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CM Chouhan launches MP initiative in NY Details on page 16

Obama proposes over $1 bn aid to Pakistan Details on page 5

VOL 20, No. 1064

February 6, 2015

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INDIA TIES NO THREAT, OBAMA TELLS CHINA WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has said China should not feel threatened by good relations between the US and India, as he cautioned the Communist giant against "bullying" small countries like Vietnam or the Philippines on maritime issues. "I was surprised when I heard that the Chinese government had put out these statements...China doesn't need to be threatened because we have good relations with India," Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview. These were his first comments on China's reaction to his unprecedented second visit to India as president. Obama referred to his November visit to China and said

he had some very successful meetings with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Commenting on Obama's visit to India, China's state-run media had said India must not fall into the trap of rivalry set by the West to support the US' "pivot to Asia" strategy, mainly devised to counter the Communist nation's rise. "My belief is that in this moment in history, there's an opportunity to create a win-win formula in which all countries are abiding by a common set of rules and standards and we're focused on lifting up prosperity for our people, not at the expense of others, but together with each other. Details on page 5

Modi to visit China before May 26: Swaraj Details on page 6

Russia, India, China agree to combat terrorism Details on page 6

Braigo inventor working on new tool for the blind Details on page 9

Indians can invest up to $250k overseas

Uber taxi rape survivor files lawsuit in US court

Details on page 20

Details on page 9

India starts online IEC form submission

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 48

Details on page 51

Community Post -------------- 16-24 Date Book -------------------------- 27

INDIA POST SURVEY

Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 32-35

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Horoscope ------------------------- 49

This week’s question

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

Will Modi get Parliament opproval on N-liability issue?

Life Style ----------------------- 50-52 Philosophy ------------------------- 53

Last week’s result

Modi has achieved the impossible with Obama visit? YES 68%

NO 32%

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

GROWING TIES: India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 2. (Details on page 6)

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Real Estate -------------------- 30-31 TechBiz Post ------------------- 36-39 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


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Publisher’s Diary

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atch the new political buzzword, folks, rather, the buzz phrase. It's fast getting circulated and I am sure will be rapidly picked up by smart administrations globally. It's called "Middle Class Economics" and already President Obama is chanting it like a mantra of the New Year. President Obama's latest budget is, as he calls it, a blueprint for Middle Class Economics. Although that's exactly what he has been trying to sketch out since he came into office in 2008, he has been shy of admitting its pointers in socialism for fear of political and corporate backlash. Honestly, it makes a lot of sense to me. And I would urge all those in power, in any administration around the world, to make it the mantra of the millennium. Historically, if we see, America though founded on capitalistic tenets, rose to its stature as the most powerful nation on earth on the backs of the middle class. Like Bill Maher ranted on his show the other day, this country's strength has always been its middle class - comprised of the millions of workers - whose economic wellbeing was based solidly in socialistic policy. But of course, over the decades, corporate greed ensured that the world 'socialism' became a foul abuse through propaganda that it would lead to communism. And the bigger the corporations grew, the weaker the middle class got. If anyone has any lessons to learn from the recession we are slowly getting out of, it is that no country can prosper without ensuring the prosperity of its middle class, for, it is the middle class that works, that spends, and that carries the burden of any downturn. President Obama gets it. And I am glad that at least at the tail end of his career as President, he has found the gumption to headline his budget as a middle class budget. Already 50% of the world's wealth is in the hands of 1% of the world population. So if today the big corporations were to stop mercenary policies and adopt benevolent policies, they would still be rich. An ideal world situation… perhaps not in my lifetime.

Romesh K Japra rkjapra@indiapost.com

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Patriotic plane Ayushmann Khurrana is excited about Vibhu Virender Puri's Hawaizaada as it deals with a "novel subject".

Cover Story: No threat President Barack Obama has said China should not feel threatened by good relations between the US and India

Community: Friends of MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launches the Friends of Madhya Pradesh initiative (friendsofmp.com) in New York.

Lenient treatment A new directive places the obligation on government for identifying immigrants who might qualify for lenient treatment.

Life style: Jesus & the devil Rodrigo Garcia's film of Jesus's journey through the desert called ``Last Days in the Desert'' looks, feels and sounds big.

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Tax opposed IT industry and the Republican leadership has opposed US President Barack Obama's move to tax overseas earnings

Cuttack An ancient city at the alluring convergence of Mahanadi and Kathjuri Rivers, Cuttack boasts of a magnificent history.

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India ties no threat, Obama tells China WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has said China should not feel threatened by good relations between the US and India, as he cautioned the Communist giant against "bullying" small countries like Vietnam or the Philippines on maritime issues. "I was surprised when I heard

port the US' "pivot to Asia" strategy, mainly devised to counter the Communist nation's rise. "My belief is that in this moment in history, there's an opportunity to create a win-win formula in which all countries are abiding by a common set of rules and standards and we're focused on lifting up prosperity for our people,

Obama being interviewed by Fareed Zakaria

that the Chinese government had put out these statements...China doesn't need to be threatened because we have good relations with India," Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview. These were his first comments on China's reaction to his unprecedented second visit to India as president. Obama referred to his November visit to China and said he had some very successful meetings with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Commenting on Obama's visit to India, China's state-run media had said India must not fall into the trap of rivalry set by the West to sup-

not at the expense of others, but together with each other. That's what my discussions with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi have focused on," Obama said in the interview. He said he has continuously emphasized that it is very much in the US interest to see a peaceful rise of China. "What's dangerous for us is a destabilized and impoverished and disintegrating China. It's much better for us if China is doing well," he said in the interview, which was recorded in New Delhi during his three-day India trip. "But what we've said since the

start of my term in office is China's growth shouldn't be at the expense of other folks. It shouldn't bully small countries like Vietnam or Philippines around maritime issues, but try to resolve those peacefully in accordance with international law. It shouldn't manipulate its currencies to get itself trading advantages that others don't have," Obama asserted. "Sometimes we've been successful in getting a response from China on those issues. Sometimes less so. I care deeply about China's success. I want to make sure that we continue to maintain a constructive relationship," he said. "There's no doubt that there are aspects of India that make us closer to India. Specifically, it's a democracy and it reflects the values and aspirations as well as some of the warts of our own country in a way that China could not. And so that I think there's an affinity there that I feel personally and I think the American people feel as well," Obama said. China had last year warned India against meddling in its dispute with Vietnam over islands in the South China Sea. It claims almost all of the South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam contests the

Chinese claims on the resourcerich region.

Proud of saving US economy Obama also told Zakaria that he was proud of saving the American economy which made the country stronger and prosperous. "I'm proud of saving the American economy. And we still have a long way to go," he said. "Essentially what we did was stabilize it, lay a new foundation to move forward. That gives us now the capacity to tackle what was an overriding theme of my campaign way back in 2008, and

bly ended two wars. "Now, people will say, well, you're back in Iraq, but we're not back in Iraq with an occupying army, we're back with a coalition of 60 countries who are helping to stabilize the situation," he said. "I think that what we have also done is reflected the best values of America in trying to nurture this nascent democratic movement inside of Burma, in ending what I believe had become a counterproductive policy in Cuba, in strengthening alliances with countries like India, where there's just enormous potential," he said. The US president also ob-

“I think that our future prosperity and security is going to be tied up with how are we doing with 1.2 billion aspiring Indians who share our values and share democracy with us," Obama said that is to restore middle-class economics and the capacity for people to get into the middle class, and start seeing higher wages and a broader shared prosperity inside the United States," he said. "One of the things that I've learned in this job over the last six years is that sometimes progress is incremental, but when I look at overall the steps that we've taken, I believe they are the right ones. I am very confident that America is stronger, more prosperous, safer, and more influential today than it was when I took office," Obama said. The US President said internationally, he is proud of the fact that his administration has responsi-

served that sometimes US is not paying special attention to India. "But I've been paying a lot of attention to it, because I think that our future prosperity and security is going to be tied up with how are we doing with 1.2 billion aspiring Indians who share our values and share democracy with us," Obama said. "Asia Pacific region, where my commitment to rebalancing has led to not only concrete agreements and actions with ASEAN countries, for example, but has also sent a clear message to China that we want to be their partner but that they have to be part of a rule-based system rather than free riders or bullies because of their size and strength," he said.-PTI

Obama proposes over $1 bn aid to Pakistan WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has proposed more than $1 billion in civilian and military aid to Pakistan, describing it as a "strategically important nation". The key elements of the proposed budget include strengthening Pakistani military for its fight against extremism, safety of nuclear installation, stability in Afghanistan, economic development and improvement in ties with India. The budgetary proposals released by the State Department, after Obama sent his annual budget proposals to the

Congress shows a more than six fold increase foreign military financing (FMF) to Pakistan from USD 42.2 million in 2014 to USD 265 million in 2016. In addition, the Obama Administration proposed USD 334.9 million for economic support fund; USD 143.1 especially for counterterrorism and non-proliferation efforts. Pakistan lies at the heart of the US counter-terrorism strategy, the peace process in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and economic integration in South and Central Asia, the State Department said.

For Pakistan, the budget demonstrates US commitment to fostering stability and prosperity, and provides security assistance that promotes counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency capabilities

For Pakistan, the budget demonstrates US commitment to fostering stability and prosperity, and provides security assistance that promotes counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency capabilities, the State Department said. The budget continues to support public engagement and partnership programs in Pakistan and maintains staffing in order to support these critical US priorities, the State Department said. Proposing USD 265 million for Pakistan under foreign military funding (FMF), the State Department argued this is essential to Pakistan's efforts to increase sta-

bility in its western border region and ensure overall stability within its own borders. FMF will continue to focus on seven priority areas identified and agreed with Pakistan. This includes precision strike; air mobility and combat search and rescue; counter-improvised explosive device and battlefield survivability; battlefield communications; night operations; border security; and maritime security/counter narcotics in support of counter terrorism aims. Cont’d on page 8


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Xi Jinping meets Sushma; hails new momentum in ties BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here and said China and India have taken "solid steps" to make new progress in bilateral ties besides implementing the agreements reached between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra in Tibet via Sikkim by June, that will allow more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage. Xi had promised opening the new route to Modi during the former's maiden visit to New Delhi last year. Recalling fond memories of his

mences on February 19. "Prime Minister Modi has extended his very best greetings for the Chinese Lunar Year of Sheep, which I have been told is associated with creativity and innovation... Your visit to India was also associated with creativity and innovation based on which the two countries explored new ways forward. "Your September visit has special importance for people of India, particularly for me because our first meeting took place during that trip," she said, adding that new ways were being devised to improve ties between the two countries. Swaraj, who was on a four-day visit here, held marathon talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on key issues and em-

Modi to visit China before May 26: Swaraj BEIJING: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on his maiden visit to China by May 26 this year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here as she held talks with her Chinese counterpart on bilateral issues and emphasized that maintenance of peace and tranquility at the border was a pre-requisite for development of ties. The 62-year-old leader said the Prime Minister would undertake the visit before the BJPled government completes one year in office. India is committed to reach an "early settlement" to the vexed boundary issue, Swaraj said while addressing an IndiaChina Media forum at the start of her four-day visit here.

She proposed a six-point template to build Sino-India ties to realize the common dream of 'Asian Century'. "Our relationship today has reached a level where we have interactions in fields that could not have been imagined some years ago. We have made considerable progress in establishing and expanding defense contacts and exchanges, including across our border. "They contribute to the maintenance of peace and tranquility there, a pre-requisite to, for the further development of our relationship. On the boundary question, my government is committed to exploring early settlement," Swaraj said, referring to the long-pending boundary issue.-PTI

Russia, India, China agree to combat terrorism Sushma Swaraj and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 2

"I have full confidence in India-China relations and I believe that new progress will be achieved in growing this bilateral relationship in this new year," Xi told Swaraj, who called on him at the cavernous Great Hall of the People here on her maiden visit to the communist nation after she assumed charge last year. Xi said that since his visit to India in September last year, rela-

India visit, Xi told Swaraj: "Last September I visited India and cherish fresh memories about the gracious hospitality extended to me by government and people of India. "In particular, I cherish the memories of Prime Minister Modi's home province Gujarat and Prime Minister himself accompanied me on that trip." The 61-year-old Chinese Presi-

"The positive side of India-China relations has been growing and momentum of our cooperation has been strengthening and solid steps are being taken to implement agreements reached between PM Modi and I," tions between the two countries have entered into a new stage of growth. "The positive side of IndiaChina relations has been growing and momentum of our cooperation has been strengthening and solid steps are being taken to implement agreements reached between Prime Minister Modi and I," he said as he welcomed the 62year-old senior BJP leader. One such solid step taken was exchange of notes on modalities for opening the second route for

dent, who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, conveyed his best wishes to the Indian leadership. "Please convey my best regards and greetings to President (Pranab) Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi when you go back," Xi said in a rare meeting with a visiting Foreign Minister. Reciprocating Xi's warm words, Swaraj said Prime Minister Modi has sent his greetings and best wishes for the Chinese Lunar Year of Sheep, which com-

BEIJING: Alarmed by the new The Ministers also highlighted work against terrorism. India won the backing of Rustrends in international terrorism, the need to prevent "financing, Russia, India and China have planning and preparation of their sia and China for its long-pendmade a united pitch for bringing activities, block the channels of ing UN proposal, nearly two deto justice "perpetrators and spon- terrorist movement and financing cades after the draft CCIT was cirsors" of such acts as they sought of terrorism, and promote de- culated at the UN General Asseman early conclusion of the India- radicalization, while respecting bly (UNGA) in 1996. Prime Minister moved resolution to Narendra Modi had combat global menace. called for global supForeign Ministers of port for the CCIT in his the three countries also maiden address to the agreed to enhance triUN General Assembly lateral cooperation, inlast year. cluding regional conAt a joint press connectivity, during intense ference, Swaraj two-hour talks at the thanked her Chinese 13th Russia-Indiaand Russian counterChina (RIC) meeting parts for their support here. for the resolution. External Affairs MinAnswering a quesister Sushma Swaraj tion, the senior BJP represented India at the leader said it did not trilateral that was also move ahead for 19 attended by her Chiyears. nese and Russian coun"RIC Foreign Ministerparts Wang Yi and ters have an understatSergey Lavrov respecing that we can contively. clude this at the earli"Highly alarmed by est. I thank both of the new trends in interIndian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Wang Yi, them for accepting this national terrorist acts, Foreign Minister of Peoples Republic of China and Russian proposal," she said. the Ministers emphaForeign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Russia, India China "The Ministers reitsized the need to step (RIC) meeting in Beijing on February 2 erated that there can be up information gatherno ideological, religious, political, ing and sharing, prevent the use international law". of the Internet and other informaSeen as a rebuff to Pakistan, racial, ethnic, or any other justifition and communication technolo- the three countries also called for cation for acts of terrorism. They gies (ICTs) for the purposes of re- early conclusion of Comprehen- underlined the need to bring to cruitment and incitement to com- sive Convention on International justice perpetrators, organizers, mit terrorist acts," a joint state- Terrorism (CCIT), a resolution financiers and sponsors of terrorment issued by the RIC Foreign moved by India to address gaps ist acts," the joint statement said. Ministers said. in the international legal frame- -PTI


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China guarded on terror convention impact on Pak ties BEIJING: A day after backing an India-sponsored move to bring about a comprehensive UN convention against terrorism, a guarded China skirted questions about its likely impact on ties with close ally Pakistan which is accused of supporting terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba. Asked about the impact of China's backing to the proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) on relations with Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing that

Chinese media highlights Modi's plans to visit China BEIJING: China's official media has highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to visit the Communist nation in May, with commentaries asking China to dispel India's doubts about the ambitious Silk Road projects citing the influence it wields in South Asia. State-run newspapers - China Daily and Global Times besides the ruling Communist Party of China-run People's Daily featured External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's meeting with President Xi Jinping on front pages while the state TV CCTV extended elaborate coverage for her engagements here. Modi to visit China in May was the headline in Global Times with Xi's remarks that China and India need to "patiently manage differences". His visit will likely deepen mutual trust, seek investment and trade opportunities for India and discuss border issues, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. Several Chinese analysts have called for patience and caution in solving the Sino-Indian border problem but said China should grab the opportunity to dispel India's doubts

Wang Dehua, a research fellow at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, said Modi's visit to China was aimed at building ties with all major powers and maintain a balance among them on other key issues. "India still has concerns over China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative," Chen Fengjun, a Peking University professor said, commenting on India's reservation on China's mega Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road projects for which President Xi has allocated USD 40 billion. Swaraj has said India will not give a blanket support but align the synergies where they meet. "Given India's enormous influence in South Asia, especially over countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it would be wise for China to dispel such doubts during Modi's visit and show India that the initiative is really meant to benefit both countries," Chen said. Wang Dehua, a research fellow at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, said Modi's visit to China was aimed at building ties with all major powers and maintain a balance among them to derive maximum benefits for India. "Some say that the announcement of Modi's visit is to assure China that India is not siding with the US after (US President Barack) Obama's visit. I disagree. Modi has established his diplomatic style as a leader who seeks to build ties with all major powers and maintain a balance among them to derive maximum benefits for his country," he said.-PTI

Beijing's decision was part of its willingness to cooperate with the international community on the issue of terrorism. In a guarded reply, Hong said foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) had held in-depth exchanges at their meeting here on issues of common interest including crackdown on terrorism. "On this issue China's stand is consistent and clear. We are willing to carry out cooperation with the international community under principles and purposes of UN charter and other basic norms governing international relations to safeguard peace stability security of whole world," he said without mentioning Pakistan. China along with Russia came out in support of the (CCIT), an India-backed resolution which is pending in the

UN for the past 19 years. Seen as a rebuff to Pakistan, a joint statement issued by RIC foreign ministers called for early conclusion of negotiations on the CCIT. "The ministers reiterated that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations committed by whomever, wherever, and for whatever purposes, is a threat to international peace and security, a grave violation of human rights and a crime against humanity," it said. "The ministers reiterated that there can be no ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other justification for acts of terrorism. They underlined the need to bring to justice perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorist acts," it said.-PTI


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India, China bound by 'unbreakable bond': Modi NEW DELHI: India and China President Xi Jinping visited India according to official media reare bound by an "unbreakable last year, he will be visiting China ports. Indian official say about bond", Prime Minister Narendra this year. 1.74 lakh Chinese visited India last Modi has said while advocating Meanwhile in Beijing, External year, prompting India to step up that the two countries should Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj its 'Incredible India' campaign to know and understand each other appealed to Chinese tourists to woo more tourists. better. visit India to experience its diverOver six lakhs Indians visited Citing the legacy of ancient civi- sity of culture which will be a China which included tourists and lization, he said India and China have had "some bond of relationship" for thousands of years. "In this century, once again we have to give something to the world, say something. For this, it is important that we look at each other, know and understand (each other)," he said in a video message to the "Visit India Year 2015" event being held in Beijing. "Currently, we are bound by the unbreakable bond," he said, adding when the two countries come together, people will travel to and fro in large numbers. Modi said he has personal connection with China as he hails from village in Gujarat's File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vadnagar which the famous First Lady of the Republic of China Peng Liyuan, at Sabarmati Waterfront, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on September 17, 2014 Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang had visited. "These things are not just his- unique experience for them. businessmen. tory but reflect a special bond," She was addressing a gatherThe function was advertised he added. Modi said he had been ing of mostly Chinese invitees. by Tencent Weibo, akin to Twitto China earlier and his experience A number countries in the ter in China. It has nearly 100 milhad been very good. "I had read a world today wooing Chinese tour- lion registered users. lot of books about China but my ists as their numbers touched This was the first time it adverexperience was unique". about 100 million last year raking tised an Indian get together, one The Prime Minister said while up revenue of USD 102 billion, of its officials said. -PTI

Will work with S Jaishankar on Indo-US ties: Bera WASHINGTON: Ami Bera, an influential Indian-American lawmaker, has said he will build on President Barack Obama's India trip and work with the country's new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to take bilateral ties forward. Jaishankar, who took charge as the country's new Foreign Secretary, was the Indian Ambassador to the US. "Congratulations to new Foreign Secretary Jaishankar. He's been an excellent ambassador to the US and a dedicated public servant to India," Congressman Bera said. Bera is Co-Chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans - the largest country specific caucus in House of Representatives. "Building on the momentum of

the Presidential trip to India that I just returned from, I look forward to working with the new foreign secretary to advance the US-In-

dia relationship," said Bera, who is the only Indian-American lawmaker in the current Congress.PTI

Ami Bera

Obama gives new thrust to Asia Pacific re-balance WASHINGTON: Days after his successful India visit, US President Barack Obama has given a new thrust to the Asia Pacific rebalance in his annual budget and asserted that the region remains a key priority for him. In order to address security, development, and economic challenges, the budget for the fiscal year 2016 prioritizes advancing regional and country capabilities. These investments are critical to the administration-wide efforts to promote regional security and economic cooperation, the budget proposals said. Recognizing that security in the Asia-Pacific region underpins regional and global prosperity, the budget aligns resources and activities to strengthen US alliances, to forge deeper partnerships with emerging powers and to pursue a productive relationship with China. Building on Obama's successful November 2014 Asia trip, the budget provides resources to help deepen US trade in the region as the US leads the way in negotiating the high-standard Trans-Pa-

cific Partnership with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which will boost American exports and create jobs at home by promoting strong rules to protect labor, environment and intellectual property. To promote universal and democratic values, the budget expands education and cultural exchanges and strengthens regional cooperation with organizations such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In pursuit of security cooperation, the budget enhances and modernizes US defense relationships, posture, and capabilities with a focus on maritime security. According to State Department officials, the request includes support for the re-balance to the AsiaPacific region to enhance cooperation among bilateral and regional partners. "It is clear that the Asia Pacific remains a key priority for us because of the level of increase," Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom told reporters at a news conference.-PTI

Obama proposes over $1 bn aid to Pakistan Cont’d from page 5

For Pakistan, the overseas contingency operation (OCO) request of USD 36 million, will support critical US activities such as sustaining close cooperation with Pakistan, working with Pakistan to facilitate the peace process in Afghanistan, and promoting improved relations with India, it said. Proposing USD 334.9 million for the fiscal year 2016 as economic support fund (ESF), State Department argued this is critical for achieving US goals of countering terrorism and violent extremism, increasing stability in both Pakistan and the region, and making clear that the United States is not abandoning the region following the transition in Afghanistan. Proposing another USD 143.1 million, the State Department said Pakistan will continue to be a key partner on counter-terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation goals, and in achieving lasting stability and economic development in the region. Noting that funds will demonstrate the US commitment to sustained, long-term engagement with Pakistan, throughout the transition in Afghanistan, the State Department said combined

with OCO (overseas contingency operation) resources, these ESF (economic support funds) funds will help increase the Pakistani capacity to respond to the economic, social, and security needs of its people. The fiscal 2016 funds will build on the progress made in prior years through maintenance of the five-sector strategy that increases the generation and efficient use of energy, including through reform efforts; increasing stability in volatile areas threatened by extremism, fostering economic growth and agricultural production; raising the access to, delivery of, and quality of education; and improving Pakistan's ability to provide health care to its population. Proposing USD 46 million, State Department said funding for Pakistan will continue support for Government's initiatives to enhance stability, security, and justice in the country. Assistance will support law enforcement and border security efforts that strengthen the presence, reach, and operational capabilities of Pakistani law enforcement across Pakistan, especially in the challenging terrain bordering Afghanistan and in other priority areas such as Karachi.-PTI


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Braigo inventor working on new product for the blind NEW YORK: A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy, who invented a low cost portable Braille printer, says he is currently working on a "pretty cool" new idea for a product which will again be useful for millions of visually impaired. Shubham Banerjee, an eighthgrade student in Santa Clara, California, is receiving rave reviews and valuable support from experts and prestigious companies for his printer Braigo, which he had recently developed using Lego Mindstorms EV3, a robotics kit. Banerjee is not one to rest on his laurels and says he has a "lot of ideas," which are "secret for now" and wants to work on products that will help people, particularly in developing countries. Without disclosing details, Banerjee said he is currently working on a "pretty cool" new idea for a product which will again be useful for the visually impaired. Banerjee, who plans to pursue a career in engineering or the scientific area, encouraged youngsters of his age to come up with

original ideas that will help the society. "Don't do something that someone's already done before. Do something original and something that helps the society," he told PTI over phone from California. "Anyone can build something to help people. Whenever you get a chance, really go out and help people," he said. A good idea can "come from anywhere," Banerjee said pointing out that he started out on the printer using the

Shubham Banerjee, the inventor of Braigo

Uber rape survivor files lawsuit in US court NEW YORK: A 25-year-old Indian woman, allegedly raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi last month, has sued the online taxi service company in a US court for failing to maintain basic safety measures, including lax screening of its drivers, that led to the assault and humiliation. The woman - who has not been named in the 36-page lawsuit filed in the California federal court against the San Francisco-based firm, being identified as 'Jane Doe' - has called Uber the "modern day equivalent of electronic hitchhiking". The taxi service, valued at USD 40 billion and operating through an app in over 250 cities around the world, was banned from Delhi's streets following the December 5 rape, that sparked safety fears throughout India. The woman executive is seeking an unspecified amount in damages that should be determined at a jury trial and compensation for the "physical and monetary" harm and for harm to her "professional and personal reputations" the assault caused her. The lawsuit said Uber's "negli-

gence, fraud and other unlawful actions" caused the woman's sexual assault, which has "humiliated, degraded, violated and robbed" her of her dignity. She is also seeking a permanent injunction directing that Uber take all affirmative steps necessary to remedy the effects of the alleged unlawful conduct of the driver and to "prevent repeated

occurrences in the future". Following the filing of the lawsuit, the victim's lawyer, prominent New York Attorney Douglas Wigdor said Uber's focus on its "bottomline over the safety of its passengers has resulted in what can only be described as modern day electronic hitchhiking." "...We intend to hold Uber responsible for the significant physical and emotional harm it has

caused to our client, while simultaneously seeking a court order mandating that Uber initiate certain safety precautions that they appear unwilling to do voluntarily," he said. Wigdor hoped that the lawsuit would bring about positive change that will ultimately protect people worldwide who are unaware of the "serious risks of entering into an Uber car". J e a n n e Christensen, a partner at the Wigdor law firm, said Uber executives' decisions to cut costs at the expense of customer safety forced the young woman to "pay the ultimate cost". "Her brutal rape by an Uber driver who was a known repeat sexual predator was a result of a global Uber policy that has far-reaching consequences. We intend to hold Uber accountable for violence that could easily have been avoided had even a minimal background check been conducted," Christensen said. Wigdor added that the lawsuit seeks to "slam the brakes" on Uber's reckless worldwide expansion at the "unfortunate expense of basic customer safety." -PTI

Lego blocks and figures. Banerjee came up with the idea of building a low-cost printer for the blind when he was working on a science fair project last year. He said he was shocked to learn that braille printers cost over USD 2,000. With millions of visually impaired people in the world, 90 per cent of who live in developing countries, Banerjee decided to develop a printer that was lowcost and could be used easily. The consumer-focused braille printer, which uses new technology and an Intel Edison chip, is portable, silent and will be offered at a price point well below currently available products for the visually impaired. Banerjee said he and his company are currently working on the design of the printer and the final product, which he expects will be released in the market in the mid 2015. He says his family in India is proud of his accomplishments.PTI

Modi condemns ISIS killing of Japanese NEW DELHI: Strongly condemning the "gruesome" and "barbaric" killing of two Japanese nationals by ISIS, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is a stark reminder of the emergence of terrorism as a major global challenge and pressed the need for more resolute action to deal with it. He wrote a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, expressing India's solidarity in the wake of these acts of terror. T h e killing of Kenji Goto a n d Haruna Yukawa is "gruesome & unfortunate", Modi said in a statement. "These murders are a stark reminder to the world of the inhuman nature of terrorism and its emergence as a major challenge to the global community," he said in his letter to Abe, a day after the terror group claimed second of the Japanese hostages had been beheaded. "This tragic loss of innocent lives should redouble our resolve

to deepen mutual cooperation and seek a more resolute global action in combating terrorism," the Prime Minister said. He said the news of the "savage" killing of the Japanese citizens by the terrorist group IS has "deeply pained and shocked me and the people of India" and "our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the people of Japan". Modi said India stands firmly

with Japan in condemning in strongest terms these "barbaric" acts of terror. "Let me also convey my personal good wishes to you as you lead your nation at this moment of grief with your charismatic strength and wisdom," he told Abe. -PTI


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Bangla expels Pak HC staffer for terror financing DHAKA: A Pakistani High Commission staffer in Bangladesh was asked to leave the country after being found indulging in terror financing including circulating Fake Indian Currency Notes, senior officials said here. Based on intelligence reports, the Sheikh Hasina government asked Pakistan to remove Mohammad Mazhar Khan, non-diplomat attache at the consular section of the High Commission in Dhaka, after his involvement in terror financing and currency forgery racket was found. "The Pakistani High Commission here notified us that the official already left

Dhaka on January 31 along with his family members," a Bangladeshi foreign ministry spokesman told PTI. He said Dhaka earlier informed Islamabad that their non-diplomat attache was found to be involved in forgery of Indian currency believed to be used for terror financing and demanded his immediate removal. Khan had set up a wide network of producing and distributing fake Indian currency and in collaboration with some colleagues at the High Commission used to channel the money earned through his currency scam to terror groups like Hizb utTahir, Ansarullah Bangla Team and Jamaat-

e-Islami, foreign Ministry officials were quoted as saying by The Daily Star. The Pakistani staffer left Dhaka with his family after the foreign ministry, instead of going for harsher measures like deportation, asked Islamabad to withdraw him in a week, officials said. The newspaper quoted a senior diplomat at the Pakistan High Commission as saying, "We have nothing to say on the matter. Whatever response would come would be from our foreign affairs spokesperson." Khan came under scanner following a confessional statement by a Bangladeshi

citizen, Mujibur Rahman, who told a Dhaka court that the Pakistani staffer was directly involved in collecting and smuggling fake Indian currency. An intelligence agency took the lead and probed to unearth that Mujibur and another Bangladeshi Jalil Akhter, both close contacts of Khan, took part in counterfeit Indian currency collection, its distribution at home and smuggling to India. Citing intelligence report, the newspaper said Khan had close ties also with some ex-army and police officers, some teachers of Dhaka University and other universities, officers of Pakistan International Airlines, businessmen and a section of Bangladeshi nationals residing in bordering areas of Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon, Jessore and Benapole. Bangladeshi nationals having links with Khan were engaged in the activities of various militant organizations in the country, the intelligence report said.-PTI

Pak Hindu doc freed after 2 months in captivity ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani Hindu doctor, who was abducted two months ago in the volatile Balochistan province, has been released after payment of a hefty Rs 15 million ransom, police said. Dr Manoj Kumar was abducted on December 2 from the provincial capital Quetta and set free in the Hazarganji area. Kumar was released after his family paid the ransom, senior police officer Aetizaz Goraya said. The captors had demanded Rs 50 million as ransom for his release but later reduced their demand to Rs 30 million.

Kumar said he was not given proper food and was repeatedly beaten by the captors. "I was kept in a small single room and I am not sure where it is located as I was blindfolded� He was finally released after the family paid Rs 15 million, according to police. Kumar said he was not given proper food and was repeatedly beaten by the captors. "I was kept in a small single room and I am not sure where it is located as I was blindfolded most of the time," he said. A visibly shaken Kumar who was present with Goraya at a press conference said he was spared torture by the kidnappers. The Hindu doctor who is a resident of Quetta said the kidnappers only allowed him one meal in 24 hours. "I was set free following payment of ransom," he added. Militancy-hit Balochistan has witnessed several incidents of abduction of senior officials, politicians and businessmen in recent years.-PTI


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Sub-inspector under me removed Indira's car: Bedi NEW DELHI: It has long been presumed that Kiran Bedi had towed away late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's car in 1982 when she was in-charge of traffic police but the BJP's chief ministerial can-

didate has sought to end the controversy by saying it was a subinspector working under her who had removed the vehicle. Noting that there were lot of remarks involving this incident on

Kiran Bedi

social media, she said, "I read their lies on Twitter saying that I never towed away Indira Gandhi's car. It troubles them a lot that Kiran's track record as DCP traffic includes cutting a chalan of the PM's car. "You tell me Indira Gandhi said she won the 1975 Bangladesh war, did she go and fight the war on her own? I was DCP traffic, my work was policy making, to protect my officers who were working properly. I was not crane driver, I used to facilitate the working of cranes." Bedi was addressing an election rally in East Delhi's Geeta Colony area. Her clarification comes in the backdrop of her earlier statements where she had claimed that she was transferred to Goa a day after she towed away Gandhi's car. However, the records show that Bedi was transferred to Goa on a promotion eight months after the incident took place.-PTI

Indian jailed for computer hacking in Singapore SINGAPORE: A 36-year-old Indian-origin man has been jailed for four years and eight months on charges of hacking computers of at least seven organizations including the ruling party in 2013. James Raj Arokiasamy, who calls himself "The Messiah", had pleaded guilty to the charges, The Straits Times reported. He used software to scan various government servers including those of the Prime Minister's Office and Elections Department as well as Peoples' Action Peoples' Action party (PAP) Community Foundation, a town council and the City Harvest Church, the management of which is on trial related to fund management. Many of the sites were defaced with taunts and threats, the report said. Raj had also hacked a Straits Times blog, and illegally accessed a server that contained bank statements of Standard Chartered Bank clients. He had displayed "audacious bravado" in his acts, which had caused public alarm and fear, said Deputy Presiding Judge of the State Courts Jennifer Marie. James Raj used specialized software tools to avoid detection which was a high degree of premeditation, planning and sophistication, the judge said. Police had spent more than

2,465 man-hours to investigate the cyber attacks, he added. Having discharged his defense lawyer at the start of the proceedings, Raj submitted an additional plea to the court, contending he had not acted maliciously. But the Judge agreed with the prosecution that his cyber intrusions were not amateurish nor committed naively. "His intention was to instill fear and trepidation. Given the current climate where international and domestic terrorist security threats are more prevalent than before, a

threat to the IT systems (and) cyber attacks in a highly networked country like Singapore should be visited with exemplary sentences," the Judge said. Raj had also pleaded guilty to drug consumption. A further 119 counts of computer misuse, and two other drug offences, were considered in the sentencing. For each of his proceeded counts of illegally modifying the contents of a computer system, he could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to Singapore dollars 10,000.-PTI

Indian found dead in a Singapore hotel SINGAPORE: A 31-year-old Indian national and an Indonesian maid were found dead in a hotel room here in Geylang, according to local media reports. The body of Chinasamy Baskar was found hanging in a hotel room here while the 29year-old Indonesian maid was found dead with her throat slit. Baskar, who has worked in the construction sector here for five years, was found dead in a hotel room in Geylang, a popular weekend areas for foreign workers.

The High Commission of India here said it was in touch with Chinasamy's family and arrangement would be made to send back his body, after police investigations are completed. Chinasamy, who was not married, was described as hardworking by his employer, who would not want to be named. Arrangements were also being made to send back the body of the Indonesian maid, Ruli Widyawati, to her home in Solo, near Yogyakarta.-PTI

Pak successfully tests new stealth cruise missile ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has successfully test-fired a new indigenously developed cruise missile capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads up to 350 km, bringing many Indian cities under its range. The Ra'ad missile enables Pakistan to achieve "strategic standoff capability" on land and at sea, as it uses extremely complex "Cruise Technology" that has been developed by only a few countries in the world, Pakistan army said. "The state of the art Ra'ad cruise missile with stealth capabilities is a low altitude, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability and can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pinpoint accuracy," army said. Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, while congratulating the scientists and engineers on achieving yet another milestone of historic significance, termed it a major step towards strengthening Pakistan's full spectrum credible minimum deterrence capability.

"Pakistan's Strategic pursuits are aimed at achieving Strategic Stability in the region," it said. He appreciated the technical prowess, dedication and commitment of scientists who contributed whole heartedly to make this launch a success. He showed his full confidence over operational preparedness of

Strategic Forces including employment and deployment concepts, refinement and training of all ranks in operational and technical domains. The successful launch has been commended by President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They also congratulated the scientists and engineers for their outstanding achievement. -PTI

Take risks early in life, Pitroda tells students KOZHIKODE: Sam Pitroda, who ushered in the telecom revolution in India, has urged management students to take risks early in life and invest creativity in making India a better all-inclusive nation. Speaking at the inaugural of the five-day Annual Management and Public Policy conclave - Horizons 2015, being organized by Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, he said the two key components lying behind the future development of India were young talent and technology. His message to the student community was simple - take risks early in life, think out of the ordinary and invest your creativity in making India a better all-inclusive nation. Asked by an enthusiastic student on what drives him even at the age of 72, his reply was 'love and work'. He stressed on the fact that one should always learn to love others and things, and sec-

ond, to always engage oneself in work. Madhukar Sabnavis, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather, India, spoke about stories of success, of uncertainties and failures.

Sam Pitroda

Highlighting the craftsmanship associated with creating stories and then selling them in short advertisements to the most receptive of audiences, Sabnavis drove home these points via various commercials such as O&M's 'Shubharambh' campaign for Cadbury's Dairy Milk or 'ZooZoo' campaign for Vodafone India.-PTI


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Jaitley advocates greater dissemination of information NEW DELHI: Advocating greater dissemination of information to the public, Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley has asked his ministerial colleagues to take the lead in being government's communicators while telling bureaucrats to avoid any propaganda. At a unique workshop for top

said, adding "Your job is not propaganda, you are not trained for propaganda. The discipline of a civil servant is not to indulge in propaganda. In my field we can do it, you can't. Therefore your real job is that government-centric information has to be put out." Jaitley, a senior minister who also holds Finance portfolio, ad-

Arun Jaitley

bureaucrats here aimed at streamlining the government's communication strategy, he cautioned ministers against getting into a "shell", thereby wasting opportunities to effectively disseminate information about programs and policies of the government. Jaitley's message to the civil servants was clear - their job was not propaganda. There is a difference between propaganda and information, he

XCREAM OF DELIGHT: Martina Hingis of Switzerland, left, and Leander Paes of India hold the trophy after defeating Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia on February 1

vised bureaucrats to be careful, saying even contrarian views should be expressed as part of an honest decision-making process of the government. "So therefore the use of language, the restraint we exercise in that. Even when there is a contrarian view, it should not be bombshell creating view. It should be a logical possible view," the Minister said. He said while it is difficult to

expect civil servants to become the "face", officers could still provide huge information that would interest large number of people. While there may be a government set-up, ultimately it is the political leadership that has to lead from the front, he said. "If there are programs of the ministry, if there are decisions of the ministry, they have to be the best communicators. If some of them get into the shell, then they are wasting an opportunity with no cost and it's an opportunity which is to a great advantage," Jaitley said. "So everybody has to be nudged, persuaded to really become the face," he said told the gathering that included Joint Secretaries from various ministries, private secretaries to ministers and Press Information Bureau (PIB) officials. "Everybody amongst the ministerial team may not be to the same level familiar with the art of dealing with the media. Slowly everybody has to be nudged, because we live through the media, we communicate through the media," he added.PTI

Credit-card transactions can give away your identity! WASHINGTON: MIT scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have examined anonymous credit card data and found that most individuals can be identified using just the dates and locations of four purchases. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that just four fairly vague pieces

receipts - or one receipt, one Instagram photo of you having coffee with friends, and one tweet about the phone you just bought - would have a 94 per cent chance of extracting your credit card records from those of a million other people, researchers said. This is true, the researchers said, even in cases where no one

of information - the dates and locations of four purchases - are enough to identify 90 per cent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users. When the researchers also considered coarse-grained information about the prices of purchases, just three data points were enough to identify an even larger percentage of people in the data set. That means that someone with copies of just three of your recent

in the data set is identified by name, address, credit card number, or anything else that we typically think of as personal information. "If we show it with a couple of data sets, then it's more likely to be true in general," said YvesAlexandre de Montjoye, an MIT graduate student in media arts and sciences, and first author of the study. De Montjoye worked on the study with his advisor, Alex 'Sandy' Pentland, the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Science; Vivek Singh, a former postdoc in Pentland's group who is now an assistant professor at Rutgers University; and Laura Radaelli, a postdoc at Tel Aviv University. The data set the researchers analyzed included the names and locations of the shops at which purchases took place, the days on which they took place, and the purchase amounts. Purchases made with the same credit card were all tagged with the same random identification number. For each identification number - each customer in the data set the researchers selected purchases at random, then determined how many other customers' purchase histories contained the same data points. In separate analyses, the researchers varied the number of data points per customer from two to five. Without price information, two data points were still sufficient to identify more than 40 per cent of the people in the data set.PTI


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Big corporates join race for 'small' banks NEW DELHI: Big corporates like RIL, Aditya Birla, Airtel and Future groups are among at least a dozen entities that have sought license from RBI to set up payment or small finance banks, two niche banking models introduced to push financial inclusion and saving habits. The deadline for submitting the applications with RBI for such

Microfinance, brokerage firm India Infoline, remittance provider UAE Exchange, home loan provider Dewan Housing Finance and SE Investments. The applicants for payments bank category also include Fino Paytech and Vakrangee, while sources said that there are some more entities in the fray including telecom giant Vodafone.

Mukesh Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla

licenses has ended and a final call on these would be taken by the central bank in due course. To foray into banking business through payments banks route, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has managed a sort of coup by partnering banking behemoth SBI, the only state-run entity in the fray. Bharti Airtel has signed on private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank as a partner for its own payments bank, while Kishore Biyaniled Future Group has teamed up with IDFC, which was given fullfledged banking license in April last year but is yet to make that venture operational. Those having applied for setting up small finance banks include micro-lender SKS

Some of the applicants, including Aditya Birla Group, India Infoline and UAE Exchange had also applied for full-fledged banking licenses to RBI in 2013, but their applications failed to pass the muster. Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Group has made its fresh application through AV Birla Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (ABNL), in partnership with its telecom venture Idea Cellular. The exact number of applicants in both the categories is yet to be made public by the RBI. Payment banks would be allowed payments and remittance services through various channels. However, such lenders, cannot issue credit cards or undertake lending activities. -PTI

Indian jailed for filming Filipina in restroom DUBAI: A 23-year-old Indian has been sentenced to six months in prison and ordered deportation for filming a female interior designer with his cell phone while she was using the restroom at her workplace. The salesman, who was identified only with his initials B J, confessed that he had started video mode and filmed woman while she was using restroom, Gulf News reported. B J sneaked into the ladies' room and secretly filmed the Filipina designer while she was undressed at a government building in August last year.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted him of molesting the 32-year-old designer by filming her undressed against her will. The accused pleaded guilty and asked for mercy when he showed up in court. Prosecutors accused B J of molesting the Filipina and breaching her modesty and privacy when he filmed her naked. He was also charged with entering a women-only place, the report said. Presiding judge Mohammad Jamalthe said the accused will be deported after serving his punishment.-PTI

Global CEOs call on Modi; to hike investment NEW DELHI: A group of global CEOs, including Dieter Zetsche of Daimler AG and Feffrey Jaensubhakiji of GIC AM, have expressed intention to increase investment in India. Anshu Jain of Deutsche Bank AG, Kurt Bock of BASF, Heinrich Biersinger of Thyssen Krupp and Yngve Slyngstad of Norgos along with other two CEOs called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. "They appreciated the economic reform initiatives of the Prime Minister, and also expressed their intention to increase investments in India," a PMO release said. The Modi-led government has initiated a slew of economic reforms, including liberalization of FDI policy for sectors like insurance and railways, to attract for-

eign investments. The government has also taken measures towards ease of doing business in the country.

The 'Make In India' campaign launched by the government has attracted attention of global investors.-PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting with Global CEOs in New Delhi on February 2


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Apple closes gap with Samsung in smartphones NEW DELHI: Tech giant Apple managed to close the gap with rival Samsung after nearly three years at number two position in the global smartphone market as iPhone sales increased in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as well as the US, says IDC. The US-based maker of iPhone and iPad managed to close the gap with Korean electronics major Samsung in the October-December quarter on the back of its larger iPhone 6 and reduced the volume gap to just 600,000 units. "Having spent 11 quarters prior to Q4 2014 as the number two smartphone vendor in terms of shipments, Apple managed to close the gap to a near tie with Samsung in the fourth quarter," IDC said.

Apple's shipment volumes had trailed Samsung's by over 33 million units during the same quarter in 2013, it added. Samsung lead the global smartphone market, shipping 75.1 million handsets in the fourth quarter of 2014 with 20.1 per cent market share, closely followed by Apple at 74.5 million smartphones and 19.85 market share, IDC said. "An elevated consumer appetite for big-screen devices, as well as Apple's push in China and other countries, saw iPhone sales up 44 per cent in the US and up 97 per cent in the BRIC countries," the IT research firm said. Continued success from Apple, coupled with the ongoing challenges facing Samsung, could

enable Apple to overtake Samsung this year, it said. "Samsung's challenges have not only come from Apple, but

Indian hawkers to market Trest online currency SINGAPORE: The popular hawkers on Indian streets would be roped in by an NRI-owned nonprofit private organization for an online network of merchant banking system to market a digital currency rivaling Bitcoin. Canada-based Trestor Foundation's founder Kunal Dixit said such small businesses, which forms part of the two billion people without banking facilities worldwide, will form the base of "Trest" or digital tokens as a form of online currency. "Our retailers in India would include chaiwalas, gol gappewalas and rediwalas to market the Trest using their smart

THE MELA BEGINS: Russian artists with folk artists during International Crafts Mela in Surajkund, Haryana on February 3

phones," Dixit told PTI after a conference on Inside Bitcon over the weekend in Singapore. He estimates Indian retailers, most of whom have no banking facilities, would account for a quarter of the global two billion non-banking people around the world to retail Trest launched earlier this month. Each Trest is valued at one US cent and its price is linked to gold, said the Ludhiana-born and Chandigarh-educated Dixit. The core team of Dixit, who at 30 runs a bioinformatics company QualCount in Ottawa, at Trestor Foundation has 12 Indians and one Iranian.

"We have built up a network of 300 retail partners in over 51 countries over the last 60 days," said Dixit who held a soft launch of the protocol in Singapore. "Our job is to create a business where person-to-person money transaction happens. There is no third party involvement," he said. He expects Trest to become a common digital token with stored value like Bitcoin which has a capital value of USD 3.5 billion. "Our starting market cap will be USD1 billion." He stressed that Trest's link to gold price would make it popular given the 5,000-year-old history of the yellow metal and its tradeable cap of USD7.5 trillion.-PTI

also from the increasing number of low-cost Android OEMs that are putting out products at much lower margins," it added.

In order for Samsung to retain its share at the top, it will either have to accept lower margins from here forward or revamp its highend strategy to compete with Apple, IDC said. In terms of total smartphone shipments globally, vendors shipped a total of 375.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2014, resulting in 28.2 per cent growth compared to the 292.7 million units shipped in Q4 2013 and 11.9 per cent sequential growth above the 335.3 million units shipped in July-September 2014, IDC said. For the full year, the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1.3 billion units shipped, up 27.6 per cent from little over a billion in 2013. -PTI

Intel to buy German broadband specialist Lantiq SANTA CLARA, US: Chipmaking giant Intel plans to buy a German company that specializes in broadband access and home networking technologies, as part of a push to reach more households with high-end technology. Terms of the acquisition of Lantiq were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in about three months. Lantiq, which is based in Munich, has more than 2,000 patents covering broadband commu-

nications. Intel officials said in a statement that they expect more than

800 million broadband connected households worldwide by 2018, and a combination of their company with Lantiq "can allow global service providers to introduce new home computing experiences and enable consumers to take advantage of a more smart and connected home." Intel Corp has struggled with its response to the trend toward mobile computing. The Santa Clara, California, company is the is the world's dominant maker of microprocessor chips that serve as the brains for PCs, but its business has suffered as consumers have increasingly turned to smartphones and tablets that mostly use lower-power chips made by other companies. Intel also announced in early December that it would acquire PasswordBox, a service that saves and remembers passwords so that users can log into different websites without having to remember or type in their passwords. Terms of that deal also were not disclosed.-AP


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Govt likely to face Opp heat in Parl on nuke issue NEW DELHI: Government is expected to face much flak from the Opposition in the Budget session of Parliament on the nuclear liability issue in the wake of the breakthrough on the Indo-US nuclear deal. An indication to this effect was given by Congress' senior spokesman Anand Sharma who said that the principal Opposition party has not yet been taken into confidence on the details arrived at during the just-concluded visit of US President Barack Obama. Opposition leaders have been saying that the govern-

Dawood's brother, his aide held for extortion, assault MUMBAI: Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother Iqbal Kaskar and his associate have been arrested on charges of extortion and assault, police said. Kaskar and his aide Shabbir Usman Shaikh were apprehended after being subjected to hours of grilling, said Anil Madvi, Senior Inspector at J J Marg Police Station. The duo would be produced before a court tomorrow, police said. The action against the duo came on a complaint filed by a real estate agent, Mohammed Salim Shaikh. Kaskar, Shabbir and one more person were booked on charges of extortion and assault last night at Byculla Police Station. The complainant first approached Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, who directed his colleagues to look into the matter and take appropriate action. The complainant claimed Kaskar and his men thrashed him and demanded Rs three lakh from him. The alleged incident had occurred in a room at Damarwala building in South Mumbai's Bhendi Bazar area, police said. The case was subsequently transferred to J J Marg Police Station under whose jurisdiction the incident had taken place. The trio were booked under IPC Sections 385 (putting a person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).-PTI

Spain to help transform Delhi into Smart City NEW DELHI: Spain has come forward to assist in transforming Delhi into a Smart City and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed shortly between the two countries accordingly. An understanding to this effect was reached at a meeting between Urban Development Ministry M Venkaiah Naidu and a nine-member delegation led by the visiting Minister of State for Trade of Spain Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce. While the US will help India in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnamand, Germany have also shown interest to participate in the UD Ministry's ambitious Smart City project. After detailed discussion on the central government's initiatives for urban development in the country, the opportunities there of and the global interest in them, the Spanish delegation expressed their keen interest in being associated with making Delhi a Smart City, sources said. It was agreed that a MoU would be signed between the two governments with focus on evolving a Master Plan for Smart Delhi. Both the ministers decided that action for signing the MoU will be initiated in right earnest. Gustavo de Aristegui Gonzalez, Spanish Ambassador in India described the understanding reached as an 'exciting opportunity' for cooperation between the two countries.-PTI

ment must inform Parliament about the assurances on the commercial component of the agreement it reached, the financial liability clause and the compensation part. "We do not have the fine print of the assurances given as yet. They have kept it vague so far. Government has not shared the details and it must place them before Parliament," Sharma said. He hinted that the Opposition party would pillory the BJP on the nuclear liability issue. "Whether BJP likes it or not, the party and its leaders of the Opposition in Parliament at that time will have to share the credit or take the blame for bringing impediment in the

operationalisation of the deal," he said. He insisted that the BJP leaders were squarely responsible for the provision 17(B) under the Nuclear Liability Act which came as an impediment in operationalising the deal. Sharma, who is also the Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, said that whatever agreement government of India could have arrived at during talks with the US should be "within four corners of the Indian law". Reports had it that New Delhi has proposed setting up an insurance pool with a liability cap of Rs 1500 crore, half of which will come from the government of India.-PTI


Desi News Lohri festival celebrated with gusto by Desis Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: Lohri festival was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at American Business Community of Desis (ABCD) on Saturday, January 24 at Cascade Banquets, Bensenville, a northwest suburb of Chicago More than 200 people attended the function, the inclement weather notwithstanding. Lohri was celebrated with traditional bonfire, tappes, and songs suitable for the occasion. ABCD members witnessed a lively night of blazing bonfire. The purpose of this festivity was also to launch ABCD to help the Indian Business Community promote their business. Details on page 18

Maharudram event on Mahayagnas Asian Media USA

CHICAGO IL: The Maharudram Committee of The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, Lemont, IL organized the grand inauguration ceremony of the prelude series titled "Rudra: Who Really is He?" on Saturday Jan 31. The function was attended by over 700 people at the Sama Rathi Auditorium in the Temple. This is the prelude program to the main event "Maharudram and Navachandi Mahayagnam" coming up later this year in June. The prelude comprises a series of enlightening discourses and cultural presentations bringing out the spiritual symbolism of Mahayagnas and their contribution to universal peace, welfare and prosperity. Details on page 19

Iftekhar Shareef bereaved with loss of father SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: A veteran community activist, Iftekhar Shareef was bereaved this week with the sad demise of his father, Mohammad Iqbal Shareef. Mohammad Iqbal was 85 years old and breathed his last here on Friday January 30. He was retired superintendent of Indian Railways. He was a quiet and graceful gentleman and always enjoyed the company of old and young. He is survived by his wife, two sons, five daughters, more than 30 grand children and five great grand children. In passing away of Mohammad Iqbal Shareef a noble soul has been lost. Details on page 20

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

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The happiness of Swarg is temporary & unsatisfying

February 6, 2015

Details on page 24

CM Chouhan launches 'Friends of MP' initiative in New York India Post News Service

NEW YORK: More than 3000 people traveled to the centre of New York on an extremely cold Super Bowl Sunday morning, February 1 to cheer for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, when he arrived here to launch the initiative to connect the global citizens who wish to work for the benefit of Madhya Pradesh and India. On the second day of his sixday visit to the tri-state area in the US East Coast, Chouhan formally launched the Friends of Madhya Pradesh initiative (www.friendsofmp.com) at the famed Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in Manhattan, New York. The website is first of its kind initiative by any state in the country following the suggestion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that sought the creation of a global talent pool as a network of its friends anywhere in the world. Amid claps of a full house filled with NRIs, state senators, US Congressmen and Congresswomen, and other important business and community leaders from across New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut and other neighborhoods, beats of drums and dholaks, the fluttering of national flag, Chouhan and guests on the dais formally inaugurated the website friendsofmp.com by putting hands on the globe that symbolized the connected world and with that the site went live on a giant screen right above the stage. In his half-hour Hindi speech interrupted by loud applauses at several intervals and slogans in praise of Bharat Mata (Mother India) on various occasions, the Chief Minister stated that his government for the last decade has not only been undertaking welfare measures, but also implemented useful employment-generating programs that have changed the landscape of the state. With GDP of 11.08 percent and logging more than 20% of rise in agricultural production in the last several years, Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressing the community in New York

has become one of the fastest growing states in the country. Citing estimates and positive outlook, he said India would soon overtake China in economic growth and Madhya Pradesh will

take a significant part in that process. He mentioned that after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014, the self-confidence level of Indians -within

and outside the country - has risen in a significant way. Now no longer the "policy paralysis", the hallmark of the previous government, exists at the Center and in States. Cont’d on page 19

Shivraj Singh Chouhan receiving thumping welcome from more than 3000 'Friends of MP' at iconic Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York


February 6, 2015

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Talk on Himalayan Buddhist art draws huge crowd ELIZABETH VISUVALINGAM

EVANSTON: The "Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies" exhibition here at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, was officially inaugurated Saturday January 17 with an overview by art historian and curator Robert Linrothe followed by a conversation with Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, Curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art at Cleveland Museum of Art. As the 160-seat auditorium could not accommodate the unexpected turnout of over 400, the planned Q&A was cut short and many would-be auditors were redirected to an ad hoc guided tour of the exhibition. Museum Director Lisa Corrin explained the background of the unique exhibition

consequences of their respective ap- Himalaya remained faithful to more ancient by twin-stupas emerging from the lotusproaches. He began by dramatically high- Kashmir model. They did so especially by lake, datable to 714 C.E., is the centerpiece lighting, to the amusement of the audience, the exhibition's binocular vision, by wearing in turn the two hats, red and white respectively, of a Tibetan Lama and of a British colonial officer inspecting an architectural monument. For the Buddhist patron (donor), artisan and worshipper, a consecrated statue or painting is, more than just an aesthetic representation, a living and transformative presence. He detailed how Western collectors, including the pioneering Italian Orientalist Giuseppe Tucci, impelled by profane motivations, deliberately deceived, bribed and extorted these artifacts from the trusting natives. Pre-Islamic Robert Linrothe (L) and Sonya Rhie Quintanilla discussed significance of the exhibition on Kashmir exercised Buddhist art of Kashmir a powerful religiocultural influence over its sur- examining the finer details of three objects and showstopper of the exhibition. rounding regions, even well into featured in the exhibition. The extraordinary Cont’d on page 20 Central Asia. The ethnically dis- workmanship of the royal Buddha flanked tinct inhabitants of the Western Himalayas voluntarily orientated themselves toward Kashmir and avidly collected its Buddhist art by commission works or inviting artists from the Valley. Originally influenced by KashLinrothe puts on the ceremonial cap of a Tibetan Lama to mir via Ladakh, etc, Tibet began illustrate, humorously, how the exhibition mediates to retransmit these received and between the sacred and profane approaches to collecting adapted styles back to the WestBuddhist art, between the traditional patron and the modern ern Himalayas when the latter reart collector gion was cut off culturally from from conception to implementation, thank- the Islamized Valley after the 14th century. ing all contributors, sponsors and collabo- The original legacy was, however, so persisrators in the process. Associate Director of tent that elements of the Kashmiri style, missCuratorial Affairs Kathleen Berzock intro- ing in Tibet, resurfaced during the post-15th duced the two speakers. century renaissance of Buddhism in the WestLinrothe spoke on travel, trade and ar- ern Himalayas. tistic exchanges across the Himalayas beThe two panelists juxtaposed sculptures tween the seventh and 17th centuries; how and illustrations to trace the influence of and why such works have been collected Kashmir style, duly contrasted with Central by Buddhists and by Westerners, and the Tibetan style, to show how the Western


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Lohri festival celebrated with gusto by Desis Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: Lohri festival was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at American Business Community of Desis (ABCD) on Saturday, January 24 at Cascade Banquets, Bensenville, a northwest suburb of Chicago More than 200 people attended the function, the inclement weather notwithstanding. Lohri was celebrated with tra-

ditional bonfire, tappes, and songs suitable for the occasion. ABCD members witnessed a lively night of blazing bonfire. The purpose of this festivity was also to launch ABCD to help the Indian Business Community promote their business. Lohri function is celebrated in North India in winter in the month of January. Families get together around a bonfire to celebrate Lohri of the new born and newly marMembers and leaders of American Business Community of Desis at the celebration of Lohri

ried and eat foods such as dates, peanuts, bhuga (traditional Indian sweet and made of milk products) good for health during the winter season. Lohri festival is celebrated throughout India and even in foreign lands. The emcee for the evening Gauri Mittal did a marvelous job keeping alive the interest of the audience throughout the program. The traditional Indian food was served by Cascade Banquets Owner Joginder Singh. The evening was remarkable for its cross-generational appeal, the little kids enjoying learning about

Punjabi heritage and culture through arts and crafts coordinated by Ritu Mehta and Saurabh Mehta. Shammi Mittal welcomed the guests and explained that the American Business Community of Desis is a brand new organization and has been established to help business folks from Indian origin serve the community and grow their businesses. The Organization is going to provide a common platform to all service providers and seekers to drive maximum benefits for one another.

Ladies dance at Lohri celebrations

Cont’d on page 20


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Maharudram event brings out symbolism of Mahayagnas Asian Media USA

CHICAGO IL: The Maharudram Committee of The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, Lemont, IL or-

This is the prelude program to the main event "Maharudram and Navachandi Mahayagnam" coming up later this year in June. The prelude comprises a series of en-

by a lecture by Swamiji Ishatmanada, senior monk of Sri Ramakrishna order and Minister In-charge, Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago. He and Con-

Swami Sarvapriyananda was then honored by Jim Sussarey of the Maharudram committee. Swami Ishatmananda inaugurated the series with the traditional

Shiva as an embodiment of sacrifice for the benefit of others by drinking the poison himself in order to save others. President Bhima Reddy wel-

Swami Sarvapriyananda during his riveting speech

Jeffrey Erhard and Steve Burdick who enchanted the crowd with their rendition of Sri Rudram here with Swamijis

ganized the grand inauguration ceremony of the prelude series titled "Rudra: Who Really is He?" on Saturday Jan 31. The function was attended by over 700 people at the Sama Rathi Auditorium in the Temple.

lightening discourses and cultural presentations bringing out the spiritual symbolism of Mahayagnas and their contribution to universal peace, welfare and prosperity. The program started with a prayer to Lord Ganesha followed

sul General of India Dr Ausuf Sayeed were welcomed on the stage and honored with garlands by Lakshman Agadi, Chairman of Maharudram committee and Bhima Reddy, President of HTGC. The keynote speaker of the evening,

Lighting of the Lamp Ceremony with the assistance of Jhansi Reddy. In his inaugural speech, Swami Ishatmananda gave a beautiful explanation for Yagna, where in the devotee pours his ignorance into the fire while offering oblations and thus becomes one with Shiva. He quoted Swami Vivekananda who explained Lord

comed the gathering with an introductory address. In it, he explained how the HTGC, which started as a place of worship three decades ago, has transformed into a monumental institution upholding the traditional cultural, religious, and spiritual values that India holds dear. Cont’d on page 22

CM Chouhan launches 'Friends of MP' initiative in New York Cont’d from page 16

He added that Modi is not just the leader of India but he is on the path to becoming a world leader. The Prime Minister suggested to make yoga an international phenomenon and the UN has agreed to that immediately by making June 21 International Yoga Day. He pointed out the existence of a 24-hour power supply, availability of enough water and calm and peaceful industrial climate in Madhya Pradesh. Around 26,000 hectares of land bank has been created to cater for potential investment and industrial opportunities. Steps are being taken to ensure that up to 30 percent police force is female in order to tackle more efficiently the crimes being perpetrated against women. He spoke about several issues that included religious harmony, America-India relations, and BJP's determination in providing good governance and clean administration. Chouhan honored the winners

Attendees listening to the speech

of recent Padma awards on the occasion, praised their contributions and sought their services

to India in general and the central state in particular. "I bring in the best wishes of

7.5 crore (75 million) residents of Madhya Pradesh to you all," he said. "You contributed to this so-

ciety immensely and now you must do the same to India, your motherland."


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Iftekhar Shareef bereaved with loss of father SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: A veteran community activist, Iftekhar Shareef was bereaved this week with the sad demise of his father, Mohammad

Iqbal Shareef. Mohammad Iqbal was 85 years old and breathed his last here on Friday January 30. He was retired

superintendent of Indian Railways. He was a quiet and graceful gentleman and always enjoyed the company of old and young. He is sur-

vived by his wife, two sons, five daughters, more than 30 grand children and five great grand children. In passing away of Mohammad Iqbal Shareef a noble soul has been lost. Namaz-E-Janaza took place on

OBITUARY

Mohammad Iqbal Shareef

Iftekhar Shareef with mourners. Pic Asian media USA

Talk on Himalayan Buddhist art draws huge crowd dise" Jan. 28. Linrothe also underlined the It retains echoes of Greco-Helirony of the Kashmir now being a lenic style that early Kashmir art zone of conflict between what are perceived to be external powers. had inherited from Gandhara (modern Afghanistan-PakiDuring the Jan. 28 tour, stan). The same influLinrothe clarified that ence is recognizable in with the Islamized Valley the rare sculpture, from orienting itself more toCleveland Museum, ward Persian religio-culjuxtaposing three reptural models the Western resentations of the Himalaya was henceforth fasting Buddha, his culturally cut off. network of veins exThe magnificent posed in fine detail. sculptured image of the Surrounded by scoffShaiva goddess ers and tormentors, he Kashmira, embodiment of is shown cringing dethis paradise on earth so jectedly on the left, acclaimed subsequently steadfast in meditation by the celebrated Sufi in the middle, and fipoet Amir Khusru, was renally accepting a bowl vered by both Hindus of milk from a village and Buddhists. Its easily girl to attain Enlightenoverlooked consecration ment through the inscription is not in the Middle Way. Their last Sharada script, native to exhibit was a 15th C Kashmir, but in Tibetan. Western Himalayan The discerning visitor painting of Manjushri may well come away with Fasting Buddha, 700s. India, Kashmir, 8th century from the Art Institute the conviction that "Colthat is stylistically dislecting Paradise" does not tinct from his representations both to handle the growing and com- simply celebrate the legacy of the in India and Tibet. plex issues of repatriation remains fluid religio-cultural identities of the Despite their misappropriated an open question, amply dis- past but also thereby offers a tanartifacts ending up in foreign mu- cussed during Linrothe's two-hour gible roadmap for reconstructing seums, the contemporary monks guided tour of "Collecting Para- the subcontinent's possible future. Cont’d from page 17

are becoming historically aware and eager to learn from Western art historians; monasteries are starting to produce catalogs based on modern scholarship. But how

Sunday Feb 1at Muslim Community Center 4380 North Elston Avenue, Chicago at 12:30 pm followed by burial at Rosehill Cemetery on Peterson and Western Ave. In spite of the extremely brutal weather conditions in Chicago, well wishers, friends and members thronged the cemetery for burial services on Sunday Feb 1. Among those present were Indian Media members, prominent community personalities like Hasan Chisti, Masood Shah Khan, members of FIA-Chicago and American Telugu Association. Minhaj Akhtar coordinated the prayer services. Prayers and Duas where performed by the renowned Moulana Janab Badruddin Quadri Sahab. May Allah give patience and courage to all family and friends to bear this loss and give Shareef a great place in Jannat E Firdos. Ameen.

Lohri festival celebrated with gusto by Desis Cont’d from page 18

Ladies group lead by Anshu Paul did Jago and Gidda (Punjabi folk dance), traditionally dressed ladies danced through the hall carrying a gaggar (pot) decorated with lighted candles and singing

da thewa, tare gin gin yaad and Dil chori sada ho gaya of Hans Raj Hans. Chief Guests Dr Harjinder Khaira, Rosey Bhasin and Ashok Laxmanan enjoyed Virdi's songs, Vote of thanks was provided by Neeraj Malik. Ramesh Malhan, secretary of United Punjabis of

Ladies danced through the hall carrying gaggar (pot)

jaago song. Special tappaas or to be specific, Punjabi verses were performed by the ladies to mark the day. DL Sahil Bhatti kept the melodious music and dhol beats that could not stop folks to start Bhangra. Mahijit Singh Virdi, a versatile local singer, delighted the audience with Punjabi and popular melodies and fast dancing Hindi and Punjabi songs for almost an hour. He sang Eh thewa mundri

America (UPA), a sister organization of ABCD, also spoke about the upcoming potential of ABCD to help the Indian business community. Following are the Executive Committee members: Naveen Kukreja, Jatin Khurana, Saurabh Mehta, Ritu Dhiman, Gauri Mittal and Yaznish Sabharwal. Board of Directors & Advisory Committee: Shammi Mittal, Neeraj Malik, Rosey B.


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India Association of St. Louis celebrates Republic Day ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The India Association of St. Louis (IAS) celebrated Republic Day of India on Saturday, January 24 at Mahatma Gandhi Center in St Louis. Both American and Indian flags were hoisted by children who participated in the event by singing the respective national anthems. Sarath Rao, president of the association, elucidated the chronology of the development of the Indian Constitution and its significance. He said that it paved the way for parliamentary system of government. Besides many interesting anecdotes, Rao reminded the audience that the Constitution in fact came into existence on November 25, 1949. The adoption of this lengthy document took place on January 26, 1950 and became the governing text of multicultural India. Dr Sharad Parikh, who is a life member and served as the chair of the Hindu temple of St. Louis Board, delivered the keynote speech. In his address, Dr Parikh brought forth many interesting facts about the Indian Constitution and the reactions from the legislature in response to Indian court decisions. He compared the constitutions of the two great democracies, America and Indian. He said the Indian Constitution is

Flag hoisting by young children

considerably bulky with over 448 articles, while the American Constitution has seven. There are as many as 99 to 102 amendments to the Indian Constitution in 67 years while American Constitution was amended only 17 (first 10 of bill of rights is considered as just one) in over 200 years. Dr Parikh stressed the power of political establishment to make the amendments in order to sustain the pressure of a single or multiple groups. He has also drawn various similarities in the two Constitutions. Vote of thanks was given by the Secretary, Mrs Shailee Saran Varanasi. India Association of St. Louis has nine Board members who strive to organize cultural events and celebrations on the Republic and Independence days. Despite many efforts, the association has been unsuccessful in bringing any consulate officer or a member of Indian embassy. There are over 10,000 Indians in St. Louis metropolitan and surrounding areas, who have questions, doubts about their visa and passport needs, which the board members strive to meet, often unsuccessfully. The Board of India association consists of President (Sharat Rao) president Elect (Mrs Meera Jain), Secretary (Shailee Saran Varanasi), treasurer (Vijaya Lakshmi Buddhiraju), Cultural secretary (Mrs Gayatri Chintakunta and Dr Smita Parikh), Sendil Rathina Sabhapati (immediate past president), Vijaya Kumar Buddhiraju (one of the oldest members of IA for over 35 years), Krishna Rao Moharir (newest and the youngest Board member in charge of publications and website).

Speakers Sarath Rao, Dr Sharad Parikh, Mrs Shailee Saran Varanasi at the event


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Indonesia plan to restore temple welcomed MADHU PATEL

CHICAGO: Members of the Indian community at large in USA have welcomed the move initiated by the Indonesian government to renovate its unique and fascinating 15th century S u k u h H i n d u Temple in Central Java. N a n d K a p u r, f o r m e r president of the Association of Indian Americans, said that "this is not the Hindu temple that is being restored. It is rather the heritage of the society that is being now preserved. Giving it Hindu color could give it a sectarian look and

diminish the importance of the move." Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism in

(Argoyoso district) on Mount Lawu slopes, by the Central Java Heritage Conservation Agency would start in March and will be

its "World Heritage List". This temple, a trapezium with three terraces, built around 1437, contains images of Ganesh, Arjun, Bhim,

served that by taking care of its heritage temple Indonesia displayed religious pluralism and showed the way that culture is

Relics of Sukuh Hindu Temple

a statement from Nevada termed it as "step in the positive direction, which was urgently needed. According to reports the restoration work on collapsing pyramid of Sukuh in Berjo Village

completed by 2016. The agency will work with a team of archeologists. Sukuh Hindu Temple is part of the "Tentative List" of UNESCO in order to qualify for inclusion in

Narad and Vishnu's avatar Kurma (Tortoise), besides others. Sohan Joshi, president of the National Federation of Indian Associations in a note of thanks to the Indonesian government ob-

beyond religious borders. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population than any other country in the world; where Muslims form about 88% of the population and Hindus about 3%.

Maharudram event brings out Simon Yohanan appointed Bankers Treasurer symbolism of Mahayagnas STEPHANIE KULKE

Cont’d from page 19

This was followed by Lakshman Agadi explaining the three-day Mahayagnam in detail. He invited the gathering to attend the grand function in June, which will be marked by more than a thousand women reciting the Lalitha Sahasranamam, invoking the Divine Mother with her 1,008 names. He explained how hundreds of scholars from all over the country will gather and chant Sri Rudram, the most ancient Vedic prayer for Lord Shiva. The Navachandi Mahayagnam on Sunday June 14 is planned in such a way that everybody can participate in offering oblations into the sacred fire. He went on to explain that various ?aints and Satgurus have accepted the invitation to grace the occasion with their presence, which is likely to be attended by over 5000 devotees over three days. CG Dr Ausuf Sayeed explained how he researched on Sri Rudram after being invited to this occasion and that he was inspired to learn Rudra actually meant someone who eliminates evil and establishes peace. Rudra is the beginning from where the entire universe emanated and to which everything will converge when we obtain liberation through the knowledge of The Supreme Being. He said Mahayagnas are an ancient Indian heritage and have been performed since time imme-

morial with the objective of global peace. A highlight of the evening was the perfect rendition of Sri Rudram by Steve Burdick and Jeffrey Erhard, which prompted the attendees to rise and give a standing ovation. Erhard then followed this with a soul-stirring bhajan session on Lord Shiva. Erhard and Burdick were honored by Tilak

Swami Sarvapriyananda, a young and dynamic monk himself from Belur Math came to Chicago and gave a spellbinding presentation to a rapt audience on how Sri Rudram contains the essence of all the Upanishads Marwaha, Vice President of HTGC and Prasanna Reddy, Religious Chair, with shawls and gifts. Swami Sarvapriyananda, a young and dynamic monk himself from Belur Math came to Chicago and gave a spellbinding presentation to a rapt audience on how Sri Rudram contains the essence of all the Upanishads. Swamiji, with a slideshow presentation, explained how Sanatana Dharma is

an eternal religion and how the Mahavakyas of the Upanishads reveal that the soul (Atman) and the Brahman (universal consciousness) are one and the same. He regaled the audience with the parable of the tenth man and explained the oneness of existence that the Upanishads teach. The lecture was followed by a wonderful Bharatanatyam performance by "Natya Bhairavi" Sulakshana Jayaram, an empanelled artist for the Indian council of cultural relations. "Rudraarpanam - An ode to Rudra" was choreographed entirely by her for this inaugural event. Sulakshana's dance recital commenced with "Bho Shambho", the song in praise of Lord Shiva composed by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and followed with "Yenneramum Avarai Ninnaindenadi", composed by Pandanallur Sreenivasa Pillai. Sulakshana's depiction of the longing love of the heroine for Lord Brihadeeshara was just immaculate. The crowning piece of the entire performance of the evening was the dance for the song "Vazhi Maraithirukkude", composed by Gopalkrishna Bharathi on Nandanar Charitram. Sulakshana Jayaram was honored by Vedavati Agadi, Jhansi Reddy, and Prasanna Reddy. Vijaya Sarma, Co-Chair of Maharudram Committee, gave the vote of thanks.

EVANSTON: Simon Yohanan, First Bank & Trust is a locally Managing Director of First Bank owned and managed community & Trust in Evanston, has been bank with a mission to be the most appointed as Treasurer of the Illi- responsive and the most responnois Bankers Association Chicago sible bank in the communities it Chapter. Yohanan will serve a two- serves year term, effective January 1, 2015. The Illinois Bankers AssociaSimon Yohanan has served the commercial banking needs of Chicagoland industries for over 15 years. Beginning in 1995, he assisted in the initial offering of First Bank & Trust and became a full time employee in 2000. Over his tenure he has been promoted to Loan Officer/Trust Operations Officer, Assistant Vice President, Vice President, Senior Vice President and finally, his current Simon Yohanan, Managing Director, position, Managing Commercial Banking Director. Simon handles the largest com- tion is a full-service trade associamercial loan portfolio at the Bank tion dedicated to creating a posiand plays important roles in the tive business climate that benefits bank's leadership, marketing and the entire banking industry and technology efforts. He is active the communities they serve. on several community service Founded in 1891, the IBA brings boards including Catholic Chari- together state and national banks, ties, Metropolitan Family Services savings banks, and savings and and the Assyrian Universal Alli- loan associations of all sizes in Ilance Foundation. linois. Collectively, the IBA repreSimon earned a Bachelor's de- sents nearly 90 percent of the asgree from the University of Illinois sets of the Illinois banking indusUrbana-Champaign and an MBA try, which employs more than from Northwestern University's 100,000 men and women in more Kellogg School of Management. than 5,000 offices across the state.


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UFICA celebrates India's 66th Republic Day India Post News Service

ARTESIA, CA: United Federation of Indo-Americans in California (UFICA) observed their 66th Republic Day celebration at Tandoor Restaurant on Saturday, January 24. Among the attendees 200 prominent Indo-Americans and politicians from the City of Cerritos and Artesia. The celebration started with the lamp lighting ceremony followed by American and Indian National Anthem. Speeches were short and were kept to the minimum. A cultural program was the cornerstone of the ceremony. The program was well organized in terms of adherence to timelines and was hailed as one of the best UFICA programs since its inception in 2005. Alka Patel, President, president of UFICA was remarkable in her organizational skills and was responsible for gathering a large audience at the function. Vinita

Vineet along with Smita Das, Charu Miglani and Vasu Pawar deserve special kudos in ensuring that the cultural items were of the highest quality so much so that it drew constant applause from the audience. Dr. Vinod Vineet, Niraj Agnihotri along with Dr Gadsalli and Prof. Deokar were instrumental in money collections and ensuring the quality of the food was of the highest order. Commissioner Ashok Pat Patnaik and Rajesh Chellani, both Co-Emcees, ensured everything went well with the program and maintained minimal downtime from one item to another. Dignitaries included Mayor Mark Pulito and Commissioner Naresh Solanki from the City of Cerritos. Artesia was represented by Ali Taj, council member from the City.

Memorial Trust members pay tributes to Gandhi SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: Members of Gandhi lence and religious tolerance has Memorial Trust and their associ- become more relevant than ever ates gathered at the Gandhi statue site in Skokie to pay tribute to the Apostle of Peace on Friday January 30. The site located between Dempster and Church on McCormick Blvd has in a way become a sort of pilgrim place with scores visiting the place to pay their homage to this great soul. The Mahatma was assassinated on this day 66 years ago in New Delhi. "It has become the tradition since the installation of the statue since 2004, whether it is brutal cold, snow or sunshine. Many like us gather Gathering at Mahatma Gandhi statue to the statue site and pay our respects, said Omprakash Kamaria, before. Prayer for world peace was recited at the site, added Trust chair. Gandhiji's teaching of nonvio- Omprakash Kamaria.


24 India Post

Community Across America

February 6, 2015

www.indiapost.com

The happiness of Swarg is temporary & unsatisfying

I

n the previous two articles, we discussed the nature of worldly happi ness and unhappiness and learned that there is no happiness or unhappiness in any object or person of this world. Thus, even though Shree Krishna explained to Arjun that by performing his dharm, he would receive more worldly enjoyments (by gaining the kingship through victory in the war, or by getting a good destiny and more prosperity in his next birth), Arjun was not sufficiently motivated to get up and fight. He was not interested in obtaining the pleasures of this world (chapter 1, verse 32). Krishna also offered the attainment of Swarg as an incentive. He told Arjun that even if he were killed in the battle, since he had performed his dharm, he would go to Swarg after death (chapter 2, verse 37). Let us see if this motivated Arjun to fight. What is Swarg and where is it? First, we must understand what Swarg is. In English it could be translated as heaven or celestial abodes. It is not the same as God's supreme Divine abode. Swarg is a part of the material manifestation, and is a product of Maya. Thus, when the universe dissolves, Swarg is also dissolved. Swarg is a real place, where souls

SWAMI NIKHILANAND

can go and reside temporarily as a reward for good karm. Swarg is in its own dimension, yet included within the realm of Maya. However, it cannot be perceived with the senses that we use to perceive this world. Thus, it is not visible to us, even though it is a real place. After death, a soul may be transferred to Swarg, in which case it would receive a celestial body and senses in order to per-

ceive and enjoy the celestial world. Do you stay in Swarg forever? No. Those souls who gain access to Swarg only remain there temporarily (chapter 9, verse 21). The length of a soul's stay

in Swarg depends on the amount of punya they have accumulated with their good actions in this life. As pleasures are received in Swarg, the punya is gradually used up, and eventually that soul is removed from Swarg and returned to life on earth. It is similar to spending your savings when you go away on vacation. The punya are your savings, which you accumulate by following dharm. The more savings you have, the longer you can remain on vacation. However, while on vacation you are only spending, you are not earning more. Similarly, while in swarg, you use up your punya, but cannot earn more. Eventually you end your vacation and return to work so that you can earn more - eventually you must leave Swarg and return to earth where you can earn more punya. The human life form which exists on earth is the only life form that can perform karm. All other life forms merely receive the good and bad results of the karm they performed the last time they were human. Their doings are not counted for anything, and will produce no future result, neither reward, nor punishment. Thus, they are called bhog yoni. But humans are called karm yoni because they have the right to perform karm, and that karm is received as prosperity or suffering in future births. It means that the human life form is where we perform our actions, and other life forms are only the means of undergoing the consequences of those actions. For this reason, no one stays in Swarg forever - they are returned to earth, where they eventually receive another human birth. Is there real happiness in Swarg? No. The happiness of Swarg is the same as the happiness of this world, which was previously explained to be an illusion of the mind. In fact, when we go to Swarg, we go with the same mind. Mind and soul are always together in every birth. Thus, even when we go to Swarg, we go with the same desires, attachments, anger, and jealousy that we have in our mind now. The only difference is, that we have earned a higher standard of material pleasure which we can enjoy. So the enjoyments are greater, but the happiness (or lack of) is the same. Taittariya Upanishad describes 10 levels of Swarg, where the status of enjoyment keeps increasing 100 fold as you go up each level. Which means that in the topmost abode of Swarg - called satya lok or brahm lok - the level of enjoyment would be 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 billion billion) times greater than the greatest enjoyment of this earth. Yet, it would still fail to satisfy the soul's thirst for Divine happiness. Even that happiness of satya lok is limited in amount and temporary in duration. The residents of Swarg are also jealous of their neighbors who enjoy greater plea-

sures due to their greater punya. It is said that even Indra, who is the king of the celestial gods, or devtas, is jealous of Brahma, who has a higher abode and more power than him (surpatir brahmam padam yachate). Yet even Brahma's celestial abode is temporary (chapter 8, verse 16) because it is under Maya. So when the mayic universe is dissolved during pralay, Swarg is also dissolved, leaving only God's Divine abode at that time. For those who wish to reach God's Divine abode and stay there forever, they cannot do so from Swarg. They have to receive a human birth on earth and perform the required karm to reach that Divine abode. This is why Shree Krishna later tells Arjun that those who strive to attain Swarg, viewing it as the ultimate attainment, are ignorant (chapter 2, verse 42 & 43). Thus, Arjun was not sufficiently motivated by the incentive of attaining Swarg. He wanted something more. How to attain the ultimate happiness desired by the soul is described by Shree Krishna in the verses that follow, which will be explained in the next article. Disciple of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj: Swami Nikhilanand Ji is a Canadian born Hindu spiritual leader based in Austin, Texas. He is a sanyasi disciple and pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Attracted to the teachings of Hinduism from a young age, Swamiji eventually let his deep spiritual longing lead him to India, where he was most fortunate to come under the guidance of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Thereafter, living in the ashrams of JKP, he extensively studied Hindi, the philosophy

Swami Nikhilanand

of the prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Darshan Shastras, Gita, Bhagwatam), and practiced meditation in the tradition of raganuga bhakti. In 2003, he was given sanyas. Now, with the blessings of his Guruji, he offers satsang programs throughout America, engaging audiences with his clear explanations of Hindu philosophy coupled with inspired chanting of Sanskrit mantras and shlokas and charming nam sankirtan. His informative and compelling speeches provide practical insight into how to adopt the teachings of Sanatan Dharm into our daily lives, and inspire us to awaken our inner spiritual potential. To stay in touch with Swami Nikhilanand Ji, like his Facebook page at h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / SwamiNikhilanand or follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/Swami_Nikhil.


February 6, 2015

Perspective

India Post 25

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US media took little note of Obama's India visit DR MUNISH KUMAR RAIZADA

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resident Barack Obama has just concluded his official visit to India. He had to cut short his trip, flying out to Saudi Arabia to pay his condolences on the death of King Abdullah. Obama attended the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. Prime Minister Modi made sure that the radio talk "Man ki Baat" cohosting Barack Obama was pre-recorded due to the change in Obama's itinerary and would be aired in his absence. One must admit that the Indian Prime Minister went the full distance in capitalizing on the PR exercise of Obama's visit: right from receiving Obamas at the airport to radio-talk. And the guy played with aplomb, so much so that even his dress and chair bore his name 'Narendra Damodar Modi"! There are many firsts to Obama's visit. It is indeed very rare for an American President to visit a country twice during his tenure. Secondly, Obama was the first ever American head to attend a Republic Day function in India. The fact that an American President decided to visit India within less than six months of an Indian Prime Minister's US visit carries a lot of symbolic significance! Observing here from Chicago, media of both parts of the world, I have no hesitation in saying that the Indian media was in a frenzy mode to cover the US Presidential visit. And here you have a Prime Minister who facilitated a perfect milieu for the media to pick and choose from a wide variety of themes: the hugs, the handshakes, the sartorial elegance of Modi, chewing gums by Obama, the 'chemistry' between the two leaders, the drizzle of Republic Day parade interspersed with various exhibits and motor-

Dr Munish Kumar Raizada

cycle stunts and last but not the least, even the lunch menu had Modi's name, giving media enough ammunition to build up the stories. And before Obama arrived, the Indian media was taking pains to describe at length - even with graphic details - about Air Force One looking no less than a Flying White House, official vehicle of President called 'the Beast', his dog soldiers, what is plan B for Agra and how sanitary work was in full progress in the cities that he was scheduled to visit. So, what suffered due to this overwhelming juicy coverage? In-depth focus

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Barack Obama, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on January 25

and analysis of diplomatic outcome of this visit. Now let us see how the media in USA covered Obama's visit to India. Largely, self-indulgent, US media cold shouldered the Indian trip by its President. TV channels here are known for broadcasting crime news as the breaking news and weather reports are presented in a very celebrated manner hour after hour! Even the TV channels that pledge politics as their dharma (the famous phrase "Politics = CNN"), their weekends are mainly spent showing crime serials. News capsules covering wide array of political news - domestic and international - that are a common sight on Indian TV channels, is a rarity in USA. Given the nature of TV media and a political environment dominated by Republicans, it is not surprising that Obama's visit to India remained largely unnoticed. While Obama was in India, the US media continued its extended focus on Middle East, ISIS, terrorism and related latest news (e.g., Yemen falls, Saudi King dies). On the last day of his trip (Jan 27), while Obama was addressing a large gathering in Delhi, the East Coast of USA (New York, New Jersey, etc) was reeling under a historic blizzard, thus all major TV channels were covering that live. No major channel bothered to provide a live telecast of Obama's address, satisfying itself by just providing a snippet of the President speaking of a world free of nukes and exhorting India on inclusiveness of faith and adding that India would succeed as long as it is not splintered on religious lines. The observers in USA did not take

Obama's visit with much seriousness, describing it largely symbolic and a kind of sightseeing (Taj Mahal). And there is some germ of truth to this. In US political language, Obama now is a lame duck President and Republican-controlled Congress will not let him do much in the remaining term. Historically, a lame duck President typically spends his remaining term in foreign jaunts and foreign policy. On this Indian tour, here was an American President who had already made his

a poor understanding of global geo-politics, more so in a country where domestic baseball tournaments are labeled as "World Series" implying, for them the World exists unto USA only! Amongst all the symbolism, 'chemistry' between the two leaders and fun tidbits, what is the outcome for both countries? Both leaders claim that they have been able to revive the nuclear deal that had been lying in the cold storage since six years. That seems to be the only significant

Indian Diaspora in USA has not shown that kind of enthusiasm on Obama's visit to India as it did when Modi visited USA a few months back. It is possible that they are measuring up to a realistic expectation this time! Talking about Americans in general, they have a poor understanding of global geo-politics, more so in a country where domestic baseball tournaments are labeled as "World Series" implying, for them the World exists unto USA only! place in history and an Indian Prime Minister who is actively working to attain an international stature. Both played to create bonhomie and a feel good factor. However, not to be outdone, US media also picked on the sartorial elegance of Mr Modi. Washington Post described how Obama had turned into a Mobama! Indian Diaspora in USA has not shown that kind of enthusiasm on Obama's visit to India as it did when Modi visited USA a few months back. It is possible that they are measuring up to a realistic expectation this time! Talking about Americans in general, they have

achievement. Obama insists that defense ties between US and India will strengthen. With Obama pledging a $4 billion in investments and loans, trade should get a boost, albeit Obama did not mince words when he said that India still was a difficult country to do business with. How true! His hint was clearly aimed at endemic corruption, red tape and calcified bureaucracy. Is Mr. Modi willing to turn the image? The author is a Chicago-based independent political commentator. Email ID: pedia333@gmail.com Twitter @drMunishRaizada


26

February 6, 2015

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Datebook

February 6, 2015

NEW YORK

NEW JERSEY

Upcoming

Upcoming Sun, Feb 8 • Santmat- Surat Shabd Yoga Venue: Science Of Spirituality, 15 Market St, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861 Time : 10:30 pm Contact: 732-207-7592

Sat, Feb 28 • NJTS 2015 Annual Membership Venue: New jersey Tamil Sangam, 30 Ginger Dr, NJ 08837 Time: 9:00 pm

Sat, Mar 14 • Music Workshop by Sharda Rajan Venue: Homewood suites by Hilton, 66 Stanley St, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 Time: 10:00 am Contact: 203-599-1437

Fri, Feb 13

• Bollywood Disco Presidents Day Weekend Venue: Drom NYC, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: 718-207-0058

Sat, Feb 14 • Harry Malhotras Valentine Party

Venue: Antun's by minar, 244 W Old Country Rd, Hicksville, NY 11801 Time : 8:00 pm Contact: 917-325-4903

Sat, Feb 14

• Valentine Grand Bollywood Gala with USAS Venue: Castle Royale, 92 Waverly St, Yonkers, NY 10701 Time : 6:00 pm Contact: 917-903-4000

India Post 27

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sat, Feb 7 • Roshni - Cricket 2015 Venue: Rancho Santa Susana Community Park, 5005 C E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA 93063 Time :07:00 pm Contact: 310-920-1863

Sun, Feb 8 • Swarams Goldspot - Movie on-stage experience Venue: West Valley College Theater, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070 Timet: 01:00 pm

Sun, Feb 8 • Surati Ponk – Undhiyu” Ujjani 20145 Venue: Shreemaya Krishnadham, 25 Corning Ave., Milpitas, CA 95035 Timet: 1:00 pm Contact: 408-586-0006

Sat, Mar 14 • South Asian Heart Center's Seventh Annual Scarlet Night Gala Venue: Mission City Room at the Santa Clara Convention Center at 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA. Timet: 6 to 11:30 p.m Contact: 650 940 7242

Sat, Feb 14 • Valentines Day Party at Royal

Sun, Feb 15 • Brahma Kumaris Silicon Valley Meditation Center, Milpitas will celebrate Shivratri Venue: Jain Center, 722 S. Main St., Milpitas, CA 95035 Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Contact: www.bksiliconvalley.org

Fri, Mar 13 • Zakir Hussain Celtic Connection Venue: Pabst Theater, 144 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 414-467-3032

ATLANTA Upcoming Sat, Feb 14 • Cupid Calling ! Valentines Day Party 2015 Venue: Ashiana banquet hall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Norcross, GA 30071 Time: 9:00 pm Contact: 404-246-3256

Sat, Feb 28 • Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana Venue: Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Rd, Lilburn, GA 30047 Time: 8:30 pm Contact: 678-789-4690

Albert Palace

Mon, Aug 31 • MITHAS 2014 Membership

Venue: Royal Albert Palace, 1050 King Georges Post Rd, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 07:00 pm Contact: 732-723-7213

Venue: Wong Auditorium, MIT, 70 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142 Time: 07:00 pm Contact: 857-205-9731

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: www.jkyog.org

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

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

Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105Time: 5:30 pm


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Khamoshiyan : Khamoshiyan 2 Tu Hai Ki Nahi : Roy 3 Sooraj Dooba Hain : Roy 4 Tu Har Lamha : 28 India Post

February 6, 2015

www.indiapost.com

A

yushmann Khurrana is excited about director Vibhu Virender Puri's Hawaizaada as it deals with a "novel subject". The actor says, "I always thought that the Wright brothers made the first aircraft, so I was taken aback on hearing that an Indian had flown the first unmanned aircraft a few years before them. Call it a conspiracy theory or whatever you wish, it's fodder enough for filmmakers." Ayushmann has also composed and rendered two versions of Mirza Ghalib's Dil-E-Naadaan for the movie, which features actors Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Sharda also. "The ghazal version is for purists, while the reprised version is for youngsters. Out of a hundred college students, merely 5-10 know of Ghalib. I think more youngsters should know about him," he says. Ask him what makes the film a must-watch and he says, "We don't felicitate or acknowledge our heroes. After watching the film, people will know about Shivkar Talpade, his heritage and his effort in making the world's first airplane. It gives you a sense of pride and also has that undertone of patriotism."

T

he 100 crore director Rohit Shetty has roped in Katrina Kaif and Shahrukh Khan for his next untitled project. The film will be produced by the superstar himself. This will be Shahrukh and Rohit Shetty's second outing together after the blockbuster 'Chennai Express'. Earlier, Kajol was approached for the role but this turned to be a false report. According to a source, Varun Dhawan will also play a prominent role in the film. For the first time SRK and Varun will be sharing screen space. Varun is an ardent fan of Shahrukh. He paid tribute to the superstar in 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania'. The film will go on floor in March, according to a source.

Khamoshiyan 5 Tharki Chokro : PK 6 Superman : Tevar 7 Dance Basanti : Ungli 8 Lovely : Happy New Year 9 Mileya Mileya : Happy Ending 10 Chaar Kadam : PK

wood e Holly tes th in le o da e lead r ave the agged th at she didn't h 9-year old b e h s n th r. The 2 tic whe d ealized as ecsta But then she r eduling blunde e problem an w z e d n h a r. th c n a s t r e u e of a f F abo ne F acqueli ck Definition O laysia because ames Simpson . a J obliged li f r M r rming irecto ax in readily horro d m e r h li e at a cha , c it e d e r n is w r th e p t k d r e o e u e o s m w onth or y's to sh spend a tely inf or one m To Jack f ia to i. g d a e n e b ti id m o c m e o im d m in Mu was com After sh actress ls who im to fil `alone'. the film four gir h t f d d o o n n te t u s e n o e r e r sa ey a requ 80 per c revolve r that th d where n w the The film only to discove la o P And no d in . te in ia a b s e a y r c c la y a ys a as M holida who pla cabin w gain in hedule. y e a c k s th c e a , g c J a n n . d o -lo ek p nal in Cana for a we o month ternatio nd set u a y in tw it t d a s C e r ir tl e f m n v y bai's Fil me. At n disma pleted o , "It's m to Mum without was the xplains g e d t e e in s m m il m e il f o f h e mitT the be c cannot b ecause I'm com ding, in x r use will a o o m F h li d h c a te e haun oment b ent, Sar bai." cause th gy stud at the m in Mum rried be lo y r o o a tr h w n m c u y u y o ll s K c a p s re Akshay ut of the and I wa rs with travel o e 't th project n o a r c B I 's e time, n Johar the sam or Kara f g n ti o o ted to sh

J

The set was then dismantled and set up once again in Malaysia. And now the haunted house will be coming to Mumbai's Film C ity for a week


Bollywood

February 6, 2015

India Post 29

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S

haring screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush in your very first film is a tall order. But Akshara Haasan, who makes her debut with R Balki's Shamitabh, took the challenge in her stride. Apparently, during the shooting of the film, the young actress remained unfazed and held her own in front of the two National Award winners. Of course, both Big B and Dhanush were impressed by her confidence as well as her acting. Says Balki, "Akshara plays a powerful role in the film. Tackling the two stars is no easy task for a woman and someone as young as her. She has the difficult challenge of putting them in their place. And that is what we call the 'hero' in Bollywood. Akshara stands shoulder to shoulder with Mr Bachchan and Dhanush, and never once was intimidated about sharing screen space with them."

T

aapsee Pannu, who briefly unleashed her ac tion side in Neeraj Pandey's 'Baby', is ready to repeat her act in a full-length role. "Every body has been asking me the same question. Will I now be able to pull off a full-length action role? I'd love to do that but not immediately," Taapsee says. She feels it's important she finds another capable director like Pandey. "I'll probably wait for the right director to do a fulllength action film. Had it not been for Neeraj and the way he's shot my sequence in 'Baby', it wouldn't have made so much of an impact. If I find a capable director, I'd love to do it again," she said. Taapse has received appreciation from all quarters for her performance. "I knew the film will be talked about. I knew I'll be appreciated but I never anticipated this kind of overwhelming response. I'm completely taken aback by this kind of appreciation," she added. Taapsee underwent special training in Krav Maga, a form of Israeli martial arts for her part in the film.

A

ctress Sapna Pabbi, who is debuting in Khamoshiyan, has been blasted by filmmaker Vikram Bhatt (the writer of Khamoshiyan) and looks like she is in no mood to take it lying low. Vikram and Sapna's fall-out has been evident for a while and it started at the shoot of the film where Sapna after agreeing to doing some intensely erotic scenes went back on her words. Vikram and Sapna's debate at the shoot over the bold scenes had resulted into a big argument and the subsequent fall-out between the two. Sapna had realized that the scenes in the film were very important as she plays a manipulative seductress who captures the soul of men and that she had physical relationships with two men - Gurmeet Choudhary and Ali Fazal. However, the incident has left a bad taste between the two. When questioned, Sapna lashed out saying, "Vikram Bhatt is a filmmaker and not a passion peddler and I did not expect them to have such strong, bold scenes in the film. I did them because I realized that the film demands them. However, Mr. Bhatt should know that I'm no Sunny Leone."


„

Realty Tidbits

Jackson State wins approval to buy apartments JACKSON, Miss.: The College Board has approved Jackson State University's purchase of a 444-bed apartment complex. The board voted to approve the $9.2 million purchase of the Palisades apartments. The board in December voted to allow a JSU unit to borrow up to $10 million to buy the apartments and renovate them. JSU will buy the apartments from Redus Mississippi LLC, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. The bank foreclosed on a previous owner in 2012. The university began leasing the complex next to its campus this fall to accommodate increasing enrollment, planning to buy it all along. Last year, JSU began leasing a 240-bed motel near the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. The university also plans a 628-bed housing complex, including a 650-seat dining hall and a conference center. -AP

Real Estate 30 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 6, 2015

Habitat converts container into home ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky.: With welders on site, members of Habitat for Humanity made strides toward history for the state organization as they recently worked to convert a shipping container into a home. ``It's fairly unique,'' said Larry Mengel, a volunteer for the organization and project leader. ``We're basically inventing everything we're doing.'' -AP

6 worst home fixes for the money DANA DRATCH

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lanning a home renovation? Do it for your own enjoy ment, because there's no guarantee you'll get all of your expenses back when you sell. That's one lesson from a 2014 Remodeling Magazine study. The magazine looked at prices on 35 popular home renovation projects -- and just how much of that money homeowners can expect to

your typical stuff-a-desk-in-theguest-room office. When Remodeling Magazine priced out the project, it envisioned a professional-grade workspace loaded with super-durable commercialgrade carpet and floor-to-ceiling hardwood built-ins, says Sal Alfano, editorial director for Remodeling Magazine, who oversaw the study.

of the house office-driven -- it doesn't excite people the way a home theater might," he says. "Or redoing other rooms or updating the kitchen." Sunroom addition You know from the word "addition" that this project doesn't come cheap. Anytime you have to add on to

„ Seaside hotel sells for record shattering $360M LAGUNA BEACH, California: An exceedingly opulent seaside resort in Southern California has sold for an eye-popping $360 million. That price tag for the Montage Laguna Beach - which comes to $1.4 million per room - ``shattered the price barrier for California hotels by a wide margin,'' hotel consultant Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality told the Los Angeles Times. Only the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii and the Waldorf Astoria in New York sold for more per room in the US. The historic Hotel Coronado in San Diego County sold for more than $1 million per room. Chicago real estate investment trust Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc. bought the Montage from Ohana Real Estate Investors of Redwood City. Montage Hotels & Resorts will stay on as operator. The craftsman-style hotel, which opened in 2003, sits on a 50-foot seaside bluff along the South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach on some of the most sought-after real estate on the West Coast. Raymond L. ``Rip'' Gellein, chairman for the new owner, calls it ``one of the best resort settings in the continental United States.'' The hotel caters more to a spaand-yoga than a bling-and-caviar crowd, with a sunburst-bottomed pool that overlooks the ocean. -AP

recoup when they sell. In the study, prices were based on national averages for time and materials supplied by skilled professionals. (No DIY jobs here.) While some projects moved the needle on home value more than others, most didn't return 100 percent of the renovation cost at resale, according to the report. And the six projects that yielded the least at resale all returned less than 61 cents on the dollar. Renovate yourself If you renovate, "you have to understand that it may not add the value to your home that it cost you," says Mark Ramsey, broker with The Ramsey Group at Keller Williams Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina. So "be happy you did it and got to enjoy it," he says. Here, according to the 2014 Remodeling Magazine study, are the six home renovation projects that bring the smallest return at resale, from worst to sixth-worst. This home office remodel is not

The estimated $28,000 price also includes some heavy-duty rewiring and new walls, harkening back to an age before portable coffee shop laptops and Wi-Fi. The estimated return at sale is 48.9 percent. And yes, even with professional work, you could definitely

the foundation - and the footprint of your home - the price climbs, says Michael Hydeck, owner of Hydeck Design Build Inc. near Philadelphia and past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. With a 200-square-foot room with skylights, low-E windows,

design an office for less, Alfano says.

automatic shades and a tile floor, "it's a major project," says Alfano. It can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the home and - depending on how it's configured -- help heat adjacent rooms, he says. "You can do some pretty creative stuff with this."

Home offices aren't exciting Home offices don't sell houses, says Ron Phipps, principal with Phipps Realty in Warwick, Rhode Island, and past president of the National Association of Realtors. "To spend money making more

Return varies by market

Resale value will vary by region, Phipps says. "You have to look at what your market is." In Las Vegas, homeowners are more likely to add a roof or cover to the patio -- something with privacy curtains, but no walls, says David R. Tina, an owner/broker with Urban Nest Realty. Whatever you build, if you want to get the biggest bump to your home value, opt for a licensed professional and permitted work, he advises. Upscale master suite addition This isn't your typical master bedroom remodel. It isn't even your typical master bedroom addition. Instead, picture adding a quarter-million-dollar hotel suite onto your house: a 640-square-foot space with a kitchenette, sitting room, high-end gas fireplace and a spa-quality bathroom -- complete with a stone-and-glass dual-system shower and a jetted corner tub set in marble. The return at resale would be about 56 percent. By contrast, Remodeling Magazine figures that a more moderate

master suite addition - 384 square feet with more modest materials (and minus the fireplace and kitchenette) - would cost $103,844 and return just 67.5 percent at resale. For the upscale version, unless you want to risk "over-remodeling" (building more into your house than the neighborhood home values support), you probably need a house (and neighborhood), where the home prices are no less than $800,000 to $1 million already, Alfano says. Consider an update instead Master suites are one of three crucial areas for buyers, along with kitchens and bathrooms, Ramsey says. Cont’d on page 31


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6 worst home fixes for the money Cont’d from page 31

Want to get a little more bang for a lot less buck? Keep the existing footprint of your house and update your master bedroom area, he says. Pay special attention to the closets and bathroom. Double sinks and vanities, nice showers, and new paint and carpet are popular now, Ramsey says. Upscale garage addition This is not your dad's oilstained garage. Instead, the $82,311 Remodeling Magazine estimate for this one includes building (from foundation to roof) a large, detached two-car garage that's heated, cooled and completely finished inside - down

to the molding around windows and doors. It is organized floor to ceiling with built-in shelves, cupboards and workbench areas, Alfano says. This upscale garage is also fitted out with high-end lighting, and the floor is treated with a stain-resistant epoxy. Return: about 58 percent. "It's a high-end project," Alfano says. This type of renovation appeals to women as much or more than men, he says. With places to store all the items that tend to clutter a garage, often "it's for wives who want their garages back," he says. Smaller project, bigger return A moderate garage addition the same size, also detached and professionally built, but unfin-

ished inside, with an automatic door and modest overhead fluorescent lighting - would run roughly $49,911 and return just over 69 percent at resale, the study concluded. High cost or low cost, in areas where homes don't have basements or attics, garage storage can be "really important" at resale time, says Phipps. Bathroom addition Wish you could just pop an extra bathroom onto the back of your house? That's exactly what this $38,186 project does. The bathroom is modest: 6 feet by 8 feet, cultured marble vanity, chrome fixtures, ceramic tile and a fiberglass tub/ shower combo. Return at sale:

about 60 percent. The magazine wanted to demonstrate the cost of a simple bathroom addition, Alfano says. Because it's an addition - and involves extending the foundation and roof, plus adding outside walls - it's a lot more expensive than creating a new bathroom within the existing space, he says. Probably not a stand-alone project In real life, homeowners would probably not be using an addition to add just a bathroom, says Hydeck. More likely, it would be a small part of a larger addition, such as a family room, he says.

at resale is almost identical, according to the 2014 cost vs. value report. At 100 square feet, this project is designed as a master bath. It includes a glass shower with body-spray features and ceramic tile walls, as well as a customized, jetted tub. At a cost of about $72,500, the return is an estimated 61 percent. This bathroom would include a stone counter with two sinks and two mirrored medicine cabinets, plus a separate water closet with a fan. It has heated, ceramic tile floors, heated towel bars and builtin cabinets. Since this project adds to the

Housing sales may not recover in 2015-16 NEW DELHI: Housing sales are unlikely to recover in the next fiscal as high property prices have made residential units unaffordable for end-users, India Ratings & Research said while maintaining a negative to stable outlook on the real estate sector. The agency said credit metrics of real estate companies would continue to deteriorate next fiscal year, as demand would remain subdued amid high property prices even as inventory was being built-up using bank funding. "The sales of residential units are not likely to recover during FY16. Any improvement in property demand will depend on not only a positive change in con-

sumer expectations of economic growth, job and income prospects but also lower property prices. "Property prices have remained high and unaffordable to

end-customers. While economic growth is likely to improve in FY16, property prices might not correct. This could lead to endcustomers postponing purchase decisions," India Ratings & Re-

search said in a statement. However, the agency Ind-Ra expects demand for both office and retail spaces to pick up during FY16. "This is because better economic growth will boost net hiring by IT/ITeS and banking financial services insurance sectors and better customer sentiments will revive the expansion plans of both local and foreign retailers," it said. The rating agency said interest of investors in the sector remains high, especially in rent-yielding commercial properties. "The relaxation of thresholds for foreign direct investment in real estate projects is likely to improve fund inflow. -PTI

New residential launches dipped 28% in 2014 MUMBAI: The country's residential property market in 2014 witnessed a 28 per cent decline in launches and 17 per cent dip in sales volume, as compared to 2013, according to a report. Property consultant Knight Frank in its recent report 'India Real Estate Outlook' said due to a slowing demand environment, residential sales across top six cities, including Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, dropped during 2014. The office space segment,

however, performed well during the year on the back of recovery in the domestic market which fuelled higher demand for commercial space. "Due to a correction in stakeholder sentiment on the back of a slowing demand environment, residential sales dropped during 2014. Office markets across the top six cities, however, displayed a turnaround during the year, mainly backed by the IT/ITeS and BFSI sectors," Knight Frank Chief Economist and Director Research

Samantak Das told reporters here today. While sales volumes in the residential segment fell by 17 per cent, launches dropped by 28 per cent compared to 2013. On the commercial space, absorption rose by 14 per cent, while completions declined by six per cent compared to 2013. A total of 234,930 units were sold during 2014 compared to 284,550 units in 2013. Similarly, 268,950 units were launched in 2014, against 372,160 units in 2013. -PTI

As part of a larger addition, he says the cost of that bathroom goes down substantially. Another option: Find room within the existing square footage - without adding onto the house, Hydeck says. Although, "with a small house, a lot of times that's difficult to do." Home within neighborhood norms? Then one bathroom more or less won't really affect the selling price, says Phipps. "Think about the investment and what you're trying to achieve before you spend the money," he advises. Upscale bathroom addition This bathroom is a little larger, and a lot more luxurious than the more modest version, but the percentage that homeowners recoup

footprint of the home, it's more expensive than converting existing space into a bathroom, Ramsey says. Part of a master suite If you're adding this luxury bathroom to the first floor to create a master on the main level, that could be valuable at resale time, he says. The idea of a main-floor master suite is becoming more and more popular with buyers, says Ramsey. So if adding a master bathroom downstairs enables the homeowner to have a master suite or second master suite on the main level, that luxury bathroom "could be the smarter investment" than the smaller bathroom addition at resale, he says. -Courtesy Bankrate.com


„ Health

Line

Google making artificial human skin WASHINGTON: Search giant Google is developing artificial human skin to test cancer-detecting nanoparticles that will work with a smart wristband. Last year Google announced that it was working on magnetic nanoparticles that would seek out cancer cells in the bloodstream and report back to a wristband. Now, the company is also using synthetic skin to develop the technology, theverge.com reported. Google employees told The Atlantic that the technology will use light signals to talk to the wristband through the superficial veins on the underside of the wrist. Shining lights through the skin

means factoring in a range of skin types and colors, and so Google's scientists have built fake arms with "the same autofluorescence and biochemical components of real arms." "It's way weirder to have cancer cells floating through your body that are constantly trying to kill you," said Andrew Conrad, the head of Google's Life Sciences department. -PTI

„ Nearly 62,000 Mainers enroll on health exchange AUGUSTA, Maine: Nearly 62,000 Mainers have selected insurance plans on the health care exchange. Federal officials said that 61,964 residents have enrolled as of Jan. 16. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that 35 percent of those people enrolled for coverage on the exchange for the first time. Sixty-five percent were reenrolling after buying coverage during the first open enrollment session. The enrollment period extends through Feb. 15. Officials say that nearly 90 percent of those who signed up chose a plan with financial assistance, or tax credits that will lower their monthly premium. More than 44,000 Mainers signed up for coverage during last year's open enrollment period.-AP

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Added fructose principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes WASHINGTON: Added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates, a new study has warned. "At current levels, addedsugar consumption, and addedfructose consumption in particular, are fuelling a worsening epidemic of type 2 diabetes," said lead author James J DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City. DiNicolantonio and team writing in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings challenge current dietary guidelines that allow up to 25 per cent of total daily calories as added sugars, and propose drastic reductions in the amount of added sugar, and especially added fructose, people consume. The net result of excess consumption of added fructose is derangement of both overall metabolism and global insulin resis-

tance, researchers said. Other dietary sugars not containing fructose seem to be less detrimental in these respects. Indeed, several clinical trials have shown that compared to glu-

"This suggests that sucrose (in particular the fructose component) is more harmful compared to other carbohydrates," said DiNicolantonio. DiNicolantonio and his co-au-

Added fructose principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes

cose or starch, isocaloric exchange with fructose or sucrose leads to increases in fasting insulin, fasting glucose, and the insulin/glucose responses to a sucrose load, researchers added.

thors examined animal experiments and human studies to come to their conclusions. Data from recent trials suggest that replacing glucose-only starch with fructose-containing table

sugar (sucrose) results in significant adverse metabolic effects. Adverse effects are broader with increasing baseline insulin resistance and more profound with greater proportions of added fructose in the diet. The totality of the evidence is compelling to suggest that added sugar, and especially added fructose (usually in the form of highfructose corn syrup and table sugar), are a serious and growing public health problem, researchers said. 'Feeding & fasting' hormone Meanwhile, scientists say in another study that a hormone that maintains metabolic health can improve insulin action in obese, diabetic mice, paving the way for new therapies to treat type 2 diabetes. Andrew Butler, professor of pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University, and his lab discovered the peptide hormone adropin several years ago. Cont'd on Page 35

Craigslist contributes to increase in HIV cases WASHINGTON: More than 6,000 HIV cases annually in the US can be linked to the popular classified ad website Craigslist, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, claim. Craigslist's entry into a market results in a 15.9 per cent increase in reported HIV cases, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota. When mapped at the national level, more than 6,000 HIV cases annually and treatment costs estimated between USD 62 million and USD 65.3 million can be linked to the popular website, researchers found. "I actually think that the creators of Craigslist had no intent of harming society. They came in with good intentions," said Jason Chan, Assistant Professor of Information and Decision Sciences at the Carlson School of

Management. "At the same time, they did not anticipate that users could use the features in an unexpected way with unintended consequences,"

After conducting a series of tests to eliminate other possible causes that might be driving the HIV trends such as increased testing in a community, the research-

said Chan. Chan and Professor Anindya Ghose of New York University Stern School of Business based their claims after analyzing data in 33 US states from 1999 to 2008.

ers discovered that the upward shift was influenced by ads in Craigslist's personals sections, not the site's escort service ads. This finding was in line with existing research that shows

internet-facilitated sex workers are less likely to participate in risky sexual practices with clients. "Our study results suggest that there is a new social route of HIV transmission that is taking place in this digital era," said Chan. "Health care practitioners and policymakers have to look more closely at online platforms to assess how its usage may facilitate the spread of HIV and STDs across the country," Chan added. According to Chan, the research provides practitioners with insights on how they can effectively target their efforts to reduce disease transmission facilitated through classified ad sites. The study was published in the journal MIS Quarterly.-PTI


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Insulin-producing cells may help in diabetes WASHINGTON: In a first, researchers have used human skin cells to create insulin-producing cells that respond to glucose and correct blood-sugar levels in diabetic mice. The findings may represent a first step toward developing patient-specific cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes, researchers said. Researchers at the University of Iowa (UI) reprogrammed human skin cells to cre-

ate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which were then coaxed into forming insulin-producing cells. When these cells were transplanted into diabetic mice, the cells secreted insulin and reduced the blood sugar levels of the mice to normal or near-normal levels. Although the cells were not as effective as pancreatic cells in controlling blood sugar levels, researchers said that the results are an "encouraging first step" to-

University of Iowa researchers reprogrammed human skin cells to create induced pluripotent stem cells, which were then differentiated in a stepwise fashion to create insulin-producing cells. When these cells were transplanted into diabetic mice, the cells secreted insulin and reduced the blood sugar levels of the mice to normal or near-normal levels. The image shows the insulinproducing cells (right) and precursor cells (left)

DNA clock can predict lifespan LONDON: Scientists have identified a tail," Marioni said. biological clock that provides vital clues The study measured each person's bioabout how long a person is likely to live. logical age by studying a chemical modifiResearchers from the University of cation to DNA, known as methylation. Edinburgh, in collaboration with scientists The modification does not alter the in Australia and the US, studied chemical DNA sequence, but plays an important changes to DNA that take place over a life- role in biological processes and can influtime. ence how genes are turned off and on. When researchers compared individuMethylation changes can affect many als' actual ages with their predicted biologi- genes and occur throughout a person's life. cal clock age, a pattern emerged. People whose biological age was greater than their true age were more likely to die sooner than those whose biological and actual ages were the same. Four independent studies tracked the lives of almost 5,000 older people for up to 14 years. Each person's biological age was measured from a blood sample at the outset, and participants were followed up throughout the study. Researchers found that the link between having a faster-run- Researchers found that the link between having a fasterrunning biological clock and early death held true even ning biological clock and early after accounting for other factors such as smoking, death held true even after acdiabetes and cardiovascular disease. counting for other factors such as smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular "This new research increases our undisease. derstanding of longevity and healthy age"The same results in four studies indi- ing. It is exciting as it has identified a novel cated a link between the biological clock indicator of ageing, which improves the and deaths from all causes," said Dr prediction of lifespan over and above the Riccardo Marioni, Centre for Cognitive contribution of factors such as smoking, Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Uni- diabetes, and cardiovascular disease," versity of Edinburgh. said Professor Ian Deary Centre for Cog"At present, it is not clear what lifestyle nitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, or genetic factors influence a person's bio- University of Edinburgh. logical age. We have several follow-up The study is published in the journal projects planned to investigate this in de- Genome Biology.-PTI

ward the goal of generating effective insulin-producing cells that can be used to potentially cure type 1 diabetes. "This raises the possibility that we could treat patients with diabetes with their own cells. That would be a major advance, which will accelerate treatment of diabetes," said Nicholas Zavazava, UI professor of internal medicine. Zavazava's team is among several groups aiming to create an alternative source of insulin-producing pancreatic cells that can be transplanted into patients with type 1 diabetes. However, the UI study is the first to use human iPS cells to create the insulin-producing cells. Creating these cells from a patient's own cells would not only eliminate the need to wait for a donor pancreas, but would also mean patients could receive transplants without needing to take immunosuppressive drugs. In the mouse study, the insulin-producing cells were placed under the kidney capsule - a thin membrane layer that surrounds the kidney - where they developed into an organ-like structure with its own blood supply. This new "organ" secreted insulin and gradually corrected the blood sugar levels in the diabetic mice over a period of several

months. In addition, after the mice became normoglycemic, the glucose levels stayed steady. By developing the cells in a stepwise fashion, the UI team was able to collect and use only those cells that would develop into pancreatic cells.

Nicholas Zavazava

This meant they were able to remove very immature (undifferentiated) cells that could form tumors. The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE. -PTI


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Children at Nebraska child Forecasting the flu better using social network care under quarantine FREMONT, Neb.: Several children attending a Washington County child care are under a 21day quarantine after health officials announced that a child with a confirmed case of the measles could have exposed them to the disease. Terra Uhing, executive director of Three Rivers Health Department, said her department has been working with Little Blossom's Childcare in Blair to identify possible exposures, the Fremont Tribune reported. ``Basically any child that was not vaccinated is being now held out for 21 days,'' Uhing said. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says a person is considered immune if they have received the two doses

of vaccine or if they were born before 1957 and previously had measles. Health experts recommend that children get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vac-

cine - the first between 12 and 15 months of age, and again between 4 and 6 years old. The Blair child care facility was caring for several children

younger than 12 months of age who had not yet been vaccinated, Uhing said. It's the second case of measles confirmed in the region, and Three Rivers health officials are searching for a link between Nebraska's two cases. Nebraska's first confirmed measles case has been traced to an outbreak that originated last month in California, where there are now 91 confirmed cases. Measles, which is spread through the air, is highly contagious. Symptoms include fever, runny nose and a blotchy rash. People at highest risk are those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 6 months old and those with weakened immune systems. -AP

App tells how to protect yourself from sun WASHINGTON: A smartphone app that provides personalized, real-time sun protection advice can improve some sun protection behavior, according to a new study. The app provides sun-protection advice based on UV Index forecasts and personal information from the users, as well as

alerts to apply or reapply sunscreen. The Solar Cell app was developed by Klein Buendel Inc, Colorado, under a contract with the National Cancer Institute in the US. David B Buller, of Klein Buendel and coauthors conducted a randomized clinical trial

in 2012 which enrolled 604 participants and of the 305 individuals in the treatment group 232 people downloaded the app but only 125 individuals (41 per cent) used it. Complete data was available on 454 individuals (222 in the treatment group and 232 in a control group). Participants in the treatment

group reported spending more time in the shade (average days staying in the shade, 41 per cent vs 33.7 per cent) but less sunscreen use (average days, 28.6 per cent vs 34.5 per cent) than those in the control group. There was no significant difference in the number of sunburns in the past three months between

the groups. Users of the mobile app reported spending less time in the sun and more use of all sun protection behaviors such as sunscreen, protective clothing and shade combined. "The Solar Cell mobile app seemed to promote sun protection practices, especially when it was used. Specifically, it increased use of shade. Shade can substantially reduce exposure to solar UV radiation (UV-R), but it needs to be available for it to be used," the authors said. A second randomized trial on the use of the app showed some improvement and was associated with greater sun protection. The authors found that participants in the group that received the app used wide-brimmed hats more at the seven-week follow-up than control participants who did not receive the app (23.8 per cent vs 17.4 per cent). Women who used the app also reported more use of all sun protection (such as sunscreen, protective clothing and shade) combined than men (46.4 per cent vs 43.3 per cent) but men and older participants reported less use of sunscreen (32.7 per cent vs 35.5 per cent) and hats (15.6 per cent vs 17.9 per cent).-PTI

WASHINGTON: Researchers say they can predict the spread of flu a week into the future with as much accuracy as Google Flu Trends can display levels of infection right now. The study uses social network analysis and combines the power of Google Flu Trends' "big data" with traditional flu monitoring data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Our innovation is to construct

a network of ties between different US health regions based on information from the CDC," said corresponding author Michael Davidson, a doctoral student in political science at UC San Diego. "We asked: Which places in years past got the flu at about the same time? That told us which regions of the country have the strongest ties, or connections,

and gave us the analytic power to improve Google's predictions," said Davidson. Google Flu Trends (GFT) is very good, Davidson said, at showing where in the US people are searching for information on flu and flu-like symptoms. And these data are valuable because they come in real time, he said, about two weeks ahead of when the CDC can issue its reports. But GFT has also made some infamous errors - errors that probably reflect widespread public concerns about flu more than actual confirmed illness. By weighting GFT predictions with a social network derived from CDC reports on laboratory-tested cases of flu, the researchers were able to refine and improve GFT's predictions. The researchers are optimistic their work will soon be put to public use. "We hope our method will be implemented by epidemiologists and data scientists to better target prevention and treatment efforts, especially during epidemics," Davidson said. The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. -PTI

Pregnant smokers persuaded to quit with free diapers AKRON, Ohio: Pregnant smokers in one northeast Ohio county can get free diapers in exchange for permanently kicking the habit through a new health program. Summit County's Baby & MeTobacco Free program aims to reduce premature births and infant mortality, as studies have linked smoking during pregnancy to preterm labor and health problems for infants, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. The program's incentive could be worth hundreds of dollars per mother. Pregnant smokers can earn a $25 voucher each month for one year if they quit smoking, attend at least four support group sessions and prove they're

smoke-free by passing monthly carbon monoxide tests after their children are born. Participant Brittney Lykes is expecting twins this summer, so she could get twice as many vouchers if she is successful a significant incentive for the Akron woman, who already has two children. ``I don't want any harm done to them or my other ones I have here,'' said Lykes, 24. ``You have to think about the babies.'' Lykes said she used to smoke half a pack each day or two but has cut back to one cigarette a day and is hopeful about quitting before the twins come. -AP


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Drug to lower cancer risk in diabetic nonsmokers WASHINGTON: Diabetic nonsmokers who take the diabetes drug metformin have a significantly lower risk of developing lung cancer, a new study has claimed. Among nonsmokers who had diabetes, those who took the diabetes drug metformin had a decrease in lung cancer risk, according to the study by Lori Sakoda, research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in US. Some laboratory studies and a number of observational studies suggest that metformin may prevent cancer, but the data from human studies, however, are conflicting, said Sakoda. The researchers conducted the study to further clarify the association between metformin use and lung cancer risk. Sakoda and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 47,351 diabetic patients (54 per cent men), 40 years or older, who completed a health-related survey between 1994 and 1996. Information on their diabetes medications was collected from electronic pharmacy records. About 46 per cent of them were "ever-users" of metformin, defined as those who filled two or more prescriptions within a six-month period. During 15 years of follow-up, 747 patients were diagnosed with lung cancer. Of them, 80 were nonsmokers, and 203 were current smokers. Metformin use was not associated with lower lung cancer risk overall; however, the risk was 43 per cent lower among diabetic patients who had never smoked, and the risk appeared to decrease with longer use.

Nonsmokers who used metformin for five years or longer had a 52 per cent reduction in lung cancer risk, but this finding was not statistically significant. Metformin use for five or more years was associated with a 31 per cent decrease in the risk for adenocarcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer diagnosed in nonsmokers, and an 82 per cent increase in the risk for small-cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer often diagnosed in smokers, but

Metformin use was not associated with lower lung cancer risk overall; however, the risk was 43 per cent lower among diabetic patients who had never smoked, and the risk appeared to decrease with longer use. neither of these findings were statistically significant. "Metformin use was not associated with lung cancer risk when we looked at all patients with diabetes. However, our results suggest that risk might differ by smoking history, with metformin decreasing risk among nonsmokers and increasing risk among current smokers," said Sakoda. The research was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.-PTI

Added fructose principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes Cont'd from Page 32

Adropin regulates whether the body burns fat or sugar during feeding and fasting cycles. "Adropin is a poorly understood hormone," Butler said. "We first reported its discovery a little over six years ago, but we really didn't understand what it did. We knew it played a role in maintaining metabolic health, but we didn't know much beyond that," he added. In a recent paper published in the journal Diabetes, Butler and team offered the first definition of adropin's functions that maintain metabolic health. "When we measured adropin levels in mice, they were suppressed under fasting conditions and stimulated after feeding, suggesting functions related to the changes in metabolism that occur with feeding and fasting," Butler said. "Our work suggests that adropin plays a role in regulating metabolic (energy) homeostasis," Butler added. "Basically, when you are well fed, your body prefers to use glucose and the release

of adropin supports this change by enhancing the use of glucose as a metabolic fuel in muscle. "However, when you are fasting, your body prefers to use fatty acids. Our observations suggest that a decline in adropin with fasting may be a signal to "take the brakes off" the use of fatty acids," Butler said. Building on that work, researchers in a new paper in the journal Molecular Metabolism reported that low levels of the hormone observed in obesity may contribute to diabetes and the reduced ability of the body to use glucose. The team found that treatment with adropin improved glucose tolerance, enhanced insulin action and improved metabolic flexibility toward glucose utilization in situations of obesity and insulin resistance. "The hope is that adropin could someday be used in the clinic to help patients with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar levels and delay or prevent the development of the disease in at-risk individuals," Butler said.-PTI

Lupin gets USFDA approval for diarrhea drug NEW DELHI: Drug major Lupin has received approval from the US health regulator to sell a generic version of Vancocin capsules, used in treating diarrhea, in the American market. The company has received final approval for its Vancomycin Hydrochloride Capsules in strengths of 125 mg and 250 mg from the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to market a generic version of ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc's Vancocin, Lupin Ltd said in a statement. "Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc (LPI), the company's US subsidiary would commence

marketing the product shortly," it added. Vancomycin capsules are indicated for the treatment of C difficile-associated diarrhea and also for the treatment of enterocolitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus. As per the IMS MAT September, 2014 sales data, Vancocin capsules had annual US sales of USD 164.2 million. "This is Lupin's fifth abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) approval in the last two months. These approvals and the subsequent launches represent a collective market size of over USD 5 billion for Lupin," the company said.-PTI

Conway plans trauma center in NE Louisiana MONROE, La.: University Health Conway is working on plans to create the first accredited trauma center in northeast Louisiana. The hospital in Monroe is just beginning talks about the project, Dr. Lester Wayne Johnson, Conway's chief of surgery and dean of rural health initiatives, told The News-Star. He said it would work with the University Health System's Level 1 trauma center in Shreveport. Dr John Owings, the Shreveport hospital's trauma medical director, was in Monroe to give an eight-hour class on

trauma assessment to emergency workers from throughout northeast Louisiana. The state has four trauma centers: University Health Shreveport, Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria. Going northwest to southeast, there's a trauma center within 100 miles in any direction, Owings said, but there's a void in the northeast-to-southwest corridor. Trauma training for local first responders will continue throughout the year, Johnson said. -AP


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PARK CITY, Utah: Epic is not usually a term associated with films coming out of the Sundance Film Festival, which makes director Rodrigo Garcia's imagined story of Jesus's journey through the desert even more striking. Shot by ``Gravity'' and ``Birdman'' cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki in southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and aided by precise and all-encompassing Dolby Atmos sound mix, ``Last Days in the Desert'' looks, feels and sounds big. How could a story that takes on both Jesus and the devil (both played by Ewan McGregor) and their relationship to God not be? But for Garcia, it's just a small family drama. In the film, Jesus comes across a family living in the middle of the desert and becomes involved in their lives for a brief time. The mother (Ayelet Zurer) is dying, the father

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(Ciarรกn Hinds) is a stoic isolationist, and the son (Tye Sheridan) longs to leave for a life in Jerusalem. ``The desert is a big setting, but the story is super interpersonal about these relationships,'' Garcia said. ``In some ways it is a kitchen sink drama, even if one of the dads is God.'' Garcia thought of shooting in Israel, but for various reasons, including costs, it just wasn't going to be feasible for the production. ``I didn't want it to look like an American western desert, the way Colorado and Utah look,'' he said. After hours of exhaustive online searches, he stumbled across the almost alien landscapes of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and knew he had it. In addition to Lubezki's striking cinematography, the desert world is made more real through sound. ``There's very little music and almost no dialogue in the first part of the movie. It presented a lot of great opportunities for creative sound design,'' said Dolby Institute director Glenn Kiser. The film was remixed with the sophisticated system thanks to a grant from the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship. But a small character drama like ``Last Days in the Desert'' lives and dies by its lead. Garcia knew that McGregor had the right combination intelligence, compassion and empathy to portray Jesus and the devil. ``It's quite an extraordinary situation to be playing two roles in any film. It's quite daunting when one of them is Jesus,'' said McGregor following the premiere of the film. But Garcia also knew that he would eventually have to explain why he cast a white actor in the role.

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``I am sensitive to the fact that so many times and in many egregious ways white actors have played non-white characters. But I felt like I could take that liberty because I was not doing the historical Jesus, I was not doing a divine Jesus. I was doing a parable,'' he said. ``I understand the question. I can only put myself at the mercy of the court. I myself couldn't care if I go see an allblack `Hamlet' for example,'' Garcia said. As a Colombian-born and Mexico-raised director living in Los Angeles, Garcia said that there are Mexican and Colombian stories that he would love to tell on screen, but he hasn't really gotten the opportunity to do so yet. ``So far it's been easier to make films in English, honestly, just from a fundraising point of view,'' he said. For now, though, he's content to stay in the independent world. It's the only way he's been able to tell the stories that he wants to tell. -AP


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A feast for the soul in 50 varieties PREETI VERMA LAL

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sk a chef what an appetizer is and he'd rattle all out an ounce of flour, a pint of wine, a hint of tomato, a dash of salt, a sprig of mint. The chef talks a feast for the hungry. Ask veteran journalist Vinod Dhawan to rustle an appetizer and he'll throw in peace, wisdom, lessons, Masters, preaching, truths‌ He talks a feast for the soul. His appetizers are spiritual. Not one, two, three appetizers on Dhawan's menu. 50 Spiritual Appetizers. That is the title of Dhawan's book which is a compilation of short excerpts from spiritual Masters' teachings from the East and West. For Dhawan, this book is not an attempt to escape harsh realities or the need to slough off urban malice. It is a continuum of his profession as well as an extension of his Being. For 15 years, Dhawan has been running a philosophy column for a US-based newspaper, where every week he picked up preaching of two Masters. That too, in a way, stems from Dhawan's innate love

for spirituality. As the book's blurb states, "Disappointed with college education, Vinod Dhawan gorged himself on J. Krishnamurti in the library. Choosing a career in journalism as being least disruptive of his spiritual pursuits, he wrote on saints and masters. Rudderless af-

ter the death of Krishnamurti, he sought out other teachers and found a goldmine". It is this goldmine that Dhawan quarries through in the book which is divided into 13 sections which deal with topics like bhakti (devotion), awareness, happiness, peace, death, survival, evil, corruption, suffering, God, divine, guru, mother, internal, external, desire, thought, love, compassion, mind, ego, manifestation, body and science. Each section has an introduction which prepares the reader for the truths. The headlines of the excerpts themselves serve as quotable quotes. For example, 'The invisible is more significant than what is visible,' 'Real success lies in making others happy,' 'Happiness is determined by our capacity to love,' You are what you are looking for' and 'Home is not a place, thing or person - it is rest.'

JAIPUR: On January 20, at the first Rajasthan International Film Festival held here, veteran actor Om Puri and up n' coming Bollywood actor Prashantt Guptha were felicitated with the top honors of the evening. With the central theme of the festival being 'The Common Man of Indian Cinema,' the festival highlighted the achievements of the senior actor for his contribution to Indian cinema with its equivalent of The Lifetime Achievement Award. On the other hand, actor Prashantt Guptha, being a Jaipur

all of it at one go; small helpings of a few pages are enough to fill the soul. Being divided into tidy heads also gives the readers the freedom to pick according to their favorite topic or Master. From each page there peeps a Master; on each page there is a pithy saying that can

BOOK REVIEW

New Yorker Prashantt Guptha honored in Jaipur India Post News Service

For a man who seems to subsist on spiritual appetizers, I ask for his definition of God. He immediately quotes J Krishnamurti, "I never said there is no God. Only I prefer to call it Life." In this age of religious fanaticism, how does he separate religion from spirituality? I ask another question. "Religion comprises followers who always misinterpret. Spirituality is exploration within. Difference between a religious teacher and a Guru is that the former interprets teachings of others while the Guru talks from his own experience", Dhawan adds as he mentions that from being a diehard J. Krishnamaurti fan in his youth, he is currently doting on Rupert Spira, a British potter and spiritual teacher. Any talk on spirituality inevitably leads to the premise of peace. Finding inner peace. But Dhawan snubs that question. He calls it "wrong question" and quickly refers to Page 94 of his book where Anandamayi Ma says, "Jagat (world) means ceaseless movement. How could there be peace in perpetual coming and going? Peace reigns where no coming exists and no going, no melting and no burning. Reverse your course, advance towards Him and there will be hope for peace." I stood corrected about this quest for peace and picked up the book which has daisies on the cover and is written in simple, lucid English. The book's format is the perfect appetizer for a restless soul. One does not need to hog on

native who made his foray into Hindi cinema and showed immense progress over the last

couple of years, was bestowed the Pride of Rajasthan Award.

Prashantt Guptha with Om Puri

Cont'd on Page 38

Vinod Dhawan

unravel the enigmas of life. Not surprisingly, even spiritual teachers are talking about 50 Spiritual Appetizers. Jac O'Keeffe, Spirituality teacher, lauds that it "offers information without fluff" while Colin Drake, Spirituality teacher relishes "the tasty morsels that are ideal to accompany my morning coffee, sitting on the verandah, before settling to contemplate/relax into awareness." Dhawan is already thinking about the next edition of Spiritual Appetizers. Before that hits the stands, he keeps "looking at life according to the guidance received from these Masters". Published by Partridge, a division of Penguin-Random House, the book is available online at Amazon, Flipkart and Barnes & Noble.


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February 6, 2015 www.indiapost.com

Gurinder Chadha making Mountbatten film

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he 'Bend-It' Queen Gurinder Chadha is flying down to Mumbai to finalize the cast of her next film tentatively entitled The Viceroy's House. The film will chronicle the last six months of Lord Mountbatten's stay in India when the British Raj ended. Gurinder says she has unearthed an immense amount of hitherto-undisclosed facts about Mountbatten's final days in India. "There are the so-called facts that we grew up reading about Mountbatten's closing months in India. But there are secret documents which I've unearthed. These point to another truth which I'll reveal in my film." Gurinder, whose last feature film a black comedy entitled 'It's A Wondeful Afterlife' was a bit of a letdown, has bought the rights of two very important books to make

her Mountbatten film. "My husband Paul (Mayeda Berges) who has co-scripted the film with me and I have bought the rights of two books Narinder Singh's Sarla's The Shadow Of The Great Game and Larry Colins & Dominiue Lapierre's Freedom At Midnight. These, plus the documents on Mountbatten that we've unearthed, will serve as the basis of the plot." Gurinder says she comes to India with a clean casting slate. There was talk of casting Colin Firth as Mountbatten, Naseeruddin Shah as Jinnah and Saif Ali Khan as Jawaharlal Nehru. But Gurinder is not willing to reveal the cast at the moment. "All I'll say is, I want actors who fit perfectly into every part. The acting style has changed tremendously in Indian cinema since I worked with

Gurinder Chadha

Aishwarya Rai in Bride & Prejudice ten years ago. I see a lot of very natural actors in India. And I'm eager to work with them." Gurinder would also be doing a lot of outdoor location-hunting during her trip to India. "I'll be shooting in and around Jodhpur and Rajasthan. I am really excited about this one because we've never really had a British view of the Partition of India. Interestingly, that British view would come from me, a director whose cultural allegiance to India and Britain are equally strong." The feisty filmmaker says she would have to work very hard to strike a balance between her dual cultural backgrounds. "My take on Mountbatten has to reach out to both Indian and non-Indian audiences, the way Attenborough's Gandhi did."

Soha feels no different after marriage

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fter a simple wedding and close knit wedding recep tion, Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu want to spend a relaxed week with no tension of work. "Both of us just want to put up our feet and relax," says Soha. She says she feels no different after marriage. "It's all the very same except that everyone keeps calling me Mrs Khemu. And I feel they mean Kunal's mom!" Everyone congratulated Soha and Khemu on how good the couple looked at their wedding. "People paid us both some lavish compliments. But I thought Kunal looked really handsome....It was a very small and simple wedding at home with our families in attendance. This is exactly the way we wanted it and we are very grateful to everyone for supporting our decision." Soha was touched by the speeches the family made. "They were from the heart and very sincere," she expresses. Soha seems surprised by her own decision to marry, "I always felt the only reason to get married is to have children. We've been very lucky to have very supportive parents. My mother is a very liberal wife and mother. So there was no peer pressure to marry." Soha is confident about marriage, "I've always felt when you are committed in a relationship, you've to work through the difficult times. I've seen my parents in a successful solid marriage for 44 years." Soha's thought about marriage. "There is no perfect relation-

ship. You have to work around the dissatisfaction. I am sure even my parents had their problems. They were completely different person-

going for life long, "To keep a relationship going in today's day and age is very difficult. I'd like to think if my relationship has worked

always came first. But now to make Kunal happy makes me happier." Nonetheless there are the doubts, "I don't know how much I can sacrifice for anyone else. I always said we should not take the relationship for granted. We need to continue to communicate our feelings about one another, no matter what its repercussions. Only an honest approach can keep a relationship go-

ing." keep a relationship going." She gives Kunal a lot of credit for making her feel secure in their relationship. "Kunal has a lot of integrity, fervor and ambition. What I love the most about him is his consistency. In five years he has never wavered in his thoughts and beliefs." The couple have no immediate plans of having children.

New Yorker Prashantt Guptha honored in Jaipur Cont'd from Page 37

Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Khemu

alities. But they must have worked on their marriage. And they made it work." She gives full credit to her parents for a perfect marriage. "I never felt any insecurity regarding my parents' marriage. I think they handled their issues and the public face of their marriage was so dignified. I've seen the dignity that my parents brought into their marriage. If I am a secure person today it's because of marriage that my parents shared. I'd certainly want my child to feel the same sense of security" Soha knows she has to work hard on her marriage to keep it

for five years it's permanent. We are all so self-centered. So am I. To give that much to a relationship is very difficult." Soha's thought as why marriages break up so frequent nowa-days, "One reason why marriages break faster now is because people live longer. Earlier people died at 60. Now they live to be a 100, so all that more time to spend in a marriage. How many years can you live happily in one relationship? You need to have a sense of commitment maturity and infinite patience to make a marriage last." Soha is completely committed to this relationship. "My happican

Prashantt Guptha was born and brought up in New York and shifted base to Mumbai a few years ago. After small roles in Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi and Kaalo, Prashantt came into recognition after playing the anti-hero in Pen India/Shailesh Singh's Issaq, followed by two releases in 2014, Identity Card and 6-5=2. Amongst several international, Hindi and regional films, the young actor's critically acclaimed film Identity Card received the Best Feature Film award at the hands of Padmini Kolhapuri. Last year, Prashantt won best supporting actor at the San Francisco Global Movie Fest for his work in Identity Card. The young actor is currently shooting for director Sanjay Amar's film 19th January, yet another beautiful drama on a historic day in Kashmir, along-

side stellar actors Deepti Naval and KK Raina.

Prashantt Guptha


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February 6, 2015 www.indiapost.com

Kareena hasn't converted, says Saif Ali Khan

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ome religious groups have time and again targeted Kareena Kapoor for being a Hindu who married a Muslim, Saif Ali Khan. Ever since she married Nawab Saif Ali Khan in October 2012, she has been looked down by some religious groups and recently, certain religious groups, have used her as the poster girl for 'Love Jihad'. 'Love Jihad' is a controversial term given by religious outfits to a Muslim man marrying a Hindu woman. Saif who doesn't believe in the concept of 'Love Jihad' is highly miffed for his actor wife being wrongly targeted, "People say she has converted. No, she hasn't," he points out. Saif Ali Khan believes that the talk of 'Love Jihad' is actually "regrettable". "These talks - emotionally, intellectually and socially - do not feature in our lives. The character, wisdom and intellect of such sources should be considered before taking them seriously," says Saif. The 44-year-old star feels that Kareena should be known for her work more than anything else.

"The country should be proud of Kareena's contribution to cinema and society. She has worked for women's rights and better health. She should be celebrated as a sym-

bol of a strong, modern individual," he adds. Kareena and Saif do not believe in the concept of 'Love Jihad'. Kareena during an interview said,

"Saif has a very broad perspective and he also shared his perspective on 'Love Jihad' (via an open letter). He married a Hindu, which is me, and we had a civil marriage". "I feel that love is something that you can't term. There is passion, there is lust, there are so many things. It can happen between two human beings," said

Kareena. "Now if somebody is Hindu and he or she starts loving a Muslim person, you can't stop them. You cannot ask somebody, 'Are you a Muslim or are you a Hindu?' and then fall in love. Love is a feeling, it's an emotion. That's why I don't believe in 'Love Jihad'. I believe in the feeling of love," added the 34-year-old actress.

'Laughter Yoga' university proposed in Singapore SINGAPORE: There is a potential for setting up a university in Singapore for research work on 'Laughter Yoga', Madan Kataria, the founder of this laughter-based exercise, says. "Twelve international universities have done research on laughter yoga's health benefits," said Kataria, who is working on spreading Laughter Yoga to rural villages

held a session of laughter yoga at a fair in Singapore. A time frame for setting up the university in Singapore would depend on support of the yoga followers, said Kataria who has been visiting the city state for the past eight years and conducting classes and sessions. He stressed that Laughter Yoga was a way forward for better

across the globe, having already made it popular in more than 100 cities. "There is a potential for setting up a university for research work on laughter yoga and a centre for training and coaching Laughter Yoga experts," said Kataria, who

health in today's stressed environment globally, especially in the cosmopolitan cities. Laughter Yoga expanded rapidly in the last 20 years with 10,000 clubs in India and 6,000 overseas, starting from the first session held in Mumbai in March 1995.-PTI

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor

Bombay-themed diner voted best restaurant in UK LONDON: An Indian restaurant based on the theme of Irani cafes from 19th century Bombay has beaten the UK's best known Michelin-starred diners and voted as the top eatery. 'Dishoom' came out top in a list of 100 eateries across the country in an online reviewcum-voting analysis by online

gency Cafe to second place and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal to third. Dishoom founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar said: "We couldn't be more delighted to hear this news. We feel privileged just to be able to serve the guests who come through our doors for breakfast, lunch, or

Dishoom London

urban city guide Yelp. It knocked former winner Re-

dinner, and perhaps share a little bit of our love for Bombay food

and culture with them". "We're truly blown away that so many people have chosen to share their opinions of us online to help us reach the top spot." The restaurant's Covent Garden branch in central London knocked off last year's winner Regency Cafe to second place, followed by Michelin-starred Dinner By Heston Blumenthall, which came in third. Set up by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost 400 Irani cafes in Bombay at their peak in the 1960s. However, today less than 30 survive. Dishoom was set up in 2010 to re-create their lost glory with a decor of stained mirrors and sepia family portraits and a menu including Bombay Omelette, Bun Maska and Keema Pau. It now has three branches across London, which features antique furniture and fittings sourced from Mumbai. A vast majority of restaurants in the top 100 are from London, followed by Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.-PTI

Giant 'climate ribbon' to cool Miami mall MIAMI: An upscale, Miamiarea mall will feature an innovative ``climate ribbon'' to ensure shopper's comfort during the city's sweltering summers. The Miami Herald reports that the planned Brickell shopping center will feature a thousand-foot long cascading canopy of steel and clear insulating glass. The canopy will run over and through wide concourses between four city blocks

of shops and will be fitted with massive fabric-covered louvers. The ``climate ribbon'' is designed to shade shoppers and channel cooling breezes from nearby Biscayne Bay. The ribbon, believed to be the first of its kind, was designed in collaboration between a Paris design firm and the universities of Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh and Cardiff in England. -AP


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n ancient city at the alluring convergence of Mahanadi and Kathjuri Rivers, Cuttack in the Indian state of Orissa boasts of a magnificent history. The second largest city in Orissa is popularly called as the cultural capital of the state and is regarded as the twin city of Bhubaneswar. The city covers an area of around 3932 square kilometers and is the administrative headquarters of the territory.

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This renowned city has been bestowed with sobriquets like millennium city, commercial capital and so on. Being a hectic centre of commercial activities, the city serves as the market junction of varied artifacts from the length and breadth of the state. Early known history of Cuttack revolves round the mighty kings of Keshari dynasty. Nrupa Keshari of this dynasty established the city as a military cantonment which gave Cuttack its present outlook. After their rule of several years the city had witnessed the rise

February 6, 2015

and fall of so many kingdoms and in 1750, it came under Maratha rule, which transformed the city into a major business centre. Later the British acquired control of Cuttack in the year 1803 under whom the city has gained historical development as the capital of Orissa till the time of Indian Independence. Cuttack would be remembered forever as the birthplace of the illustrious Indian, Subash Chandra Bose whose motivating speeches and deeds paved a new renaissance in the freedom movement of the Country. Like all other major cities of the subcontinent, cultural life of Cuttack is marked with colorful festivals and fiestas. Apart from the usual celebrations of Dusshera of a typical Indian city, Cuttack showcases a unique festival of its own by name Baliyatra, which commemorates the ancient trade links of the city with Java, Bali and Sumatra. Among the other alluring festivals, Kite festival in the month of January unfolds something special. An excellent and outstanding tourism spot with an array of impressive attractions, Cuttack stands as the most outstanding paradigm of antique technological abilities of Orissa. It is definite that tourists can spend a relaxing time in Cuttack and make their trip a most memorable one. Cont’d on page 42


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Dallas recipe for eat & live healthy while on the go PREETI VERMA LAL

DALLAS FORT WORTH AIRPORT: Often, at airports has your stomach ever growled and grumbled about the bad food? Have you puckered your noise at the fried, carb-laden options at air-

stresses that airport travelers face," said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management at DFW Airport. "Our 'Healthy + Happy' health and wellness campaign allows DFW

ports? At an airport, have you ever yearned for a magic wand to turn all unhealthy food into nutrientrich fresh food? If walking in and out of airports, you prefer a ladle of health

customers unique and easily accessible options to unwind, relax, alleviate stress, and maintain a healthy lifestyle every time they travel through DFW." As part of the campaign, every

on your plate, fly through Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport which has just launched a "Healthy + Happy" campaign to take further its mandate to provide Nutritious Dining Options and Healthy Living Amenities for travelers to shop, eat and live healthy while on the go. "The inability to eat healthy and maintain one's normal wellness routine ranks among the highest

one of DFW's more than 150 restaurants offers at least one lowcalorie, low-fat, low-sodium, cholesterol-free, plant-based, or highin-fiber entrĂŠe or menu item. Examples include Cereality (C6) which serves steel-cut oatmeal bowls with fresh fruit; Ling & Louie's (A13) Buddha's Feast with wok'd asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, and red onions with a hint of Thai basil; Grand Met's (Grand Hyatt Hotel; Connected to Terminal D) Garden pasta with market greens, roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, and chili flakes; Urban Taco's (C22) roasted corn and lime taco with poblano peppers, onions, cilantro, and black beans; Dunkin' Donuts (A13, B43, D22, and E6) Egg White & Reducedfat Cheese on a Wheat English Muffin, East Side Mario's (A38) Mariboli veggie wrap. At DFW, customer satisfaction steps beyond food. It has also implemented dozens of amenities that promote health and wellness and improve the

travel experience throughout its five terminals. For those in need of a quick retreat, Minute Suites (D23) offers a relaxing venue where passengers can rent private suites and recharge with daybeds, office workstations, showers and other comforts. For passengers looking for a luxurious atmosphere of peace and tranquility, XpresSpa (D20, D24) enables travelers to relax with services such as massages, manicures, pedicures, and more. Those in need of inner peace can find it at one of DFW's four Interfaith Chapels (A21, B28, D21 and C4), the full-service Yoga Studio (D40), or by walking the one-mile LiveWell Walking Path (D6 through D40), which is endorsed by the American Heart

Association and is marked with beautiful mosaic tile floor medallions. At DFW, the world's third busiest airport which hosts 1,850

flights a day and serves more than 62 million customers a year, the new Healthy + Happy options will make every traveler healthier and happier.


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Cuttack Cultural capital & birthplace of Subash Chandra Bose Cont’d from page 40 Singanatha Temple

Major Attractions Barabati Fort: A fort that speaks the glory of centuries old tradition, Barabati Fort boasts of the glorious rule of the mighty empire of Ganga rulers. Originally constructed in the 11th century, this fort has been subjected to further modification and in the 14th century, it has been thoroughly modified into its present form. This medieval fort on the banks of Mahanadi River is really worthy for a visit since it beholds the remnants of a past legacy, which is reflected in its intricately carved gateway, moat and the earthen mound of the nine-storied palace. Stone Revetment: One among the marvels of ancient engineering skill, the stone revetment on

the banks of Kathjuri River, allures the onlookers with its perfection. This centuries old stone formation is a popular destination in Cuttack, which bears true testimony to the

technical skill and logical thinking of the Oriyans of 11th century. Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary: A sprawling expansion of 650 sq km, which houses rich marine

vegetation, dynamic and salt tolerant varieties of trees, accumulated land, rivers, estuaries, mud flats, creeks and backwater Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary acquires a unique position. Regarded as one of its kind in the entire Asia, this sanctuary is famous as a natural abode of the estuarine crocodiles. Cuttack Chandi Temple: A holy shrine believed to be the abode of the guardian deity of the city of Cuttack, Temple of Cuttack Chandi boasts of a fabulous tale. The place where the temple is now situated was a fallow land earlier and the goddess appeared there to a man called Hansa Panda and asked him to bring the goddess out from the soil. While digging, around forty bullock cart full red Sindoor

the city, Singanatha Temple is the oldest temple in Cuttack. This holy shrine is located in a tranquil ambiance of Mahanadi River more particularly on a rocky island. An epitome of sacredness and tranquility, this devout centre is a popular pilgrim centre in the city. Dhabaleshwar: A magnificent shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, Dhabaleswar Temple is one among the most sought after pilgrim centers in Orissa. This white Shiva temple in the small island Dhabaleswar in Mahanadi lures the devotees with its imposing scenery. Its scenic position atop a small hill gives it an ethereal appeal. Best time to visit here is September to March How to reach:

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary Dhabaleshwar

Barabati Fort

and the Devi emerged from the soil. The people in Cuttack believe that the deity in this temple guards the city from all evil. Quadam-i-Rasool: A shrine with unparallel credentials Quadam-i-Rasool, located near the old quarters in the city, stands testimony to the communal harmony of the ancient generation. Built by a Hindu ruler for the benefit of Muslims, this 18th century shrine is a revered centre for both Hindus and Muslims. Singanatha Temple: One among the imposing structures in

By Train: The railhead in Cuttack lies on the Chennai-Kolkata rail line. This station is pretty well-connected to the Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and from many other cities and states. By Air: The nearest airport is the Biju Patnaik Airport of Bhubaneswar, which is about 25 km away from the heart of the city. This airport is well connected to the major cities of India. By Bus: State owned public transport buses operate from Bhubaneswar (25 km) and Puri (90 km) to Cuttack.


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Goa recorded 30% rise Tourist infra in J&K to be ready by March-end in tourist arrivals MUMBAI: Tourist arrivals in Goa, famous for its excellent beaches, churches and temples, shot up by a healthy 30 per cent to 40,58,226 in 2014 as compared to 2013. The tiny state hosted 31,21,473 tourists - both domestic as well as foreign - in 2013, according to data from Tourism Department of Goa. "The statistical graph showing a 30 per cent increase in tourist

arrivals for the year 2014 reinforces our stand that Goa is a preferred holiday destination in the world and will continue to be one every passing year," Director of Tourism Ameya Abhyankar said in a release here. A total of 19,70,792 domestic tourists visited Goa between October-December 2014, considered a busy season, a sharp rise from 12,19,872 in the same period in

2013. As many as 2,30,811 foreign holiday-makers arrived in Goa between October-December in 2014 as against 2,32,874 in 2013. Tourist arrival figures for the last quarter of 2014 (October-December) showed an increase (62%) on domestic front, while the drop in case of foreigners in the same period was very meager, Abhyankar added. In 2014, 35,44,634 Indian tourists visited the coastal state, while those from abroad stood at 5,13,592. The figures for Indian and foreign travelers for 2013 were 26,29,151 and 4,92,322 respectively. "The data is very encouraging. In case of foreign tourist arrivals, there has been a drop in charter arrivals but this is a temporary phase arising from the prevailing geopolitical scenario in Europe. "We are focusing on newer markets across the globe and will see rise in footfalls in the months to come," Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said in the release. -PTI

J-K calling SE Asians for adventure tourism NEW DELHI: In the wake of dwindling European tourists, Jammu and Kashmir is targeting travelers from Southeast Asia with adventure tourism activities like motor biking, rafting and paragliding. With these, the state, which is endowed with abundant natural scenic beauty and popularly referred to as 'Heaven on Earth', will attract adventurous visitors, who traditionally flock the Himalayas for skiing. "Earlier, we used to get Europeans for handicrafts, leisure and climate. But now, Europeans have (been issued) advisories not to visit Kashmir. Now, we are getting Southeast Asians because they do not have advisories against Kashmir," Talat Parvez, Director Tourism, Kashmir told PTI here. About 65 per cent of the 1.15 lakh international tourists, who visited the state last year belonged to the Southeast Asian countries, he said. The Valley offers diversified adventure activities in air, land, snow and water to lure tourists,

the official said, stressing that Turkey was the key competitor in this sector. "The competition for adventure (tourism) is not with any other state of India, but with Turkey," he said.

their arrivals in our Valley, as well as Ladakh for seasonal and Buddhist attractions, respectively," he said. Besides this, the tourist paradise is also marketing the picturesque Jammu and Ladakh regions

NEW DELHI: All the tourist infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, which was damaged during the devastating floods last year is expected to be put in place by the end of March, a senior state government official said. Briefing reporters here, J-K Tourism Secretary Shailendra Kumar said the private tourism infrastructure providers have informed the state government that the entire infrastructure will be ready by March 31. "As far as the government infrastructure, such as the hotels, is concerned, it will be completely ready by March 31. The private people have said

that their infrastructure will also be ready by that time," he said. Devastating floods damaged tourist facilities in Srinagar last September, hitting the tourism industry badly. According to Kumar, only 10 per cent of the tourist infrastructure was affected while 90 per cent remained intact during the floods. The Tourism Secretary also hoped that there would be a rise in the number of tourists coming to the Valley this year. Earlier, Talat Parvez, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, said that a total of 1.25 crore tourists visited the state last year of which 1.15 lakh were foreigners.-PTI

UP to develop places around Taj Mahal ETAWAH: With the aim of promoting tourism beyond the iconic Taj Mahal, the Uttar Pradesh government will be developing places of interest around the monument of love in Agra. UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is planning to attract more tourists which would lead to employment generation and development of the region, his wife and Samajwadi Party MP, Dimple Yadav said. "For this purpose religious, cultural, wildlife tourism around Agra would be developed as well as adventure tourism so that the state can emerge as a tourism friendly one," Dimple said while flagging off Agra Taj car rally. "Tourists who come to Agra

return from there. But with lion safari, they will come here leading to more employment opportunities for the locals and development of this region," she said. She said that the car rally would cover a distance of 450 km pass-

ing through the Chambal, Jarar, Chakarnagar ravines. The Chief Minister was scheduled to flag off the rally but due to some pressing engagements his wife deputed for him. -PTI

Bill calls for end on travel ban to Cuba

With historical Buddhist centers, the state has an edge over other destinations for wooing travelers from the Southeast Asian nations. "We are focusing on Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. These tourists are coming for new adventures and new sites... We could also find

as golf destinations. State tourism officials said while golf circuit was launched in Jammu, a golf course is in the offing in the Ladakh region. Kashmir forms the part of an extended package in the itinerary of international visitors to India, who visit other tourist attractions like Agra and Delhi. -PTI

WASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of senators wants to end travel restrictions on Americans seeking to go to Cuba, saying it would help foster change in the Communist island nation. Current law generally bans travel to Cuba, although there are numerous exceptions. Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said similar legislation to end the ban has cleared the Senate in the past. The bill faces obstacles in the

House and Senate. In addition to Flake, Republican Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas and Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Patrick Leahy of Vermont attended a news conference to unveil the measure. President Barack Obama has announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. A trade embargo remains in effect and can only be reversed by congressional action. -AP


In Brief Mexican gets life term over holding hostages HOUSTON: A Mexican man has been sentenced to life in a U.S. prison for leading a human smuggling ring that held more than 20 immigrants hostage in Houston. Castro-Flores last March was convicted of 18 counts including conspiracy to commit hostage taking, hostage taking and other charges involving smuggling immigrants and firearms. Prosecutors say Castro-Flores led a group responsible for stashing more than two dozen immigrants at a locked home with boarded windows. The victims, who were rescued on Sept. 7, 2012, were under armed guard and threatened amid extortion demands to their relatives. -AP

„ Pearce asks end to deposition in immigration case PHOENIX: The former legislator who championed Arizona's 2010 immigration enforcement law is asking a federal judge to end pretrial questioning of the ex-lawmaker as part of a challenge to the law. Former state Senate President Russell Pearce submitted his request two days after plaintiffs in the case asked that Pearce be ordered to explain why he shouldn't be held in contempt for disobeying court orders. The plaintiffs contend former state Senate President Russell Pearce failed to conduct a reasonable search for emails from a personal account that could show the intent of the legislation known as SB1070. -AP

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Immigrants' cases could wait until 2019

SAN ANTONIO: Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the US court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved. The increase in cancellations began late last summer after the Justice Department prioritized the tens of thousands of Central American families and unaccompanied children crossing the USMexico border. Immigration lawyers in New York, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Denver say they have had hearings canceled with little notice and received no new court dates. Work permits, green cards, asylum claims, and family reunifications now hang in the balance. -AP

Immigration 44 India Post

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February 6, 2015

New hope for the old H-1B visa program Details on page 47

Govt to identify immigrants who might qualify for lenient treatment WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has ordered immigration agents to ask immigrants they encounter living in the country illegally whether they might qualify under President Barack Obama's plans to avoid deporting them. Agents also have been told to review government files to identify any jailed immigrants they might be able to release under the program, according to internal training materials obtained by The Associated Press. The directives from the Homeland Security Department mark an unusual change for US immigration enforcement, placing the obligation on the government for identifying immigrants who might qualify for lenient treatment. Previously, it was the responsibility of immigrants or their lawyers to assert that they might qualify under rules that could keep them out of jail and inside the United States. It's akin to the Internal Revenue Service calling taxpayers to recom-

mend they should have used certain exemptions or deductions. The training materials apply to

encountered persons" who may be eligible for protection from deportation.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on the impact of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

agents for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They instruct agents "to immediately begin identifying persons in their custody, as well as newly

One training document includes scenarios describing encounters between agents and immigrants with guidance about how agents should proceed, with a checklist of questions to deter-

mine whether immigrants might qualify under the president's plans. ICE officials earlier began releasing immigrants who qualified for leniency from federal immigration jails. Obama in November announced a program to allow roughly 4 million parents of US citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for permission to stay in the country for up to three years and get a work permit. The program mirrors one announced in 2012 that provides protection from deportation for young immigrants brought to the country as children. A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, Carlos Diaz, said immigrants caught crossing the border illegally remain a top priority for the agency. The training documents for border agents, he said, "provide clear guidance on immigration enforcement operations so that both time and resources are allocated appropriately." -AP

After Paris attacks, calls to tighten US visa rules WASHINGTON: US politicians are calling for changes to a law that allows Europeans and other foreigners to enter the country without visas, citing fears that jihadists could exploit the rules to stage attacks on American soil. The visa waiver program, which covers tourists from 38 countries, represents the "Achilles' heel of America," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is urging a tightening of the rules. The attacks against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris this month have renewed concerns in Washington that extremists with Western passports will slip into the US under the cover of the visafree travel program. Feinstein, former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is working on a bill to reform the rules that will be proposed soon, her aides said.

Other lawmakers also are eyeing changes to the law, including Candice Miller, a Republican from Michigan, who introduced a bill that would enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to

The Paris attacks, carried out by men with French passports, and the growing number of Europeans volunteering to fight with jihadists in Syria and Iraq - an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 - offers a

US politicians are calling for changes to a law that allows Europeans and other foreigners to enter the country without visas, citing fears that jihadists could exploit the rules to stage attacks on American soil

suspend countries from the program if they fail to provide key information on potential suspects.

chilling reminder for Americans of dangerous terror plots. Zacarias Moussaoui, known as

the "20th hijacker" in the September 11, 2001 attacks, traveled to the US simply by presenting his French passport. And Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a US-bound airliner in December 2001 with an explosive hidden in his shoe, needed no visa with his British passport. However, the US government has dramatically revised procedures for the visa-free travel program since the 9/11 attacks. Starting in 2008, passengers planning to travel under the visa waiver rules have to fill out a special form beforehand, known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The electronic forms are an important tool, allowing US authorities to see well in advance who is trying to enter the US, said Christian Beckner, deputy director at the Centre for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. -AFP


Immigration Post

February 6, 2015

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Democrats may block action on Homeland bill WASHINGTON: Senate Democrats have threatened to block action on legislation funding the Homeland Security Department until Republicans jettison Housepassed provisions that reverse President Barack Obama's key immigration policies. Without action by Congress by Feb. 27, the department will lose a portion of its funding for counterterrorism and other activities, an event lawmakers in both parties say they want to avoid. Republicans have vowed since last fall they would use the funding measure to reverse Obama's recent shifts in immigration policies, and the House-passed bill is due on the Senate floor in the next few days. But Sen. Charles Schumer, DN.Y., said Democrats are not will-

ing to go along, and blasted Republicans in unusually strong

terms. ``They seem to dislike the idea

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, leaves the chamber after the new Republican majority prevailed in passing a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, at the Capitol in Washington

Arizona Gov cedes control over federal lawsuits PHOENIX: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has ended direct control over litigation related to the state's 2010 immigration-enforcement law and its decision not to issue driver's licenses to immigrants granted deferred deportation under a 2012 policy created by President Barack Obama. Those cases will now be

attorney general's office, the spokesman said. ``He trusts and has confidence in our new attorney general to handle these cases moving forward, and believes this approach is in the best interests of the state and taxpayers,'' Scarpinato said. Former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer took control of lawsuits

Doug Ducey

handled by Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office, Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said. The decision grew out of the governor's belief that his office needed to reduce its role in litigation, Scarpinato said. The proper place for lawsuits to be handled under the state Constitution is the

challenging SB1070 shortly after it passed. Lawyers working at her direction defended that case and the driver's license case. Democrat Terry Goddard was attorney general when SB1070 was enacted and was challenging Brewer in the race for governor. She retained the case after Repub-

lican Tom Horne took office in early 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Arizona immigration law's most contentious section - a requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally. But the courts have either struck down or blocked enforcement of other sections of the law, such as a requirement that immigrants carry registration papers. Other challenges to the law are ongoing. Immigrants denied licenses won a permanent injunction requiring the state to issue licenses just last week. But Ducey has not said if he intends to appeal the case. Brewer waged a lengthy legal battle after she issued an executive order in 2012 that barred the state from accepting work permits issued to so-called DREAMers as proof they were legally in the U.S. and therefore qualified for an Arizona license. Brnovich's spokeswoman, Kristen Keogh, said he is reviewing all current litigation.-AP

Nevada joins immigration suit by 25 states CARSON CITY, Nev.: Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt have talked about an immigration lawsuit Laxalt filed, and the suit is moving forward in spite of protests. Laxalt announced that Nevada

would join 25 other states in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's executive order aimed at shielding millions from deportation. Sandoval hadn't given prior consent to the lawsuit and said he preferred a legislative solution over legal

action. But he said he didn't think he had the legal authority to overrule Laxalt, who's a fellow Republican. Several dozen people protested outside Laxalt's Las Vegas office demanding that Nevada pull out of the lawsuit.-AP

of supporting homeland security. They dislike dreamers more than they dislike ISIS,'' he said. The term ``dreamers'' applies to young immigrants brought into the country illegally with their parents. ISIS refers to the Islamic State militants who have taken over portions of Iraq and Syria. Schumer said the Democratic rank and file is united behind a strategy of preventing action on the House-passed measure until Republicans drop the immigration provisions. The House-passed bill provides $39.7 billion to finance the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the budget year for counterterrorism, cyber security and other priorities at a time when attacks in Paris and elsewhere are fresh in the public's mind. Unaffected by the

measure is additional money the agency receives from fees. As passed in the House, the legislation would also reverse Obama's decision last fall to provide temporary deportation relief and work permits to an estimated 4 million immigrants in the country illegally, mostly people who have children who are citizens or legal permanent residents. The bill also would eliminate a 2012 directive that has granted work permits and stays of deportation to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived illegally in the U.S. under the age of 16. Obama has threatened to veto the House-passed bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the measure would increase the federal deficit by $7.5 billion over a decade. -AP

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South Africa riots raise worry about anti-foreign sentiment JOHANNESBURG: South African youths recently swept through an intersection in the heart of Soweto township, breaking into immigrant-owned shops and grabbing whatever they could - soda, a loaf of bread, sometimes even the shelves. Nearly 40 years ago, at the same intersection, young blacks marched to protest the white racist rulers of the time, drawing a bloody crackdown that shocked the world. The recent looting and unrest that hit Soweto and other areas around Johannesburg was not as bloody as the anti-apartheid demonstrations and the ensuing bloodshed in 1976. But it alarmed a nation built on the ideals of racial reconciliation and underscored that, two decades after apartheid was replaced by the promise of a ``rainbow nation,'' many South Africans remain marginalized by a lack of economic opportunity. Resentment against foreigners stoked the looting and rioting in late January that killed six people and forced many shopkeepers to flee. Joyce Piliso-Seroke, 81, was arrested in 1976 for trying to help the marching students, some of whom burned buildings linked to the apartheid state. The anti-government movements that once aired frustrations against white minority rule now control the state

but don't have answers for the younger generation, she said. ``It's complete silence now in the country,'' Piliso-Seroke said, referring to the lack of effective prescriptions for fixing education and providing employment. The weeklong disorder was sparked by the shooting of a 14year-old South African boy by a Somali shop owner who believed he was being robbed. The rioting has died down and minibus taxis

door form a stand where bruised bananas and leafy spinach, pieces of bright cloth and plastic buckets are sold. A decades-old dilapidated shopfront faces a recently built supermarket chain. Rows of high-heel shoes and strappy sandals are laid on a faded floral bedsheet on the pavement at a shoe stall run by Morena Malefetse, 29, and Tshepo Tsosane, 27. It could have been an easy target for looters but they

Somalian, Salat Abdullahi, talks with the Associated Press, in what is known as Little Mogadishu in Johannesburg. Abdullahi is living in temporary quarters after he was barricaded inside the shop that he worked and slept in, in Soweto, while looters threatened him from outside during unrest and looting in the township south west of Johannesburg.

daily clog the road at the Soweto intersection. On the sidewalk, overturned crates and a discarded

ignored the merchandise of local vendors, instead targeting a foreign-owned butchery and an elec-

tronics shop. Malefetse and Tsosane condemned the violence against shops owned by people from Somalia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere. But they said they understand the frustration on the streets. ``Young South Africans are hungry,'' said Malefetse, who sports tattoos on his calf and forearm. ``It makes them angry, seeing foreigners come into the country like it's a land of milk and honey, finding opportunities,'' said Tsosane, who supports a young son. Malefetse and Tsosane have diplomas in computer science but have been unable to find work in their fields and so have worked as security guards, installed satellite dishes and baked and sold cakes. They have been running their shoe stall for about a month. Peering over his sunglasses, Malefetse said he doesn't understand how immigrants from wartorn, impoverished African nations can set up and successfully run businesses in South Africa. In another part of Johannesburg, known as Little Mogadishu, Somali Salat Abdullahi recalled how relatives raised funds to buy him a bus ticket to South Africa. In 2013, while he was away at boarding school, an attack by Islamist ex-

tremists killed his family. ``People said, go to South Africa, your life will be settled there,'' said the 20-year-old, slumped in a dirty office chair outside the makeshift office set up to help displaced shop owners by the Somali Community Board of South Africa. This month, though, he ended up barricaded in his Soweto shop while looters threatened him. Police escorted him out of the area. Tall and with angular features, Abdullahi stands out in South Africa and he said customers had sometimes insulted him. ``What they are doing is racist,'' he said. African immigrants in South Africa remain cautious after a spate of anti-foreigner attacks in 2008 left 60 people dead. There are also concerns about the official attitude toward immigrants. Lindiwe Zulu, the minister for small business development, was an anti-apartheid activist who spent time as an exile in Tanzania, Uganda and Angola, and previously served as a special adviser to President Jacob Zuma on international relations. ``Foreigners need to understand that they are here as a courtesy and our priority is to the people of this country,'' said Zulu, after the looting. ``They cannot barricade themselves in and not share their practices with local business owners.'' -AP

Immigrant from Barbados Immigrant license repeal cleared of burglary charge effort passes 1st hurdle NEW YORK: A New York City judge has vacated the 1987 conviction of an immigrant from Barbados who prosecutors said was wrongfully convicted of burglarizing a woman's apartment, serving more than a year in prison for a crime that never took place. Accompanied by his fiancee, sister and son, a beaming Michael Waithe told reporters after his appearance in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn that he had endured many sleepless nights but was looking forward to a new life. ``New dawn, new day, new beginning for me,'' said Waithe, 52. He is to be married next week. Prosecutors moved to vacate Waithe's conviction after the union organizer contacted his office last fall, asking them to review his case. The father of three was convicted based largely on the testimony of one witness, and there was no physical evi-

dence in the case. Mark Hale, who heads the conviction review unit for Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, said in court that a probe revealed the complainant,

Waithe emigrated from Barbados as a 22-year-old in 1984, working initially as a security guard at the Brooklyn building where the complainant resided. He served a year and a half in prison. who now lives in Georgia, told investigators that she had fabricated her testimony. He said the woman admitted disliking Waithe

and suspected he'd stolen her car. ``This hardworking and innocent man came to our country for a better life and ended up being framed and went to prison for a crime that he didn't commit,'' Thompson said in a statement. A judge has vacated convictions in 12 cases that his unit has reviewed since its formation last year. Waithe's is the first one that didn't involve a homicide, his office said. Waithe emigrated from Barbados as a 22-year-old in 1984, working initially as a security guard at the Brooklyn building where the complainant resided. He served a year and a half in prison. Waithe, who has a green card, had also faced possible deportation from the U.S. based on the conviction. In June, his case will be heard before an immigration judge, his attorney said. -AP

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: A proposal to repeal a New Mexico law that allows immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses has cleared its first hurdle despite objections from immigrant groups and a comparison to the Holocaust.

After a more than four-hour hearing, the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee voted 5-4 along party lines to move along the GOP-led proposal aimed at revamping the state driver's licenses laws. Cont'd on Page 47

Hilda Vargas, 52, of Santa Fe, right, sits with her grandson, Damien Vargas, 2, as New Mexico began discussions in Santa Fe, N.M., on efforts to repeal a New Mexico law that allows immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses.


Immigration Post

February 6, 2015

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New hope for the old H-1B visa program

T

he Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 (S. 153) ("ISquared" Act) was introduced by Senators Hatch (R-UT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rubio (R-FL), Coons (D-DE), Flake (R-AZ), and Blumenthal (D-CT). When partisan rancor is the norm in Congress, the I-Squared Act is genuinely bipartisan, and endeavors to provide critical reforms needed in the area of high-skilled immigration. Soon employers will be scrambling again on April 1, 2015 to file their H-1B petitions in the hope

GARY ENDELMAN & CYRUS D. MEHTA

from the employment-based green card cap. • Eliminates annual per-country limits for employment-based visa petitioners and adjusts percountry caps for family-based immigrant visas. • Establishes a grant program using funds from new fees added to H-1Bs and employment-based green cards to promote STEM education and worker retraining. What we are dealing with is a global battle for talent. More than any other single immigration is-

We are no longer the only game in town. The debate over the H-1B is, at its core, an argument over whether the United States will continue to embrace this culture, thus reinforcing its competitive dominance in it, or turn away and shrink from the competition and the benefits that await. that they will be selected in the cap lottery. H-1B numbers will get exhausted six months before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2015. The I-Squared Act will raise H-1B numbers so as to avoid these unnecessary scrambles for the H-1B visa. What is unique is that the H1B numbers will not be the subject of an arbitrary cap just picked from a hat, but will fluctuate based on actual market demand. The cap will not go above 195, 000, but not below 115,000. Among the bill's provisions are the following, although we refer readers to Greg Siskind's detailed summary: • Increases the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and allows the cap to go up (but not above 195,000) or down (but not below 115,000), depending on actual market demand. • Removes the existing 20,000 cap on the U.S. advanced degree exemption for H-1Bs. • Authorizes employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders. • Recognizes that foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities have "dual intent" so they aren't penalized for wanting to stay in the U.S. after graduation. • Recaptures green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used, and continues to do so going forward. • Exempts dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients, U.S. STEM advanced degree holders, persons with extraordinary ability, and outstanding professors and researchers

sue, the H-1B debate highlights the growing and inexorable importance of a skilled entrepreneurial class with superb expertise and a commitment not to company or country, but to their own careers and the technologies on which they are based. They have true international mobility and, like superstar professional athletes, will go to those places where they are paid most handsomely and given a full and rich opportunity to create. We are no longer the only game in town. The debate over the H1B is, at its core, an argument over whether the United States will continue to embrace this culture, thus reinforcing its competitive dominance in it, or turn away and shrink from the competition and the benefits that await. How can we, as a nation, attract and retain that on which our prosperity most directly depends, namely a productive, diverse, stable and highly educated work force irrespective of nationality and do so without sacrificing the dreams and aspirations of our own people whose protection is the first duty and only sure justification for the continuance of that democracy on which all else rests? This is the very heart of the H1B maze. The H-1B has become the test case for all employment-based immigration. If we cannot articulate a rational policy here that serves the nation well, we will likely not be able to do it anywhere else. The ongoing H-1B debate is really about the direction that the American economy will take in the digital age and whether we will surrender the high ground that

America now occupies. Until now, the ever-increasing fees and hyper-regulation imposed by Congress and the USCIS on H1B employers have been justified by the simple but stubbornly held, if unstated, conviction that the hiring of foreign workers is contrary to the national interest and should be punished. Beyond that, the USCIS and DOL, not to mention the legacy INS, have always and continue to believe that the infliction of such punishment was the best, perhaps the only way, to shield US workers from such "illicit" activity. No government should have to apologize for trying to protect its own citizens. The true objection to what the USCIS and DOL have done is that their efforts, however well intentioned, have done precious little to help, but much to hurt, the very objects of their stated concern. What is also remarkable about the I-Squared Act is that it raises the H-1B cap without undermining the H-1B visa program the way we know it. Unlike what S. 744 tried to do to muddy the H-1B visa, there are no provisions that would force employers to pay higher than market wages, or subject dependent employers to artificial and onerous recruitment requirements. The bill also incorporates ideas that have been floated in the context of bringing about administrative reform. Most notable is that I Squared exempts dependents from being counted in the employmentbased preferences, which is some-

ing an immigrant visa to be immediately available if the visa has not been used up during the fiscal year. This is precisely what we have also been advocating for facilitating early adjustment filings administratively. So long as there is even one visa that has gone unused, there should be a deeming of visa availability, thus allowing a foreign national to be able to file an early adjustment of status application before the State Department's Visa Bulletin announces them current.

No government should have to apologize for trying to protect its own citizens. The true objection to what the USCIS and DOL have done is that their efforts, however well intentioned, have done precious little to help, but much to hurt, the very objects of their stated concern. Of course, if Congress can bring about the innovation through the I Squared Act, so much the better. This redefinition of visa availability would also inject new and badly needed relevancy into the age-freezing formula of the Child Status Protection Act which, despite petition approval, does not

thing that we have advocated for several years. It is always preferable if Congress is able to bring about this change than to have the Administration find a justification for not counting family members under the current INA, and possibly even being sued for doing so. The bill also seeks to recapture unused visa numbers, and these have been estimated to be at least 200,000. The bill would also allow for early adjustment filing by deem-

I-Squared Bill will be the one and only definition of visa availability that Congress has ever authored. To be continued * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com

Immigrant license repeal effort passes 1st hurdle Cont'd from Page 46

The ongoing H-1B debate is really about the direction that the American economy will take in the digital age and whether we will surrender the high ground

operate where there are visa backlogs. Under the Child Status Protection Act, one needs an approved petition and a visa number to freeze the age of the child. If there is retrogression after such visa availability, the age remains frozen. However, if the visa availability is redefined, then the danger of aging out is removed. It will do little good to allow the parent(s) to apply for adjustment of status if their kids age out and have to leave. Interestingly enough, the

But before the vote, some Democratic lawmakers compared the repeal measure to the rounding-up of Jews by Nazi Germany and the segregation of black children under Jim Crow. Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-Albuquerque, said any repeal would create more divisions in New Mexico and force hard-working immigrants in the state into second-class citizenship. ``It reminds me of stories we heard about the Holocaust,'' she said, drawing gasps in the crowded room. Another Albuquerque Democrat, Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, angrily criticized the proposal and said it was an attack on civil rights in the state. ``It is taking us back when the black little kids had to sit behind the white kids,'' she said. Committee chair, Rep. William ``Bill'' R. Rehm, R-Albuquerque, called reference to the Holocaust ``over the top'' and said the bill was

about public safety. ``I'm part Hispanic. This is not about race,'' Rehm, a retired police officer, said. ``Over 70 percent of the people of New Mexico say we need to end issuing licenses to illegals.'' The proposal sponsored by Rep. Paul Pacheco of Albuquerque calls for creating a ``two-tier'' driver's license system for residents and some immigrants brought over as children without legal documents. But Marcela Diaz, executive director of the Santa Fe-based advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido, said that would only create ``scarlet-letter'' licenses for immigrants. Immigrant advocates packed the hearing to tell lawmakers how the bill has helped their families and also said the repeal effort was based on bigotry. Pacheco said that criticism was unfair. ``I'm not the devil incarnated,'' he said. ``But this is a nation of law and we have laws for a reason.'' -AP


48

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Horoscope

February 6, 2015

India Post

49

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

February 6th - February 12th 2015 (March 21 to April 20)

S

ome of you may finally decide to move on in life and start looking for another job, within and even outside country of current residence. Money wise you will stay comfortable. You may call and old confidant for advice and guidance on career related matter. It will be an excellent week for people in food business.

(April 21 to May 20)

Y

ou will have better control over things in life and will be able to take all decisions with a cool and rational mind. Any changes in career at this point will be a blessing in disguise. New contract will relieve you of previous tension. You may arrange a small get together at your place and invite few close friends.

(May 21 to June 20)

O

bstacles will cause some frustration. You will travel to another state to attend an important meeting. You may also make final payment on a short term loan or credit card. Home remedy will be enough to resolve health issues. You may be slowly working on taxes also. You will do some serious cleaning inside and outside home.

(June 21 to July 22)

Y

ou will lay your hands on some real easy money this week. A big refund or payment will also come via mail. Just do not involve your self in other people's problems. Keep working on your plans as ultimate success is just few weeks away. Some of you may start looking for a better place to move this coming summer.

(July 23 to August 22)

(November 23 to December 22)

N

ew strategy will be helpful in turning things around for your benefit. You will be able to prove your point and reap rich rewards money wise. Spouse will be little stressed out for no visible reason. You will continue your search for another location and may fill up some kind of applications in a hurry this week.

(August 23 to September 22)

Y

ou will be selected among number of applicants for the prestigious job. People in business will continue to gain an edge over their competitors with the new strategy. Help will come from totally unexpected place. Just do not stretch your limits and avoid making any big financial commitments during the week.

(September 23 to October 22)

H

aving almost everything and things going right way, you may still feel little uneasy and lack the real motivation. You have to overcome it quick and just look at what you got and feel content. People in business will experience better sales. Quick thinking and action will help make money through stocks also.

(October 23 to November 22)

T

here is absolutely no harm in being ambitious as long it does not turn into greed. Avoid initiating a legal case just to harass some one who could not fulfill his commitment. You will continue to make slow and steady progress as far as money is concerned. You may be traveling to a comparatively warmer area.

PANDIT PARASHAR, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: parashar@parashar.com

E

xcellent week for people in marketing and sales. This is the right time to approach boss or a government agency to seek big favors. Its high time that you should throw all your fears out and implement your plans. You may receive some money though small amount through a legal process. Trip will be very fruitful.

(December 22 to January 19)

M

oney will come but will be hard to hold. Loan application will be approved with added conditions. A government agency giving run around in the past, will ease off their requirements and you will start to see the light at the end of tunnel. It is favorable week for those looking for a change in career.

(January 20 to February 18)

W

ith new strategy, you will be able to turn things around in your favor all of a sudden. Some one creating problems will quit the scene. You may one more time put your needs aside and help a needy sibling or a friend. You will be studying some very useful material. You may start your search for another location to move.

(February 19 to March 20)

H

elp will come from unex pected place. An incidence which will make you unhappy will prove to be a blessing in disguise the very next day. You should not not change your travel plans and proceed with positive attitude. Email or letter you mail out will bring positive response. An electric item will need to be replaced.

510-886-4370 www.parashar.com


Tech News Tata Motors' rights issue credit positive: Moody's NEW DELHI: Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' Rs 7,500 crore rights issue is credit positive as it will reduce its debt and fund business growth, according to ratings agency Moody's. "The reduced leverage positions TML (Tata Motors Ltd) firmly within its rating, and could pave the way for upward rating pressure on the back of a clear turnaround in its Indian business," Moody's Vice President - Senior Credit Officer, Alan Greene said in a statement. The ratings agency further said that equity injection would also reduce the need for TML to take out cash from its subsidiary, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). JLR has been paying a dividend of 150 million pounds to Tata Motors Holdings Ltd (TMHL) that goes to TML and has helped the Indian auto maker offset its standalone losses from operations and post a small net profit. "The lack of profitability has led to TML reducing its dividends, which is counter-intuitive to the growth of its consolidated net income and the strong performance of JLR," Greene added.-PTI

Tata Steel launches next-gen tube in UK LONDON: Indian steel major Tata Steel has launched an "innovative and stronger" structural steel tube product in Europe which can speed up the construction of new buildings and reduce the weight of machinery or large vehicles. Celsius 420, which is being described as the "next-generation steel", has been developed in conjunction with construction customers primarily for use in demanding building projects. "Our Celsius range is already very well established in the structural hollow sections market. But we know our customers are constantly on the look-out for new materials with enhanced properties, which is why we focus so much on innovation to develop next-generation products," said Henrik Adam, Tata Steel's chief commercial officer in Europe. "In Celsius 420 we're bringing to market an entirely new range of hot-finished hollow structural sections that we think is in a class of its own," he added. The new product claims to offer significant weight savings, enabling construction teams to use smaller foundations and fewer temporary structures, helping to cut construction time and costs on site.-PTI

TechBiz 50 India Post

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February 6, 2015

(L-R) Dorna Sports CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta with Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra and Asper team owner, Jorge Martinez at the announcement of 015 Moto3 Championship in Mumbai on February 2

US IT industry opposes Obama's move to tax overseas earning WASHINGTON: IT industry and the Republican leadership has opposed US President Barack Obama's move to tax overseas earnings, saying that this is bad for global competition of US companies. "The proposal to tax companies' overseas earnings, rather than making our tax code simpler and more competitive through reform, is an area that gives us

work here growing businesses and hiring people," he said. "We urge the Administration and Congress to give our broken tax code a complete reboot so that our innovative technology companies can continue to drive America's economic growth by leading the global marketplace," Garfield said. Noting that Obama is right to focus on economic growth and

Congressman Charles W Boustany said that the President's new plan to finance roads and bridges is problematic because of its high rates and immediate effective date, denying businesses the ability to plan ahead with a phase-in period. significant pause," the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), president and CEO Dean Garfield said in a statement. "Today's dysfunctional tax code traps nearly USD 2 trillion in sales revenue overseas instead of putting that money to

job creation for the middle class, ITI said, that his approach is wrong. He said, "Certainly, focusing on STEM education programs, smart infrastructure projects to build a modern transportation system, and fixing our broken im-

migration system would drive undeniable economic benefits for the country." "The Budget closes loopholes that perpetuate inequality by allowing the top one per cent of Americans to avoid paying any taxes on their accumulated wealth and uses that money to help more young people go to college," he added. Later in a news conference Jason Furman, top economic advisor, said the proposal that Obama is making would be mandatory on all overseas earnings. "As a result, it raises money USD 270 billion over 10 years - as opposed to a repatriation holiday would lose money. This is part of a plan to reform the tax system. So on a going-forward basis, you would have a 19 per cent minimum tax on all the earnings of foreign subsidiaries of US corporations," he said. Congressman Charles W Boustany said that the

President's new plan to finance roads and bridges is problematic because of its high rates and immediate effective date, denying

Dean Garfield

businesses the ability to plan ahead with a phase-in period. "This will weaken American competitiveness and encourage more American companies to relocate to more favorable tax environments abroad. We need comprehensive tax reform that will lower overall corporate rates and encourage growth, not a six-year band-aid that won't fix these problems in the long term," he said. -PTI

Indians can invest up to $2,50,000 overseas MUMBAI: Encouraged by foreign exchange reserves touching record levels, the Reserve Bank has doubled the annual overseas investment ceiling for individuals to USD 2,50,000. "On a review of the external sector outlook and as a further exercise in macro-prudential management, it has been decided to enhance the limit under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) to USD 2, 50,000 per person per year," the RBI said in its Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement. In view of the worsening current account deficit and a volatile rupee, the RBI had in August 2013 reduced the ceiling

from USD 200,000 to USD 75,000 per person in a year under the LRS. Consequently, with improvement in forex situation, it was raised to USD 1,25,000 in

India without prior approval of the RBI. In mid-January, India's foreign exchange reserves touched a new life-time high at USD 322.135 bil-

Foreign funds had been pumping more and more dollars into Indian equities ever since the new government assumed charge in May. In 2014, FIIs pumped in USD 16.15 billion into Indian equities while they have exhausted the cap of USD 30 billion in Government securities. June 2014. The LRS allows residents to acquire and hold shares, debt instruments or other assets outside

lion, driven by higher foreign fund inflows and lower forex outgo on the back of a massive fall in global crude prices.

Foreign funds had been pumping more and more dollars into Indian equities ever since the new government assumed charge in May. In 2014, FIIs pumped in USD 16.15 billion into Indian equities while they have exhausted the cap of USD 30 billion in Government securities. They have parked USD 32.5 billion in corporate bonds, which is 64 per cent of their cap of USD 51 billion. Foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country rose by 22 per cent to USD 18.88 billion during the eight months of the current fiscal. The amount was USD 15.45 billion in the AprilNovember period of 2013-14.PTI


TechBiz Post

February 6, 2015

India Post

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What slowing economy? US consumers are in a mood to spend WASHINGTON: There's a cial cushion. Nearly half say government said wages and benefits good reason the U.S. economy is they spend all their income, go are ticking up, a sign that steady job impressing the world right now into debt or use savings to gains may be compelling employers despite a slowdown in the final meet their expenses, a new to pay a bit more. three months of 2014: In a word, analysis by the Pew Charitable Most indicators suggest that the steadiness. Trusts has found. economy has surpassed a psychoCompanies have been hiring at In addition, a surging dol- logical threshold that has made busihealthy rates for the past year. lar is denting the earnings of nesses more comfortable with hiring Layoffs hover near historic lows. U.S. companies that operate and infused consumers with more enAuto sales are strong. Gas prices overseas. And energy firms thusiasm. have sunk. Congressional budget fights have faded. Americans are increasingly confident. All that fed a surge of consumer spending last quarter, offsetting weaker business spending caused in part by a pullback by oil drillers and a frail global economy. The U.S. economy as a whole expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate, the government said, down from a sizzling 5 percent gain the previous quarter. Yet consumers signaled their optimism by BurgerFi restaurant employee Elia Carranza prepares to fry eggs for an order at the Aventura, Fla., restaurant on January 27. The company plans to nearly double in size spending at the fastest from their existing 65 restaurants this year rate in nearly nine years. ``This hasn't changed my picture on the strength and re- have been hurt by plummet``Psychology has been a big consilience of the U.S. economy,'' said ing oil prices, and as a result tributor to the improved level of perScott Anderson, chief economist at companies in the Standard & formance in the United States,'' said the Bank of the West. ``Almost all Poor's 500 index are expected Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at the drivers of consumer spending to report weak profit growth. the bank Northern Trust. are pointing in the right direction.'' But collectively, consumAt a time when Europe, Asia and Nearly six years into the recov- ers and investors are show- South America face deep anxieties, ery from the Great Recession, the ing renewed faith in the the U.S. economy's greatest strength economy has finally gone from economy. might be its remarkable sturdiness. straining just to grow to posting The University of MichiThe consensus expectation is that consistently solid gains. The gan said its sentiment index the U.S. economy will expand a solid gains have come even though found that U.S. consumers are 3 percent this year, well above the many households continue to more confident than they've recovery's 2.2 percent annual averstruggle without much of a finan- been since 2004. Also, the age. This has made U.S. stocks and

Tata vehicles to have advanced tech by 2020 NEW DELHI: Tata Motors is betting big on auto gear shift for its passenger vehicle portfolio and expects around 50 per cent of its products to have the advanced technology by 2020. Besides, the company, which plans to launch 2-3 new products per year in the passenger vehicle segment in the next five years, is working on various alternative technologies like hybrids and fuel cell as it prepares itself to cater to the needs of emerging passenger vehicle segments. "Yes, we are looking at introducing AMT (automated manual transmission) technology in the

future models. We have already showcased Nano AMT during the Auto Expo. By 2020 we expect 50 per cent of our product portfolio to have AMT technology," Tata Motors President and Head-Advanced and Product Engineering Tim Leverton told PTI. Elaborating the benefits of the AMT technology, he said: "It is fuel efficient and is a good fit for the customer demand here." The company's recently launched product - compact sedan Zest comes with the AMT technology. It has also

introduced AMT in buses and plans to introduce trucks with the auto gear shift. The company sources AMT technology from Italian firm Magneti Marelli. When asked about other technology advancement plans, Leverton said the company is working on introducing buses with hybrid technology in the country in the next 3-5 years. "We have already sold buses in Europe with hybrid technology. As electric vehicles are still long way off due to the costly batteries. Hybrid technology is the closest we are in terms of launching here in the next 35 years," Leverton said.-PTI

Treasurys comparably attractive - havens from the risks from Europe's prolonged slump, col-

lapsing oil prices, China's slowdown and Japan's struggles to stave off recession.-AP

Govt operationalizes online submission of IEC form NEW DELHI: Traders can now submit applications online to get an Importer Exporter Code number (IEC), a move aimed at improving ease of doing business. "The new system of online applications for IEC...will be operationalized with effect from 01/02/2015," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a public notice. It also said that the facility of submission of application in manual mode will, however, continue for those applicants who do not have access to net banking facility with the ten notified banks. After receipt of applications online, the decision regarding grant or refusal of IEC will be taken and communicated by the concerned Regional Authorities (RA) of DGFT within two working days. The facility of filing online application for IEC will also be available through e-biz portal of the Department of Industrial Policy

and Promotion (DIPP), after its integration with DGFT's system. The Commerce Ministry is intensely engaged with different departments, including revenue and shipping, to reduce paper work in a bid to cut transaction cost for exporters and improve ease of doing business. The DGFT, under the Commerce Ministry has prepared a report suggesting various ways to improve India's ranking in the World Bank's report of ease of doing business, reduce transactions cost for exporters and boost outward shipments. The ministry aims at reducing the number of mandatory documents from nine to three (bill of lading, invoice and shipping bill) for exports, and from ten to four for imports. The government is aiming to improve India's overall ranking in ease of doing business index to 50th position in the next two years from the current 142nd. -PTI


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RBI keeps key rate unchanged, cuts SLR MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India has left interest rate unchanged saying there was no substantial development on inflation or fiscal fronts to warrant a fresh reduction. This stance follows a surprise rate cut by RBI on January 15 to tackle disinflationary pressure. "Given that there have been no substantial new developments on the disinflationary process or on the fiscal outlook since January 15, it is appropriate for the RBI to await them and maintain the current interest rate stance," RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said in the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy statement. Accordingly, the RBI left the short-term lending rate or repo rate

at 7.75 per cent and the cash balance requirement on the lenders or CRR at 4 per cent.

On inflation, the policy document took consolation in the declining trend and noted that even the upturn in December turned out to be muted But to help exports sector, which of late has been struggling following more headwinds in the global economy, the central bank has decided to replace export

credit refinance facility with the provision of system level liquidity with effect from February 7. Also, RBI slashed Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), a percentage of funds banks have to necessarily park with RBI, by 50 basis points to 21.5 per cent. On inflation, the policy document took consolation in the declining trend and noted that even the upturn in December turned out to be muted relative to projections. "Heightened volatility in global financial markets, including through the exchange rate channel, also constitute a significant risk to the inflation assessment. Looking ahead, inflation is likely to be around the target level of 6 per cent by January next. -PTI

Rajan defends status quo, says more easing tied to fiscal data MUMBAI: Strongly defending RBI's decision to hold the key rates in the absence of any new data points, Governor Raghuram Rajan has said further rate reductions will depend on the quality of fiscal consolidation and how it aides the disinflationary process. "Further action will be in the direction of the action (of a cut) that was initiated, and it will depend on the developments in particular on the fiscal front as well as continuation of the disinflationary process," Rajan told reporters at the customary post-policy interaction at RBI headquarters. He indicated that the quality of fiscal consolidation, rather than the headline deficit number alone, will be important for him while undertaking any further cuts. "It is not that we are locked to a specific number or a specific path, but it is the overall package, whether it makes for serious, high quality fiscal consolidation over time that clearly will impact the inflationary forces that we are most worried about. We will be looking at all aspects of the Budget and they are eagerly awaited," Rajan said. He said he is confident that the government is focused on delivering a "solid Budget", adding that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his team have publicly affirmed their commitment to the ambitious 4.1 per cent fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal. Having shifted to accommodative stance by surprising everyone with an off-meeting rate cut on January 15, Rajan reiterated that the way ahead is only to cut rates, but said the RBI needs more data to be able to do so.

The RBI Governor also hit out at the impatience of the markets and the industry, saying monetary policy is a long-drawn process where the central bank's actions take up to three quarters to have an impact on the ground. "When we cut the interest rates it makes news for you, but it doesn't do anything for the economy for three quarters. We need to take into account the whole view, knowing that we are steering a ship which moves fairly slowly," Rajan said.

"When we cut the interest rates it makes news for you, but it doesn't do anything for the economy for three quarters. We need to take into account the whole view� Apart from this, the RBI will also be looking at the third quarter GDP figures, due next Monday, he said. The new change in the computation of GDP also calls for deeper analysis, he said. The inflation-focused central bank will also look at emerging data on consumer price inflation, especially given the fact that there will be some re-basing in the numbers, he said. Even though the rupee has appreciated against all other currencies except the greenback, leading some experts to believe that Rajan may cut rates to arrest its rise,

Rajan said India's exports are not uncompetitive and the RBI is on vigil over the issue. "We are perfectly comfortable where the rupee is. But it is a risk which we have to keep in mind going forward with the massive amounts of quantitative easing going on in the rest of world," he said, adding that RBI has intervened both ways in the market in recent weeks to curb volatility. With central banks in the eurozone, Japan, Singapore and other countries opting for stimulus, Rajan said the country is in a much better position to manage any event at the external front now be it the work done on growth, current account deficit, inflation, fiscal management and forex kitty which rose to a record high of USD 322 billion. Other measures in the policy like a 0.50 per cent cut in the statutory liquidity ratio to 21.5 per cent are aimed at further stimulating growth or enhancing the stability of the system, Rajan said. The move will release about Rs 42,000 crore into the financial system. Since Rajan took over, the RBI has slashed SLR by 2.5 per cent. The decision to let foreign investors who have fully utilized their limits on investments in government securities, restricting their new investments to only top the coupon, is a "prudential measure" to incentivise long term flows, Rajan said, adding that RBI is not against foreign flows per se. On the decision to replace the export credit refinance facility with auctions, Rajan said this is as per a suggestion from the monetary policy committee headed by Urijit Patel.-PTI

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan gestures during a press conference announcing the RBI monetary policy in Mumbai on February 3

Rajan warns against compromising India's interest for FDI NEW DELHI: Reserve Bank have to deepen regional and doGovernor Raghuram Rajan has mestic demand, strengthen its warned against compromising macroeconomic institutions, and India's interest for the sake of at- join in the fight for an open glotracting foreign investment and bal system. said the priority should be framDiminished expectations ing transparent policies as well abroad should not lead India to as resolving contractual tax dis- lower its ambitions," Rajan said. putes quickly. The new government under "The most stable form of fi- Prime Minister Narendra Modi in nancing, foreign direct invest- its eight months in office has rement, has the additional benefit laxed FDI norms in insurance railof bringing in technology and ways, construction, defense and methods. But India should not be railroaded into compro- Sustained growth in India mising its interests to requires lifting people out of attract FDI," he said poverty, fuelling infrastructure in a commentary posted on the investment and a rethink on website of Project economic-policy approach Syndicate. He, however, did not elaborate on what he thought medical devices sector. could compromise India's interForeign inflows in the counest. try rose by 22 per cent to USD Making a case for transpar- 18.88 billion during the eight ency in policies and resolution of months of the current fiscal. "contractual" disputes, espeThe amount was USD 15.45 cially over taxation, Rajan said billion in the April-November peefforts to ensure this have already riod of 2013-14. begun. "India needs an open, comIndia will run a current account petitive, vibrant system of interdeficit for the foreseeable future, national trade and finance," he which means that it will need net said. foreign financing, he said. Stating that responsibility for Sustained growth in India re- keeping global economy open quires lifting people out of pov- may fall on emerging economies erty, fuelling infrastructure invest- like India, Rajan said New Delhi ment and a rethink on economic- should press for quota and manpolicy approach, he said. agement reforms in multilateral "If India is to succeed, it will institutions, like IMF.-PTI


Philosophy

February 6, 2015

India Post 53

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis DR ROBERT SALTZMAN

I

had coffee this morning, and really enjoyed it, but that cof fee is gone, and I can never have it again. I can, it is true, have another coffee, but it won't be the same coffee. Nothing is ever the same. The "Robert" who enjoyed the morning coffee is also gone forever and can never come back again. The present "Robert" can have a coffee in the present, but that "Robert" is not the same person who had coffee for breakfast. That moment is gone forever. This is utterly simple and totally obvious-hidden in plain sight. See it, and the work is done Do you believe that there is a "Robert" who can enjoy a cup of coffee tomorrow; and is there a cup of coffee to be had? If yes, why? If no, why not?" This really is not as complicated as your question implies. The complexity derives from a desire to "create" something permanent in the face of obvious impermanence. The only way to do that is via fictitious beliefs which involve accepting doctrines espoused by others (who are human beings just like oneself), or by lying to oneself about one's direct experience. If one is honest and straightforward, and avoids giving credence to "experts," the essence of this matter may be grasped immediately. The "Robert" who is sitting S.S. COHEN

I

t was then the Ashrama's custom to honor the newcomer by giving him his first meal in a line directly opposite the (Ramana) Maharshi's seat and at hardly four feet distance from it. I took no notice of the cakes, although my hand fingered them, but directed my whole look at the peaceful countenance of Sri Bhagavan. He had by then finished eating and was slowly rolling a betel leaf for a chew, as if deliberately to give me a little more of his company, when a man entered from the back door, which was the passage to the small kitchen, and in a low voice said something in Tamil to him. Then Maharshi rose, looked at me by way of farewell, and left the room. I hastily swallowed half a cake, gulped the cup of tea and went out in search of my room to which my luggage had been taken, when someone announced that Sri Maharshi was coming to the Darshan Hall. I rushed straight to the Hall with my hat and full suit on. Behind me calmly walked in the tall, impressive figure of the Maharshi with leisurely though firm steps. I was alone in the Hall with him.

here typing can PLAN to have coffee tomorrow. He can put the coffee and water into the electric appliance, set out the cup, and sit here imagining how the coffee will smell and taste. If he has the right appliance, he can even program it to brew the coffee at a certain hour. But all of that is in the present. Between now and the hour at which the coffee is programmed to be brewed, anything can happen, and those contingencies are entirely out of the control of any "Robert."

grammed the coffee maker. If you observe your thoughts for even a few minutes, you will see that they change constantly, and that you have no idea whatsoever what you will be thinking next. So the impermanence of thought is obvious. The body is changing constantly as well, and is also beyond conscious control (you are not making your heart beat, for example, and certainly cannot control the countless microorganisms without which that body

that there is a "Robert" who can enjoy a cup of coffee tomorrow?" Because conventionally this body is always called "Robert," your question implies that there might actually be some kind of constant "Robert" which persists through time. This is false, and quite obviously so-hidden in plain sight. Yes of course, throughout life, there will always be "this person," who has coffee or whatever, but that happening conventionally called "this person" is never the same twice. That to which the

What we call 'myself' is always changing

Dr Robert Saltzman

If you observe your thoughts for even a few minutes, you will see that they change constantly, and that you have no idea whatsoever what you will be thinking next. So the impermanence of thought is obvious.

For example, "Robert" can have a stroke and be rendered incapable of even thinking about coffee. A sinkhole can swallow both "Robert" and the entire house in which the coffee apparatus is located. Etc. Even if none of those cataclysmic events were to occur, and the coffee were brewed perfectly, the "Robert" who drinks it will not be the same "Robert" who pro-

would not continue for very long either), but because the body seems to change more slowly than thought, from the point of view of thought, the body can seem to have a permanence which is actually totally illusory. This attribution of any permanence at all to "oneself" is the source of confusion implicit in the question, "Do you believe

name "myself" is attached, suggesting a kind of faux fixity, is always changing too just like any other object reflected in the mirror of awareness. Dr. Robert Saltzman is a psychotherapist and [non-teacher] of non-duality who lives and works in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico. Excerpted from nondualityamerica.wordpress.com

Joy and peace suffused my being -such a delightful feeling of purity and well-being at the mere proximity of a man, I never had before. My mind was already in deep contemplation of him - him not as flesh, although that was exquisitely formed and featured, but as an unsubstantial principle which could make itself so profoundly felt

Vaishnava saint in which occurred the words, "Fold me in Thy embrace, O Lord," when the arms of Bhagavan joined in a circle around the vacant air before him and his eyes shone with devotional ardor, while his voice shook with stifled sobs which did not escape our notice. Rationality was the very es-

As time passed and the Master's state of mind and ideas took firm root in me, I ceased to ask questions, or to intercept him in his walks outside the Ashram grounds. The final conclusion to which I came in the end of these six months I reported one day to Bhagavan. He showed his gracious approval by a gesture of fi-

Proximity of Ramana gave a delightful feeling of well-being He first met every questioner on his own ground, and then slowly steered him round to the source of all problems - the Self - the realization of which he held to be the universal panacea. despite the handicap of a heavy material vehicle. When after a while I became aware of my environment, I saw him looking at me with large, penetrating eyes, wreathed in smiles rendered divinely soothing by their childlike innocence. On one occasion, Bhagavan recited from memory a poem of a

sence of his arguments, while the ultimate answer to all the questions was always the same, namely, "Find out who you are." He first met every questioner on his own ground, and then slowly steered him round to the source of all problems - the Self - the realization of which he held to be the universal panacea.

He is a fool that practises truth without knowing the difference between truth and falsehood. - Lord Krishna If i want to concentrate my mind upon a point,it goes there and the moment when i call,it is free again - Swami Vivekananda Those prone to get drunk on knowledge, wealth, and good birth; but the same are triumphs of the strict. - Vidura (Mahabharata) No religion has mandated killing others as a requirement for its sustenance or promotion. - Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam I do not blame you, Maharaja, for hitting an innocent man. For, cruelty comes quick to the powerful. -Yudhistara to Virata(Mahabharata)

Ramana Maharshi

nality with his hand and said: "So much lies in your power, the rest must be left entirely to the Guru, who is the ocean of grace and mercy seated in the heart as the seeker's own Self." Excerpted from S.S.Cohen's book, Guru Ramana. A Jewish born Iraqi, Cohen adopted Sri Ramanashram as his home in 1936.

All this has Time for its root. Time, is indeed the seed of the universe, O Dhanajaya. It is time again, that withdraws everything at its pleasure. -Vyasa to Arjuna (Mahabharata)

You Insure all your Valuables, all are replaceable except YOU! So Insure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs


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Can Pak put the militant genie back into bottle?

E

ver since the horrible attack on school children in Peshawar, there have been a series of measures within Pakistan in responding to militancy. A National Plan has been prepared; military courts have been constitutionally set up to deal with the militants; groups have been banned, and recently the government has also decided to freeze the funds of the Jamaatud-Dawa (JuD). There is a general perception within Pakistan, that today, the nation does not differentiate be-

D SUBA CHANDRAN

ciple? Is the State's effort aimed at completely neutralizing the jihadi groups and their ideology, or only focused on bringing them under their own control, as it existed pre9/11? Finally, is the State capable of creating an environment -social and economic - that would be competitive and not provide any substantial space for the jihadi groups and their ideologies to influence civil society?

children in Peshawar in December 2014 would not have happened if such resolve existed during the last two decades, when the militant groups were on a rampage against the minority communities in Pakistan. Their ideology would not have found support had the civil society rejected the case against Ahmadiyas and the blasphemy legislations that became a tool in the hands of a select few against Is the civil society only against the minority communities. violence, or against the jihadis The civil society will find it difand their ideologies? ficult to succeed in Pakistan if its fight is narrowly focused. Those who are using suicide bombs against the Sufi shrines and school children did not start abruptly. They started decades ago, supported by a section within the civil society, social organizations, political groups and parties, and finally the intelligence and military. The media, even today, perhaps unintentionally (with a section perhaps otherwise) provide the File photo of Pakistani volunteers carrying a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 16, 2014 much-needed space for those who suptween the "good" and "bad" This is an important question port and believe in radical ideoloTaliban, leading to a new paradigm that will have a crucial impact on gies. involving the State, society and the future of not only Pakistan, but The civil society will also not militants. also the entire region. Pressure be able to succeed if it is buoyed What is this new paradigm? from civil society has been one of by so much anti-West, anti-Indian While many at the civil society the most crucial components in and multiple other "anti" sentilevel are keen to put the militant the State's proactive response ments. The jihadi groups and their genie back into the bottle, does against the militant groups. patrons abuse this inherent sentieveryone within the Establishment How far will the civil society go ment to suit their purpose. share the same enthusiasm? Is in pushing the case? Will it call for While some of these sentiments there a section within the political the complete annihilation of these are fed by different groups within and military Establishments that groups, their infrastructure and the State and vested interests to sees militants in terms of good and their ideologies? Or, will it fall perpetuate their monopoly, the rest bad? short? of them have been blown out of Two more important questions The Peshawar attack undoubt- proportion by regular ill-informed on this issue relate to the capacity edly has been an important event. debates at various levels. of the State to deal with the mili- The society has been shaken and Not only in Pakistan, but in the tants and the willingness of the is angry. Rightly so. But will the entire South Asian region, there jihadi groups to be rolled back. same sense of anger prevail have been such ill-informed deCan the State really put the genie against all forms of violence per- bates, at times carefully planted back into the bottle? Is the genie petrated by a small fraction in the and nurtured by a select few. This willing to get back? name of religion? vitiates the entire atmosphere and The new paradigm that the civil What has been the response of provides the space for hate and society is talking about in Pakistan the civil society to the assassina- anger. today relates to their own resolve tion of Salman Taseer, attacks on The shift in paradigm will come to fight the militants, and that of Imambaras, Shias, Ahmadiyas, etc? only when the civil society disthe State to combat and neutralize Unfortunately, the same sense of tances itself from the militant them. Three issues are important anger or condemnations does not groups and their ideologies. Simwhile discussing this new para- exist. And even if it exists, it does ply condemning violence alone digm in Pakistan. not have the same intensity that will not be sufficient. A crucial first Is the civil society in Pakistan has forced the government to take step has been taken; now the civil against the violence perpetrated proactive measures after the society has to walk the talk in Paby the militant groups, or against Peshawar attack. kistan. them and their ideology in prinIn fact, the attack on school The writer is Director, IPCS

India Post Neighborhood changes

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ver since Narendra Modi invited leaders of South Asian countries for his inauguration last May, changes have been taking place in the neighborhood. A wholesale turnaround has been witnessed in Sri Lanka, which under Mahinda Rajapakse was reluctant to give a fair deal to Tamils, subjugated after the annihilation of Prabhakaran's Tamil Tigers or the LTTE. Rajapakse was also wooing China at the cost of India going to the extent of letting Chinese submarines to dock in Lankan ports without informing India. The Rajapakse government had also been pulled up by UN and international agencies for human rights violations in dealing with the Tamils. His defeat at the hands of his own former minister Maithripala Sirisena in the Presidential elections is expected to set right the warped relations with India over treatment of Tamil minority and increasing military ties with China. Congratulating the new President, Narendra Modi said he admired Sirisena`s vision of a "truly Sri Lankan government", inclusive of all voices, and it was evident in the initial steps taken by the new government for political reconciliation and inclusiveness. Srisena made his intentions clear by sending his External Affairs Minister to india to pave the way for the President's own visit some time later. The scenerio for better ties with Sri lanka was never more hopeful. On the West of India, Pakistan's love affair with terrorists received a rude jolt with the massacre of over 130 students in a Peshwar school. Overnight, the government and the powerful army joined hnads to launch attacks on the terrorists hideouts, which obvioulsly they knew all along, and also hanged a dozen or so terrorists lodged in jails, overturning an earlier policy of no hangings. After the recent visit of US Secretary of State to Pakistan, the Nawaz Sharif government even announced a ban on the Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Sayeed's so called charitable NGO called Jama'at-udDa'wah, itself a front of the infamous LeT. Even as Pakistan has belatedly started acknowledging its terrorist problem, it has voiced frustration with the major powers over their moving closer to India. The recent visit of President Obama to India and ignoring of Pakistan has caused some heart burning. Obviously, the size of India's market and potential for greater trade, investment and defense sales are important elements in recent US calculations. Although Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could not attend the swearing ceremony of Narendra Modi due to a prior engagement, the relations between India and Bangladesh have taken a leap after the coming in of the BJP government. A visiting Bangla minister noticed positive signs from the Modi government on unresolved issues like the implementation of the Land Border Agreement. About the Teesta water sharing issue also West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be coming around. The situation in Bangladesh could do with better relations between the government and the Opposition whose leader Khalida Zia has been under house arrest for a long time. This tit-for-tat between the two Begums doesn't bode well for the future of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Modi has made two visits to Nepal in his short tenure and has won many friends there with his economic as well as political moves. The danger of Chinese influence taking over in Nepal is quite real as China is able to provide more resources and largesse to its southern neighbor. Modi did well to woo the Nepalese to further improve the trust and brotherhood between the people of the two countries as well as to strengthen economic cooperation that is of mutual benefit for both Nepal and India. Nepal needs investment in the development of infrastructure and in enhancing its trade capacity. The Modi government has to work with Nepal to increase its productivity and harness water and other resources in such a way that Nepali people also feel respect and the needs of the Indian people are also fulfilled.


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India Post 55


56 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 6, 2015

IndiaPost_02-06-2015_e-paper  
IndiaPost_02-06-2015_e-paper  

Voice of Indians Worldwide

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