UK, HE Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam addressing the gathered audience at the evening reception on Monday 28th, that saw hundreds invited, said, “This year India would host 17th Lok Sabha elections. Where 900 mn voters will exercise their franchise. Today India is world's fastest growing economy, with the youngest population in the world. India has excellent growth prospects to unlock its full potential and fulfill the aspirations of its people. India's 70 years of journey is a strong statement of truly inclusive achievements obtained by ever growing number of people working coherently in a harmonious and democratic environment.... “India enjoys close cordial relationship with UK. Our relationship is connected by living bridge made of 'iron' will, 'steel' determination, lasting personal and professional bonds of a large and vibrant Indian diaspora. India-UK relationship draws strength from shared values and commitments to a rulebased international system. We work closely together on bilateral and multilateral forums such as G20 and also the Commonwealth to address local challenges. During the last 3 years, we have exchanged three Prime Ministerial visits and official exchanges.” Speaking about 'India's spirit of partnership' and the role of the High Commission of India to do so, she added, “The High Commission of India will continue its work tirelessly to further consolidate and deepen India-UK hugely beneficial ties as well as serve Indian citizens and people of Indian origin in the most

17

efficient and friendly manner. “The High Commission is bringing its consular services to the doorstep of the Indian diaspora.” The High Commission will be commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 555th birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru Shri Guru Nanak Devji with a series of events. Rt Hon Jeremy Wright, who started his speech in Hindi, went on to say “The links between UK-India are growing stronger. Last year we celebrated UK-India Year of Culture. We are thrilled to be welcoming the Indian cricket team for World Cup this summer. I hope we will have lots of visitors from India. We are also looking forward to visitors from India and all over the world for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022...Recently there has been £8bn worth Indian direct investments in UK...” Emphasising on the relationship between UKIndia, especially the visa issues, he said, “The economic relationship between our countries is a thriving one. I understand that the issue of visas is certainly an important one. Last year, we saw a 33 per cent increase in student visas issued alongside a 10 per cent increase in visitor visas. The UK issued more Tier 2 skilled work visas to India than all the other countries in the world combined.” FCO does not 'condone' flag burning A small group of Khalistan supporters and activists in Kashmiri outfit, gathered outside India House in London on the Republic Day (January 26) burning India's flag and waving placards against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chanting anti-India slogans. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office expressed their regret over the incident, said they do not 'condone' such activities, but added they fiercely 'protected' the right to protest peacefully. The spokesperson in a statement said, “We are

disappointed that anyone would chose to burn the Indian flag on any day, let alone the celebration of Republic Day, and we regret

Rajpath comes alive with the dare devil stunts of motorbike riders of Corps of Military Police

military might and cultural diversity. The parade, led by Lt-General Asit Mistry, GoC, Delhi area, began at 10.15 am, cheered on by foreign dignitaries and the pantheon of Indian politics, from former

HE Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to UK and Chief Guest, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Media, Rt Hon Jeremy Wright at Guild Hall

the upset that this will have caused... "We congratulate India on...Republic Day celebration, and look forward to deepening our relationship further as we prepare to leave the European Union and forge new partnerships with key global allies.” The Metropolitan Police said in a statement said, “On Saturday, 26 January a demonstration took place outside India House in Aldwych, WC2. An appropriate policing plan was in place. "There were no incidents of note and no arrests. No allegations of crime have been reported. We are aware of a social media video that appears to be from the demonstration outside India House in Aldwych on Saturday, 26 January. We are working to establish the exact circumstances of it.” India’s military might, diversity of life on display Over 1,50,000 people gathered at Rajpath to celebrate India’s 70th Republic Day on Saturday. With this year being Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, facets from his life loomed large over the parade, but the nation - and chief guest Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa also saw once again India’s

prime ministers to cabinet ministers and leaders such as Congress president Rahul

died fighting terrorists in his home state of Kashmir. The parade began then, and as a new tradition, the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force contingents were all led by women. Woman power was later accentuated in a show of daredevil stunts by a woman biker from the Corp of Signals. Lines from Rabindranath Tagore’s poems found mention in the parade commentary focused on empowerment of youth and women. With the strength of the armed forces on show, it was perhaps the opportune moment to showcase the newly inducted M777 howitzers and the K9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers. The colourful tableaux from 16 states showcased culture and life in India. The ones related to Gandhi, particular the one created by ministry of power, were well appreciated. It was dedicated to the journey from barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to father of the nation

biofuel in the aircraft participating in the flypast, the 70th Republic Day had a number of firsts. One first that touched the hearts of the crowd was the sight of Indian National Army soldiers, the wizened veterans never having been seen on Rajpath earlier. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi broke traditions by becoming the first woman to lead a male army contingent, that of the Army Service Corp. This was followed by the allwomen contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country, led by Major Khusboo Kanwar. Kanwar is the daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan. Taking part in the parade for the first time, four INA veterans, all over 90 years old, rode in open Army jeeps. were included in the parade. There was also the first-time use of indigenously developed biofuel by the Indian Air Force. Its lead aircraft, AN-32 Sutlej transporter, used fuel

India has a new dream to launch an Indian into space, from Indian soil on an Indian rocket by 2022 which is before the 75th birthday for India’s independence. Work has started in right earnest at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which is expected to deliver this Herculean task in less than 1.4 billion dollars, possibly the cheapest human space flight ever to be undertaken in the world. This confidence and promise comes riding on the repeated successes that the Indian space agency has tasted in the past. Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi, on August 15, 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “we have a dream; our scientists have a dream. We have resolved that by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence or

Lt Bhavana Kasturi becomes first woman to lead an all-men contingent

Mahatma Gandhi. The parade culminated with the Indian Air Force flypast, comprising upgraded aircraft in the traditional vertical Charlie and trishul formations. After the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as usual, strode along Rajpath greeting the children and youngsters lined up along the barricades and waving out to the others. Women marchers, biofuel aircraft steal the show From the all-women marching contingent of Assam Rifles to the use of

produced from the jatropha plant, developed and patented by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial ResearchIndian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun. Every year children honoured with bravery awards rode on elephants at the parade. This year, the children in open roof Gypsy vehicles were not only bravehearts but also innovators, outstanding sports, cultural and social activists, all winners of newly named Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar.

first step an Indian son or daughter will be launched into a low Earth orbit and then to a space station following which human missions to the Moon and Mars will be considered. India already has end-to-end capabilities in space technology, making and launching its own rockets, its own satellites and in the area of application the Indian space agency is considered one of the best. With almost four dozen satellites in orbit, in the Asia Pacific region India is a leader. India has conducted a little over 60 launches from its space port at Sriharikota situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Today ISRO is considered a reliable low cost launcher and in 2017 in a single launch using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) India set a world record of launching a flock of 104 satellites in a single mission. In 2018 India conducted 17 space missions and in 2019 Sivan has promised to undertake 32 missions, which will include India’s second visit to the Moon through Chandrayaan-2 which will include an orbiter, a lander and a six wheeled rover. India hopes to land on the South Pole of the moon to conduct

experiments on the lunar soil. India also set another global record when in 2014 its satellite Mars bound satellite the Mangalyaan reached the orbit of Mars and India became the first country in the world to succeed in this difficult mission on its maiden attempt. India has its very own purpose built satellite based navigation system a kind of a `desi-GPS’ called ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system. NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system also aids India’s defence forces. The only Indian ever to fly into space has been Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma who flew on a Russian mission in 1984 and he gives a thumbs up to India’s plans of sending astronauts into space using Gaganyaan saying ‘a manned space flight is a natural corollary of every space programme that has attained a level of maturity – a coming of age.’ Towards this the 16,000 strong space agency hopes to use the country’s heaviest launcher, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III or

GSLV Mk-III. This 640 tonne, 43 metre tall rocket also dubbed the `Bahuballi’ and has had three successful flights. This Indian made rocket can launch 10 tonnes into a low earth orbit which will be more than enough to send a crew into space, says ISRO. The Indian made crew module has been made to accommodate a crew of three and it can store provisions to withstand a flight of up to one week in space. For meeting the stiff deadline for Gaganyaan, ISRO has already developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system required for this programme. India makes its space prowess available to the world and has launched 239 satellites for 28 different countries as of October 2018, which includes countries like USA, Canada, UK and Israel. This year scientists from ISRO will train participants from 17 countries the art of making nano-satellites as part of a major global initiative. In 2017 on the advice of Prime Minister

Modi, ISRO launched free of cost the South Asia Satellite, a 2,230 kilogram communications satellite that is aimed to provide satellite based connectivity to India’s neighbours such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. This was a major effort in using space as a diplomatic tool to win friends on Earth. By 2021 in a collaborative venture India and USA will launch the world’s most expensive earth imaging satellite ever to be made at cost of 1.4 billion. The NASAISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) that will be launched from India and it will among other things help track climate change. ISRO is India’s darling and its chairman Sivan says, `failure is not an option’ the ebullient rocket scientist adds that `team ISRO will rise to the challenge to make sure that an Indian is launched into space by 2022.’ (Pallava Bagla follows the space program very closely and is author of the book `Reaching for the Stars: India’s Journey for Mars and Beyond’ published by Bloomsbury. He can be reached at Pallava.bagla@gmail.com or Twitter: @pallavabagla)

Some conceptual underpinnings of Indian Foreign Policy Today

T.C.A. Raghavan

Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Rajpath in usual fervour. He and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman greeted the chief guest and President Ram Nath Kovind. Modi also walked up to and greeted former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Ashok Chakra was awarded to lance naik Nazir Ahmed Wani posthumously in honour of the former militant and later a soldier from Kashmir who

maybe even before that, certainly some of our young boys and girls will unfurl the tricolour in space. With Mangalyaan our scientists have proved their capabilities. I feel proud to announce that very soon as a part of our manned-space mission; we shall be sending an Indian into space. This will be done through the pursuit of our esteemed scientists, and we will proudly find ourselves as the fourth such nation to have launched a successful man space mission.” When India succeeds it will be the fourth country after Russia, USA and China that have independent capabilities to launch humans into space. China joined this select club in 2003 and the first man to be launched in 1961 was Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Neel Armstrong became the first American astronaut to set foot on the moon in 1969. Unlike other nations, India aspires to send a woman as the first astronaut and the human space flight is part of a sustained long term endeavour. Dr K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, says “not far into the future humanity will definitely colonise space and 1.3 billion Indians just can’t be left behind” so as a

A synoptic overview of Indian Foreign Policy from the perspective of early 2019 throws up some broad conceptual themes: neighbourhood first; balancing the continental and the maritime; balancing regional and extra regional powers; consolidating a favourable external environment for domestic economic growth and safeguarding national security. This cocktail of priorities is not substantively new in themselves but each of its themes constantly acquires new characteristics. The recent context to our neighbourhood policy comes from an energized electoral cycle. In South Asia a principal axis of change over the past two years was elections. Elections led to new governments in Nepal in Nov-Dec 2017, Pakistan (July 2018), Maldives (September 2018) and Bhutan (October 2018). In each case electoral verdicts were

unambiguous – this trend most strikingly demonstrated in Bangladesh (December 2018) in favour of the existing ruling party. The year 2019 may also see Presidential elections in Afghanistan and in Sri Lanka. Continuation of the same trends as elsewhere in South Asia would be to the advantage of the region as a whole and certainly be a factor in facilitating strong relations with India. The frailties of the election process were, however, also evident in Afghanistan where results of the Parliamentary election held in October 2018 are still trickling in. How much the security situation erodes normal function of institutions and prevents stability is the obvious takeaway. Alongside the election cycle another institutional factor was that of the judicial process playing a major role. In both Sri Lanka and Maldives the Supreme Courts look firm stands based on constitutional norms and provisions. A contrarian trend was, however, visible in Pakistan. Its Judiciary and legal fraternity had been a strong protagonist of democratic norms just over a decade ago. In 2018 the judiciary, however, appeared bent on being an active and somewhat partisan player in the political milee as it unseated a prime minister and then effectively kept him out of the poll process.

Expanding the lens to include the subcontinent's flanks on the east and the west shows a considerable contrast. Our Act East Policy looks at South East and East Asia and provides a conceptual underpinning for our bilateral and regional initiatives. BIMSTEC and the expanded ASEAN mechanisms and summit processes alongside strong bilateral relationships are institutions that sustain a web of interactions. The other flank comprises the littoral of the Arabian Sea and is a region no less vital for us in terms of trade, investment, remittances and finally as a source of hydrocarbons and a place of employment for large numbers of Indians. As is the case of south east Asia and the Bay of Bengal littoral countries, we have strong bilateral relationships with Iran and all the Gulf countries. The contrast between the two littorals is, however, considerable. While on the east, these are frameworks such as BIMSTEC, the ASEAN and all its ASEAN plus mechanisms that work towards stability, on the west there are none. Intra GCC tensions, rivalries with Iran and poor US-Iran relations are therefore factors that mean balancing by India between different interests is a much more delicate and sensitive process. A broader focus unites both the Bay of Bengal and the

Arabian Sea into the wider maritime framework of the Indo-Pacific. For India its utility lies in the fact that it underscores the growing importance of foreign trade, much of it being sea borne, in our total economic profile. The criticality of openness of oceans and free navigability has therefore expanded greatly for our national interest. The Indo Pacific domain for India unites a number of themes: our traditional links with Africa and other littoral countries of the Indian Ocean, the importance of the western Indian Ocean as it merges into the Pacific and freedom of navigation and trade in all these spaces. Bilateralism, multilateralism, naval diplomacy and economic imperatives all merge together under its rubric. That the Indo Pacific is fundamentally a maritime concept also means the reentry of the maritime into the otherwise largely continental perspectives that have traditionally dominated Indian foreign policy. Obviously there a mix of reasons for this – in particular the changes in our macro economic profile and structure and the emergence of China as a major economic and military player regionally and globally, including in the maritime domain. This focus on the maritime cannot, however, imply any dilution in the continental emphasis of our foreign policy. China, Central Asia, Pakistan

and Afghanistan all fall in this domain and here too both major opportunities and real threats jostle against each other. Full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and adding even more ballast to our traditionally strong relations with Russia provide a platform to maximize opportunity and manage the threats and challenges. How we manage our continental concerns while simultaneously balancing the maritime and continental domains may well prove to be the litmus test for Indian foreign policy in the future. Balancing between major powers is not a new challenge. China's emergent profile, US-China, US-Russia relations and finally our own substantive relationship with each of the three means that such balancing will have a continuously kinetic quality to it as also occupy a high priority in our external policies. The difference in the situation is that in the past balancing was postulated on the premise that keeping South Asia free from great power rivalries was in the region's overall interest. The situation now is that South Asia is more open and a major power in the form of China adjoins it. Balancing has therefore a new character and perhaps even greater criticality. India, however, has challenges and expectations to meet that go far beyond

geopolitics and geo economics. None is more pressing now as that of social development. How we address issues of malnutrition, illiteracy and healthcare falls largely in the domestic domain. To the extent that an external facilitatory environment can be achieved, that will remain a principal objective of Indian foreign policy. Ultimately, however, it is only success on the domestic social development front that can cement India's progress externally. Finally national security and foreign policy. The rise of the terrorist threat from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1990s and post 9/11, the morphing of this threat with a larger global concern with terrorism has since been a near constant feature in our external policies. Developments in the middle east and nearer to us in Afghanistan and Pakistan underline how this will remain a principal challenge. Addressing national security concerns will thus require working with others and building concerts and alliances with the like minded. This is, as it has always been, the traditional domain of diplomacy and foreign policy and must remain one of our principal thrust areas. (T.C.A Raghavan is a former Indian diplomat and currently Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs. The views expressed are personal.)


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India-Africa Connect: New Horizons, New Vistas

Manish Chand Africa Day is celebrated across the world on May 25 to mark the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity and the continent’s liberation from imperialism and colonialism. This year, months before the annual commemorative day, a special “Africa Day,” was organised in Gujarat, home of Mahatma Gandhi, on January 19. The Africa Day, held as part of the Vibrant Gujarat annual business conclave, was attended by a host of African ministers and leaders, including AU chair and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. The decision to dedicate a day to an entire continent at a global conclave signalled the rising profile of the resurgent African continent in India’s diplomatic calculus. Interlinked Resurgence The Africa Day function was not a feel-good ceremony, but it symbolised the blossoming of India-Africa partnership that has branched out and bloomed in all areas, specially in the last few years. Intertwining dreams and aspirations of over two billion people of India and Africa, this mutually empowering and enriching partnership

intersects the ongoing resurgence of the twin growth poles of the world. The economic outlook for SubSaharan Africa, home to the world’s fastest growing economies, is getting better by the day. The region is expected to grow at the rate of over 4 per cent at a time of global economic uncertainty, according to the IMF and World Bank. India, separated from Africa by warm waters of the Indian Ocean, has emerged as the world’s sixth largest economy and is currently the world’s fastest growing major economy. This conjoined resurgence, complemented by ideals of South-South cooperation and a shared history of struggle against colonialism and injustice, has translated into a visible intensification of diplomatic outreach and economic diplomacy. Enhanced Diplomatic Outreach Two-way diplomatic interactions between India and Africa have acquired an unprecedented intensity: 29 visits from India to African countries at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister, apart from several Ministerial visits, have taken place in less than five years. Besides hosting the largest gathering of African leaders on the Indian soil at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III), in which 41 Heads of State/Heads of Government participated, India rolled out the red carpet for over 35 leaders from Africa and several ministers in the last four years. India’s diplomatic footprints in a rising continent are set to

expand with the government’s decision to open 18 new Embassies and High Commissions in Africa in the next few years, which will take the number of Indian Missions in the continent to 47. The first of these Missions has already been opened in Rwanda last year. Business Bonding Enhanced diplomatic outreach has dovetailed with growing economic synergies. Afro-optimism is the dominant sentiment among the Indian business community looking for new opportunities to invest in the continent. Propelled by economic and governance reforms, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have emerged as investment hubs, exhibiting enhanced ease of doing business. The signing of the historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement in March last year promises to be a gamechanger in spurring economic integration and transforming fortunes of the entire continent. Aided by these positive trends, India- Africa bilateral trade reached $62.66 billion in 2017-18, marking an increase of nearly 22% over the previous year. India is now ranked as the third largest export destination in Africa. India’s Duty-Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for Least Developed Countries has extended duty-free access to 98.2% of the country’s total tariff lines, with 38 African countries now enjoy the benefits of our DFTP Scheme. Indian investment in Africa have shown an ascending curve, with India emerging as the 5th largest

investor in Africa with cumulative investments of US$ 54 billion. Indian investments span diverse sectors, including telecommunication, hydrocarbon, exploration, agriculture, Education, petroleum refining and retail, IT services, chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals and automobiles. Development Partnership Animated by ideals of South-South cooperation, development cooperation remains the cornerstone of the India-Africa partnership. India has anchored its development partnership with Africa on the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. “We take pride in our model of cooperation with Africa which is demand-driven, consultative, participative, involves local resources, builds capacity and is based on Africa’s own prioritisation of its needs,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the Africa Day celebrations in Ahmedabad on January 19. At IAFS-III, India pledged $10 billion in Lines of Credit for diverse development projects across the continent. Currently, 189 projects in 42 African countries for nearly USD 11.4 billion are being implemented under Indian LoCs. These projects, encompassing a wide array of areas such as power generation and distribution, water related projects, especially in rural areas, agriculture, irrigation, railways, sugar plants, infrastructure and ICT, are transforming lives of people in Africa in myriad ways.

UN Peacekeeping: India’s Contributions

Asoke Kumar Mukerji India’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs) have been underscored by the experience and professionalism of India’s armed forces. Speaking at the September 2015 Leaders’ Summit in New York on UN Peacekeeping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said: “The foundations of the United Nations were laid by the brave soldiers on the battlefields of the Second World War. By 1945, they included 2.5 million men of the Indian Army, the largest volunteer force in history.” India today is the largest contributor of troops to UNPKOs. More than 200,000 Indian troops have served in 49 of the 71 UNPKOs deployed so far. As an “original” foundermember of the United Nations, India has not

hesitated to respond to the calls of the UN to contribute troops for maintaining international peace and security. In 1950, soon after India’s independence, the 60 Parachute Field Ambulance of the Indian Army was sent to provide medical cover to US/ROK and UN forces engaged in the Korean War. The unit served in Korea for a total of three and a half years (November 1950- May 1954), the longest single tenure by any military unit under the UN flag. From 15, November 1956 to 19, May 1967, 11 infantry battalions from India served by rotation in the UN Emergency Force (UNEF 1) to ensure the withdrawal of France, UK and Israel from Egyptian territory and to sustain the peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours. A total number 27 Indian UN peacekeepers lost their lives in this operation. In 1960, the Congo requested for deployment of UN peacekeepers to counter secession and re-integrate the country after Belgian rule.Between 14 July 1960 and 30 June 1964, two Indian brigades participated in ONUC UNPKO. The rules of

engagement were modified to cater for use of force in defence of the mandate, in carrying out humanitarian tasks, and in countering mercenaries. 39 Indian personnel lost their lives in the operation. Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria became the only UN peacekeeper to receive the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest military award, for laying down his life in defence of the UN mandate in the Congo. India’s participation in the initial UNPKOs resulted in a growing pool of Indian military officers seconded to the UN whose professionalism and experience have contributed to UN peacekeeping doctrine. The contribution of MajorGeneral I.J. Rikhye, appointed as the first Military Adviser to the UN Secretary General between 1960-1967, was seminal in this context. Subsequent contributions to UN peacekeeping doctrine by Indian military officers have built on this, both at UN Headquarters (where two Indian Generals have served as Military Advisers in recent years) and in the field (where 15 Indian Generals have acted

as Force Commanders with distinction). The first area is in making use of UN peacekeeping across the world to ensure a political transition to peace. Such UNPKOs include UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia, whose first Force Commander was India’s Lt. General Satish Nambiar; UNTAC in Cambodia; ONUSAL in El Salvador; ONUMOZ in Mozambique; UNOSOM in Somalia; UNAVEM in Angola; UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone; UNMEE in Ethiopia-Eritrea; and UNMIT in East Timor. The second area is in augmenting peace building activities by encouraging and mentoring the strengthening of national governance institutions. UNTAG saw Indian peacekeepers assist in the creation of the institutions of an independent Namibia. India became the first country to demonstrate the effectiveness of women as UN peacekeepers in peace building with the deployment of the first all-female formed police unit (FFPU) to the UNPKO in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2007. When UNMIL was wound up in February 2018, President Sirleaf of Liberia

New Vistas Clean & Green is set to be the new mantra of IndiaAfrica partnership. The sun is shining on the fortunes of India and Africa, both literally and metaphorically. And green is the new mantra of this shared quest for green growth and sustainable development. In this context, the growing India-Africa partnership in solar energy through the International Solar Alliance has paved the way for forging a multifaceted green partnership which is set to enhance the quality of life people lead in India and Africa. Blue Economy is another promising area of partnership between India and African countries. As India and Africa raise the ambition for their partnership, promoting regional connectivity and integration will be a gamechanger. Africa Asia Growth Corridor is an idea, whose time has come, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said. Both India and Japan, which are partnering in AAGC, have unveiled a series of steps to implement this defining corridor, which aligns with Africa’s vision of its own resurgence, as encapsulated in African Agenda 2063. The Way Ahead Going forward, the IndiaAfrica partnership will dovetail with African Agenda 2063 that encapsulates the essence of Africa-driven and Africa-owned resurgence. India, as a committed partner of Africa, will do everything possible to spur the realisation of African Development Bank’s High 5s: “Light up and

power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.” In the final reckoning, the success of India-Africa partnership will be measured by the scale and skill with which it visibly transforms people’s lives. Outlining 10 principles of engagement with Africa, Prime Minister Modi, in his address to the Ugandan parliament, said memorably that the overarching thrust of India’s partnership will be on liberating African potential and not constraining African future. In the end, it’s not just commerce and geopolitical calculations that will propel India-Africa relations. Transactional relations, after all, have limitations. IndiaAfrica relations, in many ways, are special as they are rooted in connections of heart and mind that go back centuries. The Mahatma-Madiba connect serves as a robust foundation for India-Africa partnership that has acquired a new momentum amid a shifting world order. The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 100th birth anniversary of the iconic African leader Nelson Mandela is a reminder that shared civilizational values will continue to provide spiritual fuel to power IndiaAfrica partnership to new heights. (Manish Chand is Editorin-Chief of India and World and India Writes Network. He has authored and edited many books on India-Africa relations, including Two Billion Dreams)

commented: “The contribution you have made in inspiring Liberian women, imparting in them the spirit of professionalism and encouraging them to join operations that protect the nation, for that we will always be grateful.” The third area is in leading the ground level response to new challenges, while the UN Security Council remains ineffective in implementing its decisions, due to reasons set out unanimously by world leaders at the 2005 UN World Summit which mandated reforms of the Security Council. The protection of civilians caught in intra-state conflicts is one issue where India’s UN peacekeepers have made a positive difference, especially in complex UNPKOs like MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo and UNMISS in South Sudan. Going beyond the call of duty, Indian UN peacekeepers have volunteered medical services, including veterinary support, and engineering services, in these UNPKOs, which has contributed to sustaining the livelihood of conflictimpacted local communities. The challenges faced by India’s troops contributed to UNPKOs today include

terrorist threats to the UN by non-state actors. In UNDOF, deployed on the Golan Heights of Syria, Indian UN military officers were the first to confront such challenges by the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group which took UN peacekeepers hostage in 2014. A bigger challenge for troop-contributing countries like India is the denial by the permanent members of the Security Council to participate in “decisions of the Security Council” concerning the deployment of her troops, as provided for in Article 44 of the UN Charter. A total 3,802 troops from UN member-states have given their lives defending the UN Charter between 1948-2018. The highest number (164) are from India. India has launched a virtual wall of remembrance for her peacekeepers. The UN General Assembly has approved constructing a Memorial to all fallen UN peacekeepers. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized: “It would be most fitting if the proposed memorial wall to the fallen peacekeepers is created quickly.” (Asoke Kumar Mukerji is Ambassador (Retd.) Former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations)


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2 - 8 February 2019

TO GAIN OR NOT TO GAIN?

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap London Property Investment

The current environment is extremely tight in terms of taxation. Gone are the days of creative taxation strategies and stamp duty mitigation schemes.

but the Net Gain, i.e. how much actually goes into your pocket. Even in the scenario of buying a single BTL property the structure needs to be thought out.

We have come across a few clients who have used these schemes in the past. The traumatic experience of the aftermath has left them as deeply scarred and bitter individuals.

One such diamond is Entrepreneurs’ Relief, which you may qualify for when you’re selling the shares of a company after holding them for more than a year. This does not apply to the asset itself but to the company holding the asset. The company is known as a Special Purpose Vehicle or SPV for short.

Of course, now they would not touch any scheme with a barge pole. It’s not just the scheme which gets investigated, but your whole affairs. The laws are arranged so that even if you comply with the letter of the law but not the spirit you can be held to task. Now there is a difference between such ‘schemes’ and government offered relief; legitimate in letter and spirit. There are a few gems in the current environment which often go unnoticed, mostly due to lack of proper and holistic advice from the outset. Instead you have a reactionary response as the deal progresses and fructifies; the problem is you cannot unwind past events. Now, it is not the gain you must consider from investing in property,

This is particularly useful for when you purchase an asset, get the planning and then sell on. The tax you will pay on disposal of the shares which own the underlying asset is only 10%. There are some administrative rules which one needs to comply with, but nothing prohibitive. The bottom line is under the current UK taxation environment one can still make a capital gain and only pay 10% in tax subject to the criteria being met. Another gem is the EIS, which stands for Enterprise Investment Scheme. There are some very interesting benefits with this scheme. In essence, you’re able to invest in a company and have your down side almost fully protected, by

offsetting them against current and future tax liabilities. You will need to hold the shares for at least three years to qualify for the tax breaks, but the gains you will make will be totally tax free, even better than the last one. There are also some interesting savings to be made around stamp duty. No schemes, but using the existing legislation. Though the legislation is available in plain sight it is little known. We have used them for clients, and both times we had a job in educating the solicitor involved. One relief is the multiple dwelling relief. This is applicable when you purchase a freehold building with multiple units in there. You do not pay tax on the price you purchase at but on the rate applicable to the average price of the unit. In one situation this saved our client £44,000 in stamp duty, where ordinarily the solicitor would have requested the client to pay it. Currently, we have a couple of deals on the table for which the above schemes can be used for. So, you can benefit from the Entrepreneurs’ Relief and EIS. Remember it is the Net Gain you need to keep your eye on and not what you appear to make.

ONE CENTIMETRE CUBED FOR CHOICE, OPPORTUNITY AND DESTINY There is a highly regarded book called “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castaneda. It is about a man of knowledge and how, once he has realised certain universal truths within himself, he can never return to his previous state of consciousness. Castaneda describes how everyone, at various moments in their lives, is presented with “one centimetre cubed” of choice in front of him/her. Think of it like a distinct moment in space and time when the person is presented with an opportunity

that may irrevocably change his/her life forever.

our mind so loud that all outside signals are not noticed?

It could be a business, family or romantic event, a seemingly random conversation.

My observation is that if we are going to be able to be aware of this one-centimetre cube vortex of destiny then we need to:

The point is that life altering events do not necessarily get presented with alerts or flashing lights. How awake are we to our lives? How much are we listening to our environment around us or are we blocked off from the world with the radio station of

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY London, NW1 Purchase price: £340K

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1. Be self-aware of our unique nature and at ease with it.

opportunities for our personal growth.

2. Be present to all that is around us and undistracted.

Our job is to cultivate this state of living. Is it this that sets apart the likes of Jobs, Musk, Bezos and Neumann?

3. Have faith in a Higher Power or Universal Force greater than ourselves that is presenting

Abraham Goldberg

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: How do I ensure the shared spaces in my HMO are kept clean? A: If you have an HMO you may know the struggle of keeping the common areas in good condition, as whenever you find them in poor condition, you will find that the mess is always someone else’s! Nobody will accept responsibility. Now, unless you have amazing tenants that look after the shared areas without being asked to, which is not very common, the best way to deal with this situation is to make them your responsibility from the very start. I would recommend that you have the property cleaned weekly (professional cleaner recommended), on the same day each week. You should ask the cleaner to feedback the condition of the property to you every week. I would recommend that you also have a sign off sheet which your cleaner should sign at the property after each visit, so you know they have been and what areas have been cleaned. This would also serve as a great visual reminder for the tenants to keep these areas clean. Always ensure your property is kept to a high standard of cleanliness, as you want to avoid rats or mice making themselves at home; otherwise you will have a whole new problem to contend with. If you need any other HMO or BTL property guidance, please do get in touch. Richard Bond

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Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, It’s Your Financial Independence Too That Matters, We just celebrated Indian Republic Day. But freedom is also about financial freedom. Even more so, at a time when Parliament continues fighting over an uncertain Brexit this week. I created the Financial Voice section of this paper many years ago because I know as a community that we are very savvy when it comes to money. I also wanted our readers, our community, to be financially independent. When we speak of Indian Independence, there is no independence for a country or a citizen without wealth, or at least income. I felt a community, campaigning paper of such importance should have a vehicle for its advertisers that was as relevant to its audience as is the financial content. I want our community to be financially literate and strong – not just our accountants and investment bankers, but young and old too in all fields or at school or retired. Financial literacy, financial education is so very important to me that my very first book was written specifically for the Indian community. My dedication to ensuring the community is financially literate then became a mainstream crusade as I started a weekly Financial Times column and Bloomberg TV show. After all, are our needs any different to those from that of the mainstream? We may, of course, have a heavy gold portfolio, but are we otherwise different? Sure, we may save more than most, but that is just a sub-group of the mainstream. So, after all these years what is the best advice I could give my community in the best traditions of a campaigning newspaper – in this case campaigning for the best financial education and literacy in our community? First, teach your children about stocks and finance from a young age. Schools will not do this. Our schools are poor educators of finance. I have been asked to speak at Eton College on financial literacy – I want the readers of this paper to have the wisdom Eton College is going to get from me. Second, give them some money – even just £100 – and let them invest it through an online account – in shares. Nothing will increase their appetite to learn, than doing. They will be excited, intrigued, fascinated and teach themselves better than you ever could. I write this from outside the BBC. With my aunt, after I appeared on air talking about the markets. My aunt was the one many years ago who gave me one hundred pounds to buy shares. I actually bought bonds. Thanks Saku Auntie. Dividends paid. Third, teach them about the differences between assets – between bonds, and stocks and index trackers and commodities and what is diversification and why it is good, and when it fails. Fourth, teach them why clever people recommend index trackers and Exchange Traded Funds over individual stock picks. Fifth, teach them why fund managers although experts should not be revered as better than a ten-yearold child when it comes to performing well on the stock market. Some of my favourite sites: www.propertypartner.co, www.pensionbee.com , nutmeg.com, ishares.com and of course tradingchampions.com Finally, give them the confidence in finance that they are the experts because in finance there are no experts. If there were experts then there would never have been a credit crunch or economic cycles and crashes. There are guesses with imperfect information and many people swimming without trunks – who will be in trouble when the tide goes out! www.trading-champions.com Alpesh Patel Her Majesty’s Government’s Dealmaker For a free online trading course visit www.alpeshpatel.com

JLR to halt production for a week Britain's biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is all set to halt production at its UK plants in April due to potential disruption caused by Brexit. The firm, which has previously warned about the impact of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, will pause work at three of its UK plants. JLR employs just under 39,000 workers at sites including Castle Bromwich, Solihull, and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands and Halewood on Merseyside.

Retailers warn of disruption in food supplies over no-deal Brexit Leading retail bosses have written to the government warning of significant disruption to food supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The letter that was sent from the British Retail Consortium, also warns that grocery prices are likely to rise, as nearly a third of the food eaten in Britain comes from the EU and would subject to import tariffs if the UK exits without a trade deal in place. It said, “We are extremely concerned that our customers will be among the first to experience the realities of a no-deal Brexit.” The letter is signed by the retail trade body and 10 leading store bosses, including Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe, Asda chief executive Roger Burnley, Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe, as well as

the Co-op, Waitrose, Costcutter, KFC UK, Pret a Manger, Lidl and McDonald's. “We anticipate significant risks to maintaining the choice, quality and durability of food that our customers have come to expect in our stores, and there will be inevitable pressure on food prices from

higher transport costs, currency devaluation and tariffs,” they said. The letter came a day before another crucial day in parliament, as MPs vote on a series of amendments to Theresa May's Brexit plan. They expressed particular concern about fresh foods, saying it is “impossible” to stockpile fresh produce, such as salad leaves and fresh fruit. The retail bosses said retailers typically store no more than two weeks' stock. They said that “as prudent businesses” they are stockpiling in order to be prepared for no deal but with frozen and chilled storages nearing capacity, there is

very little general warehousing space available in the UK. The letter said, “While we have been working closely with our suppliers on contingency plans, it is not possible to mitigate all the risks to our supply chains and we fear disruption in the short-term as a result if there is no Brexit deal.” It has also warned of “major disruption” at Calais, a key route for food imports to the UK, potentially reducing freight trade by nearly 90 per cent as the French government has said it will enforce sanitary and customs checks on exports from the EU, which will cause long delays. “For consumers, this will reduce the availability and shelf life of many products in our stores.”

PNB’s UK subsidiary loses £41.6 mn fraud case The UK subsidiary of Punjab National Bank (PNB) has lost a £41.6 million case in the high court in which the judge blasted the bank for making a fraudulent misrepresentation claim against nine recipients of its loans that “was so abstract it was totally inadequate”. Chief Master Marsh ruled that the UK was not the correct jurisdiction for the case, revoked permission for extending the period of service of the claim form, meaning that the stateowned bank can no longer bring any claim against the nine defendants in the UK. PNB (International), which has seven branches in the UK, was suing five Indians residing in Chennai, one

American in the US; and three companies including Pesco Beam in both the US and India, and US-based Trishe Resources in London claiming they fraudulently misled the bank to lend them tens of millions of dollars for oil re-refining and wind energy projects in the US and also claiming breach of contract stating they had not repaid the loans. The loans

were extended between March 29, 2011 and December 1, 2014. Marsh, in his judgment referred to a “catalogue of procedural failings” by the banks. He blasted the bank for not admitting to the court that it had concurrent proceedings against some of the defendants in South Carolina in the US and in Chennai. He said, “The failure to draw to the attention of the court the existence of the foreign claims was a serious breach of the claimant’s duty to the court... and a material breach of the claimant’s duty of frankness.” He added, “The claimant incorrectly certified

that there are no claims pending before any court of law or any other authority.” He also slammed the bank's pleadings, saying, “It is literally impossible for any of the defendants to this claim to know what case in deceit they have to meet. The particulars of claim fail to meet the minimum requirements that are essential. They are beyond prolix and wholly unspecific. The letters of claim were completely inadequate. There is no good reason why those defendants should be sued in this jurisdiction as well as in the US or India. All the more so in the light of the weakness of the claim in deceit and for misrepresentation.”

Thousands of jobs at risk as Tesco plans cost-cutting UK's Tesco is currently embarking on a fresh round of aggressive cost-cutting in its supermarket business that could eliminate thousands of jobs and its instore Deli counters. Their latest plan reportedly involves the closure of meat, fish, and delicatessen counters as well as downgrading in-store bakeries. Staff canteens are also to be replaced with vending machines, with suggestions of up to 15,000 jobs at risk. The cuts are part of a plan to slash £1.5bn from Tesco's cost base as chief executive Dave Lewis tries to rebuild profits which have never recovered from the 2014 accounting scandal. The report suggested some counters would close while others would have opening hours cut. The plans would affect most of

Tesco's 732 largest stores. Since Lewis took over in 2014, there have been successive rounds of job cuts. This time last year, 1,700 employees were affected when the retailer stripped out a layer of middle management. It also closed its Cardiff call centre with a loss of 1,100 jobs. With over 300,000 UK employees and more than 3,400 stores, Tesco is the UK's biggest private sector

employer but its business model is under attack from the fast-growing German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Bryan Roberts, global insights director at research firm TCC Global, said getting rid of Extras such as deli counters would “alienate” some shoppers and remove a key point of difference with the discounters. “These counters don't contribute a lot to sales but the shoppers who do use

them typically spend more and are more loyal. It's part of the aura of being a fresh food grocer and you lose something if you take them away.” Last year, Tesco launched new discount chain Jack's in a bid to stem the flow of stoppers to cheaper rivals but sales figures from the key Christmas period revealed massive changes in shopping habits has taken place in the UK with two-thirds of households heading to Aldi or Lidle for some festive fare. Tesco could also lose its market leadership this year if the competition watchdog approves Sainsbury's plan to buy Asda. Tesco said, “We're always looking at ways to run our business more simply and efficiently. Whenever we make changes in our business, colleagues are always the first to know.”


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2 - 8 February 2019

in brief NUMBER OF TOP BANKERS UNDER CBI SCANNER NOW

Following the filing of an FIR against former ICICI bank chief Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and industrialist Venugopal Dhoot of cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy, the CBI has extended the probe to other former top bankers in connection with loan sanctioned during their tenure in the bank. The agency has named eight former members of ICICI Bank’s committees that cleared loans to Videocon and its group companies. The list of those who “may also be investigated” includes former bank chief K V Kamath, current ICICI Bank MD & CEO Sandeep Bakshi, Standard Chartered Bank India’s CEO Zarin Daruwala and Goldman Sachs India head Sonjoy Chatterjee. While some of those named by the CBI were with ICICI Bank for the entire period in question, a few such as Chatterjee and Bakshi had left in April and July 2010, respectively. Homi Khusrokhan, a former Tata group top boss, was also on the list. He was an independent director at ICICI Bank.

INDIA TO REMAIN FASTEST-GROWING ECONOMY IN 2019 & 20: UN

According to the UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019, India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 7.6 per cent in 2019-20 from an estimated 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 2019. The growth rate may come down to 7.4 per cent a year later. In the case of China, the growth is estimated to decelerate to 6.3 per cent in 2019 from 6.6 per cent in 2018. It may further go down to 6.2 per cent in 2020. “Growth (in India) continues to be underpinned by robust private consumption, a more expansionary fiscal stance and benefits from previous reforms. “Yet, a more robust and sustained recovery of private investment remains crucial to lift the medium-term growth,” WESP report said. The report further said the global economy would continue to grow at a steady pace of around 3 per cent in 2019 and 2020 amid signs that global growth has peaked.

VODAFONE IDEA SET TO RAISE £2.5 BN THROUGH RIGHTS ISSUE

Vodafone Idea has proposed to raise 2.5 billion pound through a rights issue in a move aimed at consolidating its position and taking on Reliance Jio Infocomm. Based on the recommendations of the company’s capital raising committee, Vodafone said the board of the company “considered and approved the offer and issue of fully paid-up and/or partly-paid up equity shares and/or other securities convertible into equity shares of the company, including but not limited to, compulsorily convertible debentures, for an amount aggregating up to £2.5 billion, by way of a rights issue to existing eligible equity shareholders of the company.” The promoter shareholders - Vodafone group and Aditya Birla group - have re-iterated to the board that they intend to contribute up to £1.1 billion and up to £725 million respectively as part of such rights issue, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

India to surpass China in economic size, says Rajan Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said that India would eventually surpass China in economic size and would be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries. Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Rajan said Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China. Speaking at the World Economic Forum annual meeting 2019, Rajan said, “Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter balance to India in the region. India will become bigger

Raghuram Rajan

than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the

region and it will benefit for sure.” The comments come at a time when China is working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region, including in Nepal and in Pakistan. India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion in 2017, while China was the second largest with a GDP of $12.23 trillion, according data provided by the World Bank. At the same session, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China and India as reasons for his country's economic growth. Rajan said there is an opportunity to create regional companies, and cited as an example that someone can just

study how people in South Asia borrow and that would be great insight for banks. Besides Free Trade Agreement (FTA), there is a lot of scope for work to be done. He added, apart from business, social sector can be another way and we can have more sharing of students across the region. Noting that people movement, and especially youth going to another country, can have a strong impact, Rajan said that India is the largest country in the region and it must play the role it needs to play. There are many places where India has funded the process, but a lot more can be done, including on trade side, so that tariffs can come down, he noted.

Now SBI chases Mehul Choksi for £40.5 mn loan default The State Bank of India (SBI) has moved to recover loan outstandings of £40.5 million from absconding diamantaire Mehul Choksi, his family and companies. This is the first time the country's biggest bank exposure has been revealed in the case involving Choksi, who is among the prime accused in the £1.35 billion fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB). Significantly, the developments came two days after it became clear that Choksi had surrendered his Indian citizenship in favour of the nationality of Antigua & Barbuda Isle in the West Indies. Also accused in the PNB scam are diamantaire and Choksi's nephew Nirav Modi, several of their family members, several retired and serving employees, top PNB executives and officials. In a prominent media notice, the SBI has

Mehul Choksi

demanded repayment of the loan amount sanctioned against various assets in Mumbai, Raigad, Nashik, and Hyderabad belonging to Choksi, his family and group companies. These include residential and commercial premises with multiple parking spaces, plus several plots of land in Maharashtra and Telangana, standing in their names. The SBI has already served notices to

them at their “last known addresses” as on December 31, 2018, under Section 13(2) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets & Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002. However, the notices returned undelivered. The loan amount, described as a 'Working Capital Facility', was extended to Gitanjali Gems Ltd, Bandra Kurla Complex, Gemplus Division at Andheri East, premises in Bharat Diamond Bourse, a property in Santacruz and a plot in Maheshwaram Mandal in Rangareddy district of Telangana. The SBI said that in order to avail the loan amount, the borrowers (above) had pledged shares and mortgages various properties on 'pari passu basis'. The assets include properties in Cumballa Hill, Bandra Kurla Complex, Andheri, 27 plots measuring a

Indian IT companies expands market share in global banking services Indian IT services companies are winning a bigger share of the outsourcing by the banking financial services and insurance (BFSI) vertical, indicating the companies are managing to win the confidence of customers even in the new digital world. Data from IT outsourcing advisory Everest Group shows that the Indian service provider group (including TCS, Cognizant, Infosys, HCL Technologies, and Wipro) gained a market share of 1.5-2 per cent over the global service provider group (including Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, CGI, DXC Technology, IBM, and NTT Data) between 2016 and 2018. The former now is estimated to have a market share of 42 per cent and the latter 58 per cent. Recent commentaries from TCS, Infosys, and Wipro too suggest that the companies are making significant gains in the banking sector in North

America. BFSI is by far the biggest vertical for IT services companies, accounting in many cases for 30 per cent or more of total revenue. The industry had significantly slowed down on IT spending for about two years, as they dealt with various regulatory issues. The outsourcing has now once again picked up smartly. Over $15 billion of BFSI contracts are up for renewal this year, and a lot more of discretionary spends are expected. Indian service providers are expected to get a good part of this. Phil Fersht, of IT consultancy HfS Research said, “Indianheritage IT services majors are continuing to increase their wallet share at the expense of IBM, DXC and others, due to strong execution capabilities, aggressive pricing and a genuine empathy from IT leaders to working with Indian firms, which has been 20 years in the

making. Also, we see firms like TCS, Wipro and Infosys prepared to take more risks to win clients over and also take more complex projects, and commit to outcomes.” Practice Director at Everest Group, Ronal Doshi said the centre of this shift to Indian service providers is the fundamental war for talent, as BFSI enterprises need a talent alternative at speed and scale. He said, “Investments in building this scaled talent pool helped the India pure-play service provider group to bounce back in 2018. With the exception of Capgemini and Accenture, the rest of the global players are not keeping up with their competition to make these investments, leading to wallet share shifts.” He expects the number of deal signings (volume) to go up in 2019, but said that the size of deals (average total contract value) is on the decline.

total 9.60 hectares in Panvel, Raigad, 42 big and small plots of land in Balwant Nagar, Nashik. In Telangana, a total of 38.51 hectares of land in two plots situated in Rangateddy district are named. Choksi is shown as a guarantor for the 12-odd defaulter loan accounts, Priti Choksi and the late Guniyal Choksi are two security providers, all residing in Gokul Apartments, Malabar Hill. Other companies include Decent Securities and Finance Ltd, Decent Investment and Finance Ltd, and Nashik Multi Services Ltd, all located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and the Hyderabad Gems SEZ Ltd, Telangana. The SBI has warned them to repay their outstanding dues within 60 days failing which the bank would proceed against them vis-a-vis the securities provided to recover the full dues.

Chanda Kochhar, her husband and Dhoot booked Former ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, husband Deepak and Videocon Group MD Venugopal Dhoot have been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last week over charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating in a case linked to irregularities in loans. The case pertains to alleged transactions between Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd, controlled by Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhootcontrolled Videocon Group. The FIR filed by CBI alleges that the accused sanctioned certain loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI. Nupower Renewables Ltd (NRL), Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL), Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) have also been named in the FIR under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating).


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Kamala Harris kicks off 2020 presidential campaign WASHINGTON: Indian American Senator Kamala Harris has officially kicked off her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination at a rally where she warned that the US and the world were at "an inflection point" in history and called on all Americans to "speak the truth about what's happening". Harris announced her official bid to run for President in 2020 on January 21. Before a crowd of more than 20,000 people in her hometown Oakland, Harris threaded together a biography from her years in the Bay Area with her work as a prosecutor and a senator, and set those details against a broader populist vision about "running to be President of the people, by the people and for all people." "We are at an inflection point in the history of

Kamala Harris

our nation. We are here because the American dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before... When we have leaders who bully and attack a free press and undermine our democratic institutions, that's not our America."

Harris, 54, who became the first Indian American and the second black woman to serve in the US Senate when she took office in 2017, has joined the most diverse field of Democratic candidates in history for the presidential bid. During her 35minute speech, she also discussed racism, police shootings and the impact of police brutality. "Too many unarmed black men and women are killed in America. Too many black and brown Americans are being locked up," the Senator said. "Our criminal justice system needs drastic repair. Let's speak that truth." Harris framed her campaign as a response to President Donald Trump, highlighting how he has divided the country and attempting to make the case that she would unite it. "People in power are

trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other," she said. "But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That's not our America. You see, our United States of America is not about us versus them. It's about 'we, the people'." She mocked Trump's foreign policy, saying: "We have foreign powers infecting the White House like malware." The Senator pledged that if she is elected President, she "will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. And I will tell the truth." Harris will have to first win the Democratic Party nomination next year battling several candidates, including Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to Congress, Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Sikh separatists raise Khalistan slogans, hold protest in US WASHINGTON: A small group of Sikh separatists held a protest in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington during which they tried to burn the tricolour on the Republic Day, a move slammed by local Sikh community. Organized by New York-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the protesters raised "Khalistan Zindabad" slogans and tried to burn the Indian flag in presence of the local Pakistani media. However, the SFJ supporters were outnumbered by IndianAmericans raising Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai slogans with Indian flags flying high in their hand. With passions running high between Indian-Americans and protesters, local law enforcement officials had warned against any attempt to burn the Indian flag. In fact, they sought additional security personnel as the standoff continued. A group of mounted police were seen standing a few blocks away. It was some tense moments

Shikh separatists holding demonstration in Washington

for the local law enforcement officials as the two groups were standing face-to-face in a park just across the road from the Indian embassy in Washington. The standoff lasted for about two hours after which the protesters were forced by the local police to move across the road. SFJ slammed "Such theatrical protests like flag burning are detrimental to the peace loving and harmony enhancing Sikh community everywhere," Jasse Singh and Kamaljit Singh Soni, the

chairman and the president, respectively, of the Sikhs of America said in a joint statement. "I am disturbed and concerned that a chosen few can build a narrative about the Sikh community in USA which will be viewed by the whole world," said Puneet Ahluwalia, an Indian American leader from Virginia. "I will not stand for these forces to develop a misguided narrative with US leadership and public, besides polarizing the already sensitivities towards minorities in India," he said.

In a statement, American Hindu Coalition (AHC) expressed deep dismay at SFJ's attempt to burn the Indian flag. "The intent of flag burning is also an immense affront to the largest democracy on the earth and causing huge grief to American Hindus," said Harsh Sethi, the AHC president, who has a Sikh inheritance. Ravi Batra, an Indian-American attorney from NY, too expressed his concern. "What SFJ - an American-born and accredited entity is seeking to do, however is to burn the flag of another nation - and here is the critical part - as part of a campaign, allegedly, as an unregistered foreign agent engaging in terrorist activities in India," Batra noted. Meanwhile, the Twitter account of the SFJ has been suspended by the social media company. "Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules," meaning, Twitter probably has suspended the account for running hate campaign against India.

Over a dozen Indian American kids named finalists in Regeneron science talent search CALIFORNIA: Over a dozen Indian American students were among 40 finalists named by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Society for Science & the Public in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition is one of the America's oldest and most prestigious science and math competitions for high school seniors. Finalists were selected from a pool of nearly 2,000 highly qualified entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and extensive application process. Following are Indian finalists: Ayush Alag

of The Harker School in San Jose, California; Anjali Chadha of duPont Manual Magnet High School in Louisville; Navami Jain of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics; Aayush Karan of University School of Milwaukee

in Wisconsin. Ananya Karthik of Mountain View, Calif.-based St. Francis High School; Preeti Krishnamani of Charter School of Wilmington in Delaware; Chirag Kumar of Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, N.Y.; Varun Kumar of Hackensack, N.J.-based Bergen County Academies; Eish Maheshwari of Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Ronak Roy of Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, Calif.; Eshika Saxena of Interlake High School in Bellevue, Wash.; Ruhi Sayana of The Harker School in San Jose; Aditi Singh of Horace

Greeley High School, Chappaqua, N.Y.; Amol Singh of San Jose, Calif.-based Lynbrook High School and Madhav Subramanian of Jericho Senior High School in New York. The finalists will travel to Washington, DC from March 713, where they will undergo a scrupulous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2019 winners will be announced March 12.

in brief INDIAN ‘FORTUNE TELLER’ HELD FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT

A 31-year-old Indian man purporting to be a “fortune teller” has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Australia, a media report said. Arjun Muniyappa was arrested at Sydney International Airport after he tried to board a plane to Singapore, police sources said. Muniyappa approached the 14-year-old girl and offered her free fortune telling services before sexually assaulting her, the report added. He is self-proclaimed fortune teller working from an astrology centre. He was arrested and charged with two counts of intentionally sexually touching a child under 16, and three counts of aggravated sexual assault against a victim under the age of 16.

NAWAZ SHIFTED TO HOSPITAL FOR MEDICAL EXAMINATION

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been shifted to Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) as he was unwell. According to reports, the chief executive PIC will conduct the medical examination of Nawaz. He is expected to undergo echo and thallium scan tests. In a tweet, his daughter had informed that her father, who remains incarcerated at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Prison, was unwell but the family was being kept in the dark about his medical condition. “I have been told that MNS [Mian Nawaz Sharif] is unwell and is being taken to Punjab Institute of Cardiology but myself or the family has no knowledge of it.” Nawaz was earlier advised to get additional tests done by his personal doctor in a bid to ascertain reasons for the chest pain he has been suffering from.

PAKISTAN GETS FIRSTEVER HINDU FEMALE JUDGE

Suman Pawan Bodani, a member of the minority Hindu community, has been appointed as Pakistan's first female judge. Daughter of Dr. Pawan Podani, Suman belongs to the rural area of Shahdadkot in Sindh. She stood 54th in the merit list for the appointment of civil judge/judicial magistrate. Coming from a downtrodden area, Suman excelled beyond all obstructions to build a career that she had always dreamt of. After completing her LLB from Hyderabad, she moved to Karachi to pursue her LLM from Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST). She was then affiliated with renowned advocate Justice (R) Rasheed Rizvi's law firm under which she practiced law for two years.

BANGLADESHI POLITICIAN TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY ELEPHANT

Syed Saymoon Kanak (51), media secretary of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal of Bangladesh, was trampled to death by a wild elephant in West Bengal. Kanak along with his wife and some of his friends had visited Jalpaiguri district for a jungle safari. While returning, Kanak went near the elephant to take photographs. The jumbo caught Kanak with its trunk. “As the elephant started displaying aggressive behaviour others quickly got into the car in which they were travelling. But Kanak was left behind and he was trampled to death by the elephant,” said Krishnendu Bera, a friend of Kanak’s family.


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IMF Chief Economist, Norwegian MP among 30 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees Gita Gopinath

Himanshu Gulati

President Ram Kovind gave a valedictory address and presented awards at a grant event on the last day of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Varanasi. Indian-

technology, know-how and investment to power our Make in India, Digital India, Clean India and Skill India programmes. We want to change the brain-drain of yesterday Amit Waikar

Nihal Singh Agar

American IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, Norwegian MP Himanshu Gulati, and South African diplomat Anil Sooklat, were among 30 NRIs, Indian-origin people and their organisations named for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. While most awardees were present to receive the honour, three among them, including Gopinath, were not present. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is the highest honour conferred by the President of India as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions on a Non Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organisation or institution established and run by NRIs or PIOs. Along with the 28 leaders, two organisations - Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha and Indian Community Association in Egypt, were also awarded for their work in community service. In his address, Kovind said India today is a land of billion ideas and billion opportunities. Addressing the NRIs and PIOs, he said, “I invite each one of you to become a part of India's growth story which is being etched by its billion minds. We want to leverage your

to brain-gain of today. I once again call upon you to contribute and partner us in the New India that we are committed to build and to become a part of India's history in making.” The awards were given in the presence of Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, UP Governor Ram Naik, Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya, and Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the criteria includes the role of individuals or organisations in fostering better understanding of India abroad, supporting India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way, building closer links between India, the overseas Indian community and their country of residence; social and humanitarian causes in India or abroad; welfare of the local Indian community; philanthropic and charitable work, eminence in one’s field or outstanding work which has enhanced India’s prestige in the country of residence; and eminence in skills which has enhanced India’s prestige in that

country (for non-professional workers). This year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was a raging success with a record number of NRIs flying in for the event. The sessions held during the three-day celebration provided important insights into the way forward in engaging the diaspora in India's development. A total of 7,228 registrations were done for this year's PBD from over 90 countries. One of the most unique features of this year's PBD was that the delegates were also

taken to the famous Kumbh Mela that was being held in Allahabad, and from there to Delhi to witness the iconic Republic Day parade. Uttar Pradesh, which partnered the Ministry of External Affairs to organise the event, also honoured its 'Pravasis' with the UP Apravasi Bharatiya Ratna Puruskar 2019. Eight eminent NRIs and people of Indianorigin, including PTI correspondent Yoshita Singh who covers the United Nations and New York, received the honour from UP Governor Ram Naik

List of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees (PBSA) for the year 2019 Sr. No. 1 2 3 4 5

Country Australia Bhutan Canada China Egypt

Field Social Service Civil Engineering Business Business Community Service

6 7 8 9

Name Nihal Singh Agar Rajinder Nath Khazanchi Ramesh Chotai Amit Waikar Indian Community Association in Egypt Malini Ranganathan Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha Bitthal Das Maheshwari Guna Sekhar Muppuri

France Guyana Italy Jamaica

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

P. V. Sambasiva Rao Prakash Madhavdas Heda Rajpal Tyagi Banwarilal Satya Narayan Goenka Bhavdeep Singh Dhillon Himanshu Gulati Vinodan Verambally Thazhikuniyil Jagdeshwar Rao Maddukuri Purnendu Chandra Tiwary Anil Sooklal Swami Saradaprabhananda Rajendra Kumar Joshi Shamim Parkar Khan Girish Pant Surender Singh Kandhari Zulekha Daud

Kenya Kenya Kuwait Myanmar New Zealand Norway Oman Poland Qatar South Africa South Africa Switzerland Tanzania UAE UAE UAE

26 27 28 29 30

Rajesh Chaplot Chandra Shekhar Mishra Gita Gopinath Gitesh Jayantilal Desai Kiran Chhotubhai Patel

Uganda USA USA USA USA

Academics & Arts Community Service Business Medical Science &Entrepreneurship Technology Medical Science Architecture Business Management Business Public Service Business Entrepreneurship Training & Simulation Diplomacy Community Service Science Public Service Business Business Medical Science & Business Chartered Accountancy Science Academics Structural Engineering Medical Science

Jayant Kaikini and Tejaswini Niranjana win DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 'No Presents Please', originally written in Kannada by noted author Jayant Kaikini and translated by eminent translator Tejaswini Niranjana, has been announced as the winner of the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet in Kolkata. In a glitzy ceremony, the $ 25,000 DSC Prize was awarded to the two, along with a unique trophy by eminent writer Ruskin Bond. According to the prize process, the prize money should be equally shared between the author and the translator. This year, there were six shortlisted authors and books in contention for the

Jayanat Kaikini and Tejaswini Niranjana on stage after winning the prize

DSC Prize. Jayant Kaikini: No Presents Please (Translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, Harper Perennial, HarperCollins India), Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire (Riverhead Books, USA and Bloomsbury, UK), Manu Joseph: Miss Laila Armed And Dangerous (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, India), Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (Riverhead Books, USA and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India), Neel Mukherjee: A State Of Freedom (Chatto; Windus, Vintage, UK and Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House, India) and Sujit Saraf: Harilal; Sons (Speaking Tiger, India). Jury Chair Rudrangshu

Mukherjee, who spoke on behalf of the jury said, “The jury decided to award the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 to 'No Presents Please' by Jayant Kaikini which has been translated by Tejaswini Niranjana and published by Harper Perennial. The jury was deeply impressed by the quiet voice of the author through which he presented vignettes of life in Mumbai and made the city the protagonist of a coherent narrative. The Mumbai that came across through the pen of Kaikini was the city of ordinary people who inhabit the bustling metropolis. It is a view from the margins and all the more poignant because of it.”


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SOUTH INDIA

10% quota won't affect exisiting reservation: PM Modi MADURAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at critics of the 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections, stating some persons in Tamil Nadu were creating an “atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust” to serve their interest. At a well-attended BJP rally in the state, Modi took a swipe at the proposed grand alliance of the opposition parties, saying they had set aside their differences to “remove this watchman” in the coming Lok Sabha polls. He also said his government was taking effective steps to rid the country of corruption and nepotism. In an apparent reference to economic offenders Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi, Modi said, “Any person who has cheated or looted the country shall be brought to justice.” Modi asserted that the

Narendra Modi

provision of 10 per cent quota to economically weaker sections (EWS) in the general category will in no way impact the existing reservation benefits for Dalits, Tribals, and others. He urged the youth to “reject forces of negativity”. The EWS quota

had been earmarked with the “spirit” of providing opportunities to all in education and employment. “This decision has been taken in such a way that it doesn't affect Dalit, tribals” and others. He said, “It is unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by some people in Tamil Nadu to serve their interest.” Addressing a meeting in Thrissur, he also raked up the Sabarimala temple issue and said the communist government in the state has been disrespecting all aspects of Kerala's culture. “Unfortunately today, the cultural ethos of Kerala is under attack. And this attack is being made by the party governing the state. The issue of the Sabarimala temple caught the attention of the entire nation. The people of India are seeing the manner in which the

communist government of Kerala is disrespecting all aspects of Kerala's culture. I fail to understand why the communists are undermining our culture and civilisation which has stood the test of time. The UDF too is just like the communists,” Modi said. He lambasted both, the Congress and Left Democratic Front (LDF) for having no regard for women's empowerment, best exemplified by their opposition to the NDA government's efforts to end triple talaq. “Let me tell you, neither Congress nor the communists have any concern for women's empowerment. If they did, they would not have opposed the NDA government's effort to end trible talaq. India has had many women chief ministers, but is there any communist chief minister?” he asked.

PUNJAB

Amarinder protests Pak move to restrict Kartarpur travel to only Sikhs CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has protested against Pakistan's proposal to allow only Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara. He urged the Indian government to take up the issue with Islamabad when the latter sends its draft agreement for regulating entry into its territory through the Kartarpur Corridor. Singh pointed out that Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev was a universal guru revered by followers of all religions, especially Hindus. He said while Islamabad was well within its rights to set terms and conditions relating to its territorial safety and security, it should take into consideration the fact that the first Sikh Guru's ideology is not confined to Sikhs but is emulated by people of all

Amarinder Singh

faiths. The CM said in a statement, “The Sikh ethos prescribes nondiscrimination, with even the concept of langar being casteless service for all. Gurdwaras are open to all, without religious bias. A large number of Hindus

in India were ardent followers of Sri Guru Nanak Devji, and it was their cherished dream to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, which was closely associated with the first Sikh Guru. There was for years the tradition of Hindu families converting their eldest sons to Sikhism. The influence of Sikhism in India was so strong that to exclude members of other religions was not something that Pakistan government should even remotely consider.” He added, “To keep such followers out of Kartarpur Sahib just because they were not Sikh was not logical.” The CM also objected to the condition of the number of pilgrims proposed in the draft agreement by the Pakistani government. He said, “It is not correct to limit the

number of people to 15 in a group. Individual yatris should be permitted.” He said that the restriction of 500 pilgrims per day should also not be there, especially in November this year, when the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev will be celebrated. He expressed concern at the reported clause making a passport imperative for travel by pilgrims. “With Punjab's large rural population having no passports, such a move would deprive them of making the historic pilgrimage.” The CM urged the governments of India and Pakistan to sit across the table and thrash out all issues to facilitate smooth and hassle-free travel by pilgrims through the corridor before coming to a formal agreement in the regard.

WEST BENGAL

Modi govt gave more money to Bengal than Cong: Smriti Irani SOUTH 24 PARGANAS: Union Minister Smriti Irani has said the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre had given more funds to West Bengal than the previous UPA regime. Speaking at a Ganatantra Bachao rally in Joynagar, South 24 Parganas, Irani said the UPA government gave £10 billion to the state, while the Modi government gave £28 billion under the 14th Finance Commission. The senior BJP leader also hit out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for spurning the Centre's healthcare scheme Ayushman Bharat.

She said, “Ask Mamata Banerjee why she is averse to Ayushman Bharat health scheme, under which poor people of the state can avail of Rs 5,00,000 per family for treatment purposes.” She claimed that 2,26,000 people in the state have benefited from the Jan Dhan Yojana, Irani slammed Mamata for being “most ungrateful” to the Centre. Taking potshots at the ruling party, the Union Minister alleged that even Trinamool Congress workers are not safe in the state. She said, “Some days ago a shootout took place near Joynagar area in which TMC

workers were involved. Some of them were victims of the violence carried out by the party. The state government is throttling democracy in the state.” She also took a dig at Banerjee for trying to form an alliance with Congress, which had inflicted torture on her party workers. Irani also lauded BJP workers across the state for braving the ruling party's “atrocities”. She said, “I thank all our workers here who have been subjected to continuous violence by CPM, Congress and now TMC. They have shown that they will work for the development despite such

in brief

MOUS WORTH £3 BN SIGNED DURING TN GLOBAL INVESTORS MEET

This year's Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Tamil Nadu has surpassed success of the first edition of the event held in 2015. This year, the Tamil Nadu government has signed 304 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements entailing investments to the tune of over £3 billion in GIM-II. The two-day summit drew to a close last week, and the government said there were investments this year in relatively new sectors like school education, higher education, office space and tourism. Traditional sectors and MSMEs also received promises of huge investments. Apart from the 304 MoUs, as many as 12,360 Memoranda were signed in the MSME sector, which had attracted investments of over £3.22 billion. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the MoUs will, over the next few years, provide job opportunities to over 10,00,000 people across the state.

TN GOVT GETS GO-AHEAD FOR JAYA MEMORIAL

Madras High Court had dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the Tamil Nadu government from constructing a memorial for late chief minister J Jayalalithaa at Marina Beach in Chennai. Referring to petitioner ML Ravi's claim that Jaya was convicted in a disproportionate assets case, a division bench submitted that the Supreme Court in its February 14, 2017 judgment, had abated the charges against her in view of her passing. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had opposed the plea, citing the same reason, adding that it could not be construed as conviction. The memorial to be constructed at an estimated cost of £5.08 million, will resemble a phoenix to depict Jayalalithaa in her cinematic and political life. It includes a 15 metre tall monument, a museum and a knowledge park, surrounded by landscaped gardens and two roaring lions at the entrance.

CBI RAIDS FORMER HARYANA CM HOODA'S HOUSE

The Central Bureau of Investigation has conducted a raid at the residence of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in connection with irregularities in land allotments in Gurugram. After the raid, Hooda said, “They can't silence me with this action. This is a political vendetta against me.” His son Bhupinder Singh Hooda too spoke on the same and said, “This is a political conspiracy against my father.” The CBI is also simultaneously conducting raids at more than 30 places in Delhi and nearby areas in connection with the alleged land scam.

LEFT PARTIES TO HOLD RALLY IN KOLKATA

Smriti Irani

atrocities.” Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah skipped the party rally in West Bengal's Jhargram, following the state administration's denial of permission for landing his chopper in the area. He was scheduled to land in Jhargram, located in the southwestern part of the state.

After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's show of strength, it is time for her arch rival the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to hold a rally at the same iconic venue- Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground. Participants at the rally, scheduled for February 3, will be limited to the Left, unlike the parties cutting across political ideologies assembled by Banerjee rally. CPI (M) politburo member Nilotpal Basu said, “It will be the rally of only the Left parties. Unlike Mamata Banerjee, we don't need help from other parties. What did she achieve by organising the that flop rally?” He added, “She is on the back foot and now trying to project herself as the prime ministerial candidate. No one thinks she can be the PM. We, on the other hand, will send the message that time has come to defeat the BJP at the Centre and the Trinamool in the state.”


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2 - 8 February 2019

The Shining Light: Bidding Adieu to Haribhai Halai January 18 was a special day. Members of the Shri Kutch Leva Patel Community gathered to commemorate their past president Shri Haribhai Murji Halai, who passed away on January 8, at the age of 69. A man's life can be measured by the number of people who arrive to pay him their last respects. Haribhai Halai's final rites were witnessed by over 300 people who flooded the hall of the crematorium to say their final goodbyes. His philanthropy, activism, and passion was well known in the community. His life journey, that began in Nairobi, and ended in London, has inspired many. He, was a man of action who touched many lives before his own was snatched from him. Born on September 19, 1949, in Nairobi, Kenya, Shri Haribhai had six siblingsfive brothers and a sister. His father Late Murji Arjan Halai was a self-educated man of principles, who inspired his children to follow in his footsteps of social work and sewa to the society. His mother Lalbai was a warm and dedicated woman. After enduring major burns to his body in an

accident at the tender age of seven, Haribhai grew up to be a boy with a deep hunger to excel in academia. A leader from a very young age, he shone in everything he did. Haribhai married Kantaben on September 17, 1973, after which they migrated to London, England. The two went on to have three brilliant children- two daughters Avani and Prity, and a son, Navendu. Haribhai was grandfather to six children. Going back in 1973, Haribhai had made a promise to his father that he would look after his two youngest brothers- Naran and Ashwin. He vowed that both he and his wife would raise them in England as his parents were growing old and were incapable of taking care of the children themselves. It is worth mentioning that Haribhai himself was only 24 at the time. However, his love towards his family prodded him to take on the responsibility of his brothers and parents, before he even had his own children. Without a speck of hesitation, he welcomed his teenager brothers to a new country that was filled with prospects for them. Hurdles

Haribhai Halai

of living in a foreign country with a family to support barely even scratched Haribhai; such was his nature, strong, committed, and honorable. He took good care of his young brothers, making sure they always had a home and family, were well fed, clothed, healthy, and most importantly, received the education that he himself had not gotten the opportunity to receive. Haribhai was not only a big brother to them, he was a much loved father figure. He nephew, Ashwinbhai's son said, “He filled the gap of others” in their lives. The treatment did not shift even after the birth of his own children, and the three brothers, Kantaben and the young children became one big close-knit family. After the Ashwinbhai and

Naranbhai finished their schooling, Haribhai gave them jobs in the venture he had started from scratch. He wanted to provide them with financial security while they found the careers they wanted. Fortunately, their temporary roles turned into permanent positions, later leading to the three building the family business together. Haribhai's entrepreneurial skills let him indulge in several businesses with his brothers, including working at a petrol station to selling market stalls, to motor spares shops, and finally the car repair workshop that is currently operating in West Harrow, by Navendu, Yatish, and Devyan, three sons of the brothers. All of this was made possible by the guidance of the late leader, who was the guiding light of the family.

Extent of Haribhai's selflessness reflected when he made sure his brothers first settled into their own homes, before he bought a house for himself. Keep in mind, he had three children and a wife to support and yet, he maintained and dignified the promise he had made to his father and looked after his brothers until and after they could stand on their own two feet. Despite a bunch of blooming businesses and a flourishing life, the pursuit of money was not where his heart lied. He soon involved himself in working tirelessly within the community; handing the reigns of his businesses to his brothers so he himself could continue his social sewa. Haribhai was an unassuming, quiet and private man. An advocate of independence and equality, he did nothing but what was best for mankind at large. Be it political, religious or within the community with no prejudice to caste, colour or creed, he lived the preaching of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'. Not only was he a dedicated and fully committed member of SKLPC UK, but also various other charitable

organisations. He was one of the founding members of the Hindu Forum of Britain, where he served as President and one of the trustees. Haribhai was a patron of Self-employed Women Association, and served KMC committee under various roles. He was President of the Kutch Kala Seva Trust and was involved with the SCSC as well. Our dearest Haribhai was also a trustee of the SSGP (UK) and an active member/advisor of the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh UK. To write in brief, he was involved in 12 charity organisations for multiple years, rendering his valuable time, guidance, and services. “We have lost great centurion of our faith. We have lost a dedicated, committed considerate gentleman who has given so much to the community. Our prayer and sincere condolence to Halai Family,” said Velji Vekaria Vice President SKLPC UK. Haribhai was a noble person of great vision, a true and selfless representative of Hinduism and his leadership, august presence and valuable advice will be missed by many throughout the world.

PM Modi inaugurates largest urban local body-run hospital Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Ahmedabad's brand new Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Science and Research, the country's largest hospital run by any Urban Local Body (ULB) which has over 1500 beds. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation conceptualised the hospital in 2012 and its groundbreaking was conducted in 2014. The entire structure, with interiors, was ready by July 2018. Modi addressed the gathering after inaugurating SVP. He said, “I was amazed to see a public hospital of this scale. It is like a dream fulfilled to have a hospital like this. This is first public hospital top have helipad and air ambulance facility.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital, at Ahmedabad, Gujarat on January 17, 2019.

Modi congratulated all those who were part of the mammoth project and said that the hospital will take public healthcare to new

heights. He said, “This will set an example for public health care which will cater to the needs of the common people. Just two decades

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kidney issues are getting dialysis services free of cost. We have reduced the price of stents and surgical instruments for knee implants which have benefited so many people,” the PM said. He stated the Vijay Rupani-led government aims to

upgrade around 1.5 lakh public health centres and community health centres by 2022. Out Of 1500 beds in SVP, 1300 beds are in General Ward and 200 beds are in the executive class. There are 32 high class Operation Theatres with 139 ICU bed.

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ago, government hospitals were lying in shambles and the poor couldn't afford medical facilities at private institutions.” Modi cleared the air regarding the privatisation of the hospital, and said poor people will continue to get free medical treatment at the hospital. He added, “The hospital will provide free treatment to the poor, who are entitled to the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. Since its launch, more than 7 lakh people have benefited from the scheme in 100 days.” Modi also spoke on the government's vision for improvement of public healthcare. “We have set up dialysis centres in 450 districts across the country and patients suffering from

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Maneesh Media felicitates 100 NRIs in Gujarat In a glitzy evening, Jaipurbased Maneesh Media released its 37th publication, a coffee-table book, Jewels of Gujarat – Leading Global Gujarati Personalities: Vol II, in Ahmedabad. The event saw the felicitation of 100 influential Gujaratis from over 35 countries, while marking their presence were over 500 personalities from around the world. The Guests of Honour of the evening were Dr Kiran C Patel, who because of health reasons could only mark his presence virtually, and Dr Vimal B Shah (Bidco Africa, Kenya), while some of the keynote speakers were MP Rama (Auro University, India & USA), Rizwan Adatia

Manish Kumawat, Kumarpal, Vinod Shankar Bhai Patel, Dr. Vimal Shah, Chandmal Kumawat, Manhar Prabhu Rama, Suresh Rannchhod Patel, Rizwan Adatia, Abhishek Kumawat and Siddharth Kumawat unveiling Jewels of Gujarat, Vol. II

Manhar Prabhu Rama, Rizwan Adatia, Vinod Shankar Bhai Patel, Dr. Vimal Shah and Chandmal Kumawat lightning the lamp at the release ceremony of Jewels of Gujarat, Vol. II

(COGEF Group, Mozambique), Mr Vinod S Patel (Vinod Patel Co Ltd, Fiji) and Mr Kumarpal (Varada Diamonds, Bengaluru). Released on the eve of the 9th edition of Vibrant Gujarat, Chairman Chandmal Kumawat said, “We are proud to serve our motherland by writing inspirational stories of people who have made difference not only in India but all around the world. Our releases are more of a way to bring people from different countries together and dream of a new India.” The book travels to 35+ countries. One of the most reputed coffeetable book publishers in the country, Maneesh Media has

earlier published biographies of notable Indians and is known for bringing the Indian diaspora under one roof to connect them beyond boundaries. The first edition of this coffee-table book Jewels of Gujarat was released by Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. Director Manish Kumawat quoted, “When the respected PM praised our efforts for the first edition, we narrated 100 true stories of Gujaratis like Mukesh Ambani (India) and Sunita Lyn Williams (USA), and were motivated for more such books. This second edition is a result of that effort to inspire many more Indians to live their dreams.”

Maneesh Media Director, Manish, presenting Jewels of Gujarat, Vol. II to BIDCO Africa Founder Chairman, Bhimji Depar Shah

Priyanka Gandhi joins politics Children at the Ramkrishna with a bang Mission Hospital need your help Speaking to the press, Rahul Gandhi said, “I have not sent Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scinda for just two months. I have sent them to take the Congress' ideology forward in Uttar Pradesh.” Sources said the appointment of the mother-of-two reflects the party's realisation that in a politically vital state like UP, which has 80 parliamentary seats and is considered the route to power at the centre, it needs to step up its game. Priyanka's mention entered in the third para of a press statement that announced Jyotiraditya Scindia in charge of western UP. The massive announcement came as Rahul began a two-day visit to Amethi. Priyanka is currently in New York and is expected to return on February 1. Priyanka Gandhi has always been active in decision-making of the party, and played a key role in the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's Priyanka Gandhi Samajwadi Party in last year's UP polls. She also reportedly oversaw the Sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, party meeting in which her older brother Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has finally taken the was announced president. Congress leaders much-awaited plunge into politics, just believe her arrival in party politics will months ahead of the national elections due galvanise the ranks that have been by May. The “Brahmastra” of the Indian demoralised by the Mayawati-Akhilesh National Congress, she will debut as the Yadav move without the Congress. party's General Secretary in charge of the Meanwhile, the BJP has shrugged off the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh- putting her announcement with spokesperson Sambit might across BJP's leading mascots Prime Patra saying, “Rahul Gandhi failed so they Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister need Priyanka as a crutch. Can't they find Yogi Adityanath. anyone beyond that family?”

Trustees of London-based charity organisation BJ Mehta Foundation, Professor Atul Mehta, Dr Kokila Mehta and Jayshree Vyas have undertaken a project to raise funds to support care and treatment of children with Type 1 Diabetes at the Ramkrishna Mission Hospital in Haridwar. The hospital currently looks after 200 children with Type 1 diabetes and the average cost, including medication, is 1,500 to 2,000 rupees per child every month. However, due to a dire lack of funds, they cannot create the impact they desire. They intend to treat over 200 children with Type 1 diabetes. In a bid to help the needy, Mehta, who is Professor of Haematology at

University College London, along with his wife and G e n e r a l Practitioner Dr Kokila, and close family friend, Jayshree Vyas who works in the financial sector, have decided to respond and make sure all children who approach Ramkrishna Mission Hospital, receive due treatment. Mehta is the

driving force of the BJ Mehta Foundation, which was inspired by his father, a philanthropist and teacher. Each donation will help provide medical care and the much needed treatment for children suffering with Type 1 diabetes and help prevent complications. Help them help the children lead a normal life. Those interested, please make a donation through their website : http://bjmehtafoundation. co.uk.

Obituary Shri Manubhai Radia It is with deep regret that we inform the passing away of nishthavan satsangi Shri Manubhai Radia on January 26. He is survived by wife Vijyaben Radia and children Sanjaybhai, Snehalbhai, and Shilpaben. Manubhai had blessed life and had the fortune of meeting Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj, Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Pragat Brahmaswarup Mahant Swami Maharaj. -----

Jitendra (Jagdish) Damji Kacha

It is with regret that we inform the sad passing away of Mr Jitendra (Jagdish) Damji Kacha, on January 26. His funeral is to be held on February 4.


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Tougher labelling law to prevent food allergies deaths Stronger food labelling laws are being proposed to prevent further deaths of people with allergies. All packaged food such as sandwiches and salads could be required to list the full ingredients. It comes after the death of Natasha EdnanLaperouse, 15, of Fulham, London, who suffered an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette in 2016. Under current laws, the company did not have to list the ingredients of food packed and sold on the premises. The inquest into Natasha's death heard that the teenager was "reassured" by the lack of specific allergen information on the packaging when she bought the sandwich at Heathrow Airport. But the baguette contained sesame seeds, which caused her to go into

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died after eating a Pret a Manger baguette

cardiac arrest on a flight in 2016. Nadim EdnanLaperouse, Natasha's father, told Radio 4's Today programme that it was vital action was taken "to prevent this kind of tragedy happening to other people". Four options are now being put forward for labelling food which is made, packaged and sold on the same premises: - Full ingredient list

labelling - Allergen-only labelling - Ask-the-staff labels with supporting information available for consumers in writing - Promoting best practice around communicating allergen information to customers Natasha's mother Tanya said that "we're really gunning for the top option which is full labelling - allergens and ingredients", adding that the other "very soft" alternatives weren't "options in our mind at all". She said the proposals could see the UK lead the way in helping people with allergies around the world. Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who has had several meetings with Natasha's parents, called the proposed new regulations "Natasha's Law" and paid tribute to the "inspirational

work" of her parents in advocating for it. He said: "We want to ensure that labels are clearer and that the rules for businesses are more consistent, so that allergy sufferers in this country can have confidence in the safety of their food. "Many businesses are already bringing changes on board independently, and in the meantime they should continue doing all they can to give consumers the information they need." Allergy UK chief executive Carla Jones said that the food industry needed to do "more than just the bare minimum" when catering for the estimated two million people in the UK with food allergies.

in brief NHS TO OFFER PAID-FOR DNA TESTS IF PATIENTS SHARE DATA

People in England will be able to pay the NHS to sequence their genes on condition they share their data. Those taking part in the planned scheme will be given a health report which can predict the risk of developing conditions like cancer or Alzheimer's. Health Secretary Matt Hancock says it will help develop treatments "that will benefit everyone in the future". But concerns have been raised over the plans by the chairwoman of the British Society for Genetic Medicine. It is possible DNA tests could alert patients to issues in need of further investigation. All data would be shared with scientists anonymously. Mr Hancock said: "While healthy people should not have this service free on the NHS, there are huge benefits to sequencing as many genomes as we can. Every genome sequenced moves us a step closer to unlocking life-saving treatments." The Department of Health said the project - which will be led by Genomic England, a company set up and owned by the NHS - is still in the development phase. No detail has been provided on a launch date or how much the service would cost. It follows the successful completion of the 100,000 Genomes Project in December 2018.

FITNESS TRACKERS 'OVERESTIMATE' CALORIE BURNING

Skinny genes the 'secret to staying slim' Scientists say they have discovered the secret behind why some people are skinny while others pile on the pounds easily. Their work reveals newly discovered genetic regions linked to being very slim. The international team say this supports the idea that, for some people, being thin has more to do with inheriting a "lucky" set of genes than having a perfect diet or lifestyle. The study appears in PLOS Genetics. In the past few decades, researchers have found hundreds of genetic changes that increase the chance of a person being overweight but there has been much less focus on the genes of people who are thin. In this investigation, scientists compared DNA samples from 1,600 healthy thin

people in the UK - with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 - with those of 2,000 severely obese people and 10,400 people of normal weight. They also looked closely at lifestyle questionnaires - to rule out eating disorders, for example. Researchers found people who were obese were more likely to have a set of genes linked to being overweight.

Meanwhile, people who were skinny not only had fewer genes linked to obesity but also had changes in gene regions newly associated with healthy thinness. Lead researcher Prof Sadaf Farooqi, from the University of Cambridge, called on people to be less judgemental about others' weight. "This research shows for the first time that healthy

thin people are generally thin because they have a lower burden of genes that increase a person's chances of being overweight and not because they are morally superior, as some people like to suggest. It's easy to rush to judgement and criticise people for their weight but science shows that things are far more complex. We have far less control over our weight than we might wish to think," she said. Scientists say the next step is to pinpoint the exact genes involved in healthy thinness. Their longer-term goal is to see if this new knowledge can help shape new weight-loss strategies. Health experts say whatever your shape or genetic make-up, the age-old advice of a healthy level of exercise and good diet still stands.

Rocking like a baby promotes better sleep in adults We know babies benefit from being rocked to sleep now a study suggests it helps adults sleep better too. Researchers from the University of Geneva built a special bed that rocked gently throughout the night. They tested it on 18 young adults and found they woke up fewer times and slept more deeply than on a normal bed. Scientists said the rocking motion resulted in a longer period of slow brainwaves which caused deep sleep, and improved their memory. The volunteers spent three nights at a sleep laboratory in Geneva: one to get them used to sleeping there, one on a rocking bed and the other on the same

bed, but in a still position. Electrodes recorded their brainwaves, and found that the period of deep sleep was extended by rocking. Laurence Bayer, lead study author and researcher at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, pointed out that the rocking motion was slow enough not to cause nausea. "A hammock would probably not be as efficient, although people often report a sense of relaxation when rocked in a hammock. In our paper we test the effect of rocking on one night, but we have no idea if the effects will still be there over a long-term period," she said. The researchers also

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

found the adults had better memory recall in the morning if they slept on the rocking bed. Aurore Perrault, another researcher at the faculty, said: "To see if this also affected memory, we subjected our participants to memory tests: they had to learn pairs of random words in the evening and remember them in the morning when they woke up. Here too, rocking proved beneficial: the test results were

much better after a night in motion than after a still night," she said. A parallel study conducted by the University of Lausanne in Switzerland looked at the effect of gently rocking the cages of mice while they went to sleep. It found that rocking reduced the time they needed to fall asleep and increased their sleep time. However, it did not appear to increase sleep quality, like it did in human beings.

Popular brands of fitness trackers can overestimate the number of calories burned while walking by more than 50%, tests have found. Researchers at Aberystwyth University found all products - ranging from ÂŁ20 to ÂŁ80 in price - were inaccurate during walking and running tests. Dr Rhys Thatcher said devices had an "inherent tendency" to over-measure. Fitbit said its product was based on "extensive research", but others said theirs were "not medical devices". The tests, carried out for the BBC X-Ray programme, measured the amount of oxygen a volunteer used during ten minute walking and running sessions on a treadmill, before comparing it to the various fitness trackers. The Fitbit Charge 2, which is the best selling fitness tracker on the market, was very accurate in testing calories burned while running, underestimating by 4%. But when measuring walking, it overestimated by more than 50%. Cheaper devices - the Letscom HR and the Letsfit underestimated the number of calories burned while running by 33% and 40% respectively. But both were far more accurate in the walking test. The Letscom overestimated by 15.7% while the Letsfit was only 2% above the official measurement.

MORE 'SOCIAL PRESCRIBERS' TO EASE PRESSURE ON GPS

The number of workers trained to prescribe social activities, like exercise groups and art classes, to GP patients who don't need pills, is set to rise, under NHS England plans. The aim is that "link workers" will support GPs and reduce their workload. A link worker's role is to help patients find suitable community activities to improve their health and wellbeing. The NHS says more than 1,000 will be recruited by 2020-21. In the long term, it wants link workers to handle around 900,000 patient appointments a year. It is thought that a significant number of appointments at GP surgeries are not directly related to medical conditions. Instead, many patients are anxious or lonely or need support with managing a long-term condition. Some just need encouragement to join an exercise group and lose weight. Link workers are part of NHS England's plans to personalise care for patients, so they can take greater control of their mental and physical health. James Sanderson, NHS England's director of personalised care, said 2.5 million people would benefit by 2024. "Social prescribing is an important component of the NHS comprehensive model of personalised care and there is emerging evidence that it can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes for people, such as improved quality of life and emotional wellbeing. The aim is that social prescribing schemes lead to a substantial reduction in the use of NHS services, including GP attendances," he said.


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Sara reveals the moment Raj Kummar Rao once she realised she wanted ran from the airport to to become an actor Juhu to meet his muse Actor Sara Ali Khan has had an explosive entry into the industry, even delivering her first Rs 300 Crore film 'Simmba'. The 25 year old has reportedly signed her third project with Dharma Productions which is a biopic with her in a prominent role. In a recent interview, the young actor claimed to have no knowledge about Bollywood. “I live with mom, who stopped playing the main lead before I was born. I don't know the knowhows of this industry. So, it's all a learning process for me.” Sara is the daughter of actors Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh and granddaughter of Sharmila Tagore. When asked what she has picked up from her parents, she said she has inherited her father's mind and her mom's heart. She also revealed the moment she decided she wanted to become an actor at the age of around four. Sharing a childhood memory, she revealed how captivated she was by the hit remix number 'Kaanta Laga'. She also talked about her parents and how they would let her take her own decisions and mistakes. Sara made her debut with 'Kedarnath' that received an average response at the box office, then featured alongside Ranveer Singh

in 'Simmba'. The movie is currently still running in theatres and has already made over Rs 237 Crore i n India.

Twinkle Khanna's quirky way of wishing Akshay! Author and columnist Twinkle Khanna is known for her wit and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. The actress recently shared a beautiful post dedicated to him and their 18 years of marriage. Mrs Funnybones took to her Twitter to post a series of witty tweets revealing what Akshay “did not” get her for their 18th wedding anniversary. She reworked the trending #10YearChallenge to created a couple of hilarious posts. The 45 year old's first post shows her getting into a privater jet with a caption that read, “What did your husband give you for your anniversary? Unfortunately, he didn't give me a private jet #18YearChallenge.” The second post features Twinkle with her childhood crush Rob Lowe. “What did your husband give you for your

anniversary? Unfortunately, he didn't give me a date with my childhood crush Rob Low #18YearChallenge.” A third photo shows Ranveer Singh giving a peck on Akshay's cheek. She wrote, “What did your husband give you for your anniversary? Unfortunately, he didn't even give me a freshly wrapped Mr Singh just kept all the hugs for himself #18YeaChallenge.” However, not all her dedicated posts were funny. Later, in a heartfelt post Twinkle revealed what Akshay did actually give her. “What did your husband give you for your anniversary? Fortunately, he gave me 18 years of solid friendship, enough space so I could grow and s o m e h o w managed to hold my hand for a large part if the way. This is not the endapparently we are just on page 120!”

Actor Raj Kummar Rao and his gorgeous partner Patralekhaa have ruled our hearts since their first film together. The couple lives together in Mumbai and the only thing we have been wanting to know is when they will tie the knot. In a recent interaction. Patralekhaa spoke candidly about their relationship. She said, “I saw him for the first time in 'LSD'. I thought the weird guy he played was actually what he was like. My perception of him was tarnished! He told me later, that he first saw me in an ad and thought, 'I am going to marry her'. It was so ironic!” She added, “Once we began working together- it was magic. The kind of passion he had was powerful and I couldn't respect him any more than I did then! We spoke about our work, love for cinema, passions... I saw him through his struggles, never giving up. How could we not fall for each other?

We didn't officially go on dates, but we'd go for drives, movies, or just sit at home. We accompanied each other for auditions, just for support. All we needed was that understanding. He'd often go out of his way for me.” The 'Love Games' actress added, “Once he was late to see me, so he ran all the way from the airport to Juhu! Not only that, but when he weren't earning much, he gifted me my

favourite bag- it was so expensive! Years later, someone stole it in London! I called him sobbing- for me, it was about the memories. He'd bought it for me when he didn't have much. Later, at our hotel, the exact same bag was waiting for me. These little things make me realise how lucky I am for him. And the best part is, he always says he's the lucky one. Isn't that what a relationship needs? ”

Ranbir -Alia relation on the rocks? It appears not all's well in tinsel town. Rumours suggest Ranbir Kapoor gets easily irritated with Alia Bhatt's constant calls and messages, and only wants his space. While Alia is a bit upset with his behaviour because she feels she is the only one putting effort into the relationship. The couple had only recently begun dating while working one their first collaboration 'Brahmastra'. The actors, who have dated other people in the industry had also for the first time, spoken up about their relationship by accepting it to the paparazzi. Just recently there were reports the two were asked to get engaged even before their next film hit the screens by RK's mother Neetu Kapoor. However, both the actors want to wait until the film is released. A source said, “While everyone is speculating about another Bollywood wedding this year, but it is being reported that the couple plans on waiting it out, at least until their upcoming film together is released.” Both the families are seemingly happy with Alia and Ranbir's relationship, and both their parents gave a positive nod for their relationship on different occasions.


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Hansika Motwani's private pictures get leaked

Rajamouli's 'RRR' beats Rajini's '2.0' SS Rajamouli is back with his upcoming 'RRR' featuring Ram Charan and Jr NTR for the first time on screen. The second schedule is currently underway at a studio in Hyderabad. After his magnum opus 'Baahubali' made a stunning success, there is huge expectation on him. It was recently reported that the film's pre-release business has already overtaken Rajinikanth's '2.0'. Media reports suggest the satellite rights of Shankar-directed '2.0' was sold for a whopping Rs 108 Crore. It is reported that the makers of 'RRR', which is made in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam, have recently sold out its satellite rights for all the languages. The Jr NTR and Ram Charan starrer has earned Rs 132 crore from its TV rights. It has shattered the record for highest amount for TV rights

Actress Hansika Motwani has become the latest celebrity prey of cyber crime, as her private swimsuit pictures got leaked online. The south star became a target of online hackers who leaked some of her mirror selfies in which she is seen wearing a two-piece bikini. The series of pictures that appeared on a random Instagram handle, appear to have been taken during her recent vacation in New York. This isn't the first time an actress' privacy was invaded. Earlier, actress Amy Jackson and Akshara Haasan had fallen prey to cyber miscreants who had leaked their intimate pictures online. A day after the pictures flooded social mead site and even went on to make headlines, the actress informed those concerned that her phone and Twitter accounts have been hacked and warned against responding to messages that the miscreants may have sent. “Phone n Twitter hacked please don’t respond to any random messages. My back end team is working on getting things in control,” she said in a tweet. On the work front, Hansika Motwani is currently working in UR Jameel's directorial Tamil film 'Maha' which is also her 50th film.

Allu Arjun recreates the Priya Varrier's bullet-kiss moment Internet sensation Priya Prakash Varrier's debut Malayalam film 'Oru Adaar Love' is being dubbed into Telugu and titled 'Lovers Day'. Ahead of the release, makers of the movie held a prerelease event for the film and Telugu super star Allu Arjun who was chief guest at the event praised the cast of the movie. During his speech, he also recreated the famous bullet-kiss moment that shot Varrier to fame. Arjun is a huge fan of the young actress. When Varrier saw the limelight, Allu Arjun

* Schedule is subject to change

MONDAY 4th - FRIDAY 8th February 2019

TIME 16:00: 17:00: 17:30: 18:00: 18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00: 20:30: 21:00: 21:30: 22:30: 23:00:

TV PROGRAM NAMES RASOI SHOW THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 NAMASTE BREAKFAST RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN JAHAANARA INTERNETWALA LOVE ISHQ MEIN MARJAWAN MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE RED ALERT TANTRA JAHAANARA

SATURDAY 5th FEBRUARY 2019 TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 18:00: 18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00: 20:30: 21:30: 22:30:

RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 FAMOUSLY FILMFARE NAVRANGI RE RED ALERT ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA TANTRA

SUNDAY 6th FEBRUARY 2019 TV PROGRAM NAMES

TIME 17:00: 18:00: 18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00: 20:30: 21:30:

DESI BEAT - SEASON 3 RADHA PREM KI DEEWANI UTTARAN THE GREAT INDIAN GLOBAL KITCHEN 2 FAMOUSLY FILMFARE NAVRANGI RE RED ALERT ZINDAGI KI HAQEEQAT SE AAMNA SAAMNA

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 2nd February 2019 TIME TV PROGRAM NAMES 17:00 17:30 18:30 20:00 21:30 23:00

Keys to Kismat Crime Patrol The Kapil Sharma Show Super Dancer Chapter 3 The Kapil Sharma Show The Kapil Sharma Show

SUNDAY 3rd February 2019 TIME 16:30 17:30 18:30 20:00 21:30 23:00

TV PROGRAM NAMES Meet the Drapers Crime Patrol The Kapil Sharma Show Super Dancer Chapter 3 The Kapil Sharma Show The Kapil Sharma Show

MONDAY 4th February - Friday 8th February

TIME 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00

TV PROGRAM NAMES Vighnaharta Ganesh Mere Sai Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai Chandragupta Maurya Main Maayke Chali Jaaungi Patiala Babes Ladies Special Crime Patrol

TIME * Schedule is subject to change

19:30:

UDANN

20:00:

SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI

20:30:

KESARRI NANDAN

shared the video on social media and said he was very impressed with it. Priya had garnered a lot of attention and became an international celebrity overnight after a small clipping of her wink went viral. Explaining his reasons for attending the event, the actor said, “Firstly, I am a proud South Indian whose films have also been successful in Malayalam. Priya Varrier created an Internet sensation with her video, so I wanted to encourage her film. The other reason is that producer Vinod Reddy stood up for me during my crunch time.”

Wednesday February 06, 2019 00:36 Film : I Am 24 06:00 Film : Cheetah The Leopard 08:54 Film : Meri Hukumat 11:45 Film : Aar Ya Paar 14:52 Film : Dhokha * Schedule is subject to change 17:23 Film : Mela Sunday February 03, 2019 20:53 Film : Awarapan 02:20 Film : Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan 23:20 Film : The Killer Thursday February 07, 2019 06:00 Film : Bas Ek Tamanna 01:40 Film : Naaraaz 08:11 Film : Jungle 06:00 Film : Anjaane: The Unknown 11:16 Film : Aakhree Raasta 08:05 Film : Taaqat Ki Jung 14:31 Film : Andaaz 11:00 Film : Dastak 17:44 Film : Omkara 14:01 Film : Gunaah 20:30 Film : Besharam 16:30 Film : Aligarh 18:54 Film : Star Stop 23:25 Film : Nill Battey Sannata 19:35 Film : Star Stop Monday February 04, 2019 20:15 Film : Deewane Huye Pagal 01:30 Film : Tumsa Nahin Dekha 23:26 Film : All The Best 06:00 Film : Login Friday February 08, 2019 08:02 Film : Main Karunga Faisla 02:10 Film : Inteha 10:55 Film : Chameli Ki Shaadi 06:00 Film : The Silent Heroes 08:21 Film : Kab? Kyoon? Aur Kahan? 13:45 Film : Kaun 11:10 Film : Showbiz 15:45 Film : Taal 13:25 Film : Main Khiladi Tu Anari 19:25 Film : Star Stop 17:00 Film : Phir Hera Pheri 20:00 Film : Josh 20:15 Film : Veer 23:20 Film : Jaanam 23:30 Film : 36 China Town Tuesday February 05, 2019 Saturday February 09, 2019 02:10 Film : 1920 London 01:53 Film : Krantiveer 06:00 Film : Prithipal Singh... A Story 06:00 Film : Login 08:03 Film : Krishna Arjun 08:00 Film : Hum Dono Hai Khiladi 10:45 Film : Luv Shuv Pyar Vyar 10:43 Film : Kaun Kare Kurbanie 13:10 Film : All The Best 13:27 Film : China Gate 16:02 Film : Deewane Huye Pagal 17:00 Film : Besharam 19:15 Film : Star Stop 20:00 Film : Dil Chahta Hai 20:00 Film : Aligarh 23:50 Film : Main Khiladi Tu Anari 22:25 Film : Kalyug

SATURDAY 5th February 2019

MONDAY 4th - FRIDAY 8th February 2019

with its earnings of Rs 110 crore. Shankar's '2.0', featuring Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson, apart from Rajinikanth, was also developed on a huge budget. Some even guessed that this film was the most expensive venture that Indian films had ever got into. Expected to be the biggest film of 2018, '2.0' garnered a total of Rs 108 crores for its satellite and digital rights. RRR thus broke the record by almost Rs 25 crore.

TV PROGRAM NAMES

SUNDAY 6th February 2019 TIME

TV PROGRAM NAMES

19:30:

DESI BEAT 3.0

19:30: DESI BEAT 3.0

20:00:

NAAGIN - SEASON 3

20:00: NAAGIN - SEASON 3

21:00:

KHATRON KE KHILADI JIGGER

21:00: KHATRON KE KHILADI JIGGER

21:00:

GATHBANDHAN

21:30:

ROOP

22:00:

SILSILA

22:30:

COURT ROOM

22:30:

VISH YA AMRIT SITAARA

23:30:

SITAARA

PE TRIGGER

PE TRIGGER 22:30: COURT ROOM 23:30: SILSILA


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2 - 8 February 2019

Cold weather makes it harder for us to get out of bed, says survey

Surat celebrates Republic Day in the presence of Pujya Mahant Swami

Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha head Pujya Mahant Swami is currently in Surat for his vicharan. Pujya Gunitanand had taken diksha on Posha Poonam. On January 21st, it was celebrated with pomp. Every year on this day, Dabra Utsav is celebrated. This year, with the permission of Pujya Mahant Swami, the day was celebrated as Brahmotsav. On January 26, the Indian Republic Day was celebrated in the morning assembly. In the presence of Param Pujya Mahant Swami, children performed garba, bhangra, and a parade. They sang Jana Gana Mana, Saare Jahan Se Achha, and Vande Mataram and saluted the tricolour. In the evening, children celebrated Children's Day and performed various dances, and skits. In his address, Param Pujya Mahant Swami said, “The entire world is run by vanity. But we should keep away from it.” On January 27, youths presented a skit on 'I want to ring the bell of revolution'. During the vicharan, a big number of devotees were present, all who had flocked in to see Pujya Mahant Swami. On January 29, he left for Mahedav, Pujya Shastriji Maharaj's birthplace, to continue his vicharan.

Congratulations

Congratulations to Rukmani (daughter of Mr Velji Parbat Vekaria and Mrs Hiruben Velji Vekaria) and Ramesh (son of Mr Hirji Kanji Bhudia and Mrs Valbal Hirji Bhudia) on their recent marriage.

Sneh Joshi

Chilly winter mornings lead us to spend an extra 24 hours in bed over the colder months - just from hitting the snooze button. We need an extra 16 minutes in bed each morning during winter before we feel brave enough to face the cold, according to a new survey. Of those surveyed who are currently employed, 38 per cent thought they were more likely to be late for work in the winter months because they found it harder to get up in the morning. And of that 38%, the average worker will be late for work seven times in the course of an average winter because they overslept. One in five have been so cosy they have pulled a sickie to have a duvet day instead. A spokesperson for Andrews Heat for Hire, which commissioned the study, said: “Darker, colder mornings can make waking up in winter months more challenging than any other time of the year. And while an additional quarter of an hour snoozing each day doesn’t seem like a big sacrifice, over the course of the winter we lose an entire day to those few extra minutes in bed.” Regionally, Scots are the quickest to get up and face the day when the weather Editor: CB Patel Chief Executive Officer: Liji George Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Deputy Editor: Urja Patel Advertising Managers: Kishor Parmar Head - New Projects & Business Development: Cecil Soans Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 Email: support@abplgroup.com Leicester Distributors: Shabde Magazine, Shobhan Mehta Mob: 07846 480 220

turns, spending 14 minutes extra in bed, while those living in Yorkshire are fondest of their covers, resisting the cold until they’ve had 17 extra minutes dozing. One in two Brits find it harder to get themselves out of bed in winter more than any other time of year, and a third think they are more likely to hit the snooze button when the mornings are dark and cold. And seven in 10 said a few more minutes with their duvet is too tempting when the weather outside looks chilly. Three in five of those questioned make it tougher to leave their beds by taking actions to make their set-up as warm and comfortable as possible. Of these, 59 per cent will buy a thicker duvet when the weather begins to turn, and 44 per cent will put an extra blanket on the bed to keep the cold away.

Mother, Hail! -Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay "Mother, hail! Thou with sweet spring flowing, Thou fair fruits bestowing, Cool with zephyrs ablowing, Green with corn crops growing, Mother hail! Thou of the shivering joyous moon-blanched night, Thou with fair groups of flowering tree-clumps bright, Sweetly smiling Speech beguiling Pouring bliss and blessing Mother hail! Though now million voices through thy Mouth sonorous shout, Though million hands hold thy Trenchant sword blades out Yet with all this power now, Mother wherefore powerless thou? Holder thou of myriad might, I salute thee, savior bright, Thou who dost all foes afright, Mother, hail! Thou sole creed and wisdom art, Thou our very mind and heart, And the life breath in our bodies, Thou as strength in arms of men, Thou as faith in hearts dost reign, Himalaya crested only rivalless, Radiant in thy spotlessness, Thou whose fruits and waters bless, Mother hail! Hail thou verdant unbeguiling, Hail, o decked one sweetly smiling Ever bearing Ever rearing Mother hail!"

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The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 It's a lovely week for a higher

knowledge and travel, as Venus and Jupiter embrace your 9th house. Your horizons have most certainly expanding. Jupiter in the area of your chart ruling longdistance travel and philosophical thoughts will make your mind run wild. With Venus in the same sector will create many romantic opportunities. Your financial affairs are looking up.

and Jupiter highlight your TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Venus solar eighth house. Your attention turns inward on a deeper level to personal transformations. There may be a strong focus on other's money, such as the resources of a partner, inheritance, banking and loans, or taxes. This transit should be positively dealt with to achieve any benefits.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Jupiter, the planet of abundance and Venus are both transiting your solar 5th house. You have plenty of romantic options. Financially you are still not out of the woods and you need to be careful. At work you will experience a relaxed atmosphere and this will help you to get on with everyone. Venus and Jupiter transit your solar fourth house now. During this cycle, you are especially focused on home and family. You are more receptive and gentle with your family members and even tend to be nostalgic now. If things are out of sync on the home front, you will do whatever you can to create a peaceful and stable atmosphere. This is a calming influence--a time when simple pleasures most appeal.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

020 8518 5500

The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism and put you in a gregarious mood. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on love and creativity, make the most of this phase.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Jupiter and Venus are both transiting your 12th Solar House. This indicates that experience will put you in a deeply reflective mood. 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

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Take time out to strengthen

Venus and Jupiter are transiting your solar third house now, indicating a more intellectual approach to love and pleasure, as well as pleasant communications. Good time to talk about your interests and also exchange ideas. You can benefit through siblings, neighbours, short trips, self-expression, creativity, and fulfilling endeavors. You are especially good at mediating conflicts now.

You know you’ve got no choice but to streamline and reassess your priorities before haphazardly saying yes to everything that smells like a potential opportunity. Try to create a balance between expansion and conservation. Jupiter and Venus in your gains sector makes you feel invincible, base your decisions on facts.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Jupiter and Venus highlight your second house now, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. Security is a driving force for you at the moment, and you might find that you are especially interested in accumulating possessions. Some of you will be thinking of buying or selling a property. This is a good time to put down your roots.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Jupiter and Venus are transiting your solar tenth house for some time to come. During this transit, you have the chance to make lots of money and improve your standard of living. You are likely to feel more confident and enthusiastic about life. Your personal relationships are still going through a period of re-assessment.

close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to anyone who may have caused you pain in recent months. Venus and Jupiter in your opposite sign throws an easy light on affairs of the heart prime time for engagements and weddings. Financially you can expect things to gather momentum. Jupiter and Venus are transiting your work and health sector. You are likely to see benefits in these areas, as well as daily routines. Benefits may come through work itself, co-workers, or employees during this cycle. You might be especially interested in the healing arts during this cycle, such as massage or aromatherapy.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19


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in brief KOHLI BREAKS INTO TOP-10 IN ODI RUNSCORERS LIST

Virat Kohli has kept cricket statisticians around the world busy. Now the Indian captain has broken into the top 10 of Oneday International run-scorers and with that, he has gone past West Indian batting legend Brian Lara. Virat Kohli achieved the feat during the first ODI between India and New Zealand in Napier, where he played a 45-run knock to help India chase a revised 156-run target. Virat Kohli has now crossed Brian Lara's 10405 runs to reach 10430 ODI runs. Kohli is currently No.10 on the list.

SHAMI BECOMES FASTEST INDIAN TO TAKE 100 ODI WICKETS

Mohammed Shami became the fastest Indian bowler to take 100 wickets in Oneday Internationals during the first match against New Zealand in Napier. Shami removed New Zealand opener Martin Guptill in his first over to overtake the record previously held by left-arm swing bowler Irfan Pathan. Shami set the landmark in his 56th ODI while Pathan had done it in 59 matches. Zaheer Khan (65 ODIs), Ajit Agarkar (67) and Javagal Srinath (68 ODIs) complete the list of top five fastest bowlers from India to take 100 ODI wickets. On the international level, Shami is now tied with New Zealand pacer Trent Boult as the sixth fastest to the landmark in terms of matches played. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan leads the list, having set the record in 44 ODIs followed by Mitchell Starc (52 ODIs), Saqlain Mushtaq (53 ODIs), Shane Bond (54 ODIs) and Brett Lee (55 ODIs).

BAN ON WEIGHTLIFTER SANJITA CHANU LIFTED

The ban imposed on India’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu has been lifted. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) informed the India Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) and Sanjita of the development. “On the basis of the information at its disposal the IWF has decided that the provisional suspension of the athlete (Khumukcham Sanjita) shall be lifted as of today (22 January 2019),” the IWF legal Counsel Eva Nyirfa said in a letter. “The IWF Hearing Panel will render its decision on the athlete’s case in due course,” it added. Sanjita, who had won a gold in the women’s 53kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, had tested positive for anabolic steroid testosterone as her urine sample was taken prior to the World Championships in November 17. The 25-year-old Indian lifter was then put under provisional suspension in May last year.

RAYUDU BANNED FROM BOWLING IN INTERNATIONAL CRICKET

India's Ambati Rayudu has been suspended from bowling in international cricket after the part-timer's suspected action was reported during the first ODI against Australia earlier this month, the ICC announced. "The player elected not to submit to a test of his bowling action within the stipulated period of 14 days of being reported for a suspect action, and therefore he has been suspended with immediate effect in accordance with clause 4.2 of the ICC regulations,” the statement said." "The suspension will remain in place until he is tested, and can demonstrate he is able to bowl with a legal action," it added. The 33year-old India player was reported on January 13 for a suspect action during the first ODI against Australia in Sydney. The ICC said that Rayudu may, however, continue bowling in domestic cricket without being tested.

Mandhana, Rodrigues hammer New Zealand The in-form Smriti Mandhana and teen sensation Jemimah Rodrigues hammered New Zealand’s clueless bowling attack to steer India to an emphatic nine-wicket triumph in the opening ODI of a threematch series in Napier. The 22year-old Mandhana (105) and the 18-year-old Rodrigues (81 not out) put together a batting masterclass after the bowlers did the job for India by bundling out New Zealand for a below-par 192. Competing in their first series after the furore that followed the team’s T20 World Cup exit in the semifinals last year, the Indians produced a thoroughly clinical performance to eke out the comfortable victory in 33 overs. While Mandhana, fresh from winning the ICC women’s cricketer of the year award, slammed her fourth ODI hundred, Rodrigues notched up her maiden international half century. “I think it’s great to start the series with a win and wonderful

Indian women celebrate victory

to see openers get an over 100run partnership. I think lot of girls do look up to Mandhana. She had a great 2018 and she is continuing and it gives a lot of confidence to the dressing room,” India captain Mithali Raj said in the post-match presentation. “But easy catches should have been taken. We are definitely not overconfident,”

she added, referring to the shortcomings she noticed. Mandhana and Rodrigues stitched together the highest ever opening wicket stand against New Zealand - a 190-run partnership that stood for 32.2 overs. Rodrigues was making just her fifth appearance in national colours. Mandhana’s 104-ball knock

included nine fours and three sixes, while Rodrigues managed nine hits to the fence. “The wicket was great to bat on. We played according to the merit of the balls and it was a great innings,” she said. Earlier, put in to bat, New Zealand let slip a good start and crumbled in the face of India’s relentless spin combination of Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht. Both Bisht and Yadav snared three wickets each to put the visiting side on top. Yadav, in fact, ripped through the White Ferns’ middle order, claiming the scalps of skipper Amy Satterthwaite (31), Lauren Down (0) and Amelia Kerr (28) in her quota of 10 overs. This was after Susie Bates (38) and Sophie Devine (28) gave New Zealand a solid start. But Devine’s run out by Deepti Sharma triggered a collapse and New Zealand folded in 48.4 overs. Bates’ 38 off 54 balls, including a couple of fours, was the best that any home batsman could manage.

West Indies win first test against England West Indies off-spinner Roston Chase destroyed England with career-best figures of eight for 60 as the West Indies defeated the visitors by 381 runs to win the first Test at Kensington Oval on Saturday. Set the improbable target of 628 to win, the tourists slid to ignominious defeat on the fourth day, losing their last six wickets for 31 runs to be dismissed for 246. It was the largest margin of victory by the West Indies on home soil and third largest anywhere in their 91 years as a Test-playing nation. Chase made the most of a fourth day pitch showing more signs of wear but also benefited from poor shot selection by an England side that looked shellshocked from the events of the previous two days when they were routed for just 77 in their first innings. They then saw the West Indies mass 415 for six declared in the second innings with

Roston Chase tore through England with eight wickets in the second innings

captain Jason Holder starring with an unbeaten doublecentury and wicketkeeperbatsman Shane Dowrich contributing 116 not out in an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 295. Chase joined an elite list of West Indies’ bowlers with eight

wickets or more. He did not extract a great deal of turn from the pitch, but flighted the ball beautifully and, aided by some poor England batting, emerged with the figures of eight for 60. Chase’s first wicket was perhaps his best and most important, clean bowling Rory Burns for 84

India ‘A’ tame England Lions Ishan Kishan, the wicketkeeper batsman led the Board President’s XI to two wins on the row against England Lions last week. Then, on Wednesday, he produced a match-winning cameo (57 not out off 48 balls) to help India ‘A’ beat England Lions by three wickets in the first of the five-match one-day Mayank Markande series. For England Lions, line-up came to the fore on a captain Sam Billings scored a humid day as they reached the clinical century (108) to put up a target in 49.1 overs losing seven challenging total of 285 for wickets. Captain Ajinkya seven on the board. India ‘A’ Rahane (59) and Anmolpreet were behind the required rate Singh (33) gave India ‘A’ a steady for the most part of their chase start scoring 66 for the first but the depth of their batting

wicket. After Singh's departure, Shreyas Iyer came in and played aggressively. He found a liking to the spinners and hit three sixes in his 45 off 52 balls. Brief scores: England Lions: 285/7 in 50 overs (Sam Billings 108 no, Alex Davies 54 no; Siddharth Kaul 3/54, Mayank Markande 2/ 45, Axar Patel 2/52) lost to India ‘A’: 288/7 in 49.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 59, Ishan Kishan 57 no, Shreyas Iyer 45, Anmolpreet Singh 33; Zak Chappell 3/84, Danny Briggs 2/31, Lewis Gregory 2/45) by 3 wickets.

with a ball that found the gate between bat and pad. Only Jack Noreiga - 9/95 versus India at Port of Spain in 1971 - has taken more than eight wickets in an innings for West Indies. Chase joined a list with eight wickets that also comprises Colin Croft, Lance Gibbs, Curtley Ambrose, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Michael Holding and Alf Valentine. Cook questions England’s preparations for tour Former England captain Alastair Cook has questioned the team’s preparations for their West Indies tour. “Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. That has become a cliche in sport but overuse does not erode its essential truth. Look at England over four days in Bridgetown,” Cook wrote in his column. “They didn’t have their fighting edge, and that is not surprising when you consider their pre-Test schedule.”

Nepal’s young prodigy Nepal batsman Rohit Paudel became the youngest male cricketer to score an international 50 on Saturday at the age of 16 years and 146 days, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s previous mark scored in a Test against Pakistan. He also became the youngest man to score an ODI half-century, beating Shahid Afridi, who smashed a 37-ball century in an incredible first innings against Sri Lanka aged 16 and 217 days. Indian legend Tendulkar scored his maiden Test 50 when 16 years and 213 days old in the Faisalabad Test in 1989. Paudel stroked a 58-ball 55 as Nepal, a cricket minnow, thrashed the United Arab Emirates by 145 runs in the second ODI in Dubai.


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India outclass New Zealand Piyush Gudka on his way to 100th marathon to clinch ODI series

Men in Blue celebrate victory

India rode on another all-round show to thrash New Zealand by seven wickets in the third ODI at the Bay Oval here on Monday and take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber. This is India's first ODI series win in New Zealand in a decade. The Men-in-Blue last achieved the feat under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2009. Chasing a below-par 243, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan after a breezy 28 off 27 balls, but fellow opener Rohit Sharma struck his 39th ODI fifty to lay the foundation in the company of the skipper Virat Kohli, who also got to his 49th ODI half century. Rohit and Kohli forged a 113-run second wicket stand to ease the work for the middle order, weakened by the absence of the in-form former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was left out of the playing XI after suffering a hamstring injury. Rohit appeared the more aggressive in the second wicket stand, stamping his authority over the Kiwi bowlers and smashing them all over the park before racing to his half century and taking India's total to the three figures. Kohli wasn't left much behind and the Delhi right-hander gradually matched his partner shot by shot to eventually get to his fifty even as the India total swelled past the 150-run mark. Just when the duo looked set to take the menin-blue to another easy win, left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner deceived Rohit with a flighted delivery to be

stumped only for the second time in one-day internationals. Three overs later, Kohli also followed Rohit back to the dressing room after being spooned by Henry Nicholls at cover off Trent Boult, leaving the untested middle order to fetch another 76 runs from 113 balls. The new pair of Ambati Rayudu (40 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (38 not out) showed no nerves and went about the business in their customary fashion. While Rayudu, who was on Monday suspended by the ICC from bowling in international cricket, started off aggressively, Karthik was welcomed by a bouncer and the Tamil Nadu stumper didn't look back from there on, playing his natural game and eventually sealing off the deal in India's favour. Earlier, pacer Mohammed Shami starred with the ball taking three wickets to help India overcome veteran Ross Taylor's defiant 93 and Tom Latham's 51, and restrict the hosts to 243 in 49 overs. Shami accounted for the wickets of opener Colin Munro (7), Taylor and Ish Sodhi (12) while fellow quick Bhuvneshwar Kumar accounted for the scalps of the other opener Martin Guptill (13) and Trent Boult (2). Electing to bat on a slow track, New Zealand once again lost the momentum quite early after the cheap dismissals of the openers before skipper Kane Williamson (28) and Taylor steadied the ship with a

brief 33-run third wicket stand. The middle overs witnessed comeback man Hardik Pandya (2/45) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2/51) ripping through the Kiwi middle and lower order even after Taylor and Latham were engaged in a 119-run fourth wicket stand. Barring that, New Zealand fans had hardly anything to cheer for as the tail also failed to wag as the innings eventually ended in the penultimate over. Both the sides will now move to Hamilton for the fourth match on Thursday. Brief Scores: New Zealand 243 (Ross Taylor 93, Tom Latham 51; Mohammed Shami 3/41, Hardik Pandya 2/45, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/46) lose to India 244/3 (Rohit Sharma 62, Virat Kohli 60, Ambati Rayudu 40 not out; Trent Boult 2/40) by 7 wickets. 90-run victory in second ODI India registered a 90run victory against New Zealand in the second ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Opting to bat, India piled up 324 for 4, riding on Rohit Sharma (87) and Shikhar Dhawan (66)’s fluent half-centuries. Other contributors were captain Virat Kohli (43), Ambati Rayudu (47) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (48 not out). Kedar Jadhav contributed a quickfire 22 not out in just 10 balls as he and Dhoni added 53 runs in final 4.2 overs for the unconquered fifth wicket. The Indian bowlers then shot New Zealand out for 234 in 40.2 overs.

Piyush Gudka had never heard of the marathon while growing up as a boy in Mombasa, Kenya. Migrating to London in 1972, a whole new world opened up to him, and after running his first marathon in 1994, Piyush got hooked to the concept of keeping fit and healthy and at the same time raising funds for good causes. What impressed him most was the whole sense of equality of the race, and how there were no class, race, prejudice, age or sex barriers. His Jain faith actively propounded respect for all living beings through the philosophy of Ahimsa. Actually, Jain monks are marathon walkers – they walk for miles every day, barefoot. Piyush knew that monkhood isn't for him but converted the walking to running. In order to share his passion for running, he started to involve more people and train and run with them. With a 3:49 first marathon, Piyush could have gone to do sub 3:15 marathons, but his devotion to involving and guiding as many people as possible was far greater. He had inspired and trained 225 in 2018, 36% of whom are women. Many had never imagined they could achieve such a feat, but all have gone onto completing at least one marathon. Piyush’s record has truly impressed the London Marathon organisers both in encouraging and training runners to participate in the

Piyush Gudka with Eliud Kipchoge (The Greatest Marathon Runner of All time)

race as well as fundraising for very worthy causes. On an average, he gives 300400 hours of his time every year to advise, support and run with different people to help them realise their dreams and raise money at the same time. In total, his group has raised over £800,000 and run over 50,000 miles so far – that is equivalent to going more than 2 times around the whole planet. Piyush is on way to run his 100th Marathon on 17 March 2019 – The Logicom Cyprus Marathon. He has run marathons on 6 continents and 30 countries, including the world marathon majors (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) and is a truly global citizen. There were never any plans for 25, 50 or 100 marathons. The true desire, humility and sincerity of inspiring, motivating and training so many runners has led Piyush to reach his century of marathons. This dedication is a form of meditation for him.

For Piyush, the most important thing to remember about marathon running is the satisfaction of: Participating in the race, enjoying the fantastic atmosphere, accomplishing “mission impossible,” collecting money for charities and endurance achievement of a lifetime. A Chartered Accountant by profession and qualified Personal Trainer by passion, Piyush very often says: “A marathon is a race without race, colour, religion, sex, prejudice, nationality, hate, where everyone starts as an equal, and everyone finishes as a winner.” Asked where he gets his inspiration from, Piyush replies with one of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quotes: “I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average abilities. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”

Saina wins Indonesia Masters after Marin withdraws Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal claimed her first BWF title in two years after three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain limped out of the Indonesia Masters final due to a leg injury. The London Olympics bronze medallist, who last won a BWF title in 2017 in Malaysia, was trailing 4-10 in the opening game when Marin decided to withdraw from the contest. “It is an important year for all of us. It was not good to see at all. It is painful. I have been getting injured a lot in the last few years and to see something like this on court is really painful,” said Saina, who had suffered a career-threatening knee injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is a creditable performance for the Indian, who had suffered a shin

Saina Nehwal

injury late last year. “I took a break the whole of December. I played this event to see how good I am and I was surprised with myself. January 1 was my first match (PBL) against Sindhu after the injury,” Saina said. “But I am not happy with the way I got it today. Of course I am happy that I could reach the finals, beating difficult opponents like He Bingjiao. Both the tournaments, I am very

happy with my performance. It is great to beat (Nozomi) Okuhara, Binjiao, Dinar (Dyah Ayustine). “In the finals, of course Carolina had the upper hand and I wanted to fight and see how the match goes but it was unfortunate what happened,” added the 28year-old Hyderabadi. Olympic champion Marin made a rampaging start to take the first two points before Saina started to engage her in rallies and caught the Spaniard at the net to log her first point. The Spaniard looked in good form, unleashing her aggressive brand of badminton but an unfortunate injury brought a premature end of the match when Marin, leading 9-2, landed badly on her right leg and fall on the court in agony.

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 2nd February 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 38)

AV 2nd February 2019  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 38)

Profile for abpl