Page 1

Top Stories

V O I C E

O F

I N D I A N S

W O R L D W I D E

India Post www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK • WASHINGTON D.C. • CHICAGO • ATLANTA • CALIFORNIA

CG Ashok leads Bay Area R-Day celebrations Details on page 16

Pak, China hold counterterrorism talks Details on page 6

China snubs another ban Azhar move

VOL 22, No. 1167

February 10, 2017

50¢

Periodical Postage

U.S. EXPORT LAW TO BENEFIT INDIA

WASHINGTON: Recognizing India's status as a 'Major Defense Partner', the US has made necessary changes in its export control laws that would benefit India by facilitating smoother transfer of technologies and arms to it. The new rule that makes necessary changes in the export control laws "creates a presumption of approval" for Indian companies seeking to import Commerce Department-controlled military items, except Weapons of Mass Destruction-related goods. This means that only under the rarest circumstances

will India be denied licenses, a source familiar with the changes said. "I'm pleased to see India's status as a 'Major Defense Partner' a designation that we have strongly supported be translated into tangible regulatory reform," said Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC). The new rule also amends the law so that companies will not need a license at all after becoming a Validated End User (VEU).

Details on page 5

Details on page 6

Indian-origin woman found dead in UK

Anish Kapoor

Indian-origin British sculptor wins Israeli prize Details on page 6

Thinktank tells US to punish Pak for terror Details on page 5

UK health service to charge Indians Details on page 8

Kanpur train accident suspect arrested

Details on page 8

Pak intruder shot dead in Pathankot

Details on page 8

CONTENTS

Details on page 8

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

INDIA POST SURVEY

Community Post -------------- 16-26

survey@indiapost.com

Edit Page --------------------------- 54

This week’s question

HealthScience Post --------- 44-47

Date Book -------------------------- 39

Horoscope ------------------------- 48

New ban Azhar move initated by US is significant?

Immigration Post ------------- 34-38 Life Style ----------------------- 30-33

Last week’s result

Detention of Hafiz Saeed is an eyewash? YES 83%

NO 17%

Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4

LION JUNIOR: Nicole Kidman, left, and Sunny Pawar, cast members in the film Lion, pose together backstage at the 69th

Real Estate -------------------- 50-51

annual Directors Guild of America Awards at the Beverly Hilton on February 4. Sunny Pawar landed a role playing a young version of Dev Patel's character, who he is pictured with at the Golden Globes.

TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-15

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


2

India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017


February 10, 2017

India Post www.indiapost.com

NEWS on your desktop www.indiapost.com

3


4 India Post

February 10, 2017

India Post

IndiaNewsweekly Post

www.indiapost.com The Weekly Newspaper Serving Indians Worldwide

Romesh & Sunita Japra Publishers Rajesh Verma Co-Publisher Vikram Paul President Krishan Sharma Mg Director & Joint Editor Vinod Dhawan Senior Editor Naresh Sodhi General Manager Amit Saini IT Director Ghanshyam Bisht Supervisor Graphics SAN FRANCISCO & SILICON VALLEY Vidya Sethuraman Bureau Chief Vijay Thapar CPRO & Advertising Deepak Chhabra Promotions Ritu Maheshwari Director Promotions Sonia Sidhu Marketing Analyst Ratika J. Paul Photo Journalist Sudesh Kumari Correspondent Kay Trivedi Photo Journalist Archana Asthana Correspondent Sujata Singh Correspondent Manasi Maheshwari Youth Correspondent LOS ANGELES Mrs Shashi Trivedi Bureau Chief Mrs Prem Kishore Sr Correspondent Greg Heffernan Correspondent Ms Bobby Sharma Correspondent Babeeta Kaur Dhillon Correspondent Pavan Kaur Bhatia Correspondent CHICAGO Ramesh Soparawala Resident Editor A Q Siddiqui Correspondent ST. LOUIS Ashwin Patel Correspondent NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY Pinky Kaur Bureau Chief Srirekha N. Chakravarty Correspondent Nikita Japra Correspondent Sukhvinder Saini Circulation ATLANTA Sanjay Saggere Bureau Chief

Mission Statement To empower the Indian Diaspora and make their voice strong and effective in countries of their adoption. RJ Media conglomerate offers a credible, professional and complete package of news, opinion, entertainment, networking and information.

J

Publisher’s Diary

BOSTON Gope Gidwani Bureau Chief DETROIT Ashok B Jain, M D Bureau Chief Gurminder Singh SAN DIEGO Neelu Bhardwaj Bureau Chief SACRAMENTO Madan Sharma Bureau Chief Janak Sidhra Correspondent Upen Shukla Correspondent CENTRAL VALLEY (CA) Dr Ram Saini Bureau Chief Sheila Rogers Correspondent YUBA CITY (CA) Satnam Tatla Correspondent CAROLINAS Nalini Raja Patel Correspondent INDIA Vinod Dhawan Senior Editor & Bureau Chief NEW DELHI Jyoti Vashisht PR & Marketing Vijender P Shah Graphics PUNJAB Shiv Japra Bureau Chief Anil Kanwar Senior Correspondent/ Marketing DOABA, PUNJAB Romesh Kaura Correspondent HYDERABAD M Sagar Kumar Bureau Chief MUMBAI Nidhi Soparawala Correspondent Frank Fernandes Correspondent

Holly rush 'stupid' Kangana deems it "stupid" to head to Hollywood when their theatre business is crashing & Bollywood is rising

Cover Story: Benefit India The US has made changes in its export control laws that would benefit India by facilitating smoother tech transfer

Community: R-Day in Bay Area Bay Areans came in large numbers to celebrate India's Republic Day in Milpitas organized by Indian Consulate General

Immigration:

publisher@indiapost.com

INFO-CENTER

Ban order opposed

CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

Two Indian-American lawmakers have launched a community-wide effort to oppose Trump's ban order on immigrants

1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Tel: 510-938-8667, Fax: 510-790-2806; E-mail: info@indiapost.com E-SUBSCRIPTION& EDITORIAL: Vidya Sethuraman Tel: 510-491-4867; E-mail: vidya@indiapost.com Advertisement: Naresh Sodhi: Tel: 510-938-8667; E-mail: nareshsodhi@gmail.com Graphics Inquiry: E-mail: ghanshyam@indiapost.com

Life style: Best of art

For advertisement rates call the office nearest to you: SAN FRANCISCO & SILICON VALLEY 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Naresh Sodhi: 510-938-8667 e-mail: nareshsodhi@gmail.com Vidya Sethuraman: 510-491-4867 e-mail: vidya@indiapost.com

FLORIDA 8401 West Sample Road 30, Coral Springs, Florida - 33065

LOS ANGELES 16224 Alpine Pl. La Mirada, CA 90638 Tel: 562-441-5511, shashi19@yahoo.com

DELHI 230-A, 3 rd Floor, Jin Kushal Suri Complex, Masjid Moth, (NDSE Part-II) New Delhi - 110049 Tel: 11-26257769 E-mail:delhi@indiapost.com

CHICAGO 2543 W Devon Ave Chicago IL 60659 Tel: 773-973-7394; Fax: 773-973-7396; Email: sramesh@aol.com NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY Tel: 510-938-8667 E-mail: nareshsodhi@gmail.com BOSTON Tel: 617-298-9200; Fax: 617-298-1104 GOPE; E-mail: ggidwani@aol.com ATLANTA 67 Peach Tree Dr., Ste. 102, Buckhead Atlanta, GA 30309, Tel: 404-425-3021 E-mail: sanjay@eBolo.com

The ninth edition of the India Art Fair served as a platform for galleries to establish networks with foreign counterparts

TORONTO, CANADA Tel/Fax: 416-744-8610

Techbiz: Rich must pay Arun Jaitley has justified levy of 10 per cent surcharge on rich saying the resources have to come from the affluent.

MUMBAI • Fernandes Mansion Tam Taloa, Bassien (W) Mumbai Tel: 09619 330159

Travel:

VADODARA • Vaidehi Patel 31/32 J\Jaysantosi Nagar Society, behind Utkarsh Petrol Pump, Karelibaug, Vadodara-390018. Gujarat (India)

McLeod Ganj McLeod Ganj is nicely situated in upper Dharmasala as the renowned seat of the holy leader Dalai Lama.

E-mail: v_patel83@yahoo.com Tel: 011 91 98797 79976

28 5 16 34 30 12 40

For editorial, contact: editor@indiapost.com

VADODARA, GUJARAT Vaidehi Patel Correspondent India Post (ISSN-1064-3868) is published weekly for $30 for 52 issues yearly by India Post, 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538. Periodicals postage paid at Norwalk, CA and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the corporate headquarters: 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Copyright © 1994 Indamec, Inc. DISCLAIMER India Post assumes all advertisers to be reliable and responsible for all liability for their claimers

Bollywood:

Romesh K Japra

FLORIDA B K Madnani CANADA Firdaus Ali Correspondent

HIGHLIGHTS

ust a couple of weeks into the Trump presidency and people are already springing gray hair like a President is supposed to do at the end of eight years. There are Americans right now lining up outside therapist offices with anxiety issues. Unable to catch up with fast forwarding political reality scripted by the White House, they are trying to make sense of the spells of dizzying upheavals. There are Americans trying to figure out where they fit in in the scheme of things, how the developments are affecting them, picking their battles, aligning with groups of common cause and testing the potency of their freedoms and democracy. Then there are Americans that are actually preparing for doomsday. They are, mostly among the super rich, who are prepping for any eventuality, from an environmental disaster to a nuclear fallout or an enemy strike to street riots to government clampdowns, all of which would potentially lead to shortage of essential items of basic survival. Sadly, this is not the America I know. The America that I landed in. The America that gave me achievable dreams and when I worked hard, rewarded me with a life where I could show my gratitude by giving back. We used to be an America where diverse people, despite their visible cultural, racial, religious and political differences, bonded over their shared purpose of achieving their goals of an assured good life. And reveled in the shared anonymity that individual success granted. So when did we become an America of disparate people wriggling for elbow space in the suffocating confines of narrow mindedness with our differences hitting us in our face? It's crazy. I think Americans should stop knee-jerking, let the dust settle for clarity, and then choose pragmatically the causes that would be worth fighting for.

Business Partner India: PHOENIX DUO MATRIX COMMUNICATIONS PRIVATE LIMITED S-1/A, 3rd Floor, Arjun Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave Extension, New Delhi -110029, INDIA T: +91 11 46068685, +91 11 41006051 • E: mail@phoenixduomatrix.com • W: www.phoenixduomatrix.com

India Sales Offices: Bangalore - India:

Mumbai - India:

New Delhi - India:

Mr. Gnana Prakash Sr. Manager - Sales & Business Development M:+91 9986149003 E: gnana.prakash@indiapost.com

Mr. Dinesh Balan Sr. Manager - Sales & Business Development M: +91 9769400065 E: dinesh.balan@indiapost.com

Ms. Chandrika Malikarya Sr. Manager - Sales & Business Development M: +91 8373929895 E: Chandrika.arya@indiapost.com

Advertorials & Event Team India: Ms. Kamalpreet Kaur Advertorial & Event Relation M: +91 9811334715 E: kamalpreet.kaur@indiapost.com Ms. Kashmiri Gogoi Advertorial & Event Relation M: +91 9599872251 E : kashmira.gogoi@indiapost.com


Cover/Top Stories

February 10, 2017

India Post

5

www.indiapost.com

US export law to benefit India WASHINGTON: Recognizing India's status as a 'Major Defense Partner', the US has made necessary changes in its export control laws that would benefit India by facilitating smoother transfer of

nies seeking to import Commerce Department-controlled military items, except Weapons of Mass Destruction-related goods. This means that only under the rarest circumstances will India be

“The rule will make business substantially easier for Indian companies in the defense sector, especially those partnering with American companies. This gives Indian companies and US companies operating in India the ability to be reactive in real time to meet their supply chain needs� technologies and arms to it. The new rule that makes necessary changes in the export control laws "creates a presumption of approval" for Indian compa-

denied licenses, a source familiar with the changes said. "I'm pleased to see India's status as a 'Major Defense Partner' a designation that we have strongly

supported be translated into tangible regulatory reform," said Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council (USIBC). The new rule also amends the law so that companies will not need a license at all after becoming a Validated End User (VEU). "Indian and US companies operating in India can seek VEU status for both civil and military manufacturing, and by doing so not need to obtain individual licenses. This makes it far more convenient to build a global supply chain and react quickly to changing market conditions," explained Benjamin Schwartz, USIBC's Director for Defense and Aerospace. Over 810 licenses representing some USD 5 billion in trade in the last half decade have been

granted for goods covered under this new rule. Most of these licenses being

focused on aerospace systems and ground vehicles. Additionally, under the new regulation, Indian companies will not be re-

quired by US law to seek approval for the re-export of platforms that contain less than 25 per cent US content. "This is a very favorable policy for Indian companies. The rule will make business substantially easier for Indian companies in the defense sector, especially those partnering with American companies. This gives Indian companies and US companies operating in India the ability to be reactive in real time to meet their supply chain needs," Schwartz said. -PTI

Thinktank tells US to punish Pak for terror WASHINGTON: The Trump administration should "levy costs on Pakistan" for perpetuating terrorism, top US thinktanks have recommended, asserting America should no longer sacrifice its antiterrorism principles in the region for the sake of pursuing an "evenhanded" South Asia policy. "For too long, the US has given Pakistan a pass on its support for some terrorist groups based in Pakistan, including those used against India. The US squandered a valuable opportunity in the aftermath of 9/11 and the 2001-2002 India-Pakistani military crisis to alter the Pakistani military's fundamental calculations on the use

terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic advantage as a threat to US interests. US policy must also pay attention to nonproliferation goals while dealing with Pakistan," it said. The report, which is believed to have become part of the internal deliberations of Donald Trump's administration, on what to do with Pakistan says as a first step, the US must warn Pakistan that its status as a Major NonNATO Ally (MNNA) is in serious jeopardy. "Unless Pakistan takes immediate steps to demonstrate that it fully shares US counterterrorism objectives, the US will revoke its

The report, which is believed to have become part of the internal deliberations of Donald Trump's administration, on what to do with Pakistan says as a first step, the US must warn Pakistan that its status as a Major NonNATO Ally (MNNA) is in serious jeopardy of terrorism for foreign policy ends," said the report prepared by eminent South Asia experts from nearly 10 top American thinktanks. "The objective of the Trump administration's policy toward Pakistan must be to make it more and more costly for Pakistani leaders to employ a strategy of supporting terrorist proxies to achieve regional strategic goals," said the report. "There should be no ambiguity that the US considers Pakistan's strategy of supporting

MNNA status within six months," it said. "Present to Pakistan a list of calibrated actions for ending its support to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, and make clear that failure to make substantial progress on these steps could eventually result in Pakistan s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism," it recommends. "If Pakistan does not make progress on the above steps, the US should consider compiling a list of Pakistani military and InterServices Intelligence officials, cur-

rent and former, who are known to have facilitated acts of terrorism including supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network and barring them from travel to the US," the report said. With India-Pakistan tensions on the rise, the report recommends that the Trump administration must formulate a new policy approach toward Pakistan quickly. Both Indian and Pakistani officials have ratcheted up their rhetoric toward the other in recent weeks, and neither shows much interest in reviving dialogue. Running into 18-pages and titled 'A New US Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties,' the report was prepared by Lisa Curtis (The Heritage Foundation), Christine Fair (Georgetown University) Col (retd) John Gill (National Defense University), Anish Goel (New America), and Husain Haqqani (Hudson Institute). And Polly Nayak (Independent Consultant), Aparna Pande Hudson Institute), Bruce Riedel (Brookings Institution), David S Sedney (Center for Strategic and International Studies) and Marvin Weinbaum (Middle East Institute). Another major terrorist attack in India conducted by Pakistanbased militants could precipitate a wider conflict that has the potential of going nuclear, the report warned. After years of restraint in the face of Pakistani terrorist provocations, the government of Narendra Modi has laid down a new marker that it will not stand by in the face of such attacks.

India's September 28-29 crossLine of Control strikes against terrorist bases on Pakistani territory were welcomed as a catharsis by the Indian public, whose frustration with Pakistan had reached a tipping point, it said. "The new US administration must be prepared for the possibility of an escalation in Indo-Pakistani tensions and plan ahead for how it would intervene to defuse any potential military crisis between the nuclear-armed rivals," it said. It would be helpful for Trump administration officials to examine the US role in helping to defuse past India-Pakistan crises, like the

strengthen ties to traditional allies like China and Saudi Arabia and also explore new partnerships as with Russia. "Fortunately, these nations share the US goal of containing terrorism in the region and preventing Indo-Pakistani hostilities and may be cooperative with the US, especially in crisis circumstances. In any case, Washington’s policy should not be constrained by fear that other countries will displace the US role in Pakistan," the report observes. The report says the US should no longer settle for Pakistan's excuses for delaying a full-throttle crackdown on these terrorist

"The new US administration must be prepared for the possibility of an escalation in Indo-Pakistani tensions and plan ahead for how it would intervene to defuse any potential military crisis between the nuclear-armed rivals," 1999 Kargil border conflict and the 2001-2002 Indo-Pakistani military stand-off, said the report. In both cases, the US took a firm stance against Pakistani support for anti-India militant groups and resisted Pakistani calls for the US to play a mediator role in Kashmir. In this way, the US sent a clear signal that it held Islamabad responsible for the escalating regional tensions, the report reminded the Trump administration. The report says with decreasing US military aid to Pakistan and Pakistani leaders will seek to

groups and should instead hold Pakistan accountable for the activities of all terrorist groups on its soil. However, the report recommends against designating Pakistan a State Sponsor of terrorism. "Designating Pakistan a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism' early in the Trump administration, as some in Congress have recommended, would preclude the US from providing any kind of aid to Pakistan and would lead to an irreparable breach in the relationship," it noted.-PTI


6

Top Stories

India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Pak, China hold counter-terrorism talks ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China held high level counter-terrorism talks, days after Jamaat-ud-

under "house arrest" in Lahore. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Foreign Af-

Special Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi with Chinese State Commissioner for Counter Terrorism and Security Cheng Guoping

Dawa chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was put

fairs Syed Tariq Fatemi met Chinese State Commissioner for

Counter Terrorism and Security Cheng Guoping who is here on a three-day visit and reviewed all aspects of bilateral relationship, with a special focus on security and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Fatmi said Pakistan viewed its relationship with China as the "cornerstone" of its foreign policy and the country will continue to support Beijing on all its issues of core interest, including combating "evils" of terrorism and separatism. "The SAPM affirmed that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy," Foreign Office quoted Fatemi as saying. He said Pakistan supported China on all its core issues, while firmly opposing any attempt to undermine China's sovereignty. "Pakistan will continue to support China's efforts to combat the three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism," he said in a statement.

China snubs another ban Azhar move NEW DELHI: A significant bid by the US in the UN for designating Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist has been stymied by China which has again opposed the ban against the Pakistanbased Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief. The American proposal came barely weeks after India's efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in December last. According to senior government sources, the US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal at the UN's Sanctions Committee 1267 in the secondhalf of last month to proscribe Azhar. The proposal, which was finalized after "consultations" between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said. "However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal," a source said, adding the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

The "hold" remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a "block", thereby, ending the life of the proposal. UN Sanction Committee's listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan. China has been constantly opposing efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN, which has pro-

cal hold" before finally blocking the Indian proposal in December. Reacting sharply to Chinese action, India had said that "We note with concern China's decision to block the proposal to list Masood Azhar", asserting that its proposal, submitted to the 15-member 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, had received the strong backing of all other members of the Committee.

As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organization. We had expected China would have been more understanding scribed his outfit JeM in 2001. The Chinese opposition is also seen by many here as an action taken at the behest of its "all-weather ally" Pakistan. After the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot in January last year, India in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the AlQaeda Sanctions Committee. The efforts faced stiff opposition by China, which twice put a "techni-

External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had also said, "As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organization. We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism." -PTI

Appreciating China's forthright position on Pakistan's counterterrorism strategy and its successes, Fatemi thanked China for its support to national security and territorial integrity. The talks take place days after Saeed was put under "house arrest" in Lahore by Pakistan government after Punjab Province's Interior Ministry issued an order in pursuance to a directive from

cantly contribute towards regional connectivity, peace and development. Fatemi stated that Pakistan was fully committed to the timely and effective implementation of all the projects under CPEC. Cheng said China attached great importance to its relations with Pakistan, and supports its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

The talks take place days after Saeed was put under "house arrest" in Lahore by Pakistan government after Punjab Province's Interior Ministry issued an order in pursuance to a directive from the Federal Interior Ministry on January 27 the Federal Interior Ministry on January 27. During the talks, both sides noted that the all-weather friendship between the two countries has withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in the international, regional and domestic environments. Noting the importance of CPEC for the economic development of Pakistan, the two sides stressed that timely completion of the USD 46 billion project would not only give a boost to Pakistan's economy, but would also signifi-

He thanked Pakistan for its consistent support to China on issues of core interest and lauded Islamabad for its fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the continuing progress in bilateral relations in all fields and expressed their resolve to work towards further solidifying political relations, deepening economic bonds and security cooperation and closer people-to-people contacts to achieve the common goal of China-Pakistan "Community of Shared Destiny". -PTI

Indian-origin British sculptor wins Israeli prize JERUSALEM: Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor was named the winner of a prestigious $1 million Genesis prize by Israel for his commitment to Jewish values. Kapoor, 62, spoke out against "abhorrent government policies" towards refugees as he was named the recipient of this year's Genesis prize, dubbed Jewish Nobel. The prize committee, headed by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, acknowledged Kapoor as "one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation". Kapoor joins Itzhak

Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actor-director Michael Douglas as

Anish Kapoor

recipients. Kapoor said he would use the award money to help alleviate the refugee crisis and try to expand the Jewish community's engagement in a global effort to aid Syrian refugees.


February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

India Post

7


8

Top Stories

India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

UK health service to charge Indians LONDON: Foreign patients from countries like India will be charged upfront if they use UK's state-funded National Health Service from April, in a new clampdown on so-called health tourists, the health secretary has said. The new rules, expected to save Britain 500 million pounds, will apply to non-emergency treat-

"So today we are announcing plans to change the law which means those who aren't eligible for free care will be asked to pay upfront for non-urgent treatment. We aim to recover up to 500 million pounds a year by the middle of this Parliament money that can then be reinvested in patient care," he said. Tourists to the UK have always

The new rules, expected to save Britain 500 million pounds, will apply to non-emergency treatments as part of a clampdown on so-called health tourists who have so far been able to leave the country without paying for such treatments ments as part of a clampdown on so-called health tourists who have so far been able to leave the country without paying for such treatments. "We have no problem with overseas visitors using our NHS as long as they make a fair contribution, just as the British taxpayer does," UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

been expected to pay for NHS treatments but were billed only after the procedure, leading to a large unpaid bill for the taxpayerfunded health service. The new pre-payment process will be enforced to tackle this problem. It will be up to individual NHS Trusts to work out whether they take a payment there and then or

allow patients to sign a form to agree to a longer-term payment plan. The NHS will check eligibility by asking people to produce two forms of identification such as a passport and a utility bill with a UK address. Under the new plans, anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes Indians staying in the UK for longer than six months will also not be eligible for free fertility treatment on the NHS. Those needing urgent care will still be treated immediately as part of the Accident & Emergency (A&E) services provided by the NHS. Such emergency patients will be invoiced later if they are found to be non-UK taxpayers and therefore not eligible for free care in the country. The announcement came as a survey by Ipsos MORI of 1,033 adults for the BBC suggested three-quarters of the British public want to see charges increased for people coming from abroad as a way of raising more money for the NHS. -PTI

Kanpur train accident suspect arrested KATHMANDU: One of the key suspects in the Kanpur train derailment in November has been arrested from Tribhuvan International Airport here after being deported from Dubai. A special team of Nepal Police arrested Samshul Hoda along with three others. Hoda was detained from the Tribhuvan International Airport, said Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Pashupati Upadhyaya. "We have heard that Hoda is wanted in a railway accident that took place in Kanpur last year killing 150 people," Upadhyaya said. "Nepal Police will also work in

close coordination with the Indian Police for Hoda's alleged involvement in criminal activities in India," he said. The three others arrested are identified as Brij Kishor Giri, Ashish Singh and Umesh Kumar Kurmi, all from Kalaiya district in southern Nepal. The police have brought Hoda and three other accused criminals to Nepal from Dubai in coordination with the Interpol, Upadhyaya told PTI. Hoda is the mastermind of a twin murder in Bara district of Nepal, the police said. Hoda has links with international criminal groups and he has

been involved in a number of criminal activities in Nepal and India, Upadhyaya said. A case has already been regis-

Indian-origin woman found dead in UK LONDON: An Indian-origin woman has been found dead at a home in the Midlands of England after a "domestic incident". The body of the woman, identified as 35-year-old Amandeep Kaur, was discovered at the property in the town of Thurmaston in Leicestershire. "Police have named the woman whose body was found in a house in Dovedale Road, Thurmaston, on Friday (February 3) as Amandeep Kaur. She was 35years-old. Her body was found following a report of a domestic incident at a property in the street," a Leicestershire Police statement said. A 38-year-old man, Baldeep Singh, has been charged with her murder. He appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court. During the short hearing, no details were given about the case. Singh spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, which he did through a Punjabi translator. The magistrates sent the case to Leicester Crown Court, with a pre-trial hearing due to take place next month. Police is appealing for anyone who knew Kaur to contact them, as they try to piece together her final movements.

"Detectives would like to hear from anyone who may have known Amandeep and who may have worked with her as part of their enquiries to trace her movements in the days leading to her death," the statement added. Police have indicated that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the suspected murder. Neighbors told local media that

Amandeep Kaur

a family had moved into the rented accommodation only a couple of months ago. One of the residents in the area, who did not want to be named, told Leicester Mercury that she believed a couple live at the house, along with an older man and two young children. "I feel sick to hear what has happened. The poor kids. I am a bit shocked really," the neighbor told the newspaper. -PTI

Pak intruder shot dead in Pathankot Samshul Hoda

tered against him in Bara District Court, he added. The role of ISI is being suspected in the incident after Bihar police in January arrested three persons claiming that they were working for the Pakistani intelligence agency to target Indian railways. According to Bihar police, the three were paid Rs three lakh by a Nepali man who had connections with Hoda. -PTI

NEW DELHI: The BSF has shot dead a Pakistani intruder along the Indo-Pak International Border in Bamiyal sector of Pathankot in Punjab, the same spot from where terrorists had infiltrated last year to attack an IAF base. Officials said the Border Security Force observation post detected suspicious movements of an intruder around 8:15 am at about 50 meters from the IB fence. They said the troops challenged the intruder but seeing no response they fired which killed

him on the spot. The exact location where the incident took place is the Simbal border post of the BSF in Bamiyal area of Pathankot. Officials said as the area is witnessing heavy fog, the border troops are yet to retrieve the body from near the fence. In January last year, terrorists from across the border had infiltrated in the sector and went on to launch an audacious attack on the strategic Indian Air Force (IAF) base.-PTI


Top Stories

February 10, 2017

India Post

9

www.indiapost.com

PM urges saints' role in social reforms NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged saints and religious institutions to take a lead in raising issues related to social reforms like 'Swachh Bharat', saying their word has a bigger impact than the government's. Addressing the 7th centenary celebrations of Jagadguru Sri Madhvacharya being held in Udupi via video conferencing from Delhi, he said right from the time of Bhakti Movement, the saints and seers have encouraged the society to find within the remedies of ills plaguing it. He said the philosophy of 'world is one family' is the solution to fundamentalism, which is "the core of terror" and goes by the concept of 'what I say is correct'. "There are several challenges and the 'mathas' (monasteries) and seers have played a key role in finding solutions...If we talk of swachh Bharat, their (saints') word will have a bigger impact in

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering his address via video conference, at the seventh centenary celebrations of Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya, Udupi, in New Delhi on February 5

spreading the message than the government's," he said. He said such learned people

have always encouraged the society to understand that there is no religion bigger than human-

AP to host first National Women's Parliament NEW DELHI: Aiming to empower women, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly is set to host the country's first National Women's Parliament in Amravati where it will connect over 10,000 higher secondary girls with eminent women personalities. The three-day event will see girl students connecting with 401 women legislators, 91 women Members of Parliament and 300

'Women's status and decision making power'. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over live video conference, in the presence of AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury. "It is to make young girls realize their potential, and to enable them to take leadership roles in all sectors of life and also to sensi-

The three-day event will see girl students connecting with 401 women legislators, 91 women Members of Parliament and 300 social and corporate women leaders social and corporate women leaders of India and overseas. "We have decided to host the first apolitical National Women's Parliament in Amravati. The objective is to facilitate and enhance the network between eminent women personalities from diverse walks of life and more than 10,000 girl students who will participate from across the nation," Butta Renuka, MP from Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, said at a press conference here. NWP will host sessions on 'Socio-political challenges in women empowerment' and

tize the society about issues like malnutrition among women and children, sexual harassment, and sanitation among others," Renuka said. Mamtaz Sanghamita and Rama Devi Sheohar, MPs from West Bengal and Bihar respectively, said that women continue to lag behind despite working round the clock, and that without political or legislative empowerment, complete empowerment would not happen. "We are lagging behind. In panchayats in West Bengal Mamta Banerjee had introduced

50 per cent reservation for women, which was followed by many other states. But the irony is that never has the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament has been debated in the two and a half years since I became an MP," Sanghamita said. K Geetha, MP from Araku in Andhra Pradesh said that the NWP was a first of its kind event and expressed her solidarity to the cause of women empowerment. "Women play key role in nation building. This is a one of its kind event. Today we are here to express our solidarity towards the great cause of women empowerment," Geetha said. Former actress and MP from West Bengal Moonmoon Sen said that addressing issues of women empowerment was important because every child, irrespective of the gender, gets their early training from their mothers. "I always believe that the knowledge that every Indian man or woman has today comes from their mothers and their homes. "I am very happy that we will be addressing issues and working towards the development of women. The questions that we discuss here are questions that concern every state in India," she said. -PTI

ity. Modi said societies across the globe have looked at India for

answers in their times of crises, which is "the true recognition of our values". The Prime Minister noted that Jagadguru Madhvacharya used to say that 'you serve humanity just like you pay tax to the government'. He also praised Saint Kabir, saying he always worked for the upliftment of the poor and made sure that there is no discrimination over caste and religion. Addressing the gathering, Modi said from removing poverty and inequality to addressing climate change, the path shown by the saints and seers have the power to make the world a better place. Referring to the problem of deforestation, he said that Indians have been taught to treat nature as mother. "It is not meant for exploitation but service. Since childhood, sensitivity towards plants and animals is inculcated in us," he said. -PTI

Mumbai institute signs MOU with UK college LONDON: To facilitate ex- plans and is situated in perhaps change of students between the the most global city of the UK and India, a management world, London." institute from Mumbai has Speaking at the reception, G signed a Memorandum of Un- P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the derstanding with the presti- Hinduja Group referred to the gious King's College London. work being done by the Hinduja The MOU was signed by Dr Foundation in promoting eduIndu Shahani, former Sherriff of cation and its contribution in Mumbai and Dean of the Indian increasing cooperation between School of Management and En- UK and India in the fields of trepreneurship, Mumbai and Dr education. Joanna Newman, MBE, FRSA, Stating that "education is Vice-Principal (International), King's "We want to send our College London. Dr Joanna students to spend time there, Newman said the MOU would in- and welcome students back crease cooperation to King's in return. I think between King's there is much to learn College and the Institute facilitating from the institute� "our students to work with the institute's design, must for everyone", Hinduja entrepreneurship and business said "it gives wisdom and from ideas." Wisdom you get everything." "We want to send our stuIndia's High Commissioner to dents to spend time there, and the UK, Y K Sinha said India and welcome students back to UK have been collaborating sucKing's in return. I think there is cessfully in various fields, parmuch to learn from the institute, ticularly in the field of education. and it operates in such a vibrant Noting that India has recently set and changing environment. up 40 Skill Development Schools, Likewise, our own entrepreneur- Sinha said "UK can be helpful to ship institute has ambitious India in this area." -PTI


Top Stories

10 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

China pushing India for return of its solider BEIJING: China has said it was "pushing India" to complete procedures to return a Chinese soldier who is stuck in India for over 50 years, even as its envoy to New Delhi spoke to him over phone and assured all help. Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui just had a telephonic call with soldier Wang Qi, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media here answering

for him," he said. "In 2013, the Embassy issued a 10-year Chinese passport to him and provided living allowance for him every year since then. I believe that with the joint efforts of China and India, and respecting the will of Wang himself, the case will be properly solved," he said. Wang says he was caught in 1963, a year after India-China war when he strayed into Indian side.

It appears that both India and China have left the choice to Wang. While he wants to visit China to meet relatives, he also wants to return back to be with his Indian wife and children which may be a problem for India considering his background questions on the status of the soldier's return to China. "In recent years, Chinese Embassy to India had kept in close touch with Wang Qi and made relentless effort to help him return to China including pushing Indian side on exit and entry procedures

After his release from prison in 1969, Wang shifted to Tirodi village in Madhya Pradesh where he married a local woman and settled there ever since. He has three children and grand children. Asked what would happen to Wang's wife and children, Lu re-

ferred to the ambassador's phone conversation with Wang. In his conversation, Ambassador Luo expressed sympathy over the suffering Wang underwent over the years. "I instructed the Embassy to keep in touch with you, to know your ideas and provide assistance as much as possible, including the replacement of your passport," he said, according to a statement in Chinese language posted on China's embassy website in New Delhi. "We have been in contact with the Government of India regarding your visit to China. We also fully understand that you have relatives in China. In India, you have a wife, children and grandchildren. Both countries have relatives who are part of family," Luo said, adding that Wang has to make a "thoughtful and appropriate choice". It appears that both India and China have left the choice to Wang. While he wants to visit China to meet relatives, he also wants to

return back to be with his Indian wife and children which may be a problem for India considering his background. Wang s plight has been highlighted recently in the Chinese media following a BBC television

Times said in oped page article few days ago. "Although it's unclear whether Wang is a prisoner of war, it is inhumane to have isolated the elderly man from his family for such a long time," the article said.

Wang Qi alias Raj Bahadur, with his wife Sushila, at his house in Tirodi area of Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh

report on him. Helping Wang to return to home will enhance mutual understanding and contribute to warming bilateral ties, state-run Global

"Wang's story caused quite a stir on China's social media and appeals are rising that the man should be helped back home as soon as possible," it said. -PTI

China's population to touch 1.42 billion BEIJING: China's population, the largest in the world, is expected to reach about 1.42 billion by 2020, according to the country's National Health and Family Planning Commission. As of the end of 2015, China had a population of about 1.37 billion. China's population is expected to reach about 1.42 billion by 2020,

duced to 112 boys for every 100 girls by 2020, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. According to the National Population Development Outline released by the Chinese central cabinet the gender ratio, which was 113.5 men to every 100 women in 2015, one of the highest in the world, is forecast to drop below 112 by 2020 and 107 by

the National Health and Family Planning Commission said while calling for more support for women returning to work after giving birth. It also encouraged employers to support a balance between work and family relations among employees. The annual natural population growth rate will be around six per thousand while China's gender ratio at birth is expected to be re-

2030. China last year scrapped the decades-old 'one-child policy' as the country is saddled with more old age people. The natural population growth rate stayed at five per thousand, while the male-to-female ratio among newborns fell from 117.94 to 113.51, the report said. An official plan released by the China's central government said China will create over 50 million new urban jobs by 2020.-PTI

RARE GESTURE: Khalid Mohammad, 13, who suffered from Criggler Najjar Syndrome before getting a liver transplant, with his father Abdullah Salim Botturfi Kindi (L), from United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Anupam Sibal, group medical director at Apollo Hospitals, at a press conference in New Delhi on February 7. Criggler Najjar Syndrome is a rare liver condition affecting one in a million children, and can lead to brain damage through a rise in toxins that a normal liver can regulate. The only permanent cure is a liver transplant

Netaji Bose’s driver dies at 116 AZAMGARH, UP: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s driver and INA veteran ‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin has died in his native village of Dhakwa here after a prolonged illness. Born in 1901, Nizamuddin was over 116 years old. He is survived by his wife Ajbul Nisha, three sons and two daughters. His youngest son Sheikh Akram was by his side when the end came. ‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin, who had served in the Indian National Army from 1943-45, had proclaimed himself as one of the most trusted lieutenants of Netaji. -PTI


Top Stories

February 10, 2017

India Post

11

www.indiapost.com

Afghan held for raping, duping US woman NEW DELHI: A 34-year-old Afghan national has been arrested on charges of raping a US woman and duping her of 86,000 dollars after befriending her on social media and threatening her with an acid attack after she learnt his truth, police said and suspects there may be other victims. The accused, Hameedullah, allegedly befriended the 39-year-old American woman, who is in the business of compression cloth-

He would win her confidence, give her assurance of marriage and then become physically intimate with her. In this case, he also prepared a fake marriage document mentioning the woman as his lawful wife and started exploiting her sexually. "Hameedullah also took sexually explicit pictures and videos of the woman and even managed to cheat her of USD 86,000 on vari-

He would win her confidence, give her assurance of marriage and then become physically intimate with her. In this case, he also prepared a fake marriage document mentioning the woman as his lawful wife and started exploiting her sexually ing, over Facebook posing as MK Faheem, a banker based in Dubai, said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (Crime). After she learnt his truth, he threatened to carry out an acid attack on her. He blackmailed her saying he would implicate her under charges of terrorism and also told her that he would upload her explicit pictures on the internet, he said. Hameedullah usually targeted women who were in their 30s, because he felt that they were more vulnerable as they were looking to get settled soon, another officer said, adding that his victims were mostly foreign nationals. "He possesses excellent communication skills and has command over several languages. He has made Facebook profiles with different names and approaches female users for friendship on the social media site. With his efforts, he used to win the confidence of female victims and entrap them," said Yadav. Till now, police has found two Facebook profiles operated by him and are looking for the other profiles he had used to target victims. During interrogation, he claimed that he is married and his wife is in the US and is pregnant but police will be speaking to her to verify his claims, sources said. After Hameedullah befriended the US woman on Facebook, he professed his love to her and persuaded her to meet him around November last year. Initially, he would portray himself as a gentleman and spend money on the woman to gain her trust, police said.

ous pretexts. "The accused got the cheated amount transferred to Afghanistan and further received this amount in India through alternative channels," said Yadav. The victim discovered his real identity and found that the accused has been mentioned as a scammer on a website 'who scammed you.com'. "When she confronted him, he threatened her that he would inform the FBI. He told her that he would claim that the money transferred by her was paid to some terrorists in Kabul. "He also threatened her that he

had clicked her indecent pictures and videos and that he would upload them on the net. The complainant was even threatened of an acid attack by the accused," said the officer. She approached Delhi Police's Crime Branch on February 2. A case under IPC sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 376 ( Punishment for rape), 385 (Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 387 (Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion ) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) was registered, he said. A team led by ACP Ishwar Singh was constituted under the supervision of DCP G Ram Gopal Naik to nab the accused. The team apprehended accused Hameedullah near Hyatt hotel, RK Puram, Delhi on February 2. Two i-Phones, a laptop, documents of property purchased by the cheated money, jewellery and an Audi A3 car were recovered from the accused. The accused was born in Kabul in January, 1981 and was brought up at Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. "He holds an Afghan passport issued at Kabul. His family moved to UAE in 1997-98 due to hostile conditions in Afghanistan. He arrived in India in July 2011 on a tourist visa that was later converted to medical visa," said Yadav. -PTI

Pak resolution extends solidarity with Kashmiris ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's parliament has passed a unanimous resolution extending solidarity with the Kashmiris and rejecting as "ridiculous" the Indian stand that Kashmir is an integral part of India. The resolution moved by Minister for Kashmir Affair Barjees Tahir in the National Assembly "extended political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in the just struggle for their right to self-determination in lines with the UN resolutions," Radio Pakistan reported. "The resolution rejected the ridiculous Indian claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India as it itself took the issue to the UN as a dispute between the two sovereign states," it said. It condemned the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and deplored continuous silence of the international community on the issue. The resolution came a day af-

Pak accuses India on Indus Treaty ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has accused India of not fulfilling its responsibilities under the Indus Waters Treaty as it voiced concerns over India's construction of new dams. Pakistan Prime Minister's Advi-

Pak thanks India for returning 5-yr-old ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: Pakistan has thanked India for its cooperation in reuniting a five-year-old boy with his Pakistani mother nearly a year after he was taken to India on the sly by his father. "We are thankful to Indian authorities for their cooperation in this humanitarian matter," Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit tweeted. The boy, Iftikhar Ahmed, was handed over to Pakistan Rangers by Indian authorities at Wagah where his mother was waiting for him for several hours. "I am extremely happy to have my son back. I am thankful to the Pakistani government for

its help for return of my child," Iftikhar's mother Rohina Kiyani said at Wagah. "I had lost all hope of getting my child back. It's not a less than

a miracle for me," she said. The boy's mother alleged that her estranged husband, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, had lied

ter Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described Kashmir issue as the "unfinished agenda of partition" and the oldest disputes in the UN Security Council. "Jammu & Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India. The dream of peace and prosperity of the people of this region will remain elusive without resolving this dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions," Sharif said on the occasion of 'Kashmir Solidarity Day'. The resolution called upon the UN Security Council to take concrete steps for implementation of its resolutions for granting right to self-determination to the Kashmiris. It called upon the international community to take notice of the gravity of the situation and urge India to respect human rights and right to self-determination. The resolution called upon the UN Military Observer Group in Pakistan and India to fulfill its mandated task. -PTI

to her that he was taking the child to a wedding along with him as he took him to Dubai and from there to Kashmir in March 2016. Rohina with the help of Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had filed a custody case in an Indian court. After the case was taken up by the Pakistani High Commission and proven that Iftikhar was a Pakistani by nationality, the court ruled in her favor and ordered that the child should be returned to his mother in Pakistan. Due to border tensions, it took eight months for the mother to get the good news of seeing her son. -PTI

sor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, in his written reply submitted in the National Assembly, said Pakistan has expressed concerns over construction of new dams by India along the Indus river system. Aziz was quoted by Geo News as saying that India has not been fulfilling its responsibilities under the Indus Waters Treaty. Earlier, Sharif had taken up the issue of the construction of dams with CEO World Bank Kristalina Georgieva in Islamabad. Sharif had urged the World Bank to play a "lead role" in resolving the water disputes between Pakistan and India by establishing a Court of Arbitration. The World Bank had brokered the famous Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) in 1960, apportioning the several rivers and utilization of their waters between Pakistan and India. It is also the guarantor of the IWT and adjudicates any dispute between the two countries. Recently, its role has been under scanner due to the dispute over two hydropower projects by India to which Pakistan has objected. In October, Pakistan had approached the World Bank, seeking appointment of the Chairman of Court of Arbitration to resolve the dispute over construction of two mega projects.-PTI


Tech News Robots to handle your vegetables

A

robot that can pick up bags of fruit and vegetables may get us a step closer to fully-automated grocery stores and warehouses. Robots can put together cars just fine, but ask one to pass you a bag of bananas and things are rather more difficult: the fruit varies in shape, it moves within the bag, and it's delicate, too. Working with a number of uni-

versities, the robotics team at online grocery retailer Ocadowhich runs large, automated warehouses-has taught a soft gripper hand, attached to the end of a Kuka robot arm, to carefully pick up foodstuffs such as apples and bags of limes. Alex Voica, from Ocado, tells the Download that the device responds to changes in the shape of an item throughout the act of grasping, leading to a "carefully choreographed movement of the hand in relation to the object." The system is also designed to identify specific contact points on the objects and close around them like a human hand, in order to minimize the amount of bruising inflicted upon fruits or vegetables. The company hopes to use the system commercially "in the near future." -Courtesy MIT Technology Review

Experimenting with future of glass

T

o make the devices of the fu ture, we need the materials of the future, too. And perhaps some of the most unfathomable challenges lie within glass. While the optical properties of the material are unparalleled, it can be stiff, brittle, and easy to scratch. That's why researchers at Corning's headquarters in upstate New York are working out how far they can push it. The company's Gorilla Glass is a good start, and probably already graces your smartphone. But it thinks it can do better-so that we might one day have foldable tablets or car interiors that are entirely made of displays. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review

TechBiz 12 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

Techno-paranoia in digital security

T

rue quantum computing may still seem a way off, but some compa nies are already investing in security systems that stand up to its impending power. Last year, the NSA warned that the encryption that protects online transactions such as banking must be replaced with something quantum-computer-proof as soon as possible. Cue widespread interest in a small number of companies that have already been developing unusual encryption technologies to outsmart the lightningfast number crunching of quantum devices. Techno-paranoia has given rise to a whole new sector within the digital security industry. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review

Jaitley defends surcharge levy, says rich must pay more NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has justified levy of 10 per cent surcharge on rich saying the resources in a largely nontax compliant society will have to come from the more affluent. Reading out tax-payer data, he said excluding salaried class, there are only 20 lakh people who voluntarily declare their income of over Rs 5 lakh in a year. "In a non-tax compliant society, the state needs resources and the resources will have to come from the more affluent as far as the tax structure is concerned. There is a social equity also behind this," he said at a post-Budget interaction with the industry chambers here. He had in his Budget for 201718 proposed a levy of 10 per cent surcharge, on top of the peak rate of tax, on individuals with income between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore annually. He retained the 15 per cent surcharge on those having over Rs 1-crore annual income. At the same time, he halved to 5 per cent the basic tax rate for those earning between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh income. "The taxation approach is also absolutely clear. Our steps against shadow economy would continue and that's why we put a cap of Rs 3 lakh on cash transactions," he said. With the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST), the scope for generation of black money itself will become more difficult. "Hopefully, with the steps that the Department of Revenue has taken and the demonetization, I think it is significantly going to change the pattern of spending behavior as far as consumers are concerned," he said. Jaitley said normally budgets are known for imposing higher taxation. But except for imposing surcharge on individual with income between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore, in the Budget for 2017-18, "there is an equity in the wealthy paying more". "I have also in the Budget document consciously given some data to indicate how much of a non-

compliant society we are," he said, adding the effort of the government is to make the society more tax-compliant. "If we keep those 56 lakh salaried assessees out, the voluntary tax payers above Rs 5 lakh (income), which includes the whole

Jaitley also said the revenue department is making use of technology to minimize interaction between assessee and tax officer. He said post demonetization the tax department has identified 18 lakh people to whom the tax department is sending e-commu-

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

body of business people, traders, professionals, lawyers, doctors, you will find there are only 20 lakh people in the country who declare voluntarily an income over Rs 5 lakh. It is something which is absolutely incredible. And therefore, the fact is that more and more people have to be incentivized to get into the tax net," he said.

nication seeking clarification. "A lot of changes are happening with the use of technology. I am conscious of the fact that it's the same set of people, some in your fraternity who don't pay taxes and some in that fraternity who exploit that situation. So the DNA is really the same," Jaitley said. To make MSMEs more viable

and to encourage LLPs to migrate to company format, Jaitley had in the Budget reduced the income tax for smaller companies with annual turnover up to Rs 50 crore to 25 per cent. As per the data of assessment year 2015-16, there are 6.94 lakh companies filing returns, out of which 6.67 lakh companies fall in this category. Hence 96 per cent companies will get the benefit of this lower taxation. Asked about the corporate tax reduction, Jaitley said data analysis by Department of Revenue clearly shows that this (MSME) is a segment which is still paying over 30 per cent, if you include surcharge. "The average of the big boys who hasn't got the benefit of this is already paying 25 per cent. Therefore, there is a rationale without phasing out the exemption we will restrict at the present moment this reduction to those who were effectively and de facto paying 30 per cent and above and not those who were paying 25 per cent or less," he said. Asked if there would be further cuts in interest rates, Jaitley said the banks have transmitted a large part of policy rate cut.-PTI

Penalty for receiving cash over Rs 3 lakh NEW DELHI: In a bid to check generation of black money, a steep penalty awaits those accepting cash in excess of Rs 3 lakh, beginning April 1, to settle any transaction. A ban on cash transaction of more than Rs 3 lakh has been proposed in the Budget for 2017-18. In an interview to PTI, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the penalty for doing cash transaction will be steep and the receiver will have to pay an amount equivalent to the cash received. "Supposing you do a transaction of Rs 4 lakh in cash, then the penalty

would be Rs 4 lakh. If you do a transaction of Rs 50 lakh, penalty would be Rs 50 lakh," he said, adding that the penalty will be levied on the receiver. So, if someone buys an expensive watch for cash, it is the shop-

keeper who will have to pay the tax, he said, adding that the provision is to deter people from doing large cash transactions. Demonetization brought to account the stock of black money and now the government wants to stop future generation of the same. The government, he said, will track all large cash transactions, and also curb the avenues of conspicuous consumption through cash. People with large sum of unaccounted money usually spend it on holidaying or buying luxury items like cars, watches and jewellery. Cont’d on page 14


TechBiz Post

February 10, 2017

India Post

13

www.indiapost.com

'India on brink of technoinstitutional revolution' ROME: India is on the "brink" of a techno- institutional revolution and integration of mobile apps, broadband connectivity and new banking systems will act as a big "differentiator" for the rural

told PTI here. Calling technology a big "differentiator", he said, "four to five different things have come together. One is the technology of mobile phone, second is the regu-

Montek Singh Ahluwalia

economy, especially for small farmers, renowned economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia said. "In India, we are on the brink of a major techno-institutional revolution, where a number of things are coming together mobile phones, telecom and broadband interconnectivity to get into enough areas, regulatory changes being made in the banking system that allow a lot of news forms of banking to flourish," Ahluwalia, the former deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission,

latory changes in banking system, making it possible for banks to perform all these things, third is UIDAI and the fourth is DigiLocker." A key initiative under 'Digital India', DigiLocker is a platform for issuance and verification of digital documents and certificates, thus eliminating the use of physical documents. It enables one to put all documents online and use an electronically certified version of the document in their applications.

DigiLocker was recently integrated with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), as a registered issuer. Elaborating on the how the exploitation of middlemen could be reduced, Ahluwalia said that the reason why middlemen are playing an important role in the rural sector is "because middleman is the person who is your moneylender". "If he lends you money and you have to repay him then he has a big control over you. But if you are getting money through a banking system directly then you are not dependent on middlemen," he said. He was speaking on the sidelines of a three-day conference on 'Investing in inclusive rural transformation: Innovative approaches to financing' in Rome, organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a specialized agency of the UN dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Echoing his views, Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobhan Pattanayak said that through mobile phones the farmers can access finance and also a large number of apps to get all the information without the involvement of middlemen. "You have seen the power of mobile phones and recently the government has found many different ways for accessing finance through mobile phones. This is a big transformational tool in the hands of farmers," Pattanayak said. -PTI

China manufacturing close to 2-year high BEIJING: China started 2017 on numbers above 50 indicate an exa high note according to results pansion. That was down only of a survey that showed manufac- slightly from November's two-year turing expanded in January at high of 51.7. close to its fastest pace in two Forecasters expect growth to years. Heavy government spending and a boom in The latest data show a bank lending and real ``relatively strong start to estate are helping to counter a slowdown the year,'' Julian Evansthat took growth in the Pritchard of Capital Ecoworld's second-largest economy to 6.7 percent nomics said in a report. last year, the weakest rate since 1990. weaken further this year, however, The National Bureau of Statis- as regulators try to cool what anatics' purchasing managers index lysts warn is a dangerously fast showed manufacturing growth at run-up in debt and rising housing 51.4 on a 100-point scale on which costs. The International Monetary

Fund is predicting this year's growth will slow to 6.5 percent. The latest data show a ``relatively strong start to the year,'' Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. ``The more important question is whether or not the current strength will be sustained,'' said Evans-Pritchard. ``We doubt that it will be given how reliant the recent recovery has been on support from monetary and fiscal policy that is now being withdrawn.'' Manufacturers have been battered by a slump in global demand for Chinese goods and steadily declining domestic economic activity. -AP

How Trump order could hurt US economy WASHINGTON: President travel industry recalls ruefully as Donald Trump's executive order the ``lost decade'' - the U.S. share suspending immigration from of overseas travel fell by nearly seven majority-Muslim countries one-third, according to the Councould slow the U.S. economy by cil on Foreign Relations. That cost hampering two of the nation's top the U.S. economy $500 billion. export industries: Tourism and ``The message got around the higher education. world that the United States was Trump's immigration order fol- an unfriendly country to visit - that lowed his order to build a wall it's a big hassle to visit there,'' said along the border with Mexico and Edward Alden, a senior fellow at his vow to rip up NAFTA. Com- the Council and author of ``The bined, those moves could discour- Closing of the American Border,'' age visitors and students from a book about U.S. security after 9/ many countries - not just the 11. seven covered by the order Given the disruptions at U.S. economists say. airports caused by Trump's immiThey also reflect Trump's shift toward an ``America First'' ap- ``The message got around proach and away from the pro-globalization the world that the United policies embraced by his States was an unfriendly predecessors. His combative trade stance po- country to visit - that it's a tentially could open the door for China and other big hassle to visit there'' economic powers to fill a void. ``Broad-brush policies like this gration order, which were widely people barrier impede growth and covered by television news certainly do not accelerate it,'' around the world, ``it's that story David Kotok, chief investment of- all over again,'' Alden said. ficer at Cumberland Advisors, Many high-tech companies wrote in an email. ``Trump has now have also opposed Trump's order set back the positive elements of because they say it blunts their global exchange in both goods competitive edge in recruiting and services.'' high-skilled talent. Foreign tourists provide criti``Apple would not exist withcal support to the U.S. economy. out immigration,'' the company's In 2015, they spent roughly $199 CEO, Tim Cook, said this week. The billion on items ranging from ho- biological father of Apple's tel rooms and restaurant meals to founder, Steve Jobs, was an immiplane tickets and amusement grant from Syria. parks. That spending counts as When foreign students attend exports. Travel and tourism made an American college or university and pay tuition, that spending also counts as a U.S. export. Education spending from overseas reached roughly $36 billion in 2015 _ up nearly 50 percent from three years earlier, according to Commerce Department data. Proceeds from tourism and education help narrow the nation's trade deficit, a frequent target of Trump's criticism on the campaign trail. Travel and tourism exports exceed overseas sales of autos President Donald Trump and auto parts, which totaled $152 billion in 2015. up nearly 9 percent of U.S. exports Agricultural exports amounted to that year. $137 billion. Some economists say they Yet Trump's orders ``couldn't worry that Trump's order could happen at a worse time,'' said Adam create an echo of the post-9/11 Sacks, president of Tourism Ecoperiod, when travel to the United nomics. Even before Trump's exStates plunged, in part because of ecutive orders, a strong dollar had much tighter security. In the 10 made it costlier for foreign travelyears that followed - a period the ers to visit the United States. -AP


14

TechBiz Post

India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

'Rating agencies notches behind India's reality' NEW DELHI: Taking a dig at global rating agencies for failing to upgrade India's sovereign rating despite significant improvement in macroeconomic parameters, Economic Affairs Secretary

far as India is concerned, that seems to be the case," Das said in an interview to PTI. "Last October, when we went for the annual meeting of World Bank and IMF along with the Fi-

Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das

Shaktikanta Das has said the agencies are several steps behind from reality and are missing out on something which only they can best explain. "It would appear that rating agencies are several steps behind the prevailing reality. At least, so

nance Minister, there also in our interaction with several investors they were surprised how the rating agencies have not upgraded India," he said. India was last upgraded by rating agencies almost a decade back. Fitch upgraded India's sov-

ereign rating to BBB in 2006 while S&P in 2007. "I think the last upgrade India got was several years ago. Look at the track record of reforms in our country in the last two-and-ahalf years. Just list out the reform measures which India has undertaken, compare it with the track record of reforms in any other country in the last 2.5 years. "Look at our GDP, compare with other countries' GDP. Look at our macroeconomic number inflation, current account deficit, compare with other countries. Now I really do not understand, I think rating companies are missing out on something which only they can only explain," he said. Even Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, in the Economic Survey, slammed global rating agencies for following "inconsistent" standards while rating India vis-a-vis China, saying they have not taken into account reform measures like GST, which is a "poor" reflection on their credibility. "We were told GST is not happening...you do GST then In-

Qatar launches world's longest flight

Value of Chinese banks overtakes US banks BEIJING: The combined value of Chinese banks has surpassed that of US banks for the first time as they emerged as global leaders by asset base as well as brand value, a report by a business valuation consultancy has said. The report by the Londonbased Brand Finance Banking 500 places Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the world's most valuable bank, with a brand value worth USD 47.8 billion, representing a 32 per cent year-on-year growth. Marketing investment and the brand s credibility with customers, staff and shareholders, among other factors, are taken into consideration in calculating brand value. The report said Chinese banks have an aggregate total brand value of USD 258 billion, account-

ing for 24 per cent of the total brand value of the top 500 global banks by brand value, compared with 23 per cent for US banks, state-run China Daily quoted the report as saying. Zhou Jingtong, division head and professor at Bank of China's Institute of International Finance, said: "The brand value growth of Chinese banks is closely related to the continuous rise of China s contribution to the global economy. "During the process, the Chinese banking industry maintained steady development in various aspects, including asset growth, asset quality, provision coverage ratio and capital adequacy ratio." The internationalization of Chinese banks, particularly in recent years, also contributed to their brand value growth, he said. -PTI

DOHA: Qatar Airways launched the world's longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland, a company spokeswoman said. The Boeing 777 flight takes 16 hours and 20 minutes, passes over 10 time zones, five countries and travels 14,535 kilometers before reaching Auckland. But even that flying time may be looked on jealously by passengers on the return flight which, due to high-altitude winds, will take 17 hours and 30 minutes, according to the company website. This will make it the world's longest passenger service in terms of flying time, according to tracking website flightradar24. In March last year, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world's longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200 kilometers. -AFP

dia should get an upgrade. GST is now happening, no weightage has been given for introduction of GST. We were told that there is no resolution mechanism for dealing with stressed assets...the government

way, Das said expressing disbelief. "I think it should be a moment for retrospection. It should be moment of retrospection for rating companies," he said.

The government has passed and implemented Aadhaar legislation which is unique in the world, yet no recognition came India's way, Das said expressing disbelief. It should be moment of retrospection for rating companies" has enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Law but no weightage has been given to that," Das said. The government has passed and implemented Aadhaar legislation which is unique in the world, yet no recognition came India's

Talking about Budget 2017-18, Das said, "I think there has been wide appreciation of the Budget...you do not see any major criticism coming from any particular section or sub-section of economy." -PTI

GST to smoothen taxation, transparency JAIPUR: GST will not only ease the process of taxation, but bring in transparency, say experts. At an interactive awareness program for start-ups here, the experts said the government is expected to resolve the queries of entrepreneurs regarding GST. "GST will not only ease the process, but also bring transparency as all the invoices needed to be uploaded by sellers are visible to the buyer every month," said Manish Ojha, Development Head of KDK Softwares Pvt. CEO Mohit Bhambani said many startups are into e-commerce and their logistic costs go up, with

11 categories of taxes levied on the road transport sector. Referring to a report of Crisil, Bhambani said GST can reduce logistics cost of companies producing non-bulk goods by as much as 20 per cent. At present, he said various road permits are required under state CST rules and also declaration forms for availing of lower taxation rate. "Likewise, many such hassles will be removed for ease of business operations," he said. Several startups attended the session organized by the city based incubation centre Startup Oasis and KDK softwares. -PTI

Penalty for receiving cash over Rs 3 lakh Cont’d from page 12

The new cash curbs will mean that such spending avenues are curtailed, disincentivising people from generating black money. Adhia said that the previously notified rule of quoting PAN for any cash transaction above Rs 2 lakh stays. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget for 2017-18 proposed to insert Section 269ST in the Income-Tax Act to state that "no person shall receive an amount of Rs 3 lakh or more by way of cash in aggregate from a person in a day; in respect of a single transaction; or in respect of

transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person". However, the restrictions will not apply to the government, any banking company, post office savings bank or co-operative bank. Adhia said the Budget proposes to levy penalty on a person who receives Rs 3 lakh and above. A panel of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had in its interim report just days before the Budget recommended a cap on cash transactions beyond a threshold and a tax on payments of over Rs 50,000 as a way of discouraging people from using physical currency. -PTI


TechBiz Post

February 10, 2017

India Post

15

www.indiapost.com

Hillary Clinton book repackaged for kids NEW DELHI: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's bestselling "It Takes a Village", published in 1996, is now being brought out as a full-color picture book for young readers. Simon & Schuster will release the book this fall. It will be illustrated by Marla Frazee, a two-time Caldecott Honor winner. The deal was made by Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Jon Anderson, President and Publisher, Children's Publishing Division of Simon & Schuster. Robert B Barnett of Williams & Connolly,

represented the author. Paula Wiseman will be the editor. Besides the US, the book will also be published by Simon & Schuster's international companies

in Australia, Canada, India and the UK. Over 20 years ago, the original "It Takes a Village" inspired the

US to think critically about how the choices made today, to raise children and support families, will determine how one will face the challenges of the future, the publisher said. "The picture book edition will bring this inspiring message to a new generation in a format that is perfect for story time and bedtime. As she did with the original book, Hillary Clinton will donate her net proceeds from the sale of the book to charity," it added. "We are proud to release Hillary Clinton's 'It Takes a Village' in an edition that can be shared widely across the nation, by families, and in classrooms and libraries," said Anderson, adding "The book will cast Secretary Clinton's incredible timely and timeless message even further, brilliantly paired with Marla Frazee's amazing art." Illustrator Frazee said, "I am deeply honored to help bring Hillary Clinton's life's work and devotion to public service, which has inspired me and millions of others, to children and those who love them." -PTI

Tata Motors non-committal on Nano future MUMBAI: Remaining noncommittal over the future course of Nano, Tata Motors said the decisions will be taken in alignment with the board as the time and the need appears. As it prepares to be future ready, Tata Motors is finding it difficult to answer queries on whether the Nano will be a part of the journey ahead as the issue is proving to be a sensitive one involving those at the top level of the Tata group. Although the company has adopted a new passenger vehicles (PV) strategy with an aim to achieve "sustainable financial performance" and to be amongst the top three PV makers in India by 2019, its top management is shy to elaborate what role will Ratan Tata's dream project play going forward. Tata Motors has said that it would reduce the number of PV platforms to just two from the current six by 2018 when it shifts to what it called as 'Advanced Modular Platform (AMP)' to "deliver 7-8

product variants from two platforms for greater coverage and sizable economies of scale". "I can't tell you right now because these are decisions in line with the PV strategy. These decisions are going to be taken in alignment with the board as the time and the need appears," Tata Motors MD and CEO Guenter Butschek said when asked if Nano

will be a part of the company's future by 2018. He said the new PV strategy was presented to the board of directors of the company in the middle of last year.

The board is provided update on the progress made on a regular basis, Butschek said, adding "so it (board) is fully encouraged and (is) behind this strategy..." Under the new PV strategy the company is looking for economies of scale, reduce capital expenditure through the less number of platforms and address more segment of the market where it is not present currently that will lead to higher profitability. Yet the issue of Nano is something that hangs uneasy with the company's senior management. Ousted Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry had alleged that Nano project was responsible for the losses of over Rs 1,000 crore. Nano has been one of the point of contentions between Tata and Mistry, who had also alleged Tata Motors is unable to shut down the loss making small car due to "emotional reasons" and doing so would also stop the supply of "gliders" to an entity that makes electric cars in which Tata has a stake. -PTI

Tech Briefs Artificial Intelligence in customer call centers

C

ustomer service staff are in creasingly getting a helping hand from Artificial Intelligence (AI) when you call them. One startup, called Afiniti, gets involved before a customer even speaks to anyone. By identifying your phone number, it pulls together information-from previous interactions with the company, to credit scores and social media activity-to choose the most appropriate person for you to speak to. Once you're talking to someone, a new piece of software made by Cogito can help the rep to deal with you. The system monitors customer voices

for signs of agitation or frustration, to provide staff with real-time coaching to help provide the best possible experience. And another company called DeviceBits uses machine learning to work out how effective the technical advice given by call center workers is, so that it can be improved in the future. But workers may not all be happy about the arrival of AI: New Scientist reports that a startup is able to use machine learning to analyze employee metadata-from key card swipes to software use-to establish when someone is about to slack.

Blame your brain for computer hacks A

new study reveals how the brain reacts to computer security alerts-and the findings could help make our devices safer. Research carried out by Anthony Vance from Brigham Young University used functional MRI scans of people's brains to reveal the unconscious mechanisms behind the way they perceive security warnings. It turns out that alerts often appear when we're in the midst of doing something else, which makes us less likely to respond to them, as our brain struggles to

handle two tasks at once. The warnings are also boringly consistent, which means that we pay them less attention over time. Instead, specially designed warnings developed in collaboration with Google wait for people to complete tasks and have messages appear in different colors. The upshot: people are more likely to respond. Vance says that Google plans to add the feature to an upcoming version of its Chrome browser.

AI home assistants need a screen Y ou may control your home with your voice, but having it speak back is often impractical. Asking Amazon's Alexa to play a specific song, for instance, is a joy. But if you're not sure what to listen to, the voice-only system can feel limiting. At the same time, voice assistant apps grow in number but go unused because people simply forget about them. Speaking to the Download, Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu, explained that, while a 2016 study by Stanford researchers and his own team showed that speech input is three times quicker than

typing on mobile devices, "the fastest way for a machine to get information to you is via a screen." He continued: "Say you want to order takeout. Imagine a voice that reads out: 'Here are the top twenty restaurants in your area. Number one ‌' This would be insanely slow!" No surprise, then, that Baidu has been working on a smart assistant device called Little Fish that includes a screen, and Amazon is also rumored to be developing a similar piece of hardware. The AI assistant revolution, it seems, may be televised.

-Courtesy MIT Technology Review


Desi News FIA celebrates R-Day with gusto & panache MOON KHAN

CHICAGO: The Federation of the Indian Association Schaumburg set a new milestone in event management by holding a fabulous gala event celebrating India's 68th Republic Day at Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. Welcoming the ebullient guests, Sunil Shah, FIA's Founder President observed "We don't intend to organize a dinner party that anybody can do. Our purpose is to use this auspicious occasion to display Indian culture and values to the younger generation and to the mainstream dignitaries." Shah, who left no stone unturned in organizing this fabulous program, added, "We also provide a grand networking opportunity to our community." Details on page 18

OFBJP working for BJP victory in Amethi India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: OFBJP North California Leadership and Community Members met to discuss the upcoming Amethi elections in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has declared Rani Garima Singh as its Amethi candidate from the eponymous district. Community members were excited about the potential mobilization on the ground in Amethi and how this has fundamentally shifted the political equation in one of the most important constituencies in one of the most important state of India. The fight in Amethi is first about justice and honor; politics and votes come later. This election is about the development of Amethi. Details on page 19

Rochester honors Indian American Apte India Post News Service

ROCHESTER: Mayor Ardell Brede of Rochester, Minnesota and Lt. Evenson of Rochester Police Department presented the prestigious community service medal of honor to Indian American and Houston resident Mandar Apte for building their leadership capacity for dealing more effectively with the growing issue of violence and improve the quality of life in Rochester. Details on page 22

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

16 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

Indian-American to build 8 cricket stadiums Details on page 25

CG Ashok leads R-Day celebrations in Bay Area leaders on the strength of the bond between our two countries. Earlier in the morning, ConsuMILPITAS: While India cel- late General of India, San Francisco ebrated its 68th Republic Day at celebrated the occasion at an Rajpath in New Delhi with Crown event organized at Gadar MemoPrince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed rial Hall, San Francisco. Consul bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief General Ashok Venkatesan hoisted guest, Bay Areans too came in the Indian Flag. Later, he read the speech delivered by President of India Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion. The event was attended by a number of officers and officials of Indian Consulate, San Francisco and their family members. The California State Senate and the California State Assembly passed Resolutions in Capitol House, Sacramento on the occasion of 68th InConsul General Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok dian Republic Day Celebrations. While Senator Tony Mendoza had large numbers to celebrate India's Republic at the India Community presented the Resolution in CaliCenter, Milpitas organized by In- fornia State Senate, Assembly dian Consulate General in San Member Ash Kalra had presented the same in California State AsFrancisco. At a function held at India Com- sembly. Consul General Ashok munity Center on January 26, Con- Venkatesan who was invited, was sul General Ambassador also present in both the houses Venkatesan Ashok led celebra- on the occasion. Details on page 24 tions of India's 68th Republic Day that included dance and musical performances and remarks from elected officials and community VIDYA SETHURAMAN

India Post News Service

Flag hoisting by Consul General Ashok Venkatesan at Gadar Memorial Hall, San Francisco

Presenting of the Resolution to Consul General Ashok Venkatesan by Senator Tony Mendoza in California State Senate on the occasion of 68th Indian Republic Day


Community Across America

February 10, 2017

India Post 17

www.indiapost.com

Indian Consulate hosts Indian R-Day Celebrations SURESH SHAH

Indian CG Neeta Bhushan unfurling Indian Flag commencing the celebrations

CHICAGO: Indian Consulate in Chicago hosted the 68th Republic Day Celebration at its premises on Thursday January 26 with lot of enthusiasm and gaiety. The Consulate office was decorated with Indian flags, flowers and Indian cultural symbols to reflect the festive atmosphere of this important occasion. Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin and friends of India attended the festivities in huge numbers. Their patriotic fervor was evident from the fact that they braved the freezing cold, especially on the working weekday, to participate in the celebrations. D.B.Bhati, Consul (Political, Commerce & Visa) introduced the new Consul General Neeta Bhushan to the gathering. Neeta Bhushan in her introductory speech highlighted the steps taken by the Government of India for the welfare of the Persons of Indian Origin and the Non-Resident Indi-

Singing of Indian National Anthem

ticipate in all the ambitious developmentcentric initiatives of the Government of India. CG Neeta Bhushan then unfurled the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India by all. She then read out the President's Message, both in Hindi and English, addressed to the Nation on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India. During the celebration, Consul General met with all members of Indian community to get a first hand feel of their concerns and problems. Gathering of Indian Diaspora at the Consulate

ans. She said that the government attaches very high importance to the Indian Diaspora and that the Consulate would keep rendering prompt consular, visa and passport services to the community. She also called upon Indian-Americans to proactively par-

Minhaj counters criticism of R-Day celebrations HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: Taking umbrage at the unsavory comments about the celebration of Indian Republic Day by the Chicago based

Federation of Indian Associations, outgoing president Minhaj Akhtar observed that the most important point that the so called objective critics miss is that "my FIA decided to celebrate this national festival of India on the day that it falls and that was Thursday January 26, and was not dragged to weekends as has been the practice with many associations." "We knew that it would inconvenience many but we were sure that those who really have love for India would come whether it is weekend or if the weather is unfavorable. And we had really a good crowd that included among others Indian CG Neeta Bhushan, Indian oncologist from neighboring State of Indiana Dr Bharat Barai and a front ranking Indian businessman from St Louis, Dr. Deepak Kant Vyas."

Lamp lighting ceremony at FIA Banquet. Minhas Akhtar with Neeta Bhushan and Dr Vyas

Cont’d on page 19


Community Across America

18 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

FIA celebrates R-Day with gusto & panache MOON KHAN

CHICAGO: The Federation of the Indian Association Schaumburg set a new milestone in event management by holding a fabulous gala event celebrating India's 68th Republic Day at Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. Welcoming the ebullient guests, Sunil Shah, FIA's Founder President observed "We don't intend to organize a dinner party that

anybody can do. Our purpose is to use this auspicious occasion to display Indian culture and values to the younger generation and to the mainstream dignitaries." Shah, who left no stone unturned in organizing this fabulous program, added, "We also provide a grand networking opportunity to our community." The presence of dozens of en-

Dignitaries and FIA leaders at the start of the program

The Executive Team of FIA

trepreneurs, elected officials, prominent community dignitaries and a large number of young adults prove that FIA has become a facilitator and purveyor of opportunities to the large Indian American community of Illinois, said Mukesh Shah, current FIA president, who later introduced all the executive board members to the attentive crowd.

Presidents of FIA introduced Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, who reiterated his full and solid support to diversity and equal opportunity. He expressed his happiness to see a lot of his supporters in the audience. The new Indian Consul General Neeta Bhushan had graced the occasion and paid handsome tribute to members of the Indian commu-

Award bestowed upon him by the President of India; Deepak Kant Vyas, Chairman of Redberri Global Corporation; Syed Hussain, Banking Manager of Wintrust Bank; Gulam Mustafa Faheem, CEO of Shalimar Banquets; Paresh Joshi, Vice President of Ramona Inc.; and Gurmeet Singh Dhalwan, CEO of Adbhut Entertainment. Two iconic highlights of the

A group of artists and the FIA Founder President Sunil Shah

The program started with the national anthems of both United States and India, sung by Ashley Singh and Natasha Trikha, respectively. In the traditional lamp lighting program, prominent community leaders joined the top brass of the FIA, including other founders of the organization like Rita Singh and Sunny Kular as well as Advisory Board Members. Later, sixteen artists from Kalashree Dance Academy took the audience into classic ballet mood. Titled "Game of Thorns", the performance was choreographed by Toral Chaudhary. Nine performers of SSR Chicago spiked up the tempo of the audience one notch up. Choreographer ChintuThottam must have been happy to witness their artists' performance. Mahijit Singh Virdi with his patriotic Bollywood songs churned up nostalgic emotions in the crowd. Giving the crowd relief from cultural programs, Moon Khan, one of the two Executive Vice

nity at large. "Whatever good points I heard about the Indian community of Illinois, I am delighted to witness them right here," she said. Among the elected officials who attended the event and also addressed the audience included Village President of Oak Brook, Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, State Senator Christina Castro, State Representative Michelle Mussman, and Mayor of Rolling Meadows Tim Vinbass. Frank Avila, Commis-

program were the fashion show presented by Shital Daftari, CEO of Saris and Things, and choreographed by Noman Khan. The surprise entry of Sunil Shah in the fashion show generated a large response. Another fascinating piece was an-hour long live musical entertainment show that was presented by Saregama Orchestra. Graceful and capable emceeing strategies of Alka Sharma, Sanjeev Singh & Sweta Bhagwakar got huge acco-

The new Indian Consul General Neeta Bhushan had graced the occasion and paid handsome tribute to members of the Indian community at large sioner of Water Reclamation District was also in the audience. FIA has a tradition of recognizing community leaders for their contributions to society. Plaques were given to Dr. Bharat Barai, a prominent Indian community leader and a recent recipient of the prestigious Bharat Pravasi Divas

lades. On behalf of the executive board of the FIA, Ninad Daftari thanked the guests, sponsors, dignitaries and elected officials. Onkar Sangha, Past President , thanked all the sponsors who displayed their support in the growth of FIA.


Community Across America

February 10, 2017

India Post 19

www.indiapost.com

OFBJP working for BJP victory in Amethi India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: OFBJP North California Leadership and Community Members met to discuss the upcoming Amethi elections in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has declared Rani Garima Singh as its Amethi candidate from the eponymous district. Community members were excited about the potential mobilization on the ground in Amethi and how this has fundamentally shifted the political equation in one of the most important constituencies in one of the most important state of India. The fight in Amethi is first about justice and honor; politics and votes come later. This election is about the development of Amethi. People want basic amenities - electricity, water, security and development, both social and economic. This will be the core of

the election campaign. We are going to work from within the government when elected to bring these to every man, woman, and child living in Amethi. The attendees committed to making a difference by mobilizing voter both through social media efforts and phone calls to voters in Amethi district. In the spirit of this objective some of the local community members will be visiting Amethi to assist with the intense voter mobilization needed to obtain a historic win for Rani Garima Singh and the ideals for which she has set out to run for the coveted Amethi constituency. Rani Garima Singh and others believe that the constituency has been left behind and the people have suffered under the past elected Member of Parliament. It is time for a historic change and a new leader to represent the people

of Amethi. Chandru Bhambhra welcomed community leaders and OFBJP volunteers. He said that the Chai

give their suggestions, one by one, for this noble cause. Bhrigu Raj Singh Jhabua said that there was no development in

in Rajya Sabha and hence BJP couldn't pass certain ordinance bills. Hence winning this large UP State is very crucial for BJP to gain

Pe Charcha meeting was called to celebrate the Nomination of Rani Garima Singh for Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh, India, who happens to be the mother of one of our local volunteers, Rajkumari Mahima Singh. He added that we all should join hands to help Rani Garima Singh in whatever way, so that she comes out victorious with large majority, that way making a big dent in this historical Congress bastion! BJP's win in Amethi will start a new era of BJP in UP. He asked all community leaders to

Amethi in last 60+ years. Congress and SP didn't do any development work while representing this constituency. He said Amethi seat was very prestigious for BJP. He requested all to actively participate in campaigning. Mahesh Pakala, a well know community leader, who successfully managed the Ro Khanna election campaign, also promised to do the same for Rani Garimaji. Ashok Bhatt said that we all should make Amethi as The BJP

more Rajya Sabha seats Krishna Kumar Pandey Ji, founder of Shiv Durga Temple in Sunnyvale, said we should be proud of our Hindu heritage. He said we should be thinking of BJP re-election until 2030 not only till 2019! Deepak Chhabra, Gen, Sec. of Fremont Temple and FOGSV also promised to support via Social media. Yogi Chugh, very well known community leader and FOGSV

fort. He added that Rani Garima Singh was a very simple and clean candidate. He said, Rani Garima Singh's win will be a stepping stone for BJP future in UP. Vijay Simha, Jt. Gen. Sec. of HSS(USA) said that if we all work hard to bring BJP to power in UP, BJP can do lot of developmental work as PM Modi ji did in last 2 years. Sanjay Tripathi Gen. Sec. HSS (Sambhag), suggested all to go to Amethi for campaigning if possible, it will be a phenomenal experience. Council Member Rishi Kumar said amongst all Indian political parties, BJP was the one he liked. He said we need to take care of people's needs and was confident that Garima Singh and BJP will be able to do so. Khanderao Kand, Founder of GITPRO and HSS National Karyakarini Sadasaya, said BJP has majority in Lok Sabha but not

Spokesperson said the critical nature of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and Amethi in particular requires an unprecedented mobilization of the voters. The Bay Area volunteers recognize that turning out the vote will make a huge difference for a potential BJP win and are committed to doing their part in this mobilization. Ankur Jain an IT Professional representing Isha Foundation also promised to help in Social Media marketing. Siddhartha Bhavsar, one of our volunteers, also promised to help with social media campaign. Another volunteer, Shivu Vibhuti gave some numbers from last election and said will actively participate in phone banking. Lalji Goswami, Shivu Vibhuti, Prabhu Patil, Gaurav Patwardhan, Raghu Reddy, Mahadev K., Amruth Murthy, Sunil Ganu, Dinesh Neelavar, Raghavendran N., S.T. Rajan were amongst the OFBJP volunteers present.

Minhaj counters criticism of R-Day celebrations

A section of the attendees at the FIA Banquet Cont’d from page 17

"It is also important to note that this was not a wedding with numbers attending getting counted. It had a different sanctity attached to it. We are happy to note that besides the dignitaries, 140 plus Chicago elites and our members found time to come to Addison town to participate in the threehour long celebrations. We salute

them." "I also want to point out that we clearly mentioned that no liquor would-be served and we stuck to our views. We also decided against serving any item that contains beef, respecting the sentiment of our Hindu and Jain brethren. Most of the items served were vegetarians. Another thing that needs to be pointed out that the food was courtesy Shalimar man-

agement and they did a real good job. We did not seek any donation," Minhaj pointed out. "FIA is one of the oldest community serving organizations with rich traditions. We may go wrong here and there but we make all endeavors to keep up our traditions. We invite healthy criticism but ill informed diatribes are not appreciated as they do not serve any purpose," Minhaj added.


Community Across America

20 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Hina pushed NRI cause with Indian leaders SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: A woman community activist and President of Chicago Indo-US Lions Club, Hina Trivedi made huge efforts to have a strong bridge between USA and India relationships through one to one meetings political leaders and dignitaries during her recent

visit to India. Hina Trivedi was invited as a Delegate to Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017 held in Bangalore in India wherein she could meet and talk with a good number of political big wigs including External Affairs top brass V.K.Singh and

Hina Trivedi with Haryana CM

M.J.Akbar, CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, CM of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh, CM of Haryana Manoharlal Khattar and CM of Arunachal Pradesh Takam Pario She took this opportunity to talk to them about the issues facing NRIs in general and a bit specifically about Indians living in USA. She also raised many issues visiting NRIs are facing during their visit to India and this covered the converting demonetized notes held by them She urged them to create more awareness about India and issues facing the country among 2nd and 3rd generation Indians through social, business and other prospective programs which in turn would lead them to be active in building strong future relationships between both the countries. She visited Pravasi Haryana Divas 2017 held in Gurgaon and Vibrant Gujarat 2017. She also attended various programs of International Associations of Lions Clubs in India. During her India visit, she also went to various cities and villages of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra , Delhi and Haryana and pitched for "Swacch Bharat Abhiyan" and helping poor children's living in slums or on streets with food and clothes.

Politics-economics divide could impact global growth

With street dwellers

Raja moves measure to uphold Paris Agreement NEELA PANDYA

WASHINGTON, DC: In the largest act of Congressional resistance to the Trump environmental agenda to date, Rep. Krishnamoorthy led 30 co-sponsors, including Rep MikeQuigley, who serves as Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC), in introducing a resolution calling on the Trump Administration to maintain the commitments the US has made to addressing climate change and demonstrating a dedication to renewable energy through the Paris

of denying this existential threat, and the economic potential of addressing it, or embracing the challenge before us through developing technology to ensure not only the health of our planet, but the enduring strength of our economy. If we abandon our commitments made in Paris, we will cede the leadership of the green economy to China and other nations." "The United States' participation in the historic Paris Agreement honors our nation's responsibility to be an active and ardent leader

PRAKASH M SWAMY

DOHA: Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing session on "Changing International Dynamics on Foreign Policies and Allied Opportunities" on January 29 at Doha Bank Tower Auditorium. The Chief Guest was Ranjan Mathai, former Indian Foreign Secretary and Indian High Commissioner to the UK. Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies Georgetown University also spoke at the event. The event was attended by diplomats and senior staff from major corporates in Qatar. Speaking at the event, Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave insight on the current global scenario. He said "According to IMF Jan 2017 global growth is expected to be at 3.1 percent. Advanced economies are now projected to grow by 1.9 percent in 2017. Emerging and Developing economies growth is currently estimated at 4.5 percent for 2017. We need to anticipate what policy shifts could do for the world's eco-

nomic outlook. There are risks associated with political uncertainty, trade frictions and adverse effects of a rising dollar. The capital rules for banking sector getting redefined and the financial markets are getting more volatile on account of the changing dynamics. Conten-

Ranjan Mathai

tious issues are coming between developed and developing world on global trade and investment. The lack of convergence between politics and economics could impact global growth. To-

day, there are 2.5 billion internet users. The digital economy is "the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth". We need to give people the tools to help them thrive in the digital economy. We're entering a new stage of international global relations where national policies could shape how globalization eventually develops." Ranjan Mathai gave insight into current global scenario and the changing diplomatic dynamics. He stated that the theme chosen for the evening was the right one in the light of the transformational changes that emerged in 2016. He described how the changing diplomatic interplay between the major powers of the world could lead to a new world order. In this context Mathai reflected on the debate regarding the pros and cons of globalization and the prospects of how policy shifts could affect the global economy. Cont’d on page 23

Rep Raja Krishnamurthy and Mike Quigley

Agreement. The resolution highlights rising global temperatures, including 2016's status as the hottest year on record, and the need for the country to address the enormous threat posed by climate change while embracing the economic potential of green technology. "The reality of climate change is not up for debate, and its consequences must not be either," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who introduced the resolution. "As a country, we face the choice

in the fight against climate change," said Rep. Quigley, Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition. "Despite the efforts of misguided climate change skeptics in the Trump Administration, we cannot renege on our duty to protect our shared global environment. Doing so would directly impact working families in Chicago and across the country by harming public health, hindering opportunities for economic activity and innovation, and threatening our national security."


February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

India Post 21


22 India Post

Community Across America

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Rochester honors Indian American Apte ROCHESTER: Mayor Ardell Brede of Rochester, Minnesota and Lt. Evenson of Rochester Police Department presented the prestigious community service medal of honor to Indian American and Houston resident Mandar Apte for building their leadership capacity for dealing more effec-

delegation was conceived and led by Mandar as part of the "From India With Love" initiative that he has started to expose America's civic leaders to India's ancient culture and to empower them to design solutions that can be implemented to stop the ongoing violence across America. "Thanks for the great experience in India but more importantly

a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012. "What a wonderful pilgrimage for the soul. I continue to be transformed" said Ron Davis upon his return from India. From India With Love is inspired by the transformative journey that was undertaken by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in 1959, when he had visited India to deepen his understanding of the

Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji (of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh) who guided the delegates with spiritual wisdom on how to develop compassion for all living beings (not just humans) and how to effectively deal with growing issues of violence in the United States. Nearly sixty years after Dr. King's trip to India, the senseless

pen in a neighborhood school, at a bar, in a movie theater or even at work. We are looking up to America's leaders to design innovative solutions that will restore hope, harmony and peace in the communities, neighborhoods and cities. Deeply pained by the ongoing violence prevailing in America, Mandar quit his day job in early

tively with the growing issue of violence and improve the quality of life in Rochester. Rochester is famously known for the Mayo Clinic - the world's #1 medical facility. Mayor Brede and Lt. Jim Evenson were part of a visionary delegation of leaders from across the United States who had traveled to India from Jan 24-31. The

thanks for the love that was shared. Tears have come from folks here at home when I have shared the stories" said Mayor Brede upon his return to Rochester. The delegation also included social activists, law enforcement officers from Florida as well as victims of gun violence including Ron Davis whose son, Jordan, was brutally murdered at

nonviolence (or ahimsa) principles as used by Mahatma Gandhi. During the trip, the participants learnt the Sudarshan Kriya meditation technique as taught by the Art of Living Foundation worldwide, attended Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary function (on Jan 30th). The delegates also had an intimate interaction with Pujya

violence across America continues - Baltimore, Orlando, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Dallas, Oakland, Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, Charlotte - the list goes on. Today, violence has become an epidemic in America and can affect everyone regardless of our social or economic status. For instance, a mass shooting can hap-

2016 (where he used to manage Shell's GameChanger social innovation investment program) to produce " From India With Love " - a documentary film that shows the real life story of transformation of a group of Americans (who have all suffered from violence) during their pilgrimage to India in search of solace, healing and transformation.

India Post News Service

DuPage Seniors celebrate Republic Day SURESH BODIWALA

CHICAGO: DuPage Senior Citizen Council organized 68th Republic Day Celebration at Shahi Banquets, North Avenue, Lombard IL. Local artists entertained the seniors and celebrated Republic Day. The program started

with US and Indian National Anthem. Prachi Jaitly, Director, Bollywood Arts Academy performed semi-classical dance on a Bollywood medley paying tribute to the legendary actresses Asha

DuPage Senior Citizen Council seniors with other leaders

Singer Ishaan Ahmed and Prachi Jaitly, Director, Bollywood Arts Academy performed semi-classical dance

Parekh and Saadhna. She performed on Raat Ka Sama, Khat Likh De Sawariya Ke Naam and Jhumka Gira Re. A famous local singer Ishaan

Ahmed sang patriotic songs like Ye deshhai veer jawanoka, Mere deshkidharti. Another singer, Avni Khanna sang beautiful numbers like Chalte Chalte from Pakeeza

and Dama dam mast kalander. Another local artist Hema Shastri danced on Yashomati Maiya se bole nandlala. Cont’d on page 23


Community Across America

February 10, 2017

India Post 23

www.indiapost.com

Nani attends Nenu Local premier in Milpitas Nenu Local is a youth entertainer that's entertaining at every point of its runtime because of the chemistry between Nani and Keerthy Suresh. In the film Nani is seen as a Mass hero and Keerthy Suresh adores the role of a college student. The chemistry between Nani and Keerthy Suresh is the talk of Tollywood and undoubtedly it's a must watch. Devi Sri Prasad's background scores and musicals will make us hum to the rhythm and feel the emotions in the second half.

India Post News Service

MILPITAS, CA: Natural Star Nani attended Nenu Local premiere show in Serra Theatre, Milpitas on 2nd of February. Naveen Babu Ghanta, better known by his nickname Nani, is a South Indian actor who stars in Telugu films and a few Tamil films. Nenu Local is an Action Romantic Telugu drama film starring Natural star Nani and Keerthy Suresh in lead roles. The film Nenu Local is written by Prasanna Kumar Bezawada and directed by Trinadha Rao Nakkina.

The premier show at Serra theaters was attended by over 600 Bay areans. Nani interacted with the audience during the show and addressed the media. "We host Tollywood stars and it is a double treat for the fans to meet their actors during the special show," said Raman Sanchula, owner of Serra and Town 3 cinemas. It is expected that the collections would cross Rs 20 cr share in a week. In US, the film crossed half million dollar mark and is racing towards one million mark.

Politics-economics divide Community mourns Vanitaben Patel could impact global growth SURESH BODIWALA

CHICAGO: Members of the Indian community gathered in large numbers at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory in Bartlett to pay their tribute to Vanitaben Atmarambhai Patel, mother of community activist Dr. Kamal Patel. Vanitaben, 80, passed away on Tuesday, January 31 in Chicago battling illness for the past 6 years. The funeral was held on Friday, February 3. Dr. Kamal Patel who was active in leadership role with the KPS (Kadva Patidar Samaj of Chicago) participated in leadership role with the KPS (Kadva Patidar Samaj of Chicago), FIA, and the Indian Medical Association of Illinois, said that "my mother was very spiritual, strong, kind, and a caring person and would do anything for everyone who needed her support. Despite hospitalizations, she fought her illnesses and lived a good and positive life

Cont’d from page 20

Vanitaben Atmaram Patel

Vandana Jhingan did an excellent job as the master of ceremony

and shared her last 15 years of memories with the family.

DuPage Seniors celebrate R-Day

Cont’d from page 22 Sunil Shah, Hitesh Gandhi and others with seniors in jovial mood

The program featured flag hoisting and cake cutting by the

founding president of FIA Sunil Shah. The entire program was very well coordinated by Moneek Khan.

The rapid growth in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries in South Asia is fueling change in the subcontinent's external ties. The Gulf region in particular, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia would have stronger ties with India. Mathai concluded by saying that nationalism which was now on upswing, would be in balance in years ahead since nationalism could not solve problems of unemployment, industrial decline etc as anticipated. Sooner or later there would be a need to push for a renewed world order based on cooperation on trade, investment and tracking global problems such as climate change. The allied opportunity in the current scenario are for countries

The dynamics of the key relationship between the US, China and Russia would have great influence over the course of many international relationships involving Japan and South East Asia, India, Europe and West Asia. He noted the continuing US primacy in the World economy citing its large share of the market capitalization of world bourses and its continuing role as safe haven for investors during period of uncertainty and change. He noted that China's extraordinary rise in the last 3 decades made it a beneficiary of the globalization policies. China is at an interesting phase with historically high growth rates, low slowing, persistent dependence on investment and slow transition Nationalism which was to a consumption/ services driver economy. now on upswing, would be China is nevertheless in balance in years ahead demonstrating confidence in its leadership since nationalism could as reflected in the not solve problems Davos Summit, its creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and societies to position themand its strategic development of selves to take advantage of the One Belt and One Road etc. change, and to invest in their ecoMathai also spelt out the impli- nomic and human resources. They cations of change in Russia and would be well placed to influence the EU. The US questioning North the emerging world order. American Free Trade Agreement Dr. Mehran Kamrava gave in(NAFTA) now had to decide on sight into the key developments the future of North Atlantic Treaty in the middle-east region and the Organization (NATO). This would shift in Qualitative Power since create alternate scenarios in Eu- early 2000, with new actors emergrope, which also faced a decisive ing. He also gave insight on role year with the forthcoming elec- of Qatar in last decade. He hightions in France and Germany ca- lighted the efforts of Iran to intepable of changing the EU as we grate with nations and measures such as Iran Nuclear deal. know it. The Vote of thanks was given He felt the Brexit policy of the government would go ahead; con- by Mr. Frank Hamer, Head of Incomitants Britain would back out ternational Banking Group, Doha to build stronger relationships in Bank which was followed by a the Gulf, South Asia and Africa. Question & Answer Session


24 India Post

Community Across America

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

CG Ashok leads R-Day celebrations in Bay Area

Community event and Reception by Indian Consulate on the occasion of Indian Republic Dayat ICC, Milpitas

At the Milpitas event, the evening began with singing of the national anthems of the two countries and reading out excerpts of the President's message on the

bassador Ashok said that the true beauty of India lies in its diversity. India is a country with collection of different views, cultures, sub-cultures people, and when we celebrate Republic Day we are actually celebrating this unity in di-

eve of the 68th Republic Day of India. Following this, Consul General Ashok welcomed the guests to the Republic Day celebrations and highlighted the notable achievements India has made in the past year. Addressing the gathering, Am-

versity. Ambassador Ashok also spoke about the non-resident Indians who are the real Ambassadors of India and they should also support the efforts in making India a global leader. He added India is turning 70 this year and talked about the work

Cont’d from page 16

done by the Consulate at SFO to convert PIO to OCIs, e-visas, open houses held at the office every fortnight to hear the grievances on visas and other related issues. The Indian Consulate, San Francisco will hold an "Open House" every fortnight starting from January 2017 to address the grievances of the people on issues related to visas, passports and OCI cards. The same will be held from 10 AM to 1 PM on the first Wednesday and 2 PM to 5 PM on the third Wednesday of every month w.e.f. January 2017. If these happen to fall on a holiday, the Open House will be held on the first working day thereafter. Complaints and grievances pertaining to grant of visas, passports and/or OCI cards will be attended to in the 'Open House'. Joining the Consul General were Senator Bob Wieckowski; Richard Tran, Mayor of Milpitas; Assembly member Ash Kalra; Savita Vaidhyanathan, Mayor of Cupertino; Rishikumar, Councilmember of Saratoga; Raj Salwan, Council member of Fremont and many other elected officials from all over Bay area. It was a nice and lavish event

with over 500 Bay Area's elite, businessmen and community members attending the nearly

three-hour event followed by a scrumptious dinner catered by Jalsa Catering.

Mandalas & abstract paintings by Bala India Post News Service

ADDISON, IL: "Dots & Lines" is an exhibition by Bala Thiagarajan showing her recent paintings of Mandalas and abstract animals. Born and brought up in India, Bala has a passion for colors and patterns that are inspired by the Indian culture. Her works of henna-inspired designs as Mandalas are an attempt to capture the ephemeral nature of these everyday art forms onto more enduring surfaces. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means circle - symbolizing the universe and the cosmos. Mandalas are ancient, sacred symbols of wholeness and are used for facilitating personal growth, healing, grounding and transformation. The intense repetition of pattern captures the atten-

tion of the viewers. All of Bala's paintings are created intuitively, painted freehand. "I add a mirror in the center of my mandala paintings as they are about centering oneself and regaining a balance" explains the artist. "They also allow the audience to be a part of the artwork themselves." Bala's paintings greet viewers with a sense of familiarity with repetitive patterns and reminding them of henna art, while simultaneously creating an excitement to explore more of the texture and geometry. All of her paintings have textured lines done in the style of henna body art and her color palette reflects the colors of silk and cotton saris worn by women in South India. Cont’d on page 25


February 10, 2017

Community Across America

India Post 25

www.indiapost.com

Kejriwal refuses to accept Indian-American to build 8 cricket stadiums Bhagwat Geeta D

r. Munish Raizada, convener of Chanda Bandh Satyagraha along with its volunteers went to CM residence to present Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta to Arvind Kejriwal, convener of AAP to protest fielding of 21 candidates with criminal background in just concluded Punjab assembly elections. While only Raizada and two other volunteers were allowed to go inside the premises, the rest of

the satyagrahis were forced to put down their banner and made to sit by the roadside. Although Kejriwal was available, he made Raizada and other volunteers to wait for too long and finally, denied to show up and take Geeta from them. It may be noted that out of 21 tainted candidates, nine

are booked under serious criminal charges like rape, murder, kidnapping and burglary. The activity was done at Kejriwal's residence to make him realize Bhagwad Geeta's key message about 'Karma'. Raizada says by fielding tainted candidates and hiding donors' list, the Chanda Chor gang of AAP was bent upon bringing bad Karma to the party and the public. Raizada quotes a tweet in which

Arvind Kejriwal cited one of the most important messages of Bhagwat Geeta- 'Karmanye Vadhikaaraste Ma Phalesha Kadaachana', which means 'do your job diligently and selflessly without worrying about the outcomes. God is watching and he will take care of it'. The denial to

Cap of Rs 2000 in political funding welcomed India Post News Service

CHICAOG: A Chicagoland based doctor leading Chanda Bandh Satyagrah against Aam Adami Party back home in India, Dr. Munish Raizada, has welcomed the decision of Finance Minister Arun Jaitely to cap cash political donation at 2000 per source. The decision of Finance Ministry to enhance electronic and digital mode of political donations will help curb use of black money in politics. Electoral bonds is also a welcome step in this regard. Raizada said that unregulated, undisclosed and opaque political funding is the root cause of corruption and reforms in political funding is the need of the hour.

Raizada is currently engaged in an internal battle with Aam Aadmi Party. He has been leading a Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (No List: No Donation campaign) against the party since December 2016.The Satyagraha is aimed at seeking a pledge from the public not to donate to AAP if it does not display its donor's list. AAP came into politics with a promise of 100 % transparency in political funding, but since June 2016, has scrapped the list of donors from its website. He says that the response has been great and in Delhi alone, more than 20,000 people have signed the pledge. After spending 20 days in Punjab, now the Satyagraha is back in Delhi again.

accept Geeta from us portrays his inner fears which he doesn't wanted to show before us. It's the fear from the truthful and courageous people. Raizada adds that the message Kejriwanl wanted to spread among the volunteers with this tweet has now vanished from his memory, so we are back to helping him in remembering that. The bad Karma he is doing now is definitely going to harness grave circumstances for him and the corrupt politicians of Aam Aadmi Party, because as the last line of this message goes, God is watching all of us. Raizada alleged that Aam Aadmi Party had become a master of deceit. "They are experts in camouflaging their corrupt practices with the emotional drama of playing victim and nonsensical blame-games. Their actions reveal their real interest. On one hand, they fielded 21 candidates in Punjab elections who come from the severe criminal background and on the other they promised the people of Punjab that they will bring better law and order in the state. "On one hand they are babysitting the Chanda Chor Gang inside the party, and on the other, they promise janta that they will put the corrupt politicians behind the bar. These are just few examples of the difference Aam Aadmi portrays between its deeds and words. Even the Income-Tax department came out with a report which strongly proves our point that Aam Aadmi Party has become a hub of corruption. Aam Aadmi Party is fooling the people of Punjab with the ideals and policies which they don't even follow. We want Kejriwal to understand that Karma has its way of justice, and it will be done very soon," says Raizada. Aam Aadmi Party came in the politics with two major promises, transparency in political funding and to end criminality in politics. But of late, the party has complied with corrupt practices by obliterating its promises and policies. Raizada is currently engaged in an internal battle with Aam Aadmi Party. He has been leading a Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (No List: No Donation campaign) against the party since December 2016. The Satyagraha is an ideological battle with the chanda chor gang of AAP. It aims to seek a pledge from the public not to donate to AAP if it does not display its donors' list.

WASHINGTON: An IndianAmerican cricket enthusiast has announced plans to build as many as eight cricket stadiums across the US at an estimated cost of USD 2.4 billion to professionalize the game in the country. The eight proposed stadiums, each having a capacity of 26,000

gest sports lovers in the world. Sports economy in the US itself is to the tune of USD 87 billion as compared to USD six billion in India. All these cricket stadiums in the US, Pandya said would be part of what he described as lifestyle centers which would comprise of

Jay Pandya (2nd from Left)

people in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and California, would create as many as 17,800 new jobs in the US, said Jignesh (Jay) Pandya, chairman of Global Sports Ventures. Gujarat-born Pandya is a real estate developer in the US and had been travelling across the globe with his two sons to watch popular international cricket matches. At most of these venues, me and my sons found the audience mostly from either India or the United States. "So there is a great market and readymade audience for cricket in the US," Pandya said. Americans, he said are the big-

high-rise residential complex, shopping centers, entertainment centers and office complexes. Pandya said the objective is to professionalize cricket in the United States by creating a league that allows athletes to compete at the highest level while providing fans and audiences the ability to enjoy the game at all these worldclass facilities. "This will be a strong foundation when the International Cricket Council (ICC) hosts any tournaments in line with its strategic framework for USA cricket, potentially hosting the ICC World Twenty20 in 2024," Pandya said. PTI

Mandalas & abstract paintings by Bala Cont’d from page 24

More recently, she has been working on combining her biology background in painting vibrant animals and shows her love for math in creating fractal based mandalas. This colorful and vibrant exhibit will be at Addison Center for the Arts Gallery, 213 N. Lombard Rd -Door 4 Addison , IL. 60101. Show runs from February 15 - March 17, 2017. Artist Reception is Saturday February 18, 2017 6-9 pm.

Addison Center for the Arts Gallery Hours - Wed. - Saturday 14pm.


Community Across America

26 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

More cities to show 'Growing Up Smith' NEW YORK: Due to an overwhelming response to advance ticket sales during opening weekend (February 3rd), the heartfelt family comedy Growing Up Smith, directed by Frank Lotito, and starring Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) and Anjul Nigam (Bad Words and True Detective), has been slated to release in several additional markets on February 10th, including Philadelphia, Hartford, Boston and Detroit. Here's what critics are saying about the coming-of-age Little Miss Sunshine meets My Girl family-friendly film: "The film has accidental topicality now with the debate over immigration swirling, but you don't need to burden it with politics to be touched by its tale of a child who is pulled by two very different cultural worlds." - New York Times Review

Fort Worth Star Telegram calls the film "charmingly amusing and surp r i s i n g l y timely...like an extended episode of 'The Wonder Years.'" "Growing Up Smith is a solid watch for kids of a certain age, or really anyone who has ever been a little bit different from those around them." - Josh H u r t a d o , ScreenAnarchy Distributed by Good Deed Entertainment and inspired by a true story set in the

year 1979, Growing Up Smith is about a family from India that moves to America with hopes of living the American Dream. While their 10-year-old boy, Smith, falls head-over-heels for the girl next door, his desire to become a "good old boy" propels him further away from his family's ideas than ever before. "In light of the recent immigration concerns in our country, this film highlights a positive immigrant experience in the late 70s and re-

minds us that love does not see race or creed," said Scott Donley, CEO & Founder of Good Deed Entertainment. Actor/Writer/Producer Nigam says that "the movie is a tribute to childhood heroes, first love and growing up in Small Town, America. We're proud to say that it's a film with no explosions, no profanity and no violence," which is the unspoken mantra at Nigam's production company, Brittany House Pictures.

Leaf Group insults India deities HARJIT BANGA

SANTA MONICA, CA: Greatly taking selfies with two cellupset at disparaging display of phones, "Durga Carrying Tiger" Hindu deities, members of the In- instead of traditional riding on the dian community have strongly tiger, Ganesha holding cowboy pitched and urged the Santa lasso, cartoonish Lakshmi, Monica (California) headquartered Ganesha in cropped trousers, etc.; Leaf Group Limited to immediately highly trivialized the greatly rewithdraw some of the products vered Hindu deities. There was a sold on its marketplace Society6 print of Hindu Sloth also. that mock-distort-disrespect variOther products, deemed disreous Hindu deities. spectful by Hindu devotees, inDubbing this as highly inap- cluded: yoga mats, bed sheets, propriate and disgusting and dis- rugs and duvet cover depicting respectful Rajan Zed, President of Hindu deities Shiva, Balaji Vishnu, Universal Society of Hinduism Ganesha, Krishna, Durga, and Madhu Patel, President of Saraswati, Parvati, Radha and NRI Press Club, have urged the Manasa Devi; Rajan Zed stated. Board Chairman James R. Quandt Leaf Group Limited, listed in and Chief Executive Officer Sean New York Stock exchange, claims Moriarty to offer a formal apology. to be "a diversified Internet comRajan Zed said that depicted pany that builds platforms across Hindu deities-Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Krishna, Durga, Lakshmi, Kali, Saraswati, Parvati, Radha, Manasa Deviare highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be mocked at or to put your feet on or touch with your feet or sleep on. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or Disrespecting image of Lord Ganesh other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful. its media (eHow and Zed pointed out that products livestrong.com) and marketplace like Kali as "Mistress of Chaos", (Society6 and Saatchi Art) propShiva as cartoon character erties to enable communities of Popeye, Lakshmi like a belly- creators to reach passionate audidancer, Kali as "Collie Kali" with ences in large and growing dog-face and dog-feet, "Funky lifestyle categories". Society6, Female Shiva", "Pink Krishna", which claims millions of "products "mutant Ganesh", Shiva with a from Wall Art and Apparel to Tech nose-ring, Krishna as skate- Accessories and Home DĂŠcor" boarder, "Ganesh Loves Selfies - designed by "artists from around Two at a Time!" showing Ganesha the world", was founded in 2009.


February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

India Post 27


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Zaalima: Raees 2 The Humma Song: OK Jaanu 3 Laila: Raees 28 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

"STUPID" to head to the West at a time when their theatre business is crashing. In her opinion, entertainment in Asia is on a strong ground - much like what Hollywood was about 15 years ago

A

t a time when a number of Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor have packed their bags and headed to Hollywood for film projects, one can only wonder if feisty star Kangana Ranaut also has similar plans in mind. In a recent interview with a daily, the actress put forth her views about Hollywood endeavors. Kangana deemed it "stupid" to head to the West at a time when their theatre business is crashing. In her opinion, entertainment in Asia is on a strong ground - much like what Hollywood was about 15 years ago. Stating that it is a good time for movies in Bollywood, the 'Rangoon' star made it clear that she won't "fall prey" to the Hollywood bait. Kangana also added that she won't offer herself "on a platter to another industry".

"The biopic that Rajkumar Hirani is making will teach you something. It will talk about human flaws, the emotional father-son story (between Sanjay and the late Sunil Dutt), his relationship with his best friend, with the women in his life

F

rom stardom to substance abuse to his time in jail, Sanjay Dutt's life would be panned out in his biopic, exactly as it happened, which will also serve as a lesson for the youth, reveals Ranbir Kapoor who plays Dutt in the upcoming flick. In an interview with Filmfare, Ranbir said, "The biopic that Rajkumar Hirani is making will teach you something. It will talk about human flaws, the emotional father-son story (between Sanjay and the late Sunil Dutt), his relationship with his best friend, with the women in his life. It's emotional,

it's funny, it's sad, it's bittersweet. The youth have a lot to learn from his mistakes." "Sanjay's lived his life. He owned up to his mistakes, he's paid the price for it. He's been through much. his mother (the late Nargis Dutt) passing away just before the premiere of his film, drug abuse, being labeled a terrorist, his failed marriages, the grind of punishment... We're not trying to project Sanjay Dutt in any way, it's not a propaganda film," Ranbir asserts.

4 Enna Sona: OK Jaanu 5 Dangal - Title Track: Dangal 6 Kaabil Hoon: Kaabil 7 Dhaakad : Dangal 8 OK Jaanu: OK Jaanu 9 Udi Udi Jaye : Raees 10 Bawara Mann: Jolly LLB 2

S

he is synonymous with intense, power-packed performances. But now, Tabu is all set to explore a genre she is not usually associated with - comedy. The actress is the latest star addition to 'Golmaal Again', the upcoming installment of Rohit Shetty's hit franchise 'Golmaal'. "I wasn't shocked or surprised when I was offered the film. I have always loved the 'Golmaal' series and was quite excited about being a part of it. Ajay (Devgn) is a friend and I also know the remaining cast, and working with friends is always wonderful." Told she looks too serious to be part of a comedy, and she says, "Nobody can laugh all the time. People close to me know my funny side. Also, comedy is one of my favorite genres." By her own admission, Tabu laughs very easily. "I remember watching 'Om Shanti Om' at a theatre in Hyderabad. My sister was watching the same show with her friends and she didn't know that I was there. In the middle of the film, she called to ask if I was in the theatre, too. When I asked her how she found out, she said that she could hear my laughter. I love to be around people, who have a good sense of humor."


Bollywood

February 2017 February 10, 3, 2017

www.indiapost.com

F

S

unny Leone, who is basking in the appreciation coming her way for her special song Laila main laila in Shah Rukh's latest release Raees, says she is under no pressure to pick her next project. She understands that not every project can be as big as Raees. "I take everything as it comes. Not every moment is what it is at this very current time. I wish it could be. So, I wish and pray that every project be as big as this one, but obviously it is not mostly the case," Sunny says. "I pick them always (on basis of) what I have always felt, except now I have a whole team o f people advising me... So many things go into choosing a film now."

"I take everything as it comes. Not every moment is what it is at this very current time. I wish it could be. So, I wish and pray that every project be as big as this one, but obviously it is not mostly the case,"

arhan Akhtar plays director Homi Adajania's character in the quirky comedy 'The Fakir of Venice'. The unusual experiences and life events of Adajania, who has helmed films dlike 'Finding Fanny' and 'Cocktail', will be shown in the upcoming film. Directed by Anand Surapur, the film also stars Annu Kapoor, Kamal Sidhu, Italian actress Valentina Carnelutti and German actor Mathieu Carriere. In the movie, Farhan, as a production executive, gets an unusual assignment to find an Indian holy saint who could stay under sand with only his hands visible outside. He accepts the impossible task of finding one and ends up meeting Annu's character for the task and thus, begins a journey to Venice.

N

ewbie Disha Patani says she prefers to not go to Bollywood parties and industry gossip does not interest her. The 24-year-old actress, who made her debut with 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story', says she finds it tough to gel around with people and feel "awkward" in social gatherings. "I don't attend film parties, I am anti-social, I don't drink also. Because I don't go out, I don't know what's happening, gossip wise. I feel very awkward in that area. Whenever I am working or training, I feel good," Disha said. The actress said she is shy and if not working, she likes to be at home with her group of friends. "I am very shy. The only time I go out is for award functions and may be interviews. Because, this is part of my profession and I have to do it. Otherwise, I stay in my house or attend some classes," she added.

India Post 29


30 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

BMW Display

Anjolie Ela Menon

In vibrant hues of yellows, pinks and blues, the oil on canvas portrait by Caur showcases spirituality transcending into love, which the artist believes has the power to offset the negativity in the world. For city-based Art Heritage gallery which sought to promote modern Indian art with their collection at the fair, the sales were "not up to the mark" but the gallery director says they were "happy" with the response from the art collectors as well as other visitors. Amal Allana, director of the Art heritage gallery, said that fairs like IAF help the galleries to understand the dynamics of the Indian art market in a better way.

Anila Quayyum Agha

KRISHAN SHARMA India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: The ninth edition of the India Art Fair held early this month served as a potent platform for galleries to gain exposure and establish networks with their foreign counterparts, despite recording "low sales". From a rare 1940 set of three sketches by modernist painter Syed Haider Raza and M F Husain's oil on canvas titled "Village Women" (1960) to a portrait of a yogi by Arpana Caur and Jitish Kallat's contemplative drawings, the India Art Fair here showcased both modernists and contemporary artists at their best Works from the "Yogi" series by Arpana Caur, one of the leading contemporary women artists of the country were displayed at the booth by Gallerie Navya, which has curated a show titled, "KAIROS" for the fair.

"It is important to understand the dynamics of marketing while selling the art pieces or projecting them in front of the audience. We are learning many things in the process through such fairs," she says. Meher Kalra of Gallerie Navya sees demonetization a major reason behind low sales in comparison to the business the gallery did last year. "Although people have appreciated a good mix of both modern as well as contemporary art works but due to demonetization the response of the buyers has been slightly low. "There have been fewer buyers compared to last time. Also such fairs can't be seen only with the expectation of making sales. Rather it is an opportunity to market and project our collections," says Kalra. The edition this year focused on art from South Asia, including countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The fair also presented 16 specially-curated art projects by artists like Sudarshan Shetty, Reena Saini Kallat among others. Payal Vadehra from city-based Vadehra Art Gallery says the fair has been "good" for the Indian art market and that they drew satisfactory sales. Cont'd on Page 33

Gun and Gods painting on canvas by GR Iranna

Sanjay Bhattacharya


February 10, 2017

India Post 31

Iulia Vantur makes Indian runway debut "I love my outfit, I haven't worn a short dress in the longest time. The last time I wore a short dress I was very young." When asked if Salman should have been there to support her on her Indian runway debut, Iulia said, "No. Why should he?" Even though the 51-year-old star did not attend the show, many of his friends were present at the event. Sooraj Pancholi, Daisy Shah, Elli Avram, and ex "Bigg Boss" contestants like Sambhavna Seth, Sonali Raut, Sushant, Karishma Tanna, VJ Andy were part of the show either on the ramp or made it to the guest list. Iulia said that she loves fashion and music but has no plans to act in films. "No, I don't want to do films. My passion is music." -PTI

MUMBAI: Iulia Vantur may have been regular on the ramp in Romania, but the model made her India runaway debut last night when she turned showstopper for clothing brand Splash at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017. Incidentally, superstar Salman Khan, who is rumored to be dating Iulia, is the brand ambassador of the Middle East's largest fashion retailer. "It was great. I was nervous. It was my first experience walking the ramp in India and it is special. It is a special brand. I like the clothes a lot. I am happy to be called on this show," Iulia told reporters. The model-singer was wearing a short black dress and she says she hasn't worn one in almost a decade.

Collection of candid portraits by Raghu Rai RAJAN SHARMA

F

ilmmaker Satyajit Ray cap tured on camera on the sets of Bengali film 'Ghare Baire' is among a slew of portraits assembled by ace photographer Raghu Rai in his new book aptly titled 'People'. Ray's photograph in black and white considered to be a masterpiece has a story behind it, reveals Rai. "He lay down on the same bed, smoking his pipe, on which his heroine was sitting and I took some pictures from the front. "Then I moved towards the other side from where you could only see his back and I realized the lighting was very dramatic. You could see the adjoining room through the door and there were spectacular shadows falling on the wall," says the photographer. The images in the book, published by Aleph, reveals moments and people in both candid and staged and describe Rai's inexplicable sense to capture the truth of the person through his lens. Apart from portraits of film personalities and celebrities captured in shining black and white in their most candid expressions, the book also contains a compilation of Rai's best photographs of people. The pictures, he says, were taken for specific magazines or newspaper assignments and as Rai says have

happened as "a result of spontaneous magic." "When I take a person's portrait, I am trying to capture the aura of that person. I am trying to get the truth of that person to emerge

in the photographs," he says. "My portraits of musicians in the book looked strong because they all were a candid study of them. M S Subbulakshmi's portrait was taken when she was performing.

Bismillah Khan's portrait was taken when he was in jugalbandi with Vilayat Khan," Rai writes. The photographer who has won many international as well as national accolades including the Padma Shri, describes images o f people in black and white vividly and refers to shoot pictures in the s a m e shades. "I prefer to take portraits in black and white. Color makes for very average portraits. In black and white, the grey tones, highlights and contrasts that you are able to create enable you to bring out the strength of the expression in a person's eyes or face," he writes. Rai describes his interest to click ordinary people and men-

Priorities change after kids: Padma Lakshmi MUMBAI: Model-actress-author Padma Lakshmi feels fashion priorities change after having kids and says first two years after her daughter was born she cared least about her clothes.

Padma, 46, who gave birth to her daughter Krishna in 2010, says after embracing motherhood she had to learn to dress according to her "new body type". When asked does fashion take backseat for many women after

having kids, Padma told PTI, "Your priorities change. For the first two years after Krishna was born I could have cared less what I was wearing. Luckily there was a whole wardrobe department on the show to take care of that for me. "Your body changes, weird things happen that you aren't expecting and you have to learn to dress for your new body type." The American TV personality says after giving birth to her little girl she took almost a year to get back into shape as taking care of her daughter was more important for her than looking good. "I wasn't one of those girls, who lose all the baby weight right away. It took me a whole year to get back into shape and that was just fine with me because I was doing something much more important than looking good; I was feeding my daughter."-AP

tions some of the public figures which he enjoyed photographing. "I liked taking pictures of Indira Gandhi early on in her career, later as a result of growing security concerns; she became a bit distant and photographing her wasn't as much fun," he says. "I suppose my all time favorite among people I have shot is Dalai Lama. I have never met God but I have no hesitation in saying that Christ/Buddha/Nanak must have been like Dalai Lama," Rai writes while describing his passion to shoot the Dalai Lama. Rai does not detest the new "selfie" phenomenon, but describes it as only mere "fun".

"Today, unfortunately, the age of the selfie has destroyed the art of portrait photography," he writes. "These cell phones have wide angle lens which distort perspective. In order to take a good portrait you have to use a lens that does not distort perspective. Selfies are fun, but as portraits they are just silly." The images in the book are not only asserting but tries to stamp themselves immediately on the viewer's gaze. Rai wraps up his compilation of portraits asking the viewer to look for the essence of whichever person has been photographed, rich or poor, famous or anonymous.-PTI


32 India Post

February 10, 2017 www.indiapost.com

More women eager to run for office DENVER: Lucy Sedgwick was already thinking about running for office. The 28-year-old has been working in political advocacy and organizing since she finished college. She's passionate about the environment, public education and reducing student debt. In September, she started an application for a program that trains women who want to run for office. She didn't think she'd finish the application. Until Nov. 9. ``I wish I could say it was Hillary that inspired me to apply,'' said Sedgwick, a Denver Democrat. ``The day after the election, I thought to myself, well, there need to be more people, more elected officials out there, who work for all of their constituents - not just the ones who voted for them.'' For some women - particularly those who are upset about the election results - there's a clear answer to the question of what to do next, and what to do following the Women's March: Run for office. It's hard to say now whether that will come to fruition, reported The Denver Post. But two organizations that help women with the ins and outs of running for office for the first time say they're seeing increased interest - from more people watching how-to-run courses online to more women applying to an intensive program for campaign prep, and even to simple requests for a meeting for a cup of coffee and conversation about the idea of maybe running for office. It appears to be a Democratic movement, though one observer said political engagement in gen-

After the election, Sedgwick finished the application and was accepted to a six-month program with Emerge Colorado. Emerge is a national organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for local and state races - and then run again for a higher office. Emerge Colorado expanded its program this year due to greater demand, said executive director Jenny Willford. More than 60 women applied. ``I think we had probably 40 full applications last year.'' The application process ended in November, but interest is growing now, she said. ``It's been incredible since the Women's March,'' Willford said. ``We have had so many women emailing, saying, `What do I do next?' So many women are saying they want to run for office.'' ``I've never seen anything like this,'' she said. ``It feels like there's a movement, something building.'' Vote Run Lead, a nonpartisan organization that helps women run for office, saw a sharp uptick in traffic after the election, said Faith Winter, mentoring director for the organization and a Democrat serving as representative for House District 35. Vote Run Lead runs webinars on various topics, including how to run for office. ``Before the election, we'd have 30 to 40 women online for clinics,'' Winter said. ``And after the election, we've had 450.'' ``That's just our web clinics,'' she added. They run training sessions in multiple cities including Denver.

`It's been incredible since the Women's March,'' Willford said. ``We have had so many women emailing, saying, `What do I do next?' So many women are saying they want to run for office.'' eral also has increased on the far right. Colorado has had neither a female governor nor a U.S. senator. But the state has more women in legislation than most. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 percent of Colorado's legislators are women. Only Vermont, at 40 percent, has a higher percentage of women in the legislature. Women outnumber men among Democrats at the Colorado statehouse, at 51 percent, while women account for 23 percent of Republicans.

``I have a lot of women who want to sit down and have coffee and ask questions,'' Winter said. ``So keeping up with it has been hard, but also exciting. . Seeing this amount of energy and passion and dedication to democracy - I've been waiting for this.'' But for all the interest Winter and Willford are seeing, political consultant Debbie Brown said she's not seeing much buzz among Republican women. ``There's more engagement on the far right and the far left, where people will be digging in their heels and wanting to run for office.''

``At Colorado Women's Alliance, we're putting on a How to Run for Office 101,'' Brown said. ``And I'll be curious to see how many women come to the training.'' Will more women run for office in the next few years? Brown is waiting to see. ``I'm not sure how it will land. (But) I've always been of the belief that women have a wonderful role to play in public policy and the public square, and

fice, ``most women need to be asked seven times before they'll finally do it,'' she said. ``Frankly, a lot of people were asking me if I'd thought about running for office,'' she said with a laugh. She might run for a school board seat, she said, but she hasn't decided yet. Studies have shown that men are more likely to be recruited to run, and women are less likely

Voters hold men and women to different standards, too, Willford said. ``They will forgive a man for being unlikable and unqualified. But they don't forgive a woman for being unlikable and unqualified. She has to have both of those qualities for voters to vote for her.'' we need more of them.'' Historical trends Historically, there has been an increase in the number of women running for office in the US. ``When institutions are seen as non-representative and hostile toward women,'' said Celeste Montoya, an associate professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. One of the classic examples of this is Anita Hill's testimony at the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, she said. ``The visual of having this panel of all older white men questioning Anita Hill and asking her some troubling and hostile questions about sexual harassment - that alone was enough to motivate women to run for office in record numbers,'' Montoya said. The big turnout for the Women's Marches was interesting to watch in part because simply saying that ``women's issues'' are under attack doesn't get at the diversity of women in the U.S. - and therefore doesn't necessarily mobilize large groups of women, she said. Women who are more privileged might not be as affected by certain issues. For example, she said, ``The debate on the Affordable Care Act doesn't touch them. Birth control, if you're in a more privileged socioeconomic position, it doesn't affect you. But when you reach across those lines, then you see bigger mobilization.'' Challenges ahead Sedgwick, who started Emerge Colorado's training program in January, always thought she would be on the other side of politics. She has trained other people to run for office but hadn't considered it herself until recently. There's an idea in politics that when it comes to running for of-

to see themselves as qualified to run, Montoya said _ even though ``when women run for office, they tend to be just as successful as men.'' Then there's the challenge of raising a family, having a career and running for office at the same time. Men and women with children tend to be held to dif-

ferent standards, Willford said. ``If a woman brings her kids to the office at the (legislature), people say, `Why didn't she get a babysitter?' If a man does it, they say, `Oh, what a good dad!''' Voters hold men and women to different standards, too, Willford said. ``They will forgive a man for being unlikable and unqualified. But they don't forgive a woman for being unlikable and unqualified. She has to have both of those qualities for voters to vote for her.'' But if this election was about change, then perhaps changes are coming on this front as well. Former Boulder County Commissioner Josie Heath said she has seen an increase in women wanting to run for office lately, too. She wonders if the last election will spur a different mindset for women who want to pursue an elected office. ``I think the presidential race turned everything on its head _ you don't necessarily have to have experience. And I hope that works for women as well, because I think there will be some terrific ones.''-AP

Hrithik Roshan to donate eyes

H

rithik Roshan celebrated his 43rd birthday on Janu ary 10 amid friends and family. But what you don't know is that he made another noble gesture on his birthday - the actor pledged his eyes. This comes close on the heels of 'Kaabil' where Hrithik plays a visually-challenged man. Turns out, Hrithik fully understood the plight of the blind during the filming of the movie. The light-eyed actor was so deeply affected that he decided to pledge his eyes on his big day. Talking about the same, Dr. S Natarajan of Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital said, "I saw the trailer of 'Kaabil', and I called Rakesh Roshan and asked if Hrithik would pledge his eyes. I was pleasantly surprised when Rakesh told me that Hrithik is already planning to do so. When I spoke to Hrithik, he told me he would like to celebrate his birthday by pledging his eyes and giving the gift of sight." Interestingly, Hrithik had not revealed the news until now as he didn't want it to appear as a promotional gimmick for 'Kaabil'. Revealing the same, Dr Natarajan said, "Although Hrithik pledged

his eyes on his birthday, he requested us not to publicize this as he did not want to make this about promoting 'Kaabil'. Now that 'Kaabil' is a great success, we would like to use this news to encourage the public to pledge their eyes and share the light and follow Hrithik's example." Hrithik and Yami Gautam had spent a lot of time with visually challenged people as part of their

preparation for 'Kaabil'. It was during this time that Hrithik learnt how unilateral corneal blindness has affected a large number of the population. According to NPCB, the number of individuals with unilateral corneal blindness in India is expected to increase to 10.6 million by 2020. To treat them, 200,000 corneas in a year will be required, but only 45,000 are collected. Hrithik's pledge is a step ahead in the campaign to motivate people to donate their eyes.


February 10, 2017

India Post 33 www.indiapost.com

More women leaders in US police LOS ANGELES: When Anne Kirkpatrick took the helm at the scandal-ridden Oakland Police Department, she inherited an agency that the city's mayor likened to a frat house. The veteran police officer knew she inevitably would be asked what it's like to combat the culture as one of a growing number of women heading police departments, many struggling to repair their public image. ``What I will tell you is that I am a leader,'' she said at a news conference announcing her appointment, listing qualities Oakland wanted in its police chief. ``Those character traits are not gender-based. Those are leadership-based,'' Kirkpatrick said. Female police officers tend to use wits over brawn to deescalate potentially violent situations, experts say, and as departments shift their focus to nonviolent techniques, it's natural they would tap more women as leaders. ``A lot of police chiefs say women had a profound impact on the culture of policing,'' said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank. ``They bring their own set of skills to a traditionally male-dominated culture, and that is very helpful.'' Still, the number of women leading police departments pales in

comparison to their male counterparts. Of the nation's 50 largest police departments, only five are led by women. A 2013 survey conducted by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives found just 169 women leading the more than 1,500 police departments, sheriff's offices and

``There are still a lot of agencies that you see there are no females in even supervisory or command-level positions,'' Layman said. But as major cities continue to promote women to their top cop posts, Layman believes others will follow suit.

Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs holds a news conference about the police shooting of a 13-year-old boy who pulled a BB gun from his waistband just before he was shot and killed by police investigating an armed robbery report, in Columbus, Ohio.

other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. that responded. ``It's very pleasant to see some of these female chiefs across the country,'' said Dawn Layman, the group's president and a major in the Lenexa, Kansas, Police Department. Still, she says, there's much work to do.

``I think females just bring something different to the table,'' she said. ``The goal is to diversify the table. We don't want a cookiecutter. We learn more, we bring more to the table when it is diverse.'' Decades ago, female officers faced a much different atmosphere

_ there were public protests over them, men refused to ride with them, and many were forced to file lawsuits to ascend the ranks. While the protests have long subsided and the culture has changed within police departments, women still represent only a fraction of the country's police officers. ``If you go back, policing for a long time was predominantly male and predominantly white,'' said Wexler, of the police think tank. ``Over the years, we've seen a tremendous increase in diversity and a tremendous increase of women officers.'' He added research shows female officers tend to use communication to help diffuse potentially volatile situations, a technique many police departments are now shifting their focus toward. ``For women officers, this tends to come to them naturally,'' Wexler said. ``I think departments who have had a lot of experience hiring women recognize how invaluable they are in diffusing contentious situations.'' The first generation of female

'Aamir dream of every newcomer'

Best of art at Delhi Fair A Cont'd from Page 30

"A lot of people have come and appreciated our collection. We have been consistently doing well at the fair. IAF plays a unique role in the art circuit because they also do a lot of work to

Krishen Khanna

promote art with their outreach programs, presenting art to people who would not normally go to a gallery to see it. It does very good for bringing art to the public whether it is to a buyer or just a viewer," she says. The art pieces by artist Jagannath Panda and sculptor Riyas Komu at their booth have garnered a lot of interest amongst visitors, she says. Crayon Art Gallery which displayed works by modernist artist like Syed Haider Raza and M F Husain, says the fair has been "unique" since the gallery witnessed an influx of a

lot of foreign buyers. "We had several new international buyers coming from the United States of America. We also got several architects and interior designers at our booth who are helping people recreate and renovate their homes. They have been recommending art to their customers. "It is a really good sign for marketing art since many new collectors will emerge," says Amit Vadhera from the gallery. For him, the event serves as an important platform for new buyers since they feel less intimidated than visiting an art gallery. While asserting about the role of gallery directors at such fairs, Shireen Gandhy, owner of Mumbai- based Chemould Prescott Road gallery says, "At fairs, there is always this advantage that the gallery directors and assistants are always present in the fair to answer queries of curious viewers as well as collectors and guide them about the art works they display". -With inputs by PTI

chiefs was in smaller police forces, including several university police departments, said Dorothy Moses Schulz, a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of New York. In the past few years, she said, there appeared to be an uptick in women rising to the top of larger departments. The public expects many of them to be able to reform departments with poor public images just because they're women, she said. ``They are supposed to be the healers. It's a terrible burden,'' said Schulz, whose work includes two books on women in policing. ``I don't think that's based on any solid research; I think that's based on a feeling that it is going to set a different tone.'' Schulz added more female officers are applying for upper-level jobs today than years ago, and they have a better chance of being selected. ``Mayors don't have to feel like they are going out on a limb. Even if it is not common, it's common enough you're not risking your reputation,'' she said.-AP

ctor Tiger Shroff says The 26-year-old actor is now while all the three Khans, gearing up for his forthcoming Shah Rukh, Salman and movie "Munna Micheal" which Aamir are different from each also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui. other, the latter keeps on inspiring "The shooting is going good. We newcomers with his work. Tiger have completed 60-70 percent of says it is a dream of every artist to it. It is a very wonderful story. share the stage with Aamir. There is action, dance. It is an en"All the Khans are very differ- tertaining film for the whole fament from each other. They have ily," Tiger said. their own unique charm. As for The evening also saw Hrithik Aamir Khan, he keeps raising the standard with every film. For an artist like me or a newcomer Tiger Shroff like me, we can only look up to that and dream 'when will that be us someday,'" Tiger told reporters last night. "There's so much to learn from him. He is the encyclopedia of acting. Very honored to be a part of the same in- Roshan winning the 'Most Styldustry as him," he added. The ish Superstar' award and Tiger said "Baaghi" star was speaking at it is well deserved. "I am not at all 'Lokmat Maharashtra's Most Styl- stylish. For me style is a state of ish Awards' in Mumbai. Tiger re- mind and individuality‌ Hrithik is ceived 'Most Stylish - Actor' while very deserving of this award. He Sonam Kapoor bagged the most is a very stylish man in everything stylish Actress award. he does."


In Brief DHS watchdog to review travel ban WASHINGTON: A watchdog at the US Department of Homeland Security will review implementation of President Donald Trump's controversial executive order instituting a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. The review was "initiated in response to congressional requests and whistleblower and hotline complaints", the Office of Inspector General said in a statement. It said the review would include an examination of "DHS's adherence to court orders and allegations of individual misconduct on the part of DHS personnel." The review follows widespread protests over Trump's move that invited criticism and outrage at home and from abroad. "As a result of confusion and conflicting guidance, the ban snared green card holders and people with valid visas alike. Some travelers who were in the air when Trump signed the order weren't able to enter the country when they landed. Some were detained. Others were sent back to where they flew in from," CNN reported. In a significant blow to Trump, a US judge issued an emergency order staying deportations for people who have arrived in America with valid visas from seven Muslim-majority nations but were detained on entry due to the controversial immigration ban. But despite the outcry, Trump defended his controversial decision, insisting that it is "not a Muslim ban" as is "falsely" reported by the media. -PTI

„

US citizen, Yemeni wife held up in Malaysia

DETROIT: A man who runs a Detroit gas station says he's stuck in Malaysia with his wife, a native of Yemen, after President Donald Trump's travel ban on some immigrants. Nagi Algahaim says Malaysia Airlines prohibited his wife from boarding a flight on the first leg of a trip to the U.S. They have been in Malaysia for weeks to get documents that will qualify Kokab Algazali for permanent residency in the U.S. Algahaim is a U.S. citizen. He says the airline will allow him to return to the U.S., but he's not leaving without his wife. Algahaim tells The Associated Press he's ``disgusted.'' Their 5year-old daughter, Lena, is with relatives in Detroit. She has health problems and hasn't seen her mother since she was 8 months old. -AP

Immigration

Trump refusing to accept refugee deal with Australia

34 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

Details on page 37

Indian Americans launch communitywide effort against ban WASHINGTON: Two IndianAmerican lawmakers along with two former top Obama Administration diplomats have launched a community-wide effort to oppose the "unlawful, unconstitutional, and un-American" executive orders that impacts the immigrant community in the US imposed by President Donald Trump on seven Muslim countries. The lawmakers - Pramila Jayapal and Raja Krishnamoorthi - joined by former Obama Administration officials and top IndianAmerican leaders urged the community to stand united and fight jointly against these executive orders. The news conference was organized by Asian American Pacific Islander Victory Fund (AAPI). Jayapal has emerged as one of the national figures in fight against executive orders that impact the immigrant community in the US. "Last week's executive orders on immigration has thrown the country to chaos," she said, adding that Trump's attack on immigrant and refugees community ig-

nored everything that is great about this country. "This is not normal and it is not constitutional. It also makes us far less safe as a country," she said, noting that the executive orders

lashed out at Republican Hindu Coalition for supporting the executive orders. "Today a group calling itself as Republican Hindu Coalition has announced its support for un-

Pramila Jayapal and Raja Krishnamoorthi

give fodder to those who do want to harm America. "It undermines our place in the world as a global compassionate democratic leader," she said as she

American executive orders. And to them I would say, shame. Shame for trying to divide the IndianAmerican community. As a Hindu, I can tell you that this group does

not represent the much much larger Indian American community that honor our birth country's commitment to religious freedom and democracy," Jayapal said. Indian-Americans, she said, "will not be bullied" by this President or any group that seems to divide the community. "The Republican Hindu Coalition does not represent us. As Indian Americans, I can tell you, we believe deeply in pluralism, in freedom of religion, in freedom of speech and in a democratic diverse society," Jayapal said. The executive order issued by Trump is "an assault on the United States constitution. It hurts economy and working families and it divides Americana and not unify them," said Krishnamoorthi, the lawmaker from Illinois. Cont'd on Page 38

No executive order coming on H-1B: Shalli WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has no plans to come out with an executive order on H-1B visas, a prominent Indian-American donor and supporter of the US President claimed, contradicting media reports that have generated anxiety in India. "There will be a need of more H-1B visas. The number of people on H-1B from India is certainly going to increase," Chicago-based Shalabh 'Shalli', Kumar and head of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told reporters at a news conference. Responding to a volley of questions, Kumar claimed that contrary to the reports in the media, there is no executive order being worked upon by the White House on H-1B visa. For the American economy to grow, IT would have to play an important role.

"As such I visualize need of more IT workers in the US," he said, adding that the US has huge shortage of IT workers which can be filled up only by Indian IT pro-

Shalabh Shalli

fessionals. Of the view that the Trump Administration would be working to ensure that there is no fraud and abuse of H-1B visas, Kumar said he believes that the White House would work to eliminate

country-quota towards allocation of green cards for legal permanent residents. "This would be of great help Indian IT professionals," he said, adding that the current wait time for Indians to get a green card could be as many as 35 years. According to reports, President Donald Trump may soon crack down on US temporary work visas including the H-1B and L-1 visas that are used widely by Indian tech companies. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. During his campaign, Trump

had promised to increase oversight of our H-1B and L-1 visa programs. Supporting the executive orders of Trump on immigration and visa ban, Kumar said he would prefer this to be expanded to other countries like Pakistan. Kumar said the US Government is currently reviewing the list of countries, and if Pakistan does not start co-operating with the US, there is very high probability of it being included in the list of visa ban countries. Pakistan needs to act against terrorism. "There cannot be any difference between what it says and what it does. Trump would not tolerate that," he said. In response to a question, he did not altogether rule out the possibility of him becoming the next US Ambassador to India. PTI


Immigration Post

February 10, 2017

India Post 35

www.indiapost.com

Many wondering `what's coming next'

D

ays into an administration that promised to govern by upheaval, Donald Trump's White House has been the target of massive protests, defied reporters who questioned fact-challenged statements and issued a blur of lightning-rod executive actions. The speed and depth of it all have left many Americans apprehensive: Even some who longed for a shake-up are unsettled by a sense of chaos it has unleashed. ``We're in a very fragile state right now,'' said Margaret Johnson of Germantown, Maryland, who runs a small translation business. ``We don't know what's coming next. The country's divided. There's a lot of fear. And I think we're kind of at that point where things can go any kind of way, and it's really hard to say which way they're going to go.'' That uncertainty finds an echo in Pastor Mike Bergman's church in Adrian, Missouri, 40 miles south of Kansas City, where many congregants count themselves as conservatives and embrace the new administration's order cutting off funding to international groups that provide abortions. But as church members consider another order - restricting refugees and pausing entry to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries - worries about security are tempered by concern about the needs of refugees and whether Trump's rhetoric is widening the gulf between Americans, Bergman said. ``There is worry about how deep the divide is going to run.

There is worry about some of the political rhetoric ... about how all that is going to cause the divide in the community to deepen and more bitterness to spring up between the people of our country. I wouldn't say we're really optimistic right now,'' he said. Trump is hardly the first president to take office promising wholesale change in the face of substantial skepticism. But Kevin Boyle, a professor of American history at Northwestern University, said the new administration has put itself at the center of an extraordinary political moment. Boyle hears echoes of the Ronald Reagan era in Trump's attempts to alter the role of government; this administration's willingness to play on division rather than serve as a calming influence is reminiscent of Richard Nixon. The mass protests since inauguration day are reminiscent of some of the upheaval of the 1960s. Still, Boyle said, the tensions swirling around Trump's administration are unique. ``I cannot in my adult life think of a moment that compares to this,'' he said. ``The level of tension between these two competing visions of the country needs to be resolved in some way or another.'' Trump's actions have unsettled Suzanne Kawamleh, 24, a graduate student born in Chicago to parents who emigrated from Syria. On Saturday night, Kawamleh said, she joined protesters outside the terminal at O'Hare International Airport to protest the executive order stopping Syrian refugees from entering the country.

The next day, she told a crowd gathered at the county courthouse in Bloomington, Indiana, about how her relatives had fled Syria by boat and ended up in a refugee camp before finding refuge in Germany. Last year, Kawamleh said, she and her father were taken off a flight for questioning when they returned from Lebanon to do relief work in a refugee camp. But that scrutiny, she said, pales with

A man holds an American flag near the White House

Trump's executive order, which forced a family friend from Syria who had flown to the U.S. to visit a sick relative to return to the Middle East. ``Immediately after the order, everything changed. There wasn't a chance to plead your case,'' she said. ``It seems like everything is very in flux. People don't know what's going on.'' Over the last week, teacher Dee Burek has led discussions with the seventh and eighth-graders in her debate and journalism classes about Trump's first days as presi-

India won't prejudge outcome of H1B bills NEW DELHI: Asserting that no executive order has been passed by the Trump Administration for overhauling of H1B visas so far, India has said it will not "prejudge" the outcome of the three private bills raised in this regard when they go through the full Congressional process. "No executive order has been signed so far... Three private bills have been introduced in the US House of Representatives. Such bills have been introduced in the past also and such bills have to go through the full Congressional process. "Let's not prejudge the outcome because we have seen what has happened to the similar bills in the past also. If and when the executive order is passed, we will

certainly give a reaction," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

It has conveyed its "interests and concerns" to the US amid reports that an executive order has been drafted by the Trump Administration He also said India remains in dialogue with the Trump Administration as well as US Congress at the senior levels over the issue. "They are fully aware of our

dent. Students were dismayed when they read about false statements by White House press secretary Sean Spicer and by an interview with Trump adviser Steve Bannon in which he compared himself to Darth Vader. When one girl compared Trump to Dolores Umbridge - a character from the Harry Potter series who provokes a student revolt after issuing a series of harsh decrees classmates nodded in agreement,

position in this particular matter i.e Indian software exports and Indian software technical professionals add to the competitiveness of the US industry," Swarup said. Earlier, MEA had said it has conveyed its "interests and concerns" to the US amid reports that an executive order has been drafted by the Trump Administration to overhaul H-1B which will severely impact Indian companies, specifically IT organizations. H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. -PTI

Burek said. ``As a teacher I'm trying to present both sides, as I always have to, and when I deal with the children and I'm reading articles to them (about the Trump administration), their faces are in shock,'' said Burek, who teaches in Allentown, New Jersey. ``They just keep coming back to, `We're America. How could this happen?' And I say I just don't have the answers.'' Many Americans say that Trump's moves since taking office are exactly what the country needs. Nonetheless, they are taking note of the pushback. Juan Villamizar, a 52-year-old flooring business owner in West Hartford, Connecticut, said he supports Trump's executive order restricting refugees and immigration from seven countries as a way to protect Americans from terrorism. But while he believes the country is headed in the right direction, he is disheartened to see a negative response to Trump's actions. ``I just think that the people of this country, the citizens of this country, need to take a really deep breath and read the Constitution,'' he said. During the presidential campaign, Brenda Horvath strapped a giant ``Hillary for Prison'' sign to her Logan, West Virginia, front porch, and another that read ``Make America Great Again'' beside it. She isn't opposed to Trump's plans, but thinks the new president could do a better job at presenting his plans with compassion, in a way that doesn't alienate and offend so many. She believes Trump is off to a rocky start, but believes he deserves more

time to get on track. ``You can listen to the wrong people and do the job wrong. I'm hoping and praying that he'll start listening to the right people,'' she said. Yatziri Tovar, a 24-year-old college student in New York who emigrated from Mexico as a toddler, saw the response to Trump in a different light. Though troubled by the initial days of the new administration, she was encouraged to see the activism it has spurred and the people of many backgrounds who have spoken in protest. She felt a duty to speak, too, addressing a weekend rally that she helped organize as a member of an immigrant advocacy group, Make the Road New York, which drew an estimated 30,000 people. ``It's a moment that has a lot of confusion, it has some scary times, but at the same time it has become a time of unity,'' said Tovar, a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which President Barack Obama instituted to allow young people brought into the country illegally as children to stay and obtain work permits. Others hold the protesters, not Trump, responsible for the discord. John Fusaro, an immigration officer in Dallas who voted for

Though troubled by the initial days of the new administration, she was encouraged to see the activism it has spurred and the people of many backgrounds who have spoken in protest. Trump, said the media and protesters should ease up. ``They're trying to sow seeds of doubt and keep stirring the pot,'' he said. ``They're just not giving him a chance.'' Fusaro said the upheaval represents a ``new normal'' of constant protests. While he's dubious of the protesters' message, the presence of a niece in their ranks reminds him of the wide gulf in Americans' political views. ``She's standing against Trump, out there yelling and stuff, and I'm honestly thinking you don't know the whole picture. I sent her a message: Give it time. It'll sort itself out.'' So far, he said, she hasn't responded. -AP


Immigration Post

36 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

UN chief calls for lifting US travel ban UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for lifting a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying such measures spread "anxiety and anger" and will not prevent terrorists from entering

ety and anger" because then "we help trigger the kind of recruitment mechanisms that these (global terrorist) organizations are now doing everywhere in the world," he said. Guterres cautioned that ban-

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

the US. "In my opinion this is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exist about possibilities of terrorist infiltration. I don't think this is the effective way to do so. These measures should be removed sooner rather than later," Guterres told reporters here, responding to questions on the travel and refugee ban imposed by the US. The UN Secretary-General emphasized that it is important not to have measures that "spread anxi-

ning people and refugees from entering other nations will not ensure that terrorists will not infiltrate as the extremist groups could circumvent measures and look at other ways to target nations and their citizens. The international community is dealing with "very sophisticated global terrorist originations", he said, adding that if terror groups want to attack any country they will not send people with passports from "hotspots of conflict". "They might come with pass-

ports from the most developed, credible countries or use people that have been for decades present in the country itself," he said. On the possibility that the Trump administration will cut US funding to the UN, Guterres said he will not comment on something that has not yet occurred. "Sometimes we talk too much about things that have not happened and when we talk too much about things that have not happened; you trigger the happening of those things. I will not be making comments on possibilities to enhance those possibilities to possibly be a reality," he said. Guterres stressed he will do "whatever" he can to prove the added value of the UN, to recognize the UN needs reforms and to believe that those reforms will be the best way to guarantee the support of all member states including US and its new administration. On the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees entering the US, Guterres said resettlement of refugees is in many situations the only possible solution. "The US has always been in the forefront of refugee settlement and Syrians at the present moment have more dramatic needs in the world. I strongly hope that the US will be able to reassess its very solid refugee protection in resettlement and I hope Syrians will not be excluded in that process," he said.-PTI

Ban to keep 'bad people' out: Trump WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said his decision to impose travel restrictions on people from seven Muslimmajority countries was aimed at keeping "bad people" out of America even as he dismissed the raging debate over his controversial move as irrelevant. "Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country," he tweeted. Earlier, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had dismissed the idea that Trump imposed

a ban. "A ban would mean people can't get in, and we've clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people come into our country from other countries," he said. But both Spicer and Trump

have recently referred to the executive order as a ban, CNN reported. Trump tweeted earlier in defense of his order, "If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the bad would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad dudes out there!" Spicer had used the term ban to describe the order while speaking at an event at George Washington University recorded on CSPAN. -PTI

Travel ban divisive and wrong: Theresa May LONDON: UK Prime Minister Theresa May has branded US President Donald Trumps travel restrictions on nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries as "divisive and wrong", days after she refused to condemn the move. The British Prime Minister was addressing her weekly Prime Min-

isters Questions in the House of Commons when she was pushed by Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn into making her views on the issue clear. "This government is clear that the policy is wrong. We wouldn't do it. In six years as Home Secretary I never introduced such a policy, we believe it is divisive and wrong," May said in Parliament. She also went on to deny that she had any prior information of such a ban during her meeting with the US President in the White House just days before. "If he's (Corbyn) asking me whether I had advanced notice of the ban on refugees, if he's asking me if I had advanced notice of whether the order could affect Brit-

ish citizens, the answer is no, if he's asking if I had advanced notice of travel restrictions, the answer is we all did because President Trump said he would do this in his election campaign," she said. "The job of government is not to chase headlines, the job of government is not to take to the streets in protest, the job of government is to protect the interests of British citizens and that's what we did. He can lead a protest, I am leading a country," said May, addressing the Labor party leader in a strong clash between the two leaders. But May initially did not condemn the measure, saying the US was responsible for its own refugee policy. She then issued a statement saying she did "not agree" with it. Protests erupted across Britain earlier against Trump's orders and a petition calling for his planned State Visit to the UK later this year to be called off crossed 1.6 million signatures. It is now scheduled for a debate in Parliament on February 20. However, the Prime Ministers spokesperson told reporters there were no plans of cancelling the visit. "The invite has been made and it stands. The US is a vital ally for the UK. People have a right to peacefully protest and express their views. The invitation has been made on behalf of Queen," a Downing Street spokesperson said. A date is yet to be confirmed for the proposed State Visit by Trump, which is expected towards the middle of the year. -PTI

2 Kashmiri sportsmen denied US visa NEW DELHI: The US has officially conveyed to India that the recent denial of visas to two Kashmiri sportsmen by it was a "standard adjudication" based on the merits of the case and had no connection with executive order of President Donald Trump. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the ministry had enquired about the issue from the US Embassy here after reports emerged that the two Kashmiri youths have been denied visa by it. "The US Embassy in Delhi has categorically denied that it has any linkage to the Executive Order. We have also been told officially that

it was a standard adjudication based on the merits of the case," he said, adding issue of visa is a sovereign jurisdiction and right of every country. He said the athletes have not approached the MEA. The snowshoers - Abid Khan and Tanveer Hussain - from the Valley were denied visa amid reports that it was due to "current policies" of the US. The duo was scheduled to participate in the World Snowshoe Championships at Saranac in New York from February 24-25. They were invited by World Snow-Shoe Federation for the championship.PTI


Immigration Post

February 10, 2017

India Post 37

www.indiapost.com

Trump refusing to accept refugee deal with Australia CANBERRA, Australia: Australia's prime minister has insisted that a deal struck with the Obama administration that would allow mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the United States was still on, despite President Donald Trump dubbing the agreement ``dumb'' and vowing to review it. The conflicting messages came hours after The Washington Post published a story detailing a tense exchange between Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during their first telephone call as national leaders. The newspaper reported that during the call, an angry Trump dubbed the agreement ``the worst deal ever'' and accused Turnbull of seeking to export the ``next Boston bombers'' - a reference to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, U.S. citizens born in Kyrgyzstan, who set off two bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon. Turnbull declined to comment on the report, which also said Trump abruptly ended the expected hour-long conversation after 25 minutes as the Australian

attempted to steer the conversation to other topics. ``It's better that these things these conversations - are conducted candidly, frankly, privately,'' Turnbull told reporters. Later, however, he denied during an interview with Sydney radio station 2GB that Trump had hung up on him, saying the conversation had ended ``courteously.'' Turnbull told reporters the strength of the relationship between the two nations was evident in that Trump had agreed to honor the deal to resettle refugees from among around 1,600 asylum seekers, most of whom are on island camps on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia has refused to accept them and instead pays for them to be housed on the impoverished islands. ``I can assure you the relationship is very strong,'' Turnbull said. ``The fact we received the assurance that we did, the fact that it was confirmed, the very extensive engagement we have with the new administration underlines the closeness of the alliance. But as

Australians know me very well: I stand up for Australia in every forum - public or private.'' Yet shortly after Turnbull made those comments to reporters, Trump took to Twitter to slam the deal.

from Australia. Why?'' Trump sent to Australian Broadcasting tweeted. ``I will study this dumb Corp. said: ``The president is still deal!'' considering whether or not he will Australians - accustomed to the move forward with this deal at this friendly relationship they have time.'' long enjoyed with the U.S. - were The U.S. State Department said transfixed by the drama. The Wash- in a statement later that the United ington Post States would honor the agreement story shot to the ``out of respect for close ties to top of the our Australian ally and friend.'' nation's trend``President Trump's decision to ing topics on honor the refugee agreement has Twitter, and was not changed and Spokesman plastered across Spicer's comments stand,'' the the top of State Department said. Australia's major The ABC spoke to senior Ausnews sites. tralian government sources who T h e said The Washington Post report country's news was ``substantially accurate.'' networks Australian officials said the launched run- conversation was ``robust'' and ning commentar- ``shorter than expected,'' while one ies on it, debat- minister told the ABC that ``Trump ing how hates this deal.'' Turnbull should Opposition leader Bill Shorten respond and called on Turnbull to be open Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the what the spat about his interaction with Trump, media during a press conference at Parliament House in meant for the fu- saying The Washington Post verCanberra, Australia. ture of the long- sion of the call was worrying. ``Do you believe it? The Obama time allies' relationship. ``We shouldn't be finding out Administration agreed to take Trump, who a day before the about what's happening to Austhousands of illegal immigrants conversation with Turnbull had tralian policy through the news of signed an executive order sus- foreign countries,'' Shorten said. pending the admission of refuTurnbull has likened himself to gees, complained during the call Trump in that both are wealthy that he was ``going to get killed'' businessmen who came to politics politically by the deal, the news- late in life. Turnbull also has a repupaper reported, citing anonymous tation for blunt conversation and officials. tough negotiations behind closed ``I don't want these people,'' doors. Trump reportedly said. Trump also Turnbull has resisted pressure told Turnbull that he had spoken to join other Western leaders in Trump's order. The University of to four world leaders that day and condemning Trump's temporary Idaho has 21 such students. that: ``This is the worst call by far.'' ban of immigrants from seven ``We will be reaching out and Trump told Turnbull that it was Muslim-majority countries. advising them not to travel abroad ``my intention'' to honor the agree``When I have frank advice to until we know more about the spe- ment, a phrase designed to leave give to an American president, I cific practices that will be imple- the president wriggle room to back give it privately, as good friends mented,'' Staben, the UI president, out of the deal, the newspaper re- should, as wise prime ministers do wrote in a statement to faculty, ported. when they want to ensure they are staff and students. There have been mixed mes- best able to protect Australians Schulz, of Washington State, sages from Washington all week and Australia's national interest,'' wrote that ``we are carefully moni- on the state of the agreement. Turnbull told reporters. toring developments to better unWhite House spokesman Sean Some observers suspect Turnbull derstand how the executive order Spicer confirmed that Trump had has held his tongue because he is will impact our community.'' agreed to honor the deal. grateful to Trump for agreeing to WSU international programs But a White House statement honor the refugee deal. -AP communications coordinator Craig Lawson said his office was busy all day working on addressing student concerns. International Studies Director B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Bill Smith said he has not heard of Attorney-at-Law any UI students or faculty strugFormer Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney gling to re-enter the country, adding that most people are on cam1 Civil & Criminal Litigation pus because the semester is al1 Felonies, Misdemeanors, Inc DUI ready in its fourth week. 1 Personal Injury, Business, Divorce etc. But Smith said the travel ban 1 Property Tax for Commercial Properties might force students to reconsider traveling home for family emergencies, among other things. http://www.proy-singh.com ``Obviously now you'd have to think very carefully about that, 2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, whether you can get back in to Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659 continue your studies or not,'' he said. -AP

Foreign students urged to stay in US MOSCOW, Idaho: University presidents in Idaho and Washington State are urging foreign students to avoid trips home or international travel following President Donald Trump's recent executive order. The order blocks people from

Staben told The Moscow-Pullman Daily News that students from the Muslim-majority countries singled out by Trump are safe in the U.S. with their valid visas but would not be permitted to re-enter the country if they leave. ``It does not matter that they

PRADEEP ROY-SINGH

seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, along with other limitations placed on refugees. Specifically, the executive order addresses travel from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Washington State University President Kirk Schulz and University of Idaho President Chuck

would be traveling with a student visa, at the time they seek to come back into the U.S. their entry would be blocked,'' said UI associate law professor Kate Evans. ``That has happened over the course of the weekend.'' At Washington State University, 130 international students are from the countries mentioned in


Immigration Post

38 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Immigration advocates win and lose RICHMOND, Va.: Virginia colleges won't be forced to give federal authorities sensitive details about students who may be undocumented immigrants, after a legislative subcommittee killed a bill opposed by immigration advocates. However, another panel killed legislation that immigration advocates had wanted: It would have allowed eligible undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition. The House Higher Education Subcommittee voted to kill HB 2001 and HB 2004, which were aimed at gathering personal information about undocumented college students. Both measures were sponsored by Del. Charles R. Poindexter, R-Franklin County. The subcommittee also voted to refer HB 1857, the in-state tuition proposal, to the House Appropriations Committee. An Appropriations subcommittee killed the bill, which was sponsored by Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington. HB 2001 would have required college and university officials and faculty members to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in identifying and detaining undocumented students. HB 2004 would have required state colleges and universities to file annual reports to the governor and General Assembly on the number of undocumented students enrolled in their institutions.

Dozens of opponents of Poindexter's legislation attended the subcommittee's meeting, filling the seats in the room and spilling out into the hallway. They included pro-immigrant activists, professors and young people protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA was the Obama

DACA student at the College of William and Mary. ``You also force us to lose one of the last lines of support that we have, and create a hostile environment not conducive to learning.'' Catherine Carey, a Williamsburg resident who started an online petition that has garnered more than 2,640 signatures against HB 2001, also spoke

Del. Alfonso Lopez addressing the group of pro-immigrant advocates and DACA students

administration's 2012 executive order allowing young undocumented immigrants to work, pay taxes, drive and attend college with in-state tuition. The Trump administration has vowed to overturn the policy. ``By requiring that professors and other employees at public institutions cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, you force DACA students to go back into hiding,'' said Allison Esquen-Roca, a

against the legislation. She said the bills would ruin any trust between professors and students. ``If we have teachers enforcing immigration law, that is going to destroy the relationship between students and teachers,'' Carey said. ``No one wants a teacher acting as a policeman in the classroom.'' At the start of the meeting, Poindexter asked that HB 2004 be stricken, essentially withdrawing it. But he defended HB 2001, saying he wanted to make sure col-

Trump order traps kids in war-torn nations SEATTLE: President Donald Trump's immigration order is blocking efforts by legal residents to reunite with their children who are trapped in war-torn countries, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project on behalf of the heartbroken parents. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle claimed Trump's order prohibiting people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. is unconstitutional. It asked for a judge to intervene and stop the application of the part of the order that suspends visas to citizens of those seven countries. ``The Constitution and immigration laws plainly prohibit the government from denying visas or suspending processing based on this type of discrimination,'' said Matt Adams, the group's legal director. ``President Trump is tear-

ing families apart, not to protect our country, but to score points with his anti-immigrant supporters.'' The Trump administration has defended the order, saying more restrictions are needed to protect the U.S. from future terrorist attacks. One woman named in the lawsuit has a 6-year-old son in Somalia, another has a 16-year-old son stranded in Syria and a third has a 12-year-old daughter who is a citizen of Yemen, but living in Dijibouti, in East Africa. All fear for their children's safety, the lawsuit said. Juweiya Abdiaziz Ali, one of the plaintiffs, is a U.S. citizen living in Seattle who started the process last August of bringing her son from Somalia. But Trump's order has made her worried that her son's visa process will be indefinitely suspended, she said.

Reema Dahman, another plaintiff, is a permanent U.S. resident who also lives in Seattle. She said she was in the final stages of the process to secure her 16-year-old son's visa, waiting for an immigrant visa interview to be scheduled, when Trump's order ended that plan. ``I'm heartbroken,'' Dahman said. ``Every day I am filled with anguish at what might become of my son, and this order just crushed my hopes that I could get him out of harm's way anytime soon.'' Like thousands of others, those named in the lawsuit pursued the immigrant visa process that includes hundreds of dollars in filing fees, security screenings, medical examinations and interviews, Adams said. The executive order shattered their lives and dimmed their prospects for being reunified with their children, he said. -AP

leges follow federal law. ``I heard a statement that was very disturbing, and I think it should disturb everyone in the room: `We don't want the law enforced.' That is incomprehensible in the United States of America,'' Poindexter said. ``I understand opposition to the bill, but to say that we don't want the law enforced in incomprehensible.'' The subcommittee also decided to refer Lopez' proposal, HB 1857, to the House Appropriations Committee. That bill seeks to ensure that DACA recipients can continue paying in-state tuition in Virginia. According to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, there are 1,280 undocumented students enrolled in colleges throughout Virginia, Lopez said. He said college would not be a realistic option for many of these students if they had to pay out-of-state tuition. ``States are required to provide all students with a K-12 education regardless of immigration status,'' Lopez said. Unless the state takes action, ``we will essentially be putting up a stop sign to these children, saying, `Thank you for your hard work, thank you for doing well in school, but your dreams need to stop.' This is devastating for future social and economic mobil-

ity.'' Lopez said denying in-state tuition to undocumented students would be a waste of the money that the state has invested in their primary and secondary education. ``To nurture and educate these students from elementary to high school, only to turn them away when they reach higher education, is not only a waste of money, but also a waste of great talent and potential,'' Lopez said. Del. James Massie, R-Richmond, opposed Lopez's bill. He said the panel should wait for the federal government's decision on DACA. ``They are already getting the in-state tuition, so I think my position is that we ought to wait and see what the federal government does,'' Massie said. ``Let's wait and see what they do, and in a year we can take another look at it.'' Jacky Cortes Nava, a DACA student attending the University of Virginia, said living in fear of losing her in-state tuition has affected her studies and emotional well-being. ``It's not fair that we have to get distracted almost every single day from our studies,'' she said. ``It's not good for our emotional or mental health that we have to wake up every day, fearing that the next day we're not going to be able to continue with our studies.'' -AP

Indian Americans launch effort against ban Cont'd from Page 34

"I am proud to be Indian American, I am proud to be Hindu American and I am proud to be an immigrant," he said urging Indian Americans across the country to mobilize opposition to these executive orders, which are "unconstitutional". "I am here today not only as former State Department official, but also as an Indian American, as Hindu, an immigrant and most importantly as a proud American to speak out against this executive order that was issued by President Trump which imposes an unjust, un-American and we believe unconstitutional ban on immigrants and refugees from certain nationalities and certain faiths," said Nisha Desai Biswal, the former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. Hindu Coalition slammed Indian-American lawmakers have also slammed the US-based Republican Hindu Coalition for supporting President Donald

Trump's executive order on immigration. "As the most senior IndianAmerican member of Congress, I believe that Donald Trump's executive order does not reflect who we are as Americans," Ami Bera, a three-time Congressman, said. "The actions of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) do not reflect the breadth and diversity of the Indian-American community, or our Diaspora," he said in a rare criticism of an Indian-American organization related to the Republican Party. Bera, along with three other Indian-American lawmakers, vented out his anger against the Coalition. The Coalition has supported Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees. "We applaud the Trump administration for taking this decisive move to protect our citizens from Islamic terror," its chairman Shalabh Kumar had said. Bera said it was very difficult for people of Indian origin to immigrate to the US before 1965, "and this order takes us backwards towards that dark time." -PTI


Datebook

February 10, 2017

India Post 39

www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sun, Feb 11 • Deewan Banquet - Grand Gala Valentines Dinner Party

Sat, Feb 11 • Deewan Banquet - Grand Gala Valentines Dinner Party

Fri, Feb 10 • Sammy Obeid – Running for President in 2036

Venue: Deewan Banquet, 560 Stelton Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 Time: 07:00 pm

Venue: Deewan Banquet, 560 Stelton Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 Time : 07:00 pm

Sat, Feb 18 • ZuBoJam - Valentine's Day Dance Fitness Venue: Dougherty Station Community

Fri, Feb 17 • &Tv Valentines Day Party Nargis Fakhri Special Guest

Fri, Mar 10 • Two to Tango, Three to Jive - Saurabh Shukla LIVE

Venue: Cubberley Community Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303 Time: 08:00 pm

Venue: Royal Alberts palace, 1050 King Georges Post Road, Edison, NJ 08837

Venue: Flushing Temple Auditorium, 14307 Holly Avenue, Flushing, NY 11355 Time : 08:00 pm

NEW JERSEY

Time: 07:30 pm

Fri, Feb 24 • Musik Waves -Tribute to Mehdi Hassan

Sat, Mar 11 • The Biggest HOLI Party in New York City

Venue: E Hotel, 3050 Woodbridge Avenue,

Venue: Stage48, 605 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036 Time : 12:00 pm

Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 08:00 pm

Sun, Fri 12 • Ok Jaanu! Valentine's Day Extravaganza. Venue: Oasis Palace, 35145 Newark Boulevard, Newark, CA 94560 Contact: 510-791-2422

CHICAGO

Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94582 Time: 06:30 pm

Fri, Mar 3 • Valentines open mic karaoke - Bolly Rhythmz Venue: Amador Rancho Community Center/// Bella Vista Room A, 1998 Rancho Park Loop, San Ramon, CA 94582

Sun, Feb 12 • Vishwa Shanthi Performing Arts Artistic Director: Shreelata Suresh

Venue: Menlo Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Rd, Atherton, CA 94027. Tickets: $50 VIP, $30 preferred seating, $20 general. Shows Timimg: 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 925-683-2489

ATLANTA Upcoming Fri Feb 17 • Valentines Party - Live Bollywood Band Venue: Ashiana Banquet Hall & Restaurant - Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross, GA 30071

Tue, Feb 14 • Celebrate Valentine With Charenjeet Venue: Amaya Restaurant & Bar, 7850 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620 Time: 07:00 pm

Sat, Feb 25 • "The Waiting Room" Revolutionary Gujarati Drama Venue: Mexican Heritage Center, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116 Time: 06:30 pm Contact: 510-648-0596

Time: 08:00 pm

Sun, Feb 26 • Paracha Entertainment Venue: Cobb Energy Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339 Time: 07:00 pm

Sat, Mar 11 • Dr. Radhika Chopra Live concert Venue: Ashiana Banquet Hall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross, GA 30071 Time: 6:00 am

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

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

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

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

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


www.indiapost.com

40 India Post

A

pretty imposing and cool tourist destination, McLeod Ganj is nicely situated in upper Dharmasala and is the re nowned seat of the holy leader Dalai Lama. The city was named after David McLeod, the former Governor of Punjab under British rule. This is the administrative headquarters of the Tibetan Government in exile. McLeod Ganj - a real cross section of Tibet - is a well known learning centre of Tibetan culture and Buddhist dharma and rituals. It has

been nick named as the little Lhasa, reverberating Buddhist influence on the land. Located at about 1700m in Himachal Pradesh, the area is enriched with many ancient temples, monasteries and structures. Tsuglagkhang is the main temple enshrining Sakyamuni Buddha, Avalokitesvara and Padmasambhava. The ambience of the area resonates Buddhist religious practices and lifestyles. This is a bastion of natural beauty

Dalai Lama Temple Complex

February 10, 2017

as Mother Nature has blessed it with all its bounties. TIPA, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, is an attraction for all art loving tourists. The ten-day festival of theatres, music and dance held annually during the month of May is vibrant and enticing. When in McLeod Ganj, tourists should plan to book Manali tour package as well. McLeod Ganj thrives on tourism Indus-

try. It is known for Buddhist handicrafts, garments and thangkas. Namgyal Monastery is one of the great attractions here. The architectural marvel of St. John in the Wilderness an Anglican church constructed in the neo-gothic style attracts all tourists reaching McLeod Ganj. This is a perfect religious destination for the Buddhists. Cont’d on page 42


February 10, 2017

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post 41

www.indiapost.com

1,840.77 cr allocated to tourism ministry NEW DELHI: The government has allocated Rs 1,840.77 crore to the tourism ministry in the budget for the next fiscal, including Rs 959.91 crore for the Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around specific themes (Swadesh Darshan scheme). The ministry would be receiving a little over Rs 250 crore more in the 201718 fiscal as compared to the ongoing financial year for which it was allocated Rs 1,590.32 crore, according to the budget document. Besides, another Rs 100 crore has been allocated for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). Significantly, as much as Rs 412

crore has been provided for promotion and publicity of tourism ministry's various programs and

schemes in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Under Swadesh Darshan, 13 thematic circuits have been iden-

tified for development, namely North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit. On the other hand, as many as 13 cities - namely Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Dwarka, Gaya, K a m a k h a y a , Kanchipuram, Kedarnath, Mathura, Patna, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni - have been identified for development under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) by the Ministry of Tourism. -PTI

New budget to make travel easier & cheaper NEW DELHI: The push for digital payment platforms and removal of service tax on IRCTC bookings online in the latest Union Budget have enthused the travel industry, who believe the initiatives will make travel easier and cheaper across the country. The industry, which was endorsed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as a sector of economic importance, has welcomed the proposed decisions, saying that the steps will make travel more "accessible and reduce friction between the user and service provider". According to online travel portal Skycanner that recently took on board a direct booking application, the travel industry has already seen a hike in the number of transactions made via smart phones over the past one year, and the trend is only going to catch up with the recommendations under the budget. "We recently added low cost carrier 'Scoot' to make booking and payments online and on app seamless and easy. Similarly, with a 30 per cent jump in searches witnessed between January 2016 and 2017 through smart phones, we know that there is an impetus in online transactions. "Online travel companies are embracing this development with the singular aim to make travel easy and simple," says Reshmi

Roy, Growth Manager, Skyscanner India. The budget noted that "a mission" would be set up with a "target of 2,500 crore digital transactions" for the upcoming fiscal year, besides strengthening the digital payment infrastructure and grievance handling system. Sharat Dhall of Yatra.com said that the newer policies to promote the digital economy would contribute immensely towards developing a "truly cashless India" with

wake of the demonetization exercise," says Dhall. Noting that technology is one of the major elements driving the tourism industry, Arvind Bhatia from Indian Routes, a travel agency, feels the move will not only make travel cheaper for the public, but also benefit agencies. "We welcome this move by the present government. It will overall encourage people to use the online platform more. IRCTC itself is a very helpful

citizens having an easy access to a wide choice of options at their convenience. He also appreciated the announcement to waive service tax on train tickets booked via IRCTC website, saying it was another indicator of the government's agenda of promoting digital transactions, particularly in the aftermath of demonetization. "The move will further encourage cashless transactions in the

tool and making it slightly cheaper for the public makes our lives easier. "From the tourism point of view we consider it a great move as going forward we see technology playing a great part today and paving our way for the upcoming future. It will allow agents like us to make use of this platform more and also enable offer competitive rates for the overall package for group tours," says Bhatia. -PTI

Tourism sector records 10 per cent growth NEW DELHI: With over 88 lakh foreign tourists visiting India last year, the tourism sector saw a growth of over 10 per cent, President Pranab Mukherjee has said. In his address to the members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he said the government has approved a new eVisa policy and expanded its scope by including purposes such as short- term medical

e-tourist visa to include purposes such as short-term medical treatment and business trips. 161 countries are now covered under eVisa," Mukherjee said. He said the government will maximize the strengths of Indian Diaspora of over 30 million people spread across the globe in "nation building and for deepening global outreach". "There are over 30 million overseas Indians, settled in

treatment and business trips. "Realizing the importance of developing tourism, my government has approved the new e-Visa policy and expanded the scope of

almost every corner of the world. They continue to make invaluable contributions to Indian society and economy," the President added. -PTI

5 special tourism zones in budget NEW DELHI: The government on-year basis. has said it would launch IncredForeign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) ible India 2.0 Campaign across the during December 2016 were 10.37 world, besides setting up five spe- lakh as compared to 9.13 lakh durcial tourism zones in the country. ing December 2015. "Tourism is a big employment The US accounted for the highgenerator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Five special tourism zones anchored on SPV (special purpose vehicle) will be set up in partnership with the states," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech for 2017-18. Incredible India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is a flagship program of the Tourism Ministry est share of tourist arrivals, folaimed at boosting tourism in the lowed by Bangladesh and the UK country. the last month. India at present account for less The growth in overseas tourist one per cent in the global tourism arrivals in 2016 stood at 10.7 per market. Foreign tourist arrivals in cent with a total of 88.90 lakh as India surged by 13.6 per cent to compared to 80.27 lakh in 2015. 10.37 lakh in December on year- PTI


Travel & Hospitality Post

42 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Dal Lake Mcleodganj

Cont’d from page 40

Tourist attractions Bhagsu Falls: Bhagsu Falls is a small yet beautiful waterfall located 2km away from Mcleodganj. Around 0.5 km from the waterfall stands the Bhagsunath temple and the waterfall is revered by devotees who throng the temple. The falls is easily reachable by taxis or autos, besides trekking or walking is another good experience to enjoy the serene surroundings. It will take around 6 to 8 hours to explore the region. During monsoons, the place is subject to

m, the lake is situated at the vehicular road between Mcleodganj and the village of Naddi. Surrounded by deep green Deodar forests, it is also a base camp for trekkers in Dharamsala and Mcleodganj. The Lake can be reached by bus, taxi or on foot, taking around half an hour to 2 hours to explore the whole area. The annual fair held every year in September on the banks of this Lake is a great attraction for tourists. Hanuman-Ka-Tibba: HanumanKa-Tibba is an ideal trekking route for all those who love challenges. Situated right in front of McLeod

Monastery in Dharamsala is a sacred building enclosing the residence of Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Government in exile. The complex is constructed in a location near McLeod Ganj and is overlooked by the mountain ranges of Dhauladhar. Lush pine forests offer the natural beauty and the atmosphere offers a perfect tranquility in the location. Tibet Museum: Tibet Museum is located inside the Tsuglagkhang Complex in McLeod Ganj (5km), Dharamsala. The museum has the credit of being the first modern Museum in Dharamsala. Settled in a huge plinth area, the museum has separate places for meeting, exhibitions and displays. The Museum is a real example of original Tibetan architectural style blended with modern style of constructions. Trekking: Himalayan undu-

Tsuglagkhang

lated ranges in McLeod Ganj offer the most exciting trekking opportunity for the adventurous seeking tourists and trekkers. The trails in McLeod Ganj leading to Leh, Kullu, Ladakh and Kangra are the best cool and comfortable trekking trails in the country. These offer mild to highly rough trekking opportunities for the enthusiastic trekkers. Bhagsunag Waterfall

Bhagsu Falls

heavy rains and snow is winter. It is a good idea to avoid visiting during mid-winter. Dal Lake: Dal Lake, which is 2km walk westwards from Mcleodganj market, is renowned for its scenic beauty and the cool ambience. With an altitude of 1775

Ganj, it offers spectacular and a breathtaking sight. It is the highest point in the Dhauladhar ranges and is famous for scenic views. Triund: Triund, the name of a crest in the Dhauladhar ranges in The Himalayas, is a very famous tourist attraction, which is 9 km trek

from McLeod Ganj. This place gives a breathtaking view of the Moon peak-Indera Pass. Ideal for camping, its unpolluted air and the unspoiled environment make the place an eco-friendly tourist spot. Tsuglagkhang: Situated towards the southern end of the

town is the holy abode of the Tibetan leader, Dalai Lama, the Tsuglagkhang Complex. Namgyal Monastery is a part of this sanctum and thousands of pilgrims' travel here seeking the blessings of the leader. Namgyal Monastery: Namgyal

Best time to visit The climate of McLeod Ganj remains salubrious all year round but the best months for travelling are from mid-September to June. How to reach By Train: Kangra and Nagrota are the nearest meter gauge railway stations to McLeod Ganj. Pathankot (90 km) is the nearest broad gauge station, which is connected to all major cities in India by train. By Air: Nearest airport is Gaggal (also known as Dharamsala airport) which is about 10 km away from McLeod Ganj. From Kulu and Delhi, flights are available to Gaggal thrice a week. By Bus: Regular deluxe bus services are available from Delhi to McLeod Ganj which is about 522 km away from Delhi.


February 10, 2017

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

43

www.indiapost.com

'Peace imperative for JK tourism to return' GULMARG, JK: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said there is a need to uphold peace in the Valley for the tourism to return after the last year's unrest adversely affected the industry. "When there is peace, tourists will come and which will increase employment and there will be development as well. There is no need to advertise Kashmir. The whole world knows that there is no place more beautiful than Kashmir. Sometimes the situation deteriorates which has an adverse impact on tourism," she told reporters here. The Chief Minister was at the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district to

kick-start a 15-day Snow Carnival. The festival marks the beginning of the adventure tourism activities at the resort, often referred

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti

to as skiers paradise. Skating, icehockey, snow-boarding, snow

sculpture, along with other such activities, will be the key features of the carnival. Mehbooba said the tourists, who stayed away from Kashmir due to last year's unrest, have now begun visiting the Valley. "Kashmir is very beautiful. God has bestowed it with everything. But what is needed is to establish peace here," she said. About Bollywood arriving lately to shoot movies in Kashmir, the Chief Minister said actor-director Imran Khan has shot 'Sargoshiya' in the Valley and many other film

Enthusiasts cheer as heavy snow covers Gulmarg GULMARG, JK: Heavy snowfall this season at this famous skiresort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district has brought cheers to winter sports enthusiasts in the Valley as well as tourists from outside who are drawn to the steep skiing slopes amid spectacular views, after a gap of three years. Kashmir Valley in general and Gulmarg in particular has received such heavy snowfall this season after a period of three years of little snow which made skiing almost impossible. However, snowfall this January has attracted skiing enthusiasts to Gulmarg, often referred to as the "skiers paradise", even as the number of visitors is still less than what it usually witnessed in the years before 2013. "This is the best place for skiing. The slopes are very good and steep, providing skiers long distances to ski," Jyoti Sharma, a skiing enthusiast, said. She said Gulmarg is the best winter tourist destination in the world and easy on pocket too. "Other such places in the world are costlier and they are not even as picturesque as Gulmarg is. I have come here with my family and we are enjoying our stay. This is the best place to be in the winters," Sharma said. Another tourist, Mohammad

Abdul Bari, a resident of Allahabad, who has been living in Jeddah for some time now, said he felt happy by the visit as the environment here was good. "This is my first visit. I am coming all the way from Jeddah just because there is good environment here and snowfall is quite good. I really felt very happy being here as I had never seen so much snow. We have had a very good time here

and I will recommend all to visit this place," Bari said. He said the government should organize tourism promotion on a large scale to attract the visitors. The ski-resort especially witnesses the advent of foreign skiers once the place receives snow. However, owing to last year's unrest and some other factors, this year not many have arrived yet. "This place used to be bustling with activity especially during the winters, but this year we have not seen many tourists even after such a snowfall. Last years unrest has dealt a severe blow to tourism.

"Then there are other factors like steep rise in airfare, disruption in air and road connectivity as well as apprehension of avalanches," Shabir Ahmad, a hotelier, said. Many areas in the Valley have recently witnessed avalanches in which more than 25 people, most of them armymen, have been killed. Ahmad, however, said the people associated with tourism sector were hopeful that the news about normal situation and good snow would help in attracting the visitors from world-over. "Now that the situation is normal and we have had a good snowfall, we are hopeful of increase in the number of tourists to the Valley, especially to Gulmarg. We hope to have a good year in terms of tourism after the last year was washed out because of the situation (unrest)," he said. The government has also started skiing courses for students after a gap of three years. "We have started a 15-day skicourse for students after three years because there was little snowfall in the last three years," Mohammad Rafiq Malik, a skiing instructor of Youth Services and Sports Department, said. He said a new batch would start after 15 days and the process would go on till there is good snow to ski. -PTI

stars are expected to shoot here and in Pahalgam, just as Salman Khan shot for 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.

Javed Jafri, Mehbooba said, "They are here and I want them to persuade the people in the industry to shot their films here."

She expressed hope that heavy snowfall after many years would attract more people towards Kashmir. Mehbooba said the government is trying to improve infrastructure for winter sports to provide more facilities to the people visiting valley for snow. I hope the tourists will become our ambassadors and tell other people that Jammu and Kashmir is peaceful, she said. Pointing to film stars Imran and

"People are safer here than most of the places outside because people do not murder here for money. Kashmir is a safe place for women. If there is any place where crime related to women is much less, it is our Kashmir," she said. Later, the chief minister inaugurated restored heritage Maharaja Palace and the newly-constructed base station at the Gulmarg Gondola which houses many stalls showcasing cultural heritage of Kashmir. -PTI

13 lakh tourists visited J&K last year JAMMU: Nearly 13 lakh tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir last year, despite the five-month long unrest in the Valley, and this is around three lakh more than the turnout of visitors in the state in 2015, the state government said. As per the figures released by the state tourism department, 12,99,112 tourists, both foreign and domestic visited the state last year, compared to 9,27,815 tourists in 2015. Last year, 12,74,596 domestic and 24,516 foreign tourists visited the state. This is despite the fivemonth long unrest in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8 by security forces. In 2015, the number of tourists stood at 8,98,861 domestic visitors

and 28,954 foreigners. On the issue of promotion of tourism, Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi said as a part of an initiative, the department facilitates private tour operators through local travel trade associations by allotting them table space at travel events in which J&K Tourism Department participates. From 2015, the state department of tourism sponsored road shows which were organized by local travel trade associations outside the state. The department has spent Rs 3.87 crore on advertisements in the last two years. The Department of Tourism also releases, telecasts promos, TVCs in leading channels for promotion and publicity of the state as a tourist destination. -PTI


„ Health

Line

Test your glucose without pricking

Health Science

India Post News Service

P

eople with diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are advised to spot-check their blood-glucose levels several times daily to reduce the risk of serious complications. That's a lot of finger-pricking, considering that about 700 million people fall into one of those categories. According to 'The Israel Project,' Israeli company Integrity Applications has put more than a decade into developing GlucoTrack, described as the first truly noninvasive system for self-monitoring glucose levels. Instead of drawing blood, you clip the GlucoTrack sensor to your earlobe. A patented combination of ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal technologies works with a proprietary algorithm to measure physiological parameters correlated with glucose level. Results are displayed within about a minute on a USB-connected handheld control unit, which also stores and compares previous readings. The number is announced verbally, facilitating use by elderly and vision-impaired people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Sales in parts of Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand began in 2016, after the newest version of the device won regulatory approval in Europe and in South Korea. Integrity is soon beginning clinical trials of GlucoTrack Model DF-F in the United States required for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, and is working toward approval in China.

Woman's suit alleges rape by Ohio jailers CINCINNATI: A woman suing staff from a southwest Ohio jail alleges corrections officers raped her and nurses withheld her medicine for epilepsy, leaving her with debilitating seizures for days while in custody. Warren County Chief Deputy Barry Riley says the office's decision not to comment on the pending legal matter shouldn't be taken as an indication that there is any truth to the allegations. The federal lawsuit filed in Cincinnati by the now 38-year-old woman alleges county jailers raped her in 2013 after she turned herself in on an old warrant for a drug-related charge. It alleges one attack was so forceful it broke her shoulder bone. The woman's attorney says the sheriff's office investigated but didn't collect relevant forensic evidence and lab results. -AP

44 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

Smoking costs $1.4 trillion in health care Details on Page 47

Healthy budget: 2 new AIIMS, 5K more PG seats, 28 pc hike NEW DELHI: To bolster availability of specialist doctors at secondary and tertiary levels, the Centre has said it would create an additional 5,000 PG medical seats every year even as it increased the budget allocation for the health

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

sector by almost 28 per cent and announced two AIIMS centers for Jharkhand and Gujarat. The government also asserted that it has prepared an action plan to eliminate kala-azar and filariasis by 2017, leprosy by 2018, measles by 2020 and tuberculosis by 2025 and plans to amend the Drugs and

Cosmetics Rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices. It said that new rules for regulating medical devices will also be formulated soon while asserting that 1.5 lakh health sub-centers will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centers across the country. According to the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the budget allocation for the Health Ministry for 2017-18 is Rs 47,352.51 crore in comparison to last year's allocation of Rs 37,061.55 crore, an increase of 27.76 per cent. The revised allocation for 2016-17 was Rs 38,343.33 crore. Hailing it as a "landmark" budget, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said that the budget estimates for health show an "appreciable" increase and will help to attend tertiary care, human resources for health and medical education and to strengthen Na-

tional Health Mission. Nadda said that the Ministry has spent 73.25 per cent of 201617 budget till now and "with this pace I am hopeful of spending the remaining budget for 2016-17," he

Health Minister J P Nadda

said. Jaitley in his speech said that the government is committed to take necessary steps for structural transformation of the regulatory framework of medical education and practice in India which includes several steps for increas-

ing post-graduate medical seats. "The government has prepared an action plan to eliminate kalaazar and filariasis by 2017, leprosy by 2018 and measles by 2020. Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 is also targeted. "Similarly, action plan has been prepared to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019 and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) from 167 in 2011-13 to 100 by 2018-2020. 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centers will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centers," he said. The allocation for Department of Health Research under the Ministry too has been hiked for 2017-18 as it has been allotted Rs 1,500 crore from the previous year's allocation of Rs 1,144.80 crore. The revised allocation previous year was Rs 1,344.80 crore. Jaitley said that two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat. -PTI

'Healthcare costs to become more affordable' NEW DELHI: Although no major reforms were announced, plans to amend Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, formulate new norms for medical devices and taking steps for strengthening medical education will reduce healthcare cost for the masses, industry players have said. Reacting to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's proposals in the Budget 2017-18, Apollo Hospitals Group Chairman Prathap C Reddy said: "While we were hopeful that healthcare would be accorded a national priority sector status, the structural reform in medical education, in particular the increase in number of post graduate medical seats and DNB courses is praiseworthy as it was long-awaited. "I do hope that health policies will address the large unmet need for quality healthcare infrastructure and in particular the

need to wage a war on non-communicable diseases which the health sector has been focusing upon. In addition, the Aadhaar linked health cards for senior citi-

A target for the elimination of Tuberculosis has been set for 2025 apart from other diseases such as Filiaria, Leprosy, Measles and Kala Azar zens is a very welcome step," he added. A healthy India is pivotal for the country to retain its position as one of the fastest growing economies. Hence, "we are also pleased that the critical determinants of health, i.e. sanitation and

clean drinking water have gained greater importance as they are critical to ensure preventable deaths," Reddy said. Furthermore, a target for the elimination of Tuberculosis has been set for 2025 apart from other diseases such as Filiaria, Leprosy, Measles and Kala Azar are all being targeted, which is a key need of the day in addition to addressing the onslaught of NCDs, he added. "From a healthcare perspective, the announcement of the goal of eradicating TB from India by 2025 is welcome. I am happy that a new policy on medical education might be on the anvil and the FM wants to encourage private sector participation in medical education," Max Healthcare MD and CEO Rajit Mehta said. However, healthcare outlay in the Budget hasn't been touched and it remains largely under-

funded. There is no announcement regarding granting healthcare industry the status of infrastructure industry, a longstanding demand of the sector, he added. "The new rules to be formulated for medical devices will help in reducing costs of medical devices. With import of such devices, our diagnostic chains with be at par with international diagnostic chains. "Also, the 1.5 lakh health wellness centers will help the citizens to be more aware and facilitate them with better health benefits," Metropolis Healthcare MD & Promoter Ameera Shah said. The government has decided to continue its efforts to reduce the cost of healthcare with plans to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics rules and devising new rules for the medical devices. -PTI


February 10, 2017

Health Science Post

India Post 45

www.indiapost.com

Hawaii to save best parts of Affordable Care Act HONOLULU: In a modest church building in urban Honolulu, mother Mona Aliksa waited to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature health care law. A small team of government and social service workers at folding tables helped Aliksa and others enroll in health plans despite uncertainty about whether President Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress would completely repeal the law. ``I'm worried,'' Aliksa said. ``I have girls to take care of.'' Concerned about the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act, Hawaii lawmakers are introducing bills to merge into state law the consumer protections they consider the best parts of the federal program. The bills seek to guarantee insurers don't deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, institute lifetime maximums for coverage or strip some of the benefits such as pregnancy care that were mandated by the federal act. ``Before the Affordable Care Act, a very sick child could use up all their lifetime benefits within days or months,'' said Rep. Della Au Belatti, chairwoman of the House Health

Committee. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, about 54,000 people in the state gained coverage, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Nationwide, more than 10 million people had coverage through the act, the department said. Because of the rapidly shifting discussion in Washington, many state lawmakers around the country are grappling with what kind of bills to introduce to preserve parts of the Affordable Care Act, said Richard Cauchi, health program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. ``I think they're going to have a hard time with the replacement piece, and that's what worries me,'' said state Sen. Rosalyn Baker, chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee. ``They're going to repeal, but they're not going to replace because they can't get consensus.'' The Hawaii bills, introduced in the House and Senate, both included a mandate that individuals purchase insurance - part of the federal law that encouraged healthy, young people to sign up, providing a funding

Colorado hits insurance milestone amid questions DENVER: As Colorado and other states approach the end of health insurance signups, great uncertainty over the future of those plans is coloring debate over what states should do as they await word from Washington about how the federal healthcare law will change. Colorado's GOP-led Senate is moving a plan to undo Colorado's state-run insurance exchange, called Connect For Health Colorado. It's a bill unlikely to make it to the governor's desk because of Democratic opposition. But the measure is a good indication of how Republicans plan to chip away at Obamacare before the new Congress even decides what to do next. The bill would dismantle Connect For Health Colorado within a year. If the federal health care law remains unchanged, that would force Coloradans shopping for private insurance to use the federal exchange. ``Should Colorado continue to have its own exchange? Or has that model either become too expensive, or not effective?'' asked Sen. Jim Smallwood, a Republican from Douglas County who sponsored the repeal. Smallwood is an insurance broker who says his plan has nothing to do with attacking Obamacare, just in saving Colorado the expense of running its own health-insurance marketplace. Colorado is one of only 11 states with an in-state insurance exchange. ``They think it's all one and the same and that if you try to change the exchange, you're trying to change the law or Obamacare ... and that's not true,'' Smallwood told reporters about his bill. But Smallwood isn't having much luck

selling his bill as anything but a broadside attack on Obamacare. Democrats and supporters of the health law launched a rally on the Capitol steps to decry the exchange attack as an effort to undo the health law in Colorado. ``That really limits Colorado's options if a repeal goes through at the federal level,'' since the exchange's creation in 2011 and implementation of Obamacare, said Adam Fox of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, a Denver-based advocacy group that supports the federal health care law. The exchange last year sold some

Democrats and supporters of the health law launched a rally on the Capitol steps to decry the exchange attack as an effort to undo the health law in Colorado. 200,000 people medical or dental plans, said Luke Clarke, a spokesman for Connect For Health Colorado. At present, the exchange is running 12 percent ahead on enrollments over 2016, Clarke said, though a final figure would not be available for several weeks. The exchange is actively opposing Smallwood's bill. Clarke argued that dismantling Colorado's exchange would only scare away insurers, not attract more choices. ``The uncertainty is probably not making it more attractive'' to insurers to sell plans in Colorado, Clarke said. -AP

source for the sicker patients insurance companies were forced to accept. The Senate bill was amended to add an income tax credit, which could help people forced to buy health insurance to pay premiums. It's unclear whether there will be any federal funding available to help defray the cost for lowincome customers. ``Without the federal money that would

est health insurance company, provided questions and comments on the bill, but didn't support or oppose it. The company pulled out of the employer side of Hawaii's health exchange in 2014 complaining about technical problems at what was then a state-run exchange. It also, along with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, has blamed some quarterly losses on expenses related to the Affordable Care Act. The bills, introduced in the House and Senate, also seek to allow young people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance and to ensure that women aren't charged more Cinder Sonis, right, an advocate with Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, helped a than men for customer enroll in an Affordable Care Act health insurance plan in Honolulu. insurance. subsidize the cost, how would you make it Sowena Achen, 35, was helping take care affordable?'' said Beth Giesting, a consult- of her four-month-old nephew Makana ant lobbying for Hawaii Association of Albert while his mom was signing him up Health Care Plans. ``If it's not affordable, for insurance. Achen is worried about what you can't mandate it.'' will happen to her nephew and many famiWithout knowing what the federal gov- lies who hail from Micronesia if insurance ernment is going to do, ``we're kind of work- under the Affordable Care Act ends. ing in the dark here,'' Giesting said. ``Without the insurance, would they be At a hearing on the Senate bill, Hawaii OK?'' Achen said. ``I'm scared sometimes.'' Medical Services Association, the state's larg- AP

Health Care Foundation settles lawsuit KANSAS CITY, Mo.: A lawsuit filed seven years ago over the acquisition of the former Health Midwest hospital chain in the Kansas City area is settled. The Kansas City Star reports The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City said it will receive about $160 million from its lawsuit against the Hospital Corporation of America and its affiliate, HM Acquisition LLC. The lawsuit alleged HCA didn't meet a

capital improvement commitment it made as part of its purchase of the hospital chain. It follows another $15 million settlement in 2015 over whether HCA met its agreements on uncompensated care. The foundation awards grants to area nonprofits that provide health care services. Foundation officials said the total $175 million will be used to continue promoting quality health for the uninsured and underserved. -AP


Health Science Post

46 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

Spending on health below global average NEW DELHI: The country's public spending on health is "little over" 1 per cent of GDP, the Economic Survey said today, adding that there are "insufficient" instances of good models in the health sector. "Given the pressing need to redistribute, India did not invest sufficiently in human capital - for instance, public spending on health was an unusually low 0.22 per cent of the GDP in 1950-51. "This has risen to a little over 1 per cent today, but well below the world average of 5.99 per cent," the survey tabled in Parliament said. It said that as per Reserve Bank of India data, expenditure on social services by Centre and states, as a proportion of GDP was 7.0 per cent during 2016-17 (Budget Estimate), with education and health sectors accounting for 2.9 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. "The year 2014-15 in respect of which latest actual figures are available showed a significant decline from the RE level following a large decrease in actual social sector expenditure of the states from the revised estimates," it said.

It said that on state capacity, delivery of essential services such as health and education, which are predominantly the preserve of state governments, remains "impaired".

There have been some notable achievements in the health sector. Life expectancy has doubled and infant mortality and crude death rates have reduced sharply. "But on health and education there are insufficient instances of good models that can travel widely within India and that are seen as attractive political opportunities. Competitive populism needs a counterpart in competitive service delivery," it said. The Economic Survey said that

a second distinctive feature of the Indian economic model is the "weakness" of state capacity, especially in delivering essential services such as health and education. It said that India's health policy aims at an integrated approach which will provide accessible, affordable and equitable quality health care to the marginalized and vulnerable sections. "Despite the challenges faced by the government in providing affordable health services to the population, there have been some notable achievements in the health sector. Life expectancy has doubled and infant mortality and crude death rates have reduced sharply. "India's total fertility rate (TFR) has been steadily declining and was 2.3 (rural 2.5 and urban 1.8) during 2014. Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has declined to 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 from 44 in 2011. "The challenge lies in addressing the huge gap between IMR in rural (41 per 1000 live births) and urban (25 per 1000 live births) areas," the survey said. -PTI

Women's Zika vaccine not before 2020 GENEVA: About forty potential vaccines for the Zika virus are being tested, but none are likely to be available for women of childbearing age before 2020, the World Health Organization has said. WHO director Margaret Chan said the virus, linked to deformations in babies' heads and brains, remained "firmly entrenched" in

enough for use in women of childbearing age may not be fully licensed before 2020," Chan said. The agency declared in November that Zika was no longer a public health emergency, though Chan said that the WHO was setting up a new support program for countries around the world. The outbreak, which emerged in Brazil in 2015, has affected some 70 countries. While Zika, spread by infected mosquitoes as well as by sexual contact, causes only mild symptoms in most people, pregnant women with the virus risk giving birth to babies with miAbout forty potential vaccines for the Zika virus crocephaly, a crippling are being tested, but none are likely to be deformation that leads to available for women of childbearing age before abnormally small brains 2020, the World Health Organization said and heads. large parts of the world. In June, the WHO said $122 Although progress toward ef- million (113 million euros) was fective prevention has been made, needed to fund an 18-month plan with some drugs now in clinical to fight infections of women of trials, "a vaccine judged safe childbearing age. -AFP

Vermont supports Malaria superbug spreading Planned Parenthood fast in Asia

BANGKOK: A lineage of multidrug resistant malaria superbugs has widely spread and is now established in parts of Asia, according to a new study which warns that further spread of these parasites through India to Africa poses a risk of global public health disaster. It is causing high treatment failure rates for the main falciparum malaria medicines, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), researchers said. The emergence and spread of artemisinin drug resistant P falciparum lineage represents a serious threat to global malaria control and eradication efforts, they said. Researchers warn that malaria parasites resistant to both artemisinin and its widely used partner drug piperaquine are now spreading quickly throughout Cambodia, with fitter multidrug resistant parasites spreading throughout western Cambodia, southern Laos and northeastern Thailand. "We now see this very suc-

cessful resistant parasite lineage emerging, outcompeting its peers, and spreading over a wide area," said Professor Arjen Dondorp, from Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand. "It has also picked up resistance to the partner drug piperaquine, causing high failure

rates of the widely used artemisinin combination therapy DHA-piperaquine," said Dondorp. "We hope this evidence will be used to reemphasize the urgency of malaria elimination in the Asiaregion before falciparum malaria becomes close to untreatable. Noting that the further spread

of these multidrug resistant parasites through India to sub-Saharan Africa would be a global public health disaster, the researchers call for accelerated efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and closer collaboration to monitor any further spread in neighboring regions. "We are losing a dangerous race to eliminate artemisinin resistant falciparum malaria before widespread resistance to the partner antimalarials makes that impossible," said Nicholas White, Professor at Oxford and Mahidol University. "The consequences of resistance spreading further into India and Africa could be grave if drug resistance is not tackled from a global public health emergency perspective," White said. After examining blood spot samples from patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria from sites in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, the team found that PfKelch13 C580Y, a single mutant

MONTPELIER, Vt.: The Vermont Legislature has approved a resolution that affirms abortion rights. The resolution ``urges Congress and other state legislatures to preserve the rights protected in Roe v. Wade and to preserve access to essential health care services.'' The Burlington Free Press reports that the legislation is offered every year but at least one legislator cited President Donald

Trump's administration as a reason to support it. The Senate approved it by voice vote; the House approved it 103-31 in a roll call vote. The vote comes 10 days after hundreds of people attended the annual March for Life in Montpelier to oppose abortion and thousands of people attended a march and rally in Montpelier on the same day to support women's rights and Planned Parenthood. AP

Man gets 18-year term for health fraud NEWARK, N.J.: A man convicted of illegally operating an ambulance company after he was banned from participating in federal health care programs due to prior convictions is now headed to prison. Federal prosecutors say 57year-old Clifton man Imadeldin Khair received an 18-year sentence. He was also ordered to pay $8.8 million in restitution. A judge had convicted Khair last August on charges of heath

care fraud, obstructing a federal audit, tax evasion and money laundering. Khair was banned in 2004 from participating in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs for at least 11 years after he was convicted of state health care fraud. But prosecutors say almost immediately, Khair began operating an ambulance business in his brother's name and collected more than $9 million from Medicare and Medicaid. -AP


February 10, 2017

Health Science Post

India Post 47

www.indiapost.com

Smoking costs $1.4 No chemical contamination in New York water trillion in health care PARIS: Smoking cost the world economy more than $1.4 trillion (1.3 trillion euros) in 2012, and sucked up a twentieth of health care spending, a study says. The killer habit consumed the equivalent of nearly two percent of global economic output or GDP, according to experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society, with almost 40 percent of the burden falling on developing countries. These included a $422 billion price tag for treatment and hospitalization, as well as indirect costs from labor lost to illness and death. "Smoking imposes a heavy economic burden throughout the world, particularly

in Europe and North America, where the tobacco epidemic is most advanced," said the study published in the journal Tobacco Control. "These findings highlight the urgent need for countries to implement stronger tobacco control measures to address these costs." The authors say the study is the first ever to include low- and middle-income countries in a more accurate estimate of the tobacco epidemic's total, global cost. Most previous work has focused on rich nations. The team used data from 152 countries representing 97 percent of the world's smokers in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. They included UN and World Bank data on illness and death attributable to smok-

ing, national employment rates and national GDP. In 2012, they found, "diseases caused by smoking accounted for 12 percent (2.1 million) of all deaths among working age adults aged 30-69 - with the highest proportion in Europe and the Americas." Almost 40 percent of the global economic cost was borne by low and middle-income countries - a quarter by Brazil, Russia, India and China alone. China consumes over a third of the world's cigarettes and has a sixth of the global smoking death toll. The researchers said the real cost was likely much higher. They did not include data on the health and economic harm caused by secondhand smoke inhalation, or by smokeless forms of tobacco use, such as chewing. Second-hand smoke, the team wrote, was responsible for an estimated six million deaths per year. "Their inclusion would thus have a measurable impact on our estimate of the economic cost of smoking." And smokeless use, particularly in Southeast Asia, may account for as much as 30 percent of medical expenditure attributed to tobacco. Curbing the habit globally would go a long way towards achieving one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals - to cut premature deaths from non-infectious diseases by a third by 2030. Tobacco use is "one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced," according to the WHO, which says taxes are the most cost-effective deterrent. Yet "only 33 countries, with 10 percent of the world's population, have introduced taxes on tobacco products so that more than 75 percent of the retail price is tax," the WHO says on its website. "Tobacco tax revenues are on average 269 times higher than spending on tobacco control, based on available data." -AFP

Dishman Pharma receives USFDA report NEW DELHI: Drug firm Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Ltd has received Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the US health regulator on closure of inspection of its Bavla facility in Gujarat. "The company's Bavla facility was successfully inspected by the USFDA in July, 2016, which was intimated to the stock exchanges on July 9, 2016. In this regard, the company has received the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the USFDA for this facility on February 1, 2017,"

Dishman Pharma said in a regulatory filing. USFDA releases a copy of the EIR to the establishment that was the subject of an FDA or FDA-contracted inspection when the agency determines the inspection to be closed. "Thus, the company's facilities in Bavla, Naroda and Switzerland continue to be approved by the USFDA," Dishman Pharma said. The Bavla plant is mainly used for making pharmaceutical intermediate and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API's).-PTI

ALBANY, NY: Statewide targeted sampling for two cancer-causing industrial chemicals found no new cases of drinking water contamination, New York health and environmental regulators have said. The Water Quality Rapid Response Team, led by the state's health and environmental conservation agencies, says it mapped more than 250 facilities that reported using or storing PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, used in making non-stick products, or the related chemical PFOS, used in firefighting foam. The team reported that 38 drinking water systems within a half-mile of those facilities were tested. Most had no trace of the chemicals and all were well below the Environmental Protection Agency's advisory level, officials said. Regulators said one well at the Sullivan County Airport was above the advisory level but it wasn't a drinking water source and is no longer used. The chemicals are classified by the EPA as ``unregulated contaminants,'' meaning water supply operators aren't required to routinely test for them. Environmental groups urged statewide testing last year after a high level of PFOA was found in

drinking water in the Rensselaer County villages of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh. Officials said monitoring will continue at the 38 drinking water systems, which are in Cattaraugus, Delaware, Dutchess, Franklin, Greene, Nassau, Oneida, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Seneca, Suffolk, and Sullivan

counties. The agencies didn't identify the specific water supplies sampled or name the facilities that reported handling the chemicals. The facilities were identified through a survey sent to fire departments, airports, military installations, industries and chemical storage facilities. -AP


Horoscope

48 India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

The stationary transit of Rahu and Ketu is in effect till April 2017, Sudden setbacks, obstructions are likely. Drive safely. Be patience.

February 10th - Feb 16th 2017 Please send your birthday, place of birth and time, so I can give you your zodiac sign, according to Vedic astrology. Send to Jaysastrology@gmail.com

rofessional matters need care, focus on work don't ask for raise or promotion. Promotion is likely to be delayed due to conflicts. Some additional expenses are likely.Take care of your health. Stay away from disputes.Handle relationship matters with care, avoid confrontation, and take it easy. It is better to avoid new ventures, put it on hold and for a better time. Child may need help.

P

T

he professional matters look ok but need care. You have to be careful in the matter of status and relationships. New opportunities are likely.Health of family may cause concern. Those who have some planets around 27 degrees in any of these zodiac signs that is Virgo, Capricorn, Pisces and Taurus are likely to have problems concerning children, emotions, business, health of father.

T

his week is good for you in the matter of income. Professional matters may cause some concerns. Some of you may have to move in connection with the job. Promotions/recognition may be delayed. The health of family needs extra care.It is better to avoid haste and conflicts.Avoid unnecessary driving. Patience is the Mantra for you up to September 2017.

fter a long time things are looking better for you. Professional matters look ok. Some additional income is likely.This week is going to be better for health. Patience is required. The transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9 degree in odd signs up to 15th of April, 2017.

A

ome stress and conflicts are likely in the matter of profession, health, relationships and partnerships. Excercise patience and do not be aggressive. Students and those who are appearing in selections should work with patience. Prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet around 9 degree.

S

he professional matters need care, focus on your work and mind our own business. The mental peace and emotions are likely to be disturbed, patience is the remedy for this. Stay away from conflicts. Child may need some help.Some additional expenses are likely.Silence is golden for you. Romance wise take it slow and avoid confrontation and disputes.

T

S

T

T

he professional matters look better.Take care of relationship matters. Work with patience and avoid conflicts.Keep new ventures pending.The health of family may cause concerns.The week may involve some additional expenses.Avoid haste, aggressive behaviour, conflicts, unnecessary expenses and driving/travel.The prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu.

T

T

P

he week indicates con cerns in job/profession. Take due care.Handle relationship and property matters with patience.Child needs extra care and help. Some additional stress, losses and extra expenses are likely.It is better to avoid unnecessary driving. Take care of your health. Planets around 27 degree in any of these zodiac signs that is Virgo, Capricorn, Pisces and Taurus.

he professional matters may face concerns.Do not be aggressive.The week indicates the incidence of conflicts, litigation and health concerns. Manage conflicts with patience and compromise. Silence is golden.There is some extra mental stress. Handle relationship matters with patience. Keep new ventures pending. Avoid manipulations. Child may need help.The time is not good for your father.

he professional matters are looking up, work with patience. Some additional income is likely. Some new opportunities may also come up, so make the right choice if it is worth while. Avoid speculation, no playing the stock markets. Always invest in safe assets.Patience is the best medicine. Due to transit of Rahu/Ketu, Some income constraints are likely, sudden setbacks and delays.

ome of you are likely to be promoted/recognized. The professional matters look better. Obstructions are likely in the sources of income.Health of the spouse may cause concerns, get regular check up if required. Manage obstructions with patience.It is better to avoid manipulations and driving. Avoid being at wrong place at the wrong time, can cause sudden setback.

rofessional matters look better.Some unexpected and easy gains are likely. Some business related journey is likely.Some additional expenses are likely. Manage things with patience and avoid conflicts. Prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/ Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9 degrees.

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

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


February 10, 2017

India Post 49 www.indiapost.com

FOR ALL YOUR

TRAVEL NEEDS INTERNATIONAL  DOMESTIC

AIR INDIA AND ALL OTHER MAJOR AIRLINES.

PACKAGE DEAL TAJ TOUR-SOTC

SEEMA WORLD TRAVEL, INC. One of the Oldest Travel Agencies in St. Louis

Competitive Rates & Confirmed Seats for All Major Airlines 10635 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132

Tel: (314) 423-9990 or (800) 55 SEEMA CALL:

Sita Ram Patel @ 847-568-0535 New York (Hicksville)

AIRWING TRAVELS INC.

Tel: (516) 931 4600

Est. 1991 Toll Free: (866) 532 3413

New Jersey (Iselin)

Tel: (732) 658 5450

Lowest Fares / Confirmed Seats to INDIA & Other Destinations Worldwide Save upto 40% on First and Business Class OPEN 7 DAYS - Call or Email : AIRWINGTRAVELS@GMAIL.COM

 Fax: (314) 423-0391


„

Realty Tidbits

Govt cites positive impact of note ban NEW DELHI: Brushing aside alleged reports of losses to the real estate sector during last quarter of 2016 due to demonetization, the Centre has said experts feel that the move will purge the sector from the influence of black money, thereby making purchases affordable and within the reach of common man. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Rao Inderjit Singh told this to Rajya Sabha on being asked whether the government had considered various reports, which allegedly found that demonetization led to decline in business for real estate sector during the last quarter of 2016. Singh said although the government had not carried out any study to assess the impact of the November 8 announcement on the sector, the "experts have written about the impact of demonetization on the real estate sector, wherein, they feel that demonetization will purge the sector from the influence of black money, thereby making purchases affordable and within the reach of the common man." The minister, however, did not name the experts. He claimed that it had been opined by experts that demonetization will give a fillip to the real estate sector due to price correction and transparency in deals, thereby creating a level-playing field. -PTI

„ 4,000 properties up for sale in Cook County CHICAGO: More than 4,000 vacant Cook County properties are being put up for sale as part of an effort to improve distressed communities. The Cook County Land Bank Authority says the 4,437 tax-delinquent parcels represent the largest one-time release of real estate in county history. The properties are located in areas of Chicago and suburban Cook County that were hard hit by the foreclosure crisis or the decline in manufacturing. Many have been vacant for five to 10 years, creating blight in neighborhoods. Community-based developers, homeowners, block clubs and non-profit organizations may buy the parcels and transform them into community gardens, play lots or basketball courts. Cook County formed the land bank in 2013. Commissioner Bridget Gainer says this action will contribute to ``a rust belt reboot.'' -AP

Real Estate 50 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

County sued over Bruce Willis airstrip FAIRFIELD, Idaho: Residents of a rural southern Idaho county have filed a lawsuit over a zoning change that will allow actor Bruce Willis to build a private airport. The Idaho Mountain Express reported that several Fairfield-area residents filed a lawsuit against Camas County seeking an injunction against enforcement of a new ordinance that allowed work on the private airstrip to resume. Work on Willis' airstrip halted in September after Planning and Zoning Administrator Dwight Butlin found the airport site was on land zoned for agricultural use. -AP

Developers hail Budget for infra status to affordable homes NEW DELHI: Real estate developers, who have been badly affected by the demonetization move, have said it's a "good Budget" for the sector that would boost supply and demand of af-

CREDAI President Getamber Anand

fordable homes and thereby help in revival of the property sector. The government has been accommodative of the concerns of the realty sector and met the industry's long pending demand to accord infra-status to affordable housing, they said. Relaxation on long term capital gains, joint development agreements, tax rebates for builders on unsold stocks would provide a big relief to the real estate sector, which is facing a multi-year slowdown, developers and consultants said. "It is a good budget. Infrastructure status to affordable housing

will help in accessing cheaper funds for the development of lowcost homes," realtors apex body CREDAI President Getamber Anand told PTI. He said more developers would

segment getting the Infrastructure status along with increased allocations under NHB and PMAYGramin would enable larger funding available to home buyers and developers at a lower cost and also make the sector eligible for various incentives. Property consultant JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said the Budget gives a big boost to the affordable housing but missed out on giving any additional income tax incentives to first-time home buyers or providing higher tax savings on housing loans and house insurance premiums. NAREDCO President Parveen Jain said: "Affordable housing being included under infrastructure will now be able to receive li-

Union Budget. The real estate sector, which was the hardest hit by demonetization move, will be one of the major beneficiaries of this budget." Providing infrastructure status to affordable housing will not only bring the cost of financing down but will also open up additional avenues for developers to raise funds, he added. The shift in eligibility criteria for affordable housing from built up area to carpet area will increase the unit size by 20-30 per cent and would offer home buyers the benefit of owning larger units, Baijal said, adding that this would also encourage leading real estate players to enter this segment. CBRE India and South Asia Chair-

Emaar India CEO Sanjay Malhotra

JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri

DLF CEO Rajeev Talwar

enter into affordable home projects with the change in the eligibility norm to carpet area from built up area as well as clarity on applicability of 30 sq meter and 60 sq meter criteria. Realty major DLF CEO Rajeev Talwar said: "It is excellent and balanced Budget. For housing it is an unprecedented Budget. Infrastructure status to affordable housing will mean cheaper cost of funding and lower tax to developers. Supply of affordable homes will increase, so prices will be lower". Emaar India CEO Sanjay Malhotra said affordable housing

quidity support from a variety of funds such as pension funds and insurance firms". Knight Frank India CMD Shishir Baijal said, "It is positive that the real estate sector has come in the central spectrum of the

man Anshuman Magazine said the infrastructure status to affordable housing is indeed an important step to promote access to priority lending thereby spurring supply of low cost housing units. -PTI

'Explore & Experience' event at Wallis Ranch India Post News Service

DUBLIN, CA: Trumark Communities will host an "Explore & Experience" event on Saturday, February 11 at Wallis Ranch, the 806-home master planned community in Dublin, CA to activate the community clubhouse and amenity spaces and introduce the new concierge team. According to a press release, residents at Wallis Ranch will enjoy hotel-like services and access to unique community events planned by

the concierge team ranging from fitness classes to pool parties and cooking demonstrations.

At the February 11th event, Trumark will host a fun-filled day for the public complete with ca-

tered bites and refreshing beverages, farm-to-table tasting demonstrations, poolside massages, professional mini-photoshoots and much more for the whole family to enjoy. Attendees will have a chance to enjoy these activities, tour new model homes and meet the builders of Wallis Ranch. The Wallis Ranch concierge team will be on-hand to share more about the amenities and concierge-type services that residents will have access to. Cont’d on page 51


Real Estate Post

February 10, 2017

India Post 51

www.indiapost.com

How to bring hotel chic home

I

nspired by the interiors of bou tique hotels around the world, author Sara Bliss wanted to share easy and affordable tips on how to bring that style home. In ``Hotel Chic at Home'' (The Monacelli Press), she tries to capture the transformative power of travel, and that moment in a stylish hotel when you say to yourself, ``Why can't my life be more like this every day?''

design to solve those dilemmas after all, they have to book every room, every night.'' Here are highlights from an interview Bliss gave to The Associated Press: What is it about these hotels that caught your imagination? BLISS: Boutique hotels have become incubators for new interior design trends that not only

The photo is featured in the book "Hotel Chic at Home" by Sara Bliss.

Bliss, author of seven books including ``Exotic Style'' and ``The Thoroughly Modern Married Girl,'' gathers design ideas from innovative small hotels, from Marrakech, Morocco to Palm Springs, California, and talks with some of the designers. She has chapters on subjects including foyers, lighting, dramatic walls and floors, and setting the scene with art. ``Even the chicest hotels have the same issues as most homeowners - awkward spaces, cookie-cutter architecture, lackluster views or dark rooms,'' Bliss writes. ``The difference is that hoteliers have figured out how to use

transport visitors to Thailand or Tuscany, but solve familiar design challenges on a budget, while setting an unforgettable mood. It's a magical mix of feeling both transported and at home, and there are plenty of ideas that can easily be adapted at home. One of the things I love about these hotels is that they are pretty fearless in their design choices. We could all get more comfortable with the idea of having confidence in our design choices. Is it important to stick to a single theme throughout when planning a design redo at home? Mixing up inspiration from Af-

rica and France and Morocco is perfectly OK. It's coolest when it's organic and reflects things you love. Big, crazy design ideas are sometimes too fun to talk yourself out of - and they'll always be memorable and meaningful. Can you suggest some quick and affordable ways to add glamour to a room? Cubes painted shiny gold would glam up any room as side tables. And for walls, I love dark colors. So many of the hotels I visited feature a beautiful dark space lit by candlelight in the evenings. If painting an entire room is too much, employing stencils or graphics, even on a single surface, like a wall or ceiling, can have big impact. Any suggestions for making garden spaces more inviting? Consider colorful blankets or poufs, and also eye-catching cabanas to create an inviting seating area. And lining up lanterns with tiny candles inside makes everything look magical, especially at night. A row of lanterns along walkways or at entrances, or even along tables as a centerpiece really sets the mood. What about jazzing up powder rooms? For bathrooms, you always want to have fresh flowers and maybe a votive or two, and fragrant little soaps. A fabulous and unexpected light fixture can instantly transform a bathroom into a memorable space. Consider a crystal chandelier, framed art or velvet curtains. Be brave. Don't be afraid to go for that extra dash of glamour. -AP

'Explore & Experience' event at Wallis Ranch Cont’d from page 50

In addition, members from the Trumark Communities team and neighborhood builders, including KB Home, Trumark Homes, Warmington Residential, Pulte Homes, D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes and Taylor Morrison will be available for interviews to share insight on the demand and sales success to date. The event will be held from 11 am to 3 pm at Wallis Ranch, 4201 Wallis Ranch Drive, Dublin, CA 94568 About Wallis Ranch The 184-acre Wallis Ranch master planned development includes eight distinct neighborhoods featuring a total of 806 single-family detached homes, townhomes and executive homes ranging in size from 1,700 to 4,100

square feet. Considered one of the fastest growing cities in California and the crossroads of the Bay Area, Dublin is experiencing a significant boost in housing demand as a result of the thriving San Francisco Bay Area located just 40 miles away. Wallis Ranch enjoys a convenient location with close proximity to BART, Persimmon Place, San Francisco Premium Outlets and a new bus station being built near the community's entrance. Master planner Trumark Communities has dedicated more than half of the master plan's acreage to green space programming, including parks, open space and a water-quality basin to create a tranquil enclave that appeals to Bay Area residents' active lifestyles. Wallis Ranch will also include a three-acre common area featuring a fitness center, pool, spa and BBQ area, surrounded by

more than one mile of trail systems. With the California drought top of mind, Trumark will incorporate drought tolerant landscaping that will use all reclaimed water throughout the community. www.wallisranch.com. The master planned community was acquired by Trumark Communities in 2014 through a partnership with Isles Ranch Partners, LLC and Castlelake, L.P., and sales are slated to begin in Q2 2016. Trumark Communities is a residential land development platform focused on acquiring, developing and selling improved lots in master planned communities. Its current pipeline includes 1,500+ lots representing total projected revenue in excess of $300 million. Trumark Communities realized lot sales to builders of over $200 million in 2015. www.trumarkcommunities.com

Proposed laws aim to reform Illinois group homes CHICAGO: Illinois lawmakers are proposing six new laws that would strengthen licensing requirements and oversight for thousands of group homes for adults with disabilities. The proposed legislation follows an investigation by the Chicago Tribune that exposed substandard living conditions and widespread harm among such facilities. Illinois officials said the legislative measures are part of a continuing overhaul of the state's fragmented and sprawling group home system that shelters over 12,000 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Illinois Department of Human Services has urged lawmakers to shore up investigative shortcomings and eliminate a licensing loophole that surfaced late last year when state officials revoked Disability Services of Illinois' license, citing ``imminent risk'' to residents. The private network of group homes served 45 residents in Chicago and the south suburbs. The newspaper's investigation spotlighted a neglect case and serious problems at the business, which was called Southwest Disabilities Services & Supports until last year. What was meant to be a smooth transition of residents from Disability Services to new providers evolved into chaos as state attorneys accused group home employees of thwarting their efforts to relocate residents. A Cook County circuit judge gave Disability Services officials a deadline to turn over residents to casework-

ers, but that deadline passed, leading to a frantic search for missing adults. Disability Services' chief executive had testified last month that those individuals went home with family members. He couldn't provide names of those relatives or contact information in many cases.

Bills focus on the revocation process by demanding that group homes maintain contact information and pictures of residents All the residents were found and either moved to new homes or given supportive services with relatives. Four of the six bills focus on the revocation process by demanding that group homes maintain contact information and pictures of residents, allow unrestricted state access to residents undergoing transitions to new homes and establish an attendance and destination log to track when residents opt to spend the night elsewhere. ``These are people,'' said state Rep. Charles Meier, one of three Republican legislators sponsoring the array of bills. ``Even if they can't talk or even if they can't walk, they deserve the best life possible.'' -AP

Infra status sought for real estate NEW DELHI: Industry body PHDCCI has demanded that the government should give infrastructure status to the entire real estate sector instead of confining it to only affordable housing segment. "PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has proposed to the government to bring in Real-Estate under Infrastructure Status category rather than confining it to Affordable Housing Segment since it handholds about 265 ancillaries and accordingly feed them with its expansion and contraction," the association said in a statement. The proposal was submitted to Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu.

A delegation of PHDCCI consisting of its Sr Vice President and Vice President Anil Khaitan and Rajeev Talwar including its Director, Ranjeet Mehta met Naidu postbudget. Khaitan and Talwar appreciated the NDA government initiative for conferment of infrastructure status on affordable housing. They urged the minister to take up this proposal to the finance ministry so that the entire real estate activities also get benefits of infrastructure status. The Chamber hailed the government's initiative in the budget proposals by which the real estate developers would get tax relief on unsold stock, as liability to pay capital gains will arise only in the year the project is completed. -PTI


Classifieds

India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

For Classifieds Ads Call NORTHERN CA (Naresh Sodhi) Tel: 510-938-8667 sonia@indiapost.com (Vidya Sethuraman) Tel. 510-491-4867 vidya@indiapost.com SOUTHERN CA (Shashi Trivedi) Tel: 562-441-5511/ Fax: 562-947-0632 shashi19@yahoo.com

NEWS on your desktop www.indiapost.com

CHICAGO (Ramesh Soparawala) Tel: 773-973-7394 / Fax: 773-973-7396 sramesh@aol.com NEW YORK/ NEW JERSEY Naresh:510-938-8667

www.indiapost.com

52

SUBSCRIBE TO INDIA POST E-PAPER Mail to: subscribe@indiapost.com or login to http://www.indiapost.com/ subscribe/


Philosophy

February 10, 2017

India Post 53

www.indiapost.com

Page Sponsored by Sahanis RAM DASS

T

he issue of integrity was haunting me. I am part of the small percentage of the universe, of this world, of the 7 billion people of this world, that uses an inordinately large amount of resources. I am part of the wealthy, middle-class of America. I'm not wealthy, but by standards of the world, I'm wealthy, so I have to struggle with a question, really the issue of suffering. Today, 35,000 children die of starvation, and tomorrow another 35,000, and under those conditions, how happy can you be? How are you going to be happy? Are you gonna be happy by averting your gaze, by saying, "Let's not talk about that, can't you leave me alone for a while about that? I want to be happy." I saw that wasn't going to be good enough, it wasn't going to work, so what I want to tell you, and this is one of the most profound things I can say to you, is that if you and I are going to be 'peacers', if you and I are going to be people that are going to help the evolutionary process happen, we have got to be able to look suffering right in the eye and not flicker a bit. We have to be able to keep our hearts open as Hell. This game is not for the faint of heart. And the only way you can keep you heart open is by living FRANCIS LUCILLE

T

he word 'love' refers to a lived experience. It is a paradoxical experience because even though we have all experienced the reality of it, it appears to escape every attempt to grasp it, to describe it or to repeat it. The tender delight we had in our childhood when we looked at a beautiful colored illustration, the soft emotion when we think about a loved one, the impulse that moves us to encourage a stranger in deep sorrow and to help when in danger, the repulsion that grips us when cruelty is committed against oppressed innocence. All these circumstances among many others point to a common experience that cannot be described or defined. If we want to go deeper into the discovery of this central experience it seems that our investigation evaporates due to a lack of objective support. If we do not have the words to express it and there are no images to describe it, it is because there are no perceptions or sensations to experience it objectively. Nevertheless we do have this experience. That is the paradox: it is unmistakably present. It has the same undeniable and ethereal character as conscious presence. We

simultaneously on more than one plane of consciousness. When I was in India, there was a time in Bangladesh when things were just falling apart, and I wanted to take my VW over there and use it as an ambulance. My guru didn't tell me to or not to, but he saw how agitated I was, and he said, "Ram Dass, don't you see it's all perfect?" and I said "Perfect?!" - I was outraged because people were dying and suffering.

individual soul through all kinds of learning experiences that involve suffering and death, but if you are looking at it through the eyes of your separateness, through your individual rational mind, it becomes a trap where you cannot see that it is all simultaneously perfect, and it stinks. You embrace the paradox, and then you can sit in a place where nothing is happening; and you

body else's suffering. Let's just deal with us. For me, suffering is telling me where my mind is clinging. If I experience suffering because I am getting old, it's because I have a model of myself that's other than what this is. This is what this is, including dying, pain, loss, all of it. The models in our heads about it, and the way we cling to it, is where the root of suffering is. So when you wanna get free badly

Coming to terms with suffering & injustice If you and I are going to be people that are going to help the evolutionary process happen, we have got to be able to look suffering right in the eye and not flicker a bit. Ram Dass

My self-righteousness was outraged. How could it be perfect if people were being violated, and there is injustice? Yet he would cry over the suffering, and he would do things to alleviate suffering, so I began to try to embrace the paradox of the planes of consciousness, in which there are inconsistencies. It involves the evolution of the

do what you can to relieve suffering and you do your part to relieve the suffering not because you're good, but because what else are you going to do, because you see that the person suffering is no longer 'them.' What suffering tells you is where the mind is clinging. Now, I am talking about your suffering. I am not talking about some-

enough, you begin to experience your own suffering as grace. You don't ask for it. You don't say, "Give me suffering," but when it comes you see it as something that's showing you a place where you are holding. The place to release. Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher. Excerpted from ramdass.org

know this experience in the same way we know that we are conscious. If we try to describe the trajectory up to the very last moment where it crosses over into the inexpressible, it seems as if the 'I' feeling dissolves, perhaps only temporarily, into a more spacious reality, infinite, a blessed peace that brings an end to all the emo-

thentic love and compassion is revealed? The condition is the temporary or permanent disappearance of the idea of a separate 'I'. This disappearance can never be the result of an action done by this 'I'. Love flies on its own wings and knows no laws. It is the emergence of grace that wrests us from the hypnosis of separation. Liberation arises

surrender to everything that takes us to love. In this surrender we discover true life, the inner peace that we have always sought. Love exists only without an object. Love is the love of the objectless by the objectless. An object puts clothes on love, and dressed veils it. What we love in a person is neither the physical body nor the thoughts. It is the conscious pres-

Condition of love is end of separate 'I' Love, is unmistakably present. It has the same undeniable and ethereal character as conscious presence. We know this experience in the same way we know that we are conscious. tional or intellectual agitation. We are not strangers to this new dimension. It is immediately recognized as absolute intimacy and tenderness. It is the center of our self and the world simultaneously. This presence is love. Is there some particular condition before this quality of au-

out of freedom itself. But you should not conclude from this that every act and practice intended to establish us as love is useless. Such a decision would confine us to intellectual dullness. The longing for love comes from love itself, not from the separate ego. On the contrary, we have to

Francis Lucille

ence that we have in common with him or her, the self, the objectless. The veil can exercise a temporary power of attraction, but only the true self that remains in the background can bring us what we seek. Frenchman Francis Lucille (73) is a disciple of Jean Klein and a spiritual teacher of advaita.

When your last breath arrives, Grammar can do nothing. -Adi Shankaracharya

God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer -Ramakrishna

That which is not (the objects as separate from the Self) never comes into being, and that which is (The Self) never ceases to be" -Bhagavad Gita

Oh Marvel! This illusion, although expressed in multiplicity, is no other than consciousness-without-asecond. Ha, all is but pure essence aware of itself. -Abhinavagupta

There is nothing but God -Sufi quote

Question: When a sound ceases, does awareness cease? Answer: Awareness never ceases -HuiHai, Zen Buddhism

The universe awakens when You awaken and vanishes when You withdraw. Therefore the totality of existence and non-existence is one with You. -Abhinavagupta

"Jesus said: "I" is the light (of awareness) that shines upon all things. "I" is the All from which everything emanates and to which everything returns. -Thomas, 186

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


54

Edit Page

India Post

February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

India: Acting East after end of TPP

India Post

ROSHAN IYER

A

s US President Donald Trump signed his first set of executive orders on 23 January, the world heard the final nail in (at least this iteration of) the Trans Pacific Partnership's (TPP) coffin. The proposed TPP would have linked 40 per cent of the global economy and revolutionized global value chains. This vacuum in the world economy may now purportedly be filled by China. However, this also provides an opportune moment for India to engage with Asia and fill a part of that space through its Act East Policy and engaging with Southeast Asia through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - a trade deal between the 10 ASEAN nations and the nations that have existing FTAs with the grouping. Significance of the TPP's Death With the rejection of the TPP officially in place, doubts have arisen about the credibility of the US's Pivot to Asia. Some also feel that this finally heralds the rise of China as the global economic

tors hold in a host country (albeit this has not yet been finalized). These make the RCEP more palatable to developing countries. At present, the death of the TPP has breathed new life into the RCEP. This partnership offers India the unique opportunity of engaging directly with China on this multilateral forum to push forward an agenda (that is acceptable to India) for greater regional trade integration. Potential of the RCEP Originally introduced at a 2011 ASEAN conference as an alternative to the TPP, the RCEP comprises 25 per cent of the global economy. The agreement promises to provide a basis for more open trade and investment in the region while also avoiding the hassle of multiple bilateral arrangements that currently exist between the RCEP countries. Simultaneously, the RCEP is an ASEAN-led agreement, i.e. in principle, both Beijing and New Delhi have an equal platform within the arrangement. Although this grouping holds

India must balance the pressure to reduce its own tariffs so that the country's farmers and low-income manufacturing sector laborers are insulated from the substantial social cost this might have on them. It would be prudent for the Indian government to hold more consultations with the various farmers groups leader. While a conservative US has always been alarmist when it comes to China, the situation might not be as dire as it has been made to be. China still has a long way to go before implementing any of its own initiatives on a trans-continental level. Critics of the TPP targeted its opaque negotiation process and argued that it was created purely for the benefit of large corporations. It also faced criticism for its investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDSM), which would have enabled foreign corporations to sue governments if the former felt that terms of its contracts were being violated by the latter. Meanwhile, the RCEP does not address certain issues like protections for labor and the environment which the TPP had attempted to. The RCEP also lacks an ISDSM, limiting the power that foreign inves-

the potential to be a major trade bloc and possibly even the third pillar in the global economy (like the EU or the North American Free Trade Agreement), India is at loggerheads with the other RCEP nations over certain tariff and liberalization related matters. Previously, India had proposed a threetier tariff reduction plan based on its existing Free Trade Agreements, proposing 80 per cent tariff cuts to the 10 ASEAN countries; 65 per cent cuts to South Korea and Japan; and 42.5 per cent cuts to China, Australia and New Zealand. The plan was unilaterally rejected by the RCEP members, a decision that India accepted allowing for negotiations to continue. This worked out well as the RCEP members eventually agreed to include services and investments liberalization in the negotiation

agenda. Previously, services and investments liberalization found little support as structural disparities between the service and investment sectors of the RCEP countries (especially within the Singapore-led ASEAN grouping) had previously prevented them from negotiating the idea of bringing about a uniform policy in these sectors. However, India used the potential of access to its market as leverage to build a consensus on services and investments liberalization. This demonstrated India's considerable sway within the partnership. India requires liberalization in these sectors to enable its service exports (which are highly competitive and profitable) to the region. What Next? At present, the RCEP is still in the negotiating process, with the 16th round scheduled to be held in Indonesia in December 2017. India's negotiation appears to be heading in the right direction with its focus on services and investment. If the liberalization of these sectors is implemented in full, India stands to gain the most and must hence work to capitalize those markets in the RCEP countries. However, India must balance the pressure to reduce its own tariffs so that the country's farmers and low-income manufacturing sector laborers are insulated from the substantial social cost this might have on them. It would be prudent for the Indian government to hold more consultations with the various farmers groups, industry associations, and labor unions to develop an optimal liberalization plan for the country. On a geopolitical level, the RCEP creates a Southeast Asia-centric economic system that aligns with India's Act East Policy. The partnership would also work to exclude Trump's US from the regional Asian economy, reducing the blowback from the US' withdrawal from the global economy. India must use this window of opportunity to its greatest advantage. Its massive market is extremely attractive to other countries but this is only an asset if India is able to strategically leverage it to its benefit in the global economy. The writer is Research Intern, IPCS

Fair critics

W

hen former finance minister P. Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi or other Congress leaders criticize the Budget, Demonetization, Modi's Make in India policies and foreign visits, you know their motivation. They are committed to criticize Modi as an opposition political party smarting at having lost control of ruling India to Modi's BJP. Other opposition parties have similar motivation to oppose Modi tooth and nail and see only faults in his governance. However when senior government functionaries point to significant achievements of the government like Swachch Bharat and demonetization etc, you take it with a pinch of salt. The government functionaries will not notice or point out flaws in their programs or implementation whereas the opposition will only look for holes to pick. How will then one assess the success or failure of a government? Where is then a fair assessment? Something contrary to this pattern of assessment has recently happened and it comes from a leading light of the Congress. A renowned economist, Montek Singh Ahluwalia is a former chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission of India and a close confidante of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. At a recent conference in Rome, he struck a different note attracting attention to what may be truly transforming India of today. Speaking on the sidelines of a three-day UN conference on 'Investing in inclusive rural transformation: Innovative approaches to financing' in Rome, Montek Singh said that India is on the "brink of a technoinstitutional revolution and integration of mobile apps, broadband connectivity and new banking systems which will act as a big "differentiator" for the rural economy, especially for small farmers." "In India, we are on the brink of a major techno-institutional revolution, where a number of things are coming together mobile phones, telecom and broadband interconnectivity to get into enough areas, regulatory changes being made in the banking system that allow a lot of news forms of banking to flourish," Ahluwalia said. Calling technology a big "differentiator", he said, "four to five different things have come together. One is the technology of mobile phone, second is the regulatory changes in banking system, making it possible for banks to perform all these things, third is UIDAI and the fourth is DigiLocker." Elaborating on the how the exploitation of middlemen could be reduced, Ahluwalia said that the reason why middlemen are playing an important role in the rural sector is "because middleman is the person who is your moneylender". "If he lends you money and you have to repay him then he has a big control over you. But if you are getting money through a banking system directly then you are not dependent on middlemen," Montek said. Ahluwalia doesn't seem to be motivated by politics and as a true lover of India he feels enthused by developments taking place now, even if these developments are happening under the stewardship of a beta noire of the party he has been associated with. The hurdles to these developments are many considering the backlash against globalization being witnessed in the West and elsewhere. Prime Minister Modi is quite aware of these issues. Interestingly, it was Chinese President Xi Jinping found singing praises of globalization at the World Economic Forum in Davos and made a case for free trade (and China's unfettered access to Western markets). On the same day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi by stating: "Globally connected societies, digital opportunities, technology shifts, knowledge boom and innovation are leading the march of humanity ‌ But walls within nations, a sentiment against trade and migration, and rising parochial and protectionist attitudes across the globe are also in stark evidence. The result: globalization gains are at risk and economic gains are no longer easy to come by." India's course is thus set to bring the rural areas of India up with the use of latest technological innovations.


February 10, 2017

www.indiapost.com

India Post 55


56 India Post

www.indiapost.com

February 10, 2017

Profile for Ghanshyam Bisht

IndiaPost_02-10-2017_e-paper  

Voice of Indians Worldwide

IndiaPost_02-10-2017_e-paper  

Voice of Indians Worldwide

Profile for indiapost
Advertisement