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Tabla player Sandeep Das wins Grammy Details on page 6
‘China benefits from Indo-Pak tension’ Details on page 5
Another Pakistan Senator denied US visa
VOL 22, No. 1168
February 17, 2017
TRUMP RELOOKING F16 SALE TO INDIA
WASHINGTON: The Trump Administration is taking a fresh look at Lockheed's proposal to have a F-16 manufacturing base in India if New Delhi agrees to buy the fighter jets, company officials have said. "For several months, we've been working with President (Donald) Trump's transition and governance teams and leaders in Congress providing information on our many programs and potential business opportunities including the proposed sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to India," a Lockheed official told PTI. Lockheed, which is one of the top global manufactur-
ers of fighter jets, said that its officials have briefed the Trump Administration on the current proposal, which was supported by the Obama Administration as part of a broader cooperative dialogue with the Government of India. "We understand that the Trump Administration will want to take a fresh look at some of these programs and we stand prepared to support that effort to ensure that any deal of this importance is properly aligned with US policy priorities," the official said. Details on page 5
Dev Patel wins Bafta for 'Lion' Details on page 6
India-origin NASA scientist detained Details on page 6
Drug addict held for killing Indian in Milpitas Details on page 9
India to post customs officer in US
Details on page 7
Husain Haqqani questions Pak Kashmir policy
Details on page 8
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29
Details on page 7
Classifieds ------------------------- 52 Community Post -------------- 16-19 Date Book -------------------------- 27
INDIA POST SURVEY
Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 44-47
Horoscope ------------------------- 26
This week’s question
Immigration Post ------------- 35-39
Trump should be allowed to settle down?
Life Style ----------------------- 30-34 Perspective -------------------- 48-49
Last week’s result
Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4
New ban Azhar move initated by US is significant? YES 57%
GHAR WAPSI: Chinese soldier Wang Qi who was stuck in India for over 50 years after he crossed over the border after the 1962 war, returned to Beijing on February 11 to reunite with his kin. (Details on page 31)
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Real Estate -------------------- 50-51 TechBiz Post ------------------- 20-24 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43
February 17, 2017
February 17, 2017
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Bollywood: Wanted dulhaniya Varun as Badrinath Bansal has made a groom profile with specifications he is looking for in 'Badrinath ki Dulhania'.
Cover Story: Relook on F16s to India The Trump Administration is taking a fresh look at Lockheed's proposal to have an F-16 manufacturing base in India
Community: Red Carpet for Dr Meshri Idaho University honored Dr Dayal Meshri for the $50 million conference building which Dr Meshri helped set up
28 5 16
Romesh K Japra
FLORIDA B K Madnani CANADA Firdaus Ali Correspondent
henever a new government takes over it is understood that some new policies will be framed and a lot of old ones are done away with, but often, it is more owing to politics than a need to correct a wrong or fix something that isn't working. And so it would seem that the Trump Administration - politics or not - is determined to overturn old and new policies, if only to put its own stamp and seal on it. One such policy that I am personally concerned about is that of net neutrality, which the new Trump-appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai has already said he would do away with, and in one stroke rendered popular public opinion almost irrelevant, much as the general election seems to have done. Broadband Internet services are as essential as public utilities like water, gas and electricity, and imply free choice. Imagine the scenario where utility companies decide who should get how much water or electricity and what it should be used for and when purely based on a profit motive. Technology has rendered the Internet as crucial to peoples' day to day lives as is the economy or national security or the environment. The debate of net neutrality has been raging for over a decade now and among the many countries that have deemed its inviolability is India. In today's ultra mediated world, the Internet is one platform that levels the playing field as much for the teenaged kid tinkering with a webcam as it does for a big corporation. It is not just about infotainment, but about access to essential services and indeed about the future of things, and the way we live. For what it's worth let the Internet be about peoples' choice and not that of the big corporations.
Setback to Trump
A US appeals court has refused to reinstate Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on some countries
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February 17, 2017
Trump relooking F16 sale to India WASHINGTON: The Trump Administration is taking a fresh look at Lockheed's proposal to have a F-16 manufacturing base in India if New Delhi agrees to buy the fighter jets, company officials have said. "For several months, we've been working with President (Donald) Trump's transition and governance teams and leaders in
top global manufacturers of fighter jets, said that its officials have briefed the Trump Administration on the current proposal, which was supported by the Obama Administration as part of a broader cooperative dialogue with the Government of India. "We understand that the Trump Administration will want to take a fresh look at some of these
"We understand that the Trump Administration will want to take a fresh look at some of these programs and we stand prepared to support that effort to ensure that any deal of this importance is properly aligned with US policy priorities," the official said Congress providing information on our many programs and potential business opportunities including the proposed sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to India," a Lockheed official told PTI. Lockheed, which is one of the
programs and we stand prepared to support that effort to ensure that any deal of this importance is properly aligned with US policy priorities," the official said. Ultimately, the configuration of any F-16 sale to India will be de-
termined by government-to-government discussions, the Lockheed official noted referring to the fact that all major defense sales needs approval of the US Government. The official said that the company continues to believe that the F-16 is the right aircraft to meet India's fighter aircraft needs and the opportunity to sell F-16 aircraft to India represents a significant opportunity for the US economy. "The selection of the F-16 by India would preserve US jobs at Lockheed Martin and throughout our US supply chain. It could also create opportunities for future aircraft sales and upgrades by keeping F-16 production active," the official said. According to Lockheed, which has been in India for more than 25 years, this unique F-16 opportu-
nity delivers advanced defense capabilities and strengthens the strategic partnership between the US and India. The F-16 is ready for any challenge, combining innovative structural and capability upgrades, such as the Active Electronically Scanned Array radar with a new avionics architecture.
partnership and joint venture company with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), which has proven that Indian industry can manufacture airframe components for the C-130J airlifter and the S-92 helicopter. "We hope to build on that success with the F-16, the world's most successful, combat-proven
The Block 70 software further enhances capabilities through an advanced datalink, precision GPS navigation and Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, the official said. In India, Lockheed Martin has
multi-role fighter. Because when it comes to success in complex environments, we know trusted partnerships can make a world of difference," the company said. Lockheed opened its India subsidiary in 2008. -PTI
China benefits from Indo-Pak tension: Thinktank WASHINGTON: The Trump Administration needs to convince China to ask Pakistan to take "good-faith measures" to address India's concerns on cross-border terrorism which is a key trigger of Indo-Pak military escalation, a top American think-tank said in a new report. US Institute of Peace in the report warned that any terrorist activity coming from across the border might escalate into a major war, which could be disastrous for the region. "Washington needs to convince Beijing to urge Pakistan to take good-faith measures addressing India's concerns on crossborder terrorism, which is a key
trigger of military escalation. Beijing could in turn prod Islamabad to prosecute terrorists involved in attacks on India as a first step," USIP said. USIP said China has the poten-
tial to play a greater role in stabilizing the region, but thus far has been relegated to occasional crisis manager and has not proactively called for resolution of Kashmir issue. "Although Beijing prefers that a war not break out, it also benefits from some level of Indo-Pakistani tension, which splits India's strategic attention on China," the report said "Meanwhile, the Indian government should abandon its current policy of seeking to internationally isolate Pakistan. These moves by both countries could create an opening for resuming talks and politically settling the Kashmir issue," it said. The report said that China's relations with Pakistan have deepened particularly after China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement and Beijing has greater influence over Islamabad s policies than Wa s h i n g t o n does. "The US should regularly underscore the urgency of the Kashmir situation to Chinese counterparts at the highest levels and make a forceful argument that a
South Asian war would directly threaten China," it stressed, adding that China's policy on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan has a significant impact on regional stabilization and crisis management efforts in South
considerations to defend Pakistan", and Beijing worked closely with Washington to mitigate regional tensions. It said China's "protection" of Pakistan-based militant groups that have launched terrorist at-
"Washington needs to convince Beijing to urge Pakistan to take good-faith measures addressing India's concerns on cross-border terrorism, which is a key trigger of military escalation. Beijing could in turn prod Islamabad to prosecute terrorists involved in attacks on India as a first step," USIP said Asia. "Beijing also plays an important third-party role in helping deescalate hostilities between the two countries," it noted. Since the 1980s, China's policy on Kashmir has shifted from a strong pro-Pakistani stance to a more balanced one between Pakistan and India, the report said. "Chinese diplomatic support for internationalizing the Kashmir issue in the United Nations has diminished over time, though Beijing also has blocked UN action against Pakistan-linked terror groups," USIP said. The report said that during crises, Chinese concerns about preventing war between India and Pakistan "outweighed political
tacks in India from international criticism and punitive actions undermine its claims of neutrality. China has blocked action in the
UN sanctions committee over Pakistan's release of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and extended its technical hold on a ban on Jaish-eMohammad chief Masood Azhar for his involvement in the Pathankot attack on an Indian air force station. "China also prevented India from naming Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) declaration of October 2016 that condemned terrorism in all its forms. Over the years, China has refused to support the Indian proposal to issue a joint declaration against terrorism, which Beijing views as an Indian strategic design to internationally isolate Pakistan," the report said.PTI
February 17, 2017
Tabla player Sandeep Das wins Grammy LOS ANGELES: Indian tabla player Sandeep Das was part of YoYo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble "Sing Me Home" that won the Grammy in the World Music category that also included sitarist Anoushka Shankar's "Land of Gold".
features tunes composed or arranged by different global artists as it examines the ever-changing idea of home. The album was released to accompany a documentary on Ma's project entitled "The Music of
Tabla maestro Sandeep Das whose collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Mas Silk Road Ensemble won a Grammy for Best Global Music in Los Angeles on February 12
It was sixth time unlucky for Shankar as she is yet to register a win despite multiple nominations in the category over the years. Yo-Yo Ma's "Sing Me Home"
Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble". Apart from Ma and Das, musicians on the album include the New York-based Syrian clarinet
player Kinan Azmeh, who was recently stranded overseas when US President Donald Trump imposed a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Azmeh could return to country after a court rejected Trump's travel ban order. Das, who was dressed in red kurta, said the ensemble sent a powerful message of unity and respect for each other's cultures. "When things like this happen, it impacts us directly because a lot of us come from a lot of those countries," Das told reporters after accepting the award. "In the current situation, I think we'll keep playing more music and sharing more love." "Sing Me Home" won in a category that included Shankar's "Land of Gold", which is about the global refugee crisis. The 35-year-old Anoushka was accompanied by her husband, British director Joe Wright at the music ceremony. "Very excited that this man is my date to the #grammys today! It's the first time he's been free to join me. #husband #JoeWright #love," she had tweeeted ahead of the ceremony. For the event, the musician chose a red, high-slit velvet Sabyasachi Mukherjee gown. Shankar, the daughter of famous sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, received her first ever Grammy nomination at the age of 20 but she is yet to bag an award despite multiple nominations. However, her late father won two individual Grammys as well as two in collaborations. -PTI
Dev Patel wins Bafta for 'Lion' LONDON: Dev Patel's sur- tor who is going to be a friend of prised reaction after he won the mine for life and to my amazing Bafta award in the best support- team who had the insane task of ing actor category for Lion was trying to get this Indian dude with one of the most adorable moments at the ceremony. Patel, 26, also earned a round of applause for warmly crediting his little co-star Sunny Pawar from India as he took the podium to accept the trophy for his performance of a man, Saroo Brierley, in search of his roots in the Garth Davis-directed movie. "Wow! that just happened. It's just so overwhelming," Patel said after accepting the trophy from Felicity Jones. Patel thanked his parActor Dev Patel poses for photographers with his ents and his team, BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film Lion, backstage at the British Academy Film saying, "This is a Awards in London on February 12 film about family, about love that transcends borders, race, color this noodle with wanky teeth and and anything. You guys are my fluffy hair work in this really hard driving force." industry. To you guys, you are my He got a resounding applaud heroes. I'm so grateful." as he mentioned Pawar, who plays Patel, who rose to global starthe younger Saroo in the movie. dom with his debut feature "I'd like to thank little Sunny Slumdog Millionaire, is also nomiPawar, who did this film with such nated for an Oscar this year for confidence. He truly is a star. Lion which many call his most inGarth Davis, an incredible direc- credible performance till date.-PTI
India-origin NASA scientist detained HOUSTON: An Indian-origin Muslim NASA scientist has said he was detained and forced to unlock his PIN-protected work phone at the US border by custom officials. Sidd Bikkannavar, 35, said in a post on social media that US Customs and Border Protection officers wanted his cell phone and password - before they would let him through at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. "On my way home to the US last weekend, I was detained by Homeland Security and held with others who were stranded under the Muslim ban,"
Bikkannavar wrote in a Facebook post. "I initially refused, since it's a (NASA)-issued phone and I must protect access," Bikkannavar wrote. Bikkannavar, born in Pasadena, designs technology for space telescopes like the enormous James Webb telescope that's set to be launched into orbit in 2018. "Just to be clear - I'm a US-born citizen and NASA engineer, travelling with a valid US passport. Once they took both my phone and the access PIN, they returned me to the holding area with cots and other sleeping detainees until they finished copying my data." Bikkannavar spent a few weeks
away pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. As a member of a Chilean team, he visited Patagonia in early January under the Obama administration. He returned after Trump took office and issued the executive order on travel into the United States. Nothing about Bikkannavar should have caused concern for CBP he's a natural born US citizen, enrolled in a program that allows individuals who've already passed background checks to quickly enter the country. Contâ€™d on page 9
February 17, 2017
Another Pakistan Haqqani questions Islamabad's Senator denied US visa Kashmir policy WASHINGTON: Questioning Pakistan's decades- old Kashmir policy, a former top envoy of the country has said even resolving the issue is unlikely to address the challenge of terrorism, sectarian conflict or the Taliban abandoning its goal of establishing an "old Islamic order" in Afghanistan. "Even if Kashmir is resolved
"So sometimes ... making this a hyper nationalistic argument on the side of Pakistan and a very simplistic (one) that we have no choice in Pakistan's approach in America ...We want both sides to actually rethink their positions," he said. He said this during a discussion on a report, released by nearly a
"Pakistan needs to do a little introspection that can we continue this for ever and ever and still have credibility," Haqqani said about Islamabad's continued support to terrorist activities against its neighbors. how would that end sectarian terrorism, because sectarian terrorism is about killing people who do not have same religious sect as you have. How would resolving Kashmir stop the Taliban, who are aimed at creating their old Islamic order in Afghanistan," former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani told a Washington audience.
dozen top American thinktanks, that urges the Trump administration for a tougher line against Pakistan, involving both pragmatic engagement and consequences for uncooperative behavior. 'A New US Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties' - coauthored by Lis Curtis of The Heritage Foundation and Haqqani
of the Hudson Institute - stops short of recommending declaring Pakistan a 'state sponsor of terrorism'. Authored by a group of eminent US-based Pakistan experts, it calls for a sharper, clear-eyed US policy approach towards Pakistan. "Pakistan needs to do a little introspection that can we continue this for ever and ever and still have credibility," Haqqani said about Islamabad's continued support to terrorist activities against its neighbors. During the discussion, Haqqani was joined by Curtis and Christine Fair, a Georgetown University scholar and South Asia expert. Fair, in her intervention, said Pakistan was "obsessed with trying to illegally occupy" other's territory. The discussion witnessed acrimonious scenes when a group of pro-Pakistani people, including officials from the Pakistan embassy here and journalists, tried to disrupt the event. -PTI
ISLAMABAD: Another Pakistani Senator has said his US visa application was turned down without a valid reason, a day after reports said the Senate Deputy Chairman, belonging to the same Islamic party as the legislator, was denied visa to visit New York. Hafiz Hamdullah said he had to wait in a queue for over four hours inside the US embassy's consular section before being told he could not be granted a visa, The Express Tribune reported. Though the incident dates back to October, just days ahead of the presidential polls in the US on November 8, it comes a day after it was revealed that the Senate Deputy Chairman and secretary general of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was also denied a US visa. Haideri's visa denial led to the cancellation of his visit to New York for a meeting of Inter-Parliamentary Union at the UN on February 13-14. He was to lead a twomember delegation. "I was not given any reasons.
After a four-hour wait, I was simply informed by the visa office that my application could not be entertained," Hamdullah said. Haideri and Hamdullah belong to the same JUI-F party. The JUI-F, headed by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, is a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party. Fazl's party is known to be inclined towards Taliban and critical of US policies in the region. This could be a possible reason behind the visa denials to the politicians. Haideri's case is being linked to the controversial immigration policy of US President Donald Trump. But the case suggests that the policy of strict vetting of visa applicants from religious parties was in place even during the previous Obama administration. The US embassy did not comment on Hamdullah's case, citing 'privacy laws', according to the report. And there has been no official reaction so far from Pakistan government or the Foreign Office.-PTI
February 17, 2017
India to post customs SC convicts Sasikala intelligence officer in US in corruption case NEW DELHI: Customs intelligence officers will be posted by India in four countries, including the US and Singapore, to check trade-related frauds and black money transactions. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the lead agency to check customs frauds and smuggling, has decided to post officers at India's Mission in New York (US), Singapore, Brus-
The COIN units pass on intelligence gathered from overseas to assist in DRIs investigation. India has customs mutual agreements with these countries which provide the framework to seek information, official sources said here. "The COIN officers play a crucial role in checking smuggling and tax evasion by sharing intelligence with agencies concerned
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the lead agency to check customs frauds and smuggling, has decided to post officers at India's Mission in New York (US), Singapore, Brussels (Belgium) and in Nepal's Birgunj sels (Belgium) and in Nepal's Birgunj. The DRI has sought nominations from eligible officers of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) to fill up posts of Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) in the four countries, as per an official communique.
here. These officers, once posted, will keep an eye on trade transactions to avoid under or over invoicing of goods," a source said. The process to select COIN officers will involve interview by a high-level committee and the final approval will come from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A sub-committee comprising Directors General of DRI, Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), and others will initially evaluate the service records of the officers concerned. Another panel comprising the Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), two members of the board - Member (P&V) and Member (Customs) -and the DG, DRI, will then interview the officers based on the assessment carried out by the evaluation committee. The CBEC, after taking into account the marks secured by an officer in the interview and the marks given by the evaluation committee, will recommend a panel of three officers for each post for approval by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. As per the procedure, after obtaining the FM's approval, the panel will be forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs for their concurrence followed by reference to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister for the final approval. -PTI
Learn from my film, Gurinder tells Trump LONDON: Gurinder Chadha, one of Britain's well-known Indian-origin filmmakers, wants US President Donald Trump to watch her new film on the Partition of India to learn about the tragic events and their resonance in today's world. "We are living in a world that is quite divisive, we have politicians talking about building walls and labeling huge groups of people. The film in a way is a timely reminder of what happens when you start to create divisions," Chadha told PTI, referring to Trump's plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. "I would love Donald Trump to watch the film and maybe learn from the events of 1947 and how resonant they are today," she said. 'Viceroy's House,' is set in the
last days of the British Raj in 1947 as British India was divided into India and Pakistan, leading to widespread sectarian violence in what has been described as the largest mass migration in human history. The film has been in making for seven years for the 'Bend It Like Beckham' director and is a passion
project dedicated to her grandparents, who survived the Partition riots. It is set to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. "Partition sits very heavily for
a lot of us. For me, it has been cathartic to be able to go back to this story and trace the geo-political events that led to Partition. And, to also say that it is time to move on," she said. Chadha worked on the film's screenplay with her writer-husband Paul Mayeda-Berges and read more than 20 books as part of an extensive research to formulate her narrative. She is categorical about not letting any of the political leaders "off the hook" and believes Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten all had their part to play. "It is very important to say that this film is made from a distinctly British Punjabi perspective. India and Pakistan have their own narratives on this chapter in history. But this is very much my viewpoint based on all the research," said the 57-year-old Londonbased filmmaker. Contâ€™d on page 11
NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: AIADMK chief V K Sasikala's hope of becoming chief minister of Tamil Nadu were dealt a body blow with the Supreme Court upholding her conviction in a corruption case, a verdict that bars her from contesting polls for nearly 10 years. A close aide of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, 60-year-old Sasikala, who is locked in a bitter struggle for power in the ruling AIADMK with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, was ordered to surrender forthwith and serve the remaining part of her four-year jail term. The AIADMK general secretary has already served almost six months in jail.
Sasikala have been housed since the past few days. Sasikala herself stayed overnight at the resort. The bench read the operative portion of the voluminous judgment saying that "according to the materials and evidence place on record, we set aside the judgment and the order of the high court and affirm in toto the judgment and order the trial court convicting the accused persons." The bench said since Jayalalithaa has expired, the proceeding against her is abated. She died on December 5. "Nevertheless, we reiterate that having regard to the facts, the charge framed against them by the trial court is restored," the bench said.
AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala along with party MLAs supporting her during the press conference at the resort in Koovathur at East Coast Road where various AIADMK MLAs are camping to decide on the further course of action in forming new government, outskirts of Chennai on February 12
In a keenly awaited verdict in the 19-year-old disproportionate assets case that also involved Jayalalithaa which will have a direct bearing on the political uncertainty that has gripped the state for the last 10 days, the court restored in toto the judgment and the findings of the trial court in Bengaluru which held all the accused including Sasikala's two relatives, V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi guilty. The two-judge bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy directed Sasikala and the two relatives to surrender forthwith to the trial court in Bengaluru and serve the remaining part of four-year jail term. The verdict disqualifies Sasikala from becoming a legislator and consequentially she can't be chief minister either for six years from the date of release of prison under the Representation of the People Act. Police presence was stepped up at a resort about 80 km from Chennai, where MLAs supporting
"Since the charges framed by the trial court have been restored against all of them they will surrender forthwith before the trial court and serve the remaining part of the sentence," it said. Minutes after the Supreme Court verdict, the AIADMK appeared to defend her, saying she had always carried the burden of the late Jayalalithaa. "Whenever there had been burden for Amma (Jayalalithaa) she (Sasikala) had taken it on her. She is doing the same now also. #Chinnamma," the party's official Twitter handle, @AIADMKOfficial said. The trial court had sentenced Sasikala and her two relatives to four years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 10 crore each. Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years with a fine of Rs 100 crore. On June 7 last year, the apex court had reserved its verdict in the case after hearing detailed arguments from all the parties including the Karnataka government.-PTI
February 17, 2017
UN seeks India nominee for anti-terror panel NEW DELHI: India has been asked to send the name of its nominee for inclusion in a global team to assist a United Nations committee which decides on banning terror outfits and their leaders. Following the request from the global body, both the Home and Finance ministries have been asked to recommend names of suitable individuals who can be part of the key team, official sources said here. The presence of the country's nominee on the panel may facilitate the government's efforts to get Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and mastermind of last year's Pathankot air base attack, banned, they said. India's effort to get JeM chief listed in the UN's sanctions list of organizations and individuals
linked to Al-Qaida and ISIS has been repeatedly blocked by China. The nominations have been sought from qualified individuals to serve on the 'Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring
Those interested should be experts on ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida and affiliated individuals and entities, their evolution, linkages and changing nature of the threat. They should have "willingness to travel extensively, including in dif-
Depending on the vacancies available, India and all other member states can forward nominations of their nationals to serve on the monitoring team. The final selection of the team is made by the UN secretariat based on assessment of the individual Team' in support of the important '1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee'. India had in February last year reportedly sent the name of its nominee for the team who was not selected, the sources said.
ficult environments". The position requires a high level of personal commitment to the monitoring team's mandate and to the United Nations. The fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council
China planning floating nuclear plants in SCS BEIJING: China has said it will develop floating nuclear power plants on a priority basis in the South China Sea as it seeks to beef up electricity supply to the islands in the disputed maritime region. China will prioritize the development of a floating nuclear power platform in the coming five years, in an effort to provide stable power to offshore projects and promote ocean gas exploitation, Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science,
Technology and Industry for National Defense. Wang told Science and Technology Daily that Chinese authorities have already carried out research on relevant core technologies as well as the standardization of maritime nuclear power plants. The development of the facility is a crucial part of the country's
five-year economic development plan, running through 2020, staterun People's Daily Online reported. An article published on its official WeChat account in July the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said China is expected to build 20 floating nuclear power stations in the future, which will significantly beef up the power and water supplies on the South China Sea Islands, another official daily Global Times reported.
Sun Qin, former chairman of the National Nuclear Corporation, said in March 2016 that the facility is scheduled to be put into operation in 2019. "Floating power stations are less susceptible to natural disasters. In an emergency, the station could pump seawater into a boat to prevent core melting. Besides,
the platform is small and can be dragged to a suitable place for maintenance," reported in February, quoting an expert. China currently has 23 nuclear power generating units in operation and 27 under construction, about one-third of the world's unfinished nuclear units. The construction of new plants resumed after the Chinese government which put the brakes on nuclear power plant approvals following the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011permitted resumption after a safety review. The floating nuclear power plants were aimed at improving power supply to the island areas in the South China Sea, (SCS) despite the maritime dispute. China claims all most all of the SCS. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the islands. Last year, an international tribunal quashed China's claims over the area, a verdict Beijing rejected questioning the legality of the tribunal. Justifying the setting of floating nuclear plants, Wang said diesel generator is currently the main power source for China's offshore operation and the daily lives of residents on the Nansha and Xisha Islands, the Chinese names for Spratly and Paracel islands in the SCS. Contâ€™d on page 11
(UNSC) are on the Sanctions Committee. India is currently not a member of the UNSC and hence also not on the Sanctions Committee. The 10-member 'Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team' comprising independent experts assists the Sanctions Committee. Depending on the vacancies available, India and all other member states can forward nominations of their nationals to serve on the monitoring team. The final selection of the team is made by
the UN secretariat based on assessment of the individual qualifications of the candidate. The monitoring team works in tandem with the UN Secretariat to standardize the format of all United Nations sanctions lists and also assists the Committee in regularly reviewing names on it. Azhar's JeM, which is said to have links with Taliban and AlQaida, has been blacklisted by the UNSC. Ironically, its chief Azhar, who has been behind several major terror strikes in India, has not been banned by the UN.-PTI
Drug addict held for killing Indian in Milpitas NEW DELHI: The culprit responsible for the killing of a 26year-old Indian in Santa Clara County of California has been arrested, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said and assured all assistance to the family of the deceased. In a series of tweets, the minister said, "I am pained to know about the tragic death of your brother Vamshi Mamidala. My heartfelt condolences to your family. "I have got report from our Consulate in San Francisco. The report says Vamshi was killed by a drug addict on Friday
evening at Milpitas. "The culprit has been arrested. Our Consulate is in touch with your family. We assure you of all help and assistance." According to Vamshi's family, the incident happened when Mamidala Vamshi Chander Reddy was returning after completing his part-time shift at a local store in Milpitas. Vamshi had gone to California in 2013 and completed his MS in Silicon Valley University. While he was looking for a job in the software industry in the US, he recently took up a part-time assignment at a local store.-PTI
India-origin NASA scientist detained Contâ€™d from page 6
In addition, he has never visited the countries on the immigration ban, and he's 10-year employee of a major US federal agency. "I don't know what to think about this. I was caught a little off guard by the whole thing," Bikkannavar told media here in a phone call. Bikkannavar detailed his experience on Facebook, explaining his absence to friends and coworkers. The episode, aside from the profiling it ostensibly involved, also put him in a fix with his employers, because he was required to protect access to the phone. "I'm back home, and JPL has been running forensics on the phone to determine what CBP/ homeland security might have
taken, or whether they installed anything on the device," Bikkannavar explained in the post, adding that he has also been working with JPL legal counsel and the lab has issued him a new phone and new phone number. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed numerous complaints in January against CBP for demanding that Muslim-American citizens give up their social media information when they return home from overseas. Earlier, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a statement in response, telling the House Homeland Security Committee, "We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say? If they don't want to cooperate then you don't come in". -PTI
10 India Post
February 17, 2017
Ind-Am portal hosting startup meet in Mumbai WASHINGTON: An IndianAmerican community and business portal has said it will host a conference for startup entrepreneurs in Mumbai with the objective of helping them find investors from the US to fund their ventures. "American investors continue to be intrigued by the energy, the resourcefulness and the robustness of the Indian startup echo system," said Asif Ismail, pub-
lisher of The American Bazaar, a Washington DC-based community and business portal. The day-long conference in Mumbai on February 22, would also feature a startup competition. Top Indian-American institutional investors and venture fund experts are slated to address the conference, organizers said.
"The bilateral commercial relations today are a two-way traffic. By hosting the startup competition and the Forums, The American Bazaar wants to be the bridge between the US investor community and the Indian startup community," said Ismail. Among speakers to the conference include Indian-American entrepreneur and founder of FI Investment Group Frank Islam; entrepreneur and founder of
AutoNebula and USINPAC Sanjay Puri; former Obama administration official and CEO of the Boston-based Citizence Nish Acharya; Senior General Partner at Edgewood Ventures, LLC Vishal Verma and the founder and Managing Director of the New Yorkbased Powerhouse Ventures Sri Peddu.
"India's startup landscape is the most expansive in the world, and it hasn't even scratched the surface of its potential," said Acharya, author of The India-US Partnership: USD 1 Trillion by 2030. According to various surveys, India has one of the world's largest cohort of privately funded startup companies along with the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and China. "But India's startups are the
most expansive addressing global trends like Big Data, cloud computing and 3D printing, but also focused on serving the base of the pyramid with breakthrough technologies and business models to help small scale farmers, public health clinics and education. No other country can claim that breadth," Acharya said. -PTI
Indian Air Forces aerobatic team Sarang performs during the inauguration of the 11th biennial edition of AERO INDIA 2017 at Yelahanka Air base in Bengaluru on February 14
Tehmina Janjua named Pak foreign secretary ISLAMABAD: Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, has been appointed as the country's first woman foreign secretary. Janjua will replace incumbent foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who will be taking charge as Pakistan's new ambassador to the US, Foreign Office said. "Tehmina Janjua will assume the post of Foreign Secretary in the first week of March 2017," it said in a statement. Earlier, local media reports had said Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit and its envoy to China Masood Khalid were among the front-runners. Janjua is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning over 32 years. She holds Master's degrees from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and Columbia University, New York. Janjua has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilat-
eral domains both at Headquarters and Missions abroad, the statement said. She also served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Pakistan's envoy to Italy. At present she is serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva since October 2015. Last year, she had raised Kashmir issue at the UNHRC and was engaged in a war of words with Indian diplomats. -PTI
Modi a Karma Yogi, says his guru JODHPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been carrying out his job efficiently due to regular practice of 'Karma Yoga', his yoga guru H R Nagendra said here. "Modi practices yoga for an hour every morning with emphasis on Karma Yoga and because of this, he remains free from any work-related stress and focuses on his work," he said. Nagendra was speaking at a conference of the National Medicos Organization at AIIMS, Jodhpur. He said that he taught yoga to Modi in the 1990s and the latter had been practicing the form regularly. "It is because of the regular practice of yoga that Modi has been efficiently and tirelessly carrying out his job as the Prime Minister," Nagendra stated. The founder of Swami
Vivekananda Yoga Research Center also praised Singapore for being the leading nation in practicing yoga diligently. "The people there practice yoga mandatorily every Friday and this is why, the country is clean, corruption-free and youth are away from drugs," he claimed. Terming yoga an effective tool to deal with all kinds of ills, be it physical or social, Nagendra said that a lot needed to be done in India in this regard. -PTI
February 17, 2017
India not impacted by global slowdown: FM BENGALURU: The rhetoric of protectionism in developed economies and unpredictable global slowdown has not affected India and it is determined to grow with focus on investments, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here. "What strikes us today are two important factors - unpredictable global slowdown and the rhetoric of protectionism in developed economies - have not affected India," he said at 'Make In IndiaKarnataka conference' here. Not a single sound or even 'a whisper' of protectionism is being heard in India and such talk is there only in the developed economies, he said, adding that this itself is a tribute to the fact that the country is willing to accept investments and tune its policies. Jaitley said there is tremendous pressure on government
"What strikes us today are two important factors - unpredictable global slowdown and the rhetoric of protectionism in developed economies - have not affected India"
policy makers because of peoples' impatience to see India grow at a faster rate and get rid of poverty, among other things. He said the environment supporting reform has never been as supported in the past as today
potential to do better," he said. Jaitley lauded Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, his ministers and civil servants for working with a positive frame of mind for implementation of GST by the middle of this year, which, he
comes more difficult," he added. Jaitley said government has taken a series of steps to integrate the informal economy with the formal one, which could increase revenue for states as well as the Centre. The government has chosen to invest in agriculture, infrastructure and social sectors, he said. "We have chosen to invest in agriculture where a larger purchasing power is in existence," he said.
Jaitley said it is only when Karnataka achieves 2-3 per cent higher than the national growth rate that its ability to lead India economically would become a reality. "You are one of the most innovative states. You have a very progressive population, a progressive set of policies." The conference was organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Karnataka government and Confederation of Indian Industry. -PTI
Learn from my film, Gurinder tells Trump Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
and so it is the responsibility of both the central and state governments 'to put themselves together' and look at the road map of continuing this path of growth. The minister also said that in spite of India's growth being pegged at 7 to 7.5 per cent; it is not a satisfied nation and has hunger to grow even faster. "We are not satisfied with the tag of being the fastest economy in the world. We think we have a
said, would bring a transformational change. He said once the GST regime is implemented, the whole country will become one big market with easy flow of goods and services, with the help of good taxation system and one assessment system, instead of multiple ones. "So on the one hand, you have a system where evasion becomes difficult and on the other, generation of shadow economy through taxation system be-
Contâ€™d from page 8
She also wanted to keep the focus on ordinary people and the staff at Viceroy's House, which was to become Rashtrapati Bhavan, and how they were affected by the decisions made by the political leadership behind closed doors. The cast is led by British actor Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten and Gillian Anderson as his wife, Lady Edwina Mountbatten. The Indian and Pakistani cast is led by actors Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Om Puri, who passed away last
month before he could see the final cut. "I am really sad I didn't get to sit with him and watch it. Om was extremely delighted when he got the script. He used to tell me every day on set in Punjabi that I was doing a very good thing by making this film. He was very proud to be part of a British film with such a Punjabi heart," Chadha said. 'Viceroy's House' will open across UK cinemas on March 3 and get its India release in August to coincide with the 70th anniversary celebrations of India's independence. -PTI
'Only Indo-Pak peace can China planning floating resolve Kashmir' nuclear plants in SCS JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir cannot progress and will not have peace unless India and Pakistan develop good relations, the ruling PDP said here. Senior party leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig, who made the comments, hoped that "good
PDP was committed to ensure early implementation of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) framed with coalition partner BJP. Baig said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself is overseeing the progress made under AoA. He said her meeting with
Baig said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself is overseeing the progress made under AoA. He said her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi sometime back is a manifest of sincerity of both the coalition partners PDP-BJP in the state to meet the genuine concerns of the people old days" of Indo-Pak bonhomie will be revived as both countries have a stake in peace. Addressing a state-level party meeting presided over by its vice president Sartaj Madani, Baig said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sometime back is a manifest of sincerity of both the coalition partners PDP-BJP in the state to meet the genuine concerns of the people. He referred to funding for two
tunnels by the Centre as beginning of people-friendly approach of the union government towards the state. Contending that AoA stands guarantee to political stability in the state and meeting the aspirations of its people, Baig said while Mehbooba is pursuing the alliance's agenda, BJP sees it as an opportunity to raise its stock in the Muslim-majority state. In his address, Madani struck an emotional chord with the participants by invoking the legacy of party patron and former Chief Minister late Mufti Sayeed. He said trade with Pakistan and revival of dialogue and reconciliation will remain key to a meaningful change in the state. He urged the youth to cooperate in taking the state out of morass through peaceful means and hoped that sincere approach of Mehooba-led government will get an acknowledgement sooner or later. -PTI
Contâ€™d from page 9
He also played down concerns over nuclear plants in the high seas and coastal areas in the aftermath of the Japan's Fukushima power plant. Floating power stations will aim to promote the exploitation of oil and gas resources and provide safe and efficient power supply to remote islands in the South China Sea, Wang said. Wang said there are around 400 nuclear power stations in the world, most of which are located inland and therefore not usually affected by tsunamis, typhoons or other extreme coastal weather phenomena, he said. "If it is safe to build nuclear power plants in coastal areas, it is also not a problem to build them inland," Wang was quoted as saying by Global Times in an interview to China National Radio.
Nuclear power development is one of the best ways to reduce emissions of carbon-di-oxide and major pollutants, he said, adding that China has an urgent need for inland nuclear power plants to meet power demand and ensure stable electrical supply. Three inland nuclear reactors with an investment of over 10 billion yuan have already obtained approval from the National Development and Reform Commission. "Technology is not a problem. The difficulty lies in letting the public accept the plan," an employee from the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) told the Global Times. The population density in the three sites is much higher than in European countries while the atmospheric dispersion conditions for possible radioactive emissions is not as ideal as the US. -PTI
12 India Post
February 17, 2017
Rijiju kicks row with dwindling Medical college named Hindus remark after Kalpana Chawla NEW DELHI: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has stirred a controversy with a remark that the population of the Hindus in India was going down as they "never convert people", while minorities are flourishing unlike some other countries. With polling due for assembly elections in three states, Congress reacted sharply, asking the Election Commission to take "very serious cognizance" of the "extremely irresponsible statements". "Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing unlike some countries around (sic)," Rijiju tweeted. The Minister of State for Home's comment came after the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to convert Arunachal Pradesh into a Hindu state. "Why is Congress making such irresponsible statements? People of Arunachal Pradesh are unitedly living peacefully with each other (sic). "Congress should not make such provocative statements. India is a secular country. All religious groups enjoy freedom & living peacefully (sic)," he said in a series of tweets, responding to the APCC's charge. Rijiju hails from Arunachal Pradesh and is a practicing Buddhist. "The Election Commission must take very serious cognizance of this extremely irresponsible statement/tweets put out by MoS for Home," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said. Citing census data for 2011, Tewari said the population growth rate of followers of other religions had fallen more than that of the
Hindus. He claimed while the population growth of Hindus slowed down to 16.76 per cent from 19.92 per cent between 1991 and 2001, those of the Muslims fell to 24.60 per cent in 2001-11 from 29.52 per cent in 1991-2001. He said Rijiju's conduct was "unbecoming" of a Union Minister and used it to attack Prime
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he should remember that he is a "minister of India for all Indians not for Hindus only". "Remember your oath as minister," the Hyderabad MP said. "What have the minorities (in) India got to do with minorities of 'other' countries. It is Constitution
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju
Minister Narendra Modi. "It is not surprising. If the Prime Minister can use national security as a prop, there is nothing which stops his Ministers from going a step further and trying to attempt a religious polarization," he said. "If you read that tweet, the intent is implicit in it but the fact remains that when a Minister of the Union makes such an irresponsible statement, he must be held to account," he said. Reacting to Rijiju's statement,
which guarantees rights (sic)," he tweeted. According to the 2011 Census, Hindus make up India's 79.80 per cent of population, Muslims 14.23 per cent, Christians 2.30 per cent, Sikhs 1.72 per cent, Buddhists 0.70 per cent and Jains 0.37 per cent. The country's Hindu population as per the 2001 Census was 80.5 per cent, while that of Muslims was 13.4 per cent, Christians 2.3 per cent, Sikhs 1.9 per cent, Buddhists 0.80 per cent and Jains 0.4 per cent. -PTI
CHANDIGARH: The state-ofthe-art medical college in Karnal named after India-American astronaut late Kalpana Chawla, will have a 500-bed hospital attached to it. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Union Minister J P Nadda will inaugurate the Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College on March 15. This was informed in a meeting of Medical Education and Research Department held under the Chairmanship of the Khattar here. The medical college will have 100 MBBS seats and a new state-of-the-art 500 bedded hospital, an official release said. The existing 200-bed District Hospital in Karnal has been upgraded to 300-bed and is attached to the medical college. It was informed that the team of Medical Council of India (MCI) has already conducted the inspection and it is likely that the first batch of MBBS would be admitted in the academic year 201718, the release said. Also, to improve patient care, two life support ambulances and
two general ambulances would be purchased. Besides, for the convenience of general public, the existing hospital road is being widened to make it 4-lane, the meeting was informed. The chief minister said that the state government has a plan to set up a medical college in every district of the state so as to prepare 2,000 doctors every year to meet the growing demand of quality health care services. Khattar also stressed the need for setting up of trauma centers in a radius of 60-70 km to provide immediate medical aid to the critically injured patients. It was also informed that the construction of Rs 2,000 crore National Cancer Institute with 710 beds at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS-II) at Badhsa village in Jhajjar is going on in full swing and is likely to be commissioned by July 2018. Three more institutes of specialized health care - Cardiovascular Institute, National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Pediatrics Hospital in the campus of National Cancer Institute would be set up by the Union Health Ministry. -PTI
Taiwan delegation flays One China policy NEW DELHI: Taiwan has been hit hard by the One China policy but it has crafted a pragmatic approach in deepening engagement with major powers including India, a visiting Taiwanese parliamentary delegation said here. The three-member delegation arrived here on a three-day visit, which may ruffle feathers in China as it considers 'One China' policy a cornerstone of its diplomatic engagement.
Seeking deeper ties with India, leader of the delegation Kuan BiLing asserted that Taiwan was "totally independent" despite
that there is only one Chinese government and that the island of Taiwan is a breakaway province that belongs to China.
The One China policy states that there is only one Chinese government and that the island of Taiwan is a breakaway province that belongs to China some countries refusing to recognize it. The One China policy states
"It is a de-facto reality... We suffered a lot because of the One China Policy. We have crafted a pragmatic
approach in our diplomatic engagement with major countries including India despite these difficulties," Kuan told reporters. Calling India a major global power, she said Taiwan will make its ties with India as important as its relations with Japan and added there was huge scope for expanding cooperation in diverse areas including in areas of economy, politics and national security. She said Taiwan was interested in India's India's Smart Cities project
and Make in India program. Another Taiwanese official said his country wants India to upgrade Taiwan representative's office here as a "mission" like what Japan did. Kuan said the delegation members will apprise the Indian leaders Taiwan government's priorities and its new foreign policy called New Southbound Policy under which it plans to engage with South Asian nations, including India, more vigorously.-PTI
February 17, 2017
Decision on big ticket def projects likely this year BENGALURU: A decision on many big ticket projects like procuring the much-awaited fighter
vanced stage of decision making. "We expect to get these in line during the current calendar year,"
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
jet planes and self-propelled guns is likely to be taken this year, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said here. He said work on a second manufacturing line for indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will also commence in the next three months to boost production. "Many of the private sector projects like SP (self- propelled) gun, C-295 (Airbus transporter aircraft) and even single and twinengine fighter jets are in an ad-
Parrikar told a news conference here after inaugurating the biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition Aero India 2017. To replenish its fleet, the Indian Air Force is looking for new fighter jets. With another indigenous aircraft carrier to be inducted in service soon, the navy is also looking to procure over 50 fighter jets. In his last interaction with the media as the air chief on December 29 last year, Arup Raha had
Bengal BJP chief lashes out at Amartya Sen KOLKATA: Unperturbed by the severe criticism of his attack on Amartya Sen, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has said he stood by his comments questioning the economist's contribution towards the state and country. He also lashed out at a "section of intellectuals" in the state who, he alleged, were serving their own interests rather than that of the society. "I stick to whatever I have said. I have no regrets. What is his (Sen's) contribution towards the Indian society and economy? What has he done for the development of our country," Ghosh told reporters. The BJP leader had earlier launched a diatribe against the Nobel laureate saying, "A fellow Bengali among us has won the Nobel Prize and we are proud...But, what has he done for the state? What has he given to the nation? No one in Bengal understands him." Directing his anger at intellec-
tuals, Ghosh said, "The intellectuals are only interested in serving their own interests, they are not interested in serving the nation. They stay mum when educational institutes are vandalized by TMC goons and teachers beaten up. But, their conscience is aroused all of a sudden when something comes up with the BJP." Reacting to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's comments on providing police security to him, Ghosh said, "What security is she talking about? She still takes security from a few RPF officers. Can't she rely on her own police force? On one hand, her government is providing security and on the other, her party is sending goons to my office and home." Meanwhile, the CPI (M) and the Congress Legislature Party said they wanted an all-party resolution to be brought in the Assembly condemning the "derogatory remarks" made by Ghosh against Sen. -PTI
said that the air force would need over 200-250 medium-weight category planes. The air force has already placed an order to procure 36 Rafale jets. Criticizing his predecessor A K Anthony and the UPA government, Parrikar said the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has been making efforts to augment production in different sectors, but earlier there was "no encouragement, there was no timeline and no discussion on Make in India". Parrikar said HAL has been asked to outsource in "large quantity" several production areas in various sectors. "For example, for the LCA model we are putting up a second (production) line for which Rs 359 crore has been approved by the government. It is expected this work will start in three months. "In about one-and-a-half years
the actual production will start. A lot of indigenous capability has to be developed through the local industry," the defense minister said. With the navy disapproving of the present variant of LCA Tejas, Parrikar said it would be wrong to
aircraft has financial components coming from the navy and the air force. "What the navy wants is a different variety and it thinks that a twin-engine one would be a better version. The LCA naval version has to be successfully
Criticizing his predecessor A K Anthony and the UPA government, Parrikar said the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has been making efforts to augment production in different sectors, but earlier there was "no encouragement say the navy does not support the project. Instead, its requirements are different, he said. "The project is thoroughly supported by the navy and all expenses are being undertaken. The LCA expansion (project) for eight
tested," Parrikar said, adding that the navy has agreed to help in the project. "The naval requirement has a different aspect and requires an engine with bigger thrust," he said.-PTI
14 India Post
February 17, 2017
IAS, IPS couples can work in one state NEW DELHI: In a Valentine's Day gift to All India Services officers, the government has played cupid and amended rules to mandatorily allow married couples from the IAS and IPS get the same cadre state. However, they will not get a cadre which is the home state of either of them. The amendment was cleared by
Nadu and has been allocated Union Territories cadre which includes Delhi. The couple had sought either the Tamil Nadu or the UT cadre to which they belonged citing their marriage, as civil services rules allow the couple to shift to one cadre state. The earlier rule also did not make it incumbent upon the gov-
The ACC approved that in cases where either of the officers cannot opt for the cadre state of the spouse in case it was also his or her home state, they can be allotted the immediate next cadre they had opted the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The rules will be applicable to officers of the three All India Services--Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS). The decision to amend the rules was triggered by the case of 2011 batch IAS officer P Parthiban, who married his batchmate and Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer Nisha, hailing from Delhi. Parthiban is a native of Tamil
ernment to shift the cadres of officers mandatorily and said it may do so as far as possible. This matter was put up before a Committee that decides cases of inter-cadre transfer and deputation. The panel is headed by Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). The ACC approved that in cases where either of the officers cannot opt for the cadre state of the spouse in case it was also his or her home state, they can be allotted the immediate next cadre they had opted while filling out
Indian hotel manager charged for helping US gang NEW YORK: A 32-year-old Indian-origin hotel manager in the US has been indicted for providing a "safe haven" to a street gang in crimes including attempted murder, drug trafficking, prostitution and robberies, prosecutors said. Umesh Oza, who managed two hotels in Oceanside city in California, was charged with racketeering conspiracy under laws traditionally used for organizedcrime syndicates and mobsters, the San Diego Tribune reported. He is accused of providing a location for the alleged crimes to take place and employing a gang member as "security", the indictment states. "Not only are we targeting the traffickers and customers, but we are also going after the businesses that facilitate this type of gang activity," said Alana Robinson, the acting federal prosecutor for Southern California in
San Diego. "This case, along with many others like it in our district, demonstrates that human and drug trafficking by criminal street gangs is rampant," Robinson said. Oza "provided a safe haven" for the alleged members of the Westside Crips criminal street gang to carry out drug deals and prostitution, according to the prosecution. Eleven alleged West Crips gangsters were also charged in crimes that prosecutors say took place from 2004 to 2016. While prosecutors only identified the facilities Oza managed as "two national brand hotels", the report said they were the Coast Inn and a Motel 6. Some of the gang members charged sold narcotics while others managed prostitutes and transported them all over the country, according to prosecutors. -PTI
the detailed application form for civil services examination, an order issued by the DoPT said. A candidate has to give his or her order of preference of a desired cadre before appearing for main examination. The UPSC conducts the examination annually in three stages -preliminary, main and interview-to select IAS, IPS and IFoS officers among others. "In case of non receipt of preference within the stipulated time from the concerned officers, they can be assigned the most deficit cadre between the two subject to receipt of No Objection Certificate from the parent cadre as well as recipient cadre," the new guidelines said. After this amendment to the rule, Parthiban and Nisha are likely to get Gujarat cadre, as earlier opted by them, according to a senior DoPT official. -PTI
Pak court allows channels to show Indian films LAHORE: A ban on telecast of Indian shows by private television channels has been lifted by a Pakistani court, five months after the country's regulatory authority had barred cable networks from showing the same. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in his interim order granted the permission to private television channels to screen Indian content. The petition was filed by Leo Communication, challenging Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's (PEMRA) ban on airing Indian content on cable television network. In October last year, PEMRA had banned Pakistani private channels being operated through cable network from airing Indian content. Advocate Taffazul Rizvi, counsel for petitioner, argued in the court that channels should also be allowed to broadcast Indian shows as they fall within the definition of 'entertainment' under the license agreement with the PEMRA.-PTI
First Indian genomics beacon launched in UK LONDON: Global Gene Corp Campus supplied by EMBL-EBI and Global Alliance for Genomics and the Wellcome Trust Sanger and Health (GA4GH) has Institute in Hinxton, launched the first-ever beacon for Cambridgeshire. Indian genomics data, which is Cambridge-based Global Gene expected to help scientists de- Corp (GCC) is based at the velop more effective drug deliv- Wellcome Genome Campus and is ery systems. co-founded by alumni from the A beacon is an online web ser- Indian Institute of Technology, vice that allows researchers to de- Harvard and National University termine whether an institution has particular The aim of the Indian beagenomic data in its data set. con is to address the gap in The aim of the Indian beacon is to address shared Indian genomics the gap in shared Indian data, which helps scientists genomics data, which helps scientists better better understand disease understand disease and develop more effective drug de- of Singapore with the mission to livery systems and therapeutics. "democratize genomics". "Genomics is the science that Sumit Jamuar, chairman & CEO will define healthcare in our life- of GCC, creator of the ggcINDIA time. Solving healthcare problems beacon, said: "Indian genomics at scale is exceptionally important data is one of the biggest missing for India to ensure quality of life pieces in the genomics puzzle. The for our 1.3 billion citizens. Cutting- promise of precision medicine can edge genomics will provide truly only be realized with usable and innovative solutions that will ben- sharable genomics data. efit individuals and the population "As a member of GA4GH, our as a whole," said Dinesh Patnaik, ggcINDIA beacon will start to Indian deputy high commissioner address the lack of shared Indian to the UK, at the launch in Cam- genomics data to enable rebridge. searchers globally to accelerate The Indian beacon joins those development of precision medialready on the Wellcome Genome cine." -PTI
Don't 'demonize' Trump, says Jaishankar MUMBAI: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has said US President Donald Trump, who is under attack over his controversial immigration policy, should not be "demonized". "Don't demonize Trump, analyze Trump. He represents a thought process. It's not a momentary expression," Jaishankar said during an interactive session at the Gateway House dialogue here. Trump has been facing heat over his controversial immigration policy after he put a travel ban on citizens from seven Mulsim majority countries and some other decisions of his administration, including those relating to H1B visa which caused concern in India too. Jaishankar, who delivered an address on "Political change and economic uncertainties" at the event co-hosted by the MEA and
Gateway House, also said India has to play a larger role on the global scene. "At a time when horizons of a lot of major countries are getting
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar
narrower...If the major (countries) are pulling back there is a space out there and it is in our interest to use that space. In my view, we should be looking at more powered position in international forum," he said. -PTI
February 17, 2017
Players make me the captain I am: Kohli HYDERABAD: A believer of the old adage that a captain is only as good as his team, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has lauded his bowlers for their lion-hearted effort on a flat track against a spirited Bangladesh side.
India defeated Bangladesh by 208 runs in the one-off of our spinners allows our fast bowlers to attack because Test which lasted five days, beating expectations of an of the way spinners bowl and contain runs, the pacers can early finish owing to the visitors' minnow status. The win really attack as soon as it starts reverse swinging. also took India's unbeaten streak to 19 Tests. "I thought today Ishant's spell was really good, he Asked how much has he improved over the 19 Tests bowled with pace and had to put in effort to take wickets at that he has captained, Kohli said: "Honestly it is the play- that stage and he took both the set batsmen out. That was ers that make you the captain that you become. To be very really good for us," he added. honest, anyone knows how to set fields in the ground, it's Talking about his 19-match unbeaten streak as a capjust that you have to make sure that you take up the re- tain, Kohli said: "I don't think it's because of me. I mean sponsibility of keeping the energy of the team up." everyone at the international level wants to do well. "I look to push myself, throw myself around in the field so that other guys know that they also have to push for a wicket." "We are playing as a team and that's been "The bowlers know what they need to do but the fielders within the ring need to support the difference in this team, if you see, you the bowlers. I need to do that first, for the guys can say probably 2016, I scored a lot of runs to show that energy. I have been able to maintain that and that has been a takeaway from the but before that in 2015 as well, we won a lot games that I have been captain so far. Lot of of matches. I didn't score many runs but the times, you know that there is only so much other guys stepped up and scored runsâ€? that you can do as a captain," Kohli said in the post-match press conference. Talk about the performance of the fast bowlers, Kohli "We are playing as a team and that's been the difference seemed satisfied. in this team, if you see, you can say probably 2016, I scored "Very good. Credit to our bowlers, they were able to get a lot of runs but before that in 2015 as well, we won a lot of results on this kind of a track. Considering that the wicket matches. I didn't score many runs but the other guys was very good to bat on, it took a bit of patience for us to stepped up and scored runs. get wickets during Bangladesh first innings. I thought "Ajinkya's two tons in Delhi (vs South Africa) and secUmesh (Yadav), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Ishant ond innings hundred in Sri Lanka, so there are quite a few Sharma were brilliant in the first innings but Umesh stood instances, where all the members of the team have stepped out," he said. up at some stage or the other. And that's why we stand "In the second innings, all three bowled really well but where we are and having that streak is not down to 2-3 Ishant stood out. I have said in the post-match that quality people, it is a combined effort of all the guys." -PTI
Desi News Republic Day celebrated with fervor in St. Louis ASHWIN PATEL
ST LOUIS: The India Association of St. Louis celebrated with great fervor the 68th Indian Republic Day with great fervor and enthusiasm on January 28. President of India Association Shailee Saran Varanasi gave the welcome address greeting all those present to celebrate this prestigious day. M Anantharama Balachandran, Sr. Vice president, ICCG Inc and Shamed Dogan, the State Representative for Ballwin, Fenton and Ellisville, were the guests of honor who graced the event. A small group of children marched carrying the Indian and American flags to the stage with great nobility. Following the flag hoisting ceremony, the American and Indian national anthems were sung. Details on page 18
Sidhi Vinayak temple opens in Santa Clarita India Post News Service
SANTA CLARITA, CA: Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple Santa Clarita (SSVTSC), where the main deity is Lord Ganesh, had its grandopening on February 9 evening in Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita (California). Mission of Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple of SSVTSC, a non-profit organization, is "to serve Santa Clarita community by offering a place to worship, practice spirituality, celebrate festivals and cultural activities". It plans to have Ganesh Puja (worship) and other services every Saturday, besides various activities/programs for everyone round the year, including programs for children and charity food donations.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
16 India Post
India Post News Service
YORBA LINDA, CA: Prince Organization CEO & Social Entrepreneur Sunil Tolani has signed the White House Fair Chance pledge. Tolani brings a business approach to doing good by unlocking potential in the local communities for potential employees like homeless people, young adults disconnected from family, school and work, formerly incarcerated or suffering from disabilities, mental illness and addictions. Details on page 19
February 17, 2017
Details on page 19
Idaho University confers Red Carpet honor on Dr Dayal Meshri RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
IDAHO: It was hugely satisfying for Indian Americans across the country that Idaho University honored Dr Dayal Meshri at Ribbon-Cutting ceremony of the $50 million conference building which Dr Meshri helped the University to set up in his own modest way. Hundreds of faculty members, students of the Idaho University and elite of Idaho flocked together in this event to honor Dr Dayal Meshri who is an internationally known scientist and one of the most successful businessmen. Dr Meshri took care of the establishing conference room that was formally laid open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Idaho University on January 31. The Conference Hall was dedicated to the sweet memory of late Dr Indurani Dayal Meshri who in her own right was also a highly rated
Details on page 18
Tolani firm gives them a second chance
Miracle Foundation launches campaign for orphans
Conference Room dedicated in honor of Dr Dayal Meshri and Dr Indurani Meshri
cial sciences, humanities and arts. In the words of Vice President for Research and Economic Development Janet Nelson, "Each space is defined by the imagination of the researchers in it." "When I began as president, the space where IRIC now stands was an empty field, but many people helped make the building and
President of Idaho University Dr Chuck Staben
professional and woman community activist. With the opening of the Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC), Idaho's research leader now has a world-class center for interdisciplinary research and discovery as it offers cuttingedge space for outstanding faculty researchers and for undergraduate and graduate students who are gaining hands-on experience. The building with the research facility embraces the full spectrum of research and scholarship at UI, not just in science, technology and engineering, but also in so-
the research center a reality, including Dayaldas Meshri, Ph.D., a graduate in chemistry and supporter of the building. Meshri studied under professor Jean'ne Shreeve and with professor Malcom Renfrew. He continues a tradition of excellence as a chemist, business leader and philan-
thropist, and he's remained a closely connected member of the Vandal family for many years," observed Dr. Chuck Staben, President of the University welcoming 400 plus attendees comprising Deans, Professors, alumni and students at the ribbon cutting event. "We have a new growth mindset at the University of Idaho. We are going to continue to expand our
Dr Dayal Meshri addressing 400 plus gathering
leading research position in the state and beyond. As University Distinguished Professor and the leader of the IRIC-based Center for Modeling Complex Interactions Holly Wichman said during the ceremony, 'Let's make things happen,' Dr Staben added Hugely overwhelmed emotionally at the great honor that was bestowed on him by the Idaho University, Dr Meshri said he was greatly indebted to the University and its staff for helping him build his career in this country which was not only at a huge distance from his native place India but was also culturally different. Dr Meshri with Idaho University staff
Contâ€™d on page 19
February 17, 2017
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Dr Kora elected Chair of AMPAC Board NEELA PANDYA
WASHINGTON DC: The Board of Directors of the American Medical Association Political Action Committee (AMPAC) at its recent organizational meeting elected Dr Vidya Kora, a general internist from Michigan City, as its Chair. The AMPAC is a bipartisan political action committee based in Washington, DC. The AMPAC is a well regarded political
action committee in healthcare and has been in existence for over half a century. Over the half century of its existence, AMPAC has supported medicine friendly candidates of both sides of the political aisle. In addition to supporting the candidates, AMPAC also conducts many political education programs and has encouraged and supported physician participation in the
Over the half century of its existence, AMPAC has supported medicine friendly candidates of both sides of the political aisle. In addition to supporting the candidates, AMPAC also conducts many political education programs
HAF concern at bias in US report on minorities scale of past and current predatory proselytization to the recent Ghar Wapsi WASHINGTON DC: Leaders of the movement; • The nature and intent of cow protecHindu American Foundation (HAF) have expressed concern over the latest report by tion laws; • The assumption that Government of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) attack- India's Foreign Contribution Regulation Act discriminates against minority organizations ing Hinduism and India. The report, Constitutional and Legal and favors Hindu organizations, both in Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities India and abroad; and • The assertion that caste-based discrimiin India, rather than being written by USCIRF staff, was outsourced exclusively nation is a Hindu religious teaching, rather to writer-activist Dr. Iqtidar Karamat Cheema, than a pernicious social problem blighting raising serious questions about the all Indian religious communities today. "The report treads on known grievances Commission's credibility and transparency, previously raised by USCIRF," says HAF Foundation leaders asserted. "USCIRF has failed to justify its inten- Executive Director Suhag Shukla, "But this tions of this report on India prima facie report's egregious display of Hinduphobia in linking castebased discrimi"How could USCIRF outsource a report harshly nation to the critical of India, one of the most important demo- Hindu religion unpreccratic allies of the United States, to an activist is edented, and with a history of supporting separatist causes must be conagainst India that too often employ terrorism demned." In addition against innocent civilians?," Shukla queried. the specific content of the based on the sources cited and findings report, its authorship is suspect. Rather than presented," said Samir Kalra, HAF Senior being written by or with the credited assisDirector. "Though previous special reports tance of USCIRF staff, the Commission has published by USCIRF on religious extrem- relied on the work of Dr Iqtidar Cheema, a ism within Pakistan's textbooks have been British activist who has been previously deemed insightful by HAF leaders, this re- honored by several Pakistani government cent report does not meet the standard of bodies, consistently advocated for those reports and in the context of India's Pakistan's foreign policy objectives, and pluralistic democracy, the report's author endorsed various organizations striving for simply cites what have become known as a separate Sikh state of Khalistan-including supporting the Babbar Khalsa, a terror'alternative facts'." ist organization banned by the United KingHAF takes issue with many facets of the dom and India. "How could USCIRF outsource a report report, including: • Erroneous and misleading representa- harshly critical of India, one of the most imtion of government support for religious in- portant democratic allies of the United States, to an activist with a history of supstitutions in India; • The practical effect of personal status porting separatist causes against India that too often employ terrorism against innocent laws on all communities; • The false equivalency of comparing the civilians?," Shukla queried. India Post News Service
political process. Many current and former physician members of Congress are alumni of the AMPAC's political education programs. Dr Kora currently serves as Indiana's delegate to the American Medical Association. He has been active in organized medicine for many years and is the past president of the Indiana State Medical Association. In addition to his involvement with organized medicine, Dr Kora has been active in local politics. He was recently re-elected as the County Commissioner in LaPorte County, Indiana, and is serving his second term. Prior to serving as County Commissioner, He also served two terms as a County Coroner in LaPorte County and one term on the board of Michigan City area schools. Dr Kora also serves as Chair of the Northern Indiana Regional Board of the Franciscan Alliance which oversees the operations of five Franciscan Alliance hospitals in Northern Indiana, located in Michigan City, Crown Point, Dyer, Munster and Hammond. Dr Kora is very active in his community and he also serves on the board of the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County which pro-
motes philanthropy. Dr Kora was born and raised in Hyderabad, India, and he attended medical
Dr Vidya Kora
school at Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad.
Community Across America
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February 17, 2017
Sidhi Vinayak temple opens in Santa Clarita India Post News Service
SANTA CLARITA, CA: Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple Santa Clarita (SSVTSC), where the main deity is Lord Ganesh, had its grand-opening on February 9 evening in Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita (California). Mission of Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple of SSVTSC, a non-profit organization, is "to serve Santa Clarita community by offering a place to worship, practice spirituality, celebrate festivals and cultural activities". It plans to have Ganesh Puja (worship) and other services every Saturday, besides various activities/programs for everyone round the year, including programs for children and charity food donations. Temple opening puja was performed by priest Cherukupalli Narasimhacharya and Tyger White of Santa Clarita
Valley Interfaith Council also participated in the celebrations. Temple leaders/volunteers reportedly included Mano Dhana, Suman Dutta, Prakash, Deepthi Rajaraaman, Gautam Deepthi, Kavitha Muru, Aparna Kiran, Vijay Sharma and Ritu Khadiya. Commending the launch of the temple, Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and
work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism. In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is
Incorporated in 1987, City of Santa Clarita is claimed to be "one of the best places to live in California". Notable people associ-
It plans to have Ganesh Puja (worship) and other services every Saturday, besides various activities/programs for everyone round the year, including programs for children and charity food donations. worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
ated with it include Oscar winner filmmaker Tim Burton, Olympian gold medalists track-field sprinter Allyson Felix and swimmer Anthony Ervin, etc. Cameron Smyth and Dr. Kenneth W. Striplin are Mayor and City Manager respectively.
Republic Day celebrated with fervor in St. Louis ASHWIN PATEL
ST LOUIS: The India Association of St. Louis celebrated with great fervor the 68th Indian Republic Day with great fervor and
Balachandran spoke about various contributions made by the Indian community to enrich our St. Louis county. He also shared insight
Children unfurling the national flags of USA and India
enthusiasm on January 28. President of India Association Shailee Saran Varanasi gave the welcome address greeting all those present to celebrate this prestigious day. M Anantharama Balachandran, Sr. Vice president, ICCG Inc and Shamed Dogan, the State Representative for Ballwin, Fenton and Ellisville, were the guests of honor who graced the event. A small group of children marched carrying the Indian and American flags to the stage with great nobility. Following the flag hoisting ceremony, the American and Indian national anthems were sung. Sreenu Dandamudi, Commissioner at Administrative Hearing Commission welcomed the chief guests. In his touching address,
about the importance of the Indian community in the region to come together. This was followed by Shamed Dogan who expressed his thoughts eloquently about the
African American civil rights movement in America and how it had drawn inspiration from India's struggle for Independence. He reminded the audience to be vigilant of their rights and to stand up to protect them. A colorful patriotic dance was performed by young children who gave a glimpse of Indian culture and diversity. This was followed by certificate distribution by Mrs. Varanasi and Mrs. Jain (cultural director). The concluding address was delivered by IAS president Mrs Varanasi and a vote of thanks by the secretary, Sendil Rathinasabhapathi. The evening ended with everyone enjoying light refreshments following the program. Members of IAS Board, 2017 : Shailee Saran Varanasi (President), Krishna Rao (President elect), Sendil Rathinasabapathy (Secretary), Vijaya Lakshmi Buddhiraju (Treasurer), Meera Jain, Vijay Kumar Buddhiraju, Sharath Rao, Venkat Pulumati, and Sanjeev Rao Chintakunta.
Children with their certificates
February 17, 2017
Community Across America
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Tolani firm gives them a second chance India Post News Service
YORBA LINDA, CA: Prince Organization CEO & Social Entrepreneur Sunil Tolani has signed the White House Fair Chance pledge. Tolani brings a business approach to doing good by unlocking potential in the local communities for potential employees like homeless people, young adults disconnected from family, school and work, formerly incarcerated or suffering from disabili-
Prince Organization has hired team members who got on the wrong side of law, were in prison, corrections, halfway houses. Now they are respectful citizens ties, mental illness and addictions. Tolani says, "Many women who have sex for money when they run away from their homes due to abuse to support themselves and later on police arrests them, putting them where they land in a detention center. Today a growing number of sexually exploited girls and young women are
being rehabilitated instead of incarcerated because of changes in how law-enforcement officials handle prostitution giving them a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance. "The business of second chances is everybody's business. We need to find the moral imperative as a society to secure places in our workforce for those who just need a chance to prove themselves and it must be part of our collective response to keep our streets safe and our communities healthy. "We're putting them back on the track of life, love, health, prosperity, helping them find jobs. I want to take a chance. But not just taking a chance, also changing a life, and not just one life but also their family. The ripple effects are incredible. The emphasis on work is strategic-jobs for a future. Work is ennobling as there's no such thing as a job that doesn't bring dignity. Jobs create peace in family and the community as they get a new life full of positivity. Prince Organization has hired team members who got on the
wrong side of law, were in prison, corrections, halfway houses. Now they are respectful citizens, model employees contributing positively to the community and society and rather than living on taxpayers
dollars, are tax contributing citizens. "They have demonstrated exceptional turnarounds, their families and friends, probation officers are proud of them, who monitor their continuous behaviors and thank us for believing and employing them," says Tolani.
Miracle Foundation launches campaign for orphans India Post News Service
AUSTIN, TX: There are millions of orphaned children in the developing world, many of whom languish in sub-standard institutions without access to basic food, clean water, schooling, medical care and a stable, fun childhood. The Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers orphans to reach their full potential by turning orphanages into places where children thrive, is launching its unique Orange is for Orphans campaign. The 501(c) (3) charity, which revolutionizes the way orphanages are run, funded and managed, hopes to raise awareness of the 153 million orphan children in the world and empower people to make miracles for them. The Miracle Foundation works as a voice to promote and advocate for orphans around the world. Participating in this new Orange is for Orphans campaign can engage one in the lives of less fortunate children in the developing world, said Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of the Miracle Foundation. Helping children go from hopeless and head-down, to empowered and standing-tall, with bright futures ahead of them, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors in the world. Launched in 2000, the Miracle Foundation turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing
homes where children thrive and truly change the story of their lives. The Austin, TX-based organization partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method for providing a home where the fundamental needs and rights of growing children are met, from the day they arrive until the day they graduate into adulthood. The Miracle Foundation proves that one person can make miracles for orphan children," said Chris Porter, donor. "I have wit-
nessed first-hand what my donations can do to change the lives of many. I've traveled to India and visited the orphanages and have seen the difference my investment makes in orphans' lives. Each of these children is a tiny miracle, and together, we can make big things happen for them."The Miracle Foundation has been honored with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates U.S. charities' effectiveness and financial transparency.
Idaho University confers Red Carpet honor on Dr Dayal Meshri Contâ€™d from page 16
He said he could not have survived or more so gained in stature and confidence but for the hefty support he received from all quarters at the University decades ago. "I am highly indebted to the University and whatever that I did for the research room is a very small dividend that I could give to my alma mater." "My stay here half century ago got rewarding as it helped build my character. The love, respect and the support that I got from teachers truly helped widen my mental horizon. I wish I could do more for the place so that more and more students from across the world could benefit. I propose doing so," he added Yet another highlight of the nearly three-hour pleasantries was the presentation of a picture of Indian tiger done by a renowned artist Ginger Wright. She wanted the picture to be hanged at the
Dr Meshri with the recipients of Dr Indurani Scholarships
Conference room and that was done. Dr Meshri was recognized as the university scholar and was
eventually inducted into Hall of Fame. This induced artist Ginger to mention that Dr Meshri is the Indian tiger personified.
Dr Meshri with research students
Tech News Fighting cancer with immune cells
ellectis, a company seeking to develop immune cells that hunt down and destroy cancer in anyone who receives an infusion, has been given the go-ahead from the FDA to begin clinical trials in the U.S. The technique involves
TechBiz 20 India Post
February 17, 2017
There's a troll inside us all
e've all read the comments sections and seen the ugly tweetsonline harassment is a huge problem, and it's only getting bigger. But who are the trolls? An analysis of 16 million comments on articles on CNN.com found that about a quarter of posts flagged as abusive were left by people who don't usually do that sort of thing. And researchers showed that people who said they were in a bad mood were 89 percent more likely to leave a nasty comment on an article. So perhaps think twice before you get angry about some profane, vitriolic post-its author might just be having a bad day. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review
Reliance Defense signs warship repair pact with US Navy genetically modifying cells from a healthy donor, replicating them in a lab, then giving them to a patient. So far, it's been used to dramatic effect in two infants in the U.K., both of whom had their leukemia vanish. Several biotech companies are exploring similar technology, but it usually requires the cells be harvested from the patient, modified, and then re-infused. An off-the-shelf treatment would mean anyone with the type of cancer the cells are programmed to attack could potentially be cured. But the trials will have to show that dripping alien cells into people's veins doesn't trigger potentially deadly side effects. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review
Twitter's dance around online abuse
witter has made a fresh set of headlines for saying it will roll out a trio of new measures designed to curb abuse on its platform. But despite similar efforts in the past, hate speech and abusive tweets have continued to flourish. The problem appears to be that Twitter finds itself stuck between championing what they call "freedom of expression" and taking action against trolls. So far they've leaned hard towards the former. What's a social network to do? The Wikimedia foundation, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia, may have an answer. The organization has released a dataset of nearly 115,000 editor comments, including thousands that were manually flagged as personal attacks. It's part of a joint effort with Alphabet's Jigsaw team to build machine learning software that automatically detects online abuse. It's the biggest dataset of its kind ever released, lending hope that an automated approach to hunting down trolls is within reach. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review
NEW DELHI: Months after India and US signed a key logistics pact, Reliance Defense and Engineering has announced an agreement with the American Navy for repair and alteration services for warships of the largest forwarddeployed Seventh Fleet operating in the region. The Seventh Fleet's area of responsibility includes the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean and at any given time there are roughly 50 70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and approximately 20,000 sailors under its command. A statement by the Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) controlled RDEL said it has signed the Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with US Navy. It added that earlier in January, Reliance Shipyard was qualified by US Navy as an approved contractor to perform complex repair and
alteration services for the US Navy's Seventh Fleet vessels operating in the region. Reliance Shipyard at Pipavav, Gujarat is the first shipyard in India to have received MSRA Certi-
of different types, including auxiliaries. Currently, the vessels of US Navy's Seventh Fleet visit Singapore or Japan for such works. Reliance Shipyard has been
fication to undertake servicing and repairing works for the vessels of Seventh Fleet. It is estimated that the potential business for RDEL will be very high. The fleet has about 100 vessels
selected after a detailed site survey by US Government representatives in end October 2016, the statement said. After over a decade of negotiations, India and the US had in August last year signed the Lo-
gistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), a tweaked India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), which the US has with several countries with close military-tomilitary ties. The pact enables their militaries to use each other's assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, making joint operations more efficient. LEMOA facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis and provides a framework to govern them. This may include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, medical services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance, training and other logistical services. -PTI
US pharma sector for India in patent violator list WASHINGTON: America's pharma sector has asked US Trade Representative (USTR) to continue to keep India on its priority watch list (PWL) which includes countries that are alleged violators of US patent laws, claiming that the environment on the ground remains "challenging" in India. Among the key issues of concern for the US pharma sector in India are unpredictable IP environment, high tariffs and taxes on medicines, regulatory data protection failure, discriminatory and non-transparent market access policies and unpredictable environment for clinical research. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in a submission requested US Trade Representative (USTR) to continue to keep India on the Priority Watch List in the 2017 Special 301 Report. "Further, we urge USTR to provide an opportunity for a
meaningful assessment of India's IP regime through an Out-of-Cycle Review, so that the US government can evaluate progress on these important issues and dedicate the required bilateral attention necessary to translate India's commitments into substantive and real policy change that addresses the IP and market access barriers confronted by US businesses in India," PhRMA said in the Indian section of its submission. Continued attention to IP and market access barriers in India has sent a strong signal of the importance of these issues to the bilateral relationship, has fueled constructive industry-government dialogue, and has been critical in preventing further deterioration of the innovation environment in that country, it said. Nevertheless, many of the same issues remain and no meaningful action has been taken to address the unpredictability in IP protection and enforcement that remains, it said.
In its submission to USTRs Special 301 Review, PhArma said it supports the Indian Government's efforts to create a stronger business, innovation and
However, despite some positive signs, PhRMA's members remain concerned about the challenging policy environment in India," PhARMA said in its submission to US Trade Representatives. healthcare environment through the "Make in India" initiative, the new National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy and the forthcoming National Health Policy. "These efforts can advance improved access to healthcare for
Indian patients, while driving economic growth by enhancing India's global competitiveness and improving ease of doing business. However, despite some positive signs, PhRMA's members remain concerned about the challenging policy environment in India," PhARMA said in its submission to US Trade Representatives. Pharmaceutical innovators, it said saw positive signs from the Indian Government in 2016. However, these signals have not yet been translated into real policy and practical change. "To research, develop and deliver new treatments and cures to patients, biopharmaceutical innovators must be able to secure and effectively enforce intellectual property (IP) rights," the report said, adding that with the right policies put in place, India could one day become a globally-competitive leader in life sciences and biomedical development.-PTI
February 17, 2017
Nadella stresses 'diversity and inclusion' NEW YORK: Microsoft has to "look like everyone and every organization in the world" for it to accomplish its mission, the technology giant's Indian-born CEO Satya Nadella has said, asserting the importance of "diversity and inclusion" amid an environment of divisiveness. An aspect "we are focused a
change the culture within the company, Nadella alluded to Microsoft's mission to "empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." He stressed that diversity and inclusion is critical to achieve this core mission. "Diversity and inclusion is huge. It obviously starts by hav-
ton on is we say we want to empower the world, everyone and every organization. That means we have got to look like everyone and every organization in the world," Nadella said during an interaction with students and faculty at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and the Stern School of Business. Asked by a student about the actions he has taken since assuming the role of Microsoft's CEO to
ing a workforce that is diverse but inclusion is a cultural piece that we all have to work on everyday," he said at the interaction during his visit to the University. He said inclusion "shows up in every meeting, starting with me." "Am I able to actually conduct a meeting where everyone is able to contribute their best because we all come with different styles, we have different cultural upbringings, what makes us tick is differ-
ent. So you got to have leaders who are in-tuned with that," he said. Nadella stressed the culture of diversity and inclusion has to be developed across the company and Microsoft is striving hard to achieve it. "I will not by any stretch say at Microsoft we have excellence in it. I'll say we are going to, everyday of the week, push to get better and better at creating that more inclusive culture. It starts with each mindset," he said. "The culture is just a reflection of you and what you do in an organization. The more you take responsibility for it, the more you feel empowered to change culture versus being stuck in some culture you don't like," he said. Nadella's comments come against the backdrop of a divisive and anti-immigrant rhetoric engulfing the US under the presidency of Donald Trump. In particular, Trump's executive order to temporarily ban entry into the US of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations was met with severe criticism and opposition by American companies across the spectrum. Hyderabad-born Nadella, during an employee Q&A on January 30, had addressed the executive order on immigration, saying there is no place for bias or bigotry in any society. He had credited America's "enlightened immigration policy" that had helped him achieve tremendous professional success. -PTI
Air India to expand more in Eastern Region KOLKATA: With the induction of more Dreamliners to its fleet this year, national carrier Air India is planning to start more direct international flights, including one from Kolkata," AI Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said here. After an internal meeting at the AI Headquarter here, Lohani said that "Air India is set to enhance its connectivity in the Eastern Region from its summer schedule starting in a phased manner from March-end this year." The national carrier would launch a thrice-a-week KolkataBangkok flight operated by the state-ofthe-art Airbus A320 Neo aircraft in May. Air India would also rein-
state the day-return Kolkata-Bangalore flight in addition to the existing flight to Bangalore from the city. "The AI, which is set to induct 34 aircraft this year, is on an expansion mode driven by its policy 'Fly More Fill More' directly connecting Delhi with Washington shortly and also launching a Dreamliner flight to Copenhagen later in the year. Besides,
Air India would start a flight from Mumbai to Guwahati and from Mumbai to Ranchi and start a service on the Delhi-GuwahatiDibrugarh sector, Lohani said. "This will be in addition to the already existing flight from Delhi to Guwahati. This flight will also link Dibrugarh for the first time with the capital," he said adding that also on the anvil was a second Kolkata to Hyderabad flight via Bhubaneswar. Recently, Air India Express had launched services to Singapore and Dhaka from Kolkata. Operations to the Northeast have also been strengthened with the commencement of point to point operations from Kolkata to Imphal and from Kolkata to Aizwal as well as between Kolkata and Dimapur and Dibrugarh.-PTI
110 Japanese firms go bankrupt in China BEIJING: About 110 Japanese billion yen, the research report firms went bankrupt in China last said. year, a research report said, highThe 'China risk' bankruptcies lighting challenges in doing busi- also caused the loss of 1,638 jobs, ness in the world's second largest surpassing the 1,000 figure for the economy. first time, the research showed. A new report by Tokyo Shoko By sector, 63 of the failures Research showed that 110 Japa- were wholesale companies and 33 nese companies went bankrupt were manufacturing concerns. The last year citing the challenges of hardest-hit industry was apparel, doing business in China, or 'China which reported 54 bankruptcies, risk', the Hong Kong-based South nearly half of the 110 annual total. China Morning Post reported. "At the moment, the rise in A combination of increasing costs due to soaring labor costs production costs and heightened in China is a threat, in particular to political tensions, were cited as Japanese apparel-related compasome of the reasons. nies," said Mitsuhiro Harada, who It was an increase from 101 authored the report. firms the previous year and the highest number since Tokyo Shoko Re- The 'China risk' bankruptcies search began the annual survey in 2014, the also caused the loss of report said. As the Chinese 1,638 jobs, surpassing the economy slowed down 1,000 figure for the first time, pressures increased for the foreign investors, the research showed. specially the Japanese firms which faced a complex political situation since the "Apparel companies in Japan crisis over the disputed islands in were previously attracted to China the East China Sea since 2012. due to the low manufacturing Japan is the one of the largest costs, including labor costs, and investors in China for decades and raised the ratio of the products all its top automobile firms are they produced in China and firmly entrenched in the Chinese stepped up procurement there," market. Harada told the Post. Bilateral trade accounted for "However, this has faded with USD 303 billion between the two the subsequent rise of 'fast fashcountries in 2015 despite bilateral ion' in Japan inexpensive apparel tensions. products with impressive designs The Japanese companies that distributed outside conventional went under left debts amounting routes. to 71.84 billion yen although there Combined with rising costs due was a decline of nearly 67 per cent to increasing personnel costs in on the previous year's losses be- China, this was enough to bring cause only one company failed down companies that were already with debts totaling more than 10 struggling," he said. -PTI
February 17, 2017
'US firms going abroad can't fire everybody' WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has warned of "consequences" to American companies planning to shift base abroad, telling them that he would make it "harder" for them to just say "bye-bye and fire everybody." In his weekly address to the nation, Trump also said that he is
"We want to make it much easier to do business in America, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to make it also much harder for companies to leave. They're not just going to say byebye and fire everybody. There will be consequences," he said. Trump said, he met the CEO of Intel (Brian Krzanich) who an-
President Donald Trump
working on a major tax reform which would massively reduce taxes of American workers and businesses. "We are in the process right now of working on a major tax reform that will massively reduce taxes on our workers and businesses," Trump said.
nounced that his company will invest USD 7 billion in a new manufacturing facility in Arizona, creating thousands of new American jobs. "That's what we want, new American jobs and good jobs. Intel decided to move forward with this project because they know we are
totally committed to lifting the regulatory and tax burdens that are hurting American innovation and companies," he said. Trump said he wants America to be the greatest jobs magnet of the world. "But we can't do that if we don't stop the wasteful rules and excessive taxes that make it impossible for companies to compete," he said. Every hour of every day, his administration is focused on creating jobs for people, Trump said. "I mean good jobs. More jobs, better jobs, higher paying jobs, that's our mission," he said. Referring to his meeting with sheriffs and police chiefs from across the country, Trump said his administration is committed to national security, which is why he will continue to fight to take all necessary and legal action to keep terrorists, radical and dangerous extremists from ever entering the country. "We will not allow our generous system of immigration to be turned against us as a tool for terrorism and truly bad people. We must take firm steps today to ensure that we are safe tomorrow," Trump said. "We will defend our country, protect our Constitution and deliver real prosperity for our people," he said. -PTI
Rs 120cr hidden income found with MLA BENGALURU: The Income Tax department has claimed to have detected undisclosed income worth Rs 120 crores and seized cash worth Rs 1.10 crores and 10 kgs of gold after it conducted raids on a Congress MLA here. The department had been conducting searches on multiple premises related to Hoskote MLA M T B Nagaraj as part of its investigation into alleged tax evasion charges against him and others. "The raids conducted in the tax evasion probe case against the Congress MLA resulted in disclosure of unaccounted income exceeding Rs 120 crores. Unexplained cash worth Rs 1.10
crores and 10 kgs gold have also been recovered as part of this action," officials said. The department found that the undisclosed income was created by way of "unaccounted property investment and construction of commercial property, hospital,
houses, withdrawal of bogus unsecured loans for the amount which is actually revenue receipt" and even some cash deposits made on account of renting out
convention halls and paying guest accommodation. Over 3,500 land documents indicating "land ownership" of 560 acres allegedly by the Congress lawmaker and his associates were also seized, officials said. The searches were conducted here and in Hoskote, and have now ended. The taxmen are also probing payments worth Rs 70 crore "received by various independent landlords" connected to the MLA and where no capital gains were paid. Sources claimed that an instance of claiming exemption of Rs 125 crores related to "running of an SEZ" is also under the scanner of the tax department.-PTI
IMF chief finds Trump good for US economy DUBAI: The head of the International Monetary Fund says US President Donald Trump taking office is likely good for the US economy in the short term, though rising American interest rates and a strengthening dollar will challenge global trade. Christine Lagarde said Trump's plans for additional investment in US infrastructure and his likely tax reforms will boost the American economy. She says: "We have reasons to be optimistic about growth in the United States." However, Lagarde acknowledged that Trump's policies likely
will lead to "tightening that is going to be difficult on the global economy." She also defended globalization
and international trade at a time of growing protectionism in the US and elsewhere in the world. Lagarde spoke in Dubai at the annual World Government Summit. -AP
Have a warm relationship with Murthy: Sikka NEW DELHI: Vishal Sikka, the embattled chief of Infosys, has said he has always shared a "heartfelt, warm relationship" with the company's co-founder N R Narayana Murthy. The comments come at a time when there has been a lot of buzz around some of the founders flagging concerns about governance lapses at Infosys and issues like hike in Sikka's compensation to USD 11 million and huge severance pay doled out to former executives, Rajiv Bansal and David Kennedy. Asked about his relationship with the founders, Sikka said: "My relationship with the founders? It is wonderful. I meet Mr Murthy quite frequently...I have always had a heartfelt warm relationship with Mr Murthy, probably meet him 4-5-6 times a year." He added that he, however, hasn't met the other founders of late. Describing Murthy as an "incredible man", Sikka said the two usually discussed topics like quantum physics and technology whenever they met.
"The other day he was telling me about the Paris Metro and how he worked on the Paris Metro in the 1970s before he started Infosys, and it had this whole idea about automation and autonomous driving and all," he reminisced. Sikka, speaking at Kotak's Chasing Growth Conference in Mumbai, said the "drama" going on in the media is very "distracting". "It takes away our attention but
underneath that, there is a very strong fabric that this company is based on. And it is a real privilege for me to be its leader," he added. Infosys, on its part, has denied any governance lapses and said it has made "full disclosures" on all developments.-PTI
February 17, 2017
Chidambaram asks for cut in indirect taxes NEW DELHI: Former finance minister P Chidambaram, who feels the Union Budget for 2017-18 is "aimless and directionless", says the government should immediately cut indirect taxes across the board to revive the sagging economy.
not be visible but it can be a "silent killer". "What is the overarching goal of this budget? It is aimless and directionless," said Chidambaram, who has presented nine Union Budgets in a span of nearly two decades.
Demonetization, he said, damaged India's GDP growth in 201617 and fears that its shadow will fall on 2017-18 and some parts of 2018-19. He also said lack of creation of jobs for the youth is a powder keg and a small spark can lead to a large explosion. Resentment may
"Sometimes, you chase growth. Sometimes, you chase financial and monetary stability. Sometimes, the goal is boosting growth in a slowing economy," he told PTI in an interview. Chidambaram said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley missed an opportunity at reviving the
Taking US chips to China C
alifornia-based chipmaker GlobalFoundries has announced that it plans to build a new fabrication plant in China at a cost of $10 billion. The move is part of an expansion strategy that will see it increase production of its semiconductors in facilities in
the U.S., Germany, and Singapore. But in an unwelcome twist for the Trump administration, growth of its U.S. facilities looks set to be
among the most modest. Asian tech firms have recently stated that they plan to set up manufacturing operations in the U.S. over the coming years. But the New York Times suggests that CEOs of Chinese companies may have taken a cue from Trump's style of business: make big promises, even if they're unlikely to come to full fruition. American companies, meanwhile, have generally been reserved about making promises to grow manufacturing in the US. The GlobalFoundries news serves as a reminder that there's still incredible appeal in the East. -Courtesy MIT Technology Review
economy hit by demonetization. "That (cutting indirect taxes) is a tried and tested and proven method of boosting economy. He could have easily cut between 4-8 per cent (tax) across the board. "It is only up to GST time and when GST comes, GST will take over. He had a window of about 8 months to cut indirect taxes. It would come into force from 1st of February and I don't think GST is going to come before October 1. So, he had eight full months to give a boost to economy by cutting indirect taxes," he said. Asked if the finance minister should still cut indirect taxes now that the Budget has been presented, he said, "Yes, he should. Even now it is not too late." Chidambaram said slashing indirect taxes would push consumption and in turn perk up production. "If you cut indirect taxes by 4-8 per cent, there is going to be a revenue loss, I am not denying that. But just imagine the signal that would have gone to both producers and consumers. And if consumption rises much above the level of the cut, some of the cut will be made up. The idea is to boost consumption which in turn will boost production," he said. PTI
Is the future of Free Web in question?
he Mozilla Foundation recently warned that the openness and neutrality that made the Internet a runaway success are being subverted. Now, the World Wide Web Consortium-the organization that sets the standards for how the Web works-has a decision to make that could firmly cement its thinking about what the future of the Internet should look like. The Consortium is set to decide whether it wants to standardize so-called Encrypted Media Extensions, which provide Web browsers with the ability to use digital rights management to govern media playback. Proponents argue that they're a boon for piracy protection; skeptics warn that the Consortium's approval would send a clear message that the open architecture of the Web is no more. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and leader of the Consortium, has some serious decisions ahead.
Demonetization has positive impact: Jaitley VADODARA: Union Finance parties". Minister Arun Jaitley has said the "The combined effect of the purpose of demonetization is Goods and Services Tax and deserved as it had led to "larger and monetization would take India to cleaner GDP". a new path of reforms, enabling "Demonetization was a bold large part of informal economy into and decisive strike in a series of the formal economy," he added. measures to arrive at a bigger, According to Jaitley, the intecleaner and real GDP," Jaitley told gration of the informal economy PTI at Karnali village, around 72 into a formal one would lead to km from here. The finance minister has adopted Karnali and Chandod villages in Vadodara district. "Demonetization has positive impact and India is moving to less cash economy," he said, adding the country is moving towards "digitalization". "There is greater integration of inforUnion Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mal economy taking place with formal economy that leads to larger and higher tax revenue and thereby cleaner GDP, that was our objec- lower tax rates. tive behind the decision on demonOn rate cut, he said, "It is preetization," said the Finance Min- rogative of the RBI to take deciister. sion on it. The banks have already On the Universal Basic Income reduced interest rates in recent (UBI) scheme, mooted in past. Due to demonetization, the government's economic survey banks are flooded with fixed dethis year, Jaitley said "UBI is an posits as it has registered signifiidea worth considering and should cant growth in the fixed deposits". be discussed by all the political -PTI
Rural development given priority in Union Budget: Jaitley VADODARA: Finance Min- structure needed for the overall ister Arun Jaitley today said ru- development of the rural areas," ral development holds the key the Union minister said. for the growth of Indian He said the Centre has made economy and stressed that he adequate financial allocation in has laid emphasis on the devel- the recent Budget for rural deopment of villages in the Bud- velopment such as power, irriget so as to put the country gation, roads, drinking water, among developed nations. Addressing a Jaitley had adopted four gathering at Karnali villages of Karnali group village which he has adopted under the panchayat and nearby 'Sansad Adarsh Chandod village, situated Gram Yojna' as an MP from Gujarat in on the banks of Narmada Rajya Sabha, Jaitley asserted that Indian economy is housing, and MGNREGA. the fastest growing in the world. Jaitley had adopted four vil"To put India in the category lages of Karnali group panchayat of developed nations, it is nec- and nearby Chandod village, situessary to develop our villages. ated on the banks of Narmada in That is why I have laid empha- Dabhoi taluka of the district. Due sis on agriculture and rural de- to their proximity, both the vilvelopment in the Budget. lages are generally referred to as Our priority is to set up infra- Karnali-Chandod.-PTI
February 17, 2017
2.83 lakh Central govt jobs by 2018 NEW DELHI: Nearly 2.83 lakh central government jobs are estimated to be generated by next year. This projection has been made in the Union Budget for 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. As per the budget documents, the workforce of the central gov-
ernment establishments would be 35.67 lakh in 2018, about 2.83 lakh more than the actual head count of 32.84 lakh in 2016. The Home Ministry will add 6,076 more personnel to take its strength to 24,778 in 2018. About 1.06 lakh more workforce will be added in police departments to take the total head count to 11,13,689 by next year. The strength of police depart-
Push for Uber instead of state vehicles PHOENIX: An Arizona lawmaker wants the state to cut its vehicle fleet by 20 percent and explore using ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft or contract with companies to manage the services. Rep. Jeff Weninger says the state government owns too many vehicles and must use taxpayer dollars more efficiently for state employee travel. The Chandler Republican has introduced House Bill 2440 to force the 20 percent cut in state-owned cars and light trucks. The bill would also create a pilot program for state workers to use rental cars, fleet management services, ride hailing services or private-public partnerships. Weninger is a former member of the Chandler City Council where he helped champion an effort that cut city vehicle use costs 22 percent.-AP
ments under the central government is 10,07,366, as per the 2016 data. There will be an estimated increase of 2,109 persons in the External Affairs Ministry as against its actual strength of 9,294 in 2016, it said. In newly created Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepre-
neurship, the government has estimated to add 2,027 jobs by 2018. Its actual strength in 2016 was 53 only. When contacted, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said the additional workforce will help in providing more citizen-centric governance. "The central government is trying to emphasize more on employ-
ability of our youth rather then employment. That is why the Skill Development Ministry has been started. It will train more youth to become entrepreneurs and be jobready in changing scenario. "The projection of additional workforce will help in providing more citizen centric governance," he told PTI. There would be an estimated 1,045 more staff in 2018 in the Ministry of Civil Aviation from its actual strength of 1,141 in 2016. In the Department of Posts, there would be 20,442 more workforce from its strength of 4,48,840. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will add 2,165 more jobs in next year to take its strength to 5,094. An estimated 91 people will be part of the workforce in the Minority Affairs Ministry in 2018, in addition to its actual strength of 169 in 2016. The Mines Ministry will have 1,351 more jobs to take its strength to 9,481 and the Department of Space will have an estimated 17,894 personnel, 3,068 more than its strength of 14,826. The Personnel Ministry will have 2,367 more personnel in 2018 than its actual strength of 8,443 in 2016. Whereas, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will have a workforce of 11,407 in 2018, 3,632 more than its actual strength of 7,775 in 2016. -PTI
PM asks ministers to give details of tours NEW DELHI: Prime Minister this task, the sources added. Narendra Modi has asked his min"All the ministers have been isterial colleagues to give details asked to submit details of their of tours, if any, undertaken by outstation tour programs of the them during the last three months, last three months. If not on tour, an exercise aimed at ascertaining they should mention if they were whether they promoted demoneti- in Delhi and attended office. zation and other "The idea is to initiatives, know if the Minissources said. ters visited places The Prime beyond their reMinister is learnt spective constituto have given the encies to promote directive at a reinitiatives of govcent Cabinet meeternment, particuing, the sources larly demonetizaPrime Minister Narendra Modi said. tion. The exercise Minister for is also aimed at Rural Development Narendra knowing if they were balancing Singh Tomar has been directed to office work and field duties," a coordinate with the Ministries for source said. -PTI
Taser gets a computer vision T aser's name is so synonymous with the stun guns they make, you might forget that the company also makes wearable cameras. And now they own an AI company - two, in fact. Body cams have been adopted by police in many parts of the country, but the footage they record can be hard to interpret in chaotic situations. Buying the small firm Dextro gives Taser a computer vision and deep-learning system that
makes videos searchable by their visual content. The other outfit, Fossil Group, specializes in using machine vision to speed up video and image processing-useful, because all those body cams generate tons of data. The newly acquired technology and teams will be folded into Taser's Axon AI group. That may indeed make police videos easier to make sense of-but good luck making them any less controversial.
Rodents to give birth only to males?
n the 19th century, rats over ran New Zealand, decimating its unique menagerie of flightless birds, proto-lizards, and other odd species (the problem has since grown to include invasive stoats and possums). Now an aggressive conservation group is working with geneticists to cultivate the first gene drive in mammals. Scientists created the drive just two
months ago, in mice, and they are keen to see whether they can induce a population crash by engineering the rodents to only give birth to males. If it works, the team may attempt to carry out a test on a small, isolated island. After that, New Zealand-which has said it aims to eradicate its invasive predators by 2050-could be next.
Practical brain implants
rain implants have been used to let paralyzed people move a robotic arm and restore rudimentary vision to the blind. But they rely on an electrical connection with biological tissue-something that is inevitably degraded by the growth of scar tissue. A new type of implant could change all that. The hair-like device, developed by researchers at Harvard
Medical School and PARC, sits under the skull but on top of the brain, rather than in it. Microscopic coils inside the implant generate magnetic fields that stimulate electrical activity in brain tissue. Researchers have used it to make mice twitch their whiskers, and trials are set to begin next month that could ultimately lead to otherwise-blind monkeys using it to navigate a maze.
The automation of Wall Street
emember in "The Wolf of Wall Street" when Leonardo DiCaprio's character used a stunning display of salesmanship to talk his way into a job selling stocks? No? Well, don't worry, because those days are coming to an end. At Goldman Sachs, what was once a group of 600 cash equity traders working the phones has been whittled down
to just two. They've been replaced by algorithms and software engineers. Investment banking may be next up for automation, along with corporate mergers and IPOs. With fewer people around to divvy up enormous profits, salaries figure to skyrocket-but only for those at the very top.
-Courtesy MIT Technology Review
February 17, 2017
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The stationary transit of Rahu and Ketu is in effect till April 2017, Sudden setbacks, obstructions are likely. Drive safely. Be patience.
February 17th - Feb 23rd 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
he professional matters may cause concerns. Some of you may have to move in connection with the job. The promotions/recognition may be delayed. The health of family needs extra care. It is better to avoid haste and conflicts. Avoid unnecessary driving, and risky activities. Romance wise is ok. Patience is the Mantra for you up to September 2017.
he professional matters cause sudden stress. Some additional income is likely. This week may stress health. Little more patience is required. The transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 degrees and planets also. Continuously propitiate Rahu and Ketu. Strengthen your birth planets through a Special Power.
he week indicates con cerns in job/profession. Take due care as it may threaten job. 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. Continuing peace making remedies for malefic planets Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Rahu and Ketu.
he professional matters create sudden stress. 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.
he professional matters need care.The promotion is likely to be delayed.Some additional expenses are likely. Take care of your health, see a doctor if required or get a regular physical. Stay away from disputes. Handle relationship matters with care.It is better to avoid new ventures, put them on hold. The child may need help, give attention to them.
rofessional matters may develop sudden stress. Be careful in the matter of status, driving 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 and self up to May, 2017.
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 hard with patience. Prolonged transit planetary influences caused by Rahu/Ketu are difficult for those whose ascending degree is around 9 or some planet is around 9.
he professional matters cause sudden stress. The mental peace and emotions are likely to be disturbed. Stay away from conflicts, and confrontations. Child may need some help. Some additional expenses are likely. Silence is golden for you. Strengthen your birth planets through a Special Power Kavach as transit weakness of planets can bring sudden mishaps.
he professional matters look better. Take care of relationship matters. Work with patience and avoid conflicts at all levels. 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. Avoid being at wrong places at wrong time.
he professional matters may develop sudden stress. Take care with patience.Some additional income is likely. Some new opportunities may also come up. Avoid speculation. Always invest in safe assets. Continue to perform peace making remedies for your functional malefic planets Moon, Rahu and Ketu. Some income constraints are likely. Strengthen your birth planets.
he professional matters may develop sudden stress. Handle relationship matters with care. Obstructions are likely in the sources of income. Health of the spouse may cause concerns. Manage obstructions with patience. It is better to avoid manipulations and driving. Continue to perform peace making remedies for your functional malefic planets Moon, Mercury, Rahu and Ketu.
rofessional matters may develop sudden stress. Some unexpected and easy gains are likely. Avoid journey. Some additional expenses and health concerns 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 in odd signs up to 15th of April.
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 â€˘ JAYSASTROLOGY@GMAIL.COM â€˘ 630-675-7148
February 17, 2017
India Post 27
Fri, Feb 17 • &Tv Valentines Day Party Nargis Fakhri Special Guest
Sat, Feb 25 • Bollywood Beats - A Weekly Sat Night Desiparty
Tue, Fri 21 • Yoga Meditation for Stress Management
Venue: Royal Alberts palace, 1050 King Georges Post Road, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 07:30 pm
Venue: LEXICON, 226 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022 Time : 10:00 pm
Venue: Art of Living, Santa Clara, CA, 2368 Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051 Time: 07:00 pm
Sat, Feb 18 • ZuBoJam - Valentine's Day Dance Fitness
Fri, Feb 24 • Musik Waves -Tribute to Mehdi Hassan
Fri, Mar 10 • Two to Tango, Three to Jive - Saurabh Shukla LIVE
Wed, Feb 22 • Spiritual Discourse with Swami Premodaya
NEW JERSEY Upcoming
Venue: E Hotel, 3050 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 08:00 pm
Sat, Mar 04 • Musik Waves -Tribute to Mehdi Hassan Venue: E Hotel, 3050 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 08:00 pm
Venue: Flushing Temple Auditorium, 14307 Holly Avenue, Flushing, NY 11355 Time : 08:00 pm
Sat, Mar 11 • The Biggest HOLI Party in New York City Venue: Stage48, 605 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036 Time : 12:00 pm
Venue: Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94582
Venue: International Centers of Divine Awakening, 2744 Colby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90064 Time: 07:00 pm
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
Fri, Feb 24 • Maha Shivarathri Brahmotsavam Venue: Sri Maha Kaleshwar Mandir, Santa Clara, 2344 Walsh Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95051 Time: 08:30 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
Sat, Mar 4 • Bharatanatyam Dance Performance: Chitravali - A picture Book on Krishnamaya by Vidushi Rama Vaidyanathan With Live Orchestra Venue: CET (Center for Employment Training),, 701 Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110 Time: 04:00 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 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
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Zaalima: Raees 2 The Humma Song: OK Jaanu 3 Laila: Raees 28 India Post
February 17, 2017
arun Dhawan aka Badrinath Bansal is searching for a perfect bride. And we all know finding the one is always difficult, so our Badri has made a groom profile with specifications he is looking for in his Dulhania. However, he has one demand. He does not want his bride to ask him 'compound interest equation.' So, Varun is only 10th pass in the film and it really irks him if someone tries to test his knowledge by asking him difficult questions. Even in the trailer, we have seen that the actor gets miffed the moment Alia Bhatt aka Vaidehi asks him to tell her formula for compound interest and taunts him that even if he learns them, he would not become a 'barrister.' And that's why under the education qualification, we see '10th pass, soon to be barrister'. Alia and Varun, who will share the screen space for the third time, will also grace Karan Johar's talk show, Koffee With Karan. Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a spinoff of its prequel Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania which released in 2014.
The film is said to be inspired by Internet sensations like Divine and Naezy, who began their journey as 'gully' rappers straight from the slums of Mumbai.
anveer Singh will be starring opposite Alia Bhatt for his upcoming film 'Gully Boy', to be directed by Zoya Akhtar. The film is said to be inspired by Internet sensations like Divine and Naezy, who began their journey as 'gully' rappers straight from the slums of Mumbai. Rappers Naezy and Divine are famous for their Mumbai anthems 'Yeh Mera Bombay' and 'Mere Gully Mein'. Both of them have even worked with comedy group AIB and Nucleya. Zoya had earlier talked about the film with a popular new organization and revealed, "Yes, my next film is inspired by real-life street rappers. I watched these kids on the Net and they just blew my mind. I didn't know that this kind of music was coming out of the lanes and by-lanes of Mumbai. People are so consumed with listening to just film music that nobody pays attention to some serious talent on the streets. That is how it all started."
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
ajkumar Hirani could not think of anyone but Manisha Koirala for the role of Sanjay Dutt's mother and iconic actor Nargis in the biopic. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, he said, "We were thinking of many actresses. And while Manisha is really pretty and a fantastic actress, my primary reason for taking her is that she's a cancer survivor and, having been through the journey herself, can identify with Nargisji's fight with cancer. When we met, she told me a little about that journey." Nargis died at the age of 51 after fighting pancreatic cancer. Manisha too went through a tough battle against ovarian cancer. With Manisha joining the star cast, the major characters of the biopic seems to have fallen into place. Ranbir Kapoor will be playing the role of Sanjay Dutt, Anushka Sharma will also be seen playing the role of a journalist in the movie and Sonam Kapoor will play one of the women Sanjay has fallen in love with.
February 2017 February 17, 3, 2017
India Post 29
"My characters belong to different worlds. It was tough to adjust to my costumes. Imagine wearing turtlenecks and woolens in Lucknow when the climate was sultry!
ften, heroines have to bear the brunt of the weather while shooting in extreme conditions. Irrespective of how high or low the temperature is, they are required to look glamorous. While filming in the hot and humid Lucknow for Junglee Pictures' 'Bareilly Ki Barfi', which has Ayushmann Khurrana playing the lead, Kriti Sanon wore woolens. On the other hand, she was spotted in breezy clothes while filming in the cold Budapest for 'Raabta', in which she co-stars with Sushant Singh Rajput. Kriti says, "My characters belong to different worlds. It was tough to adjust to my costumes. Imagine wearing turtlenecks and woolens in Lucknow when the climate was sultry! It was equally funny wearing summer dresses in the freezing temperatures of Budapest. I shot for both the films almost simultaneously and it took a toll on me. Still I'm not complaining because I got to soak in the cultures of these two cities."
here are reports of a cold war be tween 'Rangoon' co-stars Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut but the actor has laughed it off saying "it's all good". In the Vishal Bharadwaj-directed 'Rangoon', Shahid will be seen romancing Kangana for the first time on screen. Gossip mills are abuzz with news of both not getting along on the sets of the period romance drama film. Though the 'Kaminey' actor and the 'Queen' actress have time and again denied any animosity between them. When asked about the same, Shahid said at an event, "Just take it easy bro...take it easy...take it easy. It is all good." Also featuring Saif Ali Khan, 'Rangoon'is set to hit the screens on February 24.
Shahid said at an event, " Just take it easy bro...take it easy... take it easy. It is all good"
fter a series of action flicks and out-and-out comedies, Ajay Devgn's next will be a contemporary romcom, written and produced by Luv Ranjan, who has previously helmed 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama' and 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2'. A quirky take on urban relationships, the film will have Ajay in an edgy space that resonates with today's youth. About showing the intense actor in a new avatar, Luv says, "The way I see it, this character will come most naturally to Ajay. His uber-cool personality in real life has seldom been explored. There is a subtlety in his humor that blends perfectly with my writing."
rachi Desai says she is aware that despite having portrayed various characters on screen, she is still perceived as the sweet girl-nextdoor by the audience. However, the 28-year-old is unruffled. "I personally know that I have a lot more to offer on screen. In fact, I'm not the same person as the characters you see me portray - I don't know who in today's day and age is like that. They are just the roles that I portray," says Prachi, adding, "And if I can do the roles convincingly, then it's just the actor in me who deserves a pat because I just do it with so much ease." In fact, to prove her point about portraying various roles, Prachi even talks about the seductive item song Awari that she put up in Ek Villain (2014). She feels that every actor has a USP and that becomes their image or how they are perceived. "I feel when you do something right, you are repeated in that kind of role over and over again. That happens to most actors and obviously it's a no brainer that it has happened with me as well," says Prachi.
30 India Post
February 17, 2017
Eight years in the business and one can finally say that Anushka Sharma has got her due. For the first time in her career, she is closing a year as the highest grossing actress of the year. Her Sultan emerged as an All Time Blockbuster and despite Salman Khan in the title role, she had an equal role in
here is a marked difference in the standing of the lead ing ladies in 2016 v/s the ones who topped the charts in 2015. Deepika Padukone led from the front in 2015 but didn't have a single release in 2016. Priyanka Chopra was in Top-3 but she is nowhere this time around due to Jai Gangaajal as her solo release and subsequently, her Hollywood foray. Kangna Ranaut didn't have a release and Shruti Haasan, surprise inclusion in 2015 (courtesy Welcome Back and Gabbar Is Back) couldn't make much headway due to her solitary release Rocky Handsome. However, Anushka Sharma moved to the top of the charts, Jacqueline Fernandez made good progress too, Alia Bhatt stayed consistent and Kareena Kapoor Khan as well as Sonam Kapoor retained their standings in the Top-10 charts. Anushka Sharma - 412.93 crore [Sultan - 300.45 crore, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil 112.48 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 206.5 crore.
Sons - 73.29 crore, Dear Zindagi- 68.1 crore, Udta Punjab - 60.33 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 67.24 crore Alia Bhatt had a good year as she chose three different, though multiplecentric films. She was a part of an ensemble starrer Kapoor & Sons and though she had a relatively smaller part to play, the film's success still set the stage for her. Udta Punjab showed what she is made of as an actress and the film got her some very good recognition. Later, she did Dear Zindagi which again did well. Three successes in a row! Nargis Fakhri- 150.97 crore [Housefull 3 - 109.14 crore, Azhar- 33.03 crore, Banjo -8.8 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 50.32 crore. One Housefull 3 has allowed Nargis Fakhri to find her place in the charts. Though she had a minimal part to play in the ensemble affair, she can gain from the Hit tag that the film received. As for her two other films, Azhar and Banjo, none set the Box Office on fire. Cont'd on Page 33
the film. Ditto for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, a Hit, where she was a steady companion of Ranbir Kapoor in an author backed role. Jacqueline Fernandez - 217.75 crore [Housefull 3 - 109.14 crore, Dishoom - 70 crore, A Flying Jatt-38.61 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 72.58 crore. She was a part of an ensemble cast in Housefull 3 and in the process ended up gaining a 100 crore hit. In Dishoom, she was one of the three characters instead of being a quintessential leading lady per se and bagged yet another fair success to her name. A Flying Jatt didn't quite win her many brownie points and the film wasn't successful either. However, on television it did wonderful business. All in all, a good show. Alia Bhatt - 201.72 crore [Kapoor &
February 17, 2017
India Post 31
30% work on Patel statue completed: Ram Sutar NEW DELHI: Nearly 30 per cent work on casting of the monumental bronze statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, billed as the world's tallest sculptural work, has been completed, says noted artist Ram Sutar. Sutar was commissioned to craft the artistic modellings for the majestic 522-ft-high 'Statue of Unity' that will be installed on Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. The sculptor, who turns 92 on February 19, and known for his iconic statues of Mahatma Gandhi, one of which sits in the lawns of Parliament, is being assisted by his son Anil (59) in this project. "It was my dream to sculpt the tallest statue in the world and with 'Statue of Unity' I have come closer to realizing that dream. The bronze statue would stand as a symbol of inspiration for generations and about 30 per cent of the casting work has been completed," Ram Sutar told PTI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid its foundation on October 31 on the birth anniversary of the 'Iron Man'. The project is expected to be finished by 2019. "The casting work is being done in a foundry in China. For the final statue, we made iterative scale models of 3 ft, 18 ft and 30 ft statues. The face itself would be 70-ft in height and we have made a
scale model of 15 ft for final rendering," Anil said. The father-son duo, who hail from Maharashtra, work out of their studio in Noida, where an impressive statuary of iconic personalities greet visitors. "We were also selected for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj grand memorial, planned to be built in Arabian Sea, off the coast of Mumbai. Modi had laid the foundation for this Rs 3,600-crore grand memorial last December. The proposed memorial's main feature will be an imposing 192-mtall statue of a triumphant Maratha king riding a horse. The statue will be surrounded by an art museum, amphitheatre, auditorium, exhibition gallery and other facilities. Ram Sutar, a gold medalist from Sir J J School of Arts, built one of his first statues - 'The Bodybuilder' in 1948. This art and other striking scale models of his past works are being celebrated at an ongoing exhibition - Ram Sutar Retrospective at the All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society here. Besides, various models of Gandhi, tall statues of Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, all in standing pose, a seated B R Ambedkar, and his other celebrated works have been
showcased. "During his career, spanning over six decades, he (Ram Sutar) has designed nearly 700 statues, out of which 350 include those of Gandhi, in various sizes and poses, like standing, sitting, thinking, walking, in busts," Anil said. Sutar shot to fame with the 45ft-high Chambal monument at
2-D plans of the Shivaji memorial, models of Sai Baba in his iconic sitting posture, first President Rajendra Prasad, a bust of smiling Gandhi, two dancing female figures are among the other exhibits at the fortnight-long retrospective. "The smiling Gandhi bust is unique in many ways. The pillar carrying the bust has four iconic
Gandhi Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh, 'Chambal Devi' carved out of one monolithic stone. A scale model of the head of one of the horses in the 'Krishna Arjun' monument at Kurukshetra in Haryana has also been displayed.
figures on its sides - Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Karl Marx and Rabindranath Tagore. It was built in 1948 by my father and is installed in a public space at our native town in Maharashtra," Anil said. "95 per cent of the works, models of which are on display, were
converted to sculptures for installation. A few projects, my father had proposed did not see fruition, like the Gandhi statue for 'Kranti Maidan' near India Gate, towering statue of Gandhi in Arabian Sea," he said. But, Sutar's matchless oeuvre, nonetheless, is overwhelming, which also includes, 16 statues in Parliament - Gandhi in meditative pose, equestrian Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Nehru, Indira, among other sculptures. "A statue of Jyotiba Phule, surrounded with accompanying sculptures on a grand pedestal, was planned to be installed in Mumbai, but then it couldn't see its finality. The exhibition also displays it scale model," Anil said. "For the Commonwealth Games, we had also proposed a 'Progress' monument of 250 ft height near the banks of Yamuna River in the biodiversity park area, as a symbol of continuous progress of the country. The then Delhi government had liked it but it was eventually not implemented," he added. "My father had also worked on the design of various statues and fountains installed in Noida and Lucknow during the Mayawati government. We are also trying to establish a museum of his works, as a lasting memory," he said.-PTI
Chinese soldier returns from India after 50 years BEIJING: China has "commended" India for facilitating the return of its soldier, who was stuck in India for over 50 years after crossing the border following the 1962 war. "Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and India, Wang Qi has come back to China and got reunited with his family," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here. "We commend the assistance by relevant departments of India" in this regard, he said. Geng, however, said he was not aware of Wang's and his Indian family members' resettlement plans. He said he has to verify with local authorities. Geng made the remarks in reply to a question on what would happen to his Indian family - his wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter - if Wang decides to settle in China. Wang was given an emotional
welcome by his Chinese family members and officials when he reached Xian, the provincial capital of his home province Shaanxi. He was accompanied by his
His Indian wife Shushila and daughter stayed back in India due to ill health, officials said. Indian officials, who accompanied Wang, said he and his family
Wang Qi at home with family in Madhya Pradesh
son Vishnu Wang, 35, daughterin-law Neha and grand daughter, Khanak Wang.
have stayed put at a hotel in Xian and have not visited his village which is about 100 kms from there.
China facilitated Wang's travel by giving him a passport and visas to his family while the Indian government provided visa to him so that he can return if he chooses to. Chinese officials say Wang has to take a decision whether to stay in China or go back to India. Wang was caught when he entered the Indian territory shortly after the Sino-India war in 1962. He was later released from jail and settled in Tirodi village of Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh. Though his story has been published by Indian media several times in the past, a recent BBC TV feature on him, highlighting his
plight, was widely picked by the Chinese social media, prompting the Chinese government to initiate action in coordination with India to facilitate his return. Indian officials have termed the facilitation of Wang and his family's travel by both sides as a positive development, specially at a time when Sino-India relations are stuck with differences over issues like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China's opposition to India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Beijing's blocking of JeM chief Masood Azhar's designation as a terrorist by the UN. -PTI
32 India Post
February 17, 2017 www.indiapost.com
Prashantt, the American Bhagat Singh India Post News Service
fter the success of his 2016 release Neerja, actor Prashantt Guptha takes off with his next film Irada, releasing worldwide on February 17. The former New Yorker shares screen space with heavyweights Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi who have previously delivered back to back hits with Ishqiya and DedhIshqiya. Prashantt says, "2016 proved to be a major step up in my growth in the Indian film industry, and doing even a small but pivotal role in a major film like Neerja opened many doors." Irada is the first of its kind thriller that addresses the major
environmental crises of water and soil contamination in India caused by chemical industries. Interestingly, Prashantt's char-
acter in the film is named after the legendary freedom fighter of India, Shaheed Bhagat Singh. In a quick chat with Prashantt over how this materialized, he expressed, "Bhagat Singh was a noble soul, and the soul never dies. Every generation and every conflict and obstacle will pave the way for a Bhagat Singh to be born and stand up. I follow the same virtues in Irada and it was an honor to be given this name in the film." Prashantt's sardar get up is of deep amusement and great impression as he spent 3 months in becoming fully bearded, going to the Gurdwara every week and listening to Gurbaani. For a young man born and brought up in New York and of Rajasthani origin, this must have been no easy
Queen to host UK-India Year of Culture LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II will host a spectacular UK-India Year of Culture launch at Buckingham Palace at the end of this month to strengthen the special cultural partnership between the two countries. UK's senior-most Indian-origin minister, Priti Patel, who will be among the key Cabinet ministers at the event, described it as a real demonstration of the strong ties between the two countries. "It will be a spectacular event and a wonderful opportunity to do more to celebrate the India-UK relationship," Patel, Britain's Secretary of State for International Development, told PTI. The Palace had officially announced the date of the reception as February 27 in the monarch's engagements calendar earlier this week: "Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh will give a reception to mark the launch of the UK India Year of Culture 2017." Queen Elizabeth II, 90, is the world's longest reigning sovereign and has become the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, with 65 years on the throne.
The reception is expected to attract hundreds of guests from across various fields in the UK and India, including a senior Cabinet minister from the Indian side. "Throughout the year, we are going to see great works of art, great collaborations, all the cul-
tural aspects coming together and a real demonstration of how strong our cultural ties are. It is going to be really exciting," Patel said. The Conservative party MP, who has completed six months in office as minister in the Department for International Development (DfID), described her last few months in the post as a "humbling
and rewarding" experience. She has been on several visits to wartorn regions and has just returned from Lebanon and Jordan, countries at the heart of the Syrian refugee crisis. "It's been pretty humbling, my first six months; particularly where I have been and the state of the world in general. My focus has been on many of the humanitarian crises that have concentrated all our minds, in particular Syria," she said. "The UK has been at the forefront of dealing with the crisis. We have committed 2.3 billion pounds since the start of this conflict. It is our biggest ever response to humanitarian crisis and makes us the second-largest bilateral humanitarian donor. We have helped to get over 250,000 Syrian children into schools and get them educated." Asked about some of the negative rhetoric around refugees coming out of countries like the US under President Donald Trump, she said: "The US are a huge supporter to the refugee crisis, we should not lose sight of that. They are the number one contributor in the region."- PTI
feat. At a recent promotional event in Mumbai, veteran Naseeruddin Shah walked up to Prashantt when he realized it was he who played Bhagat Singh, and congratulated him for his look and work.
Post Irada, Prashantt has two films in the pipeline, is now a partner in a Hollywood company based out of Los Angeles and continues to serve as the Indian Ambassador of Festival of Globe - Silicon Valley.
Kashmiri teens not much different: Zaira
he Dangal girl Zaira Wasim has been in news for dif ferent reasons in the recent
past. She was at the book launch event of filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra and author-critic Anupama Chopra's daughter Zuni Chopra's 'The House That Spoke', where Zaira shared her thoughts on the difference between a teenager's growing up in Kashmir and one from any other part of India. According to the 16-year-old star, there is no such difference between the two, other than the fact that the one, growing up in Kashmir, has vast variety of opinion and views. "Now a 16year-old there (in Kashmir) is as similar as the one you will meet in Mumbai or Delhi. There's not a huge difference. To some extent you might see a vast variety of opinion and views they have. They have different stories to tell you, they have their own
ideas about almost everything. Apart from that ideology, you won't see vast difference," she said. She added, "I live in my own zone. My life is a little different from what a 16-year-old's life should be. I never went out much. I have heard stories from my father that they used to go here and there. There is a huge hill right next to my house and I have never been there." On a related note, other than
Zuni's parents Vinod Chopra and Anupama Chopra, the event was graced by Reliance founder and chairperson Nita Ambani.
February 17, 2017
India Post 33 www.indiapost.com
Alluring Kashmir through Akshay doesn't make 'preachy' films text-image interface NEW DELHI: A new travel book blends photographs and relevant text to present a breathtaking story of Kashmir, its culture and exotic landscapes set against unfamiliar facts, fables and space. "Alluring Kashmir: The Inner Spirit" by documentary filmmaker Nilosree Biswas with photographs by Irfan Nabi seeks to tell human stories against an awe-inspiring, natural backdrop. According to Biswas, "Alluring Kashmir: The Inner Spirit" is "essentially a book of beautiful photographs supported by an informative yet a lucid travel narrative, attempting to touch a few vital chords of life's quiet music that plays in the Valley against the backdrop of nature's plentiful wonders". "It is a slice of the traditional
and quiet undercurrent of daily life that flows through the sylvan woods and grassy meadows of the Valley, much like its numerous rivers and streams," she adds. Nabi says the camera equipment kept varying but the stories remained constant. "The book is a compilation of a narrative interweaving images and text in an attempt to take the reader on a journey of Kashmir, portrayed not only as a beautiful destination but also providing an engaging insight and understanding of the local culture, the people and the travelers to the Valley," he says. Published by Niyogi Books, "Alluring Kashmir" deals with four broad topics locations and landscapes; history and architecture; spirituality; and art, craft and culture.
"To a large extent, the concept of 'beautiful Kashmir' has a subtext and a layer of visual and emotional appeal often laced with memories of photographs from family albums and glossy journals as well as the innumerable scenes from Bollywood movies and songs shot at lovely locations in Kashmir for decades," the book says. "The global visitor gets drawn to Kashmir with a notion of the place being exotic along with bearing the potential for adventure activities be it skiing, trekking, climbing or rafting. Some know only of the legendary Pashmina shawls; others are aware of the beautiful handicrafts while many others aware of the memorable shikara rides in the Dal Lake and the millions of flowers that lie strewn at one's feet," it says.-PTI
Top10 actresses of 2016 Anushka Sharma is no. 1 Cont'd from Page 30
She may have managed a 100 crore success in a multi-starrer affair but now needs to deliver solo in order to find herself anywhere in the charts in 2017. Nimrat Kaur - 128.1 crore [Airlift - 128.1 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 128.1 crore Right at the beginning of 2016, Nimrat Kaur was a part of the first success in Bollywood, Airlift. She was more than just an accompanying partner of Akshay Kumar in the film and actually demonstrated her good acting skills in a couple of very important films. Though she has stepped into the 100 crore club with this film, surprisingly Nimrat hasn't signed a new film ever since. One waits to see what she picks up next. Ileana D'Cruz- 127.49 crore [Rustom- 127.49 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 127.49 crore She started her Bollywood stint with a 100 crore affair, Barfi! and followed it up with a reasonably successful Main Tera Hero. It took her some time though to find herself in the thick of things
and that happened with Rustom where she played a woman with grey shades. With Akshay Kumar driving the show, Ileana D'Cruz has managed a Superhit to her name. She now needs to deliver with Mubarakan and Baadshaho. Kareena Kapoor Khan - 112.64 crore [Udta Punjab - 60.33 crore,
Ki &Ka- 52.31 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 56.32 crore Staying on to be consistent as ever, Kareena Kapoor Khan was seen in two relevant performance
oriented roles in Udta Punjab and Ki &Ka. She had contrasting parts to play in both films and was appreciated. With decent business coming in from both flicks, Kareena ensured that her stocks were managed well before she headed for her maternity leave. Come 2017 and she would be returning with Veerey Di Wedding. Shraddha Kapoor - 86.81 crore [Baaghi - 76.34 crore, Rock On 2 10.47 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 43.40 crore 2016 was a very mixed year for Shraddha Kapoor. While she had a Superhit to her name in Baaghi, she also delivered an ultra disaster in Rock On 2. Former had her
ction, comedy, patriotism, satire, romance, drama - in a career spanning over 25 years and a 100-plus filmography, Akshay Kumar has highlighted the concept of 'good over evil' through many of his movies. However, the actor says he has never intended to preach anything to the audience or to change anybody's mindset with his work. "I don't do films to bring changes in people's minds. I do films which I believe in. So I present the films which I believe in. If anybody likes the film or not, that depends on people," Akshay said ahead of the release of his new courtroom drama 'Jolly LLB 2'. With a smile reflecting fulfillment on his face, the 49-year-old 'Khiladi' of Hindi cinema added: "I did a film called 'OMG - Oh My God!' because I don't believe in idol worship. I believe god is within us. I feel why are we wasting milk
by pouring it over god's idols... Rather than that, we should give it to some poor person. "A lot of people tell me that they liked that film and now don't follow the same (don't believe in idol worship)." But Akshay said it has never been a deliberate attempt by him to make 'films to teach'. "I do films which I like to think about personally," he said. While one can witness the emphasis on comedy as a genre and patriotism as a theme in some of his recently-released films like 'Airlift', 'Housefull 3', 'Rustom' and 'Baby', Akshay has come out of his comfort zone after a long time to try his hand at a different genre - courtroom drama - with Subhash Kapoor's 'Jolly LLB 2'. "The target audience for this film is mainly youth. Also, this film is for both -the masses and the classes," Akshay said.
catering to the masses and she met some with a rousing reception. On the other hand latter had her aiming for the multiplex 'junta' and no one even bothered to check out what the film was all about. She is expected to bounce back with OK Jaanu. Sonam Kapoor - 75.61 crore [Neerja - 75.61 crore], Average
ding. Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang65.39 crore [Pink - 65.39 crore], Average moolah per release: approx. 65.39 crore Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang shocked the nation with Pink. The film was easily one of the most talked about of the year and led to discussions and debated galore. With Amitabh Bachchan as a strong pillar of support, the three young women excelled. Taapsee now has a string of releases in 2017 (five at last count) while Kirti is Madhur Bhandarkar's central protagonist in Main, Indu. -Courtesy Bollywood Hungama
moolah per release: approx. 75.61 crore With just a single film to her name, Sonam Kapoor hit a six! Neerja was a film that didn't arrive with much of anticipation. However, the film grew very well after it fetched all around good response from audiences as well as critics. As a result, the film ended up going past the 75 crore mark and emerged as a Superhit. Sonam fetched a lot of respect as an actress and would now be seen in Veerey Di Wed-
34 India Post
February 17, 2017 www.indiapost.com
Palate Fest presents mix of global cuisine NEW DELHI: From India's ganderi kebabs to Ethiopia's mutton curry and lip-smacking Japanese Sushi, the best of world cuisine is being showcased at the "Palate Fest" here. The three-day gastronomic extravaganza, held at the Nehru Park, offered food lovers an irresistible line-up of country's finest restaurants, chefs and musicians. With a fine blend of art and culture, the Ethiopian as well as Mexican Embassy showcased delectable meals keeping the focus on the street food from the countries. The stall of the Ethiopian Embassy has a special set up displaying the traditional coffee ceremony at their stall. "This is the first time we are participating in the fest. We wanted Ethiopia to be showcased since it needs to be promoted among people of India," says Sanjay Dhingra, Cultural Advisor at the Ethiopian Cultural
Centre. Street food from Mexico such as taquitos, tostadas, versions of quessadillas and water-based tamarind, guava and lemon drinks were being served at the Embassy of Mexico stall. "We are mostly focusing on the street food. Mexico and India share a lot of similarities in their food as well as spices. It is really good that the food is being recognized at several places around the world including India," says Smriti, owner of the restaurant La Bodega. With experimental Thai dishes, sausages and coconut ice cream, city-based hotel Radisson Blu Plaza has brought 'unique touch to traditional Thai cuisine'. "We are experimenting with Thai dishes by adding our chef's unique touch to Thai sausages and ice-cream. It has been specially created for the fest and is on trial basis. If we get positive re-
sponse we will include it in our menu at the hotel," says Sumit
Bansal from the hotel. Non-vegetarian delicacies such as chicken skewers with peanut sauce and grilled pork sausages
Festival to revive oral tradition of storytelling UDAIPUR: Writers, storytellers and puppeteers from across the globe will seek to revive the oral tradition of telling tales which is believed to be on the wane, at a three-day festival that begins here on February 24. Titled "Udaipur Tales Festival", the event will celebrate the forgotten art form while attempting to enlighten, engage and educate the audience about its relevance in the current times. "We want people to enjoy the stories and loose themselves in the world of imagination and creativ-
ity. In the process they will take back good memories and learn. All in all, we hope to create an atmosphere of education, enlightenment and entertainment," says Sushmita Shekha, Director of the festival. Organized by MA- My Anchor Foundation along with BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the festival will see performances by story tellers from India and abroad including Shantanu Guha Roy, Varun Narayan, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Salil Mukhiya Koitsu.
"Storytelling is an art and storytellers the sculptors of our psyche. This festival is a celebration of both. Every civilization in the world holds myriads of stories that have the capacity to define our culture, our sense of morality and preserve our experiences for generations to come," says Shekhar. The festival that comes to a close on February 26 will also see the revival of puppetry art, where life-size puppets will narrate stories, complemented with an eclectic-mix of music.-PTI
Digi-Dog digital service in Tel Aviv
ith Tel Aviv's dog popu lation already world-fa mous - the city boasts a 1:17 ratio of dogs to humans the municipality has now come through with an earlier promise to keep four-legged residents digitally in sync with new happenings in the city. Digi-Dog is the name of a new digital service which gives Tel Aviv dog owners access to important information and special offers, including reminders about vaccinations, lists of nearby veterinarians, information about upcoming events, discounts at local businesses, listings of available
dog walkers, training courses, and directions to the nearest dog park. Card holders can choose to receive updates via an online newsletter or text messages. "Tel Aviv is an amazing city for dogs: We have beaches for dogs, parks for dogs, and we even hold film nights for dogs. Tel Aviv is also an amaz-
ing city for startups: With 1500 technological startups, Tel Aviv enjoys the highest concentration of technological companies per capita in the world. Today we are combining both assets - a dogfriendly city and a technologyfriendly city - to create a revolutionary service. If you like it bark," says Tel Aviv Global & Tourism's CEO, Eytan Schwartz. Digi-Dog is based on the city's award-winning "Digi-Tel" resident card program, which gives human residents real-time updates on culture, sport and leisure activities as well as on what's happening in their neighborhood and around the city. -Courtesy Israel21c
is attracting huge crowd at the hotel's stall. "Such fests are a good way to attract new customers. It has a lot to do with the visibility and for that matter we have kept our prices quite low," he added. Visitors can also indulge in a range of delicacies from Taj Mahal Hotel's international eatery Machan and Indian gourmet dining destination Varq. The menu presented at the fest features a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes such as Chicken ganderi kebab, Nadru ke kebab with tomato chutney, Rawalpindi chole with Amritsari kulche followed by delectable desserts including Machan's classic Bull's Eye. "We wanted to create a fun atmosphere for people and let them have a good time at our stall. Most of the dishes offered here are part of our selected cuisine back in hotel's restaurants. We especially want youngsters to come here and try our delicacies," says Megha, a representative from the hotel. The Kebab dishes at their stall come at an affordable price of Rs 350. . Different flavors of coffee along with mocktails were being
served at the stall of Hotel Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. The hotel has bought variety of sumptuous sushi from their kitchens. "We want customers to try the authentic Japanese flavors. Such a fest is really important because the trend has completely changed now. "The hotels are coming out of their comfort zones to showcase themselves and it serves as a great opportunity for us also to participate in such fests and connect with people from all backgrounds who usually are no able to come to the hotel," says the restaurant manager. Hotel The Park has kept Italian as the theme of their stall and was serving thin crust pizza along with various versions of pastas while using authentic Italian ingredients. "Our hotel is famous for thin crust pizzas so we are launching it here in myriad flavors with variety of pastas. We are using authentic Italian ingredients such as Burrata Italian cheese along with organic herbs and porcini," says Chef Nakul from the hotel. Hand-made Raviolis is amongst the signature dish by the chef at their stall.-PTI
Video-makers can live stream on YouTube NEW DELHI: Video creators can now live stream their videos on YouTube, as the streaming site rolled out a mobile live streaming feature for channels with at least 10,000 followers. The mobile live stream feature, which was so far available to select users like The Young Turks, AIB, Alex Wassabi, Platica Polinesia and Saccone Jolys, will now be accessible to all uploaders with more than 10,000 subscribers. And it will soon be made available for other users as well, the company said. The live stream feature, which can be accessed through the company's mobile application, will have the same features as the existing YouTube videos. "Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you re live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos," the company said.
Creators from more than 20 countries including India can also earn money from their live streaming videos using a new monetization tool named 'Super Chat'. For the viewers, the tool would be useful in "standing out " from
the crowd and get a creator's attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors'. The chat message will then stay pinned to the top for up to five hours, it said. The monetization tool will be available to viewers from more than 40 countries to purchase chat privileges.-PTI
In Brief 200 new citizens take the oath of citizenship BOSTON: Nearly 200 new citizens have taken the oath of American citizenship during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Those taking part in a naturalization ceremony hailed from dozens of countries - from Haiti, India and China to France, Germany and the Dominican Republic. The ceremony began with a chorus singing the national anthem and was presided over by Judge Patti Saris of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Those taking the oath also
recited the Pledge of Allegiance. To mark the ceremony, the library presented all of those participating in the ceremony with commemorative editions of the late President Kennedy's inaugural address. The great-grandparents of Kennedy - the country's first Irish-Catholic president - had immigrated to the United States from Ireland. -AP
Â„ School board supports immigrant children DES MOINES, Iowa: The Des Moines school board has decided the district will act as a sanctuary for students who entered the country without legal permission and will require that any immigration inquiries about them will go through the superintendent's office and the district's attorney. The board voted for a resolution that says the board will do everything it can ``to afford equal protection of all members of our community from attempts to criminalize or target them based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, immigration status or national origin.'' Officials estimate that about 4,000 Des Moines students were born outside the United States. Many have refugee or legal immigration status, while others entered the country illegally. District spokesman Phil Roeder says he doesn't think the district has ever been contacted by immigration officials. -AP
Immigration 35 India Post
Refugees reunite in Bismarck after ban halt Details on page 38
February 17, 2017
US appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban SAN FRANCISCO: A US appeals court has unanimously refused to reinstate Donald Trump's controversial ban on refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, in a major setback to the President, who vowed to fight on and slammed the ruling as a "political decision". The judgment by a three-judge bench of the federal appeals court in San Francisco is seen as a significant blow to the Trump Administration which has argued that executive order was a major step to prevent entry of radical Islamic terrorists in the country. Trump immediately reacted to the court order in a tweet. "See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!" he wrote, indicating that he is deeply disappointed with the decision of the Ninth Court of Appeal. The Trump Administration had reached out to the court, requesting it to lift the halt on the implementation of its executive order that was ordered by a federal court in Seattle after an appeal filed by the Washington state.
The San Francisco court had held an oral hearing on the case early this week. The bench comprised William C Canby Jr, Richard R Clifton and Michelle T Friedland. "We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of suc-
cess on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay," the judges said in the unanimous order. "Rather than present evidence
to explain the need for the executive order, the government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree," they wrote. "In short, although courts owe considerable deference to the President's policy determinations with respect to immigration and national security, it is beyond question that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action," the judges said. In a brief interaction with reporters after the judgment, Trump described the ruling as a political decision. "It's a political decision, and we're going to see them in court. This is just a decision that came down, but we're going to win the case," Trump was quoted as saying by NBC News.
Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson smiles during a press conference at his office in Seattle, Washington, after an appeals court refused to reinstate US president Donald Trumpâ€™s ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
Cont'd on Page 38
Gorsuch calls Trump's words 'demoralizing' WASHINGTON: Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee has said he found the president's attacks on the judiciary ``disheartening'' and ``demoralizing,'' according to a Democratic senator. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut disclosed the comments from Judge Neil Gorsuch after meeting with the nominee, as the candidate for the high court vacancy paid a series of courtesy visits to senators. In a tweet this past weekend, Trump lashed out at Judge James Robart after he issued a stay on the president's refugee and immigration ban. ``The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!'' Trump tweeted. That comment drew rebukes from Republicans and Demo-
crats. Blumenthal said that in his meeting with Gorsuch, the federal judge said Trump's criticism was ``demoralizing and disheartening.'' Gorsuch's confirmation team confirmed the judge's comments. Blumenthal said later that unless Gorsuch goes public with his concerns, the American public will conclude that he is more likely to be a ``rubber stamp'' for the president. ``He needs to condemn Donald Trump's attacks publicly and it needs to be much stronger, more explicit and direct than has been done so far,'' Blumenthal said. ``Unless it is done publicly in a clear condemnation, it will not establish his independence.'' The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing the appeal of Trump's executive order on immigration, which temporarily suspends the country's refugee pro-
gram and bans travel for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. In a hearing, judges on the appeals court challenged the
Judge Neil Gorsuch
administration's claim that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears, but also questioned an attorney's
argument that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims. Trump kept up his criticism of members of the judiciary, slamming the court that is deliberating his executive order and describing motivations as ``so political.'' He made the comments while speaking to a group of police chiefs and sheriffs. Gorsuch is making the rounds in the Senate, drawing praise from Republicans but skepticism from many Democrats, including Blumenthal. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, DN.D., said after meeting with Gorsuch that they had ``a thorough conversation about the importance of the rule of law and of a judiciary that is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.'' -AP
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February 17, 2017
Trump defends travel ban, questions judges WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has slammed the court that is deliberating his immigration and refugee executive order for having motivations he described as ``so political.'' Speaking to a group of police chiefs and sheriffs, Trump homed in on the language used in a law detailing presidential powers to limit ``inadmissible aliens.'' The provision states that when a president finds that the entry of foreigners may be detrimental to U.S. interests, the president may ``suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.'' ``It was written beautifully,'' Trump told the attendees, asserting that even ``a bad high school student would understand this.'' ``Courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be
able to read a statement and do what's right,'' he added. ``And that has to do with the security of our country, which is so important.''
Trump's executive order on immigration, which temporarily suspends the country's refugee program and bans travel for citizens
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is weighing the appeal of
of seven Muslim-majority countries. In a hearing, judges on the
California introduces bills to help refugees SACRAMENTO, Calif.: Amid nationwide legal battles over the president's temporary refugee ban, California lawmakers are taking steps to make their state more welcoming to people fleeing war, persecution or disasters in their home countries. Assembly Democrats announced bills to grant refugees instate tuition at public colleges and
ward a professional license. ``These SIV individuals pretty much are veterans,'' said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento. ``They served alongside our vets on the front line and so we want to honor and recognize their service.'' The announcement comes as the federal government is fighting in court to reinstate a temporary
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, speaks about new bills to help refugees in Sacramento, Calif. Assembly Democrats announced bills to grant refugees in-state tuition at public colleges and provide money to school districts with large child refugee populations.
provide money to school districts with large child refugee populations. The bills would also give refugees with Special Immigrant Visas who served the U.S. Armed Forces or State Department in Iraq or Afghanistan priority enrollment in public colleges and help them apply foreign work experience to-
suspension of the country's refugee program and a 90-day travel ban on residents of seven Muslim-majority countries. ``We're not taking part in this fear mongering and this hatred, and in fact we're going to do the opposite,'' said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San
Diego. ``We're going to open our arms. We're going to continue to find ways to support them and say, `You are welcome.''' The plan would also provide $5 million dollars to school districts with large child refugee populations. Cost estimates of the other proposals are not yet available. McCarty said he does not expect the cost of providing in-state tuition to refugees to be ``insurmountable,'' particularly because refugees already become eligible for in-state tuition after living in the state for a year. He said he expects the bill would apply mostly to community colleges. California took in nearly 8,000 refugees last year, McCarty said. President Donald Trump signed the executive order on immigration and refugees Jan. 27. A week later, a federal judge in Seattle ordered a halt to enforcement of the ban, which the federal government is appealing. That filing is currently playing out in a San Francisco federal appeals court. A refugee himself, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Los Angeles, immigrated to the U.S. from Iran as a child. ``That's who we're closing our doors on right now,'' Nazarian said. ``I'm not going to stand for that, and I'm glad to see that my colleagues also will not stand for that.'' -AP
appeals court challenged the administration's claim that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears, but also questioned an attorney's argument that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims. Hundreds of members of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriff's Association were in the standing room crowd, some in uniform but the majority in plain clothes. They snapped photos with their phones as the president spoke, but clapped sparingly when he asked whether they were in agreement with his views on the immigration ban. His comments about combating drug abuse and the targeting of police officers drew a more enthusiastic response from the crowd. Trump, in his remarks, sought to link his comments about the court battle over his executive order to the law enforcement community in attendance. ``We have to allow you to do your job,'' he said. ``And we have to give you the weapons that you
need, and this is a weapon that you need and they're trying to take it away from you.'' Trump later tweeted that there has been a ``big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas, while our people are far more vulnerable.'' Customs and Border Protection officials have declined multiple requests to detail how many visa holders from the seven designated countries have been allowed into the United States since a federal judge temporarily blocked the government from implementing Trump's travel ban. The State Department previously said fewer than 60,000 visas were provisionally revoked after the order was signed and those people would now be allowed to travel to the U.S. Trump also reiterated his vow to reduce violence in Chicago, saying that ``no one in America should be punished'' because of their birthplace. He pledged to provide resources to police departments and promised ``zero tolerance'' for violence against law enforcement. Trump also promised to work on combating drug abuse and said there should be resources to deal with a ``mental health crisis.'' -AP
Trump hits back after criticism by Gorsuch WASHINGTON: Donald Trump lashed out at a Democratic senator who revealed that the president's own Supreme Court nominee had called Trump's attacks on the judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing." Having blasted a federal judge who temporarily blocked his controversial immigration decree calling him a "so-called judge" Trump renewed his attacks on the appellate court panel currently weighing his ban on refugees and visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries, calling the judges "so political." Judge Neil Gorsuch, nominated to fill a key vacancy on the Supreme Court, criticized Trump's stance during a meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal, in remarks that were later confirmed to AFP by a spokesman for Gorsuch. Trump, however, zeroed-in on Blumenthal.
"Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?" Trump wrote on Twitter. Blumenthal served during that period in the US Marines, but was
never deployed to Vietnam, despite claims he made when he was running for the US Senate in 2010. Trump himself obtained five deferments from the Vietnam war draft between 1965 and 1970, four on education grounds and one for bone spurs in his heels, according to The New York Times. -AFP
February 17, 2017
India Post 37
Jeff Sessions sworn in after tough grilling WASHINGTON: Jeff Sessions has been sworn in as America's Attorney General after being narrowly approved by a bitterly divided US Senate amid the Democrats' attempt to derail his nomination over his record on civil rights and immigration. 70-year-old Sessions, who was the Senator from Alabama since 1997, was confirmed as America's powerful law enforcement officer by surviving a near-party-line vote by 52 to 47. Sessions, President Donald Trump's most controversial cabinet appointee, used his short inaugural speech to vow to end "lawlessness" and combat what he sees as a rise in crime. Trump called Sessions a "great protector of the people". His appointment to head the justice department comes at a turbulent time, with Trump's Supreme Court nominee viewing the president's actions regarding the
courts as "demoralizing and disheartening". The final vote for Sessions came after 30 hours of debate from Democrats and a stunning fight
of impugning Sessions. Sessions, considered as one of the most conservative lawmakers, resigned as the Alabama Senator after being confirmed as the 84th
President Donald Trump watches as Pence administers the oath of office to Attorney General Jeff Sessions
between liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Republicans which ended in her being forced to sit down after she was accused
Attorney General. One of the first task on his plate is the win the legal battle for the Trump Administration to get the
stay lifted on executive order temporarily blocking all refugee arrivals and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries to the US. Sessions was one of the first few top Republican Senators to have endorsed Trump in his race to the White House in the Republican primary. In the past, Sessions has positioned himself as an opponent of H-1B visas, as he believes that this work visa, popular among Indian IT professionals, displaces American workers. "It was a special night," Sessions told reporters after his confirmation. "I appreciate the friendship from my colleagues - even those who, many of them who didn't feel able to vote for me. They were cordial, and so we continue to have good relations and will continue to do the best I can." The fight over Sessions nomination spurred some of the most
jarring, and at times personal attacks, rooted in allegations that Sessions was a racist - claims the Alabama senator and his supporters have fiercely denied. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic lawmaker from California attacked Sessions and questioned his credentials. "How will this nominee handle an investigation and prosecution into an unprecedented and major foreign intrusion into the election of the president of the United States? Can he be independent of the White House? I do not believe he can," said Feinstein. "We are disappointed that the Senate chose to turn a blind eye to Jeff Sessions' long record of hostility to civil rights. We intend to be relentless in holding this Justice Department accountable," said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. -PTI
Afghan translator welcomed to US with bear hug SAN FRANCISCO: A soldier welcomed his Afghan interpreter to the United States after buying him a plane ticket to ensure his quick arrival amid concerns the Trump administration might try to expand its travel ban to Afghanistan. Army Capt. Matthew Ball yelled ``Qismat!'' as he ran and then hugged Qismat Amin at San Francisco International Airport in a series of emotional embraces that marked the end of a years long battle to get the translator out of his war-torn country. ``I'm so happy,'' Ball told The Associated Press after welcoming Amin. ``Yeah it feels great. I'm happy to see him. I'm sort of overwhelmed. He's here. It's been a long time.'' The interpreter waited nearly four years for his special immigrant visa. He lived in hiding after receiving death threats from the Taliban for helping American troops. His visa arrived two days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days. Afghanistan was not on the list, but U.S. officials said it could be expanded to include other countries. Ball bought Amin a $1,000 plane ticket to San Francisco to get him to the U.S. as soon as possible. Amin has said he was nervous he would not feel welcome after Trump's order because he is an
immigrant and Muslim. But those fears faded after he arrived to Americans holding signs that read ``Welcome to America'' and ``Welcome Home.'' ``Right now, I don't know what to say. I forgot my words,'' he said. ``Actually this has made me much, much stronger, seeing people with
their immediate family members have been waiting to get a special immigrant visa for aiding the U.S. mission, according to the U.S. State Department. Congress approved an additional 1,500 visas in December and extended the program until the end of 2020, but advocates say
battle against a resilient Taliban insurgency, while U.S. forces continue to hunt down al-Qaida and Islamic State militants. Ball said Amin protected his life during a yearlong mission in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous areas. The former Army ranger, who is now in the Reserves, said he is
happy he was able to return the favor by helping Amin get to safety. Amin will live at Ball's home in Palo Alto for now. Amin planned to call his mom to let her know he had arrived safely. Then he wanted to head to the beach to see the ocean for the first time. -AP
India engaged with the US on H1B visa
Army Capt. Matthew Ball, right, prepares to hug his former interpreter Qismat Amin, as Amin arrives from Afghanistan, at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco.
the welcome signs. I feel like I got a huge family right now, and I got a big family in Afghanistan. But right now I got a way bigger family than I ever expected.'' Ball, a law student at Stanford University, led a letter campaign with fellow students, including many veterans, lobbying Congress to inquire about why it was taking so long for Amin to get a visa. More than 13,000 Afghans and
the number is woefully inadequate. Ball said the U.S. government should speed up the years long visa process for interpreters and cultural advisers in Afghanistan because their lives are at risk after helping U.S. troops. America's longest war, which began in response to 9/11, has grinded into its 16th year. Afghan soldiers and police have been suffering heavy casualties in their
NEW DELHI: India has said it is engaged with the Donald Trump administration as well as members of the US Congress on concerns regarding the H1B visa issue, amidst apprehension that there may be a clamp down on it which can hurt Indian IT industry. "We continue to engage both members of the US administration as well as members of the US Congress on our interests and concerns pertaining to not just H1B visa but other issues as well. "We remain vigilant to what happens on this in future. We are also engaging all internal stakeholders in India," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, replying to a question on the issue. There was indication that President Trump is set to sign an order overhauling work visa programs like H1B. The H1B visa is a non-immi-
grant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employ-
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup
ees each year. During his campaign, Trump had promised to increase oversight of H-1B and L-1 visa programs. -PTI
38 India Post
February 17, 2017
Refugees reunite in Bismarck after ban halt BISMARCK, N.D.: A man who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq was reunited with his parents in Bismarck shortly after a federal judge temporarily halted President Donald Trump's refugee ban. Zaid Alazzawi arrived from Iraq in 2014, but his parents' plans to finally join him were initially canceled when Trump's order went into effect. Alazzawi hadn't seen his parents, who had fled to Jordan because of the turmoil in their home country, in four years, The Bismarck Tribune reported. His parents, Saniya and Hasam Alazzawi, arrived at Bismarck Airport, a week after they were first scheduled to arrive. Through an Arabic interpreter, the couple said they were ``very happy'' to see their son. Saniya Alazzawi looked
at her son's face and said: ``He got older.'' Turdukan Tostokova, site supervisor at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, said she received notice that the family would be reunited. She said more refugees who were affected by the ban are scheduled to come later this week and next week. Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that placed a 90-day ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order
Saniya Alazzawi, left and her husband arrived in Bismarck, N.D., after a twoday journey from Jordan. The couple were surprised to find a greeting party who presented them with a flower bouquet and chocolates.
US appeals court refuses to reinstate Trump's travel ban Cont'd from Page 35
Trump signed an executive order last month suspending the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely, and barring citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, fulfilling one of his central campaign promises. Trump's political opponents and rights activists celebrated the court verdict. "The Constitution wins," said Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is one of the leading Democratic lawmakers fighting Trump's executive order. "This is an enormous victory for democracy and for families in
"Given the court's ruling, I urge the President to abandon this failed executive order, and to spare the American people the expense and pain of continued litigation. Instead of stoking hate and xenophobia, he should be a president for all Americans," she said. Trump ought to see the writing on the wall that his executive order is unconstitutional, said Senator Chares Schumer, Senate Minority Leader. "He should abandon this proposal, roll up his sleeves and come up with a real, bipartisan plan to keep us safe," he said. "The 9th Circuit's unanimous ruling is a victory for our Constitution and our fight against ter-
"This is a victory not only for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the ban but a victory for everything America stands for as well. Now, it is incumbent upon the President to respect the independent judgment of our courts” our country and around the world. The justices unanimously rejected the idea that they should narrow the temporary restraining order based on geography or scope. They signaled that this executive order will likely be overturned in higher court," Jayapal said. She said the US retains its place as a refuge for so many around the world.
rorism. National security experts have urgently warned us that the President's ban is not just immoral and unconstitutional, but downright dangerous," said Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader. House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said America's judicial system delivered a strong rebuke to the Trump Administration's unconstitutional Muslim ban.
"With its unanimous 3-0 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected the Administration's attempts to subvert the values and highest ideals of our nation. It also rejected a policy that threatens our national security and will hinder us in the war against ISIS and other purveyors of terror," he said. "This is a victory not only for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the ban but a victory for everything America stands for as well. Now, it is incumbent upon the President to respect the independent judgment of our courts and abide by this decision. I urge him to withdraw this ban altogether," Hoyer said. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed the court's decision to maintain the freeze on President Trump's controversial "Muslim ban" executive order. "We applaud this ruling as a reaffirmation of the strength and independence of our system of justice. This decision adds to the long list of federal judges - both Republican and Democratic appointees - who found reason to block this discriminatory order," said Nihad Awad, CAIR national executive director. "If the President were serious about bringing our country together and keeping us safe, he would rescind this arbitrary and discriminatory order and recall what makes our country great," said Senator Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. -PTI
also suspended the refugee program for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely. Hasam Alazzawi said he and his wife weren't concerned with Trump's ban. ``We know it's temporary, the decision,'' he through a translator. The couple, who sold all of their belongings in Jordan in hopes of getting a new apartment in Bismarck, planned to celebrate reuniting with their son and new daughter-in-law. -AP
Protesters at Immigration office arrested PHOENIX: Police made several arrests as protesters blocked enforcement vans from leaving a U.S. immigration office in Phoenix, fearing that a mother of two was on board and possibly headed for deportation. Media reports said the protest surged at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility after Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was taken into custody during a routine check-in with the agency. Fearing her deportation, dozens of immigration activists blocked the gates surrounding the office near central Phoenix in what the Arizona Republic says was an effort to stop several vans and a bus from leaving. The paper said that Garcia de Rayos apparently was in one of the vehicles, which are used to transport people in ICE custody to detention centers, or to Arizona's border with Mexico for deportation. After 9 p.m., the paper said police officers amassed at the facility as protesters continued to block access, chanting ``Justice!'' and ``Power to the people, no one is illegal!'' Police posted on Twitter that they arrested about seven protesters, but they added that most of the protesters were peaceful. ``Besides the few people en-
gaged in criminal acts, most people out here are peaceful and exercising their rights properly,'' police said. ``Everyone remains safe so far. Hoping for continued cooperation and no more criminal conduct.'' The activists said it was an attempt by President Donald Trump's administration to deport undocumented immigrants who had previously not been a priority for deportation under the Obama administration. Her arrest came just days after the Trump administration broadened regulations under which some people will be deported. ``We're living in a new era now, an era of war on immigrants,'' Ms. Rayos's lawyer, Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, told the New York Times after leaving the building that houses the federal immigration agency. The protests carried on late into the night and included several people who bound themselves to one of the vans while others sat in front of a closed gate, blocking anyone from leaving. Puente Arizona, an immigrant advocacy group, said García de Rayos came to the U.S. as a 14year-old and now has two children. She was arrested while reporting to ICE, an annual requirement after she was arrested nine years ago. -AP
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India Post 39
'Travel ban deprives US of best, brightest' BOSTON: Harvard Medical School professor Thomas Michel was so excited about recruiting Iranian researcher Soheil Saravi, he put Saravi's name on the door of his Boston lab when his new hire got his visa. Then President Donald Trump's travel ban took effect, blocking
Iran and six other predominantly Muslim countries has frustrated academics like Michel, who feel like they've been robbed of a brain trust. Boston and other U.S. cities have long prided themselves on attracting the world's best and brightest. Many have been immi-
Harvard Medical School professor Thomas Michel, of Lincoln, Mass., poses for a photo in his office at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Michel said he was excited about hiring Iranian national Soheil Saravi, but Saravi hasn't been allowed to enter the U.S., due to the travel ban issued by President Donald Trump, even though he has a visa allowing him to work in the country.
Saravi from entering the U.S. ``It's interesting. This is a door. It's open,'' Michel said. But he added this lament: ``He can't walk through the door into this country to walk into this laboratory.'' Trump's ban on people from
grants, and over the past half-century, their work has contributed to numerous Nobel Prizes. But the ban and the legal tussles it has touched off have cloaked all that in uncertainty. Another Harvard researcher,
Soumya Raychaudhuri, is impatiently awaiting the fate of a new hire, Samira Asgari. Asgari, also Iranian, said last weekend that she was not allowed to board a flight in Switzerland bound for her new job in Boston because of the ban - even though she already had been issued a J-1 visa allowing her to work in the U.S. ``Feeling safer?'' she tweeted. ``It's a major setback,'' Raychaudhuri said. ``She has expertise in infectious disease, as well as expertise in computational approaches. That combination is very rare. To find someone with that skill set is really a challenge.'' Saravi was to have worked on a research project examining the contractions of heart muscle cells and blood vessels. His chances and Asgari's prospects of being allowed to enter the U.S. remained unclear. The Trump administration insists the order is necessary to keep potential terrorists out of the country until security procedures are improved. ``This is turning away the best and the brightest who want to come here, who see this as the land of opportunity,'' Michel said. ``America will become less great as a consequence of these policies. I'm not a politician, I'm a scientist.'' -AP
Rights groups file lawsuit against ban PORTLAND, Ore.: Immigrant rights groups filed a federal lawsuit in Portland seeking an injunction against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. Unite Oregon, a nonprofit made up of immigrants, refugees and people of color, filed the suit asking the court to prohibit the government from ``unconstitutionally banishing'' lawful immigrants or refugees who seek to return to their homes, jobs or reunite with families at Portland International Airport. The suit asks that the order be declared unconstitutional and also seeks to allow people detained at the airport to be afforded access to legal help from the American Civil Liberties Union. Mat dos Santos, legal director for the ACLU of Oregon, has signed the suit as has attorney Stephen Manning of the Immigration Law Group.
Pro bono attorneys in Portland have been helping from one to three people a day who called a hotline before they were detained by federal officials when they entered Portland International Airport or before they traveled dos Santos said at a news conference. But ACLU's attorneys have repeatedly been denied access to travelers who are being questioned inside the airport, he said. Trump's order, which has spurred protests nationwide, temporarily suspends the entire U.S. refugee program and bans all entry from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations for 90 days. The suit filed in Portland is the latest legal challenge. Washington State's attorney general has sued Trump over the order. Muwafaq Alkattan, an Iraqi refugee who arrived in Oregon with his wife and four daughters in 2012, said even though his fam-
ily was already safely here, Trump's action was having a profound effect on them including fears that some of his family will never be able to visit them. ``It feels risky to be a refugee,'' said Alkattan, who worked as a civil engineer in Iraq on a UNICEF program to rebuild that nation's schools. He now works for Unite Oregon. The news conference also attracted some people from Portland's Iraqi refugee community, who came with questions about the future for green card applicants and those who want to apply for citizenship. Ahmed Ali, who said he worked as a journalist in Iraq for years, came to the U.S. in 2015. ``People don't understand. No one saw this coming. They are panicked,'' Ali said of his fellow Iraqi refugees. ``What are we supposed to do?'' -AP
Hawaii groups speak out against travel ban HONOLULU: More than 20 Hawaii organizations are opposing President Donald Trump's executive order suspending entry to citizens from seven majorityMuslim nations. The groups include the Muslim Association of Hawaii and the Honolulu chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. The organizations issued a joint statement saying Trump's executive orders on immigration are based on the misguided idea that certain religious and ethnic popu-
lations are more prone to violence. The statement says the orders are a mean-spirited ban on Muslims issued under the guise of protecting the country. The groups recall President Franklin Roosevelt's executive order resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. They say Trump's orders likewise won't make communities safer or stronger but will instead undermine the U.S. as a symbol of freedom and democracy. -AP
Syrian doc stuck abroad due to travel ban PROVIDENCE, R.I.: A Syrian doctor who has been studying in the U.S. how to rebuild his country's health system said he's stuck overseas because of President Donald Trump's travel ban. Trump signed an executive order barring immigration for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days, including Syria. Khaled Almilaji is now in Turkey while his pregnant wife is in the United States. Almilaji said Syrians have suffered enough and the order takes away the opportunity for people, like himself, to complete their studies. ``We need doctors, we need teachers, we need everything,'' he said. ``So why are we not giving any chances for those people?'' The 35-year-old Almilaji received a scholarship to earn a master's degree in public health at Brown University. He moved to Providence in August on a student visa with his wife. He said it's a confusing time and he's concerned about his wife. The United States is enriched
by many cultures and that would be a sad thing to lose, Almilaji said. ``It's like a mosaic picture, which has every color, every race, every sect together, working for the country, and we used to know that the U.S. is this,'' he said. Almilaji coordinated a campaign that vaccinated 1.4 million Syrian children and provided medical care during Syria's civil war. When Syria is stable enough, he wants to return and work on preventing diseases and other health problems, since resources for treating ailments will continue to be scarce. Almilaji went to Turkey for a brief trip after the fall semester. He said he needed to check on the team of Canadian doctors he's working with to establish safe health facilities in Syria and train medical workers, as well as to extend his residency permit in Turkey so he can return there after he completes his studies. He said he's optimistic he'll return soon because the American people ``always find a way to do the right thing.'' -AP
2 federal lawsuits resolved on travel ban CHICAGO: Lawsuits filed by two Chicago residents saying they were unlawfully prevented from re-entering the U.S. by President Donald Trump's executive order have been resolved. Attorneys for Dr. Amer Al Homssi and an Iranian native who filed a John Doe lawsuit say federal authorities acknowledged neither traveler should have been barred from re-entering the country based on the president's ex-
ecutive order, and both would be coming home. Al Homssi is a Syrian citizen and legal resident of the United Arab Emirates. The internal medicine resident says his U.S. visa was canceled as he tried to board a flight to Chicago from the UAE where he got married. The second man traveled to Iran to care for his sick mother. A ticketing agency refused to issue him a ticket to Chicago. -AP
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February 17, 2017
ocated in the state of Uttar Pradesh in Mathura district, Vrindavan is a very beautiful town which lies in the Braj region. It is also famous as Vraj. It is widely believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood here and performed Raas Leela with young ladies or Gopis at this place. The town is located at a distance of just 10 kms from Mathura, Lord Krishna's birthplace. Vrindavan Travel Guide is incomplete without a mention of its rich heritage. The town hosts hundreds of temples dedicated to Radha and Lord Krishna and is considered as a very sacred place by a number of religions such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Hinduism and Vaishnavism. The name 'Vrindavan' has been derived from
the term 'Vrinda', which is similar to Tulsi plant that grows generously throughout the length and breadth of the city. It is said that few years ago, the entire surroundings were a Tulsi coppice. It is widely believed that
in the 16th century Vrindavan was "rediscovered" by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Vrindavan in 1515 to discover the vanished holy places connected with Lord Krishna. He roamed through the
diverse sacred forests of Vrindavan and with his divine saintly power; he located all the holy places associated with Sri Krishna. Events / Festivals
Festivals in Vrindavan are celebrated with great enthusiasm and religious sentiments. They are extremely colorful and promote unity and feeling of brotherhood. Janmashtami: Janmashtami marks the birthday of Lord Krishna. It generally occurs during the month of August. There is a sense of euphoria in the entire city during the festival. Contâ€™d on page 42
February 17, 2017
Travel & Hospitality Post
India Post 41
Budget makes travel easier and 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 citizens having an easy access to a wide choice of options at their convenience.
Around the world in 193 sewing machines NEW DELHI: From the myriad experiences of his extensive travels across the world was born Indian artist N S Harsha's new installation work 'Nations' that connects 193 sewing machines to represent the world's diversity. The installation, which is on display at the Mori Museum in Japan, has connected the machines, symbolic of the member countries of the United Nations, with different colored threads to create a vision of a world divided by flags and socio-cultural and economic lines. Based on a children's flags book that was sold in his home town Mysore, the artwork aims to raise issues of labor outsourcing, migration and the forces of global markets. "Actually this project was based on a children's flags book sold in small shops in Mysore. After travelling to many parts of the world and experiencing complex cultural, political, social engagements and exchanges, I wanted to create a space which reflects these experiences so 'Nations' was born.
"For me these beautiful machines are a metaphor for human labor. They create firm bonding between two edges. They give strength to the clothes we wear and use in our daily lives. All these characters are needed and essential for mankind in present global conditions,"
Harsha told PTI. However, the artist insists that he does not wish to send out a message through the artwork, which he says, "celebrates the richness in communication and bonding". "There is no direct message in this piece. I always believe 'art' is not a vehicle for 'message' but it has the power to trigger and enrich several subtle 'human' quali-
ties within us, which get hidden or muted while we live our busy everyday lives," he says. The exhibition titled "Charming Journey" by the Mori Museum is a mid-career retrospective on Harsha, and features major works by the artist since 1995, while exploring themes running consistently through his practice. The artist is highly driven by the "fertile" Indian 'art ecosystem' which he credits to the country's rich history, and tends to combine details of the cultural traditions in India with subjects in the news to reflect the "shifting world". In 'Nations', for instance, he has used the cloth in the form of a flag of each country on the sewing machines to recall the pivotal role of clothing in the national struggle for Independence of India. Harsha, who pays a lot of attention to "indigenous knowledge systems" and "new technologies in agriculture" creates works that draw attention to the "whimsical as well as to the tragic entanglement of life". -PTI
He also appreciated the announcement to waive off 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 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 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. (MORE) TRS Aloke Bajpai, who has cofounded ixigo.com, says that the budget has laid out some "big investments" for the industry, both in terms of infrastructure and technology. "Kicking off on a good note, this year's budget brought happiness to many with the removal of service charges on bookings made through IRCTC - indicating the government's focus to drive more digital transactions," he says. He also lauded some of the an-
nouncements in the Railway budget like 'Raksha coach', 'clean my coach services', 'coach mitra' facility for registering complaints and installation of bio-toilets, which he feels would "attract back travelers by improving cleanliness, safety and passenger comfort". Another important development was the introduction of the special tourism zones anchored on SPV (Special purpose vehicle) that will be established in partnership with the state governments. "The move will lead to creation of new tourist hubs and catalyze both domestic and inbound tourism. The sharp focus on building improved connectivity, particularly investment in road, railways and airport infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country, is a welcome move for the travel and tourism sector. "This will increase the number of destinations on the tourist map by reducing the travel time to these smaller cities and towns," says Dhall. However, Kapil Goswamy of BigBreaks.com feels disappointed with the industry's concerns about high tax rates being "ignored" by the government, and feels that waiving off service tax on IRCTC online bookings would "not help the industry directly". "Even if you consider the indirect benefit, the saving that travelers will make the withdrawal of service tax on online train bookings is too small (minimum Rs 46 and maximum Rs 138) to encourage travel and tourism and make a difference to the fortunes of the travel industry. "Of course, we will be passing the benefit to our customers, but it is too miniscule and inconsequential for us," says Goswamy.PTI
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42 India Post
Travel & Hospitality Post
February 17, 2017
Contâ€™d from page 40
The city remains immersed in chants and Bhajans dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is indeed a pleasure to be a part of the festivities during Janmashtami. Halite "festival of colors" is celebrated in a very colorful and joyous manner in Vrindavan and is one of the biggest festivals for the natives. The atmosphere is really charged up during the celebrations. Basant Panchami: A famous festival of Hindus known as Basant Pancham is celebrated in all the country and is renowned
for kite flying. This festival is celebrated at the time of monsoon season. Places to visit Shahji Temple: Shahji Temple is one of the famous temples in Vrindavan, devoted to Lord Krishna. The temple possesses a Dravidian architectural style and fabulous marble sculptures which fascinate large number of tourists from all over the world. It was made by Shah Kundan Lal, a prosperous jeweler of Lucknow. The idol of Lord Krishna is known by the name of Chhote Radha Raman. Iskcon Temple: Located at Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg,
Raman Reiti, Vrindavan, ISKCON temple is popularly known as Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir. One of the most magnificent temples of Vrindavan, it was inaugurated by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on Ram Navami Day (20 April, 1975). He also installed beautiful idols of Krishna Balaram, Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Gaura Nitai, Lalita Devi & Vishakha Devi in the temple. Seva Kunj and Nidhuban: Seva Kunj and Nidhuban is a beautiful garden, majorly visited by Krishna
disciples and scenic lovers. It is believed that Lord Krishna performed Raslila with Radha here. A small temple devoted to RadhaKrishna is situated inside the garden and it is believed that Lord Krishna used to spend his time in this garden indulging in dances with the Gopis. Madan Mohan temple: Has anyone ever wondered that in the pious town of Vrindavan which temple holds the distinction of being the oldest one? If not, then get set to know that it is the Madan Mohan Temple in Banke Bihari Colony of Vrindavan, where the original deity of Madana-Mohan was discovered by Advaita Acarya
hundreds of years ago. It is not just a religious shrine, but a historical landmark that transcends one back to 16th century India. It was then that Saint Sanatan Goswami enshrined the deity of Madan Mohan after Advaita Acarya entrusted the worship of the Lord upon him. The Madan Mohan Temple we see today on a hillock in Vrindavan is a rebuilt version of the original one. The towering red color structure led by multiple stairs and molded with spiritualism, devotion and tranquility adds an extravagant dimension to one's Vrindavan trip. The history of Vrindavan that is yet unearthed, can now be discovered with a religious visit to Madan Mohan Temple. Vrindavan's beautiful scenery from the hillock again soothes the eyes of those who travel miles to take a sneak peak of this historical religious edifice. Yamuna River: One of the most sacred rivers of India, Yamuna River begins from Yamunotri. The river is regarded as being turned pure as it flows through the cities of Mathura and Vrindavan. Thousands of devotees take a dip in this holy river. Kesi Ghat: Kesi Ghat in Vrindavan, Mathura, is one of the most visited places in the area and is frequented by devotees and tourists alike. The Ghat, considered to be amongst the best in the country, is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna and is a huge
hit amongst devotees of Lord Krishna. According to popular belief, this is the Ghat where Lord Krishna took a bath after killing the demon Kesi. Since then, devotees rush in huge numbers to seek blessings of the Lord. An elaborate Aarti is practiced every evening, as a ritual for Yamuna Devi. The Ghat is rich in scenic beauty and is a must visit when in the area. Bankey Bihari Temple: Officially known as Shri Bankey Bihari Mandir, the Bankey Bihari temple of Vrindavan is one of the holiest temples of Lord Krishna in India. Constructed in 1864, the temple houses the idol of Lord Krishna in the form of a child i.e. Nand Gopal. Best time to visit The best season to visit Vrindavan is the winter season.
The temperature remains comfortable and is apt for visiting the monuments and other places of interest. The best months to visit are September to March. How to Reach Air: The nearest International Airport from Vrindavan is Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, about 144 Kms away and is roughly four hour drive from Vrindavan city. Railways: Vrindavan has its own Railway Station which is connected to almost all the major cities. Road: There are many ways to reach Vrindavan road. Vrindavan is 11 Kms from Mathura, 57 Kms from Hathras, 70 Kms from Aligarh, 73 Kms from Agra, 139 Kms from Gurgaon and 144 Kms from New Delhi.
February 17, 2017
Travel & Hospitality Post
Big cheer as heavy snow covers Gulmarg GULMARG, J-K: 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 less 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 win-
ronment 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
ters," 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 envi-
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
Hong Kong told of visa hurdles NEW DELHI: India has conveyed to Hong Kong that it is important that visa and immigration system help people-to-people exchanges and not create additional hurdles after it scrapped visa-free 14-day stay for Indians. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh in a written reply to Lok Sabha said Hong Kong has also been reminded of India's liberalization of visa system for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders through online visa facility. He noted that earlier Indian passport holders who visited Hong Kong for less than 14 days for tourism and such purposes
could enter without first obtaining visa but since January 23 Hong Kong authorities have introduced mandatory pre-arrival registration. "Government of India has conveyed to HKSAR authorities that in view of expanding people-topeople and business ties, it is important that visa and immigration system help such exchanges and not create additional hurdles. "They have also been reminded of Government of India's liberalization of visa system for HKSAR passport holders through online visa facility," Singh said. According to the Hong Kong information services department
website, "From January 23, Indian nationals must apply for and complete online pre-arrival registration before enjoying their 14-day visafree visit, or entering Hong Kong during transit. "The pre-arrival registration for Indian nationals' platform will launch on December 19. Registration is free. The computer system will display the result instantly once the registration is made." Only those Indian nationals who successfully complete online pre-arrival registration could enter Hong Kong and obtain visa on arrival. For others they are required to obtain prior visa before arriving in Hong Kong.-PTI
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 activities especially during the winters, but this year we have not seen many tourists even after such a snowfall. Last year's 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 apprehensions 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 because of the situation (unrest)," he said. The government has also started skiing courses for the students after a gap of three years. "We have started a 15-day skicourse for the students after three years because there was less 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 much snow to ski.-PTI
India further liberalizes visa for Afghans KABUL: Seeking to enhance people-to-people contacts and trade ties, India has further liberalized its visa policy for Afghan nationals to make it easier for them to visit the country. "Embassy of India, Kabul is pleased to inform all Afghan nationals that with effect from February 1, 2017 Indian visa regime has been further liberalized to make it even more convenient for Afghan nationals to visit India," the Indian Embassy here said in a statement. The duration of a tourist visa has been enhanced to one year with continuous stay of 90 days during each visit as against the existing provision of stay of 30 days. The provision of a gap of 60 days between two tourism visits,
however, remains unchanged, the statement said. India promotes and encourages Afghan businessmen to visit India to further enhance Indo-Afghan trade ties. Henceforth, Afghan businessmen investing in India or having a large trade turnover with India, depending on volume of their investment/ trade, would be issued Indian visas for a duration of 1 to 5 years, with continuous stay of up to 180 days during each such business visit, subject to production of relevant business documents, the statement said. "Embassy of India, Kabul is confident that these changes in the visas regime would further strengthen the historic people-topeople and business ties between our two countries," it added.-PTI
Noninvasive test for glucose levels
eople with diabetes and im paired glucose tolerance are advised to spot-check their bloodglucose levels several times daily to reduce the risk of serious complications. That's a lot of fingerpricking, considering that about 700 million people fall into one of those categories. The Israeli company Integrity Applications 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.-Courtesy Israel21c
Visual creativity leads to poor sleep
ow to get a good night's sleep tops the list for many people with sleeping disorders the world over. Now a new Israeli study has bad news for the creative community coveting successful pillow time. The researchers sought to understand how two types of creativity - visual and verbal - influence objective aspects of sleep such as duration and timing (indexes such as the time of falling asleep and waking up), and subjective aspects - sleep quality. Art and social science students participated in the study. The findings showed that among all the participants, the higher the level of visual creativity, the lower the quality of their sleep. "Visually creative people reported disturbed sleep leading to difficulties in daytime functioning," says doctorate student Neta Ram-Vlasov, one of the authors of the study. "In the case of verbally creative people, we found that they sleep more hours and go to sleep and get up later. In other words, the two types of creativity were associated with different sleep patterns. This strengthens the hypothesis that the processing and expression of visual creativity involves different psychobiological mechanisms to those found in verbal creativity." The study defined creativity according to four characteristics: fluency - the ability to produce a wide range of ideas; flexibility - the ability to switch easily between different thought patterns in order to produce this wide range of ideas; originality - the unique quality of the idea relative to the ideas in the environment; and elaboration - the ability to develop each idea separately. -Courtesy Israel21c
Vatican meet challenges China on organs
44 India Post
February 17, 2017
Details on Page 46
Indian Govt to launch screening program for NCDs NEW DELHI: The government will launch in April a universal screening program for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including diabetes and cancer, a top Health Ministry official has said. "NCDs are now recognized by the government as a major health issue and figures as part of the National Health Mission. "The Ministry will be starting a universal screening program from April onwards covering five NCDs namely diabetes, hypertension, oral, cervical and breast cancers," Union Health secretary C K Mishra said. Mortality is more because detection is very low, he said at Salt Summit organized by GIGH and Arogya here. Salt reduction in India requires a multi-stakeholder effort that can take into account the growing incidence of hypertension and cardiac diseases largely resulting from intake of sodium beyond the WHO recommended guidelines of 5 mg per day, George Institute for Global Health (GIGH) said. Pointing out that India is one
of the first countries to have developed an action plan for meeting the NCDs targets, GIGH said that one of them is 30 per cent relative reduction in mean population intake of salt or sodium.
diseases (NCDs) like overweight and obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers among others. "Raised blood pressure is one
Several studies carried out in developing countries, including India, have been reporting an increase in the prevalence of diet related chronic non-communicable
of the leading risk factors for global mortality and is estimated to have caused 9.4 million deaths and 7 per cent of disease burden - as measured in DALYs - in 2010," said
Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, GIGH India. The prevalence of raised blood pressure in India is around 26 percent and is considered to be a leading cause of death, stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic renal impairment. "About 1 in 3 of all adult Indians have high blood pressure, by itself making it a major public health burden. Five out of the top 10 causes of deaths in India are now due to NCDs. What is more alarming is the inexorable rise in the contribution of NCDs to all deaths, presenting a challenge for health community," Jha added. Nalini Saligram, CEO, Arogya world urged stakeholder group to initiate action and report back on progress made every year at the annual Salt Summits. "We hope to showcase meaningful action from each stakeholder group in India against the important salt reduction target. Nothing less than the health of future generations in India is at stake," she added. -PTI
Indian on mission to democratize healthcare LONDON: A leading Indian tech entrepreneur has decided to invest in a UK-based genomics data platform company to "democratize precision healthcare" and help pharmaceuticals develop targeted therapeutics. Ambarish Mitra, well known as the co-founder and CEO of Blippar an augmented reality and computer vision based AI application platform will invest in the Cambridge-based Global Gene Corp to bring medicine to the masses. "Global Gene Corp sits at the convergence point of genomic & life sciences, machine learning and big data technologies. They have fundamentally disrupted the business model to deliver a platform that is scalable and affordable which is key to bringing precision medicine
to the masses," Mitra said. Genomics seeks to sequence, assemble, and ultimately understand the function of genomes, the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an organism. The insights gained through
most completely unrepresented by the available genomic data mainly of Asians and Africans. "We have made it our mission to build the largest high-fidelity genomics data platform of analyzed and sequenced DNA along
"We believe we currently have the largest data set for the Indian population and are expanding to other ethnicities. This has only been made possible due to our collaboration with over 50 organizationsâ€? genomics help scientists better understand disease and then develop more effective drug delivery systems and therapeutics. The Global Gene Corp team discovered that over 60 per cent of the world's population is al-
with clinical longitudinal data sets from every ethnic group in order to help pharmaceuticals develop targeted therapeutics. We're particularly looking at underexplored populations from Asia and Africa," said Sumit Jamuar, Global
Gene Corp's co-founder and CEO. "We believe we currently have the largest data set for the Indian population and are expanding to other ethnicities. This has only been made possible due to our collaboration with over 50 organizations across the world," Jamuar said. Global Gene Corp's R&D centre is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge, alongside the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which played an important role in the original sequencing of the human genome. It is one of only three companies selected to be part of the first cohort of "cutting-edge" businesses to move into the Campus' new 42-million-pound Biodata Innovation Centre in July 2016. -PTI
Health Science Post
February 17, 2017
India Post 45
HLL to set up diagnostic labs in Maharashtra MUMBAI: Expanding its Hindlabs chain of pathology and imaging facilities, public sector HLL Lifecare Ltd has signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government for providing diagnostic services in state-run health facilities. The agreement was signed by R P Khandelwal, CMD, HLL, Dr.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), will establish around 100 Hindlabs in 33 districts of Maharashtra for providing laboratory testing services in nearly 2,300 t hospitals under DHS, particularly at the level of Primary Health Centers (PHCs), a HLL release said. HLL will implement the project
HLL will implement the project within a period of 90 days, commencing the lab services to the general public.
Pradeep Vyas, Commissioner and MD, SHS, and Dr Sathish Pawar, Director of Health Services), in Mumbai. As part of the agreement, HLL, a mini Ratna PSU of the Union
within a period of 90 days, commencing the lab services to the general public. The project will be monitored by IT-enabled systems which track the details of patients samples
taken from the collection centers to the lab for testing and reporting. The latest module of laboratory information system software will be used for the project to create an online dash board to view the current status of sample collection, testing and reporting from all the government hospital centers in Maharashtra. By implementing this project, diagnostic tests will be made available to the public in the remotest villages of Maharashtra. The labs of HLL, with sophisticated equipment, qualified manpower and ITenabled support systems, will ensure the quality of laboratory investigations, Khandelwal said. The labs being set up under the project will have all the divisions like hematology, pathology, biochemistry, immunoassay and microbiology, he said. HLL is implementing similar projects in Assam, Kerala and Odisha, partnering with National Health Mission (NHM). Hindlabs offers more than 100 tests from the hospital centers, including the high end special molecular diagnostic tests, at rates much lower than market prices. -PTI
3.5 lakh died of diabetes in India NEW DELHI: As many as 3.46 lakh people died of diabetes in 2015, up from 2.24 lakh in 2005, with the deadly disease climbing to the seventh position on the list of causes of deaths in the country, the government has said. The increase in numbers from 2005 to 2015 has led to the shift from 11th position to seventh position in terms of cause of death due to diabetes, Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. The prevalence of diabetes in the country was nearly 70 million in 2015, he said. The minister said that government is implementing National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) for interventions up to district level under the National Health Mission. It has focused on awareness generation for behavior and lifestyle changes, screening and early diagnosis of persons with high level of risk factors and their treatment and referral to higher facilities for appropriate management
for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) including Diabetes, he said. Replying to another question, Mr Kulaste said, "Diabetes is one of the common NCDs. ICMR has informed that according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas, 7th Edition, the prevalence of diabetes in In-
dia is 69.2 million in 2015. "ICMR has undertaken a study on diabetes - ICMR India Diabetes (ICMR-INDAB) Study on the prevalence of diabetes. It is an ongoing study and current results
available from 15 states and UTs indicate overall prevalence of diabetes which varies from 4 per cent to 13 per cent," he said. The minister said that operational guidelines for implementing population level screening for diabetes, Hyper-tension and common cancer - oral, breast and cervix have been released to state gov-
ernments. These guidelines include screening for risk factors of these diseases and such screening will generate awareness on risk factors of these diseases, he said. -PTI
India to sign health MoU with Senegal NEW DELHI: The government has approved signing of an agreement between India and Senegal in the field of health and medicine which includes cooperation in AIDS control, integrated disease surveillance and emergency relief. A working group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this pact, as per the decision of the Union Cabinet. The areas of cooperation include medical research, hospital management, drugs and pharmaceutical products and hospital equipments, traditional medicine and other areas of mutual interest. The Cabinet was also apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The Framework Agreement was signed on September 3, 2016. The agreement will enable pur-
suing the potential interest areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology. The Cabinet was also apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation between Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science and Technology and Bpifrance, a public investment bank of France. The agreement will ensure exchange of best practices and setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges in the field of science, technology and innovation through collaboration between companies, organizations and institutions of France and India. -PTI
Sexual orientation no risk to mental health MELBOURNE: Sexual orientation is not a major risk for longterm mental health problems, according to a new study that challenges the common perception that homosexual and bisexual people are at risk of poor mental health and suicide. "Childhood sexual trauma, risky health behaviors, smoking, a lack of positive support and negative social interactions pose more of a risk for people's mental health than their sexual orientation," said lead researcher Richard Burns from Australian National University (ANU). He said homosexual and bisexual people were more likely to experience these mental health risk factors than heterosexual people. The study followed about 5,000 adults over eight years as part of
the Personality and Total Health Through Life Project. "Initially, we found there was a long-term risk for depression and anxiety among individuals with a bisexual orientation, and there was long-term risk for anxiety amongst homosexual individuals. But when we adjusted for these other mental health risk factors, we found no major risk associated with sexual orientation itself," said Burns. "We concluded that all things being equal that there is no particular mental health risk for people with a homosexual or bisexual orientation," he said. "Our findings emphasize the importance of using longitudinal data to estimate long-term mental health risk associated with sexual orientation," he added. -PTI
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46 India Post
Health Science Post
February 17, 2017
Vatican meet challenges China on organs VATICAN CITY: Participants at a Vatican conference on organ trafficking have challenged China to allow independent scrutiny to ensure it is no longer using organs from executed prisoners, saying Chinese assurances aren't enough to prove the transplant program has been reformed. Sparks flew in the afternoon session of the meeting as China's former vice health minister, Dr. Huang Jiefu, sought to assure the international medical community that China was ``mending its ways'' after declaring an end to the prisoner harvesting program in 2015. ``I am fully aware of the speculation about my participation in the summit,'' Huang told the conference, citing ``continuing concerns about the transplant activities.''
He provided scant data to rebut critics, however, showing only two slides indicating an increased number of living and deceased donors in recent years and China's recent efforts to crack down on black market transplant activities. Huang first publicly acknowledged the inmate harvesting organ program in 2005 and later said as many as 90 percent of Chinese transplant surgeries using organs from dead people came from executed prisoners. He has spearheaded a reform effort and pledged that China put an end to the program in 2015. But doubts persist that China is meeting its pledge, given its lack of transparency, the severe shortage of organ donors and China's longstanding blackmarket organ trade. Huang's colleague, Dr. Haibo
Wang, stressed the sheer impossibility of trying to fully control China's transplant activity since
Msgr. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences, delivers his message at a conference on 'Organ Traffiking and Transplant Tourism', held at the Vatican
Delhi's air quality plunged sharply in 2016 NEW DELHI: 2016 was particularly bad for the national capital in terms of air quality with the volume of ultrafine particulates PM 2.5 and PM 10 violating the annual safe standards by over five times in certain areas. As per pollution data, shared by Union Environment Minister Anil Dave in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 steadily rose in Delhi since 2014, where 2016 stands out for a rapid build up compared to the previous years. The annual prescribed standards of PM 2.5 and PM 10 are 40 and 60 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) in India. The corresponding 24-hour standards are 60 and 100 respectively. As against the annual standards, the city's Shahzadabagh monitoring station of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 120 and 348 last year while the Siri Fort station recorded it at 102 and 320 respectively. Annual values of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in Shahzadabagh were 62 and 243 in 2012; 88 and 265 in 2013; 69 and 234 in 2014; 99 and 261 in 2015 and 120 and 348 in 2016. The corresponding figures for Siri Fort are: 51 and 291 in 2012; 78 and 181 in 2013; 84 and 209 in 2014; 94 and 189 in 2015 and 102 and 320 in 2016. As a whole, Delhi recorded an average PM 10 volume of 260 last
there are 1 million medical centers and 3 million licensed doctors operating in the country. As a result,
year, over four times above the safe level, while the same was 65 in case of gaseous pollutant NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide). Its annual standard is 40. "The particulate matter concentration was high during November 2016 - January 2017 because of prevailing meteorologi-
years. Since then, the local and the Central authorities announced a number of steps including the closure of the Badarpur thermal power plant and a temporary ban on construction and demolition activities. The Centre has also notified the Graded Response Action Plan and empowered the Supreme Court-
cal conditions like calm weather, low temperature, very low wind speed and reduced mixing height, thereby preventing dispersion of pollutants and leading to their accumulation," the minister added in his reply. Delhi witnessed a severe episode of smog in the first week of November, which was described the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) as the worst in 17
appointed panel Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority to implement it. The EPCA rolled out a series of measures enumerated under the plan, including curbs on diesel generator sets, burning of waste in the open and landfill sites, in mid January. While PM 2.5 and PM 10 stayed above the national standards, values of SO2 (Sulphur di-
China proposed at the Vatican meeting that the World Health Organization form a global task force to help crack down on illicit organ trafficking. Dr. Jacob Lavee, president of Israel's transplant society, insisted in response that WHO be allowed to conduct surprise inspections and interview donor relatives in China. ``As long as there is no accountability for what took place ... there can be no guarantee for ethical reform,'' he told the conference in a heated exchange. He was joined by Dr. Gabriel Danilovitch, from the UCLA Medical Center, who challenged the Chinese delegation to declare straight out if prisoner organs were no longer used. Wang countered that he and Huang spent the past 12 years battling critics inside China and out to reform the sector, and said China shouldn't be singled out for spot WHO inspections. The back-and-forth underscored the controversy over China's participation in the conference, after critics sent letter to organizers and Pope Francis warning that Chinese attendance amounted to a Vatican whitewash of its past practices. Orga-
ing the Chinese presentation. ``Are they doing any illegal transplantation of organs in China? We can't say,'' said Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. ``But we want to strengthen the movement for change.'' The Vatican conference is part of Pope Francis' efforts to crack down on trafficking in humans and organs. China's participation also conveniently corresponded with his efforts to engage Beijing in hopes of improving diplomatic relations. China's foreign ministry, however, played down the diplomatic significance of Huang's presence. It's unclear how effective a WHO organ trafficking task force would be, given that the U.N. agency is completely reliant on countries to provide health information and statistics and rarely collects or independently verifies data provided by governments. China has long been criticized for its lack of transparency in public health. During the global outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome more than a decade ago, for example, China initially covered up the epidemic. By the time China began to acknowledge the true scale of the outbreak, SARS had spilled across Asia and to North America. More recently, China has been criticized for not quickly sharing details of its expanding bird flu outbreak. WHO, now run by China's Dr. Margaret Chan, has largely refrained from criticizing the country's efforts and has endorsed its organ transplant reform process. China aside, WHO is typically loath to criticize member countries. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, for example, it delayed for months declaring the biggest-ever epidemic of the lethal disease to be a global emergency, fearing it would offend the affected countries. It also refrained from pub-
China has long been criticized for its lack of transparency in public health. During the global outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome more than a decade ago, for example, China initially covered up the epidemic. nizers, however, stood firm in their invitation and even came to China's defense in trying to prevent TV cameras from cover-
licly slamming Brazil last year when the country initially refused to share virus samples from its Zika outbreak. -AP
February 17, 2017
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WHO urges Centre to raise health budget KOLKATA: The Centre should develop strategies to ensure that people are not badly affected while accessing health services, the World Health Organisation said. "There is a need in India that government develops mechanism to ensure that people do not become poor while accessing health services," WHO Universal Health Coverage, National Professional Officer Dr
major role and increase investment in public health services (including disease surveillance)," he said. A balanced supply-demand intervention would help the country progress towards a Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the WHO official said. "A balance supply side, i.e. provision of health services by government demand side (Social Health Insurance) interventions, in realistic and contextual manner, can increase accessibility and affordability of health services by people and help India progress towards UHC," Dr Lahariya stated. And to achieve the UHC by 2030, India requires a vision covering 10-15 year period like the way Thailand, Mexico and China have adopted, Dr Lahariya stressed. "The process of advancing UHC in India needs to have a 10-15 year vision, so that it can be achieved in the country by 2030. Most of the countries such as Thailand, Mexico and China have followed similar path," the WHO official said. Apart from the Centre, the states should take the initiative and top WHO Universal Health Coverage, National Professional Officer Dr Chandrakant Lahariya leaders including the Chief Ministers should lead from front in this Chandrakant Lahariya said. drive, he added. Speaking at the recently-concluded 44th The official further commented that since national conference of the Indian Associa- health is a state subject in India, it was imtion of Preventive and Social Medicine perative that the process is led by the states (IAPSM) held here Dr Lahariya said, "There and owned and guided by top political leadis global evidence to support that increased ership such as Chief Ministers and Health government funding reduces out of pocket Ministers from the very beginning. expenditure by people. The government "It has to be guided by experts throughfunding for health sector in India has the out the process and there is sufficient expotential to be enhanced." pertise available in India, in most settings, According to the WHO official, the Cen- to support the process," Dr Lahariya said. tre should play a major role and increase Healthcare improvement is possible investment in the public health services, also through multi-sectoral engagement (Nutricovering disease surveillance. tion, Sanitation and Social Justice), he ob"The union government has to play a served.-PTI
T-Hub inks MoU with Novartis Healthcare HYDERABAD: T-Hub - a startup incubator set up by the Telangana Government has said it has signed an MoU with pharmaceutical major Novartis Healthcare Private Ltd (NHPL) to create and execute joint programs that would benefit HealthTech startups from across segments. Being leaders in healthcare, Novartis will be working together with T-Hub to develop plans and programs that will help health tech, health care and pharmaceutical startups to scale and grow, according to a press release issued by the incubator. As a part of the initiatives health, research and development experts from Novartis will mentor and guide startups, in compliance with T-Hubs mentorship framework and evaluation process, in
their respective ventures, it said. "We are very excited to collaborate with Novartis. It will bring great value to the ecosystem and HealthTech startups will be greatly benefited. With HealthTech being one of our prime sectors, we are working towards ensuring that startups associated with T-Hub are well mentored and guided through various programs of ours, which will help them scale their business faster," Jay Krishnan, CEO, T-Hub said. Subodh Deshmukh, Global Drug Development India Head, Novartis said, "As a global leader in biomedical innovation, we are excited about this potential partnership with T-Hub and its allied startups driving innovation in the healthcare space." -PTI
Colorado campaign against insurance exchange DENVER: Colorado Republicans have launched their opening attack on the health insurance exchange. Just don't call it an attack on Obamacare. Colorado Republicans sounded strikingly different than in years past when talking about their proposal to abolish the staterun health insurance exchange, called Connect For Health Colorado. Instead of tying the exchange to the federal health care law, or Obamacare, Republicans bristled at suggestions that the move aims to undo it. The bill ``does not repeal anyone's insurance policies,'' insisted Sen. Jim Smallwood, a Parker Republican and insurance agent who sponsored the bill. ``It's not an attempt to indict former President Obama or his legacy.'' But Democrats consider the bill a broadside attack on the federal Affordable Care Act. The measure passed on a 3-2 partyline vote, with both Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee in opposition. ``Isn't this premature?'' asked Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver. Court argued that Colorado shouldn't dismantle the exchange with no clue what the federal government will do to change
the federal health law. About 100 protesters rallied before the hearing to urge lawmakers to retain the exchange. The protesters' concern was for personal health problems and talked not about the Connect For Health exchange, but about their need for health insurance. ``I don't know what I'm going to do if I lose my health care, and honestly, I'm terrified,'' said Reyna Ulibarri of Denver. It was a dramatic turnaround from a few years back, when Colorado set up Connect For Health. Back in 2011, it was Democrats and not Republicans who chafed at connections between the exchange and the federal health law. This year, it is Colorado Republicans who are frustrated by lumping the two together. Sen. Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs Republican, even blasted his colleagues in Washington by deriding ``some of the clown show that's going on over there with this health law.'' Opponents who packed the hearing weren't convinced. ``I understand this bill is about the exchange and not the ACA, but the two are inextricably intertwined,'' said Howard Paul. -AP
February 17, 2017
Silicon Valley is right - our jobs are disappearing ANDREW YANG
tephen Hawking says that "we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity" and that the "rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining." Sam Hinkie, the smartest man in sports and a Stanford grad, asks, "How are you preparing your kids for a life with 60% unemployment?" Sam Altman, the head of YCombinator, is so convinced that we're going to need to figure out new ways of providing people with a means to live that he's giving $20k each to 1,000 people in Oakland for a year just to see what they do with their new jobless income. Literally the smartest people in the world think an unprecedented wave of job destruction is coming with the development of artificial intelligence, robotics, software and automation. My friends in Silicon Valley have read the Second Machine Age and Rise of the Robots and they see a wave coming. The White House published a report last month that reinforced this view. Some of the headline stats: â€˘ 83% of the jobs where people make less than $20 per hour will be subject to automation or replacement. â€˘ Between 9% and 47% of jobs are in danger of being made irrelevant due to technological change, with the worst threats falling among the less educated. â€˘ Between 2.2 and 3.1 million car, bus and truck driving jobs in the U.S. will be eliminated by the advent of self-driving vehicles. Read that last sentence again: we're con-
where? Okay, you're thinking. But isn't this all still in the somewhat distant future, since unemployment is only 4.6% according to the headlines? Actually, automation has already eliminated about 4 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. since 2000. And instead of finding new jobs, a lot of those people left the workforce and didn't come back. The U.S. labor force plummeted by about 10 million during the same period, down to levels not seen in decades. The labor participation rate is now at only 62.7%, a rate right below El Salvador and right above the Ukraine: Each 1 percent decline in the labor participation rate equates to approximately 2.5 million Americans dropping out. The number of working-age Americans who aren't in the workforce has surged to a record 95 million, up almost 500,000 in the last month alone, with many of these being factory workers. Yes, there are 95 million working-age Americans no longer in the workforce. The Great Displacement is already here and is set to accelerate. High rates of unemSource: Executive Office of the President of the United States; Artificial ployment are linked to Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy; December 2016 higher rates of substance abuse, domesfident that between 2 and 3 million Ameri- tic violence, child abuse, depression and cans who drive vehicles for a living will lose just about every other social ill. Despair, their jobs in the next fifteen years. Self-driv- basically. Note the recent spike in drug and ing cars are the most obvious job-destroy- opioid overdoses in the U.S. If you care ing technology, but there are similar inno- about communities and our way of life, you vations ahead that will dislocate cashiers, care about people having jobs. fast food workers, customer service repreThis is the most pressing economic and sentatives, groundskeepers and many many social issue of our time; our economy is others in a few short years. How many of evolving in ways that will make it more and these people will be readily employable else- more difficult for people with lower levels
of education to find jobs and support themselves. It's a boiling pot getting hotter one degree at a time. And we're the frog. I run an organization, Venture for America, with the mission of helping to create 100,000 U.S. jobs by 2025. We do this by helping growth companies access talent and training the next generation of entrepreneurs. We are taking some of the strongest young people in the country and saying, "Hey, use your talents to do some good and build businesses in Detroit, Birmingham, Baltimore, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia or some other U.S. city that could use a boost." We've had some incredible success stories with people building multi-million dollar businesses that have hired dozens or even hundreds of people, including some low-skilled manufacturing workers. We've trained over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs to work in eighteen cities around the U.S., and are now recruiting executives from Silicon Valley companies who want to help. We saw the decline in American entrepreneurship in markets around the country and resolved to do something about it. I'm proud of everything that we do. But I feel increasingly like we're working on islands of relative prosperity that are shrinking beneath our feet. Every business will hire the very best people it can find - particularly startups. When our entrepreneurs start companies and expand, they generally aren't hiring the down-on-his-or-her-luck-marginal-workerin-need-of-a-break. They're hiring the strongest contributors with the right mix of qualities to help an early-stage company suc-
ceed. The majority of the startup jobs that we're helping to create essentially require a college degree. That excludes 68 percent of the population right there. And some of these companies are lifting further inefficiencies out of the system - reducing jobs in other places even while hiring its own new workers. I'm reminded of a scene in The Hard Things about Hard Things, when Ben Horowitz meets with his two lieutenants. He says to one of them, "You're going to do everything in your power to make this deal work." Then he turns to the other and says, "Even if he does everything right, it's probably not going to work. Your job is to fix it." That's where we're at. Unprecedented things are happening in real-time and starting to wreak havoc on lives and communities around the country, particularly on those least able to adapt and adjust. We should do all we can to reduce the worst effects of the Great Displacement - it should be the driving priority of government and non-profits for the foreseeable future. We should invest in education, job training, apprenticeships, relocation, entrepreneurship, matching people to opportunities, tax incentives to hire - anything to help make hiring and retaining workers appealing. And then we should assume that, for millions of people, it's not going to work. Uber is going to get rid of its drivers as soon as it can. Its job isn't to hire lots of people - its job is to move customers around as efficiently as possible. One programmer, Labib Rahman, said to me recently that "any responsible technologist has to be for providing people a universal basic income to make ends meet." He knows what's coming. Before long, we're going to have to rethink the relationship between work and being able to feed yourself. And then figure out how to convey the psychic and social benefits of work in other ways. It's one reason why what Sam Altman is doing in Oakland is so fascinating and important. He's basically piloting what the government should be doing so there will be relevant data when the need is too pressing to ignore. Many of my friends think that people will just chill out if you give them free money. I tend to think they'll make the most of it and
try to better themselves and their future. Sam is going to find out for all of us. Will our jobless future look more like Star Trek or Mad Max? If you squint a little, you can see which way we're headed. As William Gibson says, "The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed." The future of automation and job loss is right now. The writer is CEO and Founder of Venture For America. This article originally appeared in Quartz.
February 17, 2017
India Post 49
isitors to the Crosspointe RollsRoyce facility in Prince George County, Virginia, have to don safety glasses and steel-tipped shoes, just as they would at any traditional factory. But then things start to look different. Past the cubicles filled with programmers and support staff sits a 140,000-squarefoot factory with spotless white concrete floors, bright lighting, surprisingly quiet equipment, and very few human beings. Opened in 2011, Crosspointe is the kind of factory that makes a good backdrop to a political speech about advanced manufacturing, as President Barack Obama knew when he arrived less than a year later. It's global: the U.S. operations center of a U.K. company, it uses titanium forgings from Scotland, Germany, or the United States;
shapes them into fan disks; and, after milling, polishing, and testing, ships them off to England, Germany, or Singapore. Once there, each disk will become one of 10,000 parts in a typical engine. It's also highly automated: $1.5 million machines made by DMG Mori Seiki do the initial milling of the disks, following steps directed by Siemens software with a minimum of human interference. On a day in early summer, eight machines were being monitored by three operators. Computer screens in front of the machine displayed instructions in pictures and text, flashing warnings when a part had not met specs or the machine needed to be serviced. Later an automated measurement machine with a probe on the end would spend eight hours inspecting 1,000-plus distinct dimensions of the part. For the next 25 years, Rolls-Royce will keep data on each part, starting with exactly how it was made. Sensors in the engine will track how the engine and its parts are holding up, and maintenance and flight data will be carefully recorded. It's not just pristine floors, scarce workers, and a global network that make Crosspointe emblematic of manufacturing today. It's also the ecosystem surrounding the facility. Just down the road is the Com-
Innovation depends on production expertise NANETTE BYRNES
monwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a research center whose members include Airbus, NASA, and the University of Virginia. There, Rolls-Royce staff who know the challenges and details of manufacturing work with researchers and suppliers to improve the factory and its products, says Crosspointe manufacturing executive Lorin Sodell. "Often a great idea for a new manufacturing process won't ever make it into production because that connection is missing." Most of the advanced machining and other innovative processes in place at Crosspointe were developed and first tested at a similar research center near the company's plant in Sheffield, U.K., called the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center. Sodell is already working with suppliers housed in the Virginia research center to diagnose and quickly address new tooling issues and any other problems that might arise. To understand why manufacturing matters, we must lose some misconceptions. First, manufacturing no longer derives its importance primarily from employing large numbers of people. As software drives more of the manufacturing process, and automated machines and robots execute much of it, factories don't need as many workers. Second, the idea popularized in the 1990s and 2000s that innovation can happen in one place (say, Silicon Valley) while manufacturing happens in another (such as China) is not broadly sustainable. If all the manufacturing is happening in China, these networks are growing there, meaning eventually all the innovation-or at least a lot of itwill be happening there too. Manufacturing will make its most essential economic contribution as an incubator of innovation: the place where new ideas become new products. Thanks to advanced manufacturing technologies, that place can in theory be pretty much anywhere. Robots, software, and sensors work no matter what language is spoken around them. In practice, however, advanced manufacturers thrive best in an ecosystem of suppliers and experienced talent. For this reason, special-
ized manufacturing networks have taken hold in many regions. Among the success stories highlighted in this report are China's dominance as a manufacturer of consumer electronics, Germany's lead in precision tooling and robotics, the United States' strength in aerospace and car manufacturing, and its role in pushing forward important new manufacturing technologies. Innovative manufacturing today requires as its base that manufacturers and their suppliers build strong relationships and share knowledge extensively, says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. China's achievement is especially significant. Today, it would be nearly impossible
wildly successful products but also its "asset light" structure and relatively small workforce. "Couldn't everyone do what Apple did?" says MIT professor Suzanne Berger, who participated in a three-year-long university task force that examined manufacturing in hundreds of global companies and produced the book Making in America. "In a way, the case that motivated our whole inquiry was Apple." Apple did not participate in the study, but in time Berger came to see that the company's case was not so black and whitethat even Apple finds links between manufacturing and innovation. Apple owns the automated production machines in the Chinese factories that manufacture its prod-
Among the success stories highlighted in this report are China's dominance as a manufacturer of consumer electronics, Germany's lead in precision tooling and robotics, the United States' strength in aerospace and car manufacturing, and its role in pushing forward important new manufacturing technologies. for any other region to replicate the country's manufacturing prowess in electronics or the speed with which its companies can introduce new products, says Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih, a longtime executive at IBM, Eastman Kodak, and other multinational firms who studies the links between manufacturing, product development, and innovation. It's not a new idea that manufacturing and innovation are linked. Seventy percent of industrial research and development spending in the U.S. comes from the manufacturing sector. Some have been skeptical, however, that innovation requires manufacturing know-how. Apple, for example, has thrived with a system of designing its products in California but having them assembled in China
using digital design and manufacturing instructions. That arrangement, printed on the back of every iPhone, has been popular with investors who appreciate not only Apple's
ucts. Many California-based Apple engineers spend at least 50 percent of their time in China as new products are launched, she learned. One engineer explained to Berger that it was critical to be on the ground in China for two reasons: to see what problems arose when the products prototyped in the U.S. hit large-scale production, and to "understand where I left too much on the table, where I could have pushed farther with the design." After three years of study, Berger is a believer that the United States must continue to manufacture if it hopes to be an innovation leader. She finds evidence that the manufacturing communities for emerging high-tech sectors such as solar and wind energy and batteries are already being built outside the country in places where technical expertise, manufacturing skills, and even plant layouts are quickly pulling ahead. Without manufacturing, "we lose capabilities in t h e workforce," says Harvard's Shih. "It limits what you are able to do down the line." Nanette Byrnes is Senior Editor, Business Reports, MIT Technology Review
State-framed rules to be examined NEW DELHI: Amid reports that key provisions of new real estate regulation law have been diluted by some states, the central government has forwarded the rules notified by the states to a parliamentary committee for examination. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Rao Inderjit Singh, in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, said the ministry has received representation from consumer groups, complaining that some states have reportedly diluted key provisions of the Act to favor builders. "The rules that have been notified by the states, have been forwarded to the Committee on Subordinate Legislation of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha for examination," he said. The Centre has notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 for the UTs without legislatures, while other UTs and states have to frame their own laws using the central act as a template without diluting its spirit. Singh said the ministry had convened a meeting of officials of states and UTs last month to apprise them about the provision of the act. "During the meeting, they were informed that the rules cannot be ultra vires the Act," he said. -PTI
Real Estate 50 India Post
February 17, 2017
NEW DELHI: On a day the apex court ordered real estate baron Gopal Ansal to serve one year jail term in connection with Uphaar cinema fire case, Neelam Krishnamoorthy, who lost her two teenage children in the 1997 tragedy, said the judgment has "shaken" her faith in judiciary. Krishnamoorthy, convener of Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), also said it will set a "bad precedent" and "embolden" other big firms to flout safety norms for profit. "I am very disappointed on the judgment. It has been 20 years since that tragedy and I hope they had understood the pain and anguish of people, who lost their family members. "Is this democracy? I think the law of the land is such that only a rich few enjoy special power and nothing for the ordinary people. The judgment has shaken my faith in the judiciary," she said. Cont’d on page 51
NEW DELHI: Land and real estate should be brought within the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and consumer durables should be taxed at the lowest slab to make the new indirect tax regime consumer friendly, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said. Details on page 51
7 steps to effectively navigate the homebuying process BRIDGET SIELICKI
uying a home is an exciting process, but it also can be a confusing and overwhelming one. Follow these steps to stay organized and make the homebuying process as manageable as possible. When it comes to buying a
homes until you know how much you can afford to spend. When you meet with a lender, you'll provide your financial information, including your income and any assets or debts. The lender uses those figures to determine how much you'll be able to bor-
be of interest to you, but he or she also negotiates on your behalf when you are ready to make an offer. Your agent has a responsibility to look out for your best interests throughout the buying process. Your agent is available to you free of charge; the seller pays your agent's commission. 3. Search for homes Armed with your preapproval letter and with your agent's help, you can search for homes within your price range. This is often the most enjoyable part of the homebuying process, but it also can be overwhelming. Feel free to take pictures or jot down notes, so you can remember what you like and don't like about the homes you see.
'Uphaar ruling will embolden profiting firms'
Real estate should be brought under GST'
home, there's no such thing as too much research. As soon as you decide that a new home might be in your future, start watching the market for current trends. Monitoring prices a few months in advance can give you valuable insight into reasonable prices when you commence an active search. 1. Get prequalified or preapproved You don't want to start touring
row in a mortgage. This gives you the ability to only target those homes that are in your price range, and it makes the process much easier when you want to make an offer on a house. 2. Find a buyer's agent Through the homebuying process, you'll need a real estate agent to work for you. The agent not only alerts you to homes that may
4. Make an offer Once you've settled on a home that you love, your agent will guide you in making a fair of-
fer. When considering your offer amount, look at the value of comparable homes in the neighborhood. You may want to lead with a "lowball" offer, or one that's below list price, with the idea that the sellers might like to counter. Alternatively, if you know that the home is in a hot real estate market and other buyers might be interested, you'll likely want to offer a competitive sum upfront. Once the sellers accept your offer, you make a deposit and enter what is called the escrow period, when the steps leading to closing on the home are completed. 5. Order a home inspection When you make an offer on a home, it often is contingent on a successful home inspection. After you enter escrow, your agent will help you schedule a time for a home inspector to walk through the property. Cont’d on page 51
Once you've settled on a home that you love, your agent will guide you in making a fair offer. When considering your offer amount, look at the value of comparable homes in the neighborhood.
Credai expects revenue-neutral GST rate KOLKATA: Credai, the apex body of private real estate developers, has said that it is expecting a revenue-neutral GST rate without any adverse impact on realty prices, a relief for the sector. "The central government has assured us that the GST rate will be revenue-neutral. So, no impact on consumers. Prices would not increase. Now, real estate developers pay taxes and duties like VAT, excise and service tax," the
organization's national president Getamber Anand said.
"Our biggest concerns were GST and its impact on real estate and the irrational rates of stamp duty in diff e r e n t states. GST is treating real estate as service and stamp duty considers this sector GST is treating real estate as service and stamp duty considers this sector as fixed asset. as fixed as-
set," he said. The Credai's Bengal official said that the bad effect of demonetization is waning in Kolkata and business became 95 per cent normal. Now on an average in Kolkata the number of new real estate launches varies between 15,000 and 17,000 a year, which may go up to 25,000 for the government's affordable housing push. Credai also expects that the home loan interest rate will come down sub-8 per cent very soon. -PTI
Real Estate Post
February 17, 2017
India Post 51
Supertech told to refund 'Real estate should be brought under GST' Rs 40.9 L for delay NEW DELHI: Real estate major Supertech Ltd has been asked to pay Rs 40.98 lakh to a homebuyer for delay in delivering possession of a flat in Greater Noida Extension with Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission saying the firm "has to suffer" for its action "and no one else". The consumer commission, while granting full refund of cost of the flat to complainant Aruna Nanda, who had purchased it in 2010 but did not get the possession due to constantly changing offers by the builder, said Supertech had "no right" to unilaterally change the flat, its size and price without the consent of the homebuyer. "There is frequent change in the flat booked by complainant, area and cost of the flat. That too without the consent of the complainant. Supertech has no right to unilaterally change the number of the flat, size and price. While decreasing area, the builder enhanced the price... "After considering the rival submission I feel that complainant cannot be forced to accept possession after about seven
years. There is no fault on the part of complainant. If Supertech had not been able to complete its project within time stipulated, it has to suffer and none else," the bench presided by Member O P Gupta said. According to complaint, Nanda had booked a 2,275 sq ft flat under welfare for defense personnel scheme in Supertech's
project Eco village in Greater Noida Extension in April 2010. The builders had promised to hand over possession of the flat within 18 months and allotted it for a consideration of Rs 39.52 lakh and later demanded Rs 1,45,954 more, it said.
However, on November 12, 2010, Supertech transferred booking to another flat in a project Eco3 in Greater Noida and the consideration was increased to Rs 41.68 lakh. It again changed the flat with an enhanced consideration of Rs 42.79 lakh, it said, adding that the area of these flats was less than the originally allotted one. On May 3, 2013, the firm again sent a letter providing alternative offer of a flat in Oxford Square, Greater Nodia, after which the complainant filed a complaint for restoration of original booking of flat in Eco-village in Greater Noida Extension and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for loss, mental agony and harassment and Rs 50,000 as litigation charges, till delivery of possession. The builder had contended that it has invested lot of amount in the project and was not in a position to refund the amount due to slump in the market. The commission, however, found Supertech deficient in service, saying "I find that Supertech is deficient in service. The complaint is allowed and Supertech is directed to refund Rs 40.98 lakh within three months." -PTI
'Uphaar ruling will embolden profiting firms' Contâ€™d from page 50
Recalling the painful memories, Krishnamoorthy said her daughter Unnati (17) and son Ujjwal (13) were so excited to see the movie, not knowing it would be their last. "Had they been alive, I would have probably been a grandmother now. Unnati, a student of DPS R K Puram had just got her results and she wanted to pursue her career as Company Secretary, so she had applied to all the colleges in DU," she said. She said her son, a student of DPS, Mathura Road, wanted to pursue his career in marine engineering. "We were already dealing with our emotional trauma and now this judgment comes as a shocker," she said. The tragedy took place on June 13, 1997 when film 'Border' was playing at the theatre in south Delhi's Green Park area. 59
people had died of asphyxia. "First, Uphaar happened and so many other fire tragedies since. Recently, SUM Hospital in Odisha was another such case. Are we making our public places, theatres and hospitals safer? I don't think any lessons
However, the court gave relief to his elder brother Sushil Ansal considering his advanced age by giving him the jail term already undergone by him have been learned. And, this judgment will embolden big corporate houses in flouting norms
for profit, feeling they can get away," she said. The apex court, in a majority 2:1 verdict, asked Gopal Ansal to surrender within four weeks to serve the remaining jail term of the one year punishment. However, the court gave relief to his elder brother Sushil Ansal considering his advanced age by giving him the jail term already undergone by him, including the remission, in the case. The majority verdict pronounced by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Joseph said that fine of Rs 30 crore each imposed on Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal by the apex court earlier was "not excessive". CBI and AVUT had sought review of the apex court verdict, delivered on August 19, 2015, sending Ansal brothers to two years rigorous jail term if they fail to pay Rs 30 crore each within three months. The convicts have already paid the fine. -PTI
NEW DELHI: Land and real estate should be brought within the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and consumer durables should be taxed at the lowest slab to make the new indirect tax regime consumer friendly, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has said. The Minister assured industry chambers that he would take up the aforesaid issues in the forthcoming GST Council meeting as keeping land and real estate being
oriented and it should not entirely aim at raising taxation with higher rates. "I fought tooth and nail for inclusion of land and real estate within the ambit of GST but somehow there couldn't be an absolute consensus on the issue at number of GST Council Meetings of all the States Finance Ministers because of obvious reasons," Sisodia said. "Consumer durables such as TV, Mobiles, electric appliances and host of similar such articles should not be taxed luxuriously. That is our view and we will continue to articulate them whenever necessary in the interest of Aam Aadmi though the GST tax rates have yet to be finalized," he said. CBEC Chairman Najib Shah Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia asked the industry not to keep outside purview of GST and that seeking exemptions under the GST higher taxation slab for consumer regime as most of such exemptions durables would kill its basic pur- would go away after it is put in pose, a PHD Chamber release said. place. Addressing a seminar on GST, The Chairman also clarified that Sisodia said dual control of GST the anti-profiteering clause in GST also defeated its intended objec- Law is there as an enabler and intives and sought more intense dustry should not read too much consultations on the issue in fu- on it, promising that post GST ture course of GST Council, argu- host of indirect taxes would subing that the objective of the GST sume in it making the new law user should be consumer and traders friendly, the statement said. -PTI
7 steps to effectively navigate the homebuying process Contâ€™d from page 50
The inspector checks the home's structure and makes note of anything that may need fixing. Once you have the home inspector's report, you can agree to proceed or ask the sellers to fix things. You'll have a chance for a final walk-through of your home right before closing the sale to make sure any requested changes were made. 6. Work with a lender Once you make your offer, you'll need to work with a bank or mortgage broker to secure your mortgage. This does not need to be the same lender you worked with to secure a preapproval.
Don't be afraid to shop around. A mortgage broker can help you compare various rates and terms, so you can feel comfortable that you are getting the best deal when you do choose a lender. Your lender will order an appraisal of the home, which is an independent estimate of the value of the property. This ensures that you are paying a fair price. 7. Close on the home Once your mortgage is approved and the paperwork is in order, you're ready to close on your home. At closing, you often need to pay certain fees, known as closing costs, and you'll sign all the paperwork to finalize the purchase of your new home. -Courtesy Bankrate.com
February 17, 2017
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Page Sponsored by Sahanis J. KRISHNAMURTI
ow we are asking, is there anything sacred in life? Not invented by thought, because man, from time immeasurable, he has always asked this question: is there something beyond all this confusion, misery, darkness, illusions, beyond the institutions and reforms; is there something really true, something beyond time, something so immense that thought cannot come to it? Man has enquired into this. And only apparently very, very, very, very few people have been free to enter into that world. And the priest from ancient of times comes in between the seeker and that which he is hoping to find. He interprets, he becomes the man who knows, or thinks he knows. And he is sidetracked, diverted; lost. So if we want to enquire into that which is most holy, which is nameless, timeless, one must obviously belong to no group, no religion, have no belief, no faith, because belief and faith is accepting as true something which does not or may not exist. That is the nature of belief: taking for granted, accepting something to be true. When your own enquiry, your own vitality, energy has not found out, you believe. Because in belief there is some form of security, comfort. But a man who is seeking merely psychological comfort, such a man will never come upon ECKHART TOLLE
ere is a spiritual practice that will bring empower ment and creative expansion into your life. Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Include activities that you may consider uninteresting, boring, tedious, irritating, or stressful. But don't include anything that you hate or detest doing. That's a case either for acceptance or for stopping what you do. The list may include traveling to and from work, buying groceries, doing your laundry, or anything that you find tedious or stressful in your daily work. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness. Be absolutely present in what you do and sense the alert, alive stillness within you in the background of the activity. You will soon find that what you do in such a state of heightened awareness, instead of being stressful, tedious, or irritating, is actually becoming enjoyable. To be more precise, what you are enjoying is not really the outward action but the inner dimension of consciousness that flows into the action. This is finding the joy of Being in what you are do-
that which is beyond time. So there must be total freedom. Is that possible - to be free from all our conditioning, not biological conditioning - that's natural - but the psychological conditioning: the hates, the antagonisms, the pride, all the things that bring about confusion, which is the very nature of the self which is thought? And to find out, there must be attention, not concentration. The word meditation has been introduced into the Western world
meaning of that word, meditation, implies, the meaning of that word is 'to ponder over, to think over'. And also, a meditative mind must be free of measurement. So all those people who have brought this word - with their systems, methods and practices, are again put together by careful thought. Perhaps one guru or two - those Asiatic birds - have some kind of experience; immediately that's translated into some kind of a spiritual status, and they have
order: it's only the human mind that is in disorder. And so one has to have an extraordinarily orderly mind, a mind that has understood disorder, and is free completely from disorder, which is contradiction, imitation, conformity, and all the rest of it. Such a mind is an attentive mind, completely attentive to whatever it does, to all its actions, in its relationship, and so on and so on. Attention is not concentration. Concentration is restricted, nar-
Meditation means 'to ponder over, to think over' We ought to enquire into what is meditation. It's really important, because a mind that's merely mechanistic, as thought is, can never come J. Krishnamurti
upon that which is totally supreme order
quite recently by some of those people who have accepted certain norms, certain patterns of meditation. There is the Zen meditation, the Tibetan form of meditation which is different from the southern form of Buddhist meditation, there is the meditation of the Hindus, with their special gurus, who again have their own forms of meditation. Then there is the Christian form, which is contemplation. And the
their meditation. And they come here and you are gullible enough to swallow all that; paying for it the more you pay, the greater the meditation. (laughter) So we ought to enquire into what is meditation - to meditate. It's really important, because a mind that's merely mechanistic, as thought is, can never come upon that which is totally, supreme order, and therefore a complete freedom. Like the universe is in total
row, limited, whereas attention is limitless. And in that attention there is that quality of silence - not the silence invented by thought, not the silence that comes about after noise, not the silence of one thought waiting for another thought. Excerpted from krishnamurtiaustralia.org. The 31st death anniversary of J. Krishnamurti will be observed on February 17
ing. If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven't brought that dimension into your life yet. Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim. The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this
empowered by consciousness. Some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity. They may be musicians, artists, writers, scientists, teachers, or builders, or they may bring into manifestation new social or busi-
added to what they do and with it comes a creativity that goes beyond anything an ordinary human could accomplish. But don't let it go to your head, because up there is where a remnant of ego may be hiding. You are still an ordinary human. What is extraordinary is what comes through you into this world. But that essence you share with all
Joy of Being is Joy of being Conscious Awakened consciousness then takes over from ego and begins to run your life. You may then find that an activity that you have been engaged in for a long time naturally begins to expand into something much bigger world and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness. The joy of Being is the joy of being conscious. Awakened consciousness then takes over from ego and begins to run your life. You may then find that an activity that you have been engaged in for a long time naturally begins to expand into something much bigger when it becomes
ness structures (enlightened businesses). Sometimes for a few years their sphere of influence remains small; and then it can happen that suddenly or gradually a wave of creative empowerment flows into what they do, and their activity expands beyond anything they could have imagined and touches countless others. In addition to enjoyment, an intensity is now
You cannot see That which is the Seer of seeing; you cannot hear That which is the Hearer of hearing; you cannot think of That which is the Thinker of thought; you cannot know That which is the Knower of knowledge. This is your Self, that is within all; everything else but This is perishable. -Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
He who knows the Supreme Brahman verily becomes Brahman. -Mundaka Upanishad
Eternal peace belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves-not to others. -Katha Upanishad
In the beginning, my dear, this [universe] was Being (Sat) alone, one only without a second. -Chandogya Upanishad
Just as by one nugget of gold all that is made of gold is known, the modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the truth is that all is gold. -Chandogya Upanishad
beings. The fourteenth-century Persian poet and Sufi master Hafiz expresses this truth beautifully: "I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through. Listen to this music." Excerpted from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, pages 299-300. The 69th birth anniversary of Eckhart Tolle will be observed on February 16
Brahman is not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance or good works. A man becomes pure through serenity of intellect; thereupon, in meditation, he beholds Him who is without parts. -Mundaka Upanishad
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February 17, 2017
US-Taiwan relations under China's shadow NAMRATA HASIJA
S President Donald Trump's phone conversation with Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, soon after his election, created some ripples in East Asia. It brought about two important divergences in the US' policy towards Taiwan; first, after a forty year hiatus, there had been a direct interaction between the heads of the two countries and Trump addressed Tsai as the President of Taiwan. Trump's second statement has been that anything and everything - including the 'One China Policy' - is negotiable. This made strategists sit up and predictions of realignment in US-Taiwan and US-China relations were made. Taiwan and mainland China have been guarded in their reactions to this phone call, still uncertain about Trump's foreign policy. China's official reaction to date has been mixed. In the initial statement, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed Taiwanese leaders for the phone call, calling it a "petty gambit." Global Times took a hard
Tsai's election in Taiwan, her silence on the 1992 consensus infuriated China, which then broke off communications with Taiwan. China blamed the US for interfering in cross-strait relations and warned Washington that "China is preparing for a final solution by non-peaceful means." Global Times also took a strong position on the former US President Barack Obama's signing of the 'Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act', which for the first time authorized higher level exchanges between US civilian officials above the level of US Assistant Secretary of Defense and active duty US military officers and their Taiwanese counterparts. Global Times called for military pressure on Taiwan after all these actions by the US. Not only the media but the Chinese government too has increased its military activities and aggressive rhetoric against Taiwan. In January 2017, China's lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, accompanied by other ships went into the Taiwan Strait during a drill in the
Trump's coming to power in the US has created additional problems in the already volatile China-Taiwan relations. After Tsai's election in Taiwan, her silence on the 1992 consensus infuriated China, which then broke off communications with Taiwan stance and called Trump an inexperienced, complacent and brash billionaire. The article further stated that China is prepared to engage in a long-term struggle on the Taiwan question with the US, and added that the one-China policy is the political foundation of bilateral ties and that it is "nonnegotiable." Taiwanese officials and media also demonstrated mixed reactions. Some were euphoric and said US-Taiwan relations will be consolidated and witness more high-level exchanges during Trump's presidency. Some analysts were skeptical and felt that the US would use Taiwan as a bargaining chip for economic gains. Trump's coming to power in the US has created additional problems in the already volatile China-Taiwan relations. After
South China Sea. China has already alienated Taiwan in the international arena but after Tsai's election and Trump's phone call, it has begun building additional pressure on countries that recognize Taiwan as the Republic of China. In December 2016, São Tomé and Príncipe switched their diplomatic allegiance to Beijing, to which China's foreign ministry responded, stating that "China expresses appreciation of this, and welcomes São Tomé back onto the correct path of the 'one China' principle." Even after this tense situation, the US invited a Taiwanese delegation to attend Donald Trump's oath taking ceremony despite Chinese pressure. Former Taiwanese Premier Yu Shyi-kun led the delegation and said that the Trump administration posed more
of an opportunity than a challenge for Taiwan, adding that the nation should take the opportunity to improve relations with the US. The delegation visited think tanks including the Washingtonbased American Institute In Taiwan, and met with members of the US Senate and House of Representatives to convey Taiwan's ideas and sincerity regarding the development of bilateral relations. However, on 10 February, Trump stumped everyone again by taking a U-turn on the 'One China Policy'. People's Daily (RenminRibao) elaborated on this and said that Trump called China's President Xi Jinping and reaffirmed the US' policy of accepting the 'One China Policy' and that Xi thanked Trump for accepting the core principle that was the basis of Washington-Beijing relations. During the conversation, both promised to work towards the enhancement of communication and cooperation to further strengthen the relationship. Chinese official media, especially Global Times, did not shy away from taking a jibe at Trump and stated that "Trump has stopped openly challenging China's core interests, and instead showed respect to Beijing. The change creates an impression that Trump is learning about his role in the realm of Sino-US ties. He's now sending a new message that he does not want to be a disruptor of the Sino-US relations." This change in Trump's rhetoric on China indicates that the US will never sacrifice its relations with China for Taiwan and US diplomats too understand that a secure and confident Taiwan is better able to constructively engage Beijing. Thus, Trump's team must have convinced him not to challenge Beijing on this issue that might lead to direct friction between US, China and Taiwan. Uncertainties still loom in the US-China relationship but they will be about specific interests and not on the 'One China policy'. The US-Taiwan relationship under Trump remains uncertain in terms of upgradation but certain in terms of continuation. The writer is Doctoral Candidate, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi; and President, Taiwan Alumni Association in India
India Post Indian democracy A
n unsought praise for Indian democracy has come, from of all the people, the new Army Chief of Pakistan. General Qamar Javed Bajwa reportedly told senior officers recently: "Read an American academic's book on how India has succeeded in keeping the military out of politics". Averring the army has no business trying to run the government, Bajwa urged the officers to read Army and Nation: The Military and Indian Democracy since Independence, written by Steven I Wilkinson, the Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies at Yale University. The 2015 book explores how and why India has succeeded in keeping its military out of politics when other countries have failed. It uncovers the command and control strategies, the careful ethnic balancing, and the political, foreign policy, and strategic decisions that have made the army safe for Indian democracy. This is a rare open admission coming from our neighborhood where officially everyone in Pakistan is supposed to hate India. In fact Pakistan abounds in secret admirers of India. Notice how the ban against Indian movies could not continue and the people of Pakistan have forced a decision to resume showing Indian movies. This is what hits them the hardest -Being deprived of their Bollywood staple. For some it would be a surprise that most Pakistani newspapers run special section on Indian movies and actors and also detail gossip about them. Such contradictory behavior becomes even more obtuse when Pakistani Islamist fundamentalists, through their agents, force closer of cinemas in Kashmir, stop entertainments and force women to remain indoors and fully covered up. A Pakistani youth may have Virat Kohli as his hero but someone admitting to admiring Kohli in Kashmir is in danger of a bullet from the militants. Back home however we may not be totally happy about Indian democracy. The ability of politicians to fool the people and bribe them is once again evident in the ongoing elections in Indian states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has struck a blow at dubious election funding by announcing a cap on cash spending. However the most important aspect of election finance reform is to shift the focus from limiting campaign expenses to rigidly enforcing the legitimacy and traceability of the money trail. Modi has also mooted the idea of state funding of elections and also combining the state and Central elections together. Presently, elections continue all the year round in India, leaving little time for legislators to do serious work. Also, of interest to many in the world, even to Pakistan, India is an experiment in living together of many religions, many communities. Newspapers may be full of religious enmity and community wars, but on the ground, where the majority of the population lives, there is an element of tolerance and brotherhood which doesn't get reported and which is normal and not sensational. Indian actress of French origin Kalki Koechlin has produced an Indo-Pak documentary, Azmaish, together with Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar. In an interview she says, "The project made us wonder if we are looking for a religious identity in India now, and what that did to Pakistan. I am happy to report that most Indians are still fairly secular. More than ever now, the two countries need to continue cultural exchange and constant debate." Certain issues of concern about India have been brought out in a review of a recent book 'Hegel's India: A Reinterpretation with Texts.' Friedrich Hegel's was a German philosopher severely critical about India. However, according to the reviewer, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Hegel wrote extensively on India and argued about it "with an intensity that displayed more seriousness of purpose than most superficial admirers of Indian philosophy." One of his observations was: "How could a civilization, in a way capable of such intellectual and aesthetic radicalism, produce a stultifying social order." This indeed is a point to ponder!
February 17, 2017
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February 17, 2017
Voice of Indians Worldwide