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VOL 22, No. 1163

January 13, 2017

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Periodical Postage

U.S. NRIs GET 6 PBS AWARDS

India Heritage Day with Chicago Bulls Details on page 16

Chambers leads 100-member USIBC team Details on page 10

WINNERS ALL: President Pranab Mukherjee in a group photograph at the 14th Edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD-2017) convention, in Bengaluru, Karnataka on January 9

CONTENTS

BENGALURU: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from the The first award was received by Portugal Prime MinisUS led the list of 30 persons conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya ter Antonia Luiss Santos Da Costa for his contribution in Samman awards by President Pranab the field of public service. Mukherjee here on January 9. As per the list, six awards were given Among the NRIs from the US, Hari to NRIs from the US, the highest in the Convert PIO to Babu Bindal was honored for his conlist, while two each to those from the UK OCI cards, PM tribution in the field of environment and UAE. engineering, Nisha Desai Biswal (AsOne award each was given to NRIs tells Diaspora sistant Secretary of State for South and from 20 countries, including Australia, Central Asian Affairs in the United France, Canada, Israel, Libya, Fiji, Brunei, Details on page 5 States Department of State) for public Singapore, Portugal and others. affairs, Sampat Kumar Shidramapa Neena Gill and Priti Patel from the UK Shivangi for community leadership, while Mahesh Mehta, were honored for their contribution in the field of public Ramesh Shah and Bharat Haridas Barai were awarded for service. Details on page 5 their contribution in the field of community service.

Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Classifieds ------------------------- 52 Community Post -------------- 16-21 Date Book -------------------------- 39 Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 44-47 Horoscope ------------------------- 50 Immigration Post ------------- 34-37 Life Style ----------------------- 30-33 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 24-26 Stars Speak ----------------------- 38 TechBiz Post ------------------- 11-15 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


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xactly a week to go before Donald Trump will be inaugurated and I am trying not to see the new President through the perspective of the late night comedy shows, but seriously pay attention to what he is saying. Unfortunately, I am not getting much else to dramatically change the liberal view of him as a self-serving, egoistical, credit grabbing, insecure man. The conservative picture he has painted of himself is quite sketchy and blotched for a classy image to emerge. Of course there will at least be four years to change that opinion if he does something genuinely beneficial for America without thanking himself for it. 'History does not move in straight lines; sometimes it goes sideways, sometimes it goes backwards.' That's a line that stuck with me from an article I read in The New Yorker a couple of weeks after the Presidential election. In so many ways, President-elect Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric, his promises for the future and his many tweets and half-truths do give me the feeling that as a nation, we will probably be running unsteadily with our backs to the future rather than run face forward to embrace a pragmatic future. What reinforces that feeling are promises like bringing back coal mining jobs rather than encouraging miners to re-skill themselves in the technology driven clean energy industry; like countering hacking of emails with hand written messages sent by courier; like sticking a finger at nepotism laws by appointing immediate family and friends to important positions in the administration. Well, for someone who thinks truth is only what you believe, especially if it can be conveyed in 140 characters, laws, rules and regulations are for those who are simply too timid to break them. For all you know, Trump could be reading this, so I want to be clear. Hey listen, I'm no basher for the sake of bashing. Nor is it about politics. At least not mine. This is about leadership. Sure, you don't have to please all the people all the time; but as President it is absolutely imperative that you don't mislead even some people sometimes. I'll be watching.

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: 3 in one Three bigshots of Bollywood - Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Karan Johar have teamed up for a film starring Akshay

Cover Story: 6 PBS awards 6 Non-Resident Indians from the US lead the list of 30 persons conferred the PBS awards at Bengaluru PBD

Community: Indian Heritage Day FIA got a Chicago Bulls basketball game start with the singing of Indian anthem and then presenting Indian dances

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Immigration: H1B visa bill A bill backing key changes in the H1-B program has been re-introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers

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US NRIs get 6 PBS awards BENGALURU: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from the US led the list of 30 persons conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards by President Pranab Mukherjee here on January 9. Among the NRIs from the US, Hari Babu Bindal was honored for his contribution in the field of environment engineering, Nisha Desai Biswal (Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State) for public affairs, Sampat Kumar Shidramapa Shivangi for community leader-

ship, while Mahesh Mehta, Ramesh Shah and Bharat Haridas Barai were awarded for their contribution in the field of community service. The first award was received by Portugal Prime Minister Antonia Luiss Santos Da Costa for his contribution in the field of public service. As per the list, six awards were given to NRIs from the US, the highest in the list, while two each to those from the UK and UAE. One award each was given to NRIs from 20 countries, including

Australia, France, Canada, Israel, Libya, Fiji, Brunei, Singapore, Portugal and others. Neena Gill and Priti Patel from the UK were honored for their contribution in the field of public

The first award was received by Portugal Prime Minister Antonia Luiss Santos Da Costa

'Cards, ATMs, POS will be redundant by 2020' BENGALURU: Amid the big Pointing out that India is the nology to leapfrog is much push being given to digital trans- only country with a billion mobile quicker and faster than literate actions post-demonetization, Niti and billion biometric, Kant also people living in urban areas, Kant Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has noted that India is largely a cash said in social innovation and fisaid cards, ATMs and POS ma- driven economy. nancial technology it was the chines would become redundant He said whatever the biggest young Indians who were disruptin the country by 2020. attempts of demonetization and ing the world. "....India is in the midst of huge push for digital payment, only 2 He said they will enable India's huge disruption in the world of to 2.5 per cent of Indians pay taxes, leapfrog and take it to a 10 trillion both financial technology and in so India needs to move from a dollar economy. "...so the young terms of social innovapeople of India must have tion (there is) huge huge the hunger, ambition and innovation and this dispassion to drive India to ruption will enable India innovation, to startups to leapfrog...," he said. and disrupt India in a man"...and by 2020 my ner that it has never seen view is that in the next before," he added. two-and-a-half years, InNoting that India is dia will make all its debit growing at about 7.6 per cards, credit cards, all cent per annum, Kant said ATM machines all POS it is an oasis of growth in machines totally irrelthe midst of a "very very evant," Kant told a sesbarren economic landsion at Pravasi Bharatiya scape" across the world Divas 2017, a three-day and the challenge for the mega event of Indian country was to grow at Diaspora. even higher rates of 9 or He said, "They will all 10 per cent for a period of become redundant in Inthree decades or more. dia, and India will make Speaking about India's this jump because every largest young population, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant speaking at a plenary Indian will be doing his he said it was a huge opsession on Start-ups and innovation which has social impact in India at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas transaction just by using portunity for the country. 2017 at Bangalore International Exhibition Center in his thumb in thirty sec"This is the biggest soBengaluru on January 7 onds...." cial and economic phenomSpeaking at a session enon that is taking place on 'Startups and innovations non-formal to a formal economy. across the world, as the populawhich have social impact in India' "It is impossible for India to tion across Europe and America at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya become a 10 trillion economy like is getting older, the population in Divas here, he said, "What we are this....two trillion dollar is a formal India is getting younger..." he pushing now is digital payment economy and another one trillion added. in a very big way and it is a huge dollar is an informal black Listing out various reforms disruption with several innovative economy. agenda and ease of doing business methods. It is not possible for India to initiatives taken up by the govern"India has created a back end grow. So you need convert the ment and country's FDI growth, in terms of biometric which will non-formal economy to a formal Kant stressed on the huge emphaenable India...," he said, highlight- economy, that's what the effort is," sis for the startup movement which ing recently launched BHIM app he added. helps in job creation and addresses and Aadhar enabled payment sysNoting that ability of people challenges faced by country by tem initiatives. living in rural areas to utilize tech- finding solutions. -PTI

service. In the list of NRIs from the UAE, Vasudev Shamdas Shroff and one organization Indian Social and Cultural Centre were awarded. In the field of business, Rajasekharan Pillai Valavoor Kizhakkathi from Bahrain, Mukund Bhikhubhai from Canada and Susheel Kumar Saraff from Thailand were honored. In the field of medical science, Lael Anson E Best from Israel and Carani Balaraman Sanjeevi were selected.

Sandip Kumar Tagore from Japan was awarded for his contribution in the field of arts and culture, while Muniandy Thambirajah from Malaysia and Zeenat Musarrat Jafri from Saudi Arabia were honored for education and community service. In the field of public service, Pravin Kumar Jugnauth from Mauritius and Winston Chandarbhan Dookeran from Trinidad were honored. Vinod Chandra Patel from Fiji was selected for his contribution in the field of social service. -PTI

Convert PIO to OCI cards, PM tells Diaspora BENGALURU: Government is for the contributions they have working to put in place procedures made to the societies they live in. for making descendants of the in"The NRIs and PIOs have dentured labour living in Fiji and made outstanding contributions other countries eligible for OCI to their chosen fields. They are cards, Prime Minister Narendra role models for immigrants from Modi said here. other backgrounds and countries "Starting with Mauritius, we ... They take our values and culare working to put in place proce- ture wherever they go. The Indian dures so that descendants of Diaspora have contributed their Girmitiyas could become eligible best towards progress in that for OCI Cards. We remain commit- country," Modi said. ted to addressing similar difficulHe said the remittance of close ties of PIOs in Fiji, Reunion Is- to 69 billion dollars annually by lands, Suriname, Guyana and other Caribbean States," he said in his address at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here. Girmityas are descendents of indentured Indian laborers who were brought to Fiji to work on sugarcane plantations in mid-1800s. The Prime Minister also urged the People of Indian Origin (PIO) to convert Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the their cards into Overgathering at the inauguration of the Pravasi seas Citizen of India Bharatiya Divas (PBD-2017) celebrations, in cards, reiterating the Bengaluru, Karnataka on January 8 government's decision to extend the deadline for overseas Indians made an invaluthese card conversions from De- able contribution to the Indian cember 31 last year to June 30, economy. without any penalty. Talking about brain drain, Modi "From January 1 this year, be- government said his government ginning with Delhi and Bengaluru, was taking steps to convert brain we have set up special counters drain into brain gain. at immigration points for OCI "When people spoke of brain cardholders. We want it to be- drain, it was believed that the come a symbol of global migra- brighter people went abroad seektion, achievements and aspira- ing employment opportunities ... tions of the Diaspora," he said. but I was asking people that whoObserving that there are over ever are left behind in India, are 30 million overseas Indians living they dumb? It is our Endeavour abroad, he said they were not just to convert that brain drain into respected for their numbers, but brain gain," he said. -PTI


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Overdue recognition for Seetharaman built close GCC-India ties Dr Bharat Barai PRAKASH SWAMY

SURENDRA ULLAL

BENGALURU: It was an overdue recognition for a community leader like Dr Bharat Barai, a hugely respected community leader from Illinois-Indiana when the Indian government announced that he would be a recipient of Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) along with others this year. Dr Barai, a practicing

board certified Dr. Bharat Barai is medical director of oncology at Methodist Hospitals and is also on the Indiana Medical Licensing board. He is known for his active involvement in community affairs all around in Indiana and Illinois. He has been associated with Federation of Indian Associations, Manav Seva Mandir, Indian Se-

Dr Bharat Barai receiving the PBS award

oncologist in Indiana was given the award for his all round community services This is the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians by the Government of India in recognition of their achievements both in India and abroad. Munster resident and triple-

niors organizations and has helped organize number of community health fairs. He walked a red carpet and rubbed elbows with celebrities, while joining the ranks of Nobel Prize winners and past presidents in receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is credited with the view that he doesn't

do good works for the praise. In a talk to this paper, he said that this award does not belong to him but to the entire Indian American community who stayed with him and supported him in all his endeavors The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians. PBSA is conferred by the President of India as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention organized annually since 2003 on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin or an organization or institution established and run by Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad. An 11-member Jury-cumAwards Committee, with the VicePresident as Chairman and External Affairs Minister as ViceChairman and nine other distinguished members from various walks of life considered the nominations for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, 2017 and had unanimously recommended thirty nominees. Ms. Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State, Department of State, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the awardees.

Govt finds PBD meet 'extremely substantive' BENGALURU: The three-day 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a mega meet of the Indian Diaspora which saw its largest convergence, came to an end in the IT city with the government saying the PBD engagement was "extremely substantive" and outcome

oriented. "This year we have had a very large gathering, we have had more than 7200 people who registered, we have had more than 2000 people who came from abroad, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen V K Singh told report-

ers. "The general impression that we get after talking to people is that this time we were able to attract much larger crowd whether they were at the sessions or at the exhibition area," he said. Cont’d on page 22

Overseas based Indian youths take part in the Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017 at Bangalore Intension Exhibition Center in Bengaluru

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r. R. Seetharaman, Doha Indian diaspora in GCC can play Bank CEO was conferred an important role on above areas with the Pravasi Bharatiya and thereby promote bilateral reSamman Award (PBSA) by the lationships between GCC and InPresident of India, dia. This award further inspires me Shri Pranab to contribute to the strengthenMukherjee at the ing of bilateral relationships bePravasi Bhartiya Di- tween GCC and India." vas Convention on Dr. R. Seetharaman also gave January 9. insight on significant bilateral reHe was honored lationships between GCC and Infor his significant dia. contribution to buildHe said "Remittances to India ing closer links be- from the Gulf countries in 2015-16 tween India, the over- was $35.9 billion. GCC - India trade seas Indian community in Gulf Co- was close to $100bn in 2015-16. operation Council (GCC) and the GCC countries and for the welfare of the local Indian community in GCC. Some of the key initiatives brought by him include arranging Credit and Investment facilities to Indian corporates and FIs. Facilitated average Annual Remittances to India over last decade, created employment opportunities for Indians in global operations, contributed to Indian SMEs, professionals and blue collared workers abroad, contributed to multilateral trade and investment with India. Dr. R. Seetharaman Dr R Seetharaman receiving the PBS award is a Recipient of multiple doctorates from USA, Europe & India including Indian Diaspora in GCC can levertwo PhDs and has provided in- age their relationships with GCC valuable contribution to green Sovereign Wealth Funds to conbanking, sustainability, CSR & tribute to India's FDI. India would governance. He is a benevolent be keen to welcome more investphilanthropist contributing to so- ments and strategic support from cial causes, underprivileged and GCC especially in infrastructure, people with special needs. He is education and research, travel and also a recognized economic com- tourism, agriculture and food promentator for global financial me- cessing. Promote cooperation in dia over last three decades the exchange of intelligence reOn receiving the Award, Dr. R. Seetharaman said, "It is “This award further inspires a great privilege to receive the Pravasi me to contribute to the Bharatiya Samman strengthening of bilateral Award. India today is poised for a giant leap relationships between from the ranks of developing countries to de- GCC and India” v e l o p e d countries.Indian citizens living lated to money laundering, terroroutside India also have a respon- ism financing and related crimes, sibility on this progress and and electronic crimes between Inhence should look forward to con- dia and GCC countries. Indian tribute to the welfare of India. This companies can participate in varican be done through remittances, ous infrastructure projects pertaininvestments, trade and other ing to Qatar FIFA 2022 World Cup routes as well. I believed that the and Dubai World Expo in 2020."


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Portugal PM welcomes Indian investment BENGALURU: Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa has welcomed India to invest in his country, saying it would be received with "open arms" as he fondly spoke of his Indian origin. Highlighting that Portugal has a "classical position" to access key worldwide markets and is in central zone connecting UK and other European countries, he said, adding it was always open to FDI and "it is a country open to the world." "... We also have excellent ties with the US and Canada. We have connectivity both to

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Portuguese Republic, Antonio Costa at the delegation level talks, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on January 7

Africa and Latin America. We have direct flights to 121 cities across the world. We welcome you to invest in our country," he said, while addressing the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.

Narendra Modi welcoming Antonio Costa, at the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD-2017) celebrations, in Bengaluru, Karnataka on January 8

Costa said, "I can assure you that Portugal is an open country that will receive you with open arms if you have ideas to invest in Portugal, work or study or simply for living. Portugal is always open to FDI...," he said. Costa, who is of Indian origin from Goa, said he would love to go to Goa, where his father spent his childhood. "I like to go to Goa where my father spent his childhood. I call upon this vibrant Indian Diaspora to help promote cordial ties with Portugal and In-

dia." Costa said the India origin community is well integrated in Portugal. "... their contribution to the Portuguese society is highly valued and, at the same time, I believe these Portuguese Indians are contributing their mite to Indian society as well," he said. "Maybe it is not by chance that I am the first person of Indian origin to lead the European country," he said as the Chief Guest at the three-day event here which is Centre's outreach program to overseas Indian community.

He said ability to interact with people of other origin, culture or religion is part of Portuguese DNA and it is the duty of the Diaspora to not only preserve their ties but also strengthen ties with India and the country where they live. Portuguese and India had centuries old relationship on historical, cultural and personal ties, he said, adding, by this visit he wanted to renew this relationship "to address present and future challenges", besides extending ties and strategic partnership in new areas of cooperation. -PTI


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Modi inaugurates India's first int'l exchange GANDHINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's first international exchange - India INX - at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT City here, saying it will enable Indian firms to compete on equal footing with offshore firms. A subsidiary of Bombay Stock

It plans to offer depository receipts and bonds later. Modi, after opening the exchange by sounding the virtual gong, termed it as a "momentous occasion for Indian financial sector". "My vision for Gift City is larger. In next 10 years from now, I

"There has been criticism that a lot of trading in Indian financial instruments is taking place abroad. GIFT City will be able to mitigate such criticism," the Prime Minister said Exchange, India INX is one of the world's most advanced technology platforms with a turn-aroundtime of 4 micro seconds which will operate for 22 hours a day, allowing international investors and NRIs to trade from anywhere across the globe. INX will trade initially in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives including index and stocks.

see Gift City becoming a price-setter for at least a few of the largest traded instruments in the world, whether in commodities, currencies, equities, interest rate derivatives or any other financial instruments," Modi said. "I am sure the exchange will set new standards for quality of service and speed of transactions across time zone," the Prime Minister said.

"This exchange is a part of IFSC of GIFT City. The concept of IFSC is simple yet powerful. It is to provide offshore talent with an onshore technological and regulatory framework," he said. "This has been done with a view to enable Indian firms to compete on an equal footing with offshore financial centers," Modi said. "There has been criticism that a lot of trading in Indian financial instruments is taking place abroad. GIFT City will be able to mitigate such criticism," the Prime Minister said. "IFSC will be able to provide facility and regulation compared to (on par with) any other international financial centers in the world. It is not easy to create and manage such an environment in large country like India. India can't be compared to small states. We have local markets and have special tax and regulatory regime," Modi said. "Creating an offshore centre in a large country like India poses a regulatory challenge. I am glad

that ministry of finance, revenue, RBI and SEBI have found solutions to such regulatory issues," Modi said.

well-paid jobs in service sector will have to be part of job revolution. International exposure that youth will get from Gift City will

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the India International Exchange (India’s first International Stock Exchange) by hitting the gong at GIFT City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat on January 9

India needs to create 30 crore new jobs in the next two decades, the PM said. "India needs to create 30 crore new jobs over the next 20 years. It's a huge Endeavour. Skill and

ensure that more and more of them will be able to join this important dream," Modi said. "Over the next ten years, I expect GIFT City to generate lakhs of new jobs," the PM said. -PTI

80 countries participating in 'Vibrant Gujarat Show'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries at the inauguration ceremony of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, at Mahatma Mandir, in Gandhinagar Gujarat on January 10

GANGHINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated here 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show', where around 1,500 entities are participating from India and abroad. After inaugurating the Trade Show, Modi took a round of different pavilions at the trade show and interacted with businessmen. Representatives of over 80 countries are also participating in the 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show' where more than 15 lakh people are expected to visit over the course of five days. The pavilions at the trade show which is being held at exhibition ground here have companies from sectors like automobiles, agro and food, aerospace and de-

fense, energy and petrochemicals, environment, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, engi-

neering and manufacturing, urban mobility and infrastructure, maritime, IT, ITES and financial ser-

vices, and textiles. Some of the participants are ISRO, DRDO, Maruti, Tata, Ford,

IT Department, Axis Bank, SBI, GIFT, GIDC, Civil Aviation Department Utra Tech. -PTI

Modi meets Dy PM of Poland

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, Piotr Glinski, on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat 2017, at Mahatma Mandir Convention Center, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on January 9

GANDHI NAGAR: Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Piotr Glinsks called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas of trade and investment, scientific research and waste management. In the meeting Modi appreciated Polish support for India's membership of Missile Technology Control Regime and its bid for NSG membership, official sources said. Glinsks is here to attend the Vibrant Gujarat summit. In the meeting, Modi also invited participation by Poland in the coal mining sector where India has opened up for FDI. He said Poland could be a very attractive location for shooting of Bollywood movies. Cont’d on page 9


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PM holds talks with global leaders GANDHINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with several heads of state and ministers who have converged here for the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

In a series of tweets, External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with leaders of Rwanda, Serbia, Japan and Denmark.

Modi with other global leaders on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

The Prime Minister held delegation-level talks with various international leaders at Mahatma Mandir starting with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.

"A crisp January morning in Gandhinagar begins with full delegation level talks. PM with President @PaulKagame of Rwanda @VibrantGujarat," Swarup

tweeted. "The two leaders witnessed the exchange of a MoU on Forensic Sciences cooperation and Rwanda's accession to the Intern'l Solar Alliance," said another tweet. Later, Modi held bilateral talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Economy Minister of Japan Seko Hiroshige and then with Energy Minister of Denmark Lars Clilleholt. "Strengthening ties with Serbia. PM @narendramodi holds 2nd bilateral with Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian PM at #VibrantGujarat2017," Swarup said in another tweet. "An enduring investment partner. 2 months after Economy Minister @SekoHiroshige called on PM in Tokyo, they meet @VibrantGujarat," he said. "Learning from the leaders in renewable energy. PM @narendramodi with @larsclilleholt, Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Denmark," he tweeted. The Prime Minister is expected to hold similar meetings with other

heads of state. Around 20 heads of state and ministers from different governments across the world are attending the summit. Nisha Desai Biswal, an Indian-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, Prime Minister of Portuguese Republic, Antonio Costa and Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on January 10

American serving as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State, is at-

Let science raise people from poverty: PM AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi here urged the budding scientists to help raise the people from poverty by the use of science and technology. Inaugurating the Nobel Prize exhibition, he said, "Thanks to science and technology, the human race has flourished. Large numbers are enjoying a quality of life unparalleled in human history". "Yet India has a great challenge to raise many from poverty. You will be scientists soon and must not neglect this challenge," he told the students in the presence of nine Nobel laureates, who are here as a part 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit'. The Nobel laureates, who would interact with students of Indian Universities, include Indiaborn and Gujarat-educated scientist Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. Ramakrishnan won 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosome structure. He shared the prize with fellow scientists Thomas A Steitz and Ada Yonath. The others are Dr Richard J Roberts (1993, Medicine), Dr Harold Varmus (1989, Medicine), Dr David J Gross (2004, Physics), Dr Serge Haroche (2012, Physics), Dr Randy Schekman (2013, Medicine), Dr W E Moerner (2014, Chemistry), Dr H C Harmut Michel (1988, Chemistry) and Dr Ada

Yonath. The PM said on earlier occasions one, two or three Nobel laureates have visited India and interacted with students and scientists in a limited manner. "But today we are making history by having a galaxy of Nobel laureates in Gujarat. I heartily welcome all the Nobel laureates here. You are all valued friends of In-

which that vision will translate into strategy and action. Our vision in science and technology is to make sure that opportunity is available to all our youths," he said. Modi said his government has a plan to that will take this vision through action. "Our scientists have been asked to develop programs on science teaching in our schools

knowledge economy and make you effective entrepreneurs and thinking scientists. You will be able to compete for positions and jobs here and anywhere in the world," the PM said. "Next, our scientists will link our laboratories in cities. You can share ideas, resources and equipment. This will allow us to do more and better collaborative

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Noble prize winner scientists at Noble Prize series function at Science City in Ahmedabad on January 9

dia. Some of you have been earlier several times, one of you were born here. He actually grew up in Vadodara," Modi said. "My government has a clear vision of where we want India to be in the next 15 years. Science and technology is the pivot on

across the country. This will also involve training teachers," he said, adding that at the next level they have been asked to create new programs both in skilling and high-tech training. "These programs will make you employable in the new

tending the Summit along with a large US business delegation. Other prominent dignitaries are President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa, Deputy PM

science. "Our science agencies will expand science-driven entrepreneurship and commercialization in a big way in each state according to local needs. Your start-ups and industry can then compete globally," he added.-PTI

of Russia Dmitry Rogozin, first Deputy PM and Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Poland, Poitr Glinski. -PTI

Modi meets Dy PM of Poland Cont’d from page 8

Modi also said India would support Polish plans to push forward air connectivity and that the e-Visa scheme would benefit visitors from Poland, the sources said. "The PM recognized the world class Polish expertise in waste, solid and waste water management and said it could be very useful in our smart cities project," the sources said adding there was a comprehensive review of bilateral relations in the meeting. Favoring deepening of trade ties, Modi also talked about change in rules for import of Polish apples, trade going up by 22 per cent, and Indian companies investing more than USD 2 billion in Poland. Recalling the longstanding relationship between India, Gujarat in particular, and Poland, Modi said Poland was the first country to extend help when Gujarat faced an earthquake. "He also recalled that Junagadh had provided succor to more than 1000 Poles who had come from Siberia," the sources said. The Polish Dy PM observed that deep ties had existed between Poland and Gujarat since World War II. -PTI


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January 13, 2017

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Chambers leads 100member US team India Post News Service

J

ohn Chambers, USIBC Board Chairman and Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems is leading the delegation of almost 100 representatives from leading U.S. compa-

Huntsman Corporation and Mastercard, among others. Dr. Mukesh Aghi, President, US India Business Council said, "Vibrant Gujarat has placed India on the world map, providing an impetus to industrial growth, in-

CEO, USIBC and Chairman, Cisco, John Chambers calling on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on January 10

nies to the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Companies in the delegation include: Cisco, Emerson, CME Group, 3M Company, Varian Medical, BIO, Dell, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, FedEx, Gilead,

novation and has paved the way for multinational companies to integrate India in their global supply chain. I congratulate Prime Minister Modi for realizing the dream of not just Vibrant Gujarat

but a Vibrant India." He added, "In 2016-17, USIBC is expecting an additional inflow of US $27 billion to India by at least 52 U.S. companies. We are delighted to see the fastened pace of India's recent domestic reforms." The USIBC Delegation to Vibrant Gujarat, led by John Chambers, comprises several CEOs and senior executives, including Ed Monser, Vice-Chairman, USIBC and President, Emerson Electric; David Farr, CEO, Emerson Electric; Ashish Khandpur, Senior Vice President & CTO, 3M Company; Peter Huntsman, CEO, Huntsman Corporation; Amit Midha, President - Asia Pacific & Japan, Dell; Ravi Aurora, Senior Vice President, MasterCard; Jim Greenwood, CEO, BIO; Richard Boocock, President- India, Middle East, Egypt & Turkey, Air Products & Chemicals; Sukhveer Singh, Vice President, Varian Medical Systems; Raj Subramaniam, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Executive Vice President, FedEx Corporation; Ambassador Robert Blake, Senior Director, McLarty Associates.

PMO-White House hotline to continue WASHINGTON: The hotline established in 2015 between Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will continue to exist after the outgoing US President hands over the baton to his successor Donald Trump on January 20, a presidential aide has suggested. It is the only new hotline that was established during the eight years of Obama Administration, reflecting on deepening of IndiaUS ties. "I'd be surprised if that was something that was discontinued," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "Typically, those kinds of arrangements are intended to persist beyond just one presidential term," he said in response to a question. The decision to establish the hotline was finalized during Obama's historic visit to India in 2015 to attend the annual Republic Day parade on January 26 as its chief guest. Modi had then said the effort was part of their exercise to give the critical partnership between two countries "a new thrust and sustained attention."

After its establishment later that year, the two leaders have frequently interacted over the hotline even though only a few of those conversations have appeared in public domain After its establishment later that year, the two leaders have frequently interacted over the hotline even though only a few of those conversations have appeared in public domain. At least one of those conversations lasted for more than an hour, according to the US Ambassador to India. India is only the fourth coun-

try after Russia, Britain and China with which the US has a hotline. For India, this is the first hotline at the level of the head of state. In 2004, India and Pakistan agreed to establish hotlines at the level of foreign secretaries, and in 2010 New Delhi and Beijing announced to establish a hotline at the foreign ministry level. -PTI

PM skips yoga session to meet mother GANDHINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on Gujarat visit for the Vibrant Summit, skipped his daily yoga session in the morning to meet his mother Hiraba, who lives at Raisan village near here. Through a tweet, Modi said he went to meet his mother early this morning and had breakfast together.

"Skipped Yoga & went to meet mother. Before dawn had breakfast with her. Was great spending time together," tweeted Modi before heading to Mahatma Mandir to attend meetings with foreign heads of the state. 97-year-old Hiraba lives with Modi's younger brother Pankaj Modi at Raisan village near the state capital.-PTI

Hindu Americans 3rd largest group in Congress India Post News Service

my birth city of Philadelphia where our Constitution was signed, the bicentennial year I was born, and the values I am swearing to uphold. I have always believed that Hinduism is a philosophy of life that respects religious pluralism, a separation of church and state, and civil liberties. So I also believe swearing in on the Constitution is deeply consistent with my faith, particularly as Mahatma Gandhi and my grandfather practiced it." With the swearing in of Gabbard, Jayapal, Khanna, and Krishnamoorthi, Hinduism becomes the third largest faith group represented in Congress.

WASHINGTON, DC: Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) along with Indian and Hindu American community members from across the country celebrated the beginning of the 115th Congressional session, which saw three new Hindu American members of Congress sworn in. HAF was honored to serve as an event partner for Indiaspora's Gala celebrating these new Indian and Hindu American legislators, as well as those serving in state legislatures and in the current and upcoming administrations. "I'm grateful to the people of Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi Hawai'i for the opportunity to con- (D-IL) took his oath of office tinue serving them in Washington, on the Bhagavad Gita as did and was humbled to take the oath of Rep. Pramila Jayapal office on the (D-WA), who used the US Bhagavad Gita, as I was sworn into Constitution as well the 115th Congress. The More than a dozen ConBhagavad Gita has been a tremendous source of inner gressional leaders from both peace and strength through- parties attended and adout my life, including through dressed the audience at my two deployments in the Indiaspora's Gala, including Middle East," said Rep. Tulsi House Democratic Leader Gabbard (D-HI), the first Nancy Pelosi, Senate India Hindu American elected to Caucus Co-chair Mark Warner, Senator Dan Sullivan, House Congress. "I'm proud to welcome my India Caucus Co-chair Ami new colleagues to the 115th Bera, and all four Hindu memCongress that has become bers of Congress. Assistant even more diverse and repre- Secretary of State for South sentative of the makeup of our and Central Asia Nisha country. I look forward to Biswal, Surgeon General Vivek working with them in the spirit Murthy, and Ambassador of karma yoga and aloha, treat- Navtej Singh Sarna, India's ing all people with respect and newly appointed envoy to the doing our best to serve and United States, also attended care for others and our and gave remarks. "HAF sees this historic moplanet." Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi ment as a true coming of age (D-IL) took his oath of office for Hindu Americans polition the Bhagavad Gita as did cally," said Jay Kansara, HAF Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Director of Government Relawho used the US Constitution tions. "We're confident that as well. Rep. Ro Khanna (D- having more voices in governCA) chose to take his oath of ment informed by Hindu valoffice on a historic edition of ues like pluralism, non-harming, moderation, and a quest the US Constitution. "I was honored to be sworn for truth, will add great value in on a bicentennial edition of to the policies impacting not the United States Constitution only our lives and well-being, on loan from the Rare Books but of so many around United division of the Library of Con- States and the world. gress," said Rep. Khanna. "I selected this special edition of More top stories the Constitution to recognize

on pages 22-23


Tech News The rise of the Robo-butler

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obotic aides are becoming a reality-just don't expect them to perform many different roles. Coming out of this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are a variety of new automated helpers. But unlike the doit-all robotic butlers of sci-fi, these devices are built to perform a small number of tasks. Take, for instance, Kuri, pictured above. The 20-inch-tall robot is essentially an Amazon Alexa on wheels, letting users play music or control their smart devices from anywhere in the home. It can also live-stream video of your house for surveillance purposes. But that's pretty much where its skills end. Ubtech's new Lynx robot is a similar concept, though in walking humanoid form. LG, meanwhile, has unveiled a series of automatons, among them a customer service robot for airports and hotels that can answer questions in four languages to help travelers. And the 4-foot-tall MoRo can perform simple chores, using its arms to pick up and move objects. So robo-butlers may now be happy to help, as long as you have a very specific task in mind.

New electric car faces a struggle

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eleaguered electric car startup Faraday Future has unveiled its supposed Tesla killer-but it, like its rival, has issues of scale to overcome. Late last year, reports suggested that Faraday Future had been haemorrhaging money on a car that ex-employees considered to be vaporware. So, it had a lot to prove yesterday when it unveiled its first stab at a real electric vehicle. The unusual-looking car, called FF91, sounds impressive: a 378mile range, 1,050 horsepower, and 0-60 mph in 2.39 seconds. That's faster than any Tesla. Buyers can reserve one for $5,000, though no full price has been given. But, as Wired points out, it's so far only built 12 vehicles, and scaling up to full production will be difficult. That's something that Tesla already knows. Elon Musk's automaker had hoped to deliver 80,000 vehicles in 2016, but fell short, shipping just 76,230. The target was typically Muskian in ambition, but Tesla is still a way off the output of an established automaker. Faraday Future will need its own production figures to perform as well as its car.

TechBiz 11 India Post

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January 13, 2017

Volkswagen recalls 136,000 for antilock brake fix Volkswagen Group of America is recalling nearly 136,000 Audi and Volkswagen autos to fix potential problems with their antilock brake systems. The recall covers 135,683 vehicles, including certain 2009-10 Volkswagen Jetta A5 sedans, 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, Eos, GTI, Rabbit and Audi A3 vehicles and 2010 Volkswagen Golf A6 vehicles. In them, the control unit for the antilock brake system may fail when the system or the auto's electronic stability control are activated. Volkswagen will notify owners, and repairs will be made free of charge. The automaker traced the problem to the use of an incorrect solder compound, which may cause cracks that prevent sufficient electrical power to flow. -AP

'Despite demonetization, India to grow faster than China' SINGAPORE: Indian economy will grow faster than China despite the temporary slowdown created by demonetization, an Indian-origin academic and former Singapore diplomat said at a conference of leading world universities here. "Even if the demonetization created a slowdown, it is not going to change the long-term momentum of where India is going with its economic growth," said Dean Kishore Mahbubani of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Concluding a three-day conference attended by educators from leading universities from across the world that make up the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, Mahbubani said demonetization is good for Indian economy in the long-term. "I think demonetization is a good thing for a lot of (black) money has come back into the economy. That, I think, is good for the economy," he said. The Reserve Bank of India will need to borrow less after the cash returns to banks following demonetization, he said. "India will grow faster than China even after this (demonetization) slow down. There is a lot of momentum in the Indian economy," said Mahbubani. The conference also discussed changing global trends. "We are moving from a unipolar world to a multi-polar world which is good for small states because they will have more options," he said. "The fact that we are moving towards multi-polar world will create new opportunities for Singapore. We can have good relations with China, United States, India and Europe," he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference. Panelists at the conference addressed geopolitical tensions wrought by the rise of the Islamic State, cyber-attacks and North Korea missile launches as well as mounting economic challenges such as the fate of global markets

in the wake of Brexit and expectations for the continued development of free trade. "The world has changed and

ternational and Public Affairs at Columbia University. "It becomes more challenging given that a number of countries

United Nations and G20," said Janow. "These countries, particularly in Asia, are taking steps to create

has become multi-polar, less dominated by the US, to a point where reaching decisions at the global

around the world and specifically in the Asia Pacific region are seeking greater influence within inter-

their own regional institutions because they feel they are unable to have the degree of voice and influence in the established bodies that they perceive is appropriate. "International organizations and bodies need to adjust to this new reality and ensure that important developing nations have a greater voice," he added. The conference heard that China, Japan and India formed three of the four leading global economies, along with the US as the fourth. -PTI

I think demonetization is a good thing for a lot of (black) money has come back into the economy. That, I think, is good for the economy : Kishore Mahbubani level is increasingly complex and difficult to achieve," said Merit E. Janow, Dean of the School of In-

national bodies, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization,

Budget date decided much in advance: Jaitley AMRITSAR: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the date for presenting the Union Budget on

February 1 was decided much in advance of the EC's announcement of Punjab polls, dismissing

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Opposition allegation that the budget was scheduled keeping in view the state elections. He said there was a practice to present the budget on February 28 but this year it would be presented on February 1. "The idea is to pass the Finance Bill by March 31, so that next year's expenses could be started from April 1," he said. Refuting the Opposition's allegation, Jaitley said the date for presenting the budget was decided much earlier, before the announcement of Punjab polls and it would be wrong to say the date was fixed keeping Punjab elections in view. Cont’d on page 13


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Money has lost anonymity, says Jaitley NEW DELHI: With doubts being raised about demonetization eliminating black money, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said color of funds has not changed by merely depositing them in banks as the money has now lost its 'anonymity' and can be identified with the owner. In a Facebook post titled 'Demonetization - A look back at the last two months', he also said the period of pain and inconveniences is getting over and the economic activity is being restored. Large amount of cash with

said, would be entitled to tax this money. "In any case, the amendment to the Income Tax Act itself provides that the said money, if voluntarily declared or if involuntarily detected, would be liable for differential and high rates of taxation and penalty," he said. Jaitley further said India suffers as "a hugely tax non-compliant society". "In the year 2015-16, 3.7 crore assesses of the total population of over 125 crore, filed income tax returns. "Out of these, 99 lakh declared

The Finance Minister further said the move seeks to change the expenditure pattern of India and Indians. "It is obviously disruptive. All reforms are disruptive. They change the retrograde status quo. banks will lead to lower interest rates, he further said. "When 86 per cent of a country's currency, constituting 12.2 per cent of its GDP, is squeezed out of the market and sought to be replaced by a new currency, there would obviously be significant consequences of that decision," he said, adding that the queues outside the banks have disappeared and demonetization has moved ahead. "The period of pain and inconveniences is getting over. Economic activity is being restored," he said. Jaitley said demonetization required both courage and stamina. "The implementation of the decision carried pain. It can lead to short-term criticism and inconveniences. Drop in economic activity on account of the currency squeeze during the demonetization period would have a transient impact on the economy." "The fact that large quantum of high denominational currency has been deposited with the banks does not render this money to be legitimate cash. Black money does not change its color merely because it is deposited in bank. On the contrary, it loses its anonymity and can now be identified with its owner," he said. The comments follow reports about an estimated 97 per cent of junked notes getting deposited in bank accounts, thus casting doubts on the effectiveness of demonetization move in checking the black money menace. The Revenue Department, he

income below Rs 2.5 lakh and paid no taxes; 1.95 crore declared income less than Rs 5 lakh; 52 lakh declared income between Rs 5 to 10 lakh, and only 24 lakh declared income above Rs 10 lakh. "No better evidence is required to substantiate that both in the matter of direct and indirect taxes, India continues to suffer being a hugely tax non-compliant society," he said. Jaitley said the expenditure required for poverty eradication, national security and economic development have to be compro-

mised with on account of tax noncompliances. He further said, "Tax evasion has been considered as neither unethical nor immoral. It was just a way of life. Several Governments have allowed this 'normal' to continue even though this compromised with larger public interest. "The Prime Minister's decision (of demonetization) is intended to create a new 'normal'," he said. The Finance Minister further said the move seeks to change the expenditure pattern of India and Indians. "It is obviously disruptive. All reforms are disruptive. They change the retrograde status quo. The demonetization puts a premium on honesty and penalizes dishonest conduct. "Excessive cash as a medium of exchange is favored by the underground economy, resulting in non-compliance in tax payments. Mountains of cash money reach tax havens through the hawala route from the original paper currency," he added. Jaitley further said that cash is the medium which funds bribery, corruption, counterfeit currency and terrorism. Stating that ethical and developed societies aided by technology have consistently moved towards banking and digital transactions as against the excessive use of cash, he said that reducing cash may not eliminate crime and terrorism but it can inflict serious blow on them. -PTI

'PM taking futuristic steps, Rahul wants to disrupt Parl' NEW DELHI: Hitting out at After the shock demonetization Congress for opposing demoneti- of Rs 500/1000 notes announced zation, Finance Minister Arun by Modi on November 8, the opJaitley has said Rahul Gandhi was position Congress and Trinamoollooking for ways to disrupt Parlia- led protests disrupted about a ment and his party was siding with month-long winter session of Par"black money friendly status liament which ended on Decemquo", when Prime Minister ber 16. Narendra Modi is being "futurisLast month, Gandhi had attic" to create a technology-driven tacked Modi over demonetization cleaner economy. dubbing it as the "biggest scam in Jaitley said that Congress, de- the history of India". spite being a national party, has There are fears that Opposition decided to adopt a political posi- might also disturb the Budget sestion, opposing both technology, sion, which is scheduled to begin change and reforms, but their "ex- on January 31 with President's adaggerated claims on the disrup- dress to both the Houses of Partion of the economy have proved wrong". In a Facebook post, Last month, Gandhi had titled 'Demonetization attacked Modi over demonA look back at the last two months', the Fi- etization dubbing it as the nance Minister said there was a marked dif- "biggest scam in the history ference in the approach of India" of the Prime Minister and his opponents. "The Prime Minister was being liament. futuristic, and thinking of a more In his post, Jaitley said there modern, technology driven was no social unrest while implecleaner economy. He is now menting a major decision like despeaking of cleaning the political monetization and cited opinion funding systems. His opponents polls conducted by media organiwant a cash dominated, cash gen- zations which said that an overerating and cash exchange system whelmingly large percentage of people have supported the to continue. "The difference between Prime government's decision. "The opposition disrupted a full Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi was clear - the Prime Min- session of Parliament. Their protests have been inefister was thinking of the next generation while Rahul Gandhi was fective. Their exaggerated claims on the only looking at how to disrupt the disruption of the economy have next Session of Parliament," Jaitley proved wrong. It is a tragedy that wrote. a national party like the Congress decided to adopt a political position, opposing both technology, change and reforms. It sided with black money friendly status quo," Jaitley said. from the accounts having subBelying fears of slowdown in stantial credit balance/deposits industrial activity post demonetiif PAN or Form No.60 is not prozation, the indirect tax collection vided in respect of such acin November, 2016 alone grew 23.1 counts. per cent to Rs 67,358 crore. The It further said that the banks total April-November, 2016 realizaand post offices had also been tion grew 26.2 per cent to Rs 7.53 mandated to submit informalakh crore, he said. tion in respect of cash deposJaitley had earlier said revenue its from April 1, 2016 to Notrends show that the impact of vember 8, 2016 in accounts note ban has not been as much as where the cash deposits durestimated by critics. ing the period November 9, "Of course there would be ar2016 to December 30, 2016 exeas which would be adversely imceeds the specified limits. pacted, but what was predicted by It has also been provided the critics has to have a rationale under the new rules that person with revenue collection... Assesswho is required to obtain PAN ment can be unreal but revenue is or Form No.60 shall record the real, he said. PAN/Form.No.60 in all the docuBetween April-December 19, ments and quote the same in all 2016, the increase in income tax the reports submitted to the Inwas 14.4 per cent and, after adjustcome-tax Department. -PTI ing for large refunds, the net in-

Banks to obtain PAN from account holders NEW DELHI: Tightening the noose around tax evaders, the government has asked banks to obtain permanent account number (PAN) or Form-60 if PAN is not available, from all bank account holders by February 28. "Income-tax Rules have been amended to provide that bank shall obtain and link PAN or Form No. 60 (where PAN is not available) in all existing bank accounts (other than BSBDA) by February 28, 2017, if not already done," a notification by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) stated. The persons who are having bank accounts but have not submitted PAN or Form No 60 are advised to submit the PAN or Form No 60 to the bank by February 28, 2017, the notification

stated. However, this rule will not apply to Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts (BSBDA), which are zero balance savings accounts, including Jandhan accounts.

The BSBDA were introduced to take care of simple banking needs of people, which come with free ATM card, monthly statement and cheque book. Last month, RBI had mandated that no withdrawal shall be allowed

crease is 13.6 per cent. -PTI


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Apple cuts Tim Cook's PAC can call PM on cash ban pay as sales fall LOS ANGELES: iPhone maker Apple has cut its CEO Tim Cook's salary by a whopping 15 per cent for 2016 as annual sales declined for the year, missing targets that also led to the tech giant's first annual revenue decline in 15 years. The company gave the 56year-old USD 8.75 million in total compensation last year, down from the USD 10.28 million he received in 2015, according to a Securities and Exchange (SEC) filing. Cook's salary rose to USD 3 million from USD 2 million last year - a 50 per cent increase, his cash bonus took a hit. Apple awarded Cook and other executives 89.5 per cent of their target, instead of the maximum amount like in recent years. Hence, Cook's cash bonus fell to USD 5.4 million in 2016, down from USD 8 million the year before and declining for the first time since he assumed leadership of the company in 2011. Apple specifically cited the company's failure to meet its per-

formance goals for both sales and profits. Sales volume of the iPhone fell in fiscal 2016 for the first time since the device was introduced in 2007, causing the tech icon to suffer its first annual revenue decline in 15 years. The company said its annual

Tim Cook

sales were down nearly 4 per cent, or USD 215.6 billion, from its target of USD 223.6 billion, and its operating income was down 0.5 per cent from its target at USD 60 billion, according to the filing.

"Overall, our 2016 performance with respect to net sales and operating income was 7.7 per cent and 15.7 per cent below our record-breaking 2015 levels," Apple said in the filing. "However, the 2016 payouts to our named executive officers were significantly less than the annual cash incentive payouts for 2015, reflecting strong pay-for-performance alignment." Apple's rare sales slump is directly linked to the loss of momentum for the iPhone, which generates the majority of the company's sales. Sales of iPhones have declined in each of the past three quarters, slipping to 45.5 million in the September quarter, with reports saying Apple has faced steep competition from Samsung and other smartphone makes and the newest iPhones did not feature enough upgrades to attract customers. In October, Cook said that demand for the iPhone 7 and the bigger 7 Plus, which feature enhanced cameras and longer battery life, have outpaced supply though Apple would only report quarterly sales for those phones on January 31. -PTI

Notes ban to hit GDP growth: Chidambaram CHENNAI: With the country's GDP growth being projected to slow down to 7.1 per cent, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said demonetization will further hit the economy. Attacking the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over the scrapping of high value notes, the senior Congress leader said the statistics have 'exposed' its "claims and boasts". "First the RBI, now CSO have forecast lower GDP growth. Govt's claims and boasts exposed," he tweeted. "The GDP growth would be even lower because of demonetization. One per cent reduction means loss of INR 1,50,000 crore," Chidambaram, who had repeatedly been questioning the

NEW DELHI: The Public Ac- tion has impacted the country's counts Committee (PAC) of Par- economy. liament can call Prime Minister "The PM is misleading the Narendra Modi on the issue of country to satisfy his ego. He is demonetization if it is not satisfied trying to justify his wrong deciwith the answers given by top fi- sions. He has done in a callous nance ministry officials and the manner by introducing Rs 2,000 RBI Governor Urjit Patel, to whom notes," he said. a detailed questionnaire has been "In a country where there is a sent. call drop problem and telecom faA PAC meeting on this issue cilities are not smooth, how can has been called on January 20 in PM expect e-transactions would which the RBI Governor Urjit take place on mobiles. Do we have Patel, Finance Secretary Ashok sufficient infrastructure?" he quesLavasa and Economic Affairs Sec- tioned. retary Shaktikanta Das will be Asked what kind of questionpresent. naire been sent to the RBI chief "We have not yet received answers for the questions we have sent "I had met him and he said to them. They will reply few days before the that the situation will be January 20th meeting. normal after 50 days by Their replies will be discussed in detail," PAC December-end. But it does Chairman and senior Congress leader K V not looks like." Thomas told PTI. Asked if the PAC would call the Prime Minister if and top finance ministry officials, replies were not satisfactory, he Thomas said that the PAC has said: "The committee has all right raised questions on all aspects of to call anybody involved in the demonetization. matter. But that will depend on the Among key questions sought outcome of the January 20th meet- are, who were involved in the deing. We can call PM on demoneti- cision-making?, how much money zation issue if members unani- has come back into banks after demously decide." monetization?, is there a law that In a meeting with the PM after can restrict people's access their demonetization announcement money?, how much money has made on November 8, Thomas been pumped back into the syssaid, "I had met him and he said tem?, if black money issue has that the situation will be normal been addressed and the impact on after 50 days by December-end. the economy and poor?. But it does not looks like." The PAC, which scrutinizes the So, PAC decided to call the top reports of the Comptroller and Auofficials involved in the decision ditor General (CAG), takes suo making process this month, he motu note of the important matsaid, adding that the demonetiza- ters. -PTI

Budget date decided much in advance: Jaitley Cont’d from page 11

P Chidambaram

benefits of withdrawal of INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes, said. The Central Statistics Office had estimated a slow down in GDP growth to 7.1 per cent in current fiscal, from 7.6 per cent in 2015-16

mainly due to slump in manufacturing, mining and construction sectors, the government data showed without factoring in 'volatile' post-demonetization figures. -PTI

Political parties including Congress, Left, Samajwadi Party and BSP have voiced reservations against presenting the Budget just three days ahead of the Punjab polls as they feel the budget may be used to announce sops to influence voters. Jaitley also played down the trouble people faced due to the sudden move by the Union government on November 8 to demonetize high-value currency notes,

saying gone were the days when people were seen standing in long queues outside banks. "Now adequate new currency is available with banks as well as in the market," he said. Lauding the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past three years, Jaitley said "surgical strike" and demonetization have been largely praised across the world since such steps strengthen the nation's internal security. He was in Amritsar to address BJP's 'Vijay Sankalp Yatra'. -PTI


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Macy's closes 68 stores, raises cost efficiency India Post News Service

CINCINNATI: Macy's, Inc. has announced a series of actions to streamline its store portfolio, intensify cost efficiency efforts and execute its real estate strategy. These actions bolster the company's strategy to further invest in omnichannel capabilities, improve customer experience and create shareholder value. The actions include: • The closure of 68 stores and

the reorganization of the field structure that supports the remaining stores, reinforcing the strategy of fewer stores with better customer experience. These store closures are part of the approximately 100 closings announced in August 2016. • The significant restructuring of the Macy's, Inc. operations to focus resources on strategic priorities, improve organizational agility and reduce expense. • The sale of properties consistent with the previously announced real estate strategy.

The actions announced are estimated to generate annual expense savings of approximately $550 million, beginning in 2017, enabling the company to invest an additional $250 million in growing the digital business, store-related growth strategies, Bluemercury, Macy's Backstage and China. These savings, combined with savings from initiatives implemented in early 2016, exceed the $500 million goal communicated in fall of 2015, one year earlier than

expected. "Over the past year, we have been focused and disciplined about making strategic decisions to position us to gain market share and return to growth over time. While we are pleased with the strong performance of our highly developed online business, as well as the progress we have made on selling and visual presentation programs and expense reduction initiatives in 2016, we continue to experience declining traffic in our stores where the majority of our business is still

transacted. Given the overall trends challenging us and the broader retail industry, and the time needed to execute new strategies, we expect our 2017 change in comparable sales to be relatively consistent with our November/December sales trend," said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy's, Inc. "Our omnichannel strategies continue to evolve based on the changes in our customers' shopping behaviors, including a focus on buy online, pickup in store and mobile-enabled shopping. In addition, we have invested in and enlarged our customer data and analytics team, which will help drive our new marketing strategies for 2017. Whether it is improving corporate agility, enhancing our customer engagement strategies, or continuing to capitalize on the potential value of our real estate assets, we remain focused on the actions that will ultimately improve our financial results and provide the greatest return for our shareholders." In conjunction with this announcement, approximately $250 million of charges or 50 cents per share (of which approximately $210 million is expected to be cash) are expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016. These charges were not previously included in earnings guidance provided by the company and are in addition to the $249 million recorded in the second quarter as an estimate of asset impairment and other charges primarily related to 2016 store closings.

Digital to create 400 mln jobs in China BEIJING: China's digital economy is predicted to create over 400 million jobs by 2035 with e-commerce giant Alibaba generating 100 million of them, a new report has said. Internet-based economy could be worth USD 16 trillion by then, according to a Boston Consulting Group report that was released at a new economy summit sponsored by Alibaba Group. Alibaba, China's biggest online trader, is expected to generate over 100 million of those jobs, according to the report, with 30 million created last year. As jobs are created, digital technology like cloud computing and artificial intelligence will replace more and more manpower, the re-

port was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying. Meanwhile, 20 per cent of the world's population will become self-employed or freelance via the Internet in the next decade,

Alibaba Vice President Gao Hongbing said at the summit. The digital economy will surpass the manufacturing sector in scale and account for a quarter of the world's economy, Gao said. -PTI

T-Mobile says unlimited plans only option NEW YORK: T-Mobile said unlimited plans will be the only option for new customers even though they are more expensive than some of its old, limited plans. The company had said in August that it was phasing out its other plans in favor of unlimited. Now T-Mobile says those limited plans, which executives called a

use two gigabytes or less per line. A smaller rival, Google's ``Project Fi,'' already credits customers for data they don't use. And T-Mobile's unlimited plan isn't exactly unlimited. If the network is busy, T-Mobile may slow speeds on customers that used more than 28 gigabytes. And video gets degraded to DVD-level

``relic,'' won't be sold anymore starting Jan. 22. Existing customers can keep their current plans. While some existing customers could switch to the $70-a-month unlimited plan and save money, others would pay more, according to prices on T-Mobile's website. Most customers who just pay for one or two lines or who have a lower-data plan - two gigabytes per line - would save money by sticking to what they have. For example, a family of four getting two gigabytes per line was paying $100 a month; with the unlimited plan, that costs $160. T-Mobile is still trying to lure users who don't use much data by offering them a $10 credit if they

quality unless customers pay an extra $15 a month for high-definition video and some other upgrades. The company will still offer cheaper prepaid plans as well, where you pay upfront. T-Mobile also said that wireless bills will no longer come with taxes and fees on top of advertised prices for the unlimited plan. TMobile said it isn't raising prices to factor in the fees. Those extra charges typically come to about several dollars per line, Mike Sievert, T-Mobile's chief operating officer, said in an interview. T-Mobile announced the new policies at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. -AP


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Jeans that give directions at gadget show LAS VEGAS: Here's a morning routine for you. After the alarm on your smartphone goes off, it's time to roll out of your ``smart'' bed and give your hair a good run through with your app-connected brush. Don't forget to use your smart toothbrush in front of your smart mirror.

The Lovebox won't be out in the U.S. until June, so forget Valentine's Day. And these virtual smooches come with a price: $120 for one box or $185 for two. HAIR GOES HIGH TECH The Hair Coach from L'Oreal's Kerastase brand uses a microphone, gyroscope and other sen-

photos you just snapped or have in your photo gallery. The backpacks will come out later this year and range from $99 to $399, depending on material and screen size. Pop-I is looking to expand to clothing and other products, too. FASHION ON THE MOVE Want to look smart while tooling around an unfamiliar neighborhood? How about a pair of vibrating jeans to get you where you're going? The jeans from Spinali Design, another French startup, will vibrate on your right or left hip to let you know which direction you should head. Sure, a smartwatch can do the same thing, but why get something that can do more? If that's too much Models wear jeans from Spinali Designs at CES International in Las Vegas. The $100 clothing for you, try bijeans will vibrate on your right or left hip to let you know kinis that buzz when which direction you should head you're out in the sun too After that, your smart pillbox sors to monitor how fast and how long and need to apply more sunwill remind you to take your medi- hard you're brushing. screen. cation. And remember to put on An accompanying app recomThe jeans cost about $100, and your smart jeans, so they can give mends how to brush for optimal the bikinis about $140. you directions while you leave quality and minimal breakage and E-SKIN your phone in the pocket. split ends. It can also factor in heat Want body monitoring that riSound like a typical morning? and humidity and even discern if vals that of an intensive care unit? Tech companies at the CES gad- hair is wet or dry. Xenoma's ``e-skin'' is essenget show in Las Vegas would like Kerastase teamed up with tech tially a shirt with sensors that meait to be. They're unveiling prod- company Withings on the battery- sure movement, breathing, presucts that do all these things and powered brush, due out in mid- sure, perspiration and body temmore. But do we really need them - 2017. It comes at a hair-raising perature. The shirt connects or even want them? price: $200. wirelessly to a smartphone or per``When an industry is nascent, DIGITALBACKPACK sonal computer for real-time numyou will see experimentation,'' said If sharing your pictures on ber crunching. Mark Hung, a vice president at Instagram isn't enough, why not Developers at the Tokyo-based Gartner Research. Xenoma say the shirt ``Companies will can be used for health throw things against monitoring, fitness the wall to see what tracking and even virsticks.'' tual-reality gaming. But You decide whether they're still working on these are cool innovait, so it's not available tions or just junk. for sale yet. BOX O' LOVE Elsewhere at CES, Can't express your connected pet feeders feelings adequately and dog collars were on through emoticondisplay, while chefs for filled text messages? humans could see WiFor you, there's the Fi-enabled air fryers and Lovebox. sous vide cookers. Run The wooden box out of an ingredient? A made by a French smart trash can autostartup, of course matically add it to your plugs into an outlet shopping list. Woman wears an e-skin shirt at the Xenoma booth during and connects to Wi-Fi. And if you don't CES Unveiled before CES International in Las Vegas A heart on the outside have time to read to spins when you get a your kids, the Lunii message. Open the lid to see a digi- wear them? storytelling speaker can come to tal screen with the message. You A California startup called Pop- your rescue. Never mind that this can reply with a digital heart by I has a backpack for just that. A can be done through a phone app rotating the heart on the box. built-in digital screen displays rather than a $60 device.-AP

Ajmal eyes Indian market for perfume brands GUWAHATI: Perfume maker Ajmal and Sons is now focussing on establishing its prime brand 'perfumes' in the Indian market after carving a niche in several Middle-East countries. "We are now focusing on India and we are happy that the first major store is being finally opened in our home state Assam", Ajmal Group of Companies Managing Dir e c t o r Sirajuddin Ajmal told reporters during the launch of its first perfume store here. Ajmal, who is the AIUDF Lok Sabha member from Barpeta in western Assam, pointed out that the Indian market had remained stable during the global recession. "The recession will continue in the global market for another year and things are expected to look up in 2018 but the Indian market has remained unaffected and buying power of the people has in-

creased." The group is therefore now focussing more on India and is planning business strategies with long-term goals. The group is continuously engaged in introducing a wide range

of perfumes ranging from Oriental/Exotic concentrates, Oriental sprays, French sprays along with cosmetic products like talcum powder, lotions, hair oil, fairness creams and essential oils. The group plans to have more than 150 exclusive outlets in India by 2020. -PTI

Toyota stock dips after Trump tweet TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp. is a ``good corporate citizen'' and intends to work with Presidentelect Donald Trump to help make America strong, the Japanese automaker's president, Akio Toyoda, says. Trump said on Twitter that Toyota would face a ``big border tax'' if it goes ahead with plans for a new plant in Mexico. A statement issued by Toyota in the U.S. did not directly address Trump's tweet, but stressed that the company has been in the U.S. for six decades and that the Mexico plant will not affect jobs or production in the U.S. Speaking before Trump put out his tweet, Toyota responded to a question by a reporter at a New Year's gathering of Japan's auto industry by saying that he saw Trump's administration as an ``opportunity.'' ``I don't know yet exactly how, but, regardless of who be-

comes president, our business is about being good corporate citizens. And by becoming good corporate citizens, we are facing the same goal of making America strong. And so we will continue to do our best,'' he said. Toyota's shares fell 1.7 percent in Tokyo. Regardless of pressures from Trump on automakers to shift more manufacturing into the U.S., the outlook for Japanese car makers has brightened lately as the yen has weakened and Tokyo share prices have risen following the U.S. election. Overnight, Trump's tweet criticized Toyota's plans to build the popular Corolla subcompact at a planned Mexico plant, tweeting: ``NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.'' Honda Motor Co. President Takahiro Hachigo, who was also at the reception in Tokyo, told reporters there were no planned production changes in Mexico.-AP


Desi News Memorial service for Jayalalitha at Capitol Hill India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: The Chicago based World Federation Of Tamil Youth USA (WFOTY) held a Memorial Service for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on January 4 at U. S. Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.The memorial service to India's Iron Lady Amma at U.S. Capitol Hill was well attended by community activists from across the US and Canada. Channa Kesavulu, Joint General Secretary, WFOTY, USA said that this is the first ever memorial service for an Indian leader held at US Capitol Hill. Congressmen Danny K Davis (D-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (DIL) led the memorial service by paying rich tributes to late Ms. Jayalalithaa. Details on page 18

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Yoga classes by Church of Millbury Details on page 20

January 13, 2017

FIA boosts Indian image orchestrating Heritage Day with Chicago Bulls MOON KHAN & HEMA SHASTRI

CHICAGO: Though in its relative infancy, the recently established Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) added one more feather in its cap of achievements when it got a Chicago Bulls basketball game start with the singing of Indian anthem, followed by the US national song, and then presenting Indian cultural dances

Amazon Canada takes off Ganesha underwear SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Online retailer Amazon Canada removed underwear carrying image of Lord Ganesha from its website within a few hours of hefty protests from aggrieved Indian Americans who called it "highly inappropriate". The "Women's Ganesh GanesaGanapati 4 White Hipsters" with the image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh on the hip of the underwear worn by a model on the Amazon.ca website, described as "Sexy Fashion Hipsters" and being sold for CDN$ 25.99 each, does not show up anymore.

First time singing of Indian-American National Anthems at the Bulls Game

Details on page 19

Mahavir Senior Center celebrates New Year JAYANTI OJHA

CHICAGO: Mahavir Senior Center celebrated New Year 2017 at Jain Center in Bartlett, a northwest suburb of Chicago, with lot of fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 350 senior members, guests and sponsors participated The Program began with Dr. Dilip Shah (Cardiology specialist) sharing information about the difference between stroke and heart attack. His detailed analysis was savored by all seniors. Many seniors asked questions about preventive measures and sought details on how to prevent heart attack and stroke. Details on page 21

Founder President Sunil Shah who conceptualized the Bulls-Indian Heritage event

four times during the entire game time at Sears Arena in Hoffman Estate. This emotionally rich and historic moment for Indian Americans of Illinois was a milestone event for any ethnic Indian organization in Chicagoland and particularly for Sunil Shah, the Founder President of this organization, because it was he who conceptualized and orchestrated the entire project effectively. The celebration was organized in partnership with the Windy City Bulls that played its game on Friday January 6 at Sears Arena Center in Hoffman Estates. The event was titled as the presentation of Indian Heritage and turned out to be a huge success. The game

opened with the Indian and American national anthems by Rehana Haque and Shubha Vedula, respectively. The Windy City Bulls is the official NBA D-League Affiliate of the Chicago Bulls. On this occasion, Chicago Bulls' General Manager Gar Forman was also in the house and he lavishly praised FIA and Indian Americans for their contributions. "With this type of program, we are going to mainstream platform to project Indian heritage. This is a real honor for all of us," observed Sunil Shah. Over two dozen local artists enthralled the indoor stadium and stole the hearts of the 2,000 plus crowd, said Mukesh Shah, the current president. The artists who performed on Bollywood numbers included: Neela Bahel, Shaila Bahel, Krisha Thakkar, Gurman Kaler, Shakti Santosh, Ria Kumar, Ananya Patel, Kavya Parikh,

Cultural performance by local artists

Ransher Kaler, Aarsh Patel, Rishin Parikh, Nishil Parikh, Aayush Thakkar, Ankit Rath, Aayan Shah, Nighat Ali, Naimiti Desai, Ritika and Chirag. Instructors and choreographers were Sweta Bhagwakar, Gemini Bhimani, Rumi Shah, Aahuti Desai, Kajol Topiwala,

ing schools. Son of Sunil Shah, Sahaj Shah was DJ of the festivities and regaled the audience. During the break time, people enjoyed foods available at Sai Saffaron's concession stand.FIA is grateful to all the members of the FIA executive board for helping the organization

Chicago Bulls manager with FIA team and supporters

Ujwal Patel, Aditya Kapoor and Rajeshwari Rawat. The artists came from Junoon and SSS danc-

to achieve this goal, said Onkar Singh Sangha. Cont’d on page 20


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Chicago doc moves ECI on AAP SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: Chicagoland based medical practitioner and convener of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha Dr. Munish Raizada has submitted a petition to Election Commission of India seeking its intervention to stop AAP leadership from deceiving the public in the

Dr Munish Raizada

name of financial transparency. Dr Munish Raizada was a front raking of supporter AAP

party in Chicgoland and in the USA In his petition, Raizada asserted that AAP had claimed that:" It will operate with 100% transparency in its financial procedures and practices. Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website." But taking off the lists of donors from its website since June 2016 is tantamount to contravention of its own policy, he observed. AAP leaders are creating an atmosphere of deception with regard to financial transparency. The party uses lofty words like transparency and honesty, while the donors' list has been scrapped from public view. Raizada is currently engaged in an internal battle with Aam Aadmi Party. He has

Copy of submission to ECI

AAP Policy

been leading a Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (No List: No Donation campaign) against the party since December 2016. The Satyagraha is aimed at seeking pledge from the public not to donate to AAP if it does not display its donors list. He says that the response has been great and in Delhi alone, more than 20,000 people have signed the pledge. Raizada says that they are taking the movement to Punjab. Raizada is a Chicago-based neonatologist (doctor of newborn babies) and has

been associated with the party since its beginning. He not only served the party in India in various capacities but also helped it in mobilizing donations from the NRI community, in addition to himself donating significantly. He was suspended from the party in November 2015 due to his open criticism of Kejriwal's support to Lalu Prasad Yadav. Raizada had stated that by supporting a corrupt and convicted criminal like Lalu, the party was weakening its resolve to fight corruption.


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Raja Krishnamoorthi Memorial service for takes oath of office Jayalalitha at Capitol Hill WILSON BALDWIN

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Raja to join and lead the efforts to make Krishnamoorthi took the oath of sure that working families who play office as a new Member of Con- by the rules are not left off the gress for the 8th agenda in WashDistrict of Illinois ington. I am on January 3 and humbled by the reaffirmed his fotrust the people of cus on growing our district have and strengthening placed in me to the middle class. fight for them in "Thanks to the Congress." voters and support "Standing up of so many friends for the families of and family, I am the 8th District proud to now be means always beRep. Raja Krishnamoorthi able to represent ing ready to listen the hardworking and never forgetfamilies of Chicago's west and ting that I'm here for them. My ofnorthwest suburbs in Congress," fices in Washington and Krishnamoorthi said. "I will con- Schaumburg are now open, and tinue to focus on the middle class these offices will be places where and our commitment to ensure that my constituents can be heard and hard work is rewarded. I am ready find the help they need."

US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Federation President Dr. Vijay G Prabhakar Kishore Mehta and others at Jayalalitha Memorial Service at Capitol Hill India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: The Chicago based World Federation Of Tamil Youth USA (WFOTY) held a Memorial Service for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on January 4 at U. S. Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.The memorial service to India's Iron Lady Amma at U.S. Capitol Hill was well attended by community activists from across the US and Canada. Channa Kesavulu, Joint General Secretary, WFOTY, USA said that this is the first ever memorial service for an Indian leader held at US Capitol Hill. Congressmen Danny K Davis (D-IL) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (DIL) led the memorial service by paying rich tributes to late Ms. Jayalalithaa. Congressman Danny Davis described Jayalalitha as a leader who inspired people across the globe by her innovative welfare programs and women empowerment initiatives. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi praised the dynamic leadership of Jayalalitha and her life that embodied her relentless fight for the poor. Dr Vijay G Prabhakar, President, World Federation of Tamil Youth, USA recalled his long association with Jayalalitha since 1977, when he interviewed her for All India Radio Yuva Vani program in Chennai as a student of Madras Medical College. Dr Prabhakar hoped that the endearing legacy of Amma Jayalalitha will be carried on by members of the AIADMK under the leadership of Chinnamma, Mrs Sasikala Natarjan to make Tamilians proud all over the world.

Among others who paid glowing tributes to Madam Jayalalitha were Kishor Mehta, Chairman , Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force,7th Congressional District, Illinois, Nagender Sripada of IIT-(Chennai) Alumni Association ,USA, Dr Pratap Kumar, Founder, Association of Tamil Nadu Medical Gradu-

birthday here for the past 24 years consecutively with welfare programs for the aged and the disabled. This will continue to be celebrated to reach out to more people every year, he said. The highlight of Amma's birthday celebrations is that the Federation selects an individual every year to receive the Jayalalithaa Aw a r d . Awardees included several US Congressmen, Senators, Mayors, Governors and prominent citizens over the last 24 years. Jerome Athistham, General Secr e t a r y, W F O T Y, USA recalled some of the notable activities of the Federation that related to Amma over the years. These Rep. Danny K Davis at Jayalalitha Memorial services included seven States ates-USA, Ms. Shama Patel of in USA proclaiming in 1995 that MEATF International Woman Day February 24 would be Jayalalitha Celebrations Committee, Oak Park, Day in USA; naming of the street Illinois, Kokilan Kulathagir, ''Jayalalitha Way" in Chicago in Canada Chapter President, April 1996, establishing in 1999 WFOTY,USA. Jayalalitha Institute of Preventive Parthian Shanmugam, Trea- Medicine, Chicago, nominating in surer, WFOTY, USA said the Fed- March 2006 Jayalalithaa for Noble eration since its inception in 1992 Peace Prize, among other numerhad been celebrating Amma's ous activities.


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Vimana upbeat with enhanced infrastructure cess to a dozen new tools, technologies and services that will

India Post News Service

BIRMINGHAM, AL: The New Year marks a new beginning for Vimana Franchise Systems LLC. It has announced introducing its third product for independent hoteliers. It is also unveiling a radically-enhanced infrastructure of franchise support services that will make it easy for franchisees to compete head on with the bigger brands. Steve Belmonte, Vimana Franchise Systems CEO, said, "We remain committed to offering owners a lot more for a lot less. In addition to paying the lowest franchise fees in the industry and enjoying the easiest terms, franchisees will now have ac-

CEO Steve Belmonte

Amazon Canada takes off Ganesha underwear SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Online retailer Ama- Bezos for hurting the feelings of zon Canada removed underwear Lord Ganesh devotees numbering carrying image of Lord Ganesha millions across the world. from its website within a few hours Rajan thanked Amazon Canada of hefty protests from aggrieved for understanding the concerns of Indian Americans who called it Hindu community which thought "highly inappropriate". image of Lord Ganesha on such a The "Women's Ganesh product was highly insensitive. GanesaGanapati 4 White Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god Hipsters" with of wisdom and rethe image of mover of obHindu deity stacles and is Lord Ganesh invoked beon the hip of fore the bethe underginning of wear worn any major by a undertakmodel on ing. t h e HinAmazon.ca duism website, is the d e oldest scribed as a n d " S e x y t h i r d Fashion largest Hipsters" religion and being of the sold for world with CDN$ 25.99 about one each, does not billion adshow up herents a n y and a Amazon underwear with Lord Ganesha pic more. r i c h The protest led by Rajan Zed, philosophical thought and it President of Universal Society of should not be taken frivolously. Hinduism and backed by NRI Amazon.com, Inc., a Fortune Press Club Chief Madhu Patel 500 company founded in 1994, pitched for an immediate with- and headquartered in Seattle drawal of this objectionable prod- (USA), claims to offer earth's uct and sought a formal apology biggest selection. Its Canada from Amazon Canada and office is reportedly based in Amazon.com President Jeffrey P. Toronto.

help grow their businesses and their bottom lines. "In addition, independent hotels that wish to reap the benefits of a Soft Brand while retaining their name and their overall independence, can now join the 'Independent Collection by Vimana,'" Belmonte said. "Hotels can keep their names (with a small tweak to their signage) and experience the same fortified infrastructure we are now making available to our Centerstone and Key West members." The new Vimana Franchise Systems' support infrastructure includes the following in its low 4% fee: • New Central Reservation System • New Global Loyalty Club Program • NEW Revenue Management Program • No-Cost, Cloud-based PMS • Preferred OTA agreements • Worldwide Sales Department "What is helping to make the Vimana so great in 2017 is our many new partners who are driv-

ing the technology and providing consultative services to our members," said Amanda Belmonte, VP of Franchise Services.

"In particular, we have partnered with IBC (InnDependent Boutique Collection) to give our hotels direct access to the company's channel management and booking technology via the IBC Marketplace. Likewise, our new Revenue Management program is supported by Room Results; the new website is designed by Infomedia; our buying power is driven by Source1 Purchasing, and Vimana University is powered by HMBookstore. "In addition, Vimana has fortified its staff to also aid franchisees in their sales efforts," she said. "A new worldwide sales staff will market each property, manage all incoming leads, and work in tandem with hotel marketers and managers to

place bids on a regular and ongoing basis. "Vimana has also secured the expertise of Tim Pigsley, former vice president of marketing at Ramada, to serve as the Vimana Technology Advisor. To drive the PR effort on, Vimana selected Barbara Worcester and PRPRO to lead the Vimana PR effort both on a national and property level.

VP Amanada Belmonte


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Yoga classes by Church of Millbury India Post News Service

MILLBURY MA: The First Congregational Church of Millbury, an affiliate of United Church of Christ in Millbury (Massachusetts), has announced hosting yoga classes. Millbury First Church, whose history goes back to 1747, and which calls itself "friendly church on the hill", is hosting weekly class on Fridays from January 20 to February 24, 2017 for all levels of mat and chair yoga and accessible to all levels of fitness by certified yoga instructor Carol Dearborn. The classes, whose proceeds will benefit the Church, are structured to make one feel revitalized in body and mind, according to reports. Church website states: "Events during the week such as yoga, book studies, and our knitting group fill our community with spiritual food". "We follow the teaching of Jesus Christ and worship God through traditional spiritual practices, education, mission, and ministry" it adds. Reverend Carol Reynolds is the Pastor. Welcoming Millbury First

Church for hosting yoga classes, Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism said that Yoga is a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization. Though intro-

First Congregational Church of Millbury

duced and nourished by Hinduism, Yoga is a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to US National In-

stitutes of Health, yoga may help one to feel more relaxed, be more flexible, improve posture, breathe deeply and get rid of stress. According to "2016 Yoga in America Study", about 37 million Americans (which included many celebrities) now practice yoga; and

Yoga class

yoga is strongly correlated with having a positive self image. Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

FIA boosts Indian image orchestrating Heritage Day with Chicago Bulls

A group of artists Cont’d from page 16

Those who worked hard in making this event successful were Dhitu Bhagwakar Past President; Neil Khot and Moon Khan Vice Presidents; Hitesh Gandhi, Shital Daftari, Ali Khan, Manjeet Singh Bhalla, Khaja Moinuddin; Trea-

surer: Payal Shah, Joint Treasurer: Jaimini Patel, Secretary: Ninad Daftari, Joint Secretary: Shalini Saxena, Directors: Nirav Shah, Gurmeet Singh, Dhaliwan, Nambirajan Vaithilingam, Ila Patel Chaudhari and Vibha Dave. On another programming note, the Federation of Indian Associa-

tions (FIA), an umbrella organization of the Indian American social service organizations, is hosting a gala event to celebrate India's Republic Day on January 28th (Saturday), at Meadows Club, 2950 Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. The event starts at 6 pm.

PG&E urges customers to prepare for big storm India Post News Service

prediction models crafted by company meteorologists, the installation of automated equipment that "self-heals" the electric grid as well as timely and accurate outage data from its network of more than 5 million electric SmartMeters. PG&E urges customers to stay safe during storms and remember the following safety tips: • Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: With a series of wet storms heading toward Northern and Central California this weekend, PG&E has reminded its customers that power outages might occur due to significant rainfall, potential flooding and high winds. PG&E is implementing its emergency preparedness plans and utilizing advanced technology to be ready to restore service to impacted customers safely and as quickly as possible. "California needs the rain and snow, but wet weather can create hazardous conditions. With storms bearing down on our region, we want our customers to know that PG&E is prepared, that we're mobilizing resources and that we will work around the clock to restore ser- trees, pools of water and other vice to customers. Likewise, we objects that may be in contact encourage our customers to have with power lines. If you see dama personal or family preparedness aged power lines or electrical plan in place and - above all else - equipment, call 911 immediately stay safe," said Pat Hogan, and then notify PG&E at 1-800PG&E's senior vice president of 743-5002. • During a power outage, use Electric Transmission and Distribattery-operated flashlights, and bution. PG&E meteorologists forecast not candles, due to the risk of fire. that much of the energy If you must use candles, please company's service area will be im- keep them away from drapes, pacted by storms from Saturday lampshades and small children. Do through Monday with additional not leave candles unattended. • Customers with generators storms on the horizon. In some places, several inches of rain should make sure they are propcould fall, creating the potential for flooding and landslides. PG&E During a power outage, use recommends anyone recreating near rivers battery-operated flashlights, and streams to be and not candles, due to the aware of the higher flows and take precau- risk of fire. If you must use tions. candles, please keep them PG&E crews restored storm-caused outages away from drapes earlier this week, and remain prepared and ready to respond to additional erly installed by a licensed electripower outages as soon as cian in a well-ventilated area. Imweather conditions permit the properly installed generators pose safe restoration of power. The a significant danger to crews workcompany also is pre-positioning ing on power lines. • If you experience an outage, vegetation management crews. PG&E routinely practices its unplug or turn off all electrical appreparedness and response to pliances to avoid overloading cirstorms and other emergencies cuits and to prevent fire hazards through company exercises and when power is restored. Simply through drills with local first re- leave a single lamp on to alert you sponders. The company also uti- when power returns. Turn your lizes the latest technology to re- appliances back on one at a time store power more quickly and ef- when conditions return to normal. • Other tips can be found at ficiently after a storm. This includes the use of storm outage pge.com/beprepared.


Community Across America

January 13, 2017

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Mahavir Senior Center celebrates New Year JAYANTI OJHA

CHICAGO: Mahavir Senior Center celebrated New Year 2017 at Jain Center in Bartlett, a northwest suburb of Chicago, with lot of fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 350 senior members, guests and sponsors participated The Program began with Dr. Dilip Shah (Cardiology specialist) sharing information about the difference between stroke and heart attack. His detailed analysis was savored by all seniors. Many seniors asked questions about preventive measures and sought details on how to prevent heart atMembers and guests enjoying the program

Dr. Dilip Shah (Cardiology Specialist) speaking on Cardiovascular disease

tack and stroke. After that Hemandra Momaya gave information about mindful meditation at a 90 minute workshop. This was followed by an entertainment program wherein Chicago singer Nipa Shah, Rajesh Chalan and Atul Varma sang Bollywood Hindi songs from new and old movies. Mahavir Seniors board members including Ashwinbhai Shah, Sudhirbhai Zaveri, Vinayakbhai Shah, Girishbhai Shah and Dipakbhai Shah rendered volunteer service for the success of the program. Every one participated in dancing and enjoyed until 12 am.

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Popular singers Nipa Shah and Rajesh Chalan singing Bollywood songs


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PM's speeches on foreign policy released BENGALURU: A book compiling select speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on foreign policy during 2014 and 2015 was released here by President Pranab Mukherjee, who said the speeches have done well to lay out India's economic strategy and foreign policy with style and substance. The President, who has written foreword of the book, formally released it on the concluding day of the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention here, the Centre's outreach program for overseas Indians. The Ministry of External Affairs compiled the select speeches of Modi which outline the strength of India's bilateral relationships with individual countries such as the US, Russia, Australia, UK but also India's broader approaches to a new and invigorated foreign policy. From Prime Minister's very first speech abroad, his addresses to the Parliament of Bhutan at Thimphu, to the UN General Assembly, at Nazarbayev University,

Astana, the Digital India Event at San Francisco, and the address to the India-Africa Forum Summit, the speeches signify both the strength and durability of India's

with the world... they have done well to lay out India's economic strategy and foreign policy- with style and substance." In his address at the event,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at Madison Square Garden during his visit to the United States

foreign partnerships, the MEA said. In his foreword, Mukherjee says, "The speeches are a window to the Government's vision and strategy for India's engagement

Mukherjee said, "his (Modi's) speeches tell the story of the emerging India, an India which is moving ahead, leaving behind the baggage of history and looking at the world with optimism." -PTI

Sonowal urges NRIs to invest in Assam BENGALURU: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has urged NRIs around the globe to join hands with the state government for the growth of Assam which, along with the entire North East, can become the new growth engine of not only of the country but for the whole of Asia. "Future growth of India can come through its North East by Acting Eastwards to Southeast Asia and East Asia and the government would soon set up an Act East Department to explore the opportunities lying across the border in the international neighborhood," Sonowal said at the Chief Ministers' Session at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru. This would help in strengthening business, communication, investment, and cultural relations, he said. Assam is going through massive transformation - in every sector from infrastructure to reforms, land policy, investment, good governance, connectivity, social security and welfare, he said. "Assam is rapidly emerging as a strategic base for foreign and domestic investors to tap its vast potential. Assam's location in combination with its rich natural resources

and skilled manpower provide a natural backdrop for promising business", an official release quoted the Chief Minister said as saying. Sonowal said that in terms of

ber of airport density in the country with international airport at Guwahati, he said. The waterway through the river Brahmaputra provides access to sea ports of Kolkata and Bangladesh while the proposed Trans Asian Railway and Trans Asian Highway will further improve connectivity with most of the BIMSTEC and ASEAN nations, the Chief M i n i s t e r pointed out. Sonowal later met several NRI entrepreneurs and representatives of foreign Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal companies and sought their coconnectivity, industrial infrastruc- operation for industrial growth of ture, natural resources and policy the state. initiatives, Assam has a very promNRI Delegates and representaising and investor-friendly envi- tives of companies from countries ronment. like US, UK, Canada, Oman, Qatar, Assam is connected to all ma- Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Malayjor cities of the country through sia, China, Kenya, Mauritius, West East-West corridor, air and rail net- Indies, and France took part in the work. The state has highest num- discussion. -PTI

Govt finds PBD meet 'extremely substantive' Cont’d from page 6

with their ambassador," he said. "Take away (from this event), in the coming years a greater emphasis will be given on ensuring that government schemes, programs, outreach programs of the MEA goes out in a bigger manner to all the countries," Singh said. Stating that PBD engagement has been extremely substantive, outcome oriented, with wide ranging issues being discussed, Secretary- MEA (OIA and CPV) Dnyaneshwar Mulay said it was a different format altogether and people were extremely positive about the format. He said "attendance was extremely good, the economic engagement has been one of the important aspects of this PBD. Economic engagements whether it is startups, innovation, human resource development all these aspects were discussed." To a question that out of 7,200 people who registered, only 2000 people had come from abroad, Singh said it was wrong to perceive it that way as many pravasis who had already come for holidaying attended the event along with their families. On the commemorative for the event like the stamp that was released last year, Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said this year a

Pointing out that for the first time all the space for the exhibition was sold out, he said, "I'm quite sure with this as the marker we will have to work very hard for the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2019. PBD is held with an aim to provide a platform to overseas Indians to engage with the government on issues of concern to the Diaspora and to explore opportunities for investment in India and contribution to the country of their origin. The event, launched by the Vajpayee government in 2003, also provides an opportunity to the overseas Indians to network with other overseas Indians residing in various parts of the world. It continued as an annual event till 2015 when the government decided to make it biennial. Singh said the format was changed so that in the intervening year, issues concerning pravasis could be addressed in great detail to ensure better results. As per this, ten different issues were discussed last year by panels that had pravasis as well as Indian experts and recommendations were made. "In this event, we have presented the recommendations and asked more suggestions so that we finalize the recommendations and Singh said the format was convert them into changed so that in the executables." Calling it a great ini- intervening year, issues tiative, Singh said action taken report on all concerning pravasis could the other recommendabe addressed in great detail tions had been made. Speaking on behalf of the Karnataka government, select compilation of Prime partner state for PBD 2017, Indus- Minister's speeches on foreign tries Minister R V Deshpande said policy issues in 2014-15 had been Karnataka also takes pride that it made, the foreword for which has had hosted the largest ever PBD been written by President Pranab since inception and thanked the Mukherjee. Union Government for providing On investments that governthe opportunity to project the ment expects after the PBD, Singh state as a destination for invest- said the event itself was not to atment and a hub for innovation and tract investment, but to facilitate science. and showcase opportunity for inSingh said most of the problems vestment. that were raised during the PBD Endorsing Singh, Deshpande were from Gulf countries and Ma- said PBD was to understand the laysia, because there is a large la- grievances of pravasis and to bor force there. know about the steps taken by the "Our aim has been to find a so- government, "not that on itself it lution to the issue, most of them garners investments, but it prowere of generic nature and those vides an opportunity to market a that can be solved by discussion state like ours." -PTI


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Terror plots foiled due to Indo-US coop: WH WASHINGTON: Hailing counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US under the eight years of Obama Administration as "incredibly successful", a top US official has said this has not only "diminished the threat" of terrorism in the two countries, but also "foiled" a number of terror plots that saved several Indian and American lives. "I can tell you quite definitively that due to our partnerships, several terrorism plots were foiled. Indian lives and American lives were saved because of this partnership," said Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, White House. "So it's a very significant development and I think, it can continue," Lavoy told PTI. He, however, did not elaborate on the terror plots that were foiled. He said that under the Obama Administration, which took over the reins of the country a few months after 26/11, counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries have reached a new height in the last eight years. "I think, the partnership with India, in combating terrorism has really been incredibly successful," he said, adding that the two countries now have dialogues on counter- terrorism at multiple levels. On India not becoming a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) under the watch of US President Barack Obama, Lavoy expressed hope that it would be

NSG mainly due to the opposition from China. Lavoy said the US remains concerned about al-Qaeda, though

Peter Lavoy

the outfit's activities in the Af-Pak region have been significantly disrupted because of continuous efforts. "We (also) remain concerned about ISIL. This is something that President Obama has talked about in his State of the Union and other addresses on the threat that both of these groups pose to the United States. "And we would continue to take steps to counter them. We expect that those policies would continue. This is bipartisan in the vital interest to the United States," he said, adding that cooperation on counter-terrorism issues "diminished the threat" to the two countries and is of incredible importance. "I would highlight that US-India consultations about terrorist threats The top White House official not only that are against India or the said the US declaring India United States but throughout the region as a major defense partner is an important hallmark and feature of our new is a sign of success of India and expanded counterterrorism cooperation," US partnership over the Lavoy said days before course of this administration Donald Trump's inauguration as US president. granted membership of the elite He also said the US does think group "not before too long" as that "any regional dialogue bework is in progress. tween India, Pakistan for includ"So, are we disappointed that ing Afghanistan and others to India has not become a member counter terrorism would be desir(of NSG) so far? Yes, probably. But able". we also recognize that the NSG has "Terrorism is a threat to all of to work through the procedures us and no country will be safe, and its own other standings on unless terrorism is irradiated in how to consider non-NPT (Non- every other country, especially in Proliferation Treaty) membership the neighborhood," Lavoy said. into the NSG. Acknowledging that it is clear "So, that's not a trivial issue. to all that many terrorist groups But we would hope that there In- operate in Pakistan, he said the US dia would be granted membership continues to work with the Pakinot before too long," he said an- stani government in this regard. swering a question on India being "It's clear to all that many terunable to become a member of rorist groups operate in Pakistan.

The Pakistani government and the Pakistani security apparatus confronts and fights and is trying to diminish terrorist strengths in Pakistan. " B u t clearly Pakistani government has prioritized its fight against the groups that target Pakistan first and has placed less priority on the terrorist groups that t a r g e t Pakistan's neighbors," Lavoy said. "We have been clear to Pakistan and I believe has India and

Afghanistan, Pakistan's other neighbor, that Pakistan cannot, should not, must not discriminate between terrorist groups. It must view all terrorist groups as its enemy and must fight all terrorism indiscriminately," he said. "We continue to work with Pakistan, encourage them to do so, and have offered to help with our capacity and willingness to do so." On India's NSG membership, he said: "I think that for the Nuclear Suppliers Group the prospect of admitting a new member that is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a very, very big deal. One of the requirements for membership is to be a member of the NPT." The NSG over the last year has been undertaking a very, very intensive process to continue procedures for many non-NPT members such as India, he added.

"The US government, President Obama has been very clear that India is ready for membership now and we believe that India's admission into NSG as a full regular member will be important and benefit the group and would also strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime," Lavoy said. The top White House official said the US declaring India as a major defense partner is a sign of success of India US partnership over the course of this administration. Referring to three visits of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to India, he said this underscores America's commitment to elevate the defense co-operation with India even at this time of transition.-PTI

More top stories on pages 48-49


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Realty Tidbits

Godrej Properties sells 300 units in Pune NEW DELHI: Realty firm Godrej Properties has said over 300 apartments of Godrej Greens housing project in Pune have been sold within two months of its launch despite a slowdown in the market. This represents more than 75 per cent of the 400 apartments that were opened for sale, making it one of the most successful recent residential launches, the Mumbaibased developer said in a statement. However, the company did not disclose the sales booking value of 300 flats. Godrej Greens, a part of a larger 31 acre residential development at Undri, is spread across 10 acres. Godrej Properties MD and CEO Pirojsha Godrej said, "We are thrilled with the customer response to Godrej Greens. We consider Pune a critical growth opportunity for our company and hope to have many more successful launches in the city. Godrej Properties is currently developing residential, commercial and township projects spread across approximately 11.98 million square meters (129.56 million square feet) in 12 cities. -PTI

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January 13, 2017

KATHMANDU, Nepal: People who lost their homes in the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal nearly two years ago are tired of waiting for help to rebuild. The slow pace of distributing government grant money for rebuilding has left many people to spend their second winter without a home. Nhuchhe Laxmi Prajapati and Shiva Prajapati, who are not related, are building their houses now, by taking out loans with high interest rates. Their homes and hundreds of others were damaged during the April 25, 2015, earthquake in the town of Bhaktapur, which is known for brick paved roads, old palaces and artistic Hindu temples. It's just 13 kilometers (8 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu. When the earthquake shook the house of Shiva Prajapati, 12 family members were buried by the falling bricks. Three died and six of the survivors had serious injuries. He waited for months for help but finally took out a $30,000 loan from the bank at 12 percent interest rate and began constructing a house for the family at the same spot where their old house once stood. Cont’d on page 25

DUBAI, UAE: The decorative clock bearing the name of America's incoming 45th president has yet to start at the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, but the developers behind the project already are counting the money they've made. The 18-hole course is likely to be the first Trump-connected property to open after his Jan. 20 inauguration as president, joining his organization's projects stretching from Bali to Panama. It also encapsulates the host of worries of possible conflicts of interest circulating around a president who is very different from America's past leaders. Details on page 52

What's in store for housing market in 2017? HOLDEN LEWIS

W

e got spoiled in 2016. Mortgage rates fell be low 4 percent at the beginning of the year, and they spent the summer flirting with record lows. And then, just after the election, mortgage rates skyrocketed past 4 percent. It's a good idea to keep things in perspective, though. For most of the past 50 years, homebuyers

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was under 3.75 percent all summer. Then it shot upward after the presidential election and began December well above 4 percent. Forecasters are split on whether mortgage rates will remain above 4 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association and Freddie Mac predict that the 30-year fixed will stay

„

Tired of wait, Nepal quake survivors rebuild

Dubai Golf Club shows pitfalls of Trump presidency

would have been delighted to get mortgage rates in the 4 percent range. Higher mortgage rates might result in slower increases in house prices in the first quarter of 2017, but it will still remain a seller's market in most of the country. Here's what's in store for housing in the beginning of 2017, from a look at interest rates to a set of New Year's resolutions for millennial homebuyers.

above 4 percent in the first quarter. Fannie Mae, the National Association of Realtors (or NAR),

Wells Fargo and other organizations predict that they'll be below 4 percent during the period.

Matthew Carbray, a certified financial planner for Ridgeline Financial Partners in Avon, Connecticut, says he urged clients to refinance throughout 2016 to lock in low mortgage rates. Now he's telling clients that early 2017 is a great time to buy a home - again, because mortgage rates are still low, even if they're in the 4s. "For those who have been contemplating a purchase, it may be

Mortgage rates may rise Homebuyers and mortgage refinancers had a nice run this year:

as opportunistic a time as you're going to get to lock in a rate," Carbray says.

Millennials buy houses? For a long time, the real estate industry waited for millennials to start buying houses in big numbers. They finally arrived. In 2016, people under 35 made up 61 percent of first-time homebuyers, according to NAR. Lisa Ford, a Realtor and a board member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association in Florida, has a list of New Year's resolutions for anyone (especially millennial firsttimers) who want to buy in 2017. • Prepare and file income taxes early, because lenders want to see the latest information about borrowers' income and taxes. Doing your 2016 taxes helps you gather the documents you need. • If you get a tax refund, set it aside for expenses such as a down payment or mortgage closing costs. Cont’d on page 25

Houses for 44 cr with power, water, LPG NEW DELHI: Pursuing its aim of providing 'homes not houses', the Centre has said it will not only ensure roof over head of as many as 44 crore people in the next financial year but will also provide them LPG, power and water connections. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) or PMAY, the Centre will directly transfer about Rs 1.30 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh in accounts of the beneficiaries staying in plain areas and hilly areas respectively, Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet

Amarjeet Sinha

Sinha told PTI. Besides, all beneficiaries will be given additional Rs 12,000 for construction of toilets and 90 days of employment under MNREGA for construction of their own homes which amounts to Rs 18,000, he added. "Earlier, the target for next year

was to provide homes to 33 crore beneficiaries which has now been revised to 44 crore. Prime Minister's direction is clear to raise the quality of life of people by ensuring them homes not houses," Sinha said. "Our broader aim is to ensure homes to those who are homeless and concrete houses to those staying in kachha houses," he said adding that Centre also requested states to transfer land in name of those beneficiaries who are homeless. Cont’d on page 25


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What's in store for housing market in 2017? Cont’d from page 24

• Before looking at homes, find an experienced loan officer "who's familiar with the first-time homebuyer down payment assistance programs that are available." Inventory stays tight In many places across the United States, it continues to be a seller's market, in which there are more potential homebuyers than sellers. In the hottest markets, such as Denver, sellers can expect

to get multiple offers if they price their homes well. Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale was less than 4 1/2 months toward the end of the year. "The inventory has been low, although if new homebuilding continues, that will help inventories," Ford says. It's especially hard to find lower-price homes suitable for firsttime buyers. Entry-level homes have been kept off the market because so many owners owed more on their homes than they were worth, says Rick Sharga, chief marketing officer for Ten-X, which

runs Auction.com. "Disproportionately, it was that segment of the market that was hit the hardest," he says. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says, "The good news is that the tightening labor market is beginning to push up wages and the economy has lately shown signs of greater expansion." Home sales ramp up January and February tend to have the least number of home

sales, as people stay indoors and recover financially from the holidays. A.W. Pickel III, president of the Midwest division of AmCap Mortgage Ltd., believes that rising interest rates will push buyers into the market earlier in the year. People will try to buy in winter, figuring that higher interest rates will make homes less affordable in spring. "I think it'll begin to pick up in earnest in February, and in March it'll be running full-bore," Pickel says. Sharga believes that rising

mortgage rates will cause home prices to rise more slowly in 2017 than they did in 2015 and 2016. Slower price increases should help sales, too, he says. The Trump Effect The new Donald Trump administration might tackle the fate of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The governmentsponsored enterprises have been under conservatorship since autumn 2008. In effect, they are managed by a federal agency. The conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie was supposed to be temporary, but policymakers haven't figured out what to do about the companies. Congressional conservatives favor abolishing them. Wall Street and many people in the mortgage industry favor privatizing them. Steven Mnuchin, the nominee to be Treasury secretary under Trump, says privatizing Fannie and Freddie will be a top priority. "It makes no sense that these are owned by the government and have been controlled by the government for as long as they have," Mnuchin told Fox Business. Rick Roque, president of MenloFinancial, a bank consulting firm, is heartened by Mnuchin's words. "Privatizing Fannie and Freddie will infuse those organizations with more capital, which will enable them to purchase greater volumes of mortgages from lenders," Roque says. "So that should have the effect of lowering interest rates, or at least keep them from going higher." -Courtesy Bankrate.com

Houses for 44 cr with power, water, LPG Cont’d from page 24

It is estimated that about 60 per cent of beneficiaries for whom these houses will be constructed belong to SC and ST communities. "The work for selection and validation of beneficiaries under the PMAY has been completed. The scheme will be on DBT (direct benefit transfer) mode. The funds will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries in installments over three years period," Sinha added. Special emphasis is being given to check diversion of funds and to ensure transparency, he said

adding that the geotagging of all houses which will be constructed under this scheme along with photograph of beneficiary in front of it will be done. The government is ensuring and taking all necessary steps that the funds are not misused or diverted to the people who are not in the list, he added. He informed that the government has provided training to 30,000 masons for construction of houses which are being designed as per local geography. In a bid to boost rural and urban housing post demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had

on eve of New Year announced interest subsidy of up to 4 per cent on loans taken under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana. Announcing a slew of measures, Modi in his national address had also said 33 per cent more homes will be built for the poor under this scheme in rural areas. Besides, in urban areas housing loans of up to Rs 9 lakh and up to Rs 12 lakh will receive interest subsidy of 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while in rural areas loans up to Rs 2 lakh will get an interest subvention of 3 per cent. -PTI

Ministry told not to act under new notification NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has taken the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to task over its recent notification exempting real estate projects from obtaining prior environmental clearance (EC) and restrained it from granting any fresh permission under the new regulation. "You can't do legal blunders and get away with it," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said as it pulled up the MoEF for not "applying its mind" while amending the notification published on December 9, 2016 exempting building and construction projects of all sizes from the process of environment impact

"You tell your ministry and all others not to act under the new notification, otherwise we will stay the notification.” assessment (EIA) and prior environmental clearance before beginning construction. For smaller projects (less than 20,000 sq meters), it even has a "self-declaration" clause, which will ensure issuance of permission from urban local bodies. For larger projects of more than 20,000 sq m size, the EC and building permission will be given by urban local bodies simultaneously in an "integrated format". "Why don't you (MoEF) do something constructive for the system. There is a way of doing things.

"We don't understand why do you do these funny things.... "If you wanted to amend the notification, you could have simply said that though the new projects are not required to take EC, but each project when cleared by local authorities would have certain conditions imposed on it. "You tell your ministry and all others not to act under the new notification, otherwise we will stay the notification. "You can't do legal blunders and get away with it," the bench said while granting liberty to the petitioners to approach NGT if a single permission is granted under the new notification. The matter is now listed for next hearing on January 12. The green panel had earlier refused to stay the December 9 notification by MoEF and issued notices to the ministries of Environment and Forests and Urban Development while seeking their reply before January 4, 2017. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity seeking quashing of the December 9 notification on the grounds that it was in contravention to the provisions of EIA notification, 2006 and Environment Protection Act, 1986. The plea had alleged that the notification tries to "circumvent" the provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006 in the name of "ease of doing business" for building and construction of areas which are more than 20,000 sqm and less than 150,000 sqm wherein prior EC was required earlier. The petition said the purpose of including the building and construction projects in the EIA notification is a failure of the urban local bodies and development authorities. -PTI

Tired of wait, Nepal quake survivors rebuild Cont’d from page 24

``We hear that the government has spent millions and billions for reconstruction but I have not received any money. The government has done nothing,'' Shiva Prajapati said as he was digging the foundation for the house. In a nearby neighborhood, Nhuchhe Laxmi Prajapati, 61, was also digging the foundation with the help of family members. She too took out a loan of $10,000 from a local money lender. She has no clue how much the interest is or how she is even going to pay back.

``I just got tired of living in the sheds in the field. It is just too cold there,'' she said. The government has been repeatedly criticized for the slow work helping earthquake victims. The National Reconstruction Authority has said it has distributed the first installment of government grant money _ about $500 to 450,000 families _ but it is still collecting details from residents in several districts where the earthquake caused damage. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has asked the authority to explain the delays. -AP


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January 13, 2017

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Dubai Golf Club shows pitfalls of Trump presidency DUBAI, UAE: The decorative clock bearing the name of America's incoming 45th president has yet to start at the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, but the developers behind the project already are counting the money they've made. The 18-hole course is likely to be the first Trump-connected property to open after his Jan. 20 inauguration as president, joining his organization's projects stretching from Bali to Panama. It also encapsulates the host of worries of possible conflicts of interest circulating around a president who is very different from America's past leaders. While the Oval Office has always been home to the wealthy, Donald Trump represents the first franchise president. Could foreign governments pressure or please Trump through his international businesses? Should projects bearing his name receive additional security? And how close should his ties remain to business executives operating in areas with far different opinions about human rights and justice? ``There has never been anything remotely like this - not even close,'' said Robert W. Gordon, a legal historian and ethics expert who teaches at Stanford University. ``Trump himself tends to treat his businesses and his public policy as sort of extensions of himself. He seems to be completely unembarrassed about scrambling up and conflating his business

Trump received between $1 million to $5 million from DAMAC, according to a Federal Election Committee report submitted in May. enterprise and the actions and policies of the U.S. government.'' The Trump International Golf Club in Dubai - the sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates home to a futuristic skyline crowned by the world's tallest building - is due to open in February and be managed by Trump Organization employees. The course sits along a road that begins near the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab luxury hotel and passes by a mall with its own artificial ski slope. The luxury continues onto the par-71 Trump course, designed by American golf architect Gil Hanse, where wrinkled fairways lead to putting greens made smooth with silica sand brushed

in between micro-blades of grass. It is set inside Akoya, a massive housing development of 2,600 villas and 7,000 apartments developed by Dubai-based luxury real estate DAMAC Properties. Another Trump-managed golf course is planned for another even larger DAMAC project under development further down the road. Billionaire Hussain Sajwani, who founded DAMAC Properties

With Trump set to be sworn in as president, security analysts have suggested properties bearing his name could be targets. His campaign pledge calling for a ``total and complete shutdown'' of Muslims entering the U.S., followed by his proposal to conduct ``extreme vetting'' of immigrants, also sparked regional anger. The Trump logos on the golf course even came down for a short time.

A flag flies on a green lined with villas at the Trump International Golf Club, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

in 2002, met Trump some 10 years ago and the two men hit it off over their real estate experiences, said Niall McLoughlin, a senior vice president for communications and marketing at the firm. ``When we approached them in 2013 about the golf course, he of course knew who DAMAC was,'' McLoughlin told The Associated Press on a recent trip to the golf course. ``They subsequently cemented the family relationship as well. ... A lot of our dealings have been with Eric, a lot of our dealings have been with Ivanka. They have traveled here - and Donald Jr.'' Sajwani and his family also attended a New Year's Eve party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, with the incoming president describing them from on stage as ``the most beautiful people from Dubai.'' Trump received between $1 million to $5 million from DAMAC, according to a Federal Election Committee report submitted in May. It's unclear how much the contract will be worth once the golf course opens and starts operating. McLoughlin declined to offer specific figures. It is the first Trump venture in the Arab world. His first proposed project in Dubai, a 62-story tower with state-backed developer Nakheel, became a victim of the sheikhdom's 2009 financial crisis. By 2014, Trump knocked a golf ball down the fairway of what would become the golf course at Akoya. Sajwani called Trump a ``great man'' during the tour, and DAMAC later designed some 100 Trump-branded villas at the property, selling from 5 million dirhams ($1.3 million) to over 15 million dirhams ($4 million).

Still, the United Arab Emirates, a staunch U.S. ally in the war against the Islamic State group and host to some 5,000 American military personnel, remains a peaceful corner of the Middle East. ``Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world,'' McLoughlin said. ``Dubai has proved itself to be safe. We have no extra concerns about this golf course.'' Dubai police did not respond to a request for comment about security at the property. Financial matters raise other questions. DAMAC, a private company, purchased the property for Akoya from Dubai's government in 2012 for around $350 million. Dubai's government ultimately answers to the emirate's hereditary ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also is the UAE's vice president and prime minister. All services to the property electricity, water, roads - come at the discretion of the government. The club's bar will need government approvals to serve alcohol, not to mention other regulatory issues. That could raise concerns about the so-called ``emoluments clause'' of the U.S. constitution, which bars public officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments and companies controlled by them without the consent of Congress. Any negotiations involving the Trump brand at the least could create the appearance of impropriety, legal experts warn. ``He has so many properties that his business interests become an obvious target for both bribes and threats,'' said Gordon, the Stanford law professor. ``The dan-

gers really come in two directions: One is that foreign powers will try to use Trump's interests as a way of bribing him into public policies in a way that are friendly to them or use them put pressure on him.'' Trump has said he will step away from managing his business empire while in office, but has offered few details other than to say his executives ``will run it with my children.'' Erik Jensen, a law professor emeritus at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said that alone could pose problems. ``Turning over control to the kids just doesn't do it. They clearly are going to be having holiday meals together, talking on the telephone,'' Jensen said. ``There's going to be a lot of contact there.'' Even putting assets in a blind trust, like other presidents have, likely wouldn't work since, for example, he would know the trust holds a golf course in Dubai. ``You can put it in the trust, but the adjective `blind' wouldn't apply in that situation,'' Jensen said. Also, DAMAC's Sajwani has had dealings with the U.S. government. He credits some of his fortune to contracting work his companies did in supplying U.S. forces during the 1991 Gulf War that expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Over the past decade, his companies have been awarded at least $1 million in contracting work, according to U.S. government records reviewed by the AP. McLoughlin did not respond to a query regarding whether DAMAC would continue to seek U.S. government contracts.

closed settlement in international arbitration and Sajwani never served prison time. DAMAC, which competes against largely state-backed developers in Dubai, focuses on flashy projects, like offering homes built around luxury Bugatti sports cars. But when it comes to building the projects, it like other companies relies heavily on subcontractors who largely employ low-paid laborers from Asian countries like India and Pakistan. There have been no formal complaints by workers alleging the Trump golf course or the larger DAMAC project mistreats laborers. However, that alone shouldn't be taken as a sign that everything is fine, said James Lynch, who focuses on Gulf labor issues for Amnesty International. The Emirati government and local businesses remain sensitive about their image in regards to the millions of workers employed in the country, something Lynch knows all too well as he was barred from entering the UAE in 2015 to discuss laborers' rights. ``Under international standards, construction companies in the Gulf are not only responsible for how they treat their direct employees,'' Lynch said. ``They have a responsibility to put in place measures to ensure that their subcontractors do not abuse the rights of people working for them.'' The Trump Organization and his transition team did not respond to AP requests for comment. McLoughlin of DAMAC did not respond to a request for

The Emirati government and local businesses remain sensitive about their image in regards to the millions of workers employed in the country, something Lynch knows all too well as he was barred from entering the UAE in 2015 to discuss laborers' rights. DAMAC stock traded after the election at near a yearlong low of 2.02 dirhams (55 cents) a share, in part due to the company announcing an 11.7 percent fall in thirdquarter profits as Dubai's housing market has slowed in 2016. Stock then rebounded, reaching 2.53 dirhams (69 cents) just before New Year's Eve, as the company began handing over properties at Akoya. Sajwani's business dealings have drawn international scrutiny in the past. After Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring protests, a local court sentenced him to five years in prison and a $40.5 million fine over a 2006 land deal. Egypt and DAMAC later reached an undis-

comment regarding labor issues. For now, workers manicure the golf course's empty greens. Others put the finishing touches on a clubhouse that will feature a bar, a water-pipe tobacco lounge and restaurants for those paying the course's dues, which start at around $10,000 a year. While DAMAC's contract with Trump allows them to use his image in advertising the course, McLoughlin said the company would be ``tasteful'' in its promotions. However, he said at least some of Trump's children likely would be on hand for the opening of the course. ``It's their baby,'' McLoughlin said.-AP


January 13, 2017

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

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January 13, 2017

1 Nashe Si Chadh Gayi: Befikre 2 Channa Mereya: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 3 Love You Zindagi: Dear Zindagi 4 Ude Dil Befikre: Befkire 5 Dhaakad: Dangal 6 The Breakup Song: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 7 Haanikaarak Bapu : Dangal 8 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 9 Tu hi hai : Dear Zindagi 10 Gilehriyaan: Dangal

The 41-year-old star is sweating it out in the gym as the world is still wrapping their heads around the New Year's resolutions for 2017

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hree bigshots of Bollywood - Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Karan Johar have teamed up for a project which will release in 2018. Karan's Dharma Productions and 'Sultan' actor's banner SKF or Salman Khan Films will co-produce a film starring the Khiladi Kumar. Punjabi director Anurag Singh will make his Bollywood debut with the special project. Anurag has previously directed Punjabi hits like 'Jatt and Juliet' and 'Punjab 1984'. The film will roll on floors in second half of 2017. Salman was quoted as saying, "I'm happy to collaborate with my friend Akshay, who has grown immensely as an actor. It will also be our first co-production with Karan. I am truly excited about the three

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of us coming together." Akshay added, "I couldn't have asked for a better beginning to 2017, with two industry heavyweights coming together for a project starring me. Such things don't happen often."

"I'm happy to collaborate with my friend Akshay, who has grown immensely as an actor. It will also be our first co-production with Karan. I am truly excited about the three of us coming together."

rjun Rampal has suffered an eye injury. He finds it "disorienting", but says it's "nothing serious". "Now I know how a one-eyed pirate sees the world. A minor eye injury. Nothing as serious as it looks. Hugely disorienting. See you soon," Arjun posted on his Instagram page. The 44-year-old actor posted an image featuring him with a bandage on one eye, and a stubble. The actor's last release was Kahaani 2. He will next be seen in "Daddy," based on the life of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. Meanwhile, Daddy's first teaser is out and one has to say Arjun Rampal's transformation into gangster Arun Gawli onscreen is nothing short of marvelous. While the movie is based on the life and times of the dreaded don, Arjun is quick to clarify that Gawli never wanted his portrayal to be heroic or glamorous. "When I met Arun briefly after he was out on parole, he told me don't portray me like a hero. That is not what I want. What I have done is done. I have served my time and punishment for it," revealed Arjun.

ormer Miss Universe and popular bollywood actress Sushmita Sen has no time for quitters. The 41-yearold star is sweating it out in the gym as the world is still wrapping their heads around the New Year's resolutions for 2017. Just

few days i n t o 2017, the actress is busy doing core exercises to kick-start the year on a healthy note. This video is bound to give you some major fitness goals to hit the gym this season. Although Sushmita hasn't announced being part of any Bollywood projects till now, fans of the actress are eager to see the star make her come back real soon.


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January 13, 2017

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uperstar Salman Khan will play the role of a father to a 13-yearold girl in choreographer and director Remo D'Souza's next, which is based on a dance drama. The untitled film will tell the emotional journey of an aged dancer and his cheerful 13-year-old daughter and her journey to success. Recently, in an interview Salman Khan hinted about the untitled project and quipped how difficult it will be to step into the role which will go on floor in 2018. "In my next, I'm playing the father to a 13-year-old girl. It's a film about dancing. Like the Hollywood Step Up franchise. I'm going to be a properly trained dancer. You know how painful that is? But I've always believed that effortless hard work should be seen on-screen," Salman was quoted as saying. The actor will have to shed weight to get a leaner physique to play a dancer next year.

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icha Chadha says working in David Womark's Indo-American production 'Love Sonia' has opened up a new world of film making in front of her. Directed by Tabrez Noorani, 'Love Sonia' depicts the brutal realities of human trafficking across the globe. The film also features Hollywood star Demi Moore, veteran actor Anupam Kher and actress Freida Pinto. "This film really opened up my perspective on film making as a process and I got an opportunity to work with some of the best names from across the world." Richa said in a statement. "For any actor to be a part of film like 'Love Sonia' is beyond satisfying... The cast, crew everyone who I worked with on 'Love Sonia' was an education for me." she added.

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fter seeing a dip in her career with two duds 'Fitoor' and 'Baar Baar Dekho' - last year, Katrina Kaif is now ready to get back in the game. And she has the perfect mentor too - none other than her exboyfriend Salman Khan. Reports suggest that Kat and Salman have started meeting for the workshops of 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. She is seeking Sallu's help in selecting the right films, as currently, there's no one better than him at making great choices when it comes to films. Katrina, who shares a special relation with Kabir Khan, even dropped in on the sets of 'Tubelight' and the trio ended up having a good time at the wrap-up party. Katrina has not signed any other project after giving the nod to the 'Ek Tha Tiger' sequel. She is holidaying in London with her family, but she wants to sign a few strong projects once she's back.

"Ranbir is a special person and a unique artiste. I am just amazed every time I watch him. Even in a film I particularly don't like, he is very convincing�

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anbir Kapoor, who is riding high on the success of his 2016 release after some of his previous endeavors failed to set the box office on fire, has an admirer in Aditi Rao Hydari. The actress, who will be next seen in Mani Ratnam's Kaatru Veliyidai, says that among her contemporaries, she is inspired by Ranbir's body of work. She said, "Ranbir is a special person and a unique artiste. I am just amazed every time I watch him. Even in a film I particularly don't like, he is very convincing. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him, he is very inspiring." Ranbir and Aditi shared screen space in the 2011 Imtiaz Ali film Rockstar, but have not worked together since.


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MUMBAI: Om Puri's sudden demise has sent shockwaves in the industry and among his fans. An actor of immense talent, Puri has left behind an impressive body of work in Indian cinema, Hollywood, European movies as well as television. Om Puri had to struggle hard for over 13 years before he could find some stability in his Bollywood career. In his own words, "I used to work as a clerk at a government office in Punjab. I was paid a salary of Rs 600 per month. I decided to leave the job, and pursue a career in acting. I knew that irrespective of how I fared, I would do better than making six hundred rupees. So I quit the job. At the time, it was unheard of. Everybody wanted government jobs. I studied acting for five years, including a course at the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi, and only after I was certain that I had the requisite skill, I moved to Mumbai. But it took not less than thirteen

Here's revisiting some of the performances by the veteran actor which will remain etched in the minds of cinema lovers forever.

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years after I decided on pursuing a career in the film industry that stability finally found me." Here's revisiting some of the performances by the veteran actor

January 13, 2017

which will remain etched in the minds of cinema lovers forever. "Aakrosh" (1980): In this memorable debut by Govind Nihalani, Puri played a poor peasant, who is falsely accused of killing his own wife. In the entire film, Puri speaks only in flashbacks, but breaks his silence towards the end with a scream after killing his sister to save her from the fate that his wife suffered. "Bhavani Bhavai" (1980): This Ketan Mehta film saw Puri play a poor narrator. The film also starred Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah in lead roles. "Arohan" (1982): Directed by Shyam Benegal, the movie, set against the backdrop of Naxalbadi movement, saw Puri play the role of a poor farmer who ends up in jail while fighting against the system. He received the National Award for Best Actor for this role. "Ardh Satya" (1983): Again directed by Nihalani, the film saw Puri play the role of Anant Welankar, an idealistic sub-inspector with Bombay Police, who struggles to come to terms with the corruption around him. In one of the most memorable scenes, Puri's character casually recites a poem to Smita Patil but as the reality of the lines sink in, his voice changes. Cont'd on Page 33


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Kaabil a small film with a big heart

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Handing Golden Globe, Priyanka talks of good time LOS ANGELES: Actress Priyanka Chopra, who made her debut at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, is glad that she is soon going to be seen in her first ever Hollywood movie "Baywatch" and says "it's a good time for her". The 34-year-old star took to the stage of the star-studded affair along with Jeffrey Dean Morgan to present an award to actor Billy

Bob Thornton for best actor in a drama TV series. Before handing out the trophy, Priyanka, who is popularly known in the West for playing Alex on "Quantico", was asked about being the first Indian actress to get a leading role in American TV. To which the actress said, "I think of myself as just an actor and I go where my work takes me. "I'm really glad that what you

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ick-starting 2017 with pa nache, the next generation superstar of Bollywood and Indian cinema's inimitable actor - Ranveer Singh - has become the first Indian male celebrity to grace the cover of Esquire Middle East Magazine, the leading men's magazine in the Middle East. Ranveer Singh was the firstchoice cover for the magazine's first 2017 issue, and he joins a league of international personalities that include Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Michael Fassbender and even Donald Trump. In less than a decade Ranveer Singh has established his position as one of India's most reputed actors, garnering both critical acclaim for standout performances in films such as his debut Band Bajaa Baaraat to the magnum opus Bajirao Mastaani, whilst simultaneously cultivating a mass fan following that extends global shores. Ranveer's sustained appeal is further established from the clean sweep that he has made of mainstream film awards in

India and internationally. From the prestigious Filmfare Award to Guild & Screen Awards, Ranveer has won all top honours in India. Whilst opening 2017 with an audacious bang with the cover feature, Ranveer also managed to end 2016 on a high when he was presented the coveted International Man of the Year award at Esquire Middle East's flagship Man At His Best Awards - another first for

clutter and is based on an emotional song that is the backbone of our film. It's easy to make highvoltage trailers but to make one as impactful without showing any fighting or intense action is a challenge." They have done precisely that here. It is one of the most poetically-cut trailers and it conveys the pain and suffering of Rohan (Hrithik) and Supriya (Yami) in the most natural and emotional manner. The second trailer also suc-

The team of Kaabil has released its second trailer which is emotionally-charged and portrays a beautiful love story. Sanjay Gupta says, "I would say that this is the boldest move from team Kaabil. Hats off to everyone who has worked on this movie. Our second trailer cuts through the

cessfully peels yet another layer of this beautiful movie. While the first one highlighted the pure love shared by the protagonists and some brave-heart ballistics that Gupta is famous for, the second one conveys their anguish. Kaabil will release on January 25.

and has a unique boldness and energetic persona. What he has achieved in such a short time in and for cinema is an incredible feat. He is a solid pillar in Bollywood, towering into the global landscape, which is why we knew he would be perfect for both the International Man of the Year award and our cover feature. His style, his talent and aspiration is on par with Esquire's brand philosophy and we loved working with him on our January 2017 Esquire Middle East cover shoot." Ranveer Singh says: "I am a work in progress man and I believe

the best in me is yet to come. However, the journey so far has been humbling and enriching and I cannot thank my fans and well-wishers enough for their continual support and faith. Esquire Middle East Magazine is my first international cover feature and I was honoured to be associated with such an esteemed and iconic brand as Esquire." Ranveer Singh is currently shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmavati' alongside Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor. The film is scheduled to release in December 2017.

said came along with that. But that was never the intention. I'm excited about 'Quantico' and I'm very excited about 'Baywatch' coming up. It's a good time." Priyanka, who has already presented at Oscars and Emmys, opted for a "hand-embroidered" golden Ralph Lauren gown with a plunging neckline for the Globes. -PTI

Ranveer graces cover of Esquire Mideast mag India Post News Service

he trio behind Kaabil, direc tor Sanjay Gupta and the father-son team of producer Rakesh Roshan and superstar Hrithik Roshan are constantly innovating what they put out, as far as their labor of love goes. The story of Kaabil is already known ... Hrithik Roshan and his love interest Yami Gautam are playing a visually impaired (blind) couple. It is an incredible love story with immense emotion and mind boggling action.

Bollywood! Chutzpah defines him, which is why the credible Indian news brand NDTV has declared him 'Entertainer of the Year.' But beyond cinema, Ranveer's naturally flamboyant personality reveals itself in his personal style. Undoubtedly, he is India's number one male style icon, the only one that matters to experimental designers and creative minds in the world of fashion. Someone who can sport dhoti pants, floral suits, bizarre, studded shoes and quirky head gear with ĂŠlan, his status as the ultimate male Style icon has made him a natural choice for several Best Dressed honours and an immediate brand fit for Esquire. Speaking about why Ranveer Singh was the first-choice Bollywood actor to feature on Esquire Middle East magazines' first issue of 2017, Jeremy Lawrence, Editor in Chief, Esquire Middle East says: "Ranveer Singh is one of the most versatile actors in the film industry


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January 13, 2017 www.indiapost.com

'Single? Let's just say, I am chilling'

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ditya Roy Kapur is your quintessential Mumbai boy - casual, cool, unstarry, unassuming and funny. In an industry where being politically correct is the unwritten norm, his spontaneous repartees come as a breath of fresh air. In a freewheeling chat, the young actor speaks about his upcoming film 'OK Jaanu', fitness, relationships and Katrina Kaif.

downs. When 'Fitoor' didn't work, it affected me a lot. It hurts when a film doesn't do well, as you put your heart and soul into it and expectations build up. Fortunately, I started shooting for 'OK Jaanu' within a month and that helped. There's nothing like work to take your mind off setbacks. Now, I am nervous and excited as 'OK Jaanu' is releasing. But yes, it's a nice way to start a year.

Despite your popularity, you are pleasantly unstarry... Fame has affected me in a good way. The truth is, I never wanted to be an actor; I grew up like any other kid. I didn't belong to the film industry, nor did I think 'main hero banoonga'. I've worked my way up doing supporting roles. I took up London Dreams (2009) because it was shot abroad (smiles). I love to watch rock concerts live, but it's impossible to live that way after becoming an actor. All in all, it has been a journey of self-discovery.

Do you have any New Year resolutions? I don't believe in making New Year resolutions, but I want to buy a house soon and spend more time with my family. I have strong willpower and when I decide to do something, I do it. I don't need a particular day to make decisions.

Are you excited about 2017? Last year was full of ups and

friend's house without being linked to her (Katrina). I don't want to overthink and

Aditya Roy Kapur

stop interacting with people because of this. After a while, you stop worrying about the repercussions and let people make their own assumptions. You get used to it; else, you won't be able to have a conversation with anyone. Are you saying that you are single? Let's just say, I am chilling at the moment and would like to continue doing that. I am not taking things too seriously; I am not in that zone right now. You are known for your dedication to fitness. Even Parineeti Chopra joked on a show recently about you keeping a close eye on her weight... I like to work out and eat healthy because cinema is a visual medium and I cannot show up on the set with a pot belly. You've got to look appealing, unless your character requires you to be otherwise. But I also know that it's not just about having a chiseled body. Cinema

What's your equation with Katrina Kaif? There was news of you two seeing each other. Sometimes, you go for dinner with a friend and things get blown out of proportion - that's ridiculous. It's like you can't go to a

is getting more character-driven, so every role doesn't require sixpack abs. For instance, 'Ok Jaanu' didn't require me to sport six-pack abs or get rid of my chest hair, as I play a normal guy in the film. After 'Aashiqui 2', you will be rekindling your chemistry with Shraddha Kapoor... 'Aashiqui 2' was intense and Shraddha and I were excited to do 'Ok Jaanu' together, because it allows us to show a different side of ours to the audience. It's an opportunity to get our off-screen camaraderie and humor on screen. Since it's a remake, does it bother you that there will be comparisons to the original (Ok Kanmani)? It's an advantage to know that you are making something that's done well already. The story has worked, and that makes you confident. They (the actors in the original) have set the bar high, but we've tried to add our own essence to this film.

Aanand Rai bringsbouquet iPhone app acts as of new films 'kiss messenger'

India Post News Service

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anand L Rai whose love for cinema encouraged him to launch his own home production banner, Color Yellow Productions in association with Eros International, has always stressed on the importance of creative processes and people behind the camera as the first vital steps towards good content. Last year saw a very well acclaimed Nil Battey Sannata and a hit family entertainer Happy Bhag Jayegi from this production banner. This year, the director-producer is collaborating with some immensely talented directors from across the board. Apart from working one of the most anticipated films - Rai's directorial next with Shah Rukh Khan, which goes on floors this year, he recently joined hands with Anurag Kashyap, who will work on two films. One of them, Buzz is an intense love story-musical, set in a small town. Expect a bouquet of versatile genres this year as Aanand L Rai will also be producing director Rahul Sankalya's Nimmo and a quirky romanticcomedy titled "Shubh Mangal Saavdhan" to be directed by R.S

Prasanna. Color Yellow and director Mudassar Aziz of the hit Happy Bhag Jayegi, will reunite yet again on another film. Another interesting collaboration is underway with Navdeep Singh (of NH10 and Manorama Six Feet Under fame) for a project that is currently in the scripting stage and this could be a totally new genre for the production banner.

Aanand Rai who has always backed great content, will also be co-producing a film with Ajay Rai and Alan McAlex, to be directed by Geetu Mohandas, whose last film Liar's Dice was India's official entry at the 87th Academy

Awards. Taking the association further, if the grapevine is to be believed, script writer Himanshu Sharma who shot to fame and won accolades for his work in the Tanu Weds Manu franchise and Raanjhanaa, may soon be launched as director. Says Aanand L Rai, "I'm thrilled with the versatile talent we have on board and while we have been associated with family entertainers, we also want to present a gamut of new genres to the audience. The process of scripting, casting, scouting for locations and putting the entire project together is very exciting and the team is ready to start working with these immensely talented filmmakers". Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International added, "Eros and Color Yellow have always shared an amazing synergy and this exciting new slate with such talented directors continues to raise the bar in our endeavor to offer good cinema to audiences".

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ou can now send a physi cal kiss to your long-dis tance lover over the internet, thanks to a new smartphone gadget developed by researchers. The device, known as Kissenger, works with pressure sensors and actuators. It records the user's kiss and transmits it to an identical receiv-

and affection," said Emma Yann Zhang, who worked on the prototype as PhD student at City University London. "It's a way for us to bond and maintain intimacy in our relationships," she said. "Also, it stresses reducing; when we engage in this kind of intimate physical touch, we have a lower level of blood pressure,"

ing device, which recreates it for the person on the other end through an app that also features video calling. "Kissing is the most direct and universal expression of intimacy

Zhang was quoted as saying by the 'Mirror'. Parents can also use Kissenger to give their children a kiss on the cheek when they are away at work, researchers said.-PTI


January 13, 2017

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Female authors address 'cultural invisibility' PITTSBURGH: Madwomen in the Attic, a writing program at Carlow University that embraces generations of women, got its name from a book and is the catalyst for more books by female authors. In December, the women launched ``Voices from the Attic,'' the group's 22nd annual anthology, with readings of poetry and prose held at WESA public radio station on the South Side. The anthology, which sells for $12.95, supports the Carlow program, which provides scholarships, publishing opportunities and awards for women who want to

poetry on Saturday mornings. Madwomen is a reference to the feminist text, ``The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and The Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination.'' The 1979 book, released the same year as the founding of the Madwomen group, referred to the dismal literary portrayal of women and, specifically, the ``mad woman'' locked in an attic by her husband in the Charlotte Bronte classic, ``Jane Eyre.'' ``There is a great need for the Madwomen's existence, as the literary world is still overpopulated by white men,'' Ms. Beatty said. ``Madwomen include undergradu-

Jan Beatty, director of the program and an undergraduate creative writing professor at Carlow University.

write. The Madwomen - more than 300 proudly claim that title - enroll in workshops in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction held on Carlow's campus in Oakland. The cost is $175 for each semester-long workshop. ``We are lawyers, doctors and college students, with some in their 90s,'' said Tess Barry of the South Side, an English instructor at Robert Morris University and one of 98 women enrolled in this past semester's program. ``We've had a mad semester with mad writing to match it,'' said Jan Beatty, director of the program and an undergraduate creative writing professor at Carlow. She is also host of the WESA radio show, ``Prosody,'' a half-hour program of

ate students and community writers, ages 18 to 94. We are very aware of the cultural invisibility of women writers, especially writers over the age of 40.'' The recent anthology release and readings included a tribute to Lucienne Wald, who celebrated her 94th birthday Dec. 8, as the oldest member of the group, both in years and membership. Mrs. Wald of Highland Park said she had never written before she joined the group in the 1980s. ``They're all friendly, constructive critics,'' Mrs. Wald said of her colleagues. At the reading, she read two poems from her first book, ``View through the Window,'' printed by MadBooks, a small press that publishes works from Madwomen. So far, it has pub-

lished eight chapbooks, or pamphlets, and four full-length editions. The Madwomen also sponsor a mentorship program in which experienced writers work with students. Winnefred Frolik, who holds an undergraduate degree in English and creative writing and wrote ``The Dog-Walking Diaries: A Year in the Life of an Autistic Dog-walker,'' is one of those students, even though she has writing experience. Ms. Frolik explained that she joined Madwomen this fall to work on a manuscript for a thriller novel. In addition to holding classes and publishing, the Madwomen sponsor monthly MadFridays at various sites, mostly on the South Side, which are readings by workshop participants. The group also holds the Madwomen Reading Series, which features nationally known poets. A nationally known poet also judges the annual Patricia Dobler Award, a national prize given to a female writer over 40 years of age who has not yet published a book. The winner receives $1,000 and a reading in Pittsburgh with a judge. This year's judge is noted Native American writer Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. Four years ago, Gail Langstroth won the Patricia Dobler Award. Living in Europe at the time, she came to Pittsburgh to receive the award. ``Jan announced from the stage, `We all hope Gail can join us and move to Pittsburgh.' Six weeks later, I lost my job and did move to Pittsburgh because of the Madwomen. They have become family,'' Ms. Langstroth said. She now lives in Forest Hills and works as an eurythmist, which involves using a form of performance art for therapeutic purposes. Laura Roop, director of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pitts-

Illinois man hits 30-gallon mark for blood donations MILLSTADT, Ill.: An 82-yearold Illinois man who gave blood for the first time in the 1950s to help the war effort has hit the 30gallon mark for donations. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Marvin Skaer donated blood for the 240th time at a Red

Cross blood drive in Millstadt, near St. Louis. Afterward, Red Cross volunteers gave him a cap and pin to commemorate the milestone. Skaer says ``It's the right thing to do.'' His mother took him to donate the first time in 1953, after his

brother had been injured in the Korean War. Since then he's donated consistently. Because of Red Cross rules on how often people may give, a donor would have to give a pint about six times per year for almost 37 years to reach 30 gallons. -AP

burgh, has been writing poetry since age 14 and said the quality of instruction in Madwomen is ``equal to or better than that provided in other formal (master of fine arts) programs.'' ``Until Madwomen, I never had

the delight of being entirely in the company of women when working on poetry,'' said Ms. Roop of Forest Hills. ``It is marvelously freeing to be supported and nudged to grow without the usual gender dynamics.'' -AP

Memorable films of Om Puri It is considered as one of the best cop films made in Indian cinema and Puri received a National Award and Filmfare Award for best actor. "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron" (1983): To break his image as a serious actor, Puri took a shot at comedy with Kundan Shah's cult classic. He played the role of a corrupt property builder called Ahuja. Puri in an interview to PTI recalled how he came to be a part of the film. The actor said people knew him only as someone with no sense of humor prior to the film. "I did not have a sense of humor because I was struggling. I wanted to break that image...," he had said, adding that they came up with comedy play, which became a huge hit and eventually landed him a role in "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro". "Mirch Masala" (1987): This Ketan Mehta film saw a gathering

farmer called Hazari Pal, who moves to the fictitious Anand Nagar slum of Kolkata with his family in search of a better livelihood. "Dirty Dancing" star Patrick Swayze and Shabana Azmi were his co-stars in the movie. "In Custody" (1993): His role in this movie, opposite Shashi Kapoor, is one of his most underrated performances. Based on the novel written by Anita Desai, Puri played the role of professor at a local college. He teaches Hindi but is in love with Urdu language. He is keen to interview the great Urdu poet, Nur, but his various attempts get thwarted thanks to Nur's personal issues and his extended brood. Also called "Muhafiz" in Hindi, Puri received widespread appreciation for his role in the Ismail Merchant-directed movie. "East is East" (1999): He played patriarch Zaheed Khan, a first generation Pakistani, living in London and married to a British woman. Khan struggles to strike a

of almost all the leading names in parallel cinema - be it Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Dina Pathak, Om Puri or Ratna Pathak Shah. Puri played the role of an old guard who gives up his life to protect the women working in a masala factory. "City of Joy" (1992): It is an English film directed by Roland Joffe, based on the novel of the same name. Puri played a rural

balance between his traditional values and his children's modern outlook. "The Hundred-Foot Journey" (2014): Puri starred as the head of Kadam family, who have relocated to France from India. They open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's (Helen Mirren) Michelin-starred eatery, leading to a clash.-PTI

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In Brief US deportations of illegals up 2 percent WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has deported 240,255 immigrants over the past 12 months, a 2 percent increase over 2015. But while the number of deportations was greater than last year, it was a sharp decrease from 2014. Commenting on the statistics, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said his department remains focused on finding and deporting immigrants who pose a national security or public safety threat, those who have serious criminal records, and those who recently crossed the Mexican border. Of those deported, 58 percent had criminal convictions. This was little changed from the 59 percent recorded last year and 56 percent in 2014. President-elect Donald Trump made illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign, promising to deport millions of people living in the country illegally. -AP

„ Armless Syrian boy thrives in US SHARON, MASS.: A Syrian boy who lost his arms in a refugee camp bomb blast is thriving in his new life in Massachusetts. But the fate of the family he left behind to seek medical treatment in the U.S. remains uncertain.

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Europe faces uncertain future in 2017 Details on page 37

Bill targeting H1B program visas reintroduced in US Congress WASHINGTON: A bill backing key changes in the H1-B program that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress by two lawmakers who claim that it will help crack down on the work visa abuse. The 'Protect and Grow American Jobs Act' which makes important changes to the eligibility requirements for H1-B Visa exemptions was re-introduced by Republican Darrell Issa and Scott Peters both from California. The bill among other things increases the minimum salary of H1B visa to USD 100,000 per annum and eliminates the Masters Degree exemption. The legislation, they argued, will help crack down on abuse and ensure that these jobs remain available for the best and brightest talent from around the world. The bill comes after a number of companies - Disney, SoCal Edison and others - have come under fire for abusing the H1B Visa program to replace American workers with foreign workers. "In order for America to lead again, we need to ensure we can

retain the world's best and brightest talent. At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers," Issa said. "The legislation we're introducing does both. It will ensure that

more in-line with the average American salary for these positions, it would help cut down on abuse by removing the profit incentive and ensuring these positions remain available for companies who truly need them, a media release said. "Curbing abuse of the H1-B

The bill among other things increase the minimum salary of H-1B visa to USD 100,000 per annum and eliminates the Masters Degree exemption.

our valuable high-skilled immigration spots are used by companies when the positions cannot be filled by the existing workforce," Issa said. By raising the salary to a level

system will protect American jobs and help ensure that visas are available for innovators who need them to maintain a competitive workforce," Peters said. "This bipartisan bill makes one

of the much-needed updates to our high-skilled visa system to level the playing field and help prevent companies from taking advantage of the system to offshore jobs," the Congressman said. The two lawmakers claimed that the legislation would cut down on abuse by eliminating the masters degree exemption, which has become abused as foreign workers seeking H1B Visas have increasingly sought and obtained lowquality certificates to meet the requirements for an exemption just to qualify for H1B, instead of keeping the positions open for truly high- skilled positions that companies cannot fill domestically. The bill had faced opposition last year in Congress. Reshaping immigration is a central tenet of President-elect Donald Trump's push for companies to invest and hire more in the US. Trump has listed immigration reform among five executive actions he plans to take on his first day in office. They include asking the Department of Labor to investigate "all abuses of the visa programs that undercut the American worker." -PTI

California hires ex-AG Holder to fight Trump Syrian refugee Ahmad Alkhalaf

Over the past year, 11-year-old Ahmad Alkhalaf has attended Democratic President Barack Obama's final State of the Union, been fitted for prosthetic arms and enrolled in the local public school. He's also learned to live with his disability, taking swimming, gymnastics and martial arts lessons. But his father worries what the future holds for the rest of the family he's trying to bring to the U.S. Republican President-elect Donald Trump has promised to slow the influx of Syrian refugees into the country or curtail the flow of Muslim immigrants altogether.-AP

SACRAMENTO, Calif: Democratic leaders in the California Legislature say they have hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to advise them on a legal strategy as they gird for a fight against President-elect Donald Trump. The precise role of the highprofile lawyer remained unclear, but his politically connected firm will be paid $25,000 a month plus expenses from the Legislature's budget to help lawmakers develop strategies ``regarding potential actions of the federal government that may be of concern to the state of California,'' according to the contract with Holder. The initial agreement runs for three months beginning Feb. 1. After that, the parties will rene-

gotiate the deal, said Kevin Liao, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount. Republicans in the Legislature blasted the decision to sidestep

lawyers already on California's payroll and hire Holder, who many conservatives view as a polarizing figure. California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have talked

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

tough since Trump's election in November, vowing to aggressively confront the Republican president who pledged during the campaign to repeal ``Obamacare'' and deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. ``We have an obligation to defend the people who elected us and the policies and diversity that make California an example of what truly makes a nation great,'' Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, DLos Angeles, said in a statement. The hiring of outside consultants is not unusual, but the decision to contract with such a highprofile figure made it a remarkable move with clear political overtones. Cont'd on Page 36


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UK MPs for regional immigration quotas LONDON: A group of British MPs have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a regional immigration policy under which parts of the UK can control the entry of immigrants based on their local needs. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration said "regional immigration quotas" would lead to better immigration controls and integration. "Promoting the geographic dispersal of immigrants has been shown by numerous academic studies to lead to higher levels of integration. In contrast, 'one size fits all' immigration systems tend to lead to lopsided patterns of chain migration, wherein new immigrants are attracted to areas with high immigrant concentrations," an APPG's report said. The report also called on the government to do more to ensure all immigrants speak English as it was "the key to full participation in our society and economy". It said immigrants should have either learnt English before coming to the UK or be required to sign up for classes when they arrive. "It's clear that immigration has impacted on different communities in different ways and the pace of change has alarmed many. The government has a duty to address the lack of integration of immigrants if it is to address this. Fail-

ing to do so has left a vacuum for extremists and peddlers of hate to exploit," said Labor MP Chuka Umunna, chair of the APPG. "We now need a meaningful integration program which works for all parts of the UK and an immigration policy which allows all to celebrate and look beyond our differences," he said. The UK government has prom-

lots of different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one society - British society." "That is why we are rolling out a 20-million-pound fund for English language provision and have also made 140 million pounds available through the Controlling Migration Fund to local authorities to manage im-

SAN DIEGO: Central Americans attempting to enter the United States illegally on the nation's border with Mexico helped drive a 23 percent increase in U.S. Border Patrol arrests during the 2016 fiscal year, according to figures. Apprehensions surged to 415,816 during the 12-month period ended Sept. 30 from a 44-yearlow of 337,117 during the same period a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said. Still, the most recent numbers

bated backlogs in immigration courts, which determine whether to grant asylum. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson credited decades of spending on border security for the sharp decline in arrests over time. Border Patrol arrests peaked at 1.7 million in 2000 - quadruple the amount in 2016. The Border Patrol is responsible for areas between land crossings and makes nearly all its arrests on the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

Immigrants from Central America and Mexican citizens, who are fleeing from violence and poverty, queue to cross into the U.S. to apply for asylum at the new border crossing of El Chaparral in Tijuana, Mexico Theresa May

ised new migration controls once the UK leaves the European Union (EU) but has not yet set out a detailed model. The UK Home Office said it was not planning to introduce local visa arrangements. A spokesperson said, "Our country has long been home to

pacts on communities caused by issues such as poor English language skills. "However, we must also recognize that uncontrolled, mass immigration makes it difficult to maintain social cohesion and puts pressure on public services," the spokesperson said. -PTI

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's mixed legacy PHOENIX: The full-throated bravado that made Sheriff Joe Arpaio a household name in debates over illegal immigration and the treatment of jail inmates was missing as he started his last news conference in a law enforcement career that spanned a half-century. After being charged with a crime and booted from office by voters, the 84-year-old Arpaio looked tired and dispirited as he defended his investigation of President Barack Obama's birth certificate - a debunked controversy that critics say Arpaio exploited to raise funds from his supporters. The sheriff mispronounced several words as he attacked the birth record of the president he blames for his political demise. The media-savvy lawman ended the news conference by uncharacteristically declining to mix it up with reporters about the credibil-

Central Americans surge raised border arrests

ity of the five-year Obama investigation by his volunteer posse. He told his 75 supporters in the room that the investigation wasn't about whether Obama was born in the U.S. and instead focused on a claim that the birth certificate was fraudulent. ``This is tough for me to say believe me, all of you media know me,'' Arpaio said. ``Sometimes I get diarrhea of the mouth. But I am going to tell you, we are not going to answer any questions. There is more sensitive information that we have regarding this matter, and I am not going into it.'' The investigation was another questionable tactic in Arpaio's 24year tenure as the sheriff of metro Phoenix and was also marked by traffic patrols and business raids that targeted immigrants; decisions to house jail inmates in tents, dress them in pink under-

wear and make them work on chain gangs; round up dead-beat parents; and arrest animal abusers. Arpaio's critics say he was a bully who was driven by a hunger for publicity and who treated powerless people harshly because it was popular with voters. Attorney Mike Manning, who filed several lawsuits against the sheriff over in-custody deaths, said the lawman will be remembered for bringing a ``culture of cruelty'' to his jails. Arpaio stepped over the line when he treated inmates awaiting trial as if they were hardened criminals, even though the Constitution prohibits punishing people before they are convicted of crimes, Manning said. ``He wanted those jails to punish and hurt those detainees,'' Manning said. Cont'd on Page 37

represent the Border Patrol's fifthlowest arrest tally since 1972 and were far below numbers seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The number of Central Americans stopped during the 2016 fiscal year by the Border Patrol surpassed the number of Mexicans, as it did for the first time in 2014. Many were families and unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that Homeland Security says are fleeing poverty and violence, a shift from earlier years when crossers were largely adult men from Mexico. Homeland Security said in its year-end report that ``a growing share'' of people entering the country illegally surrender to authorities to seek humanitarian protection, instead of trying to evade capture. That trend has exacer-

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which covers the entire country, reported a modest decline in arrests in 2016. Total immigration apprehensions by ICE and the Border Patrol for the year reached 530,250 from 462,328 a year earlier _ a 15 percent increase. U.S. authorities say they prevented 274,821 entries at land crossings, at airports and by ship, an increase of 8 percent from a year earlier. That number isn't reflected in the arrest total. Homeland Security said deportations totaled 450,954 in 2016, with 85 percent of those people apprehended at the border. The administration of President Barack Obama has prioritized border crossers, convicted felons and those who pose public safety threats for deportation.-AP

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Teenage immigrant develops into community leader LEXINGTON, N.C.: Atalia Cardenas worked extremely hard to develop her potential into success, and she is equally driven to help others achieve their own excellence. Cardenas, 37, a naturalized citizen and married to Efrain Gerardo, focuses on education and leads by example. ``Instead of having immigrant workers and trying to get through the day, we want to have people who can represent us so that we can have a voice.'' Cardenas said, ``and to help other people see that we want to be engaged in the community, and be part of the community.'' Cardenas and her sister, Zurisadai, immigrated to Lexington from Mexico at age 15 with her parents, Mario and Otilia Cardenas. One of just four Hispanic students at Lexington Senior High School, Cardenas graduated with honors in 1997. After attending Davidson County Community College, she briefly studied engineering at Clemson University before returning home and taking an administrative job with Hanesbrands in Winston-Salem. While working at Hanesbrands, Cardenas simultaneously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international busi-

ness from High Point University and an associate degree in paralegal studies from Forsyth Technical College. ``Now when I look back at it, I don't know how it was done,'' Cardenas said. ``It was pretty aggressive because I was working for Hanesbrands already when I was going to both Forsyth and

done, and my mom has embedded in my brain that I should always try to help a person and never wait to see what I can get in return. I've certainly seen the fruits of that.'' ``To me, it's just helping other people and continuing to make kids realize their potential and help them be successful,'' Cardenas said. The Light of the World Church

``My dad is a very passionate person in regards to anything he has ever done, and my mom has embedded in my brain that I should always try to help a person and never wait to see what I can get in return. I've certainly seen the fruits of that.'' High Point, and I was working about 45-50 hours a week. I had no life.'' She does now, though. Cardenas became a paralegal for Hanesbrands and moved up the ranks to her current position of analytical work for legal matters. Away from work, her life is centered on being just as energized to help others dream and achieve. ``It comes definitely from my parents,'' Cardenas said. ``My dad is a very passionate person in regards to anything he has ever

on Thomason Street in Lexington is another source of inspiration. ``Through our church, we have very strong values that are instilled in us by our international director, and we always want to strive to do better and bring everything back to our community,'' she said. Cardenas' community involvement runs deep. Among her activities, she is an incoming member of the board of directors of the United Way of Davidson County; the Latino Village coordinator on

California hires ex-AG Holder to fight Trum Cont'd from Page 34

As the nation's top lawyer from 2009 to 2015, Holder aggressively defended President Barack Obama's policies and took heat over ``Fast and Furious,'' a gunsmuggling investigation in which federal agents allowed weapons to be delivered to drug cartels in Mexico. ``The goal of the California Democrats is clear: an open border with no restrictions on human traffickers, gun runners and drug smugglers,'' Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, said in a statement. Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, called Holder's hiring ``a waste,'' noting that the state Department of Justice has a staff of 4,300 people and an annual budget of $830 million. The arrangement with Holder was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The contract with the firm Covington & Burling was signed by Daniel Shallman, a partner in

Covington's Los Angeles office and the brother of John Shallman, a political consultant who represents de Leon and other Democratic elected officials. The California Department of Justice, headed by the state attorney general, typically represents the state in disputes with the fed-

The Legislature wanted its own legal representative independent of the executive branch, Liao said. ``It's to supplement the AG's work, not replace it,'' Liao said. ``The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer for California but doesn't represent the Legislature itself.''

``It's to supplement the AG's work, not replace it,'' Liao said. ``The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer for California but doesn't represent the Legislature itself.'' eral government. Lawmakers are scheduled next week to begin confirmation proceedings for Xavier Becerra, a Democratic congressman whom Brown selected to succeed Kamala Harris as state attorney general. Harris resigned after winning a seat in the U.S. Senate.

The legislative counsel's office, which has hundreds of attorneys to advise the Legislature, can't offer policy advice, Liao said. Asked about the propriety of Holder's new position, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he saw nothing inappropriate.-AP

Lexington's Multicultural Festival planning committee (Cardenas was recently named the Lexington Parks and Recreation Department's event volunteer of the year); and she works closely with the Lexington City Schools Board of Education, which includes volunteering with Project Potential. In Cardenas' church community, she is the membership coordinator for the Regional Alliance of Students and Professionals, an organization that has helped 10 youth go to college. A new church program, called `Alma de Mujer' ('Soul of a Woman'), allows Cardenas to assist in locating health resources for women of the church and their families. ``I have a lot of community relations with different people,'' Cardenas said. ``Like Novant (Health), we are partnering with them to do a health fair at our church.'' Also, a North Carolina State University nutritionist in WinstonSalem will be presenting nutrition classes in the program. Involvement with all of these organizations has led to a network of people willing to help area youth. ``I try to build relationships with people so that when I ask for

something, they help me out,'' Cardenas said. ``My dad was like that. He would always make me ask questions even when I didn't want to.'' Currently, a youth member of The Light of the World Church serves on the City of Lexington's Youth Council. ``That's one of the great things about having those relationships,'' Cardenas said. ``It helps push some of these young men who probably would not have that opportunity because they don't know the right people.'' Cardenas hardly knew any people herself when she arrived in Lexington 22 years ago, and that gives her hope. ``Sometimes I feel like it takes forever, but over the last couple of years, everything has come a little bit more together for me in terms of being able to voice my opinion and letting people in the community know that there are other people from different backgrounds that are trying to make that happen,'' she said. ``I have come a long way, and I continue to come a long way, but that doesn't necessarily make me stop there. I want to do even more,'' Cardenas said."Excellence is not perfection, but striving to do something better.''-AP

Iowa opposes federal immigration enforcement IOWA CITY, IOWA: Iowa City officials are considering denying local funding for federal immigration enforcement. The City Council has directed City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes to draft a resolution that would in part deny allocation of local resources to federal immigration enforcement, the Iowa City PressCitizen reported. The resolution will include exceptions for violent offenders or public safety threats where cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be necessary. The council will vote on the resolution after a publiccomment period. But the council stopped short of pursuing a ``sanctuary city'' label. Council members agreed last month to discuss the designation amid requests from community members. Mayor Jim Throgmorton said the requests for Iowa City to declare itself a sanctuary city came in part as a response to the election of President-elect Donald Trump. Throgmorton said during a meeting that much of the opposi-

tion to the designation has come from non-residents. ``Rather than respond immediately, simply on the basis of their request, and knowing that this is a very controversial topic, I thought we should proceed cautiously, deliberately, as a matter of good governance,'' the mayor said. In a December memo, Dilkes said federal regulations related to ICE detainment requests to hold people based solely on questionable immigration documentation do not legally bind the city's police department or the Johnson County Jail. ``There is not a federal law currently,'' the city attorney said. ``If there was to be a federal law passed like that, saying we had to help them, then the constitutional issues would come into play.'' City Councilman Rockne Cole recommended that the city also reach out to professors specializing in immigration law at the University of Iowa to create a community task force to review the city's decisions.-AP


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Europe faces uncertain future in 2017 LONDON: Europe's leaders are not expecting a smooth ride in 2017 following a year marked by political upheaval, extremist attacks, unchecked immigration, and a rising military threat from Russia. Britain is suing for divorce, the far-right is on the march, some former Soviet satellites seem disillusioned with the West even as Russia seeks to regain its influence, and America will soon inaugurate an untested, seemingly Russia-friendly president who has voiced doubts about the usefulness of the NATO alliance. The uncertainty is thick enough to breathe. It all looks so different from the triumphant panorama presented

more than two decades ago when the European Union was expanding. Formerly captive nations freed from Soviet control seemed eager to embrace liberal democracy, capitalism - and substantial subsidies - from their wealthier neighbors. There was rosy talk of an evercloser union, the development of a single currency, and a cooperative relationship with Russia. It hasn't turned out that way - the EU, with its touted ideals of shared democratic values and free movement of people, has never seem so frayed and vulnerable. ``The risks for 2017 remain very high,'' said Adam Thomson, director of the London-based European Leadership Network research

group. ``We Europeans need to recognize that we face a level of risk in the West-Russian confrontation that we have not seen since the 1960s. It is partly because a lot of the security rules of the road have been torn up or suspended, so there are fewer rules and less predictability.'' He said most Europeans do not perceive the danger because they have been lulled by the cordial East-West relations that prevailed for years after the Soviet collapse in 1991. ``Europeans have gotten used to 25 years of peace dividend, and a stability they have come to think of as normal but in fact might be the abnormality in Europe's long

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's mixed legacy Cont'd from Page 35

Supporters counter that Arpaio is a standup guy who did what the public wanted and was the only local police official to do something about illegal immigration. Tom Morrissey, a retired chief U.S. marshal who has been a friend of Arpaio for more than two decades, believes history will be kind to the sheriff. ``He will be celebrated and remembered 100 years from now, like Wyatt Earp was,'' Morrissey said, referring to the Old West sheriff credited with taming Tombstone. Arpaio took big chances in using jail tents and dressing inmates in pink underwear and was correct in taking on illegal immigration a decade ago when voters demanded action and state lawmakers passed laws to confront the problem, Morrissey said. But in doing so, he said, Arpaio was unfairly portrayed as anti-Latino. ``Believe me, there is a lot of support for him in the legal Latino community, but it just didn't get played that way,'' Morrissey said. Lydia Guzman, a Latino civil rights advocate who helped organize volunteers to video-record encounters between officers and motorists during the immigration patrols, said Arpaio turned his back on the Hispanic community by caving in to public pressure to crack down on illegal immigration. ``Joe is a politician and has to get re-elected, so he did what he had to do to get himself elected,'' Guzman said. Arpaio, through a spokesman, declined a request to speak about his legacy.

``I built a reputation in this world,'' Arpaio said in an interview days after his defeat in November. ``Everyone knows who the sheriff is. That's one advantage. I've worked hard in this life.'' State Sen. John Kavanagh, an Arpaio friend and proponent of tough crackdowns on illegal immigration, said the lawman gained popularity because he created a law-and-order persona that connected with voters.

``He wasn't afraid to speak his mind, even if it was politically incorrect,'' Kavanagh said. ``He was an elected sheriff - he didn't have to worry about a town council firing him. He could be straight up with people, and he was.'' That base of devoted supporters and impressive fundraising helped Arpaio get elected to six terms. Now, he is leaving office after being charged with a crime himself - misdemeanor contempt-ofcourt for prolonging his immigration patrols against the orders of

a federal judge. Arpaio has acknowledged the contempt violation but says it wasn't intentional. He could face up to six months in jail if convicted. In recent years, Arpaio's reputation for being tough on criminals was undermined by his failure to adequately investigate more than 400 cases alleging sex crimes, including dozens of child molestation reports. Arpaio did investigate a num-

ber of county officials and judges who were at odds with him in political and legal disputes. But the investigations eventually collapsed, and county taxpayers had to pay $8.7 million in lawsuits filed by people who said they were investigated on trumped-up allegations. In all, the sheriff's office racked up $130 million in taxpayer-funded legal costs during the tenure of Arpaio, who was trounced in the November election by Paul Penzone, a little-known retired Phoenix police sergeant.-AP

history of conflict,'' Thomson said. There is deep unease in the Baltics, Scandinavia and elsewhere as Russia moves more military forces to its border regions and even places nuclear capable Iskander ballistic missiles into the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, where they can threaten part of Poland, Germany, and other countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin seems emboldened by the lukewarm international response to his government's annexation of the Crimea two years ago and his strong intervention in Syria this year _ and by the growing support he enjoys among far-right political leaders who are gaining ground in Europe. He has already been making inroads, with a pro-Russia candidate elected president in Moldova and a candidate calling for a European rapprochement with Russia winning in Bulgaria. Electoral focal points in the coming year are France, where voters may bring to power a farright National Front government that wants to follow Britain out of the European Union, and Germany

ficult to find enough partners to form a majority government in a country where coalitions are the norm due to the voting system and proliferation of smaller parties. Wilders' outspoken opposition to Islam has gained traction in a nation long known for its tolerance. He wants the Netherlands, a founding member of the EU, to leave the 28-nation bloc. The first round of French voting in April is expected to bring far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen into the final round against conservative Francois Fillon. Both pose a threat to the European status quo: Le Pen wants to take France out of the EU, end its use of the shared euro currency, and close the border-free zone. Both candidates favor closer ties to Russia, including a lifting of sanctions. Both want to reduce immigration and strengthen border controls, though Fillon prefers to do so from within the EU bloc. German elections expected in September are likely to bring the nationalist Alternative for Ger-

The first round of French voting in April is expected to bring far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen into the final round against conservative Francois Fillon. Both pose a threat to the European status quo

and the Netherlands, where farright parties also stand to make gains. The increasing appeal of the far-right has been fueled by public unhappiness with the ongoing influx of migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Africa. Events like the recent extremist attack that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin - combined with earlier assaults on civilians in Paris and Brussels have made it more common for Europeans to view the incoming human tide as a potential threat. The coming year will determine whether Britain's surprise decision in a June referendum to walk away from the many benefits of EU membership in favor of establishing firm border controls was an anomaly or a harbinger of things to come. Elections in the Netherlands in March are expected to bring strong gains for Geert Wilders' anti-Islam, anti-EU Party for Freedom, which could emerge as the biggest party. Even if that happens, he will likely find it very dif-

many party into the federal parliament for the first time. The party's strength, stemming from dissatisfaction at the influx of migrants to Germany over the past two years, has put Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats on the defensive - particularly after the Christmas market truck attack, apparently carried out by an asylum-seeker from Tunisia. Some experts believe a Le Pen triumph in the final round in France in May would deal a fatal blow to the EU. ``France is the critical one,'' said Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe research group. ``I don't think she'll win, but if she does I think it would probably mean the end of the EU because she would start to challenge the authority of EU law,'' he said. ``She would ignore laws she doesn't like, unilaterally start to impose border checks, and the sheer fragility of the EU would be brought into sharp relief. People don't understand how fragile it is.-AP


38

India Post

Stars Speak

January 13, 2017

www.indiapost.com BY JATIN (JAY) PATEL

Pakistan in 2017, and its relationship with India

P

akistan is ruled by the planet Mars. It is a good planet and fairly strong in the horoscope. It is placed in the area of initiatives. Rahu, a shadowy planet, is placed in the second house of status and wealth and it is in (exhalted) extreme power. The country for the whole year will be in the main period of Venus and

subperiod of Rahu. The main period is weak due to the closeness of the planet Sun. Since the subperiod is of the Malefic (unfavorable) Rahu, it makes the country as a whole enterprising, highly motivated, risk orientated, courageous and manipulative. The country is shrewd in deception for mentally weak.

Planets are constantly moving and some get stationary. Pakistan is headed for a difficult time around September 2017 and may see the loss of wealth and lives. It may be through terrorist activity, natural calamity or war. India is also likely to have difficult time with the movement of Saturn to sign Sagittarius. This means in the birth chart of India it is a bad house which rules sudden setbacks and death like experiences.

Narendra Modi with Nawaz Sharif

Since Jupiter is also weak in the birth chart of Pakistan, it ignores all bonds of ethics, social norms of society and legal framework for achieving its own dynamic goals. Planets are constantly moving and some get stationary. Pakistan is headed for a difficult time around September 2017 and may see the loss of wealth and lives. It may be through terrorist activity, natural calamity or war. India is also likely to have difficult time

with the movement of Saturn to sign Sagittarius. This means in the birth chart of India it is a bad house which rules sudden setbacks and death like experiences. And later in 2017, planet Jupiter will enter Libra a bad house, ruling debts, conflicts, disputes. The proxy war activities of Pakistan are likely to rise further after August 2017. The two countries' problems will be in second half of the year. The writer is Systems Approach Astrologer

Saturn in transit will affect many people T

he transit of Saturn, which is 30 months long, will affect many people. It may turn out an unfavorable period for many people and businesses. Saturn will enter Sagittarius on 26th January, 2017. It will stay in Sagittarius up to 24th January, 2020. On 21st June, 2017, it enters Scorpio again and remains there up to 26th October, 2017, in its retrograde motion. Saturn will influence persons born in various ascendants with varying degrees of influence depending upon its natal strength while transiting in Sagittarius as under: ARIES The incidence of obstruct i o n s ceases to exist. New rewarding opportunities are likely. Additional income is likely. Some conflicts are likely to continue up to September 2018. You are likely to enhance your knowledge. TAURUS - It indicates the incidence of obstructions, mishaps, emotional problems, stress to children and professional setbacks. GEMINI - It indicates better health, involvement in spiritual activities, better life and visits to places of interest.

ness, additional income and promotions for those who have a strong Saturn in their natal chart. The prolonged stressful impact is likely for those SAGITTARIUS - It gives more energy for new born in the ascending signs of Taurus, Cancer, ventures, additional income, professional Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces. Continuous growth, a helping hand to propitiatory (graha-shanti) remedies and children, participation in spiritual activities and strengthening of the weak planets helps better social recognition. Jatin (jay) Patel CAPRICORN - It indiputes in inheritance matters, disputes in LEO - It turns you emocates searching for oprelationships, health problems for parents/ tional, brings proposals for marriage, good portunities in distant lands, vulnerabilhusband, setbacks in business ventures for students, additional income, promo- ity to loss of status, health concerns, tions for those who are appearing in selec- concerns for children and setbacks in tions provided the natal Saturn is fairly business ventures. AQUARIUS - It gives chances of adstrong. VIRGO - It indicates the incidence of ditional financial gains through profesconflicts, health concerns, professional sional growth, better health, and is good problems, lack of patience and losses for children while some delays are also likely. due to cheating. PISCES - It indicates professional LIBRA - It indicates new business ventures, good for students, good problems and losses in business, loss for creative persons, in- of assets and problems in relationships. The prolonged stressful impact is volvement in spiritual pursuits and ven- likely for those born in the ascending tures in for- signs of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces. Continuous propitiaeign lands. SCORPIO tory (graha-shanti) remedies and - It indi- strengthening of the weak planets helps. cates fiThe writer is Systems Approach nancial gains, acquisition of new assets, growth in the family busi- Astrologer CANCER - It indicates prolonged health concerns, vulnerability to accidents, dis-

and stress leading to problems with sleep patterns.


Datebook

January 13, 2017

India Post 39

www.indiapost.com

NEW JERSEY Upcoming Fri, Jan 27 • Glow in the Dark Ladies Night Venue: Royal Alberts Palace(Grand Ball Room), 1050 King Georges Post Rd, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 07:30 pm

Sat, Jan 28 • Dance pe Chance - Dance Competition 2017 Venue: Plainfield High School, 950 Park Avenue, Plainfield, Nj 07060 Time: 04:00 pm

Sun, Jan 29 • NJTS Pongal Thiruvizha Venue: West Windsor High School South, 346 Clarksville Road, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550 Time: 02:00 pm

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

Upcoming

CHICAGO

Upcoming

Sat, Jan 14 • Bollywood Beats - A Weekly Saturday Night

Sat, Jan 14 • BAYVP Kite Flying Uttarayan 2017

Venue: Lexicon, 226 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022 Time : 10:00 pm

Sun, Jan 29 • Patti Manram by Tamilkadal 'Nellai Kannan'

Venue: Independence High School Soccer

Venue: Jain Temple, 722 South Main Street,

Field, 1776 Educational Park Drive, San

Milpitas, CA 95035

Jose, CA 95133

Time: 03:00 pm

Sat, Jan 21 • Bollywood Beats - A Weekly Saturday Night

Time: 11:00 am

Contact: 510-406-0047

Thu, Jan 19 • 2017 Outsourced Comedy Tour

Sat, Feb 4 • Iffer Valentines Ball 2017

Venue: Tommy T's Comedy Club, 5104

Venue: Golden Peacock Banquets, 24989

Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

Santa Clara St, Hayward, CA 94544

Time: 07:30 pm

Time: 6:00 pm

Contact: 510-299-0788

Contact: 650-921-2846

Venue: Lexicon, 226 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022 Time : 10:00 pm

Sat, Mar 11 • The Biggest HOLI Party in New York City Venue: Stage48, 605 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036 Time : 12:00 pm

Sun, Jan 22 • Dot Com Mom - Marathi movie Venue: Bluelight Cinemas 5, 21275 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014 Time: 02:00 pm

Sat, Jan 28 • Jai Ho! 6 Year Anniversary Bollywood Dance Party Venue: Slide SF, 430 M-ason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Time: 9:00 pm

Sat, Jan 28 • Bollywood Fever Retro Remix Night Venue: Aura Night Club, 389 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95113 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: 510-870-4693

ATLANTA Upcoming Fri, Jan 13 • Bollywood Bhangra Night Venue: Club 54, 37722 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights, MI 48312 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 586-354-0316

Sat, Jan 14 • The Healer Of Past Present – Future Venue: Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram, Bangalore., 5000 Estate Time: 8:45 pm

Mon, Feb 6 • Bus Connections Atlanta Venue: Marta Bus Station, College Park. GA, 3800 Main Street, College Park, GA 30337 Time: 6:00 am

ILLINOIS Upcoming 1st and 3rd Sunday of Month • Chicago Children's Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes Venue: Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807

Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

Swami Ishatmananda • Bhagavad Gita: Philosophy of life Venue: Public Library-95th Street 3015 Cedar Glade Rd Naperville IL 60564 Time: 1st friday of every month 7-8 pm Contact: 630-637-0662

• India Eternal: From the Vedic Age to the Present Venue: Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago 10915 N. Main Street Glendale Heights, IL 60139 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: 630-655-8822


40 India Post

www.indiapost.com

January 13, 2017

B

reathtaking vistas, intriguing history, an abundance of tradi tion, color, and enchantment this is Kutch, the perfect host for anyone's next vacation. Remote and strange could best sum up the Kutch experience. And yet, the region remains unsurpassed in terms of beauty, exuberance, and color that no one with a taste for adventure, excitement, and the exotic would like to miss. Lying in the westernmost part of Gujarat, Kutch becomes an island where during the monsoon months the Gulf of Kutch is separated from the Kathiawar Peninsula. To the north also, Kutch gets separated from the Sindh region of Pakistan by the great Rann of Kutch. The Kutch area is the home of the last remaining population of khur (Asiatic wild ass) in India. There is also a large bird population, particularly of the large flamingos. Both are protected in the 5,000 km Little Rann Sanctuary, which is approached from Dhangadhra; one has to get permission to enter from the sanctuary superintendent's office in Dhangadhra.

Bhuj is the central town of Kutch. It was set up when Khengarij I of the Rao dynasty of Kutch shifted his capital from the town of Anjar. Due to its proximity to the sea, which facilitated trade, a lot of cultural interaction took place. Even today, the city of Bhuj presents exciting amalgams of the Orient and the Occident, especially in terms of architecture.

Best time to visit: Being in the arid area of the country, the climate of the Kutch region is extreme: hot during summer and very cold during winter. Summer is rather severe in the entire state of Gujarat. The amount of rainfall is very little and during the rainy season also the area experiences scanty rain. As winters are comparatively

bearable and pleasant, the best time to visit this place would be between November and March. Woolens in sufficient numbers are required during the winter months. History: Founded only recently in 1548,

Tourist attractions The picturesque town of Bhuj has a dramatic setting. Located rather low, it is basically an amphitheatre of hills dominated by the Bhuja Hill that rises to a height of 160 m at one end and is in itself a landmark - being flat on top and surmounted by the fortifications of a hill fort. Cont’d on page 42


January 13, 2017

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post 41

www.indiapost.com

Rs 1K cr loss to Kerala tourism since Nov 8 THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala's tourism sector has registered an estimated loss of about Rs 1,000 crore, following a dip in the arrival of foreign and domestic tourists since the Centre announced demonetization of highvalue currencies, the state government said. The cash crunch has severely affected the sector and the loss was estimated to be about Rs 1,000 crore since the demonetization of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency

notes came into effect from November 8 last, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told a press conference here. There was a decrease of 10-15 per cent in the number of foreign tourists arriving while the number of domestic tourists dipped by 2030 per cent, he added.

The fall in arrival of tourists was "in contrast" to an increase in the numbers of both foreign and domestic tourists before demonetization, the minister said. He pointed out that the state netted a revenue of Rs 25,000 crore every year from the tourism sector. "The currency crunch arose during the tourism season itself and so, things went wrong to a great extent," Surendran said, adding that foreign tourists were not

getting enough cash at airports on their arrival. Even though several complaints were received in this regard, due to the Centre's "adamant" attitude, the state was not able to do anything, he claimed. Tourists were also spending very little money in the state now

which had affected the local traders, said Surendran. The houseboat business, one of the main attractions of backwater tourism in Kerala, was "on the verge of collapse", he said and added that the state government would do "everything possible" to boost the tourism sector. A total of 79 new tourist spots would be identified and an environment-friendly green carpet project would be implemented at these places, the minister said, adding that a special package for tourism in the Malabar region would also be rolled out. The Tourism Department had sought Rs 1,000 crore from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board. Of this, projects worth Rs 362 crore would be cleared soon, he said. Surendran, who also holds the Co-operation portfolio, said the cooperative sector was in a "bad shape" and alleged that even though the Supreme Court had directed for provisions for cash in the sector, no step had been taken in that regard. -PTI

Tourism back on track in Kashmir SRINAGAR: Fresh snowfall in the upper reaches of Kashmir, including the tourist resort of Gulmarg, has literally come as a boon from the heavens for winter sports and tourism-related activities in the Valley, with the Tourism Department making arrangements for hosting a 'Snow Carnival' later this month. The carnival, which is organized by the Tourism Department annually at Gulmarg resort, was scheduled to be held in the first week of January but a prolonged dry spell across Kashmir and scant snowfall at Gulmarg this winter almost dashed all hopes of holding of the event this season. "It has been snowing in Gulmarg and if it continues, as has been forecast, we shall be able to organize a lot more snow-based activities during the coming Snow Carnival," Deputy Director Tourism Department Peerzada Zahoor

told PTI. Zahoor said the carnival will be held from January 21 to February 5 this year. The tourism department is planning a wide range of activities for wooing tourists to Gulmarg dur-

ing the carnival, which has been a hit with the visitors in the past, he said. "We will have ice hockey, snow boarding, snow sledging, snowball fight competition and painting competitions during the carnival," the official said. He said Tourism Department

will also organize a 'night bazaar' (market) and cultural shows at the Gulmarg bowl so that the tourists have wider range of activities to choose from. "If the snow accumulation is in the range of four to five feet, we will also add snow skiing to the events of the carnival," Zahoor said. People associated with tourism and travel trade in Kashmir are hopeful that a good spell of snowfall will help them tide over part of the losses suffered during the summer unrest in the Valley. "The tourism related activities came to a standstill post-July due to the unrest in Kashmir. As the situation is getting back to normal, we hope the tourists will visit this winter to enjoy snowfall," Mohammad Shoaib, a travel agent, said. He said low airfares to and from Kashmir should also attract more tourists to visit the valley.-PTI

2016 saw push for adventure tourism NEW DELHI: Sustaining growth momentum in foreign tourist arrivals despite demonetization and push for adventure tourism were some of the highlights of Tourism Ministry in the year gone by which also saw a controversy over Aamir Khan's exit as mascot of Incredible India campaign. During the year, the Ministry also failed to roll out the much-

during January-November as compared to Rs 1,21,041 crore in the corresponding period in 2015. To give push to adventure tourism, the Ministry also set up a task force for resolving issues related to development and promotion of adventure tourism in the country. One of the major initiatives of the ministry in 2016 was the launch of round-the-clock Incredible In-

awaited Tourism Policy despite several assurances. The year began with the controversy over Aamir's exit from Incredible India campaign over his perceived intolerance remark though the government maintained its contract with the creative agency which had hired the actor for the campaign had expired. There was speculation that the new mascot may be either Amitabh Bachchan or Priyanka Chopra but the year ended with no official announcement in this regard. It was otherwise a good year for the ministry with 78.53 lakh overseas travelers arriving in India during the January-November period, registering a growth of whopping 10.4 per cent as compared to 2015s corresponding period figure of 71.14 lakh. India attracted 8.91 lakh foreign tourists in November, registering

dia helpline in 12 languages, including Hindi and English. The Ministry also launched Swachh Paryatan App for 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) wherein travelers can lodge their complaints about uncleanliness in and around the identified monuments by uploading photos with remarks. During the year, the ministry approved 29 projects worth Rs 2,497.29 crore for Swadesh Darshan scheme under which 13 circuits, including North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit, which have been identified for development. The year also saw a three-day investors meet in which over 1,800 delegates participated and over 85 MoUs were signed, aggregating close to Rs 15,000 crore investment

a growth of 9.3 per cent over 8.16 lakh in November 2015, negating fears of adverse impact on the sector due to withdrawal of high currency notes, a decision which caught people in the industry by surprise. Foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) from tourism sector rose by 14.7 per cent at Rs 1,38,845 crore

in tourism sector. The Ministry also organized the fifth edition of the International Buddhist Conclave in which over 250 delegates from around 39 countries participated. India signed MoUs with Maldives, Qatar, South Africa and Kyrgyz for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism. -PTI


42 India Post

Travel & Hospitality Post

January 13, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Cont’d from page 40

This strategically located fort served the purpose of sighting enemies and alerting defense. An old wall surrounds the city (also made for security reasons). Interestingly, till recently, the city gates were locked each night from dusk to dawn but now entry into Bhuj can be made at any time of the day as the city is always welcoming. Then there is the quaint Kutch Museum - the oldest in Gujarat. Regarded as one of the best. This museum has an excellent collection. Founded in 1877 by Sir James Ferguson, who was Governor of Bombay under the British Raj, the museum was earlier referred to as the Ferguson Museum. This unassuming edifice has been divided into two floors containing a picture gallery, an anthropological section, an archeological section, textiles, weapons, musical instruments, a shipping sec-

tion, and even stuffed animals. The piece de resistance here is the celestial elephant Airawat made of wood. Yet another that warrants attention is the cannon that was presented by Tipu Sultan to the Kutch rulers in exchange for some horses of the region that are known for their swiftness and vitality.

Walking through the maze of winding streets takes visitors to the exquisite Aaina Mahal (palace of mirrors). It was the palace of the erstwhile Maharao of Bhuj, but it has now been converted into a museum. Members of the royal family now live in the Old Palace behind it. Presenting a fascinating amalgam of Indian and Dutch styles of architecture, the Aaina Mahal is definitely worth a visit. The walls of the main hall are covered with mirrors all around, and except for a narrow strip used for walking, the entire space has been beautifully utilized to form a pleasure pool. Fountains are placed in such a manner that they cast their spray in an intricate variety of patterns. Lit by candles and cooled by the gentle ripples of the pool waters, the Maharao and his retinue sat in the space left in the middle as they sought refuge from the glaring heat of the sun. It was here that Maharao Shri

Lakhpatji often sat to compose poetry and watch musical performances. It was under his patronage that the classical arts flourished. The Aaina Mahal also contains exquisite specimens of intricately cared embroidered panels, lithographs, cutglass, 18th-cen-

tury paintings and clocks, one

lages (and the crafts they special-

even dating back to 1849. Facing the Aaina Mahal is the City Palace, the lovely architectural gem of Bhuj designed by a Scottish architect called McClelland. While most of it is closed to visitors, the Durbar Hall remains open. A look around reveals a marked European influence with sculptures and carvings typifying the amalgam arts of Bhuj. The most outstanding and marvelous monuments that would delight all visitors to Bhuj are the royal cenotaphs popularly known as chhatris.

ize in) include Bhujjodi (wool and cotton weaving), Padhar and Dhaneti (Ahir embroidery), Dhamanka (block printing), Lilpur (embroidery) and Anjar (nutcrackers, block printing, and tie and dye). Near the Dattatreya Temple at Kaladoongar (the black hills), which overlooks the spectacular Rann, one can spot some rare spe-

Special handicrafts The villages of the Kutch region specialize in a different form of handicraft, and it would be easy to spend a week visiting some of them using Bhuj as a base. Due to their proximity to the Pakistan border, you will require a permit signed by the Bhuj District Collector to visit the villages north of Bhuj. The map issued by the Bhuj tourist office lists the villages one can visit with or without permission. Some of the more important vil-

cies of white foxes that would delight wildlife lovers. These beautiful, frisky animals staying in the wild respond to the call of the temple priest as he beats a steel plate yelling "langa" to suggest that food has been laid out for them. Although jeeps and cars can easily go up the steep path to the Devi Temple that is perched right up on the Black Hills, climbing gives an opportunity to admire the

scenery around. Also, remember that the temple priest's hospitality is not for the foxes alone but extends to all visitors as he generously distributes pauwa from the temple kitchens. Lying close to the beach near Bhuj is the Vijay Vilas Palace that was the summer retreat of the Maharaos of Kutch. Crowned by elegant chhatris (cenotaphs), this sandstone-hued edifice was built in the 1930s. A flight of steps leads up to the grandest of chhatris that stands on a lofty platform. This is the place where fifteen veeranganas (brave women) who belonged to the court of Maharao Lakhpat committed jauhar (self-immolation) after his death. What is surprising to learn is that none of these women were his wedded queens but only his loyal companions. Adept in music and dancing, these veeranganas entertained royal guests and, when required, even served as spies in the courts of political rivals. Fairs & festivals:

From the first day of the Kutch Fair, the air is charged with festivity as Bhuj reverberates with a thousand colors. Enthralling opportunities are offered to visit the surrounding areas - even to the interiors of Kutch to give visitors a glimpse of the simple lifestyle of the tribals there. The artistic creativity of the people residing in the area called Bhuga can be seen at every corner - how they use vegetable colors to create wonderful designs on the walls, and further decorate them with mirrors and beads. Cont’d on page 43


January 13, 2017

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

43

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At Deer Valley, seeing powder through trees PARK CITY, Utah: Skiers who've ducked into the trees at Deer Valley know that this mountain resort, for all its luxury accommodations and film-star guests, isn't just a pretty place. The powder stashes in the trees are about as good as they get. And that makes a mountain which is not terribly difficult overall - more than 65 percent of Deer Valley's runs range from easy to intermediate attractive to skiers looking for a challenge. There are ample opportunities to take a cue from the mountain resort's namesake wildlife and swiftly bound into the woods. During the annual Sundance Film Festival, which starts Jan. 19 in nearby Park City, Utah, it's easier to find pristine powder fill-

Deer Valley also invests considerable resources in ``glading,'' where a crew spends about 4,800 work hours clearing dead or diseased trees, branches, brush, etc. This makes the remaining trees healthier while making the area more navigable on skis - not to mention supplying the resort's Silver Lake and Empire lodges with up to 50 cords of fireplace wood. Another factor keeping crowds down is price. Deer Valley was imagined as a luxury mountain resort by its founder, Edgar Stern. Its high-end ambiance is routinely compared to Aspen's, where Stern was a regular before investing in Park City. Lodging rates during Sundance can run thousands of dollars a night. Deer Valley's daily lift ticket is

Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, shows a skier making his way down a snowy slope through the trees. The luxury resort is a popular destination for stars heading to the annual Sundance Film Festival but it's Deer Valley's untracked snow that advanced skiers prize, with powder stashes in the trees that are about as good as they get.

ing spaces between aspen trees than a movie ticket. That's because many festival patrons are more interested in parties and premieres than putting on skis. ``We can have powder skiing three days after a big storm,'' said Olympic skier Heidi Voelker, Deer Valley's ski ambassador. ``There's more terrain here than people realize.'' She's given tours in which she's worn out advanced skiers who began the day with low expectations because of all the green (easy) and blue (intermediate) on the trail map. Other reasons that Deer Valley's powder stashes stay pristine include a snowboard ban and limits on the number of daily skiers, which also means relatively short lift lines. And of course, many skiers prefer Deer Valley's groomed cruiser trails.

also the second-highest in the area at $128. Only Park City Mountain Resort charges more, $139. Daily lift tickets at other area resorts range from $79 at Brighton to $106 at Snowbird, with Solitude charging $83 and Alta $96. Greg Bensel, an executive for the NFL's New Orleans Saints and NBA's New Orleans Pelicans, has made Deer Valley his family's goto ski destination for the past decade. ``The amenities at Deer Valley are second to none; they cater to their visitors very well,'' said Bensel, listing the Stein Erickson Lodge, the Montage and St. Regis Resort among his favorite spots. ``We enjoy the fact that the runs and lifts are not overly crowded. There are many options to relax, work out, enjoy a great meal, spa - whatever you wish - and every-

thing is very close.'' HEIDI'S HIGHLIGHTS Voelker, an Olympian in 1988, '92 and '94, recommends a few spots in particular for advanced skiers. Those include the Daly Chutes and (unmarked) glades just east of the chutes known as ``X-Files.'' Also along the upper, central part of the ski area are the Sunset Glade and opposing Ontario Bowl - the latter also having glade skiing, but a little more cleared out. On the far west side are Lady Morgan Bowl, and below that a challenging tree-filled headwall called Centennial. On the Far East side are the Mayflower chutes, and farther down the mountain are Triangle Trees. The Daly Chutes and X-Files require some hiking from the upper part of the Orion run, reachable on the Empire Express lift. ``People don't take the time to go into X-Files because of the little hike, so you can lap in there and it's just beautiful, aspen skiing and you feel like you're kind of the only one in there if you're willing to make that little effort.'' GETTING THERE AND AROUND The resort is relatively easy to reach - usually less than an hour's drive from Salt Lake City's main airport - with transportation options for those who don't want to rent a car. Locals take considerable pride in Deer Valley's reliable, convenient and free shuttle service. It not only runs between lodges and other slopeside developments, but also has stops in Park City. Visitors are encouraged to use the shuttle service to reduce traffic congestion particularly during the Sundance festival. DINING Between the lodges at Deer Valley and the offerings in Park City, dining ranges from casual to fancy, from pizza to sushi to Tex-Mex to traditional European alpine themes. Local favorites include Adolph's (Swiss), where the menu includes beef bourguignon fondue; Royal Street Cafe for casual American fare like bison burgers; and the Mariposa (fine dining), with organic and gluten-free cuisine. -AP

Indianapolis sees decline in hotel bookings INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis tourism and hotel officials have said they're not overly concerned about a drop in the number of advance hotel room bookings. The number of rooms booked by Visit Indy decreased in 2016 to the lowest level since 2013, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The organization books hotel rooms for conventions. As of Dec. 19, Visit Indy booked 838,000 hotel rooms to be used in 2017 and later years. That number dropped from a record of more than 904,700 rooms booked during 2015 for future years, and nearly 880,600

the economy, and it's been seven years since our last recession,'' Eble said. ``Everyone knows the next dip is out there, and that creates more uncertainty, which can slow spending.'' Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl said he's not worried because his group beat its goal by booking more than 800,000 rooms for the third year in a row. Gahl also noted that due to hotel rooms booked into future years in 2014 and 2015, less inventory was available for the group to sell during 2016. Patrick Tamm, president of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging As-

booked during 2014. But it's still significantly ahead of the nearly 700,400 rooms booked in 2013. A key factor for declining bookings is the uncertainty caused by the presidential election, said Mark Eble, a managing director of the research firm CBRE Hotels. ``There's still some uncertainty with how (the election) will impact

sociation, said that in addition to the future bookings, the hotels' teams had strong group sales the last two years, which further occupied inventory for Visit Indy to sell.

Kutch

Unsurpassed in beauty, exuberance & color

Cont’d from page 42

All attention is, however, focused on the fair grounds at Bhuj that resound with festivity and music. Besides all this are the plethoras of cultural programs organized by the tourism department that carry on late into the night. It is really an opportunity to learn of the variety of dances that Gujarat has to offer - ranging from brisk acrobatic movements to a single fast beat ending in formation of different kinds of pyramids. On the last day of the fair that coincides with the Shivaratri festival, a grand fair is also organized at Dhang where local people, dressed in colorful, traditional costumes, congregate to pay homage at the shrine to Mekan Dada, which incidentally, or rather curiously, has a Shivalinga on its

``There's bound to be a dip here and there,'' Tamm said. ``But this industry is pointed in the right direction.'' -AP

premises. A little away, in an open field, much excitement prevails where competitions are organized-camel, horse, and bullock races and the much-loved kushti (wrestling) bouts. How to reach: There are two options to get into Kutch, the headquarters of the region-either by road or by air from Ahmedabad. But to enjoy the grand spectacle of territories wild and primordial, the former option would be better for the visitors. Air - Bhuj, the main town of Kutch has daily flights from Bombay, which take about 40 minutes to reach. Rail - Kutch Express is available from Bombay via Ahmedabad up to Gandhinagar. From here, one can reach this destination by road. Road - State transport buses are available from Ahmedabad.


„ Health

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Burleigh jail focuses on inmates' mental health BISMARCK, N.D.: A county in North Dakota is taking a proactive approach to identifying jail inmates with mental health or addiction issues in hopes of cutting down on their time behind bars. Burleigh County has hired behavioral health specialist Mark Kemmet to screen people entering jail and received a federal grant to study incarceration rates of people with mental health and addiction problems, The Bismarck Tribune reported. ``What we see a lot with these people with behavioral health issues, they end up spending more time in jail than someone who doesn't have those issues,'' Kemmet said, noting that in some cases jail can become a default location for people with behavioral issues. Kemmet has spent 19 years with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, first working as a correctional officer and later as a probation officer for the Bismarck-Mandan DUI Drug Court. Maj. Steve Hall of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department said jail employees screen inmates using an eight-question form related to mental health. Based on an inmate's answers, Kemmet may be asked to do further assessments. ``It's a nationwide epidemic that people with mental health (issues) and addiction are ending up in the criminal justice system in very high rates. It's not just in North Dakota,'' Hall said. Cont’d on page 47

UConn Health to improve services for deaf FARMINGTON, Conn.: The University of Connecticut Health Center has agreed to improve services for deaf patients after a federal investigation into a discrimination complaint. The complaint was filed by a deaf woman who says she was denied sign-language services in the emergency room at the school's John Dempsey Hospital, resulting in a miscommunication that led to her suffering a burst appendix. U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly's office says UConn Health has agreed to pay the women $20,000 to settle her complaint and has entered an agreement to revise its policies and training. The school says it also will assess the need for more aids and services for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.-AP

Health Science

Kidney ailment raises Cancer death risk

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Health care battle could decide balance of power in Washington WASHINGTON: The messaging battle is over on repealing and replacing President Barack Obama's health care law, and the balance of power in Washington may be at stake. Democrats believe they already lost the public opinion fight over the law once, when they pushed through the Affordable Care Act in the first place, and Republicans grabbed hold of the issue to drive Democrats into the minority. Democrats are determined that this time, they'll come out on top. For their part, Republicans are painfully aware that they're embarking upon the task of repealing and replacing the complex law at their peril. If Democrats get their way, the GOP will own every problem and complication that results from the re-work, and there are certain to be many. For both sides, the repeal-andreplace fight represents a risky and unexpected do-over nearly seven years after Democratic majorities in the House and Senate passed the law on a party-line vote. A voter backlash helped send Democrats into the minority in the House in the 2010 midterms, and Republicans have been using the issue to political benefit ever since. In

November's elections, Donald Trump and GOP House and Senate candidates ran on promises to repeal the law and replace it with

something better. Now, Democrats have a chance to fight the messaging war anew, even as they continue to champion

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives on U.S. Capitol Hill in Washington, to meet with House and Senate Democratic leaders. Walking with him is Rep. Federica Wilson, D-Fla., Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-NY., Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. Obama was at the Capitol to give congressional Democrats advice on how to combat the Republican drive to dismantle his health care overhaul.

the health care law as good policy that's helped the country. And Republicans, who've had political success attacking the law without offering a unified solution of their own, have a chance to present their ideas and make policy, but risk giving away their political advantage if they become the ones voters blame for problems in the health system. Which side meets the challenge most effectively will help determine who prevails in the 2018 midterms, and in the next presidential election four years from now. As he unveiled Democrats' new attack line against the GOP ``Make America Sick Again'' - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that after the health law passed, voters blamed it for every problem related to health care, ``and our Republicans colleagues and their message machine did it.'' ``Now, they're gonna own it,'' Schumer said of the GOP. ``And all the problems in the health care system, and there have been many throughout the years, no one has solved all of them, are gonna be on their back.'' Cont’d on page 47

Yoga guru ordered to pay for lawsuit LOS ANGELES: The founder of Bikram yoga has been ordered to turn over the proceeds from his global fitness business to go toward a $6.8 million judgment his former legal adviser won against him last year in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit, the adviser's lawyer said. The ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge orders Bikram Choudhury to turn over to a court-appointed receiver funds from his book sales and from the nearly 700 yoga studios in Europe, Asia and the Americas that pay to use his name. Carla Minnard, attorney for the former adviser Minakshi ``Miki'' Jafa-Bodden, told The

Associated Press that the series of orders issued in December in-

Jafa-Bodden said in the lawsuit that Choudhury fired her

Bikram Choudhury, front, founder of the Yoga College of India, leads a class at the Yoga Expo 2003 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

clude Choudhury turning over a luxury car collection he owns.

when she refused to help him cover up a rape allegation. The

suit also said he inappropriately touched her. She was awarded nearly $1 million in compensatory damages and more than $6 million in punitive damages. She had worked as head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury's Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 until March 2013 Choudhury, 70, has built an empire around Bikram yoga, a rigorous, 90-minute routine performed in a room that can reach more than 100 degrees. The technique is taught at more than 650 studios worldwide and has drawn a throng of devoted followers. He contended at the time the award was given last January that he is nearly bankrupt.-AP


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Democrats extol health care law WASHINGTON: Senior House Democrats have extolled the benefits of President Barack Obama's health care law in hopes of derailing Republican plans to gut the statute and over time replace it. In a conference call with reporters, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the GOP will begin its ``assault'' on the health care law when the 115th Congress convenes. She said abolishing the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, as Republicans have promised will mean that people will pay more for their health insurance while getting much less than they do now. Undoing the

GOP lawmakers are expected to spend the next several months working on legislation to cancel broad swaths of the law that the party's voter base staunchly opposes. Most likely to go are the law's mandate that people buy health insurance or face hefty IRS fines law also will undermine Medicaid and Medicare, she said. Currently Republicans plan to vote quickly on repealing the health care law and delay the effective date to give them time to craft a replacement. Pelosi blasted that strategy as ``an act of cowardice.'' She urged people to ``take a second look'' at how the

health care law has improved their lives. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said he believes that many people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump want the health care law preserved even though Trump made repeal of the statute a central part of his campaign. ``I think a lot of people are going to be looking at this and saying, `Gee, I really didn't mean that,''' Hoyer said. Republicans have opposed Obama's law since Democrats steered the law through Congress in 2010. The GOP has tried numerous times to repeal the law but failed due to internal divisions and Obama's veto power. But with the GOP in control of the House and Senate and Donald Trump set to become president in a few weeks, doing away with ``Obamacare'' is in sight for Republicans. GOP lawmakers are expected to spend the next several months working on legislation to cancel broad swaths of the law that the party's voter base staunchly opposes. Most likely to go are the law's mandate that people buy health insurance or face hefty IRS fines, and its expansion of Medicaid coverage to more lower-earning Americans. But several elements of the repeal likely wouldn't go into effect for two to four years. Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Republicans are ``blind to the success'' of the health care law. Repealing the law is rooted in politics, he said, and will hurt middle class Americans. ``Repealing the Affordable Care Act is not logical; it's simply ideological,'' Pallone said. -AP

9/11 dust made newborn babies smaller NEW YORK: Dust pollution produced during the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre caused babies in the area to be born prematurely and with low birth weight, a new study has found, which experts say may have implications for cities such as New Delhi that grapple with polluted air. When the towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City fell on September 11 in 2001, a cloud of hazardous materials enveloped the surrounding neighborhood and coated everything and everyone exposed to it for several days. Researchers from University of Zurich in Switzerland and Princeton University in the US looked at New York City birth records from 1994 to 2004. Out of the 1.2 million births, they isolated data of women who lived in Lower Manhattan neighborhoods and were most exposed to the dust cloud. They found that women who were in their

first trimester during the 9/11 attacks had more than double the probability of premature delivery. There was also an increase in the number of babies with low birth weights, which can lead to later issues such as higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and elevated blood pressure. Exposure to air pollution in the womb can have adverse health effects on newborns, which can play out over the course of a lifetime, 'National Geographic' reported. "The pregnancy conditions really matter for later economic outcomes and for long-term human development and economic success," said Hannes Schwandt, a researcher from the University of Zurich. The findings add to a host of research showing ill effects of air pollution on infants for cities around the world that grapple with polluted air, such as New Delhi, Mexico City and Beijing, the report said. -PTI

Bill Gates invests $140 million for HIV cure HOUSTON, TEXAS: Microsoft founder Bill Gates' charity foundation has invested USD 140 million in the development of HIVpreventing drug implants that could revolutionize the treatment of the life-threatening infection. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing this funding for the groundbreaking new technology which could revolutionize HIV prevention. Currently prevention drugs are available in the form of a pill that, if taken daily, can reduce a person's chances of being infected with HIV. The drugs are recommended by the World Health Organization for use by atrisk groups including men who have sex with men - but are only effective if the pills are taken consistently. There are hopes that implant technology, similar to systems available for birth control, could be used to deliver a consistent supply of drugs, aiding people vulnerable to HIV. According to The Wall Street Journal, their latest investment has placed their backing firmly behind a biopharmaceutical company located in Boston. They believe that this company could yield one of the largest revelations in HIV treatment yet. This treatment takes the form of a pump that was initially designed for type two diabetes patients. It works by continuously

delivering medication throughout the body. The pump is reportedly capable of administering drugs throughout the body for as long as 12 months. It could also be easily filled by a clinician annually or bi-annually.

Researchers believe that the pump could work similarly, for HIV prevention, in healthy patients. Delivering treatment such as PreP continuously and, therefore, working to prevent HIV and AIDS. PreP is a daily drug that has been critical in preventing HIV infections in sexually active adults. The Gates invested USD 50 million in equity stakes at Intarcia Therapeutics - the company responsible for the pump. They then provided a further USD 90 million in company grants towards the goal of developing the HIV preventing device. PTI


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Get ready to compile health insurance forms

W

ith the arrival of tax reporting season, many small businesses that offer health insurance to employees must file documents detailing the coverage with the IRS, and must also give copies to their staffers. At look at the requirements: • Companies with 50 or more staffers are required to offer insurance to staffers and their dependents. They must provide a document known as Form 1095C to each employee by March 2; the form includes information on who was covered in the staffer's family, how many months they were covered during the year and how much the insurance cost the employee. Companies must file with the IRS a Form 1095-C for each staffer and also Form 1094C, which collects and sums up the information on a company's coverage. Those forms are due with the IRS by Feb. 28 if companies are using paper forms, or March 31 if they're filing electronically. Companies must file electroni-

cally if they are sending the IRS 250 or more of Form 1095-C. • Companies with fewer than 50 staffers are not required to of-

The deadlines are the same as for larger companies: by Feb. 28 if companies are using paper forms, or March 31 if they're filing electronically. fer insurance, but if they have a self-insured or self-funded plan, in which they rather than insurers pay for employees' claims, they must report information on their coverage. These businesses must provide a Form 1095-B to each staffer by March 2. These forms are similar to Form 1095-C, providing detailed information on each staffer's in-

surance. Companies must also file with the IRS a Form 1095-B for each employee and a Form 1094-C, a simple document reporting the number of 1095-B forms being filed. The deadlines are the same as for larger companies: by Feb. 28 if companies are using paper forms, or March 31 if they're filing electronically. Companies with fewer than 50 staffers whose coverage is paid by an insurance carrier are not required to file similar forms; that is the responsibility of the insurance company. You can get more information at the IRS website, www.irs.gov .

fying the 2013 standards it was understood that they will continue to evolve and will require revision from time to time. The present standards represent the recommendations of the expert committee constituted by the health ministry to review the

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has directed the Centre to treat a petition - seeking mandatory sealing of health care products and consumer durables - as if it was a representation made to it and take appropriate decision expeditiously, preferably within six months. The direction was issued recently by a division bench headed by Justice Shantunu Kemkar which was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Gitanjali Dutta. However, the bench made it clear that it was not commenting upon the merits of the petition. The PIL demanded that cosmetic goods, personal hygiene

GETTING YOUR EMAILS OPENED, NOT DELETED How to get your company's emails noticed and opened will be the topic of an online seminar sponsored by SCORE, the organization that gives free counseling to small businesses. It will be held Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. -AP

Health ministry notifies EHR standards NEW DELHI: The Union Health Ministry has notified the Electronic Health Records (EHR) standards 2016 with an aim to introduce a uniform system for creation and maintenance of health records by healthcare providers. The health ministry said the idea that any person in the country can go to any healthcare provider, medical practitioner or pharmacy and access fully integrated health records in electronic format is the vision for "efficient" 21st century healthcare delivery. "With an objective to introduce a uniform standard based system for creation and maintenance of EHRs by healthcare providers, the Health Ministry notified EHR standards for India in 2013. "With passage of time, EHR standards 2013 have been duly revised in line with contemporary developments in consultation with stakeholders. Accordingly, EHR standards 2016 document is notified and placed for adoption in IT systems by healthcare institutions and providers across the country," a circular by the ministry said. The ministry said while noti-

HC for sealing of health care products

addressed with a short guideline regarding implementation specific to the item-in-context included. "Various non-related recommendations from previous edition have been removed to streamline the set of standards selected and achieve harmony among them,"

products, skin and hair care creams and lotions should be sold only in sealed packets or containers. Dutta contended that at present such products are often sold without being sealed and it results in contamination or adulteration. Earlier, the high court had asked the petitioner to conduct a survey of the international norms for sealing of such products which India exports and give a copy of survey report to the Centre. Some manufacturers, with whom she corresponded on the issue, contended that sealing

was not mandatory under the law and if they were asked to sell the products in sealed containers, the price would go up for the endconsumer. However, Dutta argued that some products in this category, such as a hair oil company's miniature bottles, come sealed and are available at a reasonable price of below Rs 15, so other manufacturers should have no problem emulating the example. Apart from the Centre and the Health Ministry of Maharashtra, other respondents in the PIL included the companies which manufacture such products. During the last hearing, the respondents objected to the maintainability of the petition, saying the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution has no jurisdiction to direct the executive to exercise the power by way of subordinate legislation pursuant to the power delegated by the legislature to enact a law in a particular manner. The petitioner pleaded that the petition may be treated as a representation made to the Centre and the Maharashtra Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, appearing for the Union government, accepted that this petition will be treated as a representation made to the Central government and assured that a suitable decision would be taken as expeditiously as possible. -PTI

Heroin overdose deaths top homicides J.P.Nadda

earlier notified set of standards. These standards provide a structured overview of the key EHR standards with respect to the country's healthcare system. "For every aspect of data or information that is part of any healthcare record system has been

the document said. "A detailed recommendation on the interoperability and standards, clinical informatics standards, data ownership, privacy and security aspects, and the various coding systems are also provided," it said. -PTI

DENVER: New state Department of Health figures show overdose deaths from just one type of opioid painkiller outnumbered all homicides in Colorado in 2015. The Denver Post reports that 259 people died in 2015 from overdoses of what health officials call ``natural'' prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. That compares with 205 people who died from homi-

cide that year. Opioid deaths have topped total homicides each year in Colorado since 2011. When adding in deaths by other prescription opioids and heroin, the total number of opiate-related deaths in Colorado was 472 in 2015. Officials say the southern region of the state has been particularly hard hit by the drug epidemic. -AP


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Kidney ailment raises Cancer death risk NEW YORK: Cancer patients are more likely to die from their disease if they have reduced kidney function, warns a new study, adding that the risk is most dramatic for patients having urinary tract cancers and breast cancer. The research also found that the correlation between cancer mortality and kidney disease remained high even in patients with a mild to moderate reduction in kidney function - also known as early stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). Of 3,654 predominantly white individuals who were followed for the study, those who had CKD were found to be at least 1.3 times more likely to die from cancers that those without CKD. The correlation was most dramatic among those CKD patients who had urinary tract cancers (2.5 fold increase in cancer deaths) and among women with breast cancer, who were almost twice as likely to die from their disease if they had CKD. "People with chronic kidney disease are more likely to develop urinary tract cancers. But as for breast cancer, we suspect it could be a matter of under-treatment," said lead researcher Germaine Wong from the University of

Sydney in Australia. "For example, we already know that women with CKD are less likely to be screened for cancer as a whole. So, their cancers may be more advanced before they receive treatment," said Wong.

“We already know that women with CKD are less likely to be screened for cancer as a whole. So, their cancers may be more advanced before they receive treatment" Wong and her team will continue to validate their findings in other population cohorts while conducting a study to predict the benefits and costs of screening for cancers in CKD patients. "Cancer in a patient with CKD is a bad prognosis. Hopefully we can work towards screening in patients with CKD so that prevention measures and monitoring can be initiated early

Health care battle could decide balance of power in Washington Cont’d from page 44

Schumer made his comments after Democratic lawmakers met with Obama to discuss combating GOP efforts to undo the law, a new legislative initiative which got under way with a procedural vote in the Senate. Obama's message: Not to cooperate with GOP replacement plans that don't offer a good solution for the 20 million Americans who gained health coverage under the law. He advised keeping the focus on those who benefited from the Affordable Care Act,

Trump himself offered a similar cautionary note over Twitter, writing, ``Don't let the Schumer clowns out of this web...” such as people with pre-existing conditions who got coverage, and who might be hurt if their coverage were taken away. And, he took on blame for Democrats' failure to sell the public on a law that by some measures has achieved its goals. ``I will take the responsibility for not having fully communicated with the American people for why this is an extraordinary victory for them,'' Obama said. Even as Obama huddled with Democrats, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was meeting with Republicans across the Capitol, emerging to offer assurances that Republicans would make good on their repeated promises to repeal the law. ``The American people know who owns Obamacare. It's the first half of the title. It is

Obama and the party of Obama,'' Pence insisted. ``What President-elect Trump and I and the leaders in the Congress are determined to do is to keep faith with the American people.'' Inside the meeting with House Republicans, Pence offered a more urgent message, advising Republicans to ``go back to districts and lay the predicate that the Democrats own this thing,'' said GOP Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia. Trump himself offered a similar cautionary note over Twitter, writing, ``Don't let the Schumer clowns out of this web... Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight - be careful!'' Some Republicans are painfully aware that their own political fortunes could be at risk if they fumble the issue. ``I'm here because of Obamacare,'' said GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, crediting the issue for his victory in 2012. And now, Cramer says, he risks losing his seat over Obamacare, ``if we let our voters down in places like North Dakota by not acting decisively and swiftly.'' Yet for now, even as they move toward repealing the law as early as next month, Republicans don't have a replacement plan, or even a timeline for offering one. There's likely to be a years-long transition period between the repeal and the replacement, but many House Republicans, who stand for re-election every two years, believe it's urgent to get the replacement done before the 2018 midterms, or risk voter wrath. ``If it hasn't been done by the 2018s, it's like, `What are you doing?''' said GOP Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada. ``If after five years of Republicans saying it sucks, we don't do a good job of transitioning and replacing, then Katie bar the door.''-AP

and lives can be saved," said Wong. "Like cardiovascular disease, cancer is becoming a major cause of death in people with chronic kidney disease," said Wong. "Sadly, intervention to improve outcomes in patients with CKD and cancer is limited and more work is needed to find out the reasons for the increased risk and the poor prognosis for CKD-cancer patients," said Wong. Previous research by Wong and her team already established that patients with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk of developing cancer. The latest research shows that patients

with CKD are also more likely to die from cancers when compared to patients with normal kidney function. "This research supports the National Kidney Foundation's recommendation to screen at-risk individuals for kidney disease," said Joseph Vassalotti from the US National Kidney Foundation. "Early detection will ensure patients are aware of their condition and the increased risks that cancer and cardiovascular disease pose to those with CKD," said Vassalotti. The study was published in the Journal of Kidney Diseases. -PTI

Burleigh jail focuses on inmates' mental health Cont’d from page 44

He said people with behavioral health problems who need assistance and find themselves ``stuck in the system'' will receive help based on their needs, ``whether it's a court-appointed attorney, an advocate, whatever they need.'' The jail has also received a federal grant to further look into incarceration rates of people with mental health problems and

drug addictions. Burleigh County has partnered with the Heartview Foundation to create a web-based portal that inmates can use to direct them to services, such as treatment programs. In the spring, Burleigh County partnered with Morton County to open a new $69 million, 475-bed jail. Kemmet is hoping the new facility will offer more programs related to behavioral health and hire another staff member. -AP


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Indian-American held for China blocks Tibetans' visit to India shooting US diplomat WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY: A 31-year-old man from India has been arrested in Mexico's Guadalajara city for allegedly shooting an American diplomat over a possible visa row. The US diplomat was shot by a man wearing a black wig and a blue nurse uniform outside a shopping center's garage in

American from India named Zafar Zia, suggesting the shooting may have been related to a dispute over a visa, The Daily Beast reported. Zia, at the time of his arrest, had in his possession a .38-caliber pistol and a wig, it said. Authorities also seized a Honda Accord with California license plates and a wig that is be-

Zia had moved to Guadalajara in November from Phoenix and had been residing in the city since. The apparent motive for the attempted murder appears to have been a disagreement over an undisclosed visa process, media reports said Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. The suspect was arrested in a joint operation by the FBI, DEA and Jalisco state officials in Guadalajara's affluent Providencia neighborhood, reports said. A spokesperson at the Jalisco state prosecutor's office identified the suspect as a naturalized

lieved to have been used at the time of the attempted murder. Zia had moved to Guadalajara in November from Phoenix and had been residing in the city since. The apparent motive for the attempted murder appears to have been a disagreement over an undisclosed visa process, media reports said.

The FBI had offered USD 20,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the shooter. Security footage recorded just prior to the shooting showed the victim validating his parking lot ticket while carrying a gym bag. Moments later, he is followed by a man wearing a nurse's uniform, it added. Hours after Zia's arrest, the attorney general's office and the foreign ministry in a joint statement said he would face justice in the US for the "sordid and cowardly" shooting. US Secretary of State John Kerry thanked the Mexican government for the swift and decisive arrest of the suspect. "On behalf of President Obama and the people of the US, I want to thank the Government of Mexico for their swift and decisive arrest of a suspect in the heinous attack against our Foreign Service Officer colleague," Kerry said in a statement. The consular official is now recovering in a hospital. -PTI

Exciting but challenging time: Viral Acharya NEW YORK: India, one of the world's fastest growing economies, is at an "exciting but challenging time" and has massive potential to become an "economic powerhouse", RBI's newly-appointed Deputy Governor and noted economist Viral Acharya has said here. Acharya, 42, who has been appointed for a term of three years, would take charge on January 20. He would look after the Monetary Policy and Research cluster and would fill the post that became vacant after Urjit Patel was made Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor. The CV Starr Professor of Economics at the Department of Finance of New York University's Stern School of Business, Acharya said India is at an "exciting but challenging time" and as one of the world's fastest growing economies, it has the massive potential to become an "economic powerhouse". "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help advance India's economy by contributing to poli-

cies at the RBI that can ensure the country's stable growth and are at the same time globally responsible," Acharya said in a statement issued by NYU Stern here. Acharya, also the Director of the NSE-NYU Stern Initiative on the Study of Indian Capital Mar-

Viral Acharya

kets, has received numerous awards and recognition for his research including the recent Alexandre Lamfalussy Senior Research Fellowship of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) for 2017 and the inaugural Banque de France and Toulouse School of Economics Junior Prize in Mon-

etary Economics and Finance in 2011. Acharya's primary research interests are in the regulation of banks and financial institutions, measurement of systemic risk and understanding the nexus between sovereign and financial sector credit risks. Peter Henry, Dean of NYU Stern which is one of the US' premier management education schools and research centers, described Acharya as an "outstanding and prolific scholar", who will "undoubtedly bring breadth, depth and real-world insight to this prestigious policy post in such an important emerging market in the global economy". In his new role, Acharya will be in charge of monetary policy, foreign exchange and market operations, as well as research and statistics. Like former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, Acharya comes from an academic background and has also co-authored at least three papers with him.-PTI

BODH GAYA: The Chinese for three days - from January 11government has imposed travel re- 13 - Tibetans in Tibet whose faith strictions on Tibetans in Tibet in and devotion remain invincible a bid to block their travel to India and stands undefeated, can pray to attend the Kalachakra teach- from inside Tibet. "From the ings, sources in Tibetan 'govern- Kalachakra ground, I will keep the ment-in-exile' claimed. Tibetans inside Tibet in my deepNews emanating from Tibet re- est prayers." ported that the Chinese governThe Dalai Lama said there is a ment began confiscating pass- substantial number of Chinese ports from Tibetans in Tibet since Buddhists in mainland China wishNovember this year, they said. ing to attend the Kalachakra and Nepali media reported that that he will remember them in his "China has reportedly issued a prayers. temporary travel restriction on its "Distance cannot dampen the citizens visiting Nepal and asked its travel agencies and airlines to Chinese authorities have cancel all travel plans and bookings made un- instructed the family memtil January 10 with imme- bers of the pilgrims to inform diate effect." According to these them to return to Tibet by sources, Chinese authorities have in- January 3 before the Dalai structed the family Lama begins his teachings members of the pilgrims to inform them to return to Tibet by January 3 before the sacred ties between a Lama and a Dalai Lama begins his teachings. disciple. You can all pray from the Kalachakra means wheel of time far-flung areas in Tibet and I asor "time-cycles" and it is usually sure you that you will receive the used to refer to a complex teach- Kalachakra empowerment," said ing and practice in Buddhism. the Dalai Lama who arrived in The sources quoted a Tibetan Bodhgaya on December 28. pilgrim who chose to remain The Kalachakra initiation beanonymous as saying that the gan with a ritual preparation on authorities had taken signatures January 2 and will end with a lifefrom their family members to make long prayer ceremony on January sure that the pilgrims have been 14 and is streamed live on Tibet informed and that they must re- TV's youtube (www.tibetonline.tv) turn to Tibet. and facebook page. In the light of these developThe 34th Kalachakra initiation ments, the Tibetan spiritual leader is being organized by Central Tithe Dalai Lama addressed the Ti- betan Administration for the first betan pilgrims in Dharamsala, time in Tibet's history. The 13-day Delhi and Bodh Gaya advising religious gathering will draw over them not to be disheartened. 200,000 devotees from across the He said that during the globe, officials in the Tibetan 'govKalachakra initiation, which runs ernment-in-exile' said. -PTI


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Pak mulls bringing back military courts ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government is planning to revive controversial military courts set up for the speedy trial of hardcore terrorists as they played an extremely important role to combat extremism, two days after they were wound up. The government said that it was

terior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua and other senior officials attended the meeting. Radio Pakistan reported that

The military courts were set up in January 2015 after a Taliban attack on an army school killed 150 people, mostly children. The courts were given 275 cases during two-year and they sentenced 161 terrorists to death, whereas another 116 were given varying jail terms consulting political parties for bringing back military courts. The decision to revive military courts was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The military courts were set up in January 2015 after a Taliban attack on an army school killed 150 people, mostly children. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, In-

the meeting emphasized that the military courts played an extremely important role at a very crucial juncture of one action against extremism and terrorism and translated the actions under operation Zarb-e-Azb to meaningful and tangible national gains. "The Federal Government has already initiated consultations for

Indian, French space agencies ink pact BENGALURU: Indian Space Research Organization and French Space agency (CNES) have signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology. The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault. Space cooperation between France and India spans over 50 years and is one of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership. Ayrault, accompanied by the French delegation, was given a guided tour of ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network) by the ISRO chairman, according to a French Consulate release here. ISTRAC monitors Indian space missions, including the two IndoFrench satellites currently in orbit for collecting data to track climate change. ISRO is the second partner of CNES, in terms of volume, after NASA. Of comparable size and sharing similar objectives, the space programs of both countries are complementary, it was noted. Strengthening the CNES-ISRO

partnership will enable France to benefit from the Indian model of streamlining the costs of space programs. Later, Ayrault met Rahul Narayan, CEO of leading Indian "NewSpace" start-up, Axiom Research Labs. This start-up put forward TeamIndus, the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition for engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. USD 20 million will be granted to the first private company that successfully lands a module on the Moon, places a robot that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition videos and images back to Earth. As TeamIndus races to design an all-terrain rover by end-2017 for this lunar mission, the French Space Agency will provide it with cameras, the release said. In the presence of the Minister, Narayan and Le Gall signed an agreement for equipping Axiom Research Lab's lunar rover with two latest-generation CASPEX micro-cameras, developed by CNES in partnership with French firm 3DPlus.-PTI

constitutional amendment to continue the military courts for a period which is agreed by all political parties represented in the Parliament," it further reported. The participants agreed that Pakistan would continue its efforts for attaining internal peace and play its due role for a peaceful region. The meeting also reiterated Pakistan s clear-cut policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and extremism to accomplish internal peace as well as supplement its foreign policy initiatives. The meeting reviewed internal and regional security situation in detail with a view to further strengthen gains made through counter-terrorism operations. It resolved for continued efforts at all levels to achieve national policy objectives. The courts were given 275 cases during two-year and they sentenced 161 terrorists to death, whereas another 116 were given varying jail terms, mostly life sentences. -PTI

Indian soldiers to be given cholera vaccination NEW DELHI: Nearly 140 Indian soldiers, who are part of UN peace-keeping force in Haiti, will be administered cholera vaccine after the UN reportedly ordered a probe on how they had landed in the Caribbean country without the mandatory vaccination. Haiti has been grappling with a cholera outbreak and the UN has been part of massive effort to contain the disease. The Indian soldiers had landed in Haiti in August last year and reportedly India had certified that they were administered the cholera vaccine. Previous UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month had apologized to the people of Haiti for the role played by the UN peacekeepers in sparking the cholera epidemic in the country. According to several experts, cholera was introduced to Haiti by infected Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent to the Caribbean country after the massive 2010 earthquake. Haiti has been dealing with a cholera outbreak since October 2010, some nine months after it suffered a devastating earthquake.-PTI

Pak tests nuclear-capable submarine missile ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 450 kms, with the military saying the strategic weapon has given the country a "credible" second-strike capability and augmenting deterrence amidst tensions with India.

strategy of measured response to nuclear strategies and postures being adopted in Pakistan's neighborhood, it said, in an obvious reference to India. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has congratulated the nation and the military on the first successful test-fire of the SLCM, his office said in a state-

The missile, Babur-3, was fired ment. from an underwater, mobile plat"The successful test of Baburform from an undisclosed location 3 is a manifestation of Pakistan's in the Indian Ocean and hit its tar- technological progress and selfget with precise accuracy, the In- reliance," according to the stateter Services Public Relations, the ment. media wing of the Pakistani miliSharif further said that Pakistan tary said in a statement. always maintains policy of peaceBabur-3, which has a range of ful co-existence but this test is a 450 km, is a sea-based variant of step towards reinforcing policy of Ground Launched Cruise Missile credible minimum deterrence. (GLCM) Babur-2, which was sucThe test was witnessed by the cessfully tested earlier in Decem- Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff ber, last year. Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair The Babur-3 SLCM incorpo- Mahmood Hayat, Director General rates state-of-the-art technologies of the Strategic Plans Division including underwater controlled (SPD) Lieutenant General Mazhar propulsion and advanced guid- Jamil, Commander Naval Strategic ance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navi- "The successful test of gation, Terrain and Scene Matching Sys- Babur-3 is a manifestation of tems. The missile features Pakistan's technological terrain hugging and sea progress and self-reliance," skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile according to the statement radars and air defenses, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerg- Force Command (NSFC), senior ing regional Ballistic Missile De- officials, scientists and engineers fense (BMD) environment, the re- from Scientific Strategic Organizalease said. tions. Babur-3 SLCM in land-attack The CJCSC and three services mode, is capable of delivering vari- chiefs congratulated all the offious types of payloads and will pro- cials involved, on achieving this vide Pakistan with a "credible sec- highly significant milestone. ond-strike capability, augmenting Gen. Hayat also highlighted that deterrence," the statement said. successful test-fire of SLCM also While the pursuit and now the demonstrates confidence on our successful attainment of a second scientists and engineers in fosterstrike capability by Pakistan rep- ing the technological prowess, resents a major scientific mile- through indigenization and selfstone, it is manifestation of the reliance.-PTI


Horoscope

50 India Post

January 13, 2017

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Jan 13th - Jan 19th 2017 Please send your birthday, place of birth and time, so I can give you your zodiac sign, according to Vedic astrology. Send to Jaysastrology@gmail.com

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he professional matters look ok. The promotions/ recognition may be delayed. The time is turning towards betterment. The health of father needs extra care. It is better to avoid haste and conflicts. Avoid unnecessary driving and take care of your health. Patience is the Mantra for you up to September 2017. Strengthen your birth planets through a Special Power Kavach as transit is weak.

he professional matters look ok. Things start improving. Those who are in international trading may get new opportunities. The child may need help. New opportunities may face obstructions. The health needs care. Avoid conflicting situations up to February 2017, and take continued care of your health. Exercise patience. Romance wise can have a good week, may meet new love.

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he professional matters face obstructions and conflicts. Handle relationship and property matters with patience. Child needs extra care & help. Some additional stress, losses and extra expenses are likely. It is better to avoid unnecessary driving. Take care of your health. As rahu/ketu are stationary until april 2017 those born with ascending degree around 9 face sudden setbacks.

rofessional matters face sudden problems and obstructions. Manage problems and conflicts with patience. Silence is golden. There is extra mental stress. Handle relationship matters with patience. Keep new ventures pending. Avoid manipulations, or getting cheated by others. Child may need help. Avoid haste, speculation, aggressive behaviour and unnecessary driving.

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he professional matters look ok. The promotion is likely to be delayed, be patience at work and results. Some additional expenses are likely. Take care of your health, see doctor if required for regular physical check up. Stay away from manipulations, or being cheated by others. It is better to avoid new ventures. The child may need help.

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rofessional matters look better. The promotion may be delayed. Health of father may cause concern. The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9 degree in odd signs up to 15th of April, 2017. Relationship wise please stay away from conflicts and be patience.

he professional matters may face conflicts. Avoid haste and conflicts. Relationships may face conflicts stay patience and quiet.Students and those who are appearing in selections should work with patience. The new opportunities are likely. The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9.

he professional matters may face concerns, take it easy with coworkers. The mental peace is likely to be disturbed. Stay away from manipulations and conflicts, don't involve in gambling, or stock market.Some additional expenses are likely. Silence is golden for you.Transit of Rahu and Ketu is stationary till April 2017. Sudden setbacks is likely for those born around 9 degrees.

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he professional matters face sudden problems and conflicts. Those who are in temporary assignments may face job threat. Work with patience and avoid conflicts. Keep new ventures pending. The health of father may cause concerns. Some problems may surface in inheritance matters. Avoid haste, aggressive behaviour, conflicts, unnecessary expenses and driving/travel.

he professional matters may face sudden concerns. Additional expenses are likely. The new business opportunities should be put on hold up to January, 2017. Avoid speculation. Always invest in safe assets. Patience is the best medicine up to January, 2017. The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9.

he professional matters are ok. Obstructions are likely in the sources of income. Health of the parents may cause concerns. Manage obstructions with patience. It is better to avoid manipulations and driving. The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/ Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9 degrees in odd signs.

he professional matters look ok. Some business related journey is likely. Some additional expenses are likely. Health of the spouse is vulnerable, take care. Manage things with patience to avoid sudden mishaps. The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9 degrees in odd signs.

This weekly horoscope is more focused and accurate as these are based on ascending signs. The ascending sign is worked out on the basis of your date, time and place of birth. You will find the predictions at other places based on your Sun sign or Moon sign. The Sun remains in one sign of zodiac for one month whereas the Moon remains in one sign for about 54 hours. It is the ascending sign, which changes every couple of hours." That is how this site offers you more focused predictions.

JATIN P - ACHARYA MIHIR • JAYSASTROLOGY@GMAIL.COM • 630-675-7148


January 13, 2017

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Philosophy

January 13, 2017

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hings which are ordinarily considered as impossible are said to become possible through the power of prayer. The ability of prayer to work miracles is regarded as preeminent in all forms of religious approach. Prayer is not a dead force. It is a living operation, and hence, any attention that is paid in the direction of the offering of prayers dissociated from the consciousness of prayer may deleteriously tell upon it, and its efficacy to that extent would be diminished. Prayer is the movement of a living, vitalizing, seeing eye. It is not a blind, automatic/automaton energy that moves like a bulldozer lumbering on the street. Not so is the way of prayer. Prayer has eyes to see. I met a person sometime back and asked him what his occupation is, what he does. He said, "I do prayer. My work is only prayer, Swamiji." I said, "Do you offer prayer the whole day?" "I do that to the best of my ability," he replied. "What for are you praying?" I asked him. "I pray for bringing about a healing touch in that area of the world where there is a rift of the human psyche. Where there is social tension or political agitation, I direct my prayer to that area. I am satisfied that my prayers have good LYSE LAUREN

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echnology may appear to bring us closer together, it may help us to become more aware of the bigger picture but does it lead us to 'truth?' Does it bring us nearer to the things that matter? In a relative sense the potential for good or bad is very potent, but as is always the case with the 'tools' that we create in this world, our use of them determines the outcome. If we take note of which characteristics are uppermost in people's minds, and more importantly in our own minds, then we might get an idea of how our future can be shaped and molded by these developing technologies. If our thoughts are of one humanity and the development of a global community, of loving kindness between ourselves and all living things, including the planet on which we are living, then surely the outcome could be something quite wonderful. We are the only ones that can prevent such a spectacular global community from forming. However most people's minds are not far seeing or harmonious, at least not 99 percent of the time, in fact the mental atmosphere of our planet has become quite toxic

results," he replied. Then I asked him a probing question. "How does your prayer, which is evidently a thought which is in your mind, an idea within your head, how does this idea, this thought, this feeling in your mind which is within your body come in contact with that area where you want it to take effect?" He was an interesting person. He gave me an apt answer to this query. "I do not do anything.

not even know where the trouble is brewing. I cannot know what is happening all over the world. Yet, my prayers will have an effect, notwithstanding the fact that I am not personally conscious of the troubles that people may be undergoing the world over in different corners of the earth. Actually, it is not necessary for me to know it." Then I asked him, "How does a particular area receive the bene-

you, my dear friend, is that you kindly bring a healing touch and act as a cementing force in that particular location of the world, in that mind of that person as may be necessary to cause psychological solidarity, social peace, political harmony, goodwill and amity, health, wealth and prosperity.' These words of mine which are, after all, what I can speak in my own humble capacity, are re-

Miracle can be worked by humble prayer

Swami Krishnananda

Prayer is the movement of a living, vitalizing, seeing eye. It is not a blind, automatic/ automaton energy that moves like a bulldozer lumbering on the street. Not so is the way of prayer. Prayer has eyes to see.

What actually does the work is something else. But what is my function? What do I do, if what actually does the miracle is something else? I operate my mind in such a way that it establishes a purposive contact with another thing altogether which is pervading in this world, and it receives my message. I do not contact that area in which I wish to effect some particular result. I may

diction of your prayer if you are not even aware that such an area exists, or that such an area is in need of any succor?" His answer was very illuminating. "That which I am trying in my whole humble capacity to contact for the purpose of bringing about this effect is not a blind energy. It is all-intelligence and can understand what I am telling it. I am saying, 'My request to

ceived. They are received because That which receives it has intelligence. Like a parent, like a father or a mother, a well-wishing guardian, it receives my words. I am not in a position to transform the world. Yet, a miracle can be worked by my humble request to That which is capable of transforming anything in the world." Spoken on October 7, 1984

and this is a human creation. What is in our minds, will in due course manifest itself in the outer technologies that are becoming increasingly a part of the way we live. Ultimately how they are used will be a reflection of our inner state. Mind is powerful and it creates. This is why simplicity and the importance of getting back to our place of balance is so crucial. The

world which can appear at times to be spiraling out of control, there is ever the quiet, still silence. Unaffected and unchanging. Ever present and omnipotent. To know who and what we really are is to know un-contrived simplicity. I remember one evening when I was sitting in a corner of my Master Dilgo Khyentse's room. Sogyal Rinpoche swept in

'scent' of the 'self' that simple statement speak volumes. 'Unaltered' refers to what is, to that which knows and exists as 'I Am.' We become so absorbed in reading the text on a page that we seldom, if ever, notice the page, the paper on which the text is written, without that paper there would be no text, no story, nothing... It cannot be repeated often

Does technology bring us nearer Truth? We become so absorbed in reading the text on a page that we seldom, if ever, notice the page, the paper on which the text is written, without that paper there would be no text, no story, nothing more powerful the 'tools' we create, the greater the potential for good or evil. 'Experience' is most likely to visit those who are not dissipated, multi-tasking, imbibing, doing, engaging and generally 'busy' with their spiritual pursuits in whatever form that may be taking. In midst of our complex digital

with a number of his foreign students and at one point asked Khyentse Rinpoche, 'how it was possible to recognize our true nature, directly and un-mistakenly?' Khyenste Rinpoche simply replied, 'You can be certain when it is unaltered.' That may not make any sense to the uninitiated, but once one has had a whiff of the

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

Lift the veil that obscures the heart and there you will find what you are looking for. -Kabir

Renounce attachment to the fruits of your actions and reach enlightenment. -Bhagavad-Gita

My "me" is God nor do I recognize any other "me" except my God himself. -St. Catherine of Genoa

The Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which It dwells. -The Upanishads

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. -Nietzsche

Lyse Lauren

enough, because it is so vital that we understand the ultimate purpose of our lives. Everything that manifests in this world arises because we exist. Excerpted from everherenow.com.The writer is musician, teacher, photographer, facilitator for meditation retreats, everherenow.com, Australia

I love talking about nothing. It's the only thing that I know anything about. -Oscar Wilde

A good horse runs with seeing just the shadow of the whip. -Buddha

Insure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs


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India, Pak risk uncontrollable conflict trajectory JOY MITRA

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he Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan is witnessing a fresh spiral of violence post the Indian "surgical" strikes of 29 September 2016. The spike in violence seems to suggest that the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries no longer holds water. Some within and outside government circles have begun speaking in terms of 'war' and the general impression created is that the agreement has lost its sanctity. This may however be jumping the gun too soon given that the 'dialogue of violence' is not happening along the entire stretch of the LoC and there are more conventional threshold levels to be crossed. The risks to general stability in the region, however, remains entrenched in the dynamics of the conflict and could lead to an uncontrollable conflict trajectory. Sanctity of the 2003 Ceasefire-Agreement It must be noted that even before the Uri attack and the Indian strike back, certain sectors along the LoC were witnessing higher concentration of violent incidents. Post the Indian strike back the first

however go up at a certain spatial and temporal location. Probable escalation dynamics Additionally, while both sides have resorted to heavy artillery and mortar shelling, neither has vertically escalated in terms of introduction of air assets or other platforms. The pattern of attacks clearly demonstrate that military installations are the prime targets. A qualitative threshold can be breached here in terms of the choice of targets. This will lead to a geographical expansion of the threat-perception and spread the Indian security forces thin. The prospects for any horizontal escalation could entail attacks south into Punjab. Going by the history of previous such episodes, this escalation should not happen. India and Pakistan seem to have systematized a periodic bout of violence along the LoC into their relationship that ebbs and flows conditional on the political milieu associated with it. In 2013, a similar episode of violence saw the 'Mutually Hurting Stalemate (MHS)' reached before any spatial escalation. Subjective stalemates

Soldiers at Line of control

repercussions were more an increase in the intensity of violence along those sectors and not a general escalation of the conflict along the LoC. Therefore, the ceasefire accords had value until the first spatial threshold was crossed with the attack at the Indian military base close to the Jammu border, which India refers to as the 'international border' and Pakistan as the 'working boundary'. This may still not be a general breach of the geographical threshold on the military escalation ladder given that the current spate of violence is still confined to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and ceasefire violations do not necessarily imply a ceasefire breakdown. The intensity of violations may

It is not necessary for an objective MHS to be realized. The stalemate could be a dynamic normal with both sides not necessarily sustaining equal measure of losses, albeit it is the perception of this normal that matters. MHS can be reached if both sides believe that neither can escalate to victory and a negotiated solution is possible, i.e. both sides perceive the other to be willing to negotiate. Additionally, the victory condition can also be subjective. At present, the dynamic normal that exists between India and Pakistan may seem like an objective MHS to neutral observers but the rhetoric on the Indian side suggests that it believes it has established escalation dominance. This

seems to be part of the victory condition that India has defined: escalation dominance which goes in conjunction with diplomatic efforts to internationally isolate Pakistan. Without going into the merits/ demerits of the policy objective, it is reasonable to assume that the politico-military leadership believes it can achieve this victory condition and this translates into unwillingness to consider a negotiated settlement, when a better outcome can be achieved by coercive bargaining. In Pakistan, public attention is occupied with events in the domestic polity. The civilian arm has made attempts to negotiate, and this option would not have been pursued without blessings from their security establishment. Even if Pakistan believes that the MHS has been reached, it is then left with the choice of preventing India from achieving its victory condition, only by sustaining the conflict long enough to impress upon India that a negotiated outcome is the only way to avoid the loss-loss scenario of a prisoner's dilemma. Unpredictable conflict trajectory The Nagrota attack seems to be a demonstration of Pakistan's intent to continue the mutual hurt if not in the form of a stalemate. This could also be a consequence of increased risk propensity due to loss perception that Pakistan might have because of cumulative losses it has incurred in diplomatic, military and reputational terms. The existence of loss perception can lead to increased propensity to continue the conflict, perhaps even escalate in the sub-conventional domain. Pakistan's intent to continue the mutual hurt may however have consequences for public perception in India and not necessarily in favor of restraint because public perception is a doubleedged sword. A sustained campaign to inflict losses can generate enough vitriol to bind the government to its rhetoric and could lead to uncontrollable consequences. In conclusion, periodic bouts of such violence, combined with loss perception in Pakistan and aggressive rhetoric in India despite the existence of an objective MHS, can take a trajectory which may not be in either side's control. The writer is Research Intern, NSP, IPCS

India Post Desperate Opposition

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ven as the mainstream English media continues to focus on the ill-effects of demonetization, the results from local elections in various parts of the country are showing landslide victories for the BJP. The latest verdict has come from Faridabad in Haryana where in the 40-seat municipal elections, the BJP bagged 30 and 10 seats went to Independents. The Opposition parties could not even open their account - denied even a single seat. This has come on the heels of similar victories earlier in Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is not surprising therefore that the Opposition has become desperate to disrupt the momentum started by demonetization by demanding that the Union Budget, slated to be presented on February 1, be postponed in view of the elections announced for the States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur in the months of February and March. The Opposition fears that the Budget will contain good tidings for the common man and combined with the demonetization onslaught on black money, would influence the elections in favor of the BJP. They have gone to the extent of going in delegations to the President, to the Election Commission and have even petitioned the Supreme Court asking that the budget be postponed. The government has however announced the schedule for the Parliament session as it says the advancing of the Budget session was decided much in advance of the EC's announcement of polls. "The idea is to pass the Finance Bill by March 31, so that next year's expenses could be started from April 1," explained Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Also Jaitley asked, if the Opposition thinks the demonetization move was unpopular, why fret about the Budget which has to follow up on the demonetization measure. It is normal for the Opposition parties to focus on flaws in a policy and its implementation and for the government to produce evidence in support of its defense. The role of the media is to be a referee and judge developments from the point of view of larger interest of the Indian people. However the English media is merely looking to blow up insignificant things just to make things difficult for the government. It is now hair splitting over whether the RBI advised demonetization or the government ordered it. How does this matter anyway? If the RBI had advised demonetization it was not necessary for the government to accept it. Either way it had to be a political decision and it should be accepted as such. It had to be a bold and surprising decision and this is not the function of the RBI. To waste reams of newsprint over how it was done and who was responsible has little meaning. We have a functioning Prime Minister and he did it. In fact he deserves kudos for that. It is generally admitted that the aim of demonetization was to eliminate black money and bring in the recalcitrant into the tax net. As PM Modi pointed out in his speech on the eve of New Year it was surprising to learn that there are only 24 lakh people in country who admit that their annual income is more than 10 lakh. This is ridiculous considering the number of luxury cars running in our metro cities. It is these people who have to be brought into the tax net. And already, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has revealed that between April and December, there was an impressive growth of 12% in direct taxes and 25% in indirect taxes. Expect the government to continue the reforms push in the coming budget. The Opposition has not liked the success that demonetization has received and as such they will be planning to once again disrupt Parliament if their demand to put off the Budget presentation is not accepted. If they carry out this desperate act it will be a tragedy for the parliamentary system.


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