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President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to Renu Khator

Pillai, Renu Khator receive PBD awards Details on page 8

AAP NRIs adopted areas in Delhi polls Details on page 6

VOL 19, No. 1009

January 17, 2014


Periodical Postage

INDIA WILL STICK TO RECIPROCITY 'Past to determine ties with US'

NEW DELHI: The US may be hoping that the Khobragade episode will come to "closure" with the senior Indian diplomat's departure for home, but India has indicated a different viewpoint, saying it will move forward in the relationship based on "its experience" in the past. India has already made it clear that it will continue to

press for dropping of visa fraud charges against senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested on December 12 in New York and subsequently indicted by a jury in the case. Immediately after the indictment, Khobragade was asked to leave by the US, which also granted her full diplomatic immunity. Details on page 5

Ami Parekh: Rising Indian star in firmament Details on page 18

Mumbai gets world class airport terminal Details on page 12

AAP govt scraps FDI in multibrand retail Details on page 13

Medha Patkar, Kamal Mitra Chenoy join AAP

Probe into Thatcher link to Op Bluestar

Details on page 7

Details on page 10

Salman lauds Modi, flies kite with him

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 52

Details on page 7

Community Post -------------- 18-24 Date Book -------------------------- 48 Edit Page --------------------------- 54


HealthScience Post --------- 32-35

Horoscope ------------------------- 25

This week’s question

Immigration Post ------------- 44-47

India’s standing up to US has enhanced its image?

Life Style ----------------------- 49-51 Philosophy ------------------------- 53

Last week’s result

Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4

Is Devyani case mere clash of egos? YES 32%

NO 68%

Real Estate -------------------- 30-31

WELCOME BACK: Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade with her father Uttam Khobragade at Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi after her arrival from the US.

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-15 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


India Post

January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

India Post



India Post

India Post The Weekly Newspaper Serving Indians Worldwide

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January 17, 2014

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Publisher’s Diary


eems to me that a politician can never do enough, or maybe I should say, never do enough good. There's never a perfect politician. Even Lord Rama was not spared by his people, so what chance does an Arvind Kejriwal stand - a mere mortal trying to bring some semblance of non-conformity to the reeking landfill of New Delhi politics and administration. It's not even been a month since Kejriwal stomped into the New Delhi Chief Minister's office on a popular people's mandate, and already the media in India is on his case, single-mindedly trying to find faults in his efforts rather than trying to highlight even an iota of honesty in his intentions which would make all the difference to politics anywhere in the world today. Like, the man is trying to make a symbolic statement when he is refusing an official residence or VIP security or motorcades all of which come at the expense of the exchequer; but the media finds no story in his gesture of course. So entrenched in the institutionalized system of corruption are the media, swinging as they do between one institutionalized political party to the other, that anything different is not necessarily better for them, rather it is just a different approach to the same corrupt system. It would be impossible for a Kejriwal to clean out the system, even if he were chief minister for the rest of his life. In fact, it would be achievement enough if he manages to keep his intentions clean. In its cultivated cynicism, the media convince themselves it's a watchdogrole, but are in denial of the fact that it's just a profit motivated combative role. The general elections in India are around the corner and Kejriwal and his party are recruiting people by the hundreds of thousands. Many of them are, for the first time, young professionals. In a population of one billion plus, even a handful of decent people who stand for Kejriwal's ideals, can make a difference. So, please, Indian media, if not for the country's sake, for decency sake, give the man a chance.

Romesh K Japra

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Friend in need After his separation from wife Suzanne Khan, Hrithik Roshan has found solace in Salman's company.

Cover Story: Differences remain US may be hoping that the Khobragade episode will come to "closure" but India has indicated a different viewpoint

Community: Figure skater Ami Parekh, a young Indian figure skater has performed remarkably well at the recent competition in Sofia, Bulgaria

28 1 18

Immigration: Business lobby Conservatives and the nation's biggest business lobby the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sparred over immigration

Life Style: Bollywood link-ups Bollywood and romance go hand in hand. Here is a look at 10 marriages that infidelity failed to break.

Techbiz: New airport Mumbai has got a swanky world class terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport that boasts of the largest art gallery

Travel: Jog Falls Jog Falls, the highest waterfall in India is the creation of the Sharavathi River in the Shimoga district of Karnataka.

44 49 12 40

Cover/Top Stories

January 17, 2014

India Post


India will stick to reciprocity 'Past to determine ties with US' NEW DELHI: The US may be hoping that the Khobragade episode will come to "closure" with the senior Indian diplomat's departure for home, but India has indicated a different viewpoint, saying it will move forward in the relationship based on "its experience" in the past. India has already made it clear that it will continue to press for dropping of visa fraud charges against senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested on December 12 in New York and subsequently indicted by a jury

Khobragade, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "This has clearly been a challenging time in the US-India relationship. We expect and hope that this will now come to closure and the Indians will now take significant steps with us to improve our relationship and return it to a more constructive place."

Status of domestic assistants Meanwhile, drawing lessons from the Khobragade episode,

Asked about whether the extra privileges of the US diplomats which were withdrawn to enforce "strict reciprocity" will be restored, the Spokesperson said there was no change in the status quo in the case. Immediately after the indictment, Khobragade was asked to leave by the US, which also granted her full diplomatic immunity. "We will take each day as it comes because it is important to look back and forward. The relationship between India and the US is not a one-issue relationship. We have a series of issues that we are engaged in. We will take this matter after carefully examining what has been our experience in the past and we will move forward on this broad relationship that we have," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said here. At a briefing in Washington after the departure of

MEA has also decided to "vigorously" pursue its proposal with finance ministry to make "significant" changes in the status of domestic assistants like maids helping Indian diplomats in the US and the Europe. Noting that the proposal was in "gestation" from more than a year with finance ministry, the Spokesperson said the ministry hopes to pursue vigorously the proposal, which has legal, financial and visa status implications. With nearly three cases involving senior Indian diplomats and their Indian-Based Domestic Assistants (IBDA) occurring in last three years in the US, the government had initiated the process of reviewing the policy dealing with

the issue. Under the MEA proposal, the IBDAs, who are entitled to boarding and lodging, return passage and holiday passage and same medical care as their bosses apart from cash payments, can be taken as contractual employees of government. At present, they are treated as quasi-official staff. As a fallout of Khobragade episode, the Indian diplomats are said to be worried about how the Americans will now act against them since their domestic helps also come on A3 visa like that of Khobragade. The visa subjects them to US laws. There are about around 14 such diplomats in the US who have maids currently. Meanwhile, talking about the wide range of points of engagements between India and the US, the Spokesperson said that the consulate general of India in New York along with the Homeland Security will have a ceremony where stolen Indian artifacts worth USD 1.5 million will be returned to India. "So, the point is that it is the same place where we had difficulties, we also have collaboration and cooperation. And that's the nature of our relationship. It's extremely broad, it's wide-ranging, and you will have, on a day-today basis, a number of interactions," he added. Asked about whether the extra privileges of the US diplomats which were withdrawn to enforce "strict reciprocity" will be restored, the Spokesperson said there was no change in the status quo. -PTI

Devyani Khobragade’s father Uttam Khobragade and sister Sharmishtha on their arrival at IGI T3 airport in New Delhi

Crisis ending, want to move relations forward: US WASHINGTON: The United States has voiced hope that a crisis with India over the arrest of a senior Indian diplomat last month would come to a closure and expressed its wish to get back to business and take bilateral ties forward. "Clearly, this has been a challenging time in the US-India relationship... We just want to get back to business and we want to put this behind us, and we want both sides to work together to move the relationship forward," State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters at her daily news conference.

"We expect that this time will come to a closure, though - I think we're increasingly getting towards that point - and that together we will now take significant steps with the Indian government to improve our relationship and return it to a more constructive place," Harf said. "What we're focused on is, is the situation coming to an end and moving forward?" Harf said. India-US relations plunged after the arrest of the senior Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts. Khobragade, who was asked

Rose E Gottemoeller, Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, met Indian Ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar, at the State Department to discuss bilateral cooperation

by the United States last week to leave the country, is now in India. India not only accused the US for violating the Vienna Convention, but in a retaliatory reaction, also withdrew a number of privileges extended to American diplomats in India and asked for the departure of a US diplomat from New Delhi. Meanwhile, Rose E Gottemoeller, Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, met Indian Ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar, at the State Department to discuss bilateral cooperation. "She stressed that it is critical that both sides refocus our attention on

the broad agenda before us and underscored the importance of increasing bilateral cooperation on nonproliferation, defense and arms control," Harf said. Jaishankar, whose arrival in the US coincided with the crisis, has also been meeting the members of the Congress. "So this is just an example of an issue we work together with each other on all the time, a routine issue. This is the kind of business we just need to get back to, quite frankly, now that this is hopefully coming to an end," the State Department spokesperson said. -PTI


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January 17, 2014

US trade union fed regrets immunity to Devyani WASHINGTON: The largest federation of unions in the US has expressed displeasure over the State Department's decision to accord full diplomatic immunity to senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade which prevented

charges, it was revealed that the Department of State recently granted Khobragade diplomatic immunity allowing her to return to India," Trumka said in a statement. "We are deeply disappointed by the State Department's deci-

Richard Trumka

federal prosecutors to try her in a court on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts. The AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, however, applauded the Department of Justice, particularly US Attorney Preet Bharara, for its steadfast pursuit of justice in this case. "The indictment of the consular officer itself - a rare occurrence - is a positive step in the movement to uphold the rights of domestic workers. However, when the US Attorney presented the

sion to reaccredit Khobragade to the United Nations, which positioned her to be shielded by full diplomatic immunity," he said. Too often immigrant workers are recruited to the United States on a myriad of temporary work visas and find themselves tied to an unscrupulous employer, working far more hours for far less than originally agreed upon, he added. International officers should be held to a higher standard, yet instead they have frequently been able to skirt charges of abuse and

fraud in the A-3 visa category for personal employees of foreign officials using diplomatic immunity, he asserted. Trumka said the labor movement will continue to stand with Sangeeta Richard - the maid of Khobragade - as she and her family adjust to life in the United States after their trauma. Richard has alleged that she was underpaid and the contracts were violated by Devyani, which has been dismissed by the Indian diplomat. "The AFL-CIO will work to ensure the US government applies the full range of protections for domestic workers required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and urges the Department of State to closely scrutinize the officials who utilize the A-3 visa program. "The Department should also consider taking action against governments that routinely misuse the program, like India," Trumka demanded. "The fight for justice is far from over, but this prominent indictment should send a message to other exploitative employers, regardless of their rank or status, that these abuses will not be ignored," he said. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of fiftyseven national and international unions. -PTI

Snowden worked at US Embassy in Delhi NEW YORK: Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden worked at the US Embassy in India and spent almost a week taking a course in "ethical hacking", about three years before he leaked the NSA's surveillance programs. Snowden was in India in his capacity as a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor "to assist as a technical expert" at the US Embassy in New Delhi, the Foreign Policy magazine reported, citing a source with knowledge of the situation. He spent six days taking courses in ethical hacking and programming at Koenig Solutions, a professional institute located six miles from the US Embassy, the report quoted school officials and people familiar with Snowden's trip as saying. Snowden, 30, also inquired about methods to reverse-engineer the world's most popular kits

for committing widespread online crime like the ZeuS, Fragus, and SpyEye crimeware kits. That was a curious request and

Edward Snowden

potentially at odds with his interest in ethical hacking, said Koenig spokesman Somit Biswas. Snowden flew to India from Japan on September 2, 2010. He stayed for a night at New Delhi's Hyatt Regency hotel.

A representative from Koenig, where Snowden did his courses, picked him up at the hotel on September 3 and drove Snowden to a lodging facility provided by the school. He stayed there till September 9 while he took classes, and then returned for one more night at the Hyatt before leaving India on September 11, the school was quoted as saying. Snowden did not disclose his India trip to investigators when renewing his top-secret security clearance the following year. It was this clearance, NSA officials say, that gave Snowden access to the 1.7 million classified files he later stole from the agency's computer networks and databases. Snowden leaked details of the secret surveillance schemes to the media and fled the US to avoid prosecution.-PTI

AAP NRIs adopted constituencies in Delhi polls WASHINGTON: The surprise victory of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the recent Delhi Assembly elections has brought to the fore the crucial role played by the party's NRI supporters across the globe. Local country and city teams of AAP consisting of Non Resident Indians from across the world adopted a particular Delhi constituency in an innovative program called "Adopt a Constituency (AAC)", said Shalini Gupta, spokesperson of AAP's global supporters. The NRI t e a m s adopted 16 assembly constituencies, of which the nascent party won in 12, which included that of its key leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla. "When a constituency is adopted our primary target is to help raise the funds needed for the constituency and arrange for material support such as laptops, office equipment, etc," Gupta told PTI. For instance, the Australia chapter of AAP adopted New Delhi constituency from where Kejriwal contested while AAP Bay Area (Silicon Valley) adopted the Patparganj Assembly constitu-

ency from where Sisodia contested. AAP Chicago adopted the Delhi Cantt constituency from where its candidate Surrender Singh won. AAP Houston and AAP Atlanta chapters joined hands to adopt the Malviya Nagar constituency, from where Bharti won while Mangolpuri, Birla's constituency, was adopted by AAP South Korea and AAP UAE. While AAP UAE adopted the

constituency of Babarpur, AAP Germany adopted Burari; AAP Michigan (Mehrauli), AAP New Jersey (Narela), AAP Dallas (Sangam Vihar), AAP UK (Seemapuri), AAP South Korea (Shalimar Bagh) and AAP Singapore (Trilok Puri). Matia Mahal constituency was jointly adopted by AAP chapters of Bay Area, Kuwait, Ghana and Nigeria; while AAP Washington DC and Singapore adopted Model Town constituency and Hari Nagar was adopted by AAP France and AAP Netherlands. -PTI

Sena slams Devyani's father for terming media casteist MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has slammed diplomat Devyani Khobragade's father Uttam Khobragade, a former IAS officer, for calling Marathi media casteist after being confronted with a query about her flat in the controversial Adarsh housing society. The Sena, which had earlier demanded that India retaliate strongly to the affront of her arrest, lashed out at Uttam Khobragade, saying he "erred" by bringing up the issue of caste, when asked about his daughter's flat. "It is his mental bankruptcy," an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana' said. At a recent press conference in Delhi, he had responded to a question about her owning a flat in the Adarsh society despite being ineligible by calling the Marathi media casteist.

"Because the Marathi media pursued the issue aggressively chief minister Ashok Chavan had to go home. In fact Ashok Chavan's political career was destroyed," the editorial said, adding even former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde were not spared by the media. How can a well-educated person such as Uttam Khobragade not rid his mind of casteism is surprising, it added. Khobragade, an officer of the 1984 batch, is also a former chief of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking. BEST had transferred additional floor space index to facilitate increase in the height of the Adarsh building and questions were raised about the propriety of the decision. -PTI

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Medha Patkar, Kamal Mitra Chenoy join AAP MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: In a boost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), social activist Medha Patkar has extended her "complete" support to the fledging party while left intellectual Kamal Mitra Chenoy has also joined it. "We extend our complete support to Aam Aadmi Party. AAP has included fighting corruption in its agenda, while we have been fighting corruption through Adarsh (housing society scam) and Lavasa," Patkar told reporters in Mumbai. "We have studied their (AAP's) documents and we have found that micro to macro-economic viewpoint is more or less reflected into it. We will further continue with the dialogue and would like to contribute our views in not just the manifesto but also in the working culture and their working documents," the 59-yearold social activist said. Patkar, known for her work in the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a movement that is fighting against the construction of large dams on Narmada River in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, said she would announce the future course of action about the role she will play in AAP, after holding discussions with senior AAP leaders. Attributing the work done by the movements led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal on the

Social activist Medha Patkar with AAP leader Mayank Gandhi during a press conference in Mumbai

Jan Lokpal Bill, she said, "The anti-corruption movement has really shown a way." Slamming political parties for indulging in corruption, she said, "We do not consider electoral politics as untouchable. We see this party as part of our agenda. With dialogue and deliberations we have decided to support the AAP actively. Active support will be based on both ideological com-

monality and clarity," Patkar said. In Delhi, senior leader Prashant Bhushan announced that Chenoy, a professor in School of International Studies in JNU, was joining the party and said this was a unique case as Chenoy was associated with CPI for 40 years before joining AAP. "I have worked with Medha Patkar, worked on human rights issues in Manipur and also

worked with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Politics has been made a game of money. We will fight for the common man," Chenoy said adding many other professors from the JNU may join the party. Bhushan announced that supporters and activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) would also join the party. "NBA is one of the oldest and biggest movements in the country

and many people from the Narmada Valley have joined the party. People from similar such movements will join the party," he said. Alok Agarwal, an activist of the NBA, said he had asked the party for a ticket and was willing to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Khandwa. NBA supporters and activists have joined and extended their support to the party, he said. "I will contest Lok Sabha elections from Khandwa if AAP gives me ticket. For the past 20 years, we have fought for the rights of people who have been affected. We protested over this and we saw that both Congress and BJP have been very brutal (in handling the situation and solving the problem). "AAP has shown that the common man can defeat Congress and BJP. Lakhs of people from the Narmada Valley will vote for AAP this time," Agarwal said at a press conference held by AAP leader Prashant Bhushan. Meanwhile, the party has welcomed support from Patkar. AAP leader Mayank Gandhi said one needs to go inside (electoral politics) to carry forward the agitation and people's struggle. "It is a big day for us. The revolution will become bigger," said another AAP leader Anjali Damania. -PTI

Salman lauds Modi, flies kite with him AHMEDABAD: Bollywood star Salman Khan has lauded Narendra Modi for development in Gujarat, but stopped short of publicly endorsing him as the future prime minister, saying "the best man should become the PM". "God should decide who is the best man for the country and the best man should be the PM," Khan, who was in town for promoting his film 'Jai Ho', told reporters at Ghatlodia in the city standing alongside Modi, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, during the annual kite festival organized as part of Makar Sankranti festival. Notwithstanding persistent media queries about whether he backed the Gujarat Chief Minister as next prime minister, Salman, whose remarks have often set off controversies, refused to be drawn into a fresh one. "I belong to the film line. I can clearly answer questions on films. On politics, because of my limited knowledge I will not be able to give clear answers. If I begin answering your questions,

Gujarat Chief Minister and BJPs PM candidate Narendra Modi with Bollywood actor Salman Khan during the Uttarayan Festival in Ahmedabad on January 14

I will get trapped," Salman, apparently wiser with experience, said. "Modi Saheb should definitely get whatever is in his destiny, he must. Modi Saheb has brought so much progress to Gujarat," the actor said. With journalists still not giving up trying to prod the superstar into making a clear statement

about his prime ministerial preference, he said," I am not from Gujarat. I come from Bandra in Mumbai and for me the best candidates are Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. My agreeing or disagreeing will not matter much. "For you Modi Saheb is the best man and for me it is Baba Siddique and Priya Dutt. May the

best win," Salman said as crowd chanted Modi! Modi! "I like him very much. He is a great man, he is doing a lot for the state. I wish Modi Saheb all the best in his life," Salman said. The actor, who earlier met Modi over lunch, said," I wish people of all states shower love on their chief minister the way you do on

Modi. This is our first meeting and I want more to come." Modi, sporting a cream-color jacket and shades, was seen laughing heartily as the actor spoke. The actor had stirred a major controversy by his remark that 26/11 terror attack had got so much attention because the "elite" were targeted. -PTI


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January 17, 2014

Parthasarathy Pillai, Renu Khator receive PBD award

President Pranab Mukherjee with the awardees of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, at the Valedictory Session of the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi on January 9. Parthasarathy Pillai is at far left and Renu Khator far right India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Two Indian American community leaders Parthasarathy Pillai and Renu Khator were among the 13 recipients of the prestigious 2014 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) award which was conferred on them by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee here on January 9, the concluding day of the three-day PBD event. The theme for this year's PBD was 'Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations.' According to the PBD award committee, Pillai was awarded for "Science and for fostering closer relations between India and USA" while Khator was awarded for "Education and enhancing India's prestige abroad." Parthasarathy Pillai who lives in College Park, Maryland, has been a vocal proponent of Indian American culture throughout the region. He earned his B.S. in biology from the University of Madras and his BEd in education from the University of Kerala, followed by his M.S. in agriculture from Sardar Patel University in Gujarat and his Ph.D. in plant physiology and biochemistry from Banaras Hindu University. He worked as a chemist for the US Department of Agriculture for several years, at their Beltsville, MD Agricultural Research Center. He has served as the chairman of the Prince George's County Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats of Maryland, along with several other local Democratic Party organizations. He was the president of FOKANA (Federation of Kerala Association of North America) during the 1990s, and has established several community organizations to help victims of natural disasters in India, such as the

Gujarat Earthquake and 2004 tsunami victims. Most recently, Pillai has been spearheading an initiative to establish an Indian American community center in the Washington, DC metro area. He also organized the first Indian American Youth Conference in 1991, and was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Maryland that enforced harsh penalties on the discrimination of Indian Americans. President of a major research university Renu Khator is best known as the president of the University of Houston, a job she has been at since 2007. She is the 13th president of the University of Houston System of colleges, the first

female president in the school's history, and the first Indian American to be the president of a major research university anywhere in the United States. Last year was a major one for Khator. She established a tier-one scholarship at UH using $100,000 of her own money, she was named the 2013 recipient of the Quasar Award for Exceptional Leadership in Economic Development, a key award given out by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP), and she was named as the Deputy Chair of the Dallas, Texas branch of the US Federal Reserve, one of the country's largest financial entities. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1973 from the University

of Kanpur, her Master's degree in political science in 1975, and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science and public administration in 1985, the latter two from Purdue University. In 1985, she began working for the University of South Florida. She would stay there for 22 years, ultimately serving as provost and senior vicepresident of the University at the time of her departure. Khator currently lives in Houston with her husband, Suresh, who also attended Purdue University with her and holds a Ph.D. in engineering. They have two daughters, Pooja and Parul, who are both ophthalmologists. Other recipients of the award are:

Badal seeks support from Non-Resident Punjabis ANANDPUR SAHIB, Punjab: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought the cooperation and support of the Punjabi Diaspora to transform the state's economy.

irrespective of caste, color, creed and their geographical location have proved their mettle in every aspect of life. Badal said though (Deputy Chief Minister)Sukhbir had al-

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal addressing Punjabi Diaspora on the first day of NRI Sammelan at Auditorium of Virasat-E-Khalsa on January 10

Addressing the two-day Pravasi Punjabi Sammellan at the Viraasat-e-Khalsa auditorium, the Chief Minister said Punjabis

ready deliberated upon his vision to put Punjab in the high growth trajectory in details during his presentation here, he missed to men-

tion that all this had been feasible due to congenial atmosphere of communal harmony, peace and amity prevailing in the state. The CM said though in terms of development Punjab was compared with several progressive states like Gujarat, Kerala, and Maharashtra, the fact is that these states had never undergone the agony of turmoil and economic backwardness due to the partition and decade-long militancy. Badal congratulated NonResident Punjabis for reposing unflinching trust in the ethos of democracy, besides cementing the bonds of brotherhood, peace and mutual tolerance. "This unique phenomenon of peaceful atmosphere led Punjab to hasten the process of overall growth and development," he said. Cont’d on page 11

• Lisa Maria Singh from Australia was given the award for Public service and fostering friendly relations between India and Australia. • Kurian Varghese from Bahrain was awarded for Business for enhancing India's image and for Promotion better understanding of India abroad. • Vasdev Chanchlani from Canada was awarded for Community service and fostering ties between India and Canada and efforts in promotion Indian culture and heritage. • Ramakrishna Mission from Fiji was awarded for Community service and philanthropic activity and enhancing India's prestige abroad. • Satnarainsing Rabin Baldewsingh from Netherlands was awarded for Public service and developing closer ties between India and South Africa. • Bikas Chandra Sanyal from France was awarded for Education and culture and enhancing India's image. • Sasindran Muthuvel from Papua New Guinea was awarded for the field of Public service. • Shihabudeen Vava Kunju from Saudi Arabia was awarded for the Community service and promoting ties between India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. • Ela Gandhi from South Africa was awarded for Public service, enhancing India's image and promoting ties between India and South Africa. • Shamsheer Vayalil Parambath from United Arab was awarded for Health business and in promoting Better understanding of India United Arab Emirates. • Shailesh Lakhman Vara from United Kingdom has been awarded for Public service and for promoting ties between India and the people of U.K.

January 17, 2014

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Modi agrees with PM: Good times are coming NEW DELHI: BJP leader Narendra Modi chose the global NRI meet to hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had said that "we are set for better times". "I agree with the Prime Minister. Good days are ahead for India. I don't want to say anything more. We should wait for four to six months. But good days are coming," the BJP's prime ministerial candidate said, indicating that his party would form the next government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls. Modi's jibe at Singh came a day after the Prime Minister sought to dispel apprehensions among the Indian Diaspora on the state of the economy, saying that the country was heading towards "better times" and there was no reason to despair about its present or worry about the future. Addressing a press conference, the Prime Minister had said that "we are set for better times" as the cycle of global economic growth is turning for the better. This is the first verbal attack on the Prime Minister by Modi after Singh said that "it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister." Slamming the UPA government, Modi also said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas that the overall atmosphere of divisive politics, policy paralysis and scandals and corruption have severely hit people's perception and trust in the government and its leaders. The event was not without its share of controversy. Goa CM Manohar Parrikar was also supposed to address the gathering but he backed out at the last moment, giving the stage to BJP's lone CM at the event. Modi was accompanied by three Congress CMs - Haryana's Bhupinder Hooda, Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma and

‘Had Patel not been there, we would have to take Pak visa to see lions of Gir. So planned a statue, double that of the Statue of Liberty. We want that the Run for Unity be organized in other countries as well’ Kerala's Oomen Chandy. Following are the highlights of Modi's speech: • We should not weigh NRIs in just dollars and pounds. • Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915. Now this is 100 years so I urge government of India to plan and organize programs. • We should not only look to NRIs for investment point of view. • PM said one good point that good times are coming soon. Don't get disheartened. May be you have to wait for 5 6 months, but good times will comes. • Instead of Centre, investments are coming to states. A good sign for federal structure. • Had Patel not been there, we would have to take Pak visa to see lions of Gir. So planned a statue, double that of the Statue of Liberty. We want that the Run for Unity be organized in other countries as well. • A confident looking India, with

Gandhian ideals, going to other parts of the world. • Only on a few occasions did Indians get agitated. When the Emergency was imposed, Indians all over the world got agitated. Secondly, when Vajpayee govt conducted the nuclear tests, Indians abroad helped bail out the nation. Even in 2014 elections Indians all over the world are very excited and I appeal to all of them to take part.-PTI BJP’s PM candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi meeting with delegates during the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in New Delhi

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British PM orders probe into Thatcher link to Op Bluestar LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron has directed his Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts behind claims that Margaret Thatcher's government may have helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984. Labor MP Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh had demanded an explanation after recently declassified documents indicated that Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) officials had been dis-

a UK government spokesperson said in a statement issued here. "The PM and the Foreign Secretary were unaware of these papers prior to publication. Any requests today for advice from foreign governments are always evaluated carefully with full Ministerial oversight and appropriate legal advice," he added. The documents being referenced were released by the National Archives in London under

"These documents prove what Sikhs have suspected all along, that plans to invade the Golden Temple went back months even though the Indian government was claiming even weeks before that there were no such plans," Lord Singh, also the director of the Network of Sikh Organizations in the UK, said. patched to help India on the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple to flush out militants from the shrine, an operation which left more than 1,000 people dead. "These events led to a tragic loss of life and we understand the very legitimate concerns that these papers will raise. The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into this case urgently and establish the facts,"

the 30-year declassification rule as part of a series over the New Year. A letter marked "top secret and personal" dated February 23, 1984, nearly four months before the incident in Amritsar, titled 'Sikh Community', reads: "The Indian authorities recently sought British advice over a plan to remove Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. "The Foreign Secretary de-

4 UK Indians jailed for making counterfeit notes LONDON: Four Indian-origin men have been jailed for making more than 1.3 million pound worth of counterfeit currency in the UK. Brothers Amrit and Prem Karra were each sentenced to seven years for using their printing business in Hockley, Birmingham to produce the forgeries. Rajiv Kumar and Yash Mahey

would pass or tender it as genuine. Judge Richard Bond said the fact that some of the 10 pound notes were still in circulation showed how "sophisticated" the operation had been. "If the notes were passed as part of ordinary day-to-day financial transactions, they would go unnoticed unless someone examined "You were all professional them," he said. In sentencing, he forgers with carefully pretold the men: "You were pared plates and machinery. all professional forgers The reason for your offending with carefully prepared plates and machinery. is quite simply greed. You The reason for your ofwere trying to make a large fending is quite simply sum of money." greed. You were trying to make a large sum of were jailed for four years at Bir- money." mingham Crown Court for counThe judge banned the Karra terfeiting money between Septem- brothers from holding a company ber 2011 and February 2012. directorship for eight years. The court was told 1.27 million Prem Karra (43) ran Karra Depound worth of fake 10 pound sign and Print on Summer Lane with notes had been recovered by po- his brother Amrit Paul Karra (45). lice. The court heard that along with According to a BBC report, all Rajiv Kumar (40) and Yash Paul four were found guilty of conspir- Mahey (46), they used computers ing to counterfeit a currency note and machinery to make "high-qualwith the intention they or another ity counterfeit notes".-PTI

cided to respond favorably to the Indian request and, with the Prime Minister's agreement, an SAD (sic) officer has visited India and drawn up a plan which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi. The Foreign Secretary believes that the Indian Government may put the plan into operation shortly." "These documents prove what Sikhs have suspected all along, that plans to invade the Golden Temple went back months even though the Indian government was claiming even weeks before that there were no such plans," Lord Singh, also the director of the Network of Sikh Organizations in the UK, told PTI. "I have already approached the Indian government through the High Commission of India for the need of an independent international enquiry to establish the exact facts. I will now raise the issue in the House of Lords," he added. Some of the documents have been reproduced on the 'Stop Deportations' blog which focuses on Britain's immigration policy and claim Thatcher sent SAS officials to advise Mrs Gandhi on the operation. "I've only seen the documents this morning (Monday) and am told there are others that have been withheld. This is not good

Ranbaxy stocks lose over FDA concerns MUMBAI: Shares of Ranbaxy Laboratories fell after the USFDA raised concerns about manufacturing practices at the pharmaceutical firm's Toansa plant in Punjab. The US Food and Drug Administration's observations regarding the manufacturing practices in the company's plant in Punjab comes after the recent inspection of the facility by the health regulator. "On Saturday, January 11, 2014, Ranbaxy received the form 483 with certain observations as a result of the recent USFDA inspection at its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant at Toansa, Punjab, India," the company said in a filing to the BSE. An FDA Form 483 is issued to a company's management at the conclusion of an inspection when an investigator has observed any conditions that in their judgment may constitute violations of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and related Acts. The USFDA has imposed ban on import of medicines manufactured at Ranbaxy's India-based factories into the US, the world's biggest drug market.-PTI

enough. It is not unreasonable to ask for an explanation about the extent of British military collusion with the government of Indira Gandhi," Watson, an MP for West Bromwich East, said. He has written to UK foreign

the Foreign Secretary. "But trying to hide what we did, not coming clean, I think would be a very grave error and I very much hope that the foreign secretary will...reveal the documents that exist and give us an explana-

File photo of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi

secretary William Hague and plans to raise the issue in the House of Commons. "I think British Sikhs and all those concerned about human rights will want to know exactly the extent of Britain's collusion with this period and this episode and will expect some answers from

tion to the House of Commons and to the country about the role of Britain at that very difficult time for Sikhism and Sikhs," he added. Five months after Operation Bluestar, Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for the raid on the Golden Temple. -PTI

BJP amused at Rahul remark on personality politics NEW DELHI: The BJP has approach, his silence on a whole termed as "laughable" comments range of corruption issues have of Rahul Gandhi that personality- already been rejected by the oriented politics of Narendra people in so many elections," Modi is not in national interest Prasad said. and said what can one expect from Lekhi said, "The party which a party which does dynastic poli- does favoritism, those who run tics and only takes care of a dynastic politics, what can they family's interests. say about personality-oriented BJP's Deputy Leader in Rajya politics. The party takes only Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the nation is keen for a change and ‘Congress, which runs has already seen Rahul through dynastic politics Gandhi's "capability and takes decisions which and talent but rejected are in the interests of the it". Party spokesperson particular family, cannot Meenakshi Lekhi said Congress, which runs think about the nation’ through dynastic politics and takes decisions which are those decisions which suits a famin the interests of the particular ily." family, cannot think about the naPrasad said, "Nothing better tion. can be expected of Rahul Gandhi. "Rahul Gandhi making a com- I need to gently remind him that it ment like this is laughable. He is is only happening in BJP that a going to be declared as a Prime person born in a humble backMinisterial candidate by his party ground can be declared a Prime because of his family connection Ministerial candidate because of and because Congress party can- his hard work, his integrity, his not think beyond the family. leadership and also his record of "His campaign, his political good governance." -PTI

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BJP wants Shinde sacked over Badal seeks support from Non-Resident Punjabis ex-Home Secy charges Cont’d from page 8

NEW DELHI: In the wake of claims by former Home Secretary R K Singh, BJP has said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde should be sacked if it is proved in an inquiry that he tried to prevent Delhi police from taking action against an associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Deputy Leader of the BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said that if Shinde indeed prevented Delhi police from taking action against a key aide of Dawood in the IPL betting scandal, as alleged by Singh who recently joined the party, then it is a serious matter which should be probed thoroughly. "After inquiry if he (Shinde) is found to have intervened as there is contemporaneous evidence of Home Secretary saying so, he must be sacked. He has no political, moral or legal authority to remain as the Home Minister even for a moment," Prasad said. BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi termed the claims made by Singh as astounding and said they showed how the Congress-

led UPA government has been functioning. "The Ministry of Home Affairs was interfering in a match-fixing case in which associates of don Dawood Ibrahim sought favors. Appointments were also made in

"The Ministry of Home Affairs was interfering in a match-fixing case in which associates of don Dawood Ibrahim sought favors. Appointments were also made in an illegal manner an illegal manner after slips were exchanged," she alleged. BJP also charged the Congress with indulging in minority appeasement for votebank politics by offering sops like scholarships and reservations to Muslims. It said that the government is not concerned about those who are poor and impoverished while

formulating its policies and is instead engaged in carrying on its "communal agenda". "This is apparent from the policies which clearly show this bias. 20 million scholarships were given to students in the name of religion and not to people who actually require a scholarship," Lekhi said, adding that the government is playing the politics of minority and majority. The main opposition charged the government with discriminating against people on basis of religion. Lekhi recalled that in the past the Congress-led UPA government has offered several sops which were aimed only at the Muslims. "Congress is indulging in votebank gimmicks....Its policies show a bias against nationhood. Government should explain its conduct over the last ten years," Lekhi said. She dismissed Congress allegations about the timing of Singh's revelations, saying the ruling party has tried to appease the minority on several occasions.-PTI

Striking an emotional chord, Badal urged the delegates to contribute enormously in the promotion of education and health care, besides strengthening economic and social ties that were "all the more important for our future generations". He appealed to the NRIs to prevail upon their progeny to frequently visit Punjab and to keep them abreast with our rich cultural and ethnic legacy. Badal said his government had built several memorials like Virasat-e-Khalsa, Small and Big Holocaust and Baba Banda Singh War Memorial to perpetuate the glorious cultural heritage of the state. Badal said this "sammellan" should not be construed as a "formal get together", rather it should be utilized as a platform for deliberations to translate ideas or proposals into actions and to envisage the cooperation of experts in the field of education and health care to crystallize schemes and projects in these core sectors. The Chief Minister said he was eagerly

looking forward for the day when "reverse immigration" would begin, and urged Non-Resident Punjabis to play a proactive role to sensitize their children about the strong socio-cultural bonds. He also agreed to the proposal put forth by the majority of NRP delegates to set up an International Punjabi Chamber of Commerce and Trade in their respective countries for promoting bilateral trade ties with the state. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal while claiming that Punjab was the most progressing state of the country, impressed upon the Punjabi Diaspora to become active partners in the ongoing development of the state by making investments, adopting villages and cities, besides contributing in the area of social welfare. Sukhbir ridiculed the false propaganda of the opposition parties regarding the fiscal position of the state in his detailed factbased presentation, and apprised the Diaspora that Punjab was the most-favored investment destination. -PTI

Tech News Carlson, Bestech to develop 43 hotels in India MUMBAI: Leading hospitality group Carlson Rezidor in collaboration with Bestech Hospitalities will develop 43 more Park Inn by Radisson hotels in India by 2024. "As part our agreement with Bestech, six hotel management agreements have already been executed in 2013. From now to 2024, the partnership will deliver an additional 43 new generation Park Inn by Radisson hotels in north and central India," Simon C Barlow, president, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said in a release issued here. At present, Carlson Rezidor is in the process of seeking a second strategic partnership to leverage multi-platform growth in India. Carlson Rezidor has 65 hotels in operation and 36 under development in the country. "We have established our leadership in this market over the last 15 years. By focusing on building strategic partnerships with hotel owners, we have accelerated our growth to deliver a record number of hotel signings in 2013. Our sustained growth in India will ensure our continued leadership in this important market," Barlow said. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has more than 1,300 hotels in operation and under development, spread across more than 100 countries. The hospitality group's brands include Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Hotel Missoni. -PTI

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January 17, 2014

Mumbai gets world class airport terminal MUMBAI: Mumbai has got a swanky world class terminal T2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport that boasts of arguably the largest art gallery at such a facility, depicting the vibrant mosaic of country's cultural heritage and varied collage of the city's life. The four-storey glass marvel, whose design is inspired by a dancing peacock and built at a cost of a whopping Rs 9,800 crore, was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "This shows our ability to build world class infrastructure. The T2 is truly first class terminal," a visibly impressed Prime Minister said after inaugurating the opulent ter-

minal which would become operational next month. "It marks the beginning of a new chapter in the growth of civil aviation sector in the country," he said. The terminal, sprawling across an area of 4.39 lakh square meters, is home to thousands of artifacts and paintings that stretch along a 3-km art wall, aptly named "Jaya He", an eulogy to the rich kaleidoscope of Indian culture. "Jaya He" gives the visitors a peep into the country's diverse cultural heritage with rows of murals, statues and paintings behind a glass wall. Sparkling fountains and classy installations welcome them. An attempt has also been made to capture Mumbai's life showcasing its large migrant population hoping to make a living in the city of their dreams. Another artwork "Tincity", in which a collage of photography and corrugated metal sheets, which dot the city's landscape across numerous slum clusters, have been used, reflects the tenacity of the migrant community living in the bustling city's dark underbelly. The dancing peacock-themed facility's peacock feather- styled roof leaves one awestruck with special dichroic lights that move with the changing direction of the

PM lays foundation stone of N-power plant in Haryana GORAKHPUR, Haryana: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has laid the foundation stone for a 2,800 megawatt nuclear power plant near Gorakhpur village in the Fatehabad district of Haryana. The Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna project will have four units, each of 700-MW capacity, and is to come up at a cost Rs 23,502 crore. Among those present on the occasion were Haryana Governor, Jagannath Pahadia, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Union Minister Kumari Selja and Sirsa MP, Ashok Tanwar. A total of 1,503 acres of land has been acquired for the plant, of which the lion's share of 1,313 acres belongs to Gorakhpur village. The entire land was acquired from 847 families. -PTI

President & CEO,Honda Motorcycle,Keita Muramatsu (2nd L) with Chhota Bheem launches kids Motorcycle in New Delhi on January 14

sun reflecting an array of colors onto the check-in hall's floor. The new terminal can accommodate 9,900 passengers and has 7 lakh sq ft of space for retail, lounges and other travel services. There are 8 check-in islands, 60 emigration and 72 immigration counters, 52 boarding bridges, 162 lifts, escalators and travellators and landscaping has been done in two lakh sq ft. Besides, it has the largest multi-level covered car parking in the country with a capacity to accommodate 5,000 vehicles. Shiny granite has been used is 1.85 lakh sq m, large enough to accommodate 25 football pitches. -PTI

The hottest gadgets - 3-D printers to 4K TVs LAS VEGAS: The biggest gadget trade show in the Americas wrapped up in Las Vegas after swamping the city with 150,000 attendees. This year, ``wearable'' computing was big, along with various 3-D technologies, especially 3-D printing. Wearable devices in the shape of smart watches and headmounted displays have been a staple of the show for a long time, but manufacturers were excited this year because the field is fi-

nally gaining traction with consumers. Fitness bands were a breakout hit last year. The 3-D printing section bustled with activity, and it was clear that even though most people won't be buying a printer any time soon, they may be enjoying 3-D printed products, such as jewelry, wedding cakes and dental braces, in the near future. Meanwhile, TV makers were heartened by the support they received for their new ultra-high-definition TV sets. Cont’d on page 15

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January 17, 2014

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6 months relief for India, countries importing oil from Iran WASHINGTON: India and other major Iranian oil importing countries have got six months relief from reducing their import after the Islamic Republic agreed to curb parts of its disputed nuclear program under a landmark deal. "What the Joint Plan of Action provides is that we'll pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales to Iran's existing customers so that, what had been the requirement to continue to significantly reduce, will be essentially held in abeyance during the six-month period of this agreement," a senior administration official said. India had slashed import of crude oil from Iran by over 26.5 per cent in the financial year ended March 31, 2013 as US and European sanctions made it difficult to ship oil from the Persian Gulf nation. "They cannot increase their amount of oil that they're import-

ing, but they don't need to reduce," the official said on condition of anonymity. His comments came hours after Iran and six world powers reached an agreement under which Tehran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear program for six months in

exchange for modest relief from international sanctions. Iran would start scaling back its nuclear program from January 20. In November last year, Iran signed a six-month Joint Plan of Action with P5+1 group - the US, UK, Russia, China, and France

AAP govt scraps FDI in multibrand retail NEW DELHI: In a major policy about his government's first mareversal, the Aam Aadmi Party jor reversal of policy. Government has withdrawn the apThe Chief Minister said though proval given by the previous Sheila Dikshit dispensation for FDI in multibrand retail in Delhi, saying allowing global retail chains like Wal-Mart and Tesco to set up shops will result in large-scale job losses. Delhi's Industry Secretary Amit Yadav told PTI that the city government in a letter has communiManish Sisodia & Arvind Kejriwal cated its decision in the matter to the Department of Industrial Policy and allowing FDI in multibrand retail Promotion (DIPP) of the Union will improve consumer's choice to Commerce and Industry Ministry. a great extent but experience world "I am directed to inform you that government of NCT of Delhi has reviewed its earlier decision and it has been decided not to support FDI policy in multibrand retail trade in Delhi," the letter written by Yadav to DIPP Secretary said. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, however, said though his government reversed the decision on allowing FDI in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party is not "opposed to FDI per se". "It was part of our commitment in the manifesto (for Delhi polls). We are not against FDI per se. This is something that ought to be decided on sector-to-sector basis," he told reporters when asked

over showed that it "leads to loss of jobs to a very large extent". "There is huge unemployment in Delhi and AAP government does not wish to increase this unemployment. Delhi is not prepared for FDI," he said, justifying the decision. The previous Congress government had taken a number of steps to remove bottlenecks in attracting FDI in multibrand retail. It had even announced plan to make amendments to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to allow direct connectivity between retailers and farmers. As per the existing provision, farmers cannot sell their produce directly to retailers as it has to be routed through the mandis operated by APMC. -PTI

plus Germany - under which it agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in return for the release of billions of dollars in frozen assets and modest relief from sanctions. "That will hold Iran's oil exports at around a million barrels per day, which is down about 60 per cent from where it began at the beginning of 2012 when we embarked on the effort to drive down Iran's oil sales, driving it down to about 2.5 million barrels a day to now about 1 million barrels per day," the official explained when asked if the countries importing oil from Iran would have to continue to reduce it further to avoid American sanctions in this regard. According to the official, once

the IAEA has confirmed Iran is implementing its commitments, in return the P5+1 has committed to do a series of measures on the first day of the implementation. The P5+1 will pause efforts to reduce Iran's exports of crude oil to the six countries still purchasing from Iran. It will also suspend the implementation of sanctions on Iran's petrochemical exports and Iran's imports of goods and services for its automotive manufacturing sector; and suspend sanctions on Iran's import and export of gold and other precious metals with significant limitations that prevent Iran from using its restricted assets overseas to pay for these purchases.-PTI


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January 17, 2014

Moily blames fear psychosis for delays NEW DELHI: The delays in green nod for projects, partly blamed for the economic slowdown, have been attributed by Environment Minister M Veerappa Moily to "fear psychosis" among bureaucrats and his predecessors. Moily, the Oil and Petroleum Minister who took additional charge of the ministry three weeks

in an interview here. He said ministers and officers "think that we have to be extra cautious. The extra caution sometimes leads to the delays in the process. So can't blame anybody, neither the ministers or the..." He was explaining reasons for delays in environmental clearances to projects, many of them

M Veerappa Moily

back, suggested that clearances are affected because rules are complicated and the competent authority has discretionary powers. "You can't blame anybody. The environment is such that there is a fear psychosis, particularly after 2009 created because of the CAG reports, court verdicts, court proceedings. There are issues like the National Green Tribunal, CBI inquiry. Not only on this (environment) thing, but all matters," he told PTI

big-ticket ones, during the tenure of Jayanthi Natarajan from whom he took over. The industry had been complaining that the delays in green clearances were hindering their projects and thus hurting the economic growth and it is believed that Natarajan lost her job because of that. Moily, who has been speeding up the clearances, said rules and laws should be such that they harmonies in maintaining balance on the planet.

"Rules should not be complicated. Sometime, the rules are so complicated and interpreted in anyway they like... All these things will lead to some of these doubts by some decision-making party," he said. Quoting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, he said there is a "lot of discretion". He said nobody would question if people go by the rules and the laid down law consciously in the national interest maintaining the ecological balance on the planet. "For that you have to put governance in place. That's all...not taking no (any) decision is not the solution and also taking postage decision is not the solution. We have to walk in between," he explained. He said he believes that in planning, there is place for the wildlife, environment and forests and also human beings. "This has survived all these thousands and thousands of years. Why should we now be afraid to take decisions. The question is there are laws in place, the regulations in place, rules are in place. All these things are just available and providing space to everybody. "We should not encroach upon the others' space. that is why the rules are necessary," he said. Moily rejected suggestions of a policy paralysis in the UPA government while insisting that a number of crucial laws have been enacted during the last 10 years. PTI

India 120th in Index of Economic Freedom WASHINGTON: Noting that India continues to suffer from low, but improving, levels of economic freedom, the latest Index of Economic Freedom ranks the nation 120th globally and 25th among 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Although India is rated a "mostly unfree" economy, the country achieved its highest score ever in the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. The country's economic freedom score is 55.7, which is unchanged from last year. Over the 20-year history of the index, India has advanced its economic freedom score by almost 11

points, according to the index. "India has been slowly but surely improving its economic freedom in recent years. However, the economy still continues to

perform below its potential," said Terry Miller, co-author of the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom and Director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Interna-

tional Trade and Economics. From a low base, India has achieved double-digit improvement in half of the 10 indicators of economic freedom, most notably trade, which improved by over 65 points. "The government efforts to combat corruption have been well noted, and seem to be making a difference. However, the economy remains relatively closed off from the rest of the world, and government officials have resorted to protectionist controls this year. Economic freedom must be on the agenda as the country prepares for elections in May," Miller said. The Index of Economic Freedom rates 186 countries in 10 categories of economic performance such as rule of law, regulatory efficiency, limited government and open markets.-PTI

Mercedes upgrades C-Class to widen gap with CLA DETROIT: Mercedes-Benz knows its midsize C-Class is feeling the heat from competitors - including one model within its very own showroom. An update should take some pressure off. The 2015 C-Class, which debuted ahead of the Detroit auto show and goes on sale in the fall, has sexier, chiseled looks and a host of new features. The company says the new car will feel like an upgrade from economy to business class. The C-Class was last redesigned seven years ago. It was

will have the dynamic, sculpted sides of the CLA, but a longer hood and more elegant proportions. It's nearly 4 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the outgoing model. Increased use of aluminum on the body panels has helped reduce the car's overall weight by 220 pounds, improving driving dynamics and fuel economy. Buyers can choose a grille with the Mercedes logo in the center or a classic grille with the logo on the hood. INSIDE: Mercedes has redesigned the interior and upgraded

Mercedes' top seller in the U.S. last year at 78,747 sold. But sales were flat compared with a year earlier - even though sales in the midsize luxury market rose 12 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Among those stealing the CClass's share: Mercedes' own CLA-Class sedan. The CLA, which went on sale in the fall, racked up an impressive 14,113 sales in its first four months. The CLA starts at $29,900, while the current C-Class starts at $35,800. But Kelley Blue Book says both cars are selling in the mid-$30,000 range right now, as customers load up the CLA with features like panoramic sunroofs ($1,480) and an illuminated logo ($480) but demand discounts on the aging C-Class. Here are some details: OUTSIDE: The 2015 C-Class

the materials. A new heads-up display shines the car's speed, speed limits and navigation directions onto the windshield. In the hand rest, a new touchpad allows drivers to give commands by writing letters and numbers _ in any language _ with their fingers. A system that alerts the driver if it detects drowsiness or inattention and a collision warning and system with automatic braking at speeds of up to 124 mph are now standard. Options includes an enhanced lane-keeping system, which automatically applies brakes to keep the driver in a marked lane; a system that automatically brakes to avoid pedestrians or parked cars; a system that can detect wrong-way signs and warn the driver; and cruise control designed for speeds lower than 37 mph. -AP

Chrysler targets top midsize cars with new 200 DETROIT: Three years ago, Chrysler gussied up the antiquated Sebring midsize car, gave it a new name and prayed that it would make enough money to help the company survive. It worked. Prodded by a Super Bowl ad featuring rapper Eminem, Americans noticed the restyled 200, even though it leaned through turns and cruised noisily down the highway. Buyers mostly liked one thing: It was

cheap. Huge discounts shrank its price to among the lowest in the market. Still, the car wasn't a top seller and captured just 3 percent of the market last year. But now, a resurgent Chrysler is rolling out a revamped 200, this time with hopes of competing against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion - not just on price, but on style, gas mileage, refinement and beauty.-AP

January 17, 2014

TechBiz Post

India Post


The hottest gadgets - 3-D printers to 4K TVs Cont’d from page 12

Here are some of the most notable products and services revealed at the show: DRIVERLESS CARS: The state of the art in car electronics is in systems that eliminate or ease the task of driving. French company Induct demonstrated its Navia driverless shuttle, which putts along at 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) per hour on a pre-programmed route. It's intended for university campuses, airports and other locales with enclosed roads. W h a t about road safety? When a staffer walked slowly in front of the Navia, the vehicle slowed down, rather than coming to a full stop, because it recognized that the pedestrian ahead was moving, too. Then there was Audi's automated parking demonstration. With a press of a button on a smartphone app, the German automaker's computer-equipped car squeezed into a tight space between two other cars, a situation that would give many drivers pause. The car has multiple cameras and ultrasonic sensors, giving it a 360-degree view. It puts rubber-necking and looking through the side-view mirror to shame. The car executed a three-point turn flawlessly - and the driver didn't have to worry

about dinging other cars' doors, because he had already exited the car. UV-SENSING WRISTBAND: The wearable computing trend has unleashed a lot of creativity. One example is a wristband with a ``gemstone'' that measures exposure to ultraviolet light, the kind that causes tanning and skin cancers. Using Bluetooth wireless technology, the Netatmo June sends readings to the owners' smartphones, warning, for instance, when they're approaching their daily limit of UV exposure. The battery lasts for six weeks. Netatmo, a French company, hopes to sell the device in the U.S. for $99, starting in the second quarter of this year.

ULTRA-HIGH-DEF NETFLIX: Netflix demonstrated ultra-high-definition, or 4K, video streaming. The company will offer relatively easy access to shows that take full advantage of the 4K TVs set to go on sale later this year. (The 4K TVs on the market today don't have the chips necessary to decode the picture.) Netflix's 4K content will stream at 15.6 megabits per second, so view-

ers will need a relatively fast Internet connection. ENVELOPING PHOTO BOOTH: At the Nikon exhibit, Los Angeles-based photographer Alexx Henry set up a small tent with 68 inward-facing, off-the-shelf Nikon cameras. When a subject steps inside the xxArray photo booth, an operator triggers the cameras simultaneously, yielding an image of the subject from all angles. Computers then process the images and create a 3-D rendition of the subject, which can then be posed in the computer as if it were an action figure. The 3-D model can also be imported into a game. So instead of playing with a generic game avatar, you may someday see yourself running around, blasting bad guys. Industrywatchers expect setups like the xxArray to become more common and coupled to 3D printers. In a few years, when you go to a photo studio, you might come home with a statue of yourself. SUGAR PRINTER: A company called 3D Systems showed off the ChefJet, the first restaurantapproved food printer. The device uses water to melt sugar into shapes as complicated as the mind can imagine. The company's booth featured a wedding cake held up by an edible lattice-work tower that would have been nearly impossible to create by other means. The ChefJet can print complex works in chocolate, too. Unfortunately, the samples the company handed out didn't taste very good, but party planners and restaurateurs will likely be excited about the possibilities culinary 3-D printing opens up. SONY'S HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAY: Sony's head-mounted display looks like an

enormous pair of glasses. When you strap it on, you take on the perspective of a motorcycle driver racing through the English countryside. Looking down shows the pavement speeding by, looking up shows the clouds. When you swivel your head to the right or left, you may feel like waving to the crowds along the road. All this is enabled by a sensor attached to a strap that tracks your head movements and adjusts the wide-angle picture accordingly. Although there were a few kinks that marred the illusion, the demonstration gave a taste of what's possible when ``wearable'' displays and computers combine with movement sensors. HEAT SENSING IPHONE: FLIR Systems Inc., the leading maker of professional imagers that ``see'' heat, is bringing out its first consumer-level product: a jacket for the iPhone that contains a heat camera. Temperature differences show up in different colors on the screen of the phone. For instance, you can set it to show hotter things in yellow, medium-hot in red and cold in

purple. It can discern temperature differences as small as one tenth of a degree. The FLIR One will cost $349, which compares with $995 and up for FLIR's professional thermal imagers. Practical applications for the camera include identifying leaky insulation and moisture. Fun applications include

spotting wildlife, high-tech hide-and-seek, and crazy party pictures. (''Everyone was so hot!'') ANKI DRIVE RACING GAME: In this very high-tech update to Scalextric slot racers, your iPhone doubles as a controller for cars that zip around on a track painted with an infrared pattern the cars see with small cameras on their undersides.-AP

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January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

India Post 17

Desi News Volunteer Appreciation Day at Jalaram Mandir YOGESH THAKKAR & ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: Shree Jalaram Mandir in Hoffman Estates celebrated 4th Volunteer Appreciation Day with great attendance and enthusiasm on Saturday, January 11. Bollywood music from local artists headed by Shaila Kedkar provided a sentimental evening with old and new songs, which made the whole atmosphere joyful. More than 235 volunteers enjoyed the special evening. It was an appreciation for every single volunteer who devoted their time and energy towards the Mandir's progress. At present, the Mandir has team of approximately 235 volunteers who are involved in various activities and perform duties with all their heart. Details on page 20

Vaikunta Ekadasi prayers held at Fremont temple VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

FREMONT: Over thousand devotees from all over Bay Area offered prayers at the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Fremont Hindu Temple near here on the occasion of 'Vaikunta Ekadasi.' The devotees, after offering prayers to the Lord, had the opportunity of going out through the sacred 'Vaikunta Passage' encircling the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The holy Vaikunta Passage called as "Vaikunta Dwarams" is opened once a year only on Vaikunta Ekadasi day and this is


Putting together 'Rain Forest' Details on page 24

18 India Post

January 17, 2014

Ami Parekh: Rising Indian star in firmament program and ballet on ice on Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu in the long program. Her performance in this counCHICAGO: Ami Parekh, a young Indian figure skater born try is exemplary. A double gold here but holding dual citizenship medalist in Freestyle and Movesletting her represent India at the in-the-Field she will soon earn her international events, has per- third USFS gold medal in Ice Dancformed remarkably well at the re- ing. She was awarded a trophy in cent figure skating competition 2001 by US Figure Skating for winheld in Sofia, Bulgaria, being placed ning two consecutive North Atlantic Regional Figure She was the first to represent Skating Championships, which involved India in World Figure Skating competitions from figChampionships in 2007. ure skaters in NY, NJ, and CT. This trophy is She performed to various sitting in the US Figure Indian themes including Skating Headquarters Bollywood, Yoga and museum in Colorado Spring. Bharatanatyam on ice. In a talk to this paper, Ami said that she wanted to a close fifth in the long program. For the first time in this sport, raise awareness for her favorite India and Ami Parekh have come sport in India and put the Indian close to the podium. She scored arts on international ice. She was 124.86 points, which has qualified the first to represent India in India for the 2014 Four Continents World Figure Skating ChampionFigure Skating Championships in ships in 2007. She performed to Taipei, Taiwan. This championship various Indian themes including Yoga and includes all of the best skaters from Bollywood, every continent, except Europe. Bharatanatyam on ice. She has competed in many a She plans to perform to Shankar Jaikishan's Raga Jazz in the short country like Oslo in Norway, ColoRAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

Details on page 21

Hemant Shah elected Chairman of Jain Society

Ami at Indian national events in New York


CHICAGO: The Board of Trustees of Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago, unanimously elected Hemant Shah as chairman for the year 2014-1015 at its first Board meeting held on January 7. Responding to the Board gesture, the newly elected Jain Society's Chairman Hemant Shah expressed thanks to the Board of Trustees along with Executive Committee for bestowing their faith and confidence in his leadership. Details on page 22

Ami Parekh figure skating at national and international competitions

rado Springs and Salt Lake City in USA, Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, The Hague in Netherlands, Nice in France, Zagreb in Croatia; Oberstdorf and Dortmund in Germany and Sofia in Bulgaria. Whenever in India, she participated in the Indian National Championships, performed shows as well as taught in camps in Calcutta, Mumbai, Gulmarg, New Delhi, Simla and Dehradun. She was ranked in the top 110 in world figure skating but her ranking dropped when she took time off due to injury. Ami, says her single parent Mom Asha Mehta, was home schooled. She helped home school her brother Amar too who

has also earned name as a figure skater. Amar, pointed out Asha, is at present focusing on his final year of college at Northwestern University. He is a USFS double gold medalist and ice dancer and was the first man to represent India at the Junior World Championships in Germany. Ami, added her mother, has not lagged behind academically because of her interest in figure skating. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania in neuroscience and competed at US National Vocabulary, US National Brain, and did well at US National Spelling Bees as well. Cont’d on page 19

January 17, 2014

Community Across America

India Post 19

Mandala Pooja held for Lord Ayyappa ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The Hindu Temple of St Louis celebrated Mandala Pooja for Lord Ayyappa on December 25, 2013. Lord Ayyappa or Dharma Shastha represents a combination of spiritual powers symbolized by the forms of Lord Vishnu, the power that maintains the universe, and Lord Shiva, the power that periodically reabsorbs the manifestations into reality. The Ayyappa Vratham culminates in a final Mandala festival where Ayyappa swamis (devotees who observe Ayyappa Vratham) take coconuts filled with ghee (called Irumudi, representing mind and body) and offer them to Lord Ayyappa. This is a strict, spiritually disciplined process and it symbolizes offering the mind and body to Lord Ayyappa, including the 'ego'. Through the entire process the swamis purify their mind in order to achieve a deeper level of self-realization. On Dec 24 and early morning of Dec 25, Ayyappa swamis filled the polished coconut with ghee and devotees chanted 'swamiye..swamiye' during the ghee filling with the vibration of Lord Ayyappa and the surrendering of ego. During the intermittent time of ghee filling, swamis and devotees sing Ayyappa bhajans and Vazhinadai Saranams for His blessings. On Dec 25, Irumudi Pooja was performed by Guruswamy marking the completion of Irumudi preparation. In spite of the cold weather outside, Swamis including kid swamis went round the temple three times with bare foot chanting Vazhinadai Saranams, taking the

Devotees throng for worshipping Lord Ayyappa

Irumudi to Lord Ayyappa. Shantha Swaroopa Dharshan for spiritual happiness. After reaching the main hall, the Muthirai Thengai (coconut filled with ghee) and all other Abishekam materials were taken out and given to temple priests for Ayyappa Nei Abishekam. The temple priests performed Abishekam poojas with Nei Abishekam the salient feature. Kid swamis chanted bhajans showing love for Lord Ayyappa. Alankarana of Lord Ayyappa

in Shantha Swaroopa posture with all ornaments and floral decorations followed. Devotees were taken to their peak of spiritual fervor when the eighteen steps were lit accompanied by Padi Paatu that essentially marked the morning festival. All swamis were offered Anna Dhana in traditional Indian style. On 25th evening, divine bhajan was sung by all swamis and devotees. Seeveli, the procession of Ayyappa Vurchavar with drums, dance, and chanting

of songs were witnessed by hundreds of devotees. Carrying of lamps, representing removal of ignorance to seek jyothi by ladies in the traditional Kerala style was also a part of Seeveli. After Seeveli, Lord Ayyappa provided Basmabhishekam

Dharshan from his Uyyalu in order to mark tranquility and peace. This was accompanied by few more songs and Harivarasanam to put Lord Ayyappa to sleep and rest. The divine presence of Lord Ayyappa was realized throughout the day.

Ami Parekh: Rising Indian star in firmament Cont’d from page 18

She wished she could have more than 24 hours in a day. To support her training she works two part time jobs and teaches skating. She is out working, coaching, and training from 5 am until 8 pm Monday through Saturday. Besides, she participates in national Indian events organized by Indian American community, time permitting. She attended India Day parades organized by FIA and was an instant celebrity by herself. In fact, she was invited as VIP and honored with award for excellence and accomplishments in an adventurous sport of figure skating in 33rd annual day parade in New

Ami Parekh with Anna Hazare

York. After competing this season with flying colors, she will be join-

ing medical school most likely in Chicago area.

Lord Ayyappa

20 India Post

Community Across America

January 17, 2014

Volunteer Appreciation Day at Jalaram Mandir YOGESH THAKKAR & ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: Shree Jalaram Mandir in Hoffman Estates celebrated 4th Volunteer Appreciation Day with great attendance and enthusiasm on Saturday, January 11. Bollywood music from local artists headed by Shaila Kedkar provided a sentimental evening with old and new songs, which made the whole atmosphere joyful. More than 235 volunteers enjoyed the special evening. It was an appreciation for every single volunteer who devoted their time and energy towards the Mandir's progress. At present, the Mandir has team of approximately 235 volunteers who are involved in various activities and perform duties with all their heart. Shree Jalaram Mandir is probably the only place where volunteers are formally recognized for their devotion and commitment. Rajendra

Thakkar, the volunteer coordinator, urged the executive board of the Mandir to organize this event to recognize all the volunteers for their tireless service. Several volunteers prepared decorations for this event. Prior to musical program, delicious Gujarati dinner was served. Rajendra Thakkar, welcomed all. The program was started with Deep-Pragatya by Priest Shree Katenbhai Jani along with the Executive Board members. Vipulbhai Thakkar did excellent job as Master of Ceremony. The program was started by devoted singers Rajesh Chalan, Shaila Khedkar, Sreepathy and music was provided by Garvish. Shree Jalaram Mandir was inaugurated on March 8, 2008. With the help of generous donations from many donors and volunteers

Jalaram Mandir office bearers with volunteers

$1.25 million dollars worth property was purchased. Kitchen is renovated, Elevator provided and Murti Pratishtha with extension is on way. In between the program, there was break for Appreciation program. All Committee members were called upfront and proved Ham Saath Saath Hai. All the artists were invited and introduced and were offered flowers and shawls. Rajendr Thakkar thanked all those who have helped in Mandir improvement work and those who assisted in accommodating the devotees with daily parking and seating arrangement. (In his speech there was lot of

Vote of Thanks starting with Thanking Pujya Bapa for giving the opportunity to serve him, all the artists for their voluntary services and sparing their valuable time Trustees and office bearers of Shree Jalaram Mandir 2013-2014 Trust Board: Hashmukh Thakkar, Chairman; Yogesh Thakkar, Vice-Chairman; Chirayu Parikh,Secretary; Jashwant Patel, Comptroller; Dharmendra Thakkar, Treasurer; Chandu Thakkar; Ashwin Thakkar; Jigar Thakkar; Rajesh Thakkar; Madhusudan Thakkar; Harivadan Thakkar. Executive Board: Bhupendra Thakkar, President; Rajendra Thakkar Vice-President; Vipul


humor.) There is no age requirement to perform Mandir Sava. Volunteers age group from 5 years to 75 years are working hard to fulfill the Mandir's daily task. Ramanbhai is 75 years old. He makes daily packages for Prasad. Another person makes "Devate for Aarti". Age group 5 and up such as Nidhi Patel, Yash Thakkar and Jay Thakkar help in miscellaneous Mandir work. Musical program continued past midnight with a lot of songs requested by the audience. President Bhupendrabhai delivered

Thakkar, Secretary; Gopal (Dipak) Thakkar, Jigna Thakkar; Rakesh Thakkar; Rajesh Thakkar; Bakul Thakkar; Chandrakant Thakkar; Ramesh Thakkar. Regular activities at the temple include Bhajans on every Thursday, first and third Sunday, Sunderkand path every Saturday, Abhishek on Mondays and on Ekadashi, group Satyanarayan Katha, Jalaram Jayanti, lectures of saints from India and celebrations of all religious events like Ram Navami, Janmashtmi, Navratri, Holi, Diwali and others. Cont’d on page 22

Community Across America

January 17, 2014

India Post 21

Vaikunta Ekadasi prayers held at shrine of Lord Venkateswara VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

FREMONT: Over thousand devotees from all over Bay Area offered prayers at the shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Fremont Hindu Temple near here on the occasion of ' Va i k u n t a Ekadasi.' The devotees, after offering prayers to the Lord, had the opportunity of going out through the sacred 'Vaikunta Passage' encircling the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Close up of the idol The holy Vaikunta Passage called as "Vaikunta Dwarams" is opened once a year only on Vaikunta Ekadasi day and this is the first time ever in Bay Area devotees were able to pass through the seven Vaikunta Dwaras. At Fremont Hindu temple, this festival is

Pandit performing pooja

usually celebrated over ten days with special Poojas on all days. The deity, Prasanna Venkateshwara was decked up and was carried out by the devotees and temple priests amidst the chanting of hymns and prayers. Vaikuntha Ekadashi is the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi that occurs during the Dhanurmasa period in the Hindu calendar. According to the Vishnu Purana, fasting on Vaikuntha Ekadashi is equivalent to fasting on the remaining 23 Ekadashis of the (Hindu) year.

Devotees Cont’d on page 23

People coming out of Dwara

Community Across America

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January 17, 2014

Hemant Shah elected Chairman of Jain Society ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: The Board of Trustees of Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago, unanimously elected Hemant Shah as chairman for the year 2014-1015 at its first Board meeting held on January 7. Responding to the Board gesture, the newly elected Jain Society's Chairman Hemant Shah expressed thanks to the Board of Trustees along with Executive Committee for bestowing their faith and confidence in his leadership. He mentioned that with structured efforts, commitment, teamwork and unity, "we can raise the bar for JSMC and turn it to be a great organization for the religious and cultural need of the Jain community in Chicagoland area." Hemant Shah has succesfully served as Membership Secretary, Vice President and Trustee of this organization. He is also serving on an executive board of North American Jain's umbrella organisation JAINA, as a Vice-President for Mid-west region. Engineer by profession and serving in IT division of AT&T, Shah is also affiliated with many other Indo-American cultural and community organisations of Chicago-land. Last October, in general elections the society elected one of the pioneers of Jain education and well-known pediatrician Dr. Mukesh Doshi and Chief Financial Officer of Raja Foods, Vasant Shah with majority as new Trustees. Former Chairman of JSMC, successful entrepreneur and CEO of Protocol Link, Dipak Doshi; well-known among Jain community and Past President of JSMC, Atul Shah and Hemant Shah are continuing Trustees on the Board of JSMC. The uncontested Executive Committee of JSMC for 2014-2015 comprises: Cont’d on page 24

JSMC Executive Committee for 2014-2015

Hemant Shah, Chairman

Atul Shah, Board of Trustees

Dipak Doshi, Board of Trustees

Dr Mukesh Doshi, Board of Trustees

Vasant Shah, Board of Trustees

Tejas Shah, President

Hitesh Shah, Vice-President

Vipul Shah, Secretary

Sunil Shah, Joint Treasurer

Piyush Gandhi, Membership Secretary

Dr Pradip Shah, Education Secretary

Himanshu Jain, Treasurer

Volunteer Appreciation Day at Jalaram Mandir Cont’d from page 20

Ekadashi. On the humanitarian side the temple arranges annual health camp, provides free flu shots, arranges blood donation. The Mandir provides monthly clinic Seva, which includes doctor's consultation, laboratory tests and providing free generic medicines on an ongoing basis. Educationally, the activities include Math classes, Bharat Natyam, yoga classes, music teaching, India Culture (Indian history), Gujarati classes and religious classes.

Devotees before the Bapa and singer Shaila Khedkar

January 17, 2014

Community Across America

India Post 23

Trust ... But definitely verify

Readers Write...



f all the numbers thrown at us over the course of last year, one stands out for me. I fervently hope we can avoid repeating it this year. That number is 12. It's the percentage of Americans in a December Quinnipiac poll who said they trust the government in Washing-

Lee Hamilton

ton to do what is right most or all of the time. It's a depressingly small number - especially compared to the 41 percent who say they "hardly ever" trust the government. On top of that, a few months ago an AP poll found that fewer than a third of Americans trust one another. The poll's message is clear: our society is in the midst of a crisis in trust.

Trust is essential to our political system and our way of life. The belief that people and institutions will do what they say they will do is the coin of the realm in our society. It is what allows people to work together - in their daily interactions with others and in their communities, legislatures and Congress. Negotiation, compromise, collegiality, and the mechanisms our complex and diverse society depends upon are impossible without trust. You could argue that we see all around us the results of our trust deficit. Government dysfunction, an economy performing below its potential, public officials' scandals and misdeeds, trusted institutions' willingness to skirt the law and standards of good conduct, our social safety net under attack because people mistrust recipients all of these speak to a society struggling as trust weakens.

a big part of my dealings with institutions and individuals, most of whom are good people trying to live a decent life and to be helpful to others. Trust may have weakened, but most of us do not see or experience a corrupt America. A sense of community remains crucially important to make this country safe and secure for ourselves and our children. Events in recent years have given us plenty of reason to be distrustful. Clearly, healthy skepticism is warranted in the wake of the NSA revelations and other evidence of government and corporate misbehavior. In the end, however, "trust but verify" is still the golden standard. Our ability to function and move forward as a society rests on trust. Think about it. Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana

Events in recent years have given us plenty of reason to be distrustful. Clearly, healthy skepticism is warranted in the wake of the NSA revelations and other evidence of government and corporate misbehavior. In the end, however, "trust but verify" is still the golden standard Yet here's the question. Do the polls match your experience? In my case, they do not. Trust is still

University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Save money by taking Safe Driver class THAKAR BASATI

Predatory behavior by Lincoln Towing


friend informed me of a most unpleasant experience he had on January 4. Because of the snow he chose not to park on the street but parked in a lot a few steps from where I was to meet him at a community meeting. He had guessed that spaces in the lot were for the community center where the meeting was held. When he went in to ask if indeed he had parked in the right place, he was told that the community center parking area was in the back of the center. As he opened the back door to see where it was he saw his car being towed down the alley by Lincoln Towing. This was a

matter of, I guess, 90 seconds - I didn't even know towing equipment could be attached that quickly. It is also interesting that the car was towed along a back alley and not through the street which would have been more natural. This was extraordinarily predatory behavior - not to deter wrongful parking - it was to victimize unsuspecting people, perhaps with collusion of the lot owner. Nand Kapur National Vice-President and Past President (Illinois Chapter), Association of Indians in America Chicago IL

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

Vaikunta Ekadasi prayers held at shrine of Lord Venkateswara Cont’d from page 21

The significance of Vaikuntha Ekadashi is mentioned in the Padma Purana. The legend says that the Devas were unable to bear the tyranny of 'Muran', a demon, and approached Shiva, who di-

served a fast on that day should be redeemed of their sins. Vishnu thus declared that people who observed a fast on that day and worshipped Ekadashi, would attain Vaikuntha. Fremont Hindu temple priests and management team had

Driver safe classes

CHICAGO: Sikh Religious Society of Palatine, Illinois is hosting Safe Driver Class given by AARP (American Association of Retired People) trained Instructor Om Johari. Although this class will be taught in English, he can give classes in Hindi too. Drivers of age over 50 years are eligible. Class is

total 8 hours and will be split in 2 four hour class on February 2nd and February 9th starting at 1 pm on both days. After completion of class, you will receive a certificate that is good for three years. You can fax that to your auto Insurer and your yearly bill could go down $300-400 depending on your Insurance carrier. Classes start

on time and need pre-registration so that enough material could be ordered. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. For registration please call AARP 847-985-6677 or Sikh Religious Society 847-358-1117. Sikh Religious Society is located at 1280 Winnetka Street in Palatine, Illinois behind Bueller YMCA.



rected them to Vishnu. A battle ensued between Vishnu and the demon and Vishnu realized that a new weapon was needed to slay Muran. When Muran tried to slay Vishnu, who was sleeping, the female power that emerged from Vishnu burned Muran to ashes with her glance. Vishnu, who was pleased, named the goddess 'Ekadashi' and asked her to claim a boon. Ekadashi, instead, beseeched Vishnu that people who ob-

worked relentlessly for the annual affair. Temple officials said that arrangements had been made to ensure that devotees could have a hassle free darshan and steps were taken to manage the crowds that had gathered outside the premises. Rajesh Verma, Co-chairman of FHT, thanked priests, volunteers and Mr Govind Pasumarthi for working on the special occasion and making the dream come true for Bay Area devotees.

24 India Post

Community Across America

January 17, 2014

Putting together 'Rain Forest'


rs Suchiritah Rao, an Indian American teacher of the 4th Grade at Swift School which produced the "Rain Forest," stands in front of the "Rain Forest" in Room # 306 at the George B. Swift Specialty School's "World's Fair," Thursday December 19. The students studied the climates of five countries to be able to put together the Rain Forest. The entire school was engaged in research, creation and

performance while music, art, physical education, technology and library science were integrated into core school subjects. Halls were filled with posters, dis-

plays and demonstrations produced by students, culminating in an hour-and-one half music, dance and drumming performance.

The students studied the climates of five countries to be able to put together the Rain Forest. The entire school was engaged in research, creation and performance

Hemant Shah elected Chairman of Jain Society

Dilip Shah, Food Secretary

Cont’d from page 22

President Tejas Shah, who completed fasting of 30 days in last September; Vice-President Hitesh Shah; Secretary Vipul Shah; Treasurer Himanshu Jain;Joint Treasurer Sunil Shah; Membership Secretary Piyush Gandhi; Education Secretary Dr. Pradip Shah; Food Secretary Dilip

Mrs Dimple Shah, Youth Secretary

Shah and Youth Secretary Mrs. Dimple Shah. Established about 40 years ago, the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago (JSMC) serves more than 1600 families with various religious, cultural and educational programs on 14+ acres beautiful campus with recently renovated temple and auditoriom facility in Chicago's suburb, Bartlett.


January 17, 2014

India Post 25

Will Kejri broom get rid of sycophancy & corruption? H.N. VERMA


he Aam Aadmi secured the maximum number of votes among political parties in the elections of the Delhi State, and yet it disclaimed any mystery behind the toddler's long jump surpassing the seasoned stalwarts - the Congress and the BJP. The Aam Aadmi's broom was so efficacious that in spite of failing in numbers, it ended up forming the government.

How, when and why the symbol of Broom (Jhadoo) originate in Indian politics? Did it come to India from the Mediterranean Roman Empire? Or was it India that exported it to Rome? Even before the Christian era, there were considerable commercial contacts and business transactions between the two countries. Of the numerous deities Rome had one was known as Cloacina, the deity for Sanitation

and Drainage. Comparative Religion, a work by Bouquet published by Penguin mentions Cloacina and her charge. In India Broom called Jhadoo is used in every household for removal of dirt, although in streets its use is almost monopolized by Dalits. The Aam Aadmi used the Jhadoo in propagating its message to cleanse the country of corruption. I saw in the Bar Library of the

Promise of a new day...



ach day I wake up embracing the promise of the day‌the feeling that things will unfold in a well planned way and I will count my blessings at the end of the day. The sun peeps through the half drawn blinds, lighting up the room coyly, enticing with its promise, yet restrained. The alarm clock goes off in my son's room, interrupting my lazy reverie in bed. Better get out of bed; have to make breakfast and lunch. Smiling at the thought of mundane upcoming tasks, I swing out of bed and head downstairs. I realize, halfway down there that the milk got finished yesterday. Maybe there is an extra gallon in the outside fridge? I wistfully hope. Oh well‌juice is just as good for the kids, and hot chocolate for one morning would be a different experience. The morning gets off to its usual blustering start, and just as soon quiets down, as the kids leave with cheery byes from me, prompting a grunt from them. Enjoying my newspaper, even if it is with a cup of hot chocolate, and not the wonderful customary tea that husband dear makes, I view the winter landscape in the backyard with mixed emotions; trees in need of a trim, and overgrown plants once so cherished in summer for their color and fruit now ready for pulling out. Yet, the resilience of the greenery holding on to the last few weeks before being unceremoniously uprooted to make

way for spring planting strikes a chord with me. Musing I get ready and am finally in the car. I turn the key twice, and am greeted with a "click"

penings in their days. "You know so and so got into trouble for "play fighting". Uh huh, glad it was not you honey."I forgot my lunch as we had PE just before and didn't remember to take it along". Another labor of love downed the trash. Someday, the boys will remember this, and be reminded of unconditional, maternal love, which is not thwarted by uneaten, wasted lunches, and continues to churn them out like clockwork, each morning, I thought as I put in the banana nut bread to bake. "Is it time to make dinner already"? I woke up with a start from my brief nap, with a feeling of olfactory hallucinations. Or, was I simply dreaming? Wait, Oh no! the smell of burning bread with whiffs of banana had me rushing down to witness the charred remains of the said bread, now nicely blackened. Did I not program the bake time in the oven, which would have automatically shut off? Evidently not! I had once again resorted to setting the timer only, which allowed the baking to continue undeterred. Well, tomorrow's breakfast can be frozen waffles, if not fresh home baked bread, my hassled mind reasoned! As we sit down to dinner and recount the day's stellar events, I marvel at the day's end and the fulfilled promise of its beginning. What then is life, if not a perspective? Wresting and recreating the warmth of the initial hours is all that is needed in the final ones.

American Way of Life both times, and then an uncomfortable silence. What do you know! Is it the starter? Or the battery discharged? My limited engineering knowledge of the un-

"Is it time to make dinner already"? I woke up with a start from my brief nap, with a feeling of olfactory hallucinations. Or, was I simply dreaming? Wait, Oh no! the smell of burning bread with whiffs of banana had me rushing down known world of nuts, bolts and pipes under the hood leads me to these meager possibilities. Well, I hop into the other "nicer" car and drive away with a smile, the day's promising equilibrium restored. Getting through the workday was a blur of the usual, routine activities and returning home, the ritual of snacking and chatting with the boys unfolded the hap-

Cover of Indian magazine Outlook

Supreme Court of India a few Senior Advocates wearing cotton cap, like the Gandhi cap, with print, "I am Aam Aadmi" and likewise it attracted people's attention. Historian Pliny records that Italian ladies were enamored of Indian cotton with Indian patterns of designs that fascinated them so much that shiploads of apparels were exported from India to Italian ports not to the liking of the Roman senators who thought were draining their treasury and gold. We researched human history of the times of Rome's rise and fall but were dismayed not to find any additional information on Broom to what our research had already equipped us with. India's relations with Greece, more historic and philosophic, overshadowed those with Italy. Leave aside Alexander the Great's invasion on India and his battle on Indus (Sindhu River) with Porus, there was intellectual exchange between the two countries. Besides the interaction involved between Greece and India was noted far in detail by historians of Greece - pity India ignored history. Before Christianity reached India's southern shores, Greek civilization had gone through a few stages - Aegean, Olympian, Philosophic, Redemption, and Polythe-

ism. While Greeks had small colonies in areas adjacent to the mouth of Sindh, Roman ships went down South and Pondicherry has preserved an archaeological site. The Greek metaphysics and Indian Upanishads have a great deal in common. Pythagoras' name is familiar even to young students in India. One can point out to lots of contacts. The Indian thought was similar to the doctrines of Eleates, Xenophones, Perimedes, Empledocles, and Anaxogorus. Historian Strabo narrates the story of a Sadhu sent to Greece as part of an embassy which is referred to by St Paul in the Bible (Corinthian). Roman culture was coercive and considered their emperors to have divine right to rule. Even after it was discarded in Europe, some European kings asserted and continued with achieving apotheosis after death. Indian democracy discarded Princely states, Privy Purses but feudalistic craze and dynastic right to rule crops up time to time. Will ordinary broom get rid of sycophancy and corruption? This for the present is the travail of Aam Aadmi. Mr H N Verma of Sunnyvale is a scholar of world history known for his works like '100 Great Indians' and 'Decisive Battles of India'.


26 India Post

January 17, 2014

Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

JANUARY 17 TH - JANUARY 23 RD , 2014 (March 21 to April 20)

(August 23 to September 22)


ou will be extremely lucky when it comes to money. Tips and leads from an older person will be helpful. Assignment will come with additional help and perks. Business trips will be instant success. You may plan a small get together with close friend for a future weekend. Mail full of pleasant surprise.


ittle exercise or walking will do the magic and bring health issue under control. Try not to rush into this too good to be true deal or will find your self in a mess soon. Some of you may continue your search for another position. Payment expected last week will finally arrive. You will attend a small celebration with family.

(April 21 to May 20)


ou will have several Chances to make quick bucks this week. Money will be spent on good reason and you may also make a generous donation to a religious place. Some of you may also replace an old vehicle with economical one this time. Its high time to cut down on sugar. You will attend a party with family this weekend.

(September 23 to October 22)


ou will be little shaky but get the jobs done. You will be signing some documents related to a property this week. Financial juggling will bring the pressure down. Keep a distance from the new colleague trying to flirt. You may be in touch with an old confidant for some advice. Do not take chance with weather and carry a jacket.

(May 21 to June 20)


ou will be surprised how easily you will resolve many tricky situations and have better control over life this week. You will also gain friendship of an interesting personality, and it will be in your interest if you maintain some distance. You will make good use of time on hands and clean inside and outside property. (June 21 to July 22)

(October 23 to November 22)


eeling little tired of almost no big action in life, you will consult spouse and make your move. You may get the hint but not the whole confirmation. Money wise you will stay in comfort zone as stocks recently purchased will appreciate. You may go through old records and spend some time on preparing ground work for taxes.


void staying out too late in the evening and specially after Sunset this week if possible. Aggressive attitude will help you move closer to professional goal. There will last minute delay or complete change in travel plan. You will have the opportunity to spend some quality time and learn from a very successful person. (July 23 to August 22)

(November 23 to December 22)


ou may decide to take the settlement and avert a lengthy legal battle by doing so. Spouse will support and give good piece of advice. Do not hesitate to buy a lottery ticket for next few weeks. You may buy some high tech item for personal use. A close relative will call to invite you for lunch at his place in coming weeks.


nd you will start to reap rich rewards for the efforts recently made. There will be lots of excitement and a reason to celebrate as you will get the confirmation over the phone followed by email. What you have been looking for outside, already exists in your close circle, think carefully and explore the wonderful opportunity. Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at:


(December 22 to January 19)


e little extra careful when handling any issues related to government for next few weeks and consult the right people before filing any papers. The plan you have in mind is risky but seems you do not have any other choice but to go with it. Older family member will need medical care and you may call a specialist.

(January 20 to February 18)


eople self employed or running business will incurheavy expenses. You may make a deal with new vendors and save some money in the process. Education you are receiving will come handy in near future. If you are ready to stretch limits, the property deal can happen this week. You will visit a close relative with family.

(February 19 to March 20)


ou will learn something useful from your opponents. Spouse may be under the influence of changing weather. You will be helping a child filling up some forms. An old acquaintance will propose to start a venture in partnership. You will start your search for another place to move. You will also cut down on caffeine or nicotine.

January 17, 2014

India Post 27


28 India Post

January 17, 2014

1 Malang: Dhoom 3 2 Kamli: Dhoom 3 3 Dhoom Machale Dhoom Dhoom: Dhoom 3 4 Sunny Sunny: Yaariyan 5 Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse: Jackpot 6 Gandi Baat: R...Rajkumar 7 Baarish: Yaariyan 8 Tu Hi Junoon : Dhoom 3 9 ABCD: Yaariyan 10 Ram Chahe Leela: Ram-leela


fter his separation from wife Suzanne Khan, Hrithik Roshan has found solace in Salman's company. Rival turned friend Salman Khan stood by his side in this tough phase and advised Hrithik on relationship and break-ups. Salman Khan asked Hrithik to reconcile with Suzanne. Hrithik Roshan in fact drove to Salman's Panvel farmhouse to discuss his personal problem. Salman who once made fun of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Hrithik Roshan starrer, 'Guzaarish' turned relationship adviser for him. Salman, 48, has been betrayed by many beauties and he has learnt how to cope with this heartbreaking situation. Hrithik spent nearly 10 hours with Sallu. "Hrithik came in late evening and he stayed all night. He looked very crestfallen. The subject of discussion was his broken marriage and his estranged wife Suzanne" a source said.

Salman Khan asked Hrithik to reconcile with Suzanne. Hrithik Roshan in fact drove to Salman's Panvel farmhouse to discuss his personal problem


atrina Kaif had only one release in 2013 i.e, Yash Raj banner 'Dhoom 3' and her competitor and ex-girlfriend of Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone has four blockbusters last year. Basking in the joy of 'Dhoom 3', Katrina speaks her heart out about Deepika Padukone. Asked whether she has an equation with the 'Chennai Express' actress, she replied, "No‌I don't have any equation with her. I am cordial with everyone but I have no equation with Deepika. Everyone is here on the merits of their work and if someone has three hit films this year, someone else will have three hit films the next year and so it goes on. The focus will shift to that person accordingly and that's the way it should be." Katrina and Deepika are the two reigning queens of Bollywood. They are the hot favorites of filmmakers as well as endorsers. Not only in the professional front, they share cold vibes in personal life as well. Ranbir Kapoor dated Deepika Padukone at one point of time and this truth never goes well with Kat who is the present ladylove of Ranbir.

Everyone is here on the merits of their work and if someone has three hit films this year, someone else will have three hit films the next year and so it goes on


January 17, 2014

India Post 29


or almost 15 years Sanjay Leela Bhansali has nur tured a dream - to make a film on Peshwa Bajirao and his ladylove Mastani. Finally, it seems the search for the lead pair is half over. Buzz is that Bhansali has got his Bajirao in his 'Devdas'. He had conceptualized the project with his 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' pair and then reallife sweethearts Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead. But, with the end of the love affair, Bhansali had no option but to put his dream project on hold. The latest is that Shah Rukh Khan, who worked with Bhansali in 'Devdas' (2002), has been roped in for the role. According to a source close to the film, SRK has consented in principle to do the film. The relationship between SRK and Bhansali was cordial till 'Om Shanti Om' and 'Saawariya' clashed at the box-office in 2007. A war of words ensued and things turned bitter. So much so, that the two stopped speaking to each other. However, the ice started melting when the two shared the stage during the poster release of Bela Sehgal's film 'Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi' (2012). After the event, Bhansali even took SRK to his new office where the two reminisced about the good old days and talks of a collaboration resurfaced.

he dosti between John Abraham and producer Firoz Nadiadwala is final. After 'Welcome Back' Akshay Kumar has been replaced by John Abraham in Hera Pheri 3. And John Abraham's romantic lead on this project would be a young pretty model-turned-actress Sakshi Chowdhary. Though the girl from Dehra Doon is being kept strictly under wraps by the protective producer as he wishes to unveil his debutante elaborately, one got to know of the newcomer after Firoz was overheard raving about Sakshi whom he had seen in a South Indian film. Says the source, "When Firoz met the young hopeful actress, he was very impressed by her confidence poise and beauty. Firoz immediately signed Sakshi for a 3-film deal. The first of these would be the

long-delayed third film in the Hera Pheri franchise which got stalled after Firoz's fall-out with Akshay. John has now taken over the franchise. The leading lady just fell into place when Sakshi walked into Firoz's office." Sakshi Chowdhary is the winner of Gladrags 2011. She has done a Telugu film Portugadu opposite Manoj Manchu.


ollywood lovebirds Bipasha Basu and Harman Baweja will enter into matrimony this year. After breaking up with John Abraham, Bipasha formed a strong bond with Harman and the duo is going steady ever since they established a love relationship and keen to take their relationship to the next level. Harman and Bipasha will made an official announcement of their wedding only after the release of Harman's film, 'Dhishkiyaon', produced by Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra in August. Bipasha's parents, HK and Mamta Basu, had a formal meeting with Harman's parents producer Harry Baweja and wife Pammi, at the Bawejas' residence in Lokhandwala Complex. A close friend of the actress told a leading entertainment site, "After that meeting, their respective parents have met quite a few times." Added the friend, "Bipasha and Harman are really serious about each other. I am sure that they want to tie the knot this year."


Realty Tidbits

Opposition grows over Davenport athletics complex DAVENPORT, Iowa: Some residents near a private university in Davenport aren't happy with the school's plans to build a new athletics complex. St. Ambrose University recently submitted information to its Neighborhood Relations Council about the 45-acre site, located three blocks north of the school. The group has 90 days to review data on lights, traffic, parking and other issues before St. Ambrose submits a formal application to the city over zoning. The Quad-City Times reported some residents in the area are skeptical of the proposal submitted about the complex, which would include a 2,500-seat football stadium, a softball venue and a 410-space parking lot. A public meeting is scheduled Jan. 21. ``When they started talking about it four years ago, it broke my heart,'' said Jackie Draper, whose family lives near the property. ``The infrastructure can't handle it. We've said we don't have a problem with the practice fields. We just think it is inappropriate.'' Several athletic fields already on the site need to be upgraded to attract students and athletes to the campus, said St. Ambrose

Real Estate 30

India Post

New Orleans hotel market lures buyers

January 17, 2014

Details on Page 31

Swanky car free with luxury apartment in Dubai DUBAI: In an enticing offer, a real estate developer here is handing out a swanky Lamborghini for free to anyone willing to dish out USD 15 million for a penthouse apartment. As part of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Damac Properties is offering one of the wildest enticements to move into its newest luxury apartment building. Buy the USD 15 million penthouse and you get a USD 400,000 Lamborghini Aventador thrown in, free of charge, the New York Daily News reported. Located near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, the Damac Maison apartment building includes everything from a spa and butler services, to private jet and yacht charters. Less expensive apartments in the building also come with a new ride, such as a BMW SUV or Mini Cooper hatchback.

"Damac Properties' DSF promotion is always highly anticipated and we see some of the best re-

Times. "Guaranteeing a brand new 2014 Lamborghini, BMW or Mini

appreciate," he said. In 2013, penthouse buyers were offered a 2014 Audi R8, buyers of

sults of the year during this time," Niall McLoughlin, senior vicepresident, Damac Properties, was quoted as saying by Khaleej

Cooper with purchases in select units is an exciting incentive which many international visitors to Dubai during this period really

three-bed units were given an Audi A8, two bedroom were given an Audi A6 and one bed got an Audi A4. -PTI

Housing sales 33% in Chennai; prices up 5-7% officials. Mike Poster, the school's vice president for finance, said officials are doing their best to accommodate neighbors. ``I think what we are trying to show is that we are understanding and put together a thoughtful application that will have the least impact possible,'' he told the newspaper. Among the details of the proposal given to the council group are plans to limit tailgating and manage trash cleanup after games. They will also meet with local police annually to discuss traffic practices. The stadium's seating is also half of what was initially proposed. Expected parking was also lowered. ``By doing these things, we think we've made considerable concessions to their concerns,'' Poster said. -AP

NEW DELHI: Housing sales in Chennai dropped 33 per cent to 18,200 units in 2013 due to slowdown in the realty market and high interest rates, according to a report by property consultant Knight Frank. However, housing prices in the city increased by 5-7 per cent last year despite a decline in sales volume as developers restricted supply by offering fewer homes in the market. Launch of new homes fell by 35 per cent to 20,100 units in 2013 compared to the previous year, when it was 30,900 units. "The year 2013 has not been very kind to the Chennai market and like all the other major cities in the country even Chennai has suffered the onslaught of the current slowdown in the real estate sector," said the report. Chennai witnessed drop in sales volume to the tune of 33

per cent during 2013 making it as one of the worst performing years for the residential sector in the history of the city, it added.

passing quarter reporting a lower level than the previous quarter. "Sales volume has dipped from 27,000 units in 2012 to 18,200 units

It noted that since January 2013 absorption levels have been gradually declining with each

in 2013 resulting in a fall of 33 per cent. The latest quarter, that is October-December 2013, has been

one of the worst quarters in terms of sales and has recorded its lowest volume since 200809," the Knight Frank report said. Factors such as slowing economic growth, rising interest rates by banks, high inflation and the weak rupee among others have contributed towards building a negative sentiment among home buyers, it said. They have delayed their purchasing decision and are waiting for some sort of positive signal on these fronts. "Poor sentiment among home buyers has resulted in a decelerating trend in terms of sales over last four quarters. However, developers in Chennai have been smart enough to take cognizance of such a trend and have cautiously reduced the number of new launches in the preceding 12 months," it said. -PTI

Real Estate Post

January 17, 2014

India Post 31

New Orleans hotel market lures buyers NEW ORLEANS: A flurry of hotel transactions in the New Orleans market continues, with a large French Quarter hotel and a boutique property selling within the past month. The Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel at Canal and Bourbon streets and the Royal St. Charles Hotel on St. Charles Avenue were sold within the last month. The sale of the Astor Crowne

sold for $77 million according to conveyance records, the deal is believed to have a total value of more than $116 million when including debt that burdened previous owners. The seller, LNR Partners of Miami Beach, Fla., is a special servicer that specializes in dealing with defaulted mortgage loans. The Astor Crowne Plaza's financial troubles started in 2005

While the 697-room property sold for $77 million according to conveyance records, the deal is believed to have a total value of more than $116 million when including debt that burdened previous owners. Plaza wasn't the typical transaction between real estate investors that marked much of 2013, when more than a dozen hotels in the New Orleans area changed ownership. It was sold in early December to Starwood Capital Group, a Greenwich, Conn. investment management company. While the 697-room property

after then-owner Decatur Hotels undertook a sweeping renovation of the property. It paid for the work with a commercial mortgagebacked security _ essentially a loan secured with the property's original mortgage _ from RBS Greenwich Capital Markets. After high post-Katrina occupancy rates dwindled, the ownership fell be-

hind on its loan, and the lender foreclosed on the property. A partnership with owners from San Francisco and New York bought the hotel for $93 million in 2007. It caught up on the mortgage payments but encountered difficulties when the national recession, an $11 million renovation in 2009 and the 2010 BP oil spill limited room revenue. LNR Partners has serviced the loan since 2009 and planned to auction the hotel in August 2012 at a reserve price of $105 million. That sale never took place and the property stayed off the market until last August, when it was expected to fetch more than $120 million. Representatives from LNR Partners wouldn't offer additional details on the transaction, and Starwood Capital Group did not respond to interview requests. The Astor Crown Plaza consists of two hotels: the 502-room Astor tower that Decatur Hotels built in 2002; and the Alexa tower, built in 1900 with 191 rooms. Lowe Enterprises Investors announced it has acquired the Royal St. Charles Hotel on behalf of an unidentified investment client.

CCI rejects abuse complaint against Akshaya NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominant market position against real estate developer Akshaya Private Ltd with respect to residential markets in Tamil Nadu. Noting that Akshaya had competitive constraints owing to presence of other developers in the market, the Commission said that the realty firm prima facie was not a dominant player in the determined relevant market. "Since the opposite party (Akshaya) does not appear to be in a dominant position in the relevant market, there seems to be no question of abuse of its dominant position within the meaning of the provisions...of the (Competition) Act arises," Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in an order dated January 2. It was stated by the complainant NK Natural Foods that in response to various attractive advertisements released by Akshaya, it evinced interest in purchasing twelve residential apartments promoted by the real

estate firm in its project at Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu. According to the complainant, Akshaya had abused its dominant position in the market by imposing agreements which were one sided, arbitrary and unreasonable. NK Natural said that the contracts were only used against securing payments of money and exonerated Akshaya from any li-

ability for delayed possession. In its order, the Commission held, among others, that "the presence of other well known builders in the relevant market negates the contention that informant (NK Natural) or any other consumer was dependent only on the opposite party to purchase an apartment". "Presence of other builders of repute also shows prevalence of competition," it added. -PTI

CCi dismissed allegations of abuse of dominant market position against real estate developer Akshaya Pvt Ltd with respect to residential markets in Tamil Nadu

The seller, Jon Kline of Newport Beach, Calif., also owns the Renaissance Arts and Renaissance Pere Marquette hotels in New Orleans. Records from the New Orleans Notarial Archives show the hotel sold Dec. 31 for $10.1 million, including the assumption of an $8.7 million loan from U.S. Bank. With its purchase of the Royal St. Charles Hotel, LEI owns 47 ho-

Coast Bank and Trust in 1991. The property was converted into a hotel in 2000 in a project that preserved the original bank vault. The most recent renovation of the 10-story building was in October 2012, when $2 million was spent on upgrades. The hotel includes approximately 2,610 square feet of meeting space and a PJ's Coffee & CafĂŠ on the ground floor. Online records from the Or-

The property was converted into a hotel in 2000 in a project that preserved the original bank vault. The most recent renovation of the 10-story building was in October 2012, when $2 million was spent on upgrades. tels and resorts in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Its management affiliate, Destination Hotels & Resorts, has assumed control of the hotel and lists it on its website. The 143-room Royal St. Charles Hotel was originally the home of Southern Savings Bank, an institution founded in 1887 that failed in 1990 and merged with Gulf

leans Parish Assessor's office show the hotel last changed hands in February 2011, when local developer Warren Reuther sold it to Kline's investment group, Clearview Hotel Capital, for $8.3 million. Its original owners were Dr. A.J. Faucheaux and Alvin Swanner. -AP

Tata Housing launches Rs 2k-cr luxury project MUMBAI: Tata Group real estate arm Tata Housing Development has launched a luxury residential project in the northeastern suburb of Mulund. The project, named Gateway Towers, is spread across 8.5 acres and is a part of the 19-acre redevelopment project. "We have invested around Rs 2,000 crore for the entire redevelopment project across 19 acres, out of which the saleable component would be around 8.5 acres, where we will be developing six luxury residential towers," a company source said. The company, which has not

revealed the number of units as well as the per-unit cost, will develop six residential towers, ranging from 31 stories to 41 stories. Managing director and CEO Brotin Banerjee said, "This project is in line with our strategy of creating marquee projects in major metros." Mulund has witnessed an increasing demand for luxury housing from consumers and investors because of proximity to south Mumbai and fast growing Thane areas, he said. The towers are designed by Callison. The construction is expected to be completed in four years. -PTI

„ Health


Apollo Hospitals plans Rs 2500 cr capital investment KOLKATA: Apollo Hospitals Group is planning to invest around Rs 2,500 crore during the 2015-18 period. "We are looking to add another 2,000 beds and investment would be Rs 2,500 crore which will happen between 2015-18," Prathap Reddy, Founder & Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, told PTI. He said the company had almost concluded investment of Rs 1,500 crore. "So far we did not have to borrow much as our cash flow was good and promoters have pumped in capital," Reddy said. "But, for the next phase of investment of Rs 2,500 crore we have to look for other sources including debt," Reddy said. "If Real Estate Investment Trust becomes a reality in India than we will not have to look for debt," Reddy said. The trust would help raise funds without losing ownership of assets. -PTI

„ NC food stamp backlog didn't improve RALEIGH, N.C.: North Carolina officials say delays in processing food stamp applications aren't getting better. WRAL-TV reports that data provided by the state Department of Health and Human Services show that, as of Dec. 31, more than 30,000 families waited more than a month to receive food stamps benefits through the state's new NC FAST system. That's worse than a U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate based on mid-November data that found 20,000 households were experiencing significant delays. NC FAST is a $300 million computer system intended to streamline the process of applying and renewing government assistance for items like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Federal officials told DHHS Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos last month the department hadn't provided a plan detailing how it would reduce delays. -AP

Health Science

Health care push for those in California illegally Details on Page 34

32 India Post

January 17, 2014

More women in India smoke now than 30 years ago NEW DELHI: Female smokers in India has gone up in the last 30 years but the number of men who puff daily dipped in the country where more people are smoking today, say researchers. Smoking among Indian men fell from 33.8 per cent in 1980 to 23 per cent in 2012 while female smoking in 2012 was 3.2 per cent, almost the same as in 1980 (3 per cent), says a new study on global smoking prevalence published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the year 2012 a total of 12.1 million women smoked in India, compared to 5.3 million female smokers in 1980 while the prevalence of male smokers was estimated to be 98 million in the same year. Smokers in India also consumed an average of 8.2 cigarettes per day said the report. United States had 14.3 per cent women smokers followed by Russia and Nepal (both 16.9 per cent), Brazil (11 per cent) Paki-

stan (5.4 per cent) Indonesia (3.6 per cent) India (3.2 per cent) China (2.1 per cent) Bangladesh (1.8 per cent) and Sri Lanka (1 per cent).

statistics and data by the World Health Organization. Also India gained 35 million smokers totaling to 110 million despite a fall in the smoking rate

The study, titled "Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries, 19802012," by Seattle-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)referred to incountry surveys, government

from 19 per cent to 13 per cent of the population, said the study published in the in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The report found that global smoking rate among men was 41

per cent in 1980, but declined to an average of 31 per cent. Among women, the estimated prevalence of daily tobacco smoking was 10.6 per cent in 1980 and by 2012 that had fallen to 6.2 per cent. "India is currently in the phase 2 of the tobacco epidemic, which follows a cyclical pattern. While there are male smokers, women smokers follow the trend in this phase," points out Dr Monika Arora, Senior Director, HRIDAY, a voluntary organization working in the field of health promotion among adolescents in India. She says the number of women smoking in urban areas has increased. "We did a survey of schools in Chennai and Delhi and found that the there is a very narrow gender gap among adolescents who are smoking. The prevalence of overall tobacco use among men is 47 per cent and women 21 per cent in the country," says Monika. Cont'd on Page 35

Fruit juice not a healthy option: UK expert LONDON: Fruit juice should be removed from the recommended list of five-a-day portions of fruit or vegetables in the UK as it contained as much sugar as many soft drinks, an adviser to the government on obesity has said. Susan Jebb, head of diet and obesity research at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge, said she did not see juice as a healthy option. "I would support taking it out of the five-a-day guidance," she said. "Fruit juice isn't the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn't know whether it's CocaCola or orange juice, frankly," she told Sunday Times.

"I have to say it is a relatively easy thing to give up. Swap it and have a piece of real fruit. If you are going to drink it, you should dilute it," she said. Jebb said she had herself

on sugar-heavy drinks. Jebb works closely with the UK government on diet and obesity issues, and leads the government's so-called health responsibility deal, which oversees

stopped drinking orange juice and advised others to do so, or at least drink it diluted. The paper quoted her as saying she would support a wider tax

voluntary pledges by the food and drink industry to improve public health. Her comments follow a similar warning in September by two US

scientists, Barry Popkin and George Bray, who exposed the health risks of fructose corn syrup in soft drinks in 2004. Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told the Guardian that fruit juices and fruit smoothies were "the new danger". "Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled. Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat. The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does," he said. "So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving," Popkin said. -PTI

January 17, 2014

Health Science Post

India Post 33

Childhood obesity study Cancer doesn't dampen in Fremont school girl's spirit

FREMONT, Neb.: A public school in Fremont is participating in a research study that aims to curb childhood obesity and could become an example for others. The KidQuest program, which has been tested in South Dakota and some other Nebraska cities, will be evaluated on a larger scale through 700 students at Johnson Crossing Academic Center in Fremont, the

rooms are a good place to try and teach nutrition,'' said Melissa Wallinga, extension educator with the University of NebraskaLincoln Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences. ``I don't know that we've really found an effective avenue for teaching nutrition yet. We've obviously tried it in the after school programs, we've tried in the family consumer science classrooms. ``We know that nutrition and physical activity is obviously ``We know that nutrition and physi- something that is really imporcal activity is obviously something tant. We've kind of put the burthat is really important. We've kind den of fixing childhood obesity on schools, but what tools can of put the burden of fixing we give schools to even do childhood obesity on schools, but that?'' Students recently returned what tools can we give schools to from the holiday break and pareven do that?'' ticipated in fitness testing, where their height, weight, waist Fremont Tribune reported. circumference, body mass index and blood The study involves changing how and pressure were recorded. Throughout the where fifth- and sixth-grade students re- semester, they will be given food lessons, ceive health-related education. Primarily, and a physical activity will accompany a students at Johnson Crossing will receive lesson. physical activity and nutrition together inResearchers will follow up in six months stead of apart. to measure what students have learned, and The study, which was designed by whether education given this way increases South Dakota State University, is partnering physical activity. The data will be used to with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. refine the KidQuest program. Data could It's available through a federal grant. also be used for scientific journals that may ``I think the most important thing that encourage other states and extension prowe're trying to figure out is if P.E. class- grams to implement a similar initiative. -AP

Pak workers refuse to join anti-polio campaign PESHAWAR: Seventy health workers in Pakistan's Khyber tribal region have refused to join a polio vaccination campaign because of security concerns, a media report said. Haji Sadeeq, a spokesman for the health workers, said the circumstances, especially in Jamrud area of Khyber Agency, were not favorable for his colleagues to take part in the three-day campaign. "We feel threatened and everyone is frightened after the killing of our colleagues last month," he was quoted as saying by the Dawn daily. He said it was not possible for health workers to conduct the door-to-door campaign because of the presence of militants in Jamrud. Sadeeq said they were ready to sacrifice their jobs if they were forced to administer the vaccinations. Anti-polio campaigns in the tribal belt have been hit since the Taliban banned vaccinations in June 2012, saying the restriction would last till the US stops drone strikes.

Militants and gunmen frequently attack vaccination teams, accusing them of being Western spies and part of a plot to "sterilize" Muslims. Dozens have died in these attacks. A member of the local paramedics association said none of the "front-line workers" had been consulted when their office-bearers announced the end of an ear-

lier boycott. He said Khasadar and Levies personnel were being targeted and their presence during the campaign would make health workers more vulnerable to militant attacks. -PTI

BETHEL, Alaska: It's the type of thing that's never supposed to happen. Isabella ``Boo Boo'' January, 6, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her right kidney on Dec. 9. Her parents said it came as a complete surprise. Her parents, Skip and April, unsure of what the future would bring, sent out a call for help on social media. The community stepped up in a big way. Through a donation site ( JanuaryCancerFight) they have already raised over $13,000 of their $20,000 goal. Still, as with any parent going through a tragic period in life, their optimism was measured. ``We're doing all right,'' Skip said. ``It's quite a bit different because (Isabella) is going to have to be here for the next 26 to 28 weeks. I'm going to be traveling back and forth on weekends (from Bethel to Anchorage).'' Currently the family is taking everything one step at a time. Isabella had her right kidney removed and finished her radiation therapy, only having to do a few rounds. She was even given a ``Grin and Bear It''

award for getting through it without showing any signs of pain. (Her last round was the first time doctors said she expressed pain.) In fact, if there were a way to look at the glass as half full, it's that Isabella has been resilient in the face of terrible medical news. ``She's pretty good. ... She was completely herself (before discovering she had cancer) and still is even after all this,'' Skip said. However, he did say her hospitalization has taken its toll. Isabella is unable to take on all the extravagances of being a child: going out to the school's family nights, roller skating on Fridays, doing Awana at the Covenant Church, reading in the Battle of the Books, dancing, taking her dog Balto out mushing. ``She really misses being at school. She really misses her class, her teacher. She's a straight A student,'' Skip said. While Skip sheepishly admitted to ``Facebook spamming'' the gofundme site, he said they have been greatly relieved by the support this community has offered.-AP

Health Science Post

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Health care push for those Indian-origin doc cleared of sexual misconduct in California illegally SACRAMENTO, Calif.: A California lawmaker wants to use a state version of the Affordable Care Act to provide health care access to immigrants who are in the state illegally. Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said if the goal of the federal health care law is to provide coverage to the uninsured, then immigration status should be irrelevant. Lara, the head of the Legislature's Latino caucus, plans to introduce legislation that would allow people who are not legal residents to get coverage, the Los Angeles Times reported. ``Immigration status shouldn't bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy,'' he said. There's a big roadblock, however. Federal law bars those in the country illegally from obtaining coverage through Covered California, the state health insurance exchange. Lara said he's looking for other options, including expanding Medi-Cal, the state's health program for the poor, or creating a separate program within or outside of Covered California that might provide subsidies from the state but not the federal government. The senator is also consider-

ing modeling his plan on local programs like Healthy Way LA Unmatched, which pays for care for Los Angeles residents who aren't covered by Medi-Cal, including those who don't qualify because of immigration status. The Times said California has

than five years. The state pays all of their Medi-Cal costs instead of splitting the cost with the federal government as it does for most Medi-Cal patients. ``The same logic could apply to other populations'' such as noncitizens, said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, an advocacy group working with Lara to fashion a bill. ``There is precedent for California to be a leader. There is precedent for California to piggyback on federal programs but take an extra step to expand to additional folks.'' Lara's plan was criticized by some Republican lawmakers, including Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens at the Peaks, who's runCapitol in Sacramento, Calif. Immigrants who are in ning for governor. California illegally should have access to health insurance through a state version of the Afford``California canable Care Act, Lara, the head of the Legislature's not afford to create Latino caucus said another incentive for decades covered legal immi- to attract people to come to our grants not eligible for the federal state illegally in pursuit of taxMedicaid program, such as those payer-subsidized benefits,'' who have been in the country less Donnelly told the Times. -AP

Medical world acts muse for debut author NEW DELHI: Debut author Ritvik Kukreja has delved into the world of medicine and doctors to weave together a new fiction that peeks into contemporary issues affecting the community of doctors and hospitals. Son of a leading pediatrician

thought I had enough material for my first book," says Kukreja whose book "Beyond Hit and Miss," is now in bookstores. Brought out by CBS Publishers and Distributors, it is the story of four students who embark on their medical journey with great

"Since I come from a doctor family, I have had a clearer and closer insight into these issues and therefore I have always had an urge to educate people on these pertinent subjects"says Kukereja. based in Delhi, 24-year-old Kukreja says he grew up listening to the most entertaining medical anecdotes and the most bizarre medical cases. "I grew up listening to my father and his doctor friends and have imbibed a lot about this profession since childhood. So I

fervor and zeal but are forced to confront different challenges in their personal and medical lives. The author who has degree in English Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication says he was "strongly affected by the shocking healthcare scenario in the country."The

abysmal state of healthcare affairs regularly make it to the newspapers and they have always rendered me helpless. Since I come from a doctor family, I have had a clearer and closer insight into these issues and therefore I have always had an urge to educate people on these pertinent subjects," says Kukereja. An occasional blogger who always had "strong opinions and different perspective on news and happenings" Kukereja says he took almost one year to write the book which has a fast-paced storyline. Some of the topics he has touched upon in the fiction are the country's archaic medical curriculum, the value of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and how it can save lives as well as the difference between ideal practice and malpractice by doctors. -PTI

LONDON: An Indian-origin doctor accused of groping a patient during a chest examination has been cleared of sexual misconduct by a UK tribunal. Dr Abhijit Banerjee, who qualified as a general physician in Kolkata in 1996, had denied the allegations. A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing in Manchester ruled that the evidence given by the 42-year-old woman, known only as Patient A, was unreliable. "The panel find that there are too many question marks surrounding patient A's overall credibility for it to put reliance on her evidence which is uncorroborated," it said. According to 'Court News UK', the patient had claimed that the senior partner GP at the

Abbeyview Surgery in Cambridgshire, had groped her during a medical examination. The UK's General Medical Council (GMC) accused the married father-of-two of "sexually motivated conduct". The 42-year-old doctor had admitted to not providing a screen to protect the patient's privacy during the consultation on March 13, 2012, but the panel found this did not amount to misconduct. Having undergone over 60 similar appointments because of her particular medical history of chest problems, she told the Manchester hearing it "just felt wrong" at the hands of Banerjee on the day. The GP had said the examination was justified and that it was conducted as per his usual practice. -PTI

Utah working through stalled Medicaid applications SALT LAKE CITY: After months of delays, Utah officials are finally beginning to grind through about 24,000 Medicaid applications that have been hung up by the federal government's online insurance marketplace. Among other glitches, the website has had problems interfacing with Utah's system, delaying the applications of those who could be eligible for coverage under a state-federal program for low-income people.

the pipeline and unable to get coverage by Jan. 1. Officials have finally developed a workaround, but it's a temporary, time-consuming process. Staff at Utah's Department of Workforce Services, which administers Medicaid, can now view data the applications but still have to manually enter them into their systems. ``We're now playing catch-up,'' DWS spokesman Nic Dunn told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The online marketplace, a hallmark of President Barack Obama's health care law, has been hamstrung by technical problems since its October launch. If someone shopping for coverage on the federal website appeared to be eligible for Medicaid, their application was supposed to be seamlessly transferred to Utah offices. But the process has been gummed up for months, leaving thousands of applicants stuck in

Because the federal health care law requires almost all citizens to have health coverage this year, Dunn said that Utah residents who think they may qualify for Medicaid should apply directly with DWS. Kevin Burt, the associate director of eligibility at DWS, said his staff is working through about 12,500 Medicaid applications that came in during October and November. -AP

January 17, 2014

Health Science Post

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Wis. officials trying to prevent More women in India smoke overdose deaths now than 30 years ago It's injected to counter the breathing difficulties, low blood pressure and other effects from an overdose of heroin or prescription opiate pain relievers. Under current state policy, only advanced life support EMTs can administer naloxone with overdose patients. State agencies have been sounding the alarm about a surge in the use of heroin and abuse of other opiates in recent years, with the rate of overdose-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits nearly quadrupling since 2002 and hitting a total 1,193 in 2011. Pre-hospital naloxone deployments by authorized EMS agencies in Wisconsin rose 28 percent from 2,915 in 2010 to 3,730 in 2012, according to a 2013 report from the Wisconsin State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. Despite those efforts, the report indicated opiate-related deaths in the state are on the rise and totaled about 460 in 2011. Jody Stoker, EMS division chief Fire Department EMT and Paramedic Matt Gunderson for the Black River Falls Fire Departholds a dose of naloxone. The emergency medical technicians of 47 agencies statewide will be allowed ment, a participant in the pilot proto administer the narcotic antidote naloxone, widely gram, said their EMTs have been deknown by the brand name Narcan. pendent on delivering overdose vicimportant part of efforts to reduce deaths tims to the hospital in time to receive the related to narcotic overdose,'' Karen injections. The service typically responds McKeown, the state health officer, said in to about a half-dozen opiate overdoses ana news release. nually, he said.-AP EAU CLAIRE, Wis.: The state Department of Health Services is trying a oneyear pilot program involving a narcotic antidote in an effort to prevent overdose deaths. The emergency medical technicians of 47 agencies statewide will be allowed to administer the narcotic antidote naloxone, widely known by the brand name Narcan, according to the Leader-Telegram. ``Early intervention is critical when someone has overdosed, so making naloxone available to these front-line providers is an

Cont'd from Page 32

The glamorization of smokers in Bollywood films and advertisements till very recently could be one factor which has contributed to the rise of smoking among women, she says. "The government has now curtailed such visuals on TV and in films. Another factor to be considered here is that India is very different from other countries. It has a peculiar problem of smokeless tobacco and we have to look at that pattern too," says Monika. The IHME study, however, does not factor in smokeless tobacco, including chewing products such as gutkha, zarda, paan masala and khaini, which is the most common form of tobacco use in India. "Women smoke due to a variety of factors. Apart from stress and peer pressure, the need for adventure and easy availability lead women to take up smoking," Dr Rajiv Mehta, Consultant Psychiatrist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told PTI. According to research smoking has been found to have numerous health risks especially for women including increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease among them. The WHO links smoking with 25 women's cancers - lung, cervix, breast and

colon and second hand smoke raises the risk of breast cancer. In 2003, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was adopted by the World Health Assembly and has been ratified by 177 countries. "Despite the tremendous progress made

The WHO links smoking with 25 women's cancers lung, cervix, breast and colon and second hand smoke raises the risk of breast cancer. on tobacco control, much more remains to be done," said Dr Christopher Murray, director, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "We have the legal means to support tobacco control. Where we see progress being made we need to look for ways to accelerate that progress. Where we see stagnation, we need to find out what's going wrong," he said. Globally, the number of smokers went up from 721 million in 1980 to 967 million in 2012. -PTI

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January 17, 2014

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40 India Post



og Falls, the highest waterfall in India is the creation of the Sharavathi River in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. Cascading from a height of 253 meters (829 ft), the waterfall is also known as Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi. The history of the falls goes back to the year 1800, when the site was first discovered. Jog Falls mainly comprises four different streams of the River Sharavati, plunging down a steep incline in the district of Shimoga. The significance of Jog Falls is that in this waterfall, the water does not stream down the rocks in a tiered fashion. On the contrary, the water thunders down the slope losing contact with the rocks, thus making Jog Falls the tallest untiered waterfall in the country. This is the reason why Jog Falls is a famous tourist destination. The area around the fall is excellent for trekking.

January 17, 2014

There are four different streams or tracks into which the River Sharavati is split, comprising the entire structure of Jog Falls, and these streams are: Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer. The best season to visit this waterfall is the monsoons when this gigantic body displays its maximum charm. Though one will find dense vapour engulfing the waterfall, but when the mighty water falls, the vapour is evaporated in an ethereal manner. The best look of the waterfall can be had by lying down and looking over the giant from the slabs of rock near the Bombay bungalow. Watkin's platform is another spot from where the view is splendid. Cont’d on page 42

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Travel & Hospitality Post

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Niagara Falls sparkles after windy deep freeze NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.: Niagara Falls hasn't frozen over, but it has become an icy spectacle, thanks to a blast of arctic wind and cold that blew around and froze the mist on surfaces and landscaping. Despite the urban legends, Niagara Falls doesn't freeze solid in the winter, tourism officials say. Nevertheless, ``it's stunning,'' Virginia Kuebler of East Aurora told The Buffalo News while taking in the site. A section of the American Falls, one of three waterfalls that make up the natural attraction, has frozen, the newspaper reported. The Niagara River rapids and larger Horseshoe Falls continue to flow unimpeded.

And it's all surrounded by a white blanket of snow and ice, which coats viewing railings and lampposts, trees, shrubs and boulders. It is a scene that has been absent during the last several winters, which have been relatively mild. The cold even brought the return of the ``ice bridge,'' an occasional formation of ice that stretches across the Niagara River below the falls, linking the United States and Canada. Until 1912, tourists were allowed to walk on the bridge to look at the falls from below. That ended when the bridge broke apart and three tourists died. -AP

Kerala to become world travel bloggers' capital THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Tourism has launched an online campaign to bring the world's best bloggers to the state for an on-the-road experience. The 'Kerala Blog Express' will be a two-week-long road journey from the south to the north of the state on a branded luxury bus for which 25 bloggers from around the world will be selected for the road journey in an online voting on a

pants on social media like Twitter and Facebook are also eligible to vote. Bloggers with the highest votes will earn seats on Kerala Blog Express, following a final review by a judging panel of the tourism department. "This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country to attract the blogger community for a first-hand experience of our land, its geography and culture," said Kerala Tour-

website created by Kerala Tourism. The website, launched recently, has already received over 100,000 visits, with some top travel bloggers from India and abroad entering the race for the final selection. The bus journey will begin on March 1, a Kerala Tourism release said. Travel writers, photographers and bloggers who already have their own blogs are eligible to enter the selection. The registration for 'Kerala Blog Express' journey ended on January 10. Profiles of participants are available on Kerala Blog Express website for voting by the general public. The followers of the partici-

ism Minister A P Anilkumar. Entries had been received from as many as 80 countries, including US, UK, Poland, Spain, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. Some of world's best-known travel bloggers like Venezuelaborn Marcello Arrambide, whose Wandering Trader is one of the most popular travels blogs on the internet and Romanian Cezar Dumitru whose extensive travel experiences have been recorded on his Imperator Travel website are taking part. Many writers participating in the race for the 25 seats on the Kerala Blog Express have featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and Lonely Planet. -PTI



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Travel & Hospitality Post

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Jog Falls, Karnataka The highest waterfall in India

Cont’d from page 40

The Jog fall is an important source of water for the Mahatma Gandhi hydro Electric project that was started way back in1948. At

present the water of this fall provides 120 MW capacity of electricity and serves LDPH, SGS and

J&K hopes for a better tourist season JAMMU: Asking people to contribute towards the promotion of tourism industry of the state for improving economic conditions, Tourism Minister G A Mir hoped that year 2014 will have a better tourist season. "The year 2014 will bring with it better tourist season in all parts of the state," Mir said while releasing the 2014 Calendar of Bhaderwah Development Author-

economic conditions of the state by promoting tourism. "The main objective of projecting the tourism potential is to increase the employment avenues for unemployed youth in this lucrative industry," he added. Mir said that government has taken various initiatives for showcasing the unexplored tourist destinations which signify the rich heritage and diverse culture of the

ity here. The minister revealed that Bhaderwah, like other potential tourists spots of the state, has gained much recognition among the tourists of the country and abroad. Development of scenic spots and their projection through appropriate forums has encouraged tourists to visit the area, he said. He asked people to boost the

state. "The adventure, pilgrim and sports tourism are also the focus area of the government as these sectors have tremendous scope in Jammu & Kashmir state," he added. The officials in the state have been asked to exploit the grandeur of tourism spots effectively so that they can be used as tools to promote the industry. -PTI

Gerusoppa Tail race generating stations. Located at a mere distance of 200 kms from Bangalore, the fall is easily accessible by road. While Shimoga (105 kms) is the nearest

railhead, the nearest town are Sagar (30 kms) and Taluguppa (16 kms). One can avail buses from

Bangalore. When coming by a private vehicle one can take the NH 206 to reach Shimoga and Sagar. How to reach: By Train: Shimoga (101 km) has the nearest railway station which is directly connected to cities like Bangalore and Mysore. The onward journey to the falls needs to undertaken by bus or private taxis. By Air: The nearest airport to reach Jog Fall is at Mangalore (243 km) and Bangalore (387 km). These two cities are well connected with cities across the country as well as many cities from Middle East and other parts of the world. From here tourists can either hire a bus or taxi to reach the falls.

Elizabethtown unveils new brand A ccording to The News-Enterprise the Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau has unveiled the new design. It's a large, cursive green ``E'' and the word ``Elizabethtown,'' followed by the tagline ``The City of Big Surprises.'' The tagline is a modification of ``Small city. Big surprises,'' which was included in the logo preferred by online voters over another entry with the tagline ``The Best of E-thing.'' The tourism bureau partnered with city government, the Elizabethtown Industrial Foundation and the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Heritage Council to develop the new brand in hopes of

creating a unifying identifier tying all of the agencies together. ``We believe this brand will also have longevity for our community's use,'' Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau Executive Director Sherry Murphy said in a news release. Elizabethtown City Councilman Marty Fulkerson said he anticipates the city using the brand in a similar fashion that Kentucky uses its ``Unbridled Spirit'' brand. The state seal still is featured prominently on written materials alongside the ``Unbridled Spirit'' logo. Fulkerson says the city's distinctive tree logo will remain but likely will be accompanied by the new brand in some venues. -AP

January 17, 2014

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post


5 free things to do in Taos, NM

TAOS, N.M.: To winter sports enthusiasts, Taos is best known for its challenging ski slopes. But this northern New Mexico town has plenty more to offer visitors year-round, on and off the slopes. A hipper little sister of sorts to

of history, art galleries and Hispanic and Native American culture. Whereas Santa Fe is known for its wealth, Taos is lower-key and tends to attracts a younger, more starving-artist-type crowd. It's a town where new-age nomadic

Santa Fe, Taos is known for its diverse outdoor offerings as well as its funky town square packed full

hippies, (referred to locally as ``sage monkeys'') peacefully coexist with artists, natives, daredevil

skiers and even wealthy Texan tourists. Here are five free things to do and see on your next trip to Taos. RIO GRANDE GORGE BRIDGE This steel deck arch bridge spans one of New Mexico's most scenic vistas. Located about 10 miles (17 kilometers) northwest of Taos along U.S. 64, the famous bridge sits high above New Mexico's mini-Grand Canyon, though just how high varies depending on whom you ask, with the state Department of Transportation saying 600 feet (183 meters). The adjacent park offers plenty of parking for those who want to walk across the bridge, visit vendors or enjoy walking trails that offer stunning views of the gorge and the river far below. Also nearby are the Stagecoach Hot Springs, aka ``hippie holes.'' About a 15-minute hike down a path at the end of Tune Road, the pools are located along the edge of the river in the ruins of an old stagecoach stop. With water temperatures of about 97 degrees F (36 C), they are a year-round favorite. Clothing is optional. SAN FRANCISCO de ASIS Just 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) south of Taos, in the village of Ranchos de Taos sits in what is arguably one of the most painted and photographed churches in the world. Built between 1772 and 1816, the traditional adobe, mud and straw Spanish mission structure is synonymous with New Mexico, made famous by painter Georgia O'Keeffe and photographers Ansel Adams and Paul Strand. O'Keeffe described it as

Things to do off Oregon's Willamette Pass Highway OAKRIDGE, Ore.: No snow? No problem, if you're looking for fun on the Willamette Pass Highway (state route 58). With a serious shortage of snow facing us on a quick getaway to the central Cascades southeast of Eugene, we slowed down and visited some things we'd missed before while driving the scenic highway. If there had been snow in the mountains, we likely would have hurried on by and missed these things again: Salt Creek Falls, at 286 feet, is the second-highest waterfall in Oregon (next to Multnomah Falls). It's just off the south side of the Oregon 58, east of the tunnel near milepost 57. During winter, drive

past the turn to the summer viewpoint (locked by a gate) and park in the winter sno-park. Walk back

toward the highway, then head west downstream past the gate, following the ski sign pointer to

Diamond Creek Falls. It's about a half-mile over snow to the Salt Creek Falls viewpoint. We walked, though with decent show, you could snowshoe or crosscountry ski. McCredie Hot Springs is a riverside pool east of Oakridge, near mile marker 45 and Blue Pool Campground (closed in winter). Like Salt Creek Falls, it has a big Willamette National Forest roadside sign and is impossible to miss. Park near the restroom and walk 100 yards to the hot pools along Salt Creek.-AP

``one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards.'' The church is a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage church. ARROYO SECO Called simply Seco by locals,

are about 70 homes in the 633-acre (256-hectare) subdivision, all made from all recycled materials. There are no water lines, power lines or sewer lines and lot owners are not allowed to drill wells. All water comes from the rain and snow that

this village is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) east of Taos on the road to the ski valley. On warm days, you might find local potters working on their wheels along the main street. Just off State Road 150, north of the Abominable Snowmansion hostel, you'll find a traditional, colorful northern New Mexican neighborhood cemetery (photography is frowned upon). Each Fourth of July, you can join thousands of locals from surrounding areas to watch one of New Mexico's homegrown Independence Day parades, complete with Western themes, horseback riders, even a popular grill-themed float that tosses out hundreds of pre-cooked and dressed, foil wrapped hot dogs to the eager crowd. After the parade, the street party continues with live music and general revelry along 150. EARTHSHIP COMMUNITY Just a little more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) up the road from the gorge is Tres Piedras, home to a colony of self-sustaining homes that look like spaceships embedded in the scenic landscape. There

land on the roof. And sewage systems are self-contained. The community is also the headquarters of one of the early leaders in the sustainable building movement, Earthship Biotecture. There is a center where visitors can learn more about the movement, as well as nightly rentals for those who want to experience truly sustainable living. MABEL DODGE LUHAN HOUSE Walk through the home of the unofficial founder of Taos' artistic and intellectual community. A salon hostess married to a Taos Pueblo Indian, Mabel Dodge Luhan moved to Taos in 1919 and is credited with luring writers and artists to the Land of Enchantment by sending invitations to people she barely knew. O'Keeffe and Adams were among those who accepted and came to hang out at the now historic inn, along with novelist Willa Cather, painter John Marin and writer D.H. Lawrence. From the outside, look up at the bathroom windows, colorfully painted over by Lawrence. -AP

In Brief Germany looks into fears over EU migration 'abuse' BERLIN: The German government is creating a high-level panel to look into claims that migrants from elsewhere in the European Union are abusing the country's welfare system. Last year more than a dozen German cities asked the federal government for help in dealing with a large influx of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. This month restrictions eased on the movement of people from those two countries to the rest of the 28-nation EU. The conservative Christian Social Union, one of three governing parties, has called for nationals from other EU countries to be ineligible for welfare benefits for their first three months in Germany and for welfare cheats to be expelled. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the panel would examine possible legislation to combat any welfare abuse. -AP

„ Malaysia plans high-tech card for foreign workers KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysia's government has said it will issue high-tech, securityenhanced identity cards to more than 2 million foreign workers to make it easier to find people who entered the country illegally. Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the cards will be embedded with chips containing the worker's employment details and biometric thumbprint, and will be colorcoded according to sector of work for easy identification. He said the ``i-Kad'' also will have barcodes that allow enforcement officers to scan the cards using a smartphone to assess the workers' details. ``These security elements are important to prevent fraud and forgery of the card. It will strengthen our enforcement. We hope that by the end of this year, all foreign workers will have this card,'' he said at a ceremony announcing its introduction. Immigration Director-General Alias Ahmad said there are 2.25 million documented foreign workers in the country, and more may be registered under an extended amnesty that ends Jan. 20. Zahid said authorities are planning to launch a nationwide crackdown on foreigners who entered illegally when the amnesty ends. No further details were available.-AP


Case of overstaying after expiry of i-94

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January 17, 2014

Details on page 46

Immigration foes dig in amid expectations in House WASHINGTON: Conservatives and the nation's biggest business lobby has sparred over immigration overhaul, with advocates vowing a renewed effort to get the House to act this year and opponents digging in against anything that shifts the political spotlight from President Barack Obama's troubled health care law. The latest skirmish came as proponents raised expectations of congressional action on the contentious issue, seizing on any glimmer of positive developments. House Speaker John Boehner, ROhio, told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door session that he would soon outline party principles on the issue, which could serve as a precursor to legislation. One of the GOP's crucial backers on many policies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promised to ``pull out all the stops'' to get legislation done. ``We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted,'' Tom Donohue, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said in his State

of American Business address. He said the organization would engage in grassroots lobbying, communications and partnership with unions, similar to what it did to secure a bipartisan bill in the Senate last year.

the House, with several Republicans unwilling to give Obama one of his top second-term priorities. More than a dozen conservative House Republicans signed a letter to Obama arguing that the immigration overhaul he supports

Rep.Steve King, lowa, walks from House Speaker John Boehner's office with reporters in pursuit on Capitol Hill in Washington

Later, in a news conference, Donohue said the chamber had received a ``very positive response'' in the House on immigration. Opposition remains steadfast in

would increase the number of guest workers and give work permits and permanent residency to 30 million immigrants over the next 10 years, forcing a reduction in wages and hurting Ameri-

can workers. ``So-called comprehensive immigration reform may be a good deal for big businesses who want to reduce labor costs, and it may be a good deal for progressive labor unions seeking new workers from abroad, but it's an awful deal for U.S. workers - including African-American and Hispanic communities enduring chronically high unemployment,'' the letter states. It was spearheaded by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a chief foe of comprehensive immigration overhaul, said the issue would divide the GOP caucus and shift the focus from what he called the ``calamity'' of the health care law. Republicans sense an electionyear lift in the problem-plagued rollout of the health care law, highlighting reports of canceled policies, higher premiums and other troubles. Republicans are looking to tighten their grip on the House and seize control of the Senate in November's midterm elections. Cont'd on Page 45

Business lobby seeks major push on immigration WASHINGTON: The president of the US Chamber of Commerce says the nation's biggest business lobby intends to ``pull out all the stops'' to pass an overhaul of immigration laws. That would place the chamber on the side of President Barack Obama on one of the White House's top legislative priorities of the year. ``We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted,'' Chamber President Tom Donohue said during his annual ``State of American Business'' address. Donohue cast his organization as both an ally and an adversary of the administration. He indicated support for Obama's stance on immigration and also the president's push for global trade agreements. He distanced himself from some Republicans by saying he

doesn't envision a repeal of Obama's health care law. But he said the chamber would seek to eliminate health care taxes and delay or do away with a mandate

limit rules imposed by a threeyear-old financial regulations bill, passed as a response to the 2008 financial crisis. ``And when these efforts fall short and regulators insist on overstepping their bounds, we will head to the courts and sue them,'' Donohue said. On politics, Donohue said the chamber would expand its early US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue foray into prispeaks to reporters outside the White House in mary elections Washington. this year, sayon businesses to provide health ing it would support pro-business care to employees. candidates who are willing to He also said the chamber will work within the legislative system. continue its efforts to change or He said the chamber had no inter-

est in backing uncompromising candidates who voice a desire, in his words, to ``burn down the town.'' Donohue predicted the economy would continue to grow modestly, expanding by as much as 3 percent this year. But he said such growth could improve with less government intervention in business, particularly in the energy industry. Responding to Obama's emphasis recently on economic disparities in the country, Donohue said policy makers should focus on equal opportunities for all Americans rather than equal outcomes. He said the nation needs a revolution in education and training, arguing that if millions cannot properly read, write or count ``that can be a prescription for permanent inequality.'' -AP

Immigration Post

January 17, 2014

India Post 45

Indian teacher writes book on immigration fears LONDON: An Indian-origin teacher has written a book on the complex issue of mounting immigration fears in Britain. Sarinder Joshua Duroch said he was inspired to write 'Enoch, I am a British Indian' to express his views against the European Union's open borders policy.

"Although I cannot condone his words, the sentiment behind them is one I is surely common sense that a population influx needs to be controlled. I certainly do not support the EU's open borders policy," said Duroch, a member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) - a

Duroch's grandparents migrated to the UK from India in 1940 and he still has extended family roots in Punjab, a region he visits often. He describes his connections with India as "an inspirational part of my life". The title of the book, to be released next month, is a throwback to the infamous "rivers of blood" speech by Conservative MP Enoch Powell criticizing immigration from Commonwealth countries in the 1950s and 60s.

party which campaigns for stricter curbs on immigration into the country. Duroch said he would prefer to see a "uniculture" in the UK, as opposed to multiculturalism. "Instead of submitting to

multiculturalism, I have chosen instead to fully integrate into British society. Rather than multiculturalism, uniculture and an increase in patriotic attitudes from indigenous and immigrant British, would give everyone a greater sense of belonging," he feels. Duroch's grandparents migrated to the UK from India in 1940 and he still has extended family roots in Punjab, a region he visits often. He describes his connections with India as "an inspirational part of my life". His book comes at a time when there is growing debate and concerns over the impact of a new wave of migrants from relatively new EU countries such as Romania and Bulgaria after work restrictions were lifted this year. Duroch compares and contrasts immigration from the Commonwealth nations back in the 1950s and with the present-day EU immigration issues. -PTI

Christie hails immigrant tuition law as equalizer UNION CITY, N.J.: Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill granting instate tuition to immigrant students who lack legal status, hailing it as a way to equalize opportunities and as a pragmatic step toward getting a better taxpayer return on investment in education. The legislation extends in-state tuition rates to students who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children, have attended at least three years of high school in the state and earned a high school or equivalency diploma, among other criteria. Flanked for the ceremonial signing by state Hispanic leaders, a bipartisan show of support, and a gymnasium full of students at a school in the heavily Hispanic northern New Jersey town of Union City, Christie said the move made financial sense for the state.

``The taxpayers of this state are making an enormous investment in these young people,'' Christie said, citing the $17,700 average invested per year in every New

ing them nothing more than an opportunity?'' Christie signed the bill privately last month, the day after the Legislature agreed to drop a provision

Gov. Chris Christie is embroiled in the controversy over what appears to be political payback from his last gubernatorial campaign.

Jersey public school student, regardless of their legal status. ``The question is: Do we want to maximize that investment through giv-

that would have also made the students eligible for state financial aid if they qualified under income guidelines. Cont'd on Page 46

Immigration foes dig in amid expectations in House Cont'd from Page 44

``It would be a colossal mistake for us to take up anything that just ends up changing the subject and getting it off Obamacare and splitting the Republican Party,'' King said after the closed-door session. King said Obama and the Democrats ``want to debate immigration, they want to debate unemployment, they want to debate minimum wage,'' and Republicans should be wary of any diversion from health care. The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States

illegally. House leaders, pressed by tea party conservatives, demanded a more limited and piecemeal approach. The House Judiciary Committee has approved piecemeal bills, but they have languished since the summer despite intense pressure from a diverse coalition of religious groups, business led by the Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and immigration advocates. Although House Republican leaders say they want to resolve the issue, which has become a political drag for the GOP, many rankand-file Republicans have shown little inclination to deal with immigration. Many argue that a path to citizenship for those here illegally amounts to amnesty. -AP

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Immigration Post

46 India Post

January 17, 2014

Case of overstaying after expiry of i-94 CORA-ANN V. PESTAINA

Continued from last week


nder 8 CFR 214.1(a) (3) (i), any foreign national who applies for admission to the U.S. must present a valid passport and valid nonimmigrant visa unless either or both documents have been waived. The foreign national's passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the expiration date of the contemplated period of stay.

to correspond to the duration of the admission on the I-94. It appears that DHS does not want to grant a period of admission extending beyond the point that is six months prior to the actual expiration of the passport to line up with the regulatory requirement that the actual expiration date of the passport be six months past the expiration of the contemplated period of stay. Mark is realizing his problem now. What can Mark do?

While the regulation requires the presentation of a passport with such validity dates, there is nothing mandating the DHS to grant the I-94 till the expiration date of the passport. While the regulation requires the presentation of a passport with such validity dates, there is nothing mandating the DHS to grant the I-94 till the expiration date of the passport. Some countries have agreements with the U.S. whereby their passports are recognized as valid for return to the country concerned for a period of six months beyond the expiration date specified in the passport. The effect of these agreements is to extend the period of validity of the passport for six months beyond the expiration date appearing on the face of the document. The issue is discussed at 9 FAM 41.104 N2. The list of countries that extend passport validity for an additional six months after expiration is at 9 FAM 41.104 Exhibit I. Mark presented CBP with a

DHS appears to interpret "contemplated period of stay" in the regulation to correspond to the duration of the admission on the I-94. passport valid for at least six months but not valid for the full H-1B validity period indicated on the Form I-797A, Approval Notice. As a national of Bermuda, Mark's passport ought to have been considered valid until August 15, 2014, six months beyond the expiration date listed in his passport. CBP issued Mark an I-94 with the same expiration date as the expiration date listed in his passport because, although the regulations do not mandate this, DHS appears to interpret "contemplated period of stay" in the regulation

Had Mark taken immediate note of his I-94 expiration date upon his entry in August 2012, Mark could have first sought to obtain an extension of his passport as soon as possible. Then, Mark or his attorney could have contacted the local CBP Deferred Inspection Site in Chicago where Mark lives or at Mark's actual port of entry at Newark Airport to request that the I-94 expiration date be corrected to correspond with the end date of the I94 issued by USCIS on Form I-797. This may or may not have been successful as it appears to depend on the particular CBP Deferred Inspection Site. For instance, some CBP sites take the position that they can only correct this I-94 within 30 days of admission. Other CBP sites will not correct this I-94. And other CBP sites take the position that this I-94 does not even need to be corrected as I-94 on the Form I-797 governs. If CBP refused to correct the I94, Mark could have taken a quick trip outside the U.S. prior to February 15, 2013. If he re-entered the U.S. on a valid H-1B visa and he presented his Form I-797, H-1B Approval Notice valid until March 10, 2014 and his newly extended passport, CBP would have issued him an I-94 valid until March 10, 2014. If Mark was unable to travel, his employer could also have filed an H-1B petition for extension with the USCIS taking the position that Mark's H-1B status was set to expire on February 15, 2013. But none of these things happened. Mark has now remained in the U.S. for more than 180 days beyond the expiration of his I-94. As Mark's attorney correctly advised him, it is too risky to travel now. If he travels, Mark will have to apply for a new H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad and there is the possibility that the Depart-

ment of State could deny Mark's visa application and find him inadmissible into the U.S. for 10 years. The only course of action now is for Mark's employer to file an H1B petition for extension of Mark's H-1B status in the U.S. Mark's employer can argue that Mark was properly maintaining H-1B status in the U.S. despite the expiration of the I-94 issued to him when he last entered the U.S. because the I-94 issued to him on the Form I797, H-1B Approval Notice remains valid. On the strength of that same I94, it can be argued that Mark's employer could continue to employ him. As mentioned above, some CBP offices take the position that the I-94 issued with the Form I-797, Approval Notice governs, that despite the issuance of an I-94 with an expiration date of February 15, 2013, Mark could remain in the U.S. beyond February 15, 2013 and until the 2014 expiration date of his H-1B status as granted by USCIS and as indicated on the I-94 issued by USCIS. There has been no official guidance to indicate that CBP has officially taken this position. H-1B extensions filed with USCIS on this basis, however, have been suc-

cessful. When filing the H-1B petition, Mark's employer can also request that although the petition is being timely filed because Mark's H-1B status will not expire until March 2014, should the USCIS take the position that Mark is not maintaining valid H-1B status, that USCIS forgive the unintentional delay in filing of the petition under 8 C.F.R. 214.1(c)(4). This regulation allows for an extension of stay for a beneficiary

alien is not the subject of . . . removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act. An H-1B extension filed on Mark's behalf prior to March 10, 2014 will hopefully be approved presenting these arguments. However, there really is no substitute for the peace of mind that comes with ensuring that one never remains in the U.S. beyond the expiration date on the I-94. Foreign nationals need to remain vigilant when entering the U.S. making

Foreign nationals need to remain vigilant when entering the U.S. making sure that they check their I-94 card (if issued one) or printout their I-94 from the CBP website. who has been unable to maintain his or her previously accorded status where it is demonstrated at the time of filing that (i) The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner, and the Service finds the delay commensurate with the circumstances; (ii) The alien has not otherwise violated his or her nonimmigrant status; (iii) The alien remains a bona fide nonimmigrant; and (iv) The

sure that they check their I-94 card (if issued one) or printout their I94 from the CBP website. As attorneys, our best practice is encouraging our clients to always update us on their travel dates and with copies of their I-94 upon re-entry into the U.S. Concluded (The article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice.)

Christie hails immigrant tuition law as equalizer Cont'd from Page 45

Until now, foreign-born students have had to pay out-of-state rates at schools that accept students who are not in the U.S. legally. In-state tuition is significantly cheaper. At Rutgers, the state's flagship public university, the in-state tuition is $10,700 an-

fected by the legislation argue they've grown up and were educated in the U.S but face dead-end prospects after graduating high school, regardless of their academic performance. Many argue that getting a college education and entering the workforce would make them less of a burden on taxpayers.

The debate over the issue had become a political complication for Christie, considered a possible candidate for president in 2016. Conservative voters, whose support he would need in early primaries, strongly oppose such bills. nually - $14,000 less than the outof-state cost. Full-time students also pay nearly $3,000 in fees, and room and board are extra. Opponents of allowing immigrants without legal status to enroll in U.S. colleges argue that it takes seats away from legal residents, usurps scarce resources and encourages more illegal immigration. Students who would be af-

New Jersey is one of at least a dozen states that have passed such a law. Similar legislation, often known as the Dream Act, has stalled at the federal level. Advocates who pushed for the legislation in New Jersey for more than a decade said the bill's passage, after being stripped of the financial aid provision, left them with mixed feelings. ``We're here to celebrate it as a

first step,'' said Catalina Adorno, whose parents brought her and her brother from Mexico as children when they emigrated illegally. ``On the one hand, I'm excited to have in-state tuition for `dreamers' after so many years, but the reality is, in Union City, where I grew up, many students can't afford to go without financial aid.'' About 550,000 people in New Jersey, or 6 percent of the state's population, are in the U.S. illegally, a 2011 Pew Hispanic Center report found. Advocates say such legislation hasn't led to a significant surge in enrollment because many eligible students are unable to afford college, even at in-state rates. The debate over the issue had become a political complication for Christie, considered a possible candidate for president in 2016. Conservative voters, whose support he would need in early primaries, strongly oppose such bills. But the law has wide support among Hispanics and blacks, groups Christie has also been courting ahead of a possible presidential bid. -AP

Immigration Post

January 17, 2014

India Post 47

EU official accuses UK of immigration distortions LONDON: The British government is threatening the country's future by stirring up unfounded fears about immigration, a senior European Union official has said comments that drew an angry response from Britain's governing Conservatives.

told to the people in Great Britain are myths, have nothing to do with reality,'' she said in an online question-and-answer session. Reding said statistics showed EU immigrants were an economic boon to Britain, and accused Britain's political leaders of using

European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding addressing the media at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Reding said recently that the British government is using a "supposed invasion of foreigners" to distract attention from the country's real problems.

EU Commission Vice President Viviane Reding accused the British government of using a ``supposed invasion of foreigners'' to distract attention from the country's real problems. ``Most of the things which are

``populistic speech to gain votes.'' ``You are destroying the future of your people, actually,'' she said. Britain's Conservative-led government - threatened electorally by the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party - has used increasingly

Interpreters sought for Michigan courts LANSING, Mich.: The Michigan Supreme Court seeks foreign language speakers from Arabic to Vietnamese to interpret for those who come before state courts. The state's highest court says it recently adopted a rule requir-

one can ``understand and be understood during court proceedings.'' Candidates must pass a written English exam and score at least 80 percent to be eligible for an oral proficiency exam. Other languages

Candidates must pass a written English exam and score at least 80 percent to be eligible for an oral proficiency exam. Other languages include Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Polish, Russian and Somali ing all courts to provide interpreters. Candidates must be versed in common slang and technical language. Justice Bridget McCormack says qualified interpreters are needed across the state so every-

include Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Polish, Russian and Somali. The high court says about 320,000 of Michigan's 10 million residents are not fully fluent in English. -AP

tough rhetoric about migrants, especially those from the EU's poorer eastern European members. Labor-market restrictions across the EU for people from Romania and Bulgaria ended Jan. 1 fueling fears, especially in Britain's populist press, of a tide of unemployed migrants. British Prime Minister David Cameron's government has taken an increasingly tough tone on immigration, proposing to limit new arrivals' access to welfare benefits and charge migrants for some health services. The rhetoric has annoyed some of Britain's EU partners. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk chastised Cameron for using ``unacceptable words'' in making comments about Poles who work in Britain and claim U.K. child benefits for their families back home. Conservative lawmaker Mark Reckless accused Reding, Tusk and others of using heated rhetoric over Britain's immigration measures. ``I think the measures taken by the government have been quite moderate and actually I think it's these European politicians ... who seem to have been stoking this thing up,'' Reckless told BBC radio. -AP

Senegal national convicted in immigration case PROVIDENCE, R.I.: A 39-yearold Woonsocket man who is a native of Senegal has been convicted of making false representations to immigration officials. The Rhode Island U.S. attorney's office said a federal jury convicted Serigne Diokhane. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he's sentenced April 3. Prosecutors say Diokhane applied at a U.S. Customs and Immigration Service office in Johnston for permanent resident status in 2012 and signed a sworn statement denying he had ever used another name. Authorities say a background investigation and check of customs files showed his fingerprints matched those of a person identified as a man from Mauritania with a different name who had applied for asylum in New Jersey in 1998. Diokhane was indicted last June. -AP

UK visas could be auctioned to foreign millionaires LONDON: UK visas may be auctioned off to overseas millionaires or "sold" in exchange for donations to hospitals and universities under new government proposals, a media report said. The proposals, which will be published next month, will form part of a report from the Government's Migration Advisory Committee, a report in The Times said. Professor Sir David Metcalf, chairman of the committee, said that it was time for Britain to think a little bit more creatively about the operation of the investor visa route into the country. "It may very well be that we should be auctioning some of

tage and has become a "cheap" way for many wealthy Russians and Chinese to remain indefinitely. Investments of 1 million pounds, 5 million pounds or 10 million pounds can be made in gilts, or government bonds, or in British businesses in return for permission to apply for permanent residence in five, three or two years respectively. Applicants can then seek UK citizenship. The gilts can later be sold, meaning that the arrangement is effectively a loan, MPs have been told. Yet critics say that the proposed new system would be absurd for offering visas for sale without any long-term investment, the

these slots," he was quoted as saying by the daily. "There should be proper discussion about it. Equally it may very well be that we should be letting people in if they endow a Cambridge college, a major teaching hospital or the London School of Economics with 10 million pounds," he said. Wealthy foreigners would make offers for a proportion of so-called investor visas, which allow them and their families to live in Britain indefinitely, the report said. A second option to be outlined in the report is to offer the visas to

report said. Members of the committee have spent months looking at the route under which 530 investor visas were issued, together with 1,038 visas for their dependants, in the year to the second quarter of 2013. Since 2008 rich Russians, Chinese and Americans have topped the applications list. The committee's options are likely to be controversial as they will be seen as auctioning indefinite leave to remain, which frequently leads to migrants being granted citizenship.

Wealthy foreigners would make offers for a proportion of so-called investor visas, which allow them and their families to live in Britain indefinitely, the report said. A second option to be outlined in the report is to offer the visas to millionaires who are willing to endow good causes millionaires who are willing to endow good causes, such as universities, colleges and hospitals, it said. The ideas are to be put forward amid concern that the existing investor visa route is not working to the country's economic advan-

Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs committee, said that it was time for a full examination of how the investor visa route was being used as a way of getting a British passport without the country really benefiting. -PTI


48 India Post


NEW YORK Upcoming

Upcoming Fri, Feb 11

• Dj Maha - Valentines Day Party 2014 Venue: Plainsboro Plaza, 10 Schalks Crossing Rd, Plainsboro Township, NJ 08536 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 781-375-8068

Fri, Feb 14

• Guru Palace - Valentines Day

Sat, Jan 25 • Saregamapa Live In Concert Venue: Resorts World Casino, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, New York, NY 11420 Time: 08:00 pm





Sun, Jan 25 • 8th Annual India Republic

Sat, Jan 18 • Ohlone College Community Education: Chinese Folk Songs

day Celebration Radio Zindagi and Young Leaders Academy Presents

Venue: Ohlone College Building 2, 1st

Sat, Feb 08 • Gujarati Comedy Play 2

Floor, Room 2133 43600 Mission Blvd.


Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94538 Time: 9 am to 3:30 pm

Time: 7:00 pm

Sun, Jan 25 • Tamil Manram Celebration

Thu, Feb 20 • Seminar on Health Care Fraud

Venue: Hindu Temple Auditorium -NY, 143 - 09 Holly Avenue, New York, NY 11355 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 347-989-6104

Sat, Feb 22

Sat, Mar 29 • Zakir Hussain and The Mas-

Venue: Marathi Vishwa Community Center, 143 State Route 35, Old Bridge Township, NJ 08879 Time: 11:00 am Contact: 862-222-0105

Venue: Performance Pavilion, Lake Elizabeth Park, 40204 Paseo Padre

Venue: Guru Palace, 2215 US Highway 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08902 Time: 6:00pm Contact: 732-398-9022

• Indian Classical Music Competition

January 17, 2014

ters of Percussion Venue: The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets, New York, NY 10001 Time : 8:00 pm Contact : 866-858-0008

Pongal Vizha 2014 Venue: Gale Ranch Middle School, 6400 Main Branch Rd, San Ramon, CA 94582 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: 510-364-8675

Sun, Jan 26 • Announcing Reiki-2 Venue: 4800 Patrick Henry Dr., Santa Clara, CA 95054, 4800 Patrick Henry Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Time: 9:00 am Contact: 408-409-4325

Sat, Feb 15 • Uttarayan 2014 Venue: Royal Delhi Palace, 22323 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303 Time: 11:00 am Contact: 408-586-0006

Sun, Fed 23 • The Wedding Show for The Modern Bride Venue: Sofitel Hotel, 8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 Time: 04:00 pm Contact: 562-366-3640

Fremont, CA 94539 Contact: 510-742-2303

Venue: Courtyard San Francisco Airport 1050 Bayhill Drive - San Bruno, California Time: 9:00 am

ATLANTA Upcoming Sun, jan 19 • Traditions - Transitions Venue: Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Dr,

ILLINOIS Upcoming • J K Yog Satsang and Bal Mukund Hindi Classes are held every 2nd and 4rth Sunday of Month Chicago Satsang Information: J K Yog, Chicago - Swami Mukundananda Venue: Clarion Inn/Waterford Banquets, Board Room, 933 South Riverside Drive, Elmhurst, IL 60126 Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807 Website:

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 Website:

Decatur, GA 30034

Vivekananda Vedanta Society

Time: 3:00pm

• Sat Jan 11, Shivanam Time: 6:30pm

Sat, Jan 25 • Maa Tujhe Salaam 2014 Venue: Shree Shakti Mandir’s Sumant Center, 1450 Huie Rd, Morrow, GA 30260 Time: 6:00 pm

Fri, Feb 14 • Cupid Calling ! Valentines Day Party. Venue: Shiana Impact Banquet Hall, Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Norcross, GA 30071 Time: 9:00 pm

Sun Jan 19, Swami Vivekananda Tithi Puja Time: 10:30 am Venue: Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago Contact: 708-301-9062

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

49 India Post


January 17, 2014

ollywood and romance go hand in hand. While many actors have fallen in love on the sets and married their respective spouses for a happily ever after, rumors of link ups and extra-marital affairs are known to have put many marriages under duress. While some ended with heartbreak, others weathered the storm and emerged stronger. Here is a look at 10 such marriages that infidelity failed to break.

Sanjay and Zarine are alleged to have hit Zeenat during an altercation at a five-star hotel, leaving the actress with a damaged eye. Opening up about his relationship with Zeenat On Rendevouz With Simi Garewal, Sanjay said, "I don't think I would have been the man I am, if she was not the woman she is. I was taken for granted by somebody else. There was no such thing from my side. There was no betrayal of trust."

Raj Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor The fabled romance between the showman of Indian cinema and Nargis is one of Bollywood's oldest. Rumors had it that the actors, who worked in several films like Awaara, Chori Chori, Barsaat, Shree 420 and Aag, were in a relationship. However, their love was doomed as Raj Kapoor was already married to Krishna Raj Kapoor. The failed love affair left Nargis heartbroken and she even contemplated suicide. But love came back in her life in the form of Sunil Dutt, whom she met on the sets of Mother India. Cupid struck when Dutt saved her from a fire and the two got married even before the film released. Neither of the couples ever

Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri Undoubtedly, Bollywood's most talked about marriage hit a rough patch when Rekha stormed into the lovely couple's lives. Rumors of an off-screen romance started doing the rounds after the angry young man of Hindi film industry worked with Rekha in a series of films including, Mr Natwarlal, Do Anjaane and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar in the 70s, and their sizzling on-screen chemistry became the talk of the town. Director Yash Chopra even captured the real-life love triangle in his 1981 film Silsila. It was the last film that saw the two legends together. Both Amitabh and Rekha have never acknowledged their relationship in public and have steered clear of each other ever since their last film. Cont'd on Page 51

spoke about the affair. In a 2003 interview, Sunil Dutt had said: "I never knew there was a romance. The only thing I knew was that she came into my life. I was not concerned about her past." Sanjay Khan and Zeenat Aman The handsome Sanjay Khan was happily married to childhood sweetheart Zarine Khan, but the marriage hit rock bottom when Sanjay fell for his Abdulla co-star on the sets on the film. If rumors are to be believed, the couple was said to have secretly married and living together. But this torrid love affair ended on a violent note as a determined Zarine put her foot down.

50 India Post

January 17, 2014

Aamir's 'don't promote' strategy worked wonders


n the weeks before the release of " Dhoom 3", actor Aamir Khan got a message from his dentist, who was concerned that his patient's new film wasn't being promoted enough. That was exactly what Khan, who plans the marketing of his films as meticulously as he prepares for roles, wanted to hear. "When people are concerned enough about your film that they ask you why they aren't promoting it more, you know you've achieved what you wanted," the 48-year-old Bollywood star said in an interview. As each big-ticket Indian film tries to outdo previous box-office records, shouting about the latest premiere has become routine. Before "Chennai Express" opened in cinemas last year, actor Shah Rukh Khan appeared on popular reality TV shows, toured several cities and ensured newspaper coverage for the film. "Chennai Express" became the highest-grossing Bollywood movie, raking in 2.27 billion rupees ($36.6 million) in domestic ticket sales. Six months later, "Dhoom 3? -

the third installment of Bollywood's only action franchise - has surpassed that record, netting at least 2.7 billion rupees ($43.5 million) by employing the opposite strategy. In the run-up to the film's release, the lead stars didn't do any road shows, and hardly any interviews or appearances on TV shows. Instead, Aamir Khan was spotted in public wearing a fedora - which his character sports in "Dhoom 3? - for nearly a year before the film's release. Production house Yash Raj Films didn't release the official soundtrack, distributing 30-second video snippets instead. "What was really innovative was that they held back on the music. Most movies rely on music videos for free play on radio and music channels, which ensures traction, but they took that risk," said Shailesh Kapoor of Ormax Media, a media research firm. Kapoor's firm estimates that 420 seconds of "Dhoom 3? footage were distributed in the form of trailers and song promos before the film's release, compared with 700 seconds on average for

big-ticket Bollywood movies. "Chennai Express" handed out 820 seconds of footage. "We want you to enjoy this film in the theatre. If I have seen

the song on TV 20 times and on YouTube 20 times, when it comes in the film, I have lost interest in those five minutes. But when you are seeing it for the first time,

Gutthi gets ready for a Bollywood debut


hile Kapil Sharma is still debating his Bollywood debut, buzz is that his former colleague Sunil Grover has given the nod to the Akshay Kumar starrer 'Gabbar'. But raise the question and the comedian turns reticent, "I can't talk about it, it's too soon." However, Sunil does admit that he will be seen in a Hindi movie soon and yes, Akshay is part of the cast. So will we see reflections of his most famous onscreen alter-ego Guthi in the film role? "No, it'll be completely different from anything I've ever done. I'll be an actor playing a character without any womanly traits. I'll use the men's washroom and all the timbre in my voice," he answers. Sunil is also in the midst of switching channels. After entertaining couch potatoes on ' Comedy Nights with Kapil', he's now moving to Star Plus with his own show which is as yet untitled. But will Guthi, Sunil in drag as a straight-talking, pigtailed girl, move with him to the rival channel? "No, you will not see Guthi,

you will see Sunil Grover," he retorts. But the look from the new show seems familiar. Won't he get

into trouble with Colors which has issued a public notice stating that Guthi is their property and no one

can lay claim to it? "I don't think it'll come to that. I've taken all care not to rub anyone the wrong way. But if it happens I have my answer ready," he says. So how different will this new character, Chutki, be from Guthi? "There will be many differences. Plus, the timing is new. But the intention is the same, to make people laugh," he says. There will be other actors with him on the show and he insists that if any of them were to get popular he will not feel threatened. "It's not a one-man show, it's a team effort, I believe in democracy. I have excellent performers and if they are liked, it's fine because it can only be good for the show," Sunil reasons, pointing out that his flight is readying for take off and he has to switch off his cell phone. One last question: Will he go back to 'Comedy Nights with Kapil' ever? "Ever is a long time. Let's say I don't see the chance of that happening in the near future." So we will see them share a stage at events and award functions? "I'm okay, but ask Kapil too," he quips.

your curiosity is piqued," Khan said. The other reason to skimp on music previews, Khan said, was to draw repeat audiences to cinemas with the spectacle of elaborate song sequences. "These are the two things you do - you release the songs, you get them popular and you get a big first day. You go on big-ticket shows, you create awareness of a film, and you get a big opening. We got a big opening without that - that means our tests were correct. And 36 crores (360 million rupees or $6 million) is a huge opening. You cannot go higher than that," he said. Figures released by Yash Raj Films show that "Dhoom 3? grossed more than 5 billion rupees ($80 million) worldwide, a first for an Indian film. Aamir Khan often teams up with film producers to brainstorm on marketing strategies. In 2008, the actor ensured that ushers and food vendors at cinemas playing arch rival Shah Rukh Khan's "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" sported haircuts like his character in the film "Ghajini", which released the same year. In 2009, Aamir Khan announced a nationwide treasure hunt for fans to find clues to the character he was playing in "3 Idiots". He was also one of the first Bollywood actors to promote films through reality TV shows, a formula he rejected for "Dhoom 3?. "The marketing team at YRF (Yash Raj Films) was terrified. They were convinced we were doing something disastrous. They wanted to go all out, and I am not blaming them," said Khan. Kapoor of Ormax Media said heavily promoting a film like "Dhoom 3? could have increased expectations or given away a plot twist, affecting ticket sales after the first weekend. "But since there was so much mystery surrounding the plot and the film, it carried on. It is only in the third week that the content is catching up, and collections are falling," he said. Bollywood might need to take a leaf out of the actor's book. For an industry that relies heavily on the first weekend for most of its revenues, marketing is a crucial tool, and not too many films innovate in that department. "We need to realize that marketing a film is as important as making it," said Khan. "People think ... our story, concept is unique, but when it comes to marketing, we will do the same thing that 25 other people are doing. It doesn't work like that."

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Affairs, marriages & link-ups Cont'd from Page 49

On Simi Garewal's chat show, Rekha denied being in love with Amitabh saying that she was in awe of a great man like him, but that there was nothing more to their relationship. Recently in an interview, Amitabh had said that he was ready to work with Rekha again: "Why not? Well, if someone comes to me with a good script, and I like it, I'd surely do a film with her." We hope, somebody comes up with a script that will bring the two greats together again. Mithun Chakraborty and Yogeeta Bali This one is straight out of a Bollywood potboiler. Yogeeta Bali left her first husband Kishore

Kumar for actor Mithun Chakraborty. After several years of bliss, their marriage hit the rocks when Mithun fell for his Jaag Utha Insaan co-star Sridevi and was ready to leave his wife for the Southern beauty. Yogeeta refused to let go and Sridevi ended the relationship after she realized that Mithun was still married. The actress later went on to marry producer Boney Kapoor ending his marriage to his first wife Mona Kapoor. Mithun and Yogeeta have four children, including actor Mimoh. Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri King Khan's marriage to Gauri has been something fairy tales are made of. But this paradise too saw trouble in the form of Priyanka Chopra. The media was abuzz with

rumors of an affair in the making when the Don girl was spotted hanging around SRK at film sets, public appearances and award functions. A lady with a mind of her own, Gauri didn't take very kindly to Priyanka's advances towards her husband and is said to have banned SRK from working with Priyanka again. All seems to be well now as Karan Johar bridged the gap between Piggy Chops and the Khans by inviting her to his 40th birthday party. Not without Mrs Khan's approval though. Rumors of Priyanka having an affair with Khiladi Akshay Kumar had also done the rounds after the actors teamed up for several back-toback films.

For years now, this lovely couple has taken rumors of Kajol's proximity to Shah Rukh Khan with a pinch of salt. But trouble started brewing when Kangana Ranaut entered the scene. If a leading film magazine is to be believed, Ajay succumbed to the charms of his Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai co-star during the filming of the movie. Known for her forthright attitude, Kajol was said to have warned Ajay that she will leave him if he does not mend his ways. This seems to have brought Ajay back to his senses as the couple has been going strong and there are no signs of any marital discord. However, Ajay is not on talking terms with Kangana anymore. The Gangster girl was also rumored to have an affair with the much-married Aditya Panscholi during her initial years in Bollywood. However, that relationship also met an unhappy ending. Madhur Bhandarkar and Renu Namboodri

Ajay Devgn and Kajol

The National award-winning director made headlines after an aspiring actress Preeti Jain filed a rape case against Madhur in 2004. After a lot speculation, the Supreme Court gave Madhur a clean chit. All this while, Madhur's better half maintained a dignified silence and continued to support her husband through the tough times. The couple re-

mains happily married and also have a daughter. Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna The former ladies man was en-

joying marital bliss with wife Twinkle Khanna till rumors of him romancing Priyanka Chopra surfaced. While the duo denied the rumors, the actors have not signed any films together despite giving hits like Aitraaz and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. Peace returned to Khiladi Kumar's life and the actor remains happily married to Twinkle, along with his two lovely kids. Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Though one of Bollywood's favorite couples broke up last month, the marriage survived rumors of Hrithik being romantically

involved with Latino actress and Kites co-star Barbara Mori. While Sussanne was seen making appearances with her husband and Barbara at promotional events, the grapevine had it that she moved to her parents' home with her two sons when her star husband took off with Mori for a trip. However, Hrithik rubbished the rumors saying that Sussanne had to move temporarily as anti-termite work was going on in his house. All was well between the couple until December, when they shocked the Bollywood fraternity and fans by announcing their separation. Nagarjuna and Amala Rumors of the Telugu superstar seeing actress Tabu started doing the rounds after the two acted in two films together. It was even

said that the talented actress turned down offers and shifted base to Hyderabad to be with Nagarjuna. However, unlike the other relationships, the actor's wife Amala seems to share a great rapport with Tabu. She was even seen socializing with the National award-winning actress at a ceremony organized to felicitate veteran actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao. The couple remains happily married and are seen making appearances at various filmy dos often.


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January 17, 2014

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis SWAMI VIVEKANANDA


he Karmi (worker) renounces the fruits of his work. The Bhakta (devotee) renounces all little loves for the almighty and omnipresent love. The Yogi renounces his experiences, because his philosophy is that the whole Nature, although it is for the experience of the soul, at last brings him to know that he is not in Nature, but eternally separate from Nature. The Jnâni (philosopher) renounces everything, because his philosophy is that Nature never existed, neither in the past, nor present, nor will It in the future. The question of utility cannot be asked in these higher themes. It is very absurd to ask it; and even if it be asked, after a proper analysis, what do we find in this question of utility? The ideal of happiness, that which brings man more happiness, is of greater utility to him than these higher things which do not improve his material conditions or bring him such great happiness. All the sciences are for this one end, to bring happiness to humanity; and that which brings the larger amount of happiness, man takes and gives up that which brings a lesser amount of happiness. We have seen how happiness is either in the body, or in the mind, or in the Âtman. With aniMAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI


o not oppose because in opposing the tenderness of the feeling level is crushed. All action should be to nourish the fine feeling developed in the practice of the TM Sidhi program. That is why we say 'Speak the Truth' but see that you are speaking delicately. Do not speak non-truth and do not speak in a non sweet way, so that the feeling is nourished. The whole effect of activity is to enrich the feeling of the other. Be as delicate as possible. If communication accomplishes something on the gross but damages something on the level of feeling then it is a spiritual loss! The feeling is more important for life. Nourishment of the feeling level is the basis for growth of the spiritual holistic value. Delicate behavior on the surface should be such as to nourish, uphold and enhance the Transcendental value where feelings merge into a common source. Do not oppose. Opposition is dangerous to immortality. Keep your desire turning back within and be patient. Allow the fulfillment to come to you. Gently resist the temptation to chase your dreams into the world; pursue

mals, and in the lowest human beings who are very much like animals, happiness is all in the body. No man can eat with the same pleasure as a famished dog or a wolf; so in the dog and the wolf the happiness is entirely in the body. In men we find a higher plane of happiness, that of thought; and in the Jnani there is the highest plane of happiness in the Self, the Atman. So to the philosopher this

piness that we know. All who work in ignorance are, as it were, the draught animals of the Devas. The word Deva is here used in the sense of a wise man. All the people who work and toil and labor like machines do not really enjoy life, but it is the wise man who enjoys. A rich man buys a picture at a cost of a hundred thousand dollars perhaps, but it is the man who understands art that enjoys it; and if the rich man is

how in the whole of this universe there is but One Existence; and that One Existence when seen through the senses is called the world, the world of matter. When It is seen through the mind, It is called the world of thoughts and ideas; and when It is seen as it is, then It is the One Infinite Being. There is only One Existence, and that one is the Atman, the Self; and when this is perceived through the senses,

Renunciation is the turning point in all Yogas All the sciences are for this one end, to bring happiness to humanity; and that which brings the larger amount of happiness, man takes and gives up that which brings a lesser amount of happiness. Swami Vivekananda

knowledge of the Self is of the highest utility, because it gives him the highest happiness possible. Sense-gratifications or physical things cannot be of the highest utility to him, because he does not find in them the same pleasure that he finds in knowledge itself; and after all, knowledge is the one goal and is really the highest hap-

without knowledge of art, it is useless to him, he is only the owner. All over the world, it is the wise man who enjoys the happiness of the world. The ignorant man never enjoys; he has to work for others unconsciously. Thus far we have seen the theories of these Advaitist philosophers, how there is but one Atman; there cannot be two. We have seen

through sense-imageries, It is called the body. When It is perceived through thought, It is called the mind. When It is perceived in Its own nature, It is the Atman, the One Only Existence. Excerpted from an address delivered in New York, 1896. The 151st birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated on January 12.

them in your heart until they disappear into the Self, and leave them there. It may take a little selfdiscipline, be simple, be kind, stay rested. Attend to your own innerhealth and happiness. Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you. Allow your love to nourish yourself as well as others. Do not strain after your needs

a bit to change some long standing habits. Just think of any negativity that comes to you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss. You may not always have an ocean of bliss, but think that way anyway and it will help it come. Doubting is not blissful and does not create happiness. Be happy, healthy, and let all that love flow through your heart.

'God helps those who help themselves' - it's a very true saying. We are aware of darkness but for our own community we want to have Enlightenment. The knowledge and technology to create peace are available. The approach is simple because peace is the inner nature of everyone's life. It has been authenticated by modern scientific research and

Nourishment of feeling leads to spiritual growth Delicate behavior on the surface should be such as to nourish, uphold and enhance the Transcendental value where feelings merge into a common source. Do not oppose. Opposition is dangerous to immortality. of life - it is sufficient to be quietly alert and aware of them. In this way life proceeds more naturally, effortlessly. Life is here to enjoy." Being happy is of the utmost importance. Success in anything is through happiness. More support of nature comes from being happy. Under all circumstances be happy, even if you have to force it

We are born only to bless, not to punish. This you should never forget. We should always see good things in others - very important. We are not in a position to criticize anyone. The existence of enemies means for us that our friendliness has not been sufficient enough.

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on -Robert Frost

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius

The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. - Eminem

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. - William James

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

theories. And now, through today's instant communication systems, everyone in every part of the world can receive it. That is why it is completely within our reach to create a civilization that is free from problems and negativity. The 96th birth anniversary of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was celebrated on January 12

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. - Charles Darwin

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein

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January 17, 2014

Khobragade case tests India's resilience


n 10 January, Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, till re cently the deputy consul general in New York returned to Delhi after being criminally indicted by a US court in a high-octane, hyper-visible visa fraud case related to her domestic maid that saw India-US relations reaching a new low. The Indian government had arranged for full diplomatic immunity to be accorded to Ms Khobragade and facilitated her return to Delhi so as to stall the criminal case being pursued in New York. This is a far from satisfactory resolution to the Devyani case and the fact that India retaliated by asking the US to 'recall' one of their Delhi-based diplomats of similar rank has only served to further vitiate the already strained bilateral relationship. Various diplomatic practices and protocols specific to US diplomats in India were reviewed and the one action that received the most attention was restoring for public use a road adjacent to the US Embassy that had been cordoned for security reasons after the September 2001 attack. The outrage in India over the manner in which a diplomat had been treated was predictable and this was compounded when it was revealed that US authorities had also aided the family of the maid to fly out of India in a furtive manner. In the intervening period, US and Indian authorities - both at the political and bureaucratic level have allowed the matter to be debated in full media glare and the net result alas, has been a hardening of respective positions. The Khobragade case is multidimensional and hence complex and has more to it than what has become the dominant view both in India and the US. At a purely legal level, the manner in which the US investigative agencies indicted Ms Khobragade for allegedly cheating and exploiting her maid - Ms Sangeeta - ought to have been taken to its logical conclusion through the judicial process. But the complexity of the case lies in the first layer, wherein it has now been revealed that the maid in question was already being investigated by an Indian court and she had gone 'missing' - while in the US. Why the US authorities facilitated the hasty exit of the maid's family without keeping the Indian side informed is part of the breakdown in the trust index between the two countries. For its part, the US stand is that

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they were responding to an infringement of local labor laws that had been brought to their notice and that the law is applied uniformly. The fact that the US enforces its laws selectively when it comes to sensitive bilateral relationships is well-known and the 'wink and a nod' practice is part of diplomacy globally.

Ineptitude of bureaucracy Yet this accommodation was clearly absent in the Khobragade case. These developments were on the radar of US and Indian diplomats both at embassy and Headquarters levels and this is where the ineptitude of the bureaucracy on both sides comes into play. The US State department maintains that they had alerted their Indian counterparts about the potential damage that the

While India is a relatively lesser priority in the hierarchy of bilaterals from the US perspective, for Delhi the same is not applicable. Yet the relationship was allowed to flounder till the current reciprocal 'recall' of each other's diplomats Khobragade case could cause and suggested that a quiet recall would be the most prudent course of action. If this is indeed accurate then it begs the question as to why the Indian bureaucracy did not take pre-emptive action at an early stage. This case has two sides to it namely that of the employer and the working conditions of Indian nationals working as domestic help in a foreign country and to that extent is symptomatic of a larger issue that has been festering. Over the years some Indian diplomats have been indicted for unfair treatment of their domestic staff and both the working conditions and the manner of remuneration are in need of objective review and streamlining. However this is yet to happen and Delhi will have to address this sooner rather than later.

Lack of trust

The lack of trust and confidence at the India-US bureaucratic level led to a totally unwarranted exigency when the Indian Foreign Secretary who was visiting Washington DC in late 2013 was not apprised of the case. And to Delhi's chagrin, soon after the conclusion of this visit, the Khobragade arrest took place. Bereft of swift, empathetic and effective political intervention, the case acquired nationalist overtones and the media focus pitted 'victim' India against 'bully' US. Many of the complex nuances of the Devyani versus Sangeeta episode were drowned in this emotive fervor and the mood in India was to 'reciprocate' US high-handedness. If the US was guilty of institutional indifference and bureaucratic petulance in the manner in which it handled the Devyani case from its unhappy inception, the Indian government did not cover itself in glory either and much of the posturing seemed to be pandering to a bruised national sentiment. For a while the India-US bilateral relationship was reduced to a single issue - Khobragade - and the much-acclaimed special relationship that India and the US professed for each other seemed a thing of the past. The political ownership of the bilateral was visibly absent over the last month and the brittleness of the strategic underpinning is more than evident. While India is a relatively lesser priority in the hierarchy of bilaterals from the US perspective, for Delhi the same is not applicable. Yet the relationship was allowed to flounder till the current reciprocal 'recall' of each other's diplomats. An objective review of what went wrong apropos the Khobragade impasse needs to be undertaken by both India and the US to ensure that such a deplorable exigency is not repeated. One of the tenets of diplomatic relations between partners and friends is that no matter how complex or contentious the issue: 'no surprises'. This has to be respected in both letter and spirit and the much needed malleability brought back into a critical bilateral relationship. The world's oldest and largest democracies should not allow this single incident to become the basis for arid estrangement - which was the leit-motif of the India-US relationship till as recently as 2008. The writer is Member, Executive Committee, IPCS


Third Space

here have been people's revolutions earlier like the JP Andolan and VP Singh crusade against corruption but what distinguishes the present Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is its non-political origin. It has no regional or caste links. Anti-corruption has been its main plank which has invoked unprecedented interest country-wide. The question arises, is the euphoria generated by AAP going to last and result in something concrete or is it just a bubble? Most of the established parties hope it is the latter. The very non-political nature which has been the reason for its extraordinary success can also be its chief failure if it does not learn quickly. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called a junta durbar to listen to the people's complaints and when thousands turned up, the meeting had to be cancelled. As pointed out by some commentators, in this age there should be better avenues for listening to and addressing people's complaints. Narendra Modi has mentioned the scheme which he has in place in Gujarat. Kiran Bedi advised Kejriwal and his team to not run governance from "rooftops" and take time to listen and absorb grievances before taking decisions. Bedi who favors Narendra Modi for PM said "governance demands solid maturity" and "not street always." Thus the immaturity and lack of governing skills within the AAP is visible for all to see. It is also practicing the Congress and BJP style populism of distributing freebies. If at all the party in its honeymoon state manages to capture a substantial number of seats in the parliamentary elections, what will it be politics and what will be its economic policy? Yogendra Yadav, a senior policy-maker and strategist of AAP says his party endorsed neither socialist nor capitalist ideology. "We are a pragmatic and a problem solving party," he asserted. He called his party more agnostic and evidence driven. Yadav makes a distinction between the 'Third Force' represented by regional parties and 'Third Space' which he claims his party is seeking to occupy. This "third space" in Indian politics has grown, he says, over the past two decades as issues and political energies outside the realm of the two main political entities - the Congress parivar and the Sangh parivar - have grown. In an interview to The Hindu, Yadav said the UPA and the NDA both failed to capitalize on this third space, which has for long had no political hope. "The Aam Aadmi Party stepped into this political vacuum where the third space has expanded but the third force has shrunk and fragmented," he said. "...In my dream script, the AAP is the natural political hope for these energies." Calling the energies of this third space a "transformative energy", Yadav says this energy needs a political vehicle of its own. The AAP has to be careful not to fritter away this energy in organizing janta durbars and Janta bazaars. It has to come up with a better manner of governance which doesn't become a daily spectacle. The whole country is looking up to the Delhi model of governance. It has attracted interest in Kashmir and even in Pakistan. What Kejriwal should aim at is to provide the right atmosphere for honest officials to do their duty and firmly deal with the corrupt. Instead of asking people to become anti-corruption crusaders themselves, it should build institutions where people can bring their grievances and have them addressed. The Delhi CM is promising to hold another tamasha at Ramlila Maidan wherein he promises to take up and pass the Lokpal Bill. People have trust in him and there is no need to repeatedly go before a large number of people in order to take decisions. The bills should be passed in the assembly itself and if he wants the people to watch, the proceedings can be telecast live as was done when he won the vote of confidence in the Assembly.

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