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Hindu temple vandalized with hate message Details on page 6

Indian-origin scientist gets research award Details on page 6

Bloomberg signs pact with India on smart cities Details on page 22

Infosys to buy US automation tech firm Panaya Details on page 25

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Are Indian Americans being treated as Blacks? Last week’s result

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VOL 20, No. 1066

February 20, 2015

50¢

Periodical Postage

COP HELD FOR BRUTALLY ASSAULTING INDIAN

ABDUL SIDDIQUI

Modi promises to act against religious violence Details on page 7

Modi, Sirisena sign civil nuclear pact

CHICAGO: Members of Indian community across USA and Chicago are aghast at the highly barbaric treatment that Madison-Alabama police meted out to a newly immigrated Indian from Gujarat, Sureshbhai Patel, when he was walking on the sidewalk near his son's residence in the city of Huntsvile. Patel was severely injured by a City Police Officer Eric Parker who was later arrested after strong protest from Patel family and community members at large. Parker is alleged to have slammed Patel to the ground, leaving him temporarily paralyzed. A video released by the Department seems to confirm the views entertained by Indian Americans in Madison and other parts of the country.

Details on page 8

Indian-American shot dead in his liquor shop Details on page 7

India-born Punit Renjen to be Deloitte CEO Details on page 22

Details on page 5

CONTENTS

India protests to U.S.

Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 48 Community Post -------------- 16-21 Date Book -------------------------- 27

NEW DELHI: The Indian government here summoned senior US diplomats to register a protest over the incident. The foreign ministry asked the US mission to ensure expeditious investigations into the case and to share details of action taken. Details on page 5

Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 32-35 Horoscope ------------------------- 49 Immigration Post ------------- 44-46 Life Style ----------------------- 50-52 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 30-31 TechBiz Post ------------------- 22-27

RACISM RIFE: Sureshbhai Patel in hospital and (inset) the offending cop Eric Parker

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


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t was not meant to be Sureshbhai Patel's fate. This 57-year-old visiting Indian, who is lying partially paralyzed in hospital owing to excessive force used by an Alabama police officer, would not have suffered the injury and indignity if his skin hadn't been dark. But then, maybe, that's the fate dark skinned men in certain parts of this country are meant to suffer. Because, when a neighbor called 911 to report a suspicious looking man walking the neighborhood, he described him as a "skinny, Black" guy. Of course the police officers who confronted Sureshbhai following that call, should have known better than to think that. So, if we were to forget for a moment that Sureshbhai was an Indian, it could well have been a repeat of Ferguson, Missouri. And therein lies the story of current day America. I wonder if some sociologist is trying to read into what is happening in our country with regard to race relations. Maybe the color of the skin as the dividing shade between communities never really faded away. But has the divide been growing while systemic powers have been in denial of it or have they simply been ignoring it? These questions are important for us in the Indian American community. Because, just like Sikh Americans, mistaken as they are for Arabs, continue to face hate crimes, South Asians in general will continue to be mistaken for Blacks. Let me hasten to add how sad the situation really is because it reflects on what the Blacks - as also many an innocent Arab - in America perhaps go through day on day. The Hindu American Foundation says it is working with the Department of Justice to develop a Hinduism 101 training for first responders intended to improve cultural competency of police officers to avoid such incidents in future. Not to offend the HAF, which does great advocacy work, but such efforts are merely like putting band aid on a festering wound. Really, if race relations depended on simply sensitizing the law enforcement authorities, then all of America should have been blind to skin color by now.

Romesh K Japra rkjapra@indiapost.com

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Sardar superhero Jacqueline Fernandez who plays classical dancer in Turbanator is training to be in step with flying Sardar Tiger Shroff

Cover Story: Brutal assault Newly immigrated Indian from Gujarat, Sureshbhai Patel, was severely assaulted by City Police Officer Eric Parker

Community: Fundraiser for Wilson A group of Indian Americans hosted a fundraiser for Chicago Mayoral candidate Dr Willie Wilson at Hema's Kitchen

Colorado showdown The Colorado Legislature moved closer to a partisan showdown over granting driver's licenses to immigrants

Life style: Yoga record A 29-year-old Indian yoga teacher in Hong Kong has set a Guinness World Record for performing Yoga for 40 hours

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Biggest challenge The biggest challenge for the country is to help talented young people fulfill their aspirations, says SBI Chairperson

Agra Agra thrives as one of the tourist destinations in India with historical monuments and grand architectural grandeur

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Cop held for brutally assaulting Indian ABDUL SIDDIQUI

CHICAGO: Members of Indian community across USA and Chicago are aghast at the highly barbaric treatment that Madison-Alabama police meted out to a newly immigrated Indian from Gujarat, Sureshbhai Patel, when he was walking on the sidewalk near his son's residence in the city of Huntsvile. Patel was severely injured by a City Police Officer Eric Parker who was later arrested after strong protest from Patel family and community members at large. Parker is alleged to have slammed Patel to the ground, leaving him temporarily paralyzed. A video released by the Department seems to confirm the views entertained by Indian Americans in Madison and other parts of the country. Members of the Indian community have dubbed the incident as evidence that use of force by police is an issue that extends beyond people who are poor or African-American. "It can happen to

violence on the part of officers, he added. Responding to the growing pressure, Police Chief Larry Muncey in Madison said that he recommended that Parker be fired for his use of force against a man who committed no crime, did not speak English and could not understand the commands. He added that the Officer Parker's actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department. Suresh Shah of United Senior Pariwar condemned in strong terms the inhuman treatment meted out to an Indian senior. He pleaded for strong action against the errant officer and mentioned that the Pariwar members have sent a message to the concerned police department to ensure the safety of seniors. Patel, 57, is native of Pij in Gujarat and had arrived in the US only a week before the incident occurred. His son Chirag Patel, an

Patel, 57, is native of Pij in Gujarat and had arrived in the US only a week before the incident occurred. His son Chirag Patel, an engineer, flew him from the small Indian town of Pij to live with them in Huntsville, a suburban town next to Madison, an affluent neighborhood anyone," said Sohan Joshi, president of National Federation of Indian Associations. The law officers should be careful and understanding that language barrier may cause miscommunication but that should not provoke extreme

month-old son who was premature and developmentally delayed, said Henry F. Sherrod, a civil rights

Unable to communicate with Patel, the officers began patting him down before they claimed the

A dash cam video shows Eric Parker and a trainee officer allegedly throwing Sureshbhai Patel to the ground when responding to a call about the elderly man walking around

attorney from Florence, Alabama. Patel was said to be walking on the sidewalk and not acting suspiciously. He was stopped by two

man put his hands in his pockets and slammed him to the ground, according to Sherrod. The attack left him bleeding from the face, paralyzed and in need of surgery to fuse two vertebrae. He remained hospitalized for over a

The family has decided to file suit for damages, including Patel's medical bills, which will likely be in excess of $100,000 dollars even if he makes a full recovery. Sherrod, who visited Patel at the hospital, said Sureshbhai had regained movement of his arms but was not yet able to grip with his hands. He also regained limited use of his left leg, but his right remained paralyzed. In addition to damages, the family is suing to obtain audio and video evidence taken by the police officers during the incident. It had not been released to the public because the Madison police department said the recordings were evidence in the investigation. Chief Larry R. Muncey of the Madison Police Department replying to an email, said: "Thank you for taking the time to email our department and share your concerns. As the Chief of Police and community member, I am equally concerned about the incident. I have instructed the Office of Professional Standard's Lieutenant to

In addition to damages, the family is suing to obtain audio and video evidence taken by the police officers during the incident. It had not been released to the public because the Madison police department said the recordings were evidence in the investigation

Sureshbhai Patel’s son Chirag Patel

engineer, flew him from the small Indian town of Pij to live with them in Huntsville, a suburban town next to Madison, an affluent neighborhood. He had come to help his son and daughter-in-law with their 17-

Madison police officers who said they were responding to a suspicious person call. When the officers began to question him, Patel said "no English" and "India" as he tried to point to his son's house and repeated the house number.

week. The two police officers involved were white and only one of the two policemen was responsible for the injuries, it is learnt. Madison police issued a statement on Monday February 9 saying that the officer responsible for Patel's injuries has been suspended and that they were investigating his use of force.

conduct a thorough investigation into the entire incident. I understand everyone's desire for immediate action, but that would be reckless, and could potentially lead to injustice. I respectfully request your patience while we investigate this incident. When the investigation is complete, we will be open and transparent with our findings."

India protests to US NEW DELHI: A day after news broke out that a 57-yearold Indian had been left partially paralyzed on being brutally assaulted by police in Alabama, the government here summoned senior US diplomats to register a protest over the incident. The foreign ministry asked the US mission to ensure expeditious investigations into the case and to share details of action taken.

"We expressed concern at what appears from media reports as the excessive use of force by police," MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. "Consulate general in Atlanta is in touch with Madison police chief and is providing all necessary consular assistance," he added. Sureshbhai Patel, who was visiting his son in Alabama, was left partially paralyzed when a police officer forced him to the ground

after receiving report of a "suspicious person" looking into the garages of several homes. Patel's family said he was walking down the sidewalk in the neighborhood when he was stopped by the police. Since he did not know English, he was unable to respond to the questions asked by the police except for saying "no English" and in between he put his hand in one of his pockets.-PTI

Sureshbhai Patel’s wife Shakuntalaben


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Hindu temple vandalized with hate message WASHINGTON: A Hindu temple has been vandalized with hate message and swastika spraypainted on its wall in the US state of Washington, the latest incident that has shocked the community. The incident happened when unidentified miscreants sprayed swastika and painted "Get Out" on one of the walls of the temple in the Seattle Metropolitan area. It is one of the largest Hindu temples in the entire North West. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident as malicious harassment. Top county officials have visited the temple. "This kind of thing should not happen in the US. Who are you telling to get out? This is a nation of immigrants," Nitya Niranjan, chairman of board of trustee of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Bothell, Washington told PTI. Niranjan said some kind of painting was sprayed on the outside wall of the temple a few years ago, but they did not bring it to the notice of the law enforcement authorities as nothing was written. "We have no idea, who did it,"

Niranjan said. Skyview Junior High, a block away, was also tagged with a swastika and the words, 'Muslims Get Out'. While the temple has been

there for nearly two decades, the construction on the second phase of the current building began recently. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) condemned the incident.

"The timing of this crime, occurring before a major Hindu festival, warrants special attention from law enforcement," said Jay Kansara, director of Government Relations, Hindu American Foun-

dation. "We are encouraged by the ongoing thorough investigation of the Bothell City Police Department. HAF will continue to engage through the local community with city, state, and federal officials until the perpetrator is brought to justice," Kansara said. Of late there has been increasing incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples in the US including one in Loudoun County, Virginia and Monroe, Georgia last year. As of January 1, 2015, the Department of Justice ordered all crime reporting forms to include the category anti-Hindu under the possible motives of hate crimes. "Houses of worship are places where people should be able to be safe, at peace, and inspired to serve others," said Padma Kuppa, HAF board member. "Instead, the vandalism of the Hindu temple in Seattle and the arson of a mosque in Houston this past weekend incite fear and result in distrust among communities," he said. -PTI

Indian-origin scientist gets Indian-American shot dead in his liquor shop research award NEW YORK: An Indian-origin researcher has received a USD 500,000 award for developing data-driven modeling and learning techniques to improve the accuracy of operational decision making. Professor Srikanth Jagabathula, from the New York University Stern School of Business, was recently recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with its Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER). As part of this prestigious award, Jagabathula, an IIT Bombay alumnus, will receive a total of USD 500,000 over the next five years to further his research in developing datadriven modeling and learning techniques with the goal of improving the accuracy of operational decision making. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a highly competitive, Foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of edu-

cation and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. "We are proud of Professor Jagabathula's research and the recognition it has received from

Srikanth Jagabathula

the National Science Foundation," said Peter Henry, dean of NYU Stern. Jagabathula's research is expected to lead to easy-to-use techniques for a wide range of managerial decisions: the right prod-

ucts to design, the right products and prices to offer to customers, and the right quantity of each product to carry. Traditional approaches have focused either on selecting an appropriate model and fitting it to the data or on efficiently solving a decision problem when given the model, leaving the model selection itself to an expert. Neither approach scales to current retail applications, which are characterized by diverse demand patterns, products, and types of data (purchase transactions, clickstreams, browsing patterns, dwell times on products, etc.) Jagabathula's research will instead blend techniques from machine learning, statistics, and operations to design an approach that starts with a type of data (purchase transactions, click-streams, marketing studies, choice of insurance policies) and ends with an operational decision. The integrated approach will work "out-of-the-box" by automatically selecting a model customized to the data and the decision. -PTI

NEW YORK: A 28-year-old InAccording to close family dian-American, who was shot by friends, Amit was manning the unknown gunmen in his family- family's liquor store alone - his owned liquor father, who shop in the US, owned the store has succumbed was in the back to his injuries. office. Amit Patel "We don't from Edison know if it was a was shot and robbery, nokilled in New body knows. Jersey inside They were alone Roseway Lihere," Bimal quors in Patel, a family Irvington. friend, was When police quoted as sayarrived at the ing by nj.com. store, they The victim found Patel ingot married only jured from a a year ago. g u n s h o t Authorities wound. He was said they were later prolooking into Amit Patel nounced dead, whether the Acting Essex shooting may County Prosecutor Carolyn A have been the result of a robbery, Murray and Acting Irvington Po- but said it was too early in the inlice Director Musa Malik said in a vestigation to be sure. No arrests statement. have been made in the case. -PTI

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Modi promises to act against religious violence NEW DELHI: Breaking his silence on the recent church attacks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government will not allow any religious group to incite hatred and will strongly act against any religious violence. The Prime Minister, who has been accused by opposition and Christian groups of turning a blind eye to a string of recent attacks on five churches and a Christian school in Delhi, said his government "gives equal respect to all religions". "My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence. "My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions," he said at a function here. He was addressing the national

celebration function of the elevation to Sainthood of Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia at Vigyan Bhawan. In a stern warning to fringe elements, he said, "We cannot ac-

creasingly witnessing division and hostility on religious lines and the issue has become a matter of global concern, the Prime Minister said the ancient Indian plea of mutual respect for all faiths

cism and bloodshed". He further said that this harmonious convergence among religions could not be achieved even when the world entered the third millennium. Invoking Buddha and Ma-

tual respect and tolerance in the true spirit of the ancient nation which is manifest in the Constitution and in line with the Hague Declaration. Modi's remarks have come af-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the National Celebration of the Elevation to Sainthood of Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia, in New Delhi on February 17. Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla and other dignitaries are also seen

cept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard." Noting that the world is in-

is now beginning to manifest in global discourse. Observing that the world is at crossroads, he said if not crossed properly it "can throw us back to the dark days of bigotry, fanati-

hatma Gandhi, Modi said that equal respect for all religions must be in the DNA of every Indian. Seeking harmony, the Prime Minister appealed to all religious groups to act with restraint, mu-

ter US President Barack Obama said the "acts of intolerance" experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. -PTI


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Modi, Sirisena sign civil nuclear pact NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement which is seen as an effort by New Delhi to counter growing Chinese influence in the island nation. This is the first such deal signed by Sri Lanka with any foreign country, reflecting the new Lankan government's pro-India approach. The pact was signed after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who chose India for his maiden foreign visit after assuming charge following a bitter presidential poll. The two leaders also decided to expand defense and security cooperation between the two countries. According to the nuclear deal, India will assist Sri Lanka in developing its civil nuclear energy infrastructure, including sharing of resources, training of personnel and extending expertise. It will also facilitate cooperation in radioactive waste management and nuclear and radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection. India's ties with Sri Lanka had taken a hit during the rule of Sirisena's predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa as China had expanded its footprint in the country by building ports, highways and participating in other infrastructure projects.

"The bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is yet another demonstration of our mutual trust. This is the first such agreement Sri Lanka has signed," Modi said in a joint press interaction with Sirisena. Reflecting the growing momentum in ties, the Prime Minis-

format with the Maldives," he said. 63-year-old Sirisena, who had dethroned Rajapaksa from his 10year rule after a bitter presidential poll, has already indicated that he wants to have a closer relationship with India. Modi said they had "excellent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena giving media statement, during the Joint Press Interaction, in New Delhi on February 16

ernments," he said. Sources said the fishermen issue figured prominently in the talks. They said the Sri Lankan side conveyed to Indian side that that the deep sea fishing by Indian fishermen was impacting the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen. The sources said peace and reconciliation process in the island nation was also discussed in the meeting and the Sri Lankan side said as part of its outreach program, the government was returning 1,000 acres of "unused land" to Tamil people. The land belonging to Tamil community was taken by police. India has been hoping that the new Lankan government will develop ties on the "foundation of genuine and effective reconciliation" creating harmony among all sections there. India has also been pressing for implementation of 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. Sources said both Modi and Sirisena agreed that there was vast potential for expanding economic cooperation by implementing provisions of the Free Trade Agreement signed between the two countries in 2003. Cont’d on page 9

ter said, "I believe that our destinies are inter-linked. Our security and prosperity are indivisible." "We welcomed the progress in our maritime security cooperation, including in the trilateral

discussions" on bilateral relations and international issues. On the fishermen issue, Modi said he and the President attached the "highest importance" to it.

India, Lanka plan cooperation in health sector NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka have decided to expand bilateral cooperation in health sector and resolve outstanding issues amicably through mutual consultations.

"It affects livelihoods on both sides. We agreed that there must be a constructive and humanitarian approach to the issue. "We will encourage the fishermen's associations on both sides to meet again soon. They should find a solution that can be taken forward by both gov-

This was decided during a meeting between the Union Health Minister J P Nadda and Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Government of Sri Lanka.

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Jagat Prakash Nadda meeting the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka, Rajitha Senaratne to discuss the enhanced cooperation in health care, in New Delhi on February 16

Nadda shared with his Sri Lankan counterpart that India has taken a series of steps to prevent and contain the threat from Ebola virus and underlined the need for cooperation between the two countries to guard against infectious disease threats. He also underscored the need for expanding bilateral cooperation in the area of health, including traditional medicines, through formal MoUs on health cooperation and hoped that these could be finalized and signed at the earliest. Nadda noted that the relations between India and Sri Lanka is unique and based upon shared historical, cultural, ethnic and civilizational ties and extensive people-to-people interaction as he extended an invitation to Senaratne to attend the next SAARC Health Ministers' Meeting at New Delhi.-PTI

India, Lanka to enhance cooperation in oil, gas NEW DELHI: India and Sri Lanka have agreed to explore avenues for enhancing cooperation in oil and gas sector. This was agreed during when visiting Sri Lankan Minister for Power Patali Champika Ranawaka

here. Separately, a delegation led by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change of United Kingdom Baroness Verma met Pradhan to discuss bilateral cooperation in oil

Minister of Power, Sri Lanka, Patali Champika Ranawaka meeting the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge), Dharmendra Pradhan, in New Delhi on February 16

met Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to discuss bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sector. "The two Ministers reviewed the existing cooperation between the two countries on hydrocarbon sector. It was agreed that all avenues must be explored to enhance the relationship in this sector," an official statement said

and gas sector between India and United Kingdom. "She mentioned that some UK companies have already invested in India and UK Government was exploring how the Indian market could grow and be more competitive, thus encouraging other UK companies to invest in India," a separate official statement said. -PTI


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3 Indians in 100 shortlisted for one way trip to Mars LONDON: Three Indians, two women and one man, have made it to the list of 100 applicants who will move on to the next round of an ambitious private mission that aims to send four people on a oneway trip to Mars in 2024. From the initial 202,586 applicants, only 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process, The Netherlands-based non-profit organization Mars One has announced. The project aims to set up a human colony on Mars and eventually around 40 people will be sent to the red planet on a permanent basis. The finalists will train for seven years and Mars One will begin sending out four at a time from 2024. The Mars 100 Round Three candidates include 50 men and 50 women with 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7

Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, Ritika Singh and Shradha Prasad. All images courtesy: www.mars-one.com

from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. The Indian candidates include 29-year-old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, who is studying Doctor-

ate in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. The other two are Ritika Singh, 29, who lives in Dubai, and

China 'happy' with India, Lanka friendly ties BEIJING: China reacted guardedly to new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's India visit, saying it is "happy to see" close and friendly relations between them and emphasized that sound ties among the three nations will be conducive to the entire region. "Sri Lanka and India are friendly and important neighbors to China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying told media here, commenting on Sirisena's visit to India and various agreements reached between the two countries. "We want to develop strategic cooperative partnership with India for peace and prosperity and want the same with Sri Lanka," she said. "Meanwhile, we are happy to see close and friendly development of India-Sri Lanka relations. We believe the sound relations among the three countries are conducive to the three countries and to the whole region. Therefore we are happy to see development of relations between Sri Lanka and India," she said. India's ties with Sri Lanka had taken a hit during the rule of Sirisena's predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa as China had expanded its footprint in the country by building ports, highways and participating in other infrastructure projects. After his visit to India, the new

Sri Lankan President will visit China next month for talks with the top leadership. Sirisena will arrive in China on March 26 to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia, a prestigious Chinese think tank, modeled on the 'Summer Davos' meet here, and will hold talks with President Xi Jinping. Ahead of Sirisena's visit, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Beijing on February 27-28 to make preparations for the President's visit. "Samaraweera is the first Minister to visit China since the new government took office. The two sides pay great attention to this visit. During his visit Chinese leaders will meet him and foreign minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him," Hua said. Stressing that Sri Lanka is China's friendly neighbor for a long time, she said, "The bilateral relations are founded on solid

President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena and his wife Jayanthi Sirisena being welcomed by President, Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the Ceremonial Reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on February 16

political, economic and social basis. Since the new government of Sri Lanka took office the two countries maintained close contacts and communication at highlevel." "Through this visit we hope to exchange in-depth views on the future development of bilateral relation in the new era, map out high-level mutual visits and cooperation in various fields and further advance the strategic cooperative partnership featuring sincere interaction and long-lasting friendship and bring more benefits to the people of the two nations," she said. -PTI

Shradha Prasad, 19, from Kerala. The second round of the application process last year had shortlisted 44 Indians, of whom

27 were men and 17 were women. The third round has selected 100 candidates from a pool of 660 after they participated in personal online interviews with Norbert Kraft, Chief Medical Officer. During the interviews the candidates had a chance to show their understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of the life changing expedition. "We were impressed with how many strong candidates participated in the interview round, which made it a very difficult selection," said Kraft. The next selection rounds will focus on composing teams that can endure all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars. The candidates will receive their first shot at training in the copy of the Mars Outpost on Earth and will demonstrate their suitability to perform well in a team. -PTI

Modi, Sirisena sign civil nuclear pact Cont’d from page 8

"President and I are committed to unlock the vast potential of our economic cooperation. We are pleased to be Sri Lanka's largest trading partner. I know that India enjoys a huge trade surplus. I expressed my support for a more balanced growth in trade in both directions," Modi said. He said India was ready to promote greater flow of Indian investments and tourists into Sri Lanka. "Our commerce secretaries will meet soon to review our bilateral commercial relations. We also intend to further improve air and sea connectivity between India and

Sri Lanka," he said. The two countries also signed three other agreements, including one on cooperation in the field of agriculture and another to enable Sri Lanka to participate in the Nalanda University Project. The Sri Lankan President expressed happiness over the outcome of the talks and said the friendship between the two countries was not only important to each other but was significant for the region as well. "I really appreciate Prime Minister Modi's efforts (to improve ties). Relations between the two countries will be strengthened further," he said. -PTI


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Keep public interest topmost: Modi to IAS officers

IAS Probationers called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on February 16. Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/ C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh is also seen

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked IAS probationers to keep public interest foremost while discharging their official duties and responsibilities and said the officers should judge themselves by what difference they made to the life the poor. He also said the assured career path should not make the IAS officers complacent. "They should judge themselves not by the posts they hold but by what difference they have been able to make in the lives of the poor," an official release said quoting Modi. He was addressing 183 probationers, including three from the Bhutan Civil Service, who called on him. The Prime Minister said many of the services offered by government today are also offered by the private sector and emphasized that officers handling such services in the government should judge the quality of their service using the yardstick of the best in that category and even by international standards. In response to a question on the development of the North-East and ending the sense of alienation in the region, the Prime Minister said that the core problem is not with policy (neeti) but with practice (reeti). He said at times, officers from other parts of the country even tried to avoid a posting in the North-East. Modi emphasized the need for infrastructure development in the North-East to improve accessibility and connectivity with other parts of India. "Once infrastructure

‘They should judge themselves not by the posts they hold but by what difference they have been able to make in the lives of the poor,’ an official release said quoting Modi develops, the North-East will be able to progress," he said. Responding to another question on defense preparedness, the PM said a multipronged approach is essential, which involves good relations with all neighboring countries and a boost to domestic defense manufacturing capabilities. Modi said while bureaucracy had existed even during the British rule. "The key difference was that officers of that era worked to perpetuate the rule of the British while in independent India, the objective of administration should be the public interest," Modi said. Pointing out the teachings of Lord Buddha, the Prime Minister urged the probationers to "light the lamp within you." "It is the inherent goodness that is present in all human beings, which will be the best guide for them in their career," he said. Modi said he is of the firm view that the 21st century will be India's century and India will rise to the position of "Vishva Guru." In this context, he said that the world had once again started taking note of India's rapid economic growth rate. -PTI


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India-UK centers to minimize antibiotics abuse LONDON: A new multi-million pound India-UK collaboration will fund three new global centers to focus on research into antibiotics and tackling major world health problems. The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and India's Department for Biotechnology (DBT) have joined forces to fund three such centers. The two centers are the Cam-

pounds will be invested by the UK through the MRC and the Newton Fund, with matched funding provided by DBT. "These exciting partnerships between excellent scientists in India and the UK is a key part of our international effort to pool expertise and resources and deliver research that will make a real difference to global health," said Dr Mark Palmer, MRC director of

In partnership with the University of Sheffield, University of Bradford and L V Prasad Eye Institute, the new centre will establish smart materials for the detection and targeted delivery of antibiotics for eye infections and promote use of new technologies in other infective diseases bridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis in Chennai and UKIndia Centre for Advanced Technology for minimizing the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics in Hyderabad. The third centre is MRC-DBT Joint Centre for Cancer Biology & Therapeutics in Bangalore. Using high quality research teams based in the UK and India, two of the centers will focus on research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the third on cancer biology. Nearly 3.5 million

international strategy. The centers will take a global perspective in tackling some of the largest global health problems and foster the next generation of researchers with specialist skills. The Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis will involve a team of international researchers, from across a number of disciplines, to develop new diagnostic tools and new treatments to address the sharp rise in cases of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

The UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimizing the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics (UKICAT-MA) will focus on finding solutions to excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics. In partnership with the University of Sheffield, University of Bradford and L V Prasad Eye Institute, the new centre will establish smart materials for the detection and targeted delivery of antibiotics for eye infections and promote use of new technologies in other infective diseases. The third global centre named MRC-DBT Joint Centre for Cancer Biology & Therapeutics will link the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge with the National Centre for Biological Sciences to foster research on cancer biology and therapy in India. Prof K Vijay Raghavan, secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, said: "India is committed to working with the best in the world, for India and for the world. We are acutely aware that the fruits of our partnership can mean better lives for the most needy everywhere and are committed to make the collaboration succeed." The Newton Fund is a new initiative which will enable the UK to use its research and innovation to promote the economic development and social welfare of 15 partner countries.-PTI

Devotees standing in a queue to offer prayers on the occasion of Mahashivratri at Shankaracharya temple in Srinagar on February 17

Airbus pact with Bengaluru firm for flap-track beams NEW DELHI: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has signed an agreement with India's Dynamatic Technologies, making the Bengaluru-based company the single source supplier of flaptrack beams for the wide-body A330 Family planes. Airbus had last year in May selected the Indian firm as the sole supplier of flap-track beams. The agreement is the largest manufacturing contract between Airbus and a private sector company in India and elevates Dynamatic to a global tier-1 sup-

statement. "Dynamatic is proud of its partnership with Airbus, who have invested considerably in development, training, tooling and quality systems and worked closely with us to establish advanced manufacturing capabilities in India, which is truly in consonance with the Make in India program," Udayant Malhoutra, CEO and Managing Director, Dynamatic Technologies Limited, said. Describing India as one of the fastest aviation growth markets in the world which will be one of the

Vice-President of Procurement Airbus Global Oliver Cauquil (L) with Airbus India MD Srinivasan Dwarkanath (C) and Udayanth Malhotra, CEO, Dynamatic Technologies after signing contract, in Bengaluru

plier, the European firm said. Dynamatic has manufactured flap-track beam assemblies for Airbus' single-aisle A320 family on a global single source basis as a Tier-2 supplier, since 2010. In phase one of the agreement, Dynamatic will assemble all the flap-track beams from its Bengaluru facility. In the second phase, Dynamatic will be responsible for the entire supply chain for the flap-track including sourcing materials, manufacturing and final assembly. With this new business award Dynamatic will be established as a centre of excellence for the production of flap-track beams, the company said in a

largest in the next 20 years, Airbus said its industrial partnerships in India span across engineering, manufacturing, R&T and services. "Airbus partnership with Dynamatic signifies our commitment towards developing the aerospace supply chain in India thereby supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs in India," Srinivasan Dwarakanath, Managing Director of Airbus India, said. Through these partnerships, we can proudly claim that there's a bit of Made in India in all our aircraft programs, he said. The Airbus' sourcing from India last year was worth more than USD 400 million. -PTI


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NCP leader R. R. Patil passes away MUMBAI: Senior NCP leader Raosaheb Ramrao Patil, better known as R R Patil or 'Aaba', was a quintessential grass root politician who rose up the political ladder in Maharashtra due to his integrity and honesty. Patil, born on August 16, 1957 into a family with modest means at Anjani in Tasgaon tehsil of Sangli district in western Maharashtra, started off as a student leader while studying law and debuted in politics as Zilla Parishad member. Known as 'Mr Clean', his good organizational skills and ability to identify with rural issues and sensibilities helped his remarkable political journey which peaked when he became the Deputy Chief Minister. However, his sometimes casual off-the-cuff statements before the electronic media, and the controversial decision to ban the dance bars, dogged his career as the home minister. Initially a protĂŠgĂŠ of the late Vasantdada Patil, R R found a mentor in Sharad Pawar, who was then in Congress. Inducted for the first time in the Democratic Front government in 1999 as the Rural Development Minister, Patil was assigned the home portfolio in 2003-end after Chhagan Bhujbal resigned in the wake of Telgi scam disclosures. He had earlier made his mark as Rural Development Minister by initiating a cleanliness campaign, Sant Gadgebaba Abhiyaan, in rural areas. After spending 11 years as ZP member, Patil was elected to Assembly for the first time in 1990 from Tasgaon on Congress ticket. He went on to win the seat five times. He stood out for his oratory while on the Opposition benches during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule (1995-99). He became the chief Whip of Congress in Maharashtra Assembly as well as Chairman of Public Accounts Committee in 1996-97 and 1998-99. When Pawar left Congress and formed NCP in 1999, Patil threw his lot with the Maratha strongman. He was subsequently rewarded and appointed NCP's Maharashtra unit chief.

His rural roots helped him identify the needs of the villages and democratize the functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions.

shehron mein choti choti batein hoti hai" - landed him in a soup. When asked at a press conference whether the terror strike was an

A huge crowd at the funeral procession of late NCP leader R R Patil in Tasgaon on February 17

However, as the home minister, his infamous comment in the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks - "bade bade

intelligence failure, Patil said, "It is not like that. In big cities like this, small incidents do happen. It's is not a total failure." -PTI

Delhi Police official to study facilities in FBI labs NEW DELHI: A senior Delhi Police official, who has carried the viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar to an FBI lab in the US, has been tasked with studying facilities in forensic labs there and also the working in police stations so that some practices can be replicated back in India. D e p u t y Commissioner of Police (South) Prem Nath, who is in Wa s h i n g t o n DC, will be staying there for a week and will not only study the system at FBI labs but also keenly see the way a police station works there and will then give a report to Delhi Police top brass so that the good practices can be followed here in the national capital. "Apart from delivering the exhibits to the FBI labs, he was asked that he should also study

UN official uses India map without parts of J&K NEW DELHI: An incorrect map to you that the state of J&K is of Jammu and Kashmir was pre- incorrectly displayed which was sented by a top UN official at a not at all our focus or purpose." water summit here to discuss the Coates made the presentation sanitation situation in India. at the opening session of the 'InThe territory of India border- dia Wash Summit' organized by ing Pakistan and China in Jammu the WaterAid, a global NGO workand Kashmir was not part of the map shown Chaudhary Birender Singh by Sue Coates, chief of WASH launched the three-day UNICEF India, 'India Wash Summit' along to tell the proportion of popu- with many dignitaries lation defecating including Coates by in open in the country. floating diyas in a vessel When contacted, a UN of- filled with water ficial said, "It was not at all intentional". ing to transform lives by improvLater, Caroline den Dulk Chief ing access to safe water, improved Communication, UNICEF India, hygiene and sanitation in the told PTI in an e-mail, "The map world's poorest communities. used for the purpose in from an The panelists of the opening article used by another organiza- session included bureaucrats, tion and is certainly not to-scale. social activists, academicians and Therefore it may have appeared bank representatives.

They discussed some of the opportunities and challenges in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in India, focusing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Swacch Bharat Mission. Coates completed the presen-

tation just few minutes ahead of arrival of Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh. Singh launched the three-day 'India Wash Summit' along with many dignitaries including Coates by floating diyas in a vessel filled with water. -PTI

the systems at the FBI lab and in case we can replicate some of them, which are not available in India so that will be useful for our police forces," said Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.

Sunanda Pushkar

52-year-old Sunanda was found dead in her suite at a five star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after she was involved in a spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over the latter's alleged affair with her husband Shashi Tharoor. Police had on January 1 filed a murder case and formed an SIT to probe the case. Her viscera samples have been sent to an FBI lab to determine the kind of poison that caused Sunanda's death. An AIIMS report had said that the poison cannot be detected in Indian labs. Showering rich praise on the officer, Bassi said that Prem Nath is "one of our most competent" officers. He was instrumental in the arrangements in the Commonwealth Games. "He had gone abroad and studied systems there and was able to bring back information about good practices. So we expect him to bring back information on areas where we are lacking so that we can add those systems in our forensic science labs also," he said. Nath has also been asked to study the systems and processes of one important police station in Washington and see what good practices are prevalent there which can be replicated in our police stations also, he added. Asked if Tharoor would be questioned again in the case, Bassi said, "We have questioned him in detail. It will now be analyzed by the SIT and if we will need any clarification that will be sought. -PTI


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UK academic plans 'Mahabharata' Twitter sequel LONDON: A UK-based Indian academic, who has retold the ancient Sanskrit epic 'Mahabharata' in a series of tweets, is now preparing for a sequel to the Twitter version, this time from the perspective of its key villain Duryodhana. Chindu Sreedharan, a former war reporter-turned-journalism lecturer at Bournemouth University on the south coast of England, began narrating the Indian epic on the microblogging site as a digital storytelling experiment in 2009. The story spanned four years and 2,700 tweets and his efforts were released in December as India's first Twitter fiction novel titled 'Epic Retold.' The 41-year-old author says he is now taking a "breather" before embarking on a sequel to the epic. With over 100,000 couplets or shlokas, 'Mahabharata' is one of the two epics of Hinduism. It teaches the goal of human life through the tales of a dynastic struggle for power between the Kauravas and the righteous Pandavas. The sequel to 'Epic Retold' would present the eldest Kaurava brother as an anti-hero and would be shorter than the first version. "Towards the end of 'Epic Retold,' particularly because of the way certain things have been

the warring Kauravas and Pandavas. The twitter version of the 'Mahabharata' began as an experiment that soon took on a life of its own.

their TV sets. Even today, politicians often invoke the Sanskrit epic during election campaigns to identify themselves as one of the Pandava

He explains: "This began as an experiment with Twitter, which still continues. It's a story I have always been fascinated by, something I have grown up with. But also, when I began this experiment I happened to be reading a fascinating retelling of the 'Mahabharata.' So it was the story foremost in my mind. "When I began seriously thinking about it, I became more convinced that the 'Mahabharata' was a great choice. What I was attempting was fragmented storytelling, a narrative distributed across weeks, months. To keep readers interested across that timespan, I needed a power-

siblings, while calling their opponents the Duryodhana or his 99 brothers.-PTI

What I was attempting was fragmented storytelling, a narrative distributed across weeks, months. To keep readers interested across that timespan, I needed a powerful story, a story rife with drama and strong characters reimagined, I began to see Duryodhana differently. I could see his point of view. 'Epic Retold' was Bhima's 'truth'. This will be Duryodhana's," Sreedharan told PTI. The final format of the sequel is under discussion with the publisher but it will be a short story rather than a novel and this time the full draft will be ready before he starts tweeting it out. "'Epic Retold' was written on Twitter, kind of in real time - so it was quite challenging. I am hoping to catch my breath before I start it [sequel], so it is all still a few months away," Sreedharan said. The academic, who has reported on the Kashmir conflict, the Kargil war, and the Maoist People's War guerrilla movement, was drawn to the 'Mahabharata' due to the conflict at the heart of

ful story, a story rife with drama and strong characters and conflict. 'Mahabharata' had all those. "Also, war narration in the media is one of my research areas and in a rather reductionist way, I had begun to think of the 'Mahabharata' as a war story. So there was that added resonance for me as an academic as well." As the story went out from his @epicretold Twitter handle, it lived up to his vision as a timeless and universal epic that would connect with a global audience. He feels its success lies in the richness of the original Sanskrit poem written over 100,000 couplets and layers of meanings. The appeal of the Mahabharata can be gauged by the fact that when it was first adapted into a television series in the 1980s, streets emptied out during its telecast, with most Indians hooked to

'India can counter any threat from Pak' Lt Gen Singh PATIALA: India is fully pre- in technology part as far as trainpared to counter any threat from ing part of its troops. its neighboring country Pakistan, He was here to inaugurate a a senior Army officer said here. day-long national seminar-cumWestern Command General penal discussion on '50 years of Officer in Commanding (GOC) Lt Indo-Pak war 1965: A retrospecGen K J Singh tion'. asserted that He also "India is fully shared his view prepared to regarding Indocounter any Pak war 1965. threat from its In his keyneighboring note address, country PakiMaj Gen B S stan". Grewal (Retd) Talking to said that war is media persons not a balance Lt Gen K J Singh here, he said sheet, but it is that "Even more a concern though we both (India and Paki- with high-valued territories and stan) have nuclear capabilities, Line of Control (LOC). but India is far better from PakiHe also paid tributes to Major stan in every field". Bhupinder Singh for his contribuHe claimed that India is ahead tion in 1965 Indo-Pak war. -PTI


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Modi's dig at AAP over reduced power bills NEW DELHI: In an apparent dig at AAP over its poll pledge to reduce power bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondered how such promises could be made by political parties in states which are dependent on electricity supply from outside. "During every election, political parties promise free power...People need to think about these promises," said Modi at a renewable energy conference here. The parties make these prom-

manifesto had promised to cut electricity bills by half among other freebies. Delhi has a power demand of about 5,000 MW and is largely dependent on other states to meet its requirements. Reacting to Modi's apparent dig at AAP, senior party leader and AAP's Delhi Convener Ashutosh urged the Prime Minister to help the state government to make power affordable. "I don't want to make any adverse comment on the Prime Min-

The Congress slammed Modi saying there is a huge gap between what the Prime Minister preaches and practices. "He should look within. The Prime Minister should direct that question to (Punjab chief minister) Sardar Prakash Singh Badal to whom they gave a Padma Vibhushan ises in such states who rely on electricity supply from other states, he added. "Water accounts for a major chunk of the input cost of farmers. The cost of water is basically due to cost of power. We have to understand the problems farmers are facing," said Modi. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP trounced the BJP in Delhi assembly polls. The party in its election

ister. I just want to make a request to him on behalf of the party that he should help us to make electricity affordable and cheaper because that will do a lot of good to the people of Delhi and I hope that he also wants goodness of people of state," he said. AAP leader Ashish Khetan, who played a crucial role in chalking out party's agenda to solve the power problem in the national

capital, said the previous governments neither promoted solar energy nor did they have any good policy of any alternate source of energy. "When coal-based energy is concerned we have to depend on states like Chattisgarh, Jharkhand among others. Secondly, power plants of the country, though may be located in other states they produce electricity for the whole country. "Reducing power tariff and bringing in reforms in the power sector is a different issue and linking it to power production is quite weird," he said. The Congress slammed Modi saying there is a huge gap between what the Prime Minister preaches and practices. "He should look within. The Prime Minister should direct that question to (Punjab chief minister) Sardar Prakash Singh Badal to whom they gave a Padma Vibhushan. Because after all the Akalis have been the pioneers of politics of free power. "Even as we speak there is an Akali-BJP government in Punjab and power to the farmers is free. So, is PM Narendra Modi going to advice the BJP in Punjab to take it up with the Akali Dal or in the Cabinet that power tariff should be imposed on Punjab farmers," senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said. -PTI

Malaysia eyes 8,00,000 tourists from India MUMBAI: Malaysia, which has declared 2015 as the year of festivals (MyFest 2015), is planning to spend more than USD 5 million on promotions to attract close to 8,00,000 travelers from India to visit the South Asian country this year. "India has always been an important market for us. It has consistently been one of the top 10 tourist generating markets to the country, and has continuously made significant contributions to our tourist arrivals and tourist receipts," Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Seri Mohamed Abdul Aziz said here. With 165 direct flights from various destinations in India per week, travel to Malaysia has become very convenient and the country is expecting to welcome close to 800,000 Indian guests this year, he added.

From January-October 2014, Malaysia had registered 6,43,335 Indian tourists, which is a 20.7 per cent increase 5,32,964 over the same period in 2013. With the World Travel and

Petronas Towers

Tourism Council (WTTC) predicting India to be the third fastest generator of travel and tourism demand from 2010-2019 with an annualized growth of 8.2 per cent,

promotions to the Indian tourists is high on the agenda, the minister said. Malaysia will be spending more than USD 5 million on marketing and promotions in India, which will include the tier II and III cities. The sales mission also aims to strengthen the presence of Malaysia in the South Asian market, and to keep India's travel trade, media and corporate sector updated on the current issues and tourism development in Malaysia, especially during the MYFest campaign, he said. "We believe that there is a rise in disposable income in the smaller cities, where people are also keen to travel and explore. We want to tap this market by developing new and interesting packages," he added.-PTI

Nitish hails Shiv Sena for speaking 'truth' PATNA: Hailing Shiv Sena for speaking the "truth" on BJP's role in Bihar's present political situation, senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar today said several other parties had echoed the same. "Shiv Sena has spoken the truth about things going on in Bihar on the patronage of BJP leadership," Kumar told PTI in an exclusive interview. Shiv Sena taunted BJP over the issue of supporting Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi saying backing him would be a "sin" as it would be an endorsement of the "black era in politics". "Its not only Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress, BSP and others have also come out in open to flay BJP for triggering disturbance in Bihar to prepare ground for President rule," Kumar, who received telephone from BSP chief Mayawati last night, said. "JD(U) pre-empted the black deed of BJP in its new avatar and severed ties well in advance (in June 2013)," Kumar said in reply to a question on BJP's reported strained relationship with the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal now. "Shiv Sena which sided with BJP when nobody wanted to stand with them is being isolated by the present leadership of the saffron party," Kumar, who served as minister in NDA rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said.

"Shiv Sena was victimised by BJP before forming government with them in Maharashtra," he said, adding that the saffron party in its new avatar was "playing foul" against time tested allies crushing the model of coalition government presented by its vet-

Nitish Kumar

eran Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Referring to BJP's "hobnobbing" with NCP of Sharad Pawar, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during poll defined it as a "Naturally Corrupt Party" and used to mock at its symbol 'Watch' by showing time as 10:10 to say in 10 years its corrupt practices multiplied by ten times. "Vajpayeejee through his conduct and by giving respect held together all coalition partners...but today's BJP considers allies as followers," said Kumar who drove JD(U) to break ties with BJP after 17-year of partnership on June 2013.-PTI

Court adjourns hearing against bail to Lakhvi ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has adjourned for a month the hearing on the government's appeal against the bail granted to 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi by the trial court after his counsel sought more time for arguments. On December 18, 2014, the Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court granted bail to Lakhvi, who was allegedly involved in planning, financing and executing the deadly terror attack in November, 2008 in India's financial hub. The government in the first week of January had challenged the bail to Lakhvi in the Islamabad High Court. A two-member bench headed by Justice Shaukat Siddiqui subsequently took up the plea and

summoned Lakhvi for arguments. "In the hearing Raja Rizwan Abbasi, a counsel for Lakhvi, sought more time from the high court for arguments in the case. The court accepted his request and adjourned the hearing till second week of March," Prosecution Chief Chaudhry Azhar said after the hearing. The prosecution informed the court in its petition that the trial court ignored testimony in the case while granting bail to Lakhvi. Lakhvi has been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) till the second week of March. The IHC also dismissed the detention case after the government on February 13 issued a fresh detention order for Lakhvi.PTI


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Tallest Krishna Mandir being built in Vrindavan RUCHIT SHAH

VRINDAVAN, UP, India: Vrindavan, Lord Krishna's playground, will be turned into one of the biggest tourist attractions with the proposed multi million dollar tallest Krishna Mandir in the offing. Vrindaavan Chandroday Mandir will turn out to be the world's tallest Mandir once completed. Still under construction at Vrindaavan-Mathura, UP, it will be one of the most expensively built Mandirs in the world by ISKCON at the cost of Rs 300 crore (US$ 49 million). The Mandir has a footprint of about 5 acres. It rises to a height of about 700 feet (213 meters or 70 floors) with a built-up area of 5,40,000 sq. ft. The project is set in 62 acres of land and will include 12 acres for parking and a helipad. The Mandir is planned to be vibrant with festivals and religious activities

Proposed Vrindavan Mandir by ISKCON

throughout the year. A look-alike of the verdant forests of Vrindavan will be recreated around this magnificent Mandir. It will be spread over a sprawling 26 acres and will consist of the twelve forests (dvaadashakaanan) of Braj (Vrindaavan). With varieties of lush vegetation, green pastures, elegant vistas of fruit bearing trees, flower-laden creepers serenaded by bird songs, clear water lakes with lotuses and lilies & water falls that tumble from small artificial hillocks - all recreated from descriptions in the Srimad Bhaagavatam and other source books of Lord Sri Krishna - to transport the visitors to Krishna's times in Vrindaavan. The Mandir, with a traditional Nagra architecture at the entrance, will have elements of a glass faรงade that would stretch to the 70th floor. The structural design has been outsourced to a US-based company, TRC Worldwide Engineering Brentwood. Structural design advisors are from Civil Engineering Department of IIT and Sanrachna Consultants, New Delhi. The lead architects are Ingenious Studio Pvt Ltd. Quintessence Design Studio will carry out landscaping for the whole temple area. HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) will be installed by Gupta Consultants & Associates.


Desi News Covington Who's Who selects Srinivasan to Executive Registry India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: Srinivasan Veeraraghavan, Owner and President of USHMS Inc., has been selected as an Executive of the Year Member of the Covington Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry. The selection recognizes Srinivasan Veeraraghavan's commitment to excellence in Healthcare and Information and Technology. Srinivasan Veeraraghavan began his career in 1992 in his current field. As owner and president of USHMS Inc. and USHMS Systems, he is responsible for the administration management and growth of the company. His management and finance and marketing expertise both contribute to the success and growth of his organization, and he hopes to continue making new goals with each New Year.

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA www.indiapost.com

16 India Post

Great music & dance at Valentine's Day celebration

February 20, 2015

Details on page 19

Community fundraiser for Mayoral candidate Dr Willie Wilson

Details on page 20

Vivek adds charm to Valentine's Day celebrations India Post News Service Iftekhar Shareef and Dr Willie

Kishore Mehta of MEATF

SAN JOSE, CA: A Spirit Events presented Valentine's Party "Love Affair" on February 13 at Motif Lounge at San Jose Downtown. The event, a sold out show with over 500 people in the audience, rocked with Bollywood prince Vivek Oberoi and danced to the beats of Bollywood music all night. With passion and love filling the air, couples danced to their hearts content. With red heart shaped balloons symbolizing deep and undying promises of love, the evening presented a romantic feel. Details on page 21

Telugus celebrate Sankranthi in a grand style ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The Telugu Association of St. Louis (TAS), Missouri celebrated Sankranthi celebrations (South Indian Harvest Festival) on Saturday, 7 February 2015 in a spectacular way. More than 1000 people attended the event and around 130 kids and adults participated in the cultural events.Dressed in attires reflecting Telugu culture and tradition, artists presented a variety of cultural programs which drew huge applause from the audience. Details on page 18

A.Q. SIDDIQUI & MADHU PATEL India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A group of Indian Americans led by Dr Vijay Prabhaker, FIA trustee chair Iftekhar Shareef , Kishore Mehta and others hosted a fundraiser under the auspices of Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force (MEATF)for Chicago Mayoral candidate Dr Willie Wilson at Hema's Kitchen on Devon Avenue on Wednesday February 11. The event was attended by prominent Indian community members and business persons. The owner of Hema's Kitchen and also a leader in her community honored Dr Wilson with a traditional Indian Shawl. Kishore Mehta welcomed the guests and urged Iftekhar Shareef, a community leader and Trustee Chair of Federation of Indian Associations to introduce Dr WilIie Wilson. Introducing Dr Wilson to Chicago Indian community, Shareef remarked that there was something about Dr Wilson that appealed him to come forward and support him. That he was a person who started his life and business from a ground level and he still shares the needs of fellow citizens. "Every day he walks out of his home with cash in pocket and distributes among people in need," Shareef said, "That makes you feel

here is a person who has a noble heart and knows how to serve the people and their needs." Iftekhar Shareef also compared Dr Wilson to Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal who recently won common man's mandate and came to power. Dr Wilson has a noble heart, a person

marked. Dr Wilson started his career with the fast-food corporation, mopping floors for $2 an hour. Later Wilson owned a McDonald's and moved on to own three additional locations. He has strong support in the south side of City. Addressing Indian community,

Iftekhar Shareef and Hema Potla who presented Shawl to Dr Willie

nomic empowerment and stimulating the growth of communities through strong, new business opportunities. "I propose to take city owned empty lots, vacant buildings and potentially other, larger buildings and sell them to members of communities and people who want to

Mrs Padma Mehta, Kishore Mehta . Mrs. Willie Wilson, Congressman Danny Davis, Dr Willie Wilson, Ali Akhatar and Jameel Ahmed

who has strong faith in his religion, a successful businessman and a spirit to help others. "We need people like him in public service and politics," Shareef re-

Dr Wilson thanked all for support and spoke about his own plan for city development. He wanted a safe and business oriented City of Chicago. His top priority is eco-

start new business for one dollar, as we have done before," Dr Wilson emphasized. Cont’d on page 19


Community Across America

February 20, 2015

India Post 17

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Philanthropy Award for Dr Parveen Chopra India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Dr Parveen Chopra was recently honored with the Presidential Philanthropy Award by the Martin Luther King birthday Celebration Committee at its thirtieth Awards ceremony held at the Marriott Hotel, Uniondale, New York. Dr Chopra was bestowed this award for his significant philanthropic contributions to the Martin Luther King Scholarships which are awarded to high school students of merit and need who aim to attend college. Reverend Dr Reginald Tuggle in his introduction said "Dr Chopra has led a life of community service and because of his heart - he looks to help those less fortunate. He is a wonderful role model to the next generation and our community." Julius Pearce, President of the Martin Luther King birthday Celebration Community said, "Dr Chopra is a generous man who has worked

Standing: Dr Kenneth Saunders; Reverend Dr Reginald Tuggle; Usha Chopra (Past president - India Association of Long Island); Kailash & Mina Sharma ( Past President- Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation); Julius Pierce ( President / Founder MLK Birthday Celebration Committee) Dr Parveen Chopra ( Presidential Philanthropy Award Honoree); Judge Peter Skelos; Judge Ruth Balkin; Judge Anthony Paradisio; Henry Holley ( Hempstead Housing Authority) Lieutenant Commander Gary Shapiro - Nassau County Police Department; Samir Chopra

Indian psychiatrist named Distinguished Life Fellow SURENDRA ULLAL

MAYWOOD: Loyola University Medi- affective disorders, dual-diagnosis psychical Center psychiatrist Murali Rao, MD, has atric illnesses, psychosomatic medicine and achieved Distinguished Life Fellow status Tran cranial magnetic stimulation for the in the American Psychiattreatment of depression. ric Association, the highDr Rao is much interest honor the profession ested in the emerging can bestow. neuromodulation techDr Rao's status will be niques and adapting formally recognized May proven modalities into 18 during the American clinical practice. Besides Psychiatric Association's being a Distinguished Felannual meeting in low of the American PsyToronto. chiatric Association, he is Dr Rao also has been a Fellow of the Academy elected a member of the of Psychosomatic MediAmerican College of Psycine. chiatrists. He will be inDr Rao earned his mediducted Feb. 20 during the cal degree from Mysore annual meeting of the colMedical College and comDr Murali Rao lege in Huntington Beach, pleted residencies in psyCa. chiatry at Southern Illinois He is chair of the Department of Psychia- University Affiliated Hospital and try and Behavioral Neurosciences of Loyola Winnebago Mental Health Institute. He is University Chicago Stritch School of Medi- fluent in Hindi and Kannada. His interests cine and specializes in geriatric psychiatry, include tennis, travel and family.

hard his entire life - when he served as Chairperson of Finance of this organization he

Dr Chopra was bestowed this award for his significant philanthropic contributions to the Martin Luther King Scholarships

was honest, trustworthy and led with integrity. He is my friend and it's our privilege to bestow the Presidential Philanthropy award for his major financial contributions and for the uplifting of individuals in need." Dr Parveen Chopra has been honored with the Congressional Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the New York State Bar Associations Haywood Burns Memorial Award, the Nassau County Bar Associations Liberty bell Award and has served with distinction in political life for over 25 years.


18 India Post

Community Across America

February 20, 2015

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Telugus celebrate Sankranthi in a grand style ASHWIN PATEL

Telugu Association members in joyful mood celebrating Sankranti

ST LOUIS: The Telugu Association of St. Louis (TAS), Missouri celebrated Sankranthi celebrations (South Indian Harvest Festival) on Saturday, 7 February 2015 in a spectacular way. More than 1000 people attended the event and around 130 kids and adults participated in the cultural events.Dressed in attires reflecting Telugu culture and tradition, artists presented a variety of cultural programs which drew huge applause from the audience. Stage decoration, audio visuals and great theme to reflect Telugu culture in a village environment were highlights of the

bers took part in Rangoli competitions and Bommala Koluvu. President Muralikrishna Puttagunta introduced newly elected Executive Committee and Board of Directors and thanked past committees for their service to the community. He reminded everyone of the marvelous successes of TAS in the last four years and laid out TAS's plans for 2015 and 2016. He urged members to get involved in the social programs especially designed to engage youth in the social service. Cultural Secretary Mrs Srilahari Dasyam coordinated the cultural

Cultural presentation at Sankranthi celebrations

celebration. The South Indian village atmosphere was created on the stage with life-size bullock cart, cow-and-calf, Lord Ganesh, etc. and depicted the Telugu culture. Archana Upamaka's anchoring added Telugu nativity to the stage. There was a three-hour cultural program including TAS atavidupu (game show), songs, poem recitals and vocal recitals, movie dance sequences, etc. Many mem-

events. Vice-President Ravindranath Karnati delivered vote of thanks. Secretary Raviraj Kolakaleti played a key role in organizing the event while the treasurer Mr. Subakalyan Vuyyuru managed member enrollments and reception area. The participants were awarded TAS trophies. Authentic South Indian dinner left the taste buds of everyone satisfied.

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February 20, 2015

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India Post 19

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Great music & dance at Valentine's Day celebration Asian Media USA

CHICAGO IL: 'Pyar Ishq Mahobbat Forever' Valentine's Day party organized by Pratibha's Bollywood Sargam and sponsored by Noor Tejani of Midwest Silver Club on Saturday, February 14 at Ashyana Banquets in Downers Grove, turned out to be a success inclement weather notwithstanding. With red and pink heart-shaped balloons at the entrance of the banquet hall, over 300 guests gathered for a vibrant Valentine Day celebration. The program was emceed by Pratibha Jairath. Hitesh Master also enthralled audience with some new numbers. After a bit of interaction with the audience, Ms Jairath started the musical evening with popular romantic and melodious numbers that brought everyone to the dance floor filled up in no time with their partners. She was then joined by Raju Bankapur, who started with 'Chand Sifarish' and contin-

Audeince join in Valentine Day clebrations

ued to rock the party with non- organizing social functions with a stop dance medleys. view to Meet, Greet and Entertain Jairath and Bankapur enter- and get acknowledged our culture tained the audience with Shero to the next generation. Pratibha is Shayri, jokes and presented a few a versatile singer who has given duets and solos with Valentine various stage performances. She theme such as 'Chali Chali Ishq di hawa chali' and 'Mausam hai After sumptuous dinner, Ashikana'. the Belly dancers took After sumptuous over the stage to entertain dinner, the Belly dancers took over the stage the audience. They to entertain the audi- danced on a few ence. They danced on a Bollywood numbers few Bollywood numbers like 'Baby Doll tu Sone di' and that dance fusion was has experience of organizing over awesome. The singing and danc- 100 Theme parties that entertain ing continued till midnight audiences with a variety of singNoordin Tejani's Midwest Sil- ing, dancing, games and competiver Club is a social organization tion events.

Community fundraiser for Mayoral candidate Dr Willie Wilson

Pratibha Jairath and Raju Bankarpur, two talented singers of Chicagoland

Cont’d from page 16

Belly dancers sieze the stage

He has more concern for the safety of citizens and wanted police officers back on streets and reaching to all neighborhoods. Later, Dr Wilson individually met all the prominent Indian community leaders and shared their concerns. There was a brief QA session where Dr Wilson was questioned by the audience on various topics on current state of affairs and how he will bring about change to improve on them. The topics included parking meters on streets near shops and businesses which

hurt the growth of businesses, opening mental health facilities for mentally ill, pardons for prisoners with drug or mental issues and the need to transfer them to mental health facilities and rehabs, and ways to fight poverty. Besides the fundraiser on Devon Avenue there was another fundraiser for Dr Wilson at Dr Jawed Eshan's residence in Oakbrook on Friday February 13. According to Kishore Mehta of MEATF, the two fundraisers helped raise close to $11,000 for the Mayoral candidate. Mehta at the end proposed a vote of thanks.


20 India Post

Community Across America

February 20, 2015

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Covington Who's Who selects Srinivasan to Executive Registry India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: Srinivasan Veeraraghavan, Owner and President of USHMS Inc., has been selected as an Executive of the Year Member of the Covington Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry. The selection recognizes Srinivasan Veeraraghavan's commitment to excellence in Healthcare and Information and Technology. Srinivasan Veeraraghavan began his career in 1992 in his current field. As owner and president of USHMS Inc. and USHMS Systems, he is responsible for the administration management and

growth of the company. His management and finance and marketing expertise both contribute to the success and growth of his organization, and he hopes to continue making new goals with each New Year. USHMS is one of the leading providers of risk, financial & business advisory, internal audit, and marketing management and Management consulting. "My plans include turning USHMS into a multinational organization and to help the global economy and employment," Mr Veeraraghavan said. Mr. Veeraraghavan is a certified ACA (Associate Member of Char-

Srinivasan Veeraraghavan

tered Accountants) through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and is an active mem-

ber of International Chartered Accountants. When he moved to the US he became COO of a hospital in Bakersfield during his tenure, bringing it from near bankruptcy to multinational dollars. He has helped clients from recovering all losses and done several financial recovery for various clients. Dr Romesh Japra, famous cardiologist, said about him: "Srini's hard work and success showcase growing progress and clout Indian community is able to gain in USA. I wish him continued success." Dr Vivek Bansal, plastic surgeon, said that Srini can bring impossible to real. Dr Daniel Chia

CEO Singapore Technologies has said that Srini can bring heaven to the earth. Dr Mohammad Tariq, Anesthesiologist from Dallas, said that we can leave the work to Srini and he will take care of it without being reminded once. His wife Shalini Srinivasan said that Srini is a very hardworking, goal oriented and self-disciplined person. He also takes care of his family in spite of his busy schedule. Radha Ramakrishnan his sister and brother-in- law Ramakrishnan said that his hard work and perseverance brought him to this level. For more information, visit www.ushmsinc.com

Governor congratulates Zed for interfaith forum India Post News Service

NEVADA: Governor Brian Sandoval has congratulated distinguished religious activist Rajan Zed for four years of continuous publication of weekly interfaith column "Faith Forum" in a Gannett publication. In a signed Certificate of Recognition presented to Zed, Governor Sandoval wrote: "Congratulations on this memorable milestone!" "Faith Forum", a highly popular one-of-a-kind weekly dialogue on religion at a Pulitzer winner Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) in Nevada, completed four years of publication on February 4. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who has Some of the "Faith Forum" panelists, their spouses and others at a recent dinner celebrating the completion of it 200th column

been bestowed with "World Interfaith Leader Award", leads a panel of leaders of various religions and denominations to produce this weekly discussion Forum, involving important religious/spiritual issues affecting the area-countryworld. Panelists currently include: Rev. Robert W. Chorey (Roman Catholic), Dr. Stephen B. Bond (Christian Church), Dr. Sherif A. Elfass (Muslim), Jikai' Phil Bryan (Buddhist), Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer (Jewish), Dr. Bradley S. Corbin (Baha'i), Brian E. Melendez (Native American), Dr. Kenneth G. Lucey (religion professor), Fr.

Stephen R. Karcher (Greek Orthodox) and Sharla S. Hales (Mormon). Zed points out that this widely read column is for constructive

the community. RGJ, whose traces go back to 1870 and which has been recognized for its journalistic excellence,

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, who has been bestowed with "World Interfaith Leader Award", leads a panel of leaders of various religions and denominations to produce this weekly discussion Forum, involving important religious/spiritual issues dialogue and this dialogue effort has brought more mutual understanding and trust and loyalty in

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is one of the leading newspapers of Nevada and produces various other print and online publications. McLean (Virginia) headquartered Gannett is an international media and marketing solutions company headed by Gracia C. Martore.


Community Across America

February 20, 2015

India Post 21

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Vivek adds charm to Valentine's Day celebrations India Post News Service

SAN JOSE, CA: A Spirit Events presented Valentine's Party "Love Affair" on February 13 at Motif Lounge at San Jose Downtown. The event, a sold out show with over 500 people in the audience, rocked with Bollywood prince Vivek Oberoi and danced to the beats of Bollywood music all night. With passion and love filling the air, couples danced to their hearts content. With red heart shaped balloons symbolizing deep and undying promises of love, the evening presented a romantic feel. Celebrated February 14 every year, the Valentine's Day is synonymous with expressions of love, friendship and bonding. It is named after Saint Valentine, a patron of love. "In our hectic schedule we hardly get quality time to spend with each other," said Nirav Ghunshala, CEO of A Spirit Events. It is a good excuse to go back in time and get the romance back, he added.

Bharat Goradia, Nirav Ghunchala, Vivek Oberoi and Preeti Kaur

Oberoi interacted with the press, speaking at length on his debut, social and charity work, upcoming projects and his mission. In 2002, Vivek Oberoi exploded into

With passion and love filling the air, couples danced to their hearts content. With red heart shaped balloons symbolizing deep and undying promises of love, the evening presented a romantic feel. A Spirit Events, which was started in 2010, has now emerged as a giant in the field of event management and entertainment. This is their 7th event and 1st independent event. "We are proud to bring the Bay Areans, a new level of service that will surpass all your expectations and anything you've

Bollywood with the high-voltage crime-thriller, Company. The 38year-old actor said he did not face any problem in playing a dark role because he feels he got maximum appreciation from audience by portraying such edgy roles in films like "Company" and Shootout at Lokhandwala.

Nirav Ghunchala, Vivek Oberoi, Preeti Kaur

seen before. When it comes to event planning and event designing, A Spirit aims to exceed and excel with every event we organize," said Preeti Kaur, Vice President Marketing at A Spirit Events. Earlier in the evening, Vivek

"I enjoy doing such characters. I am constantly looking for roles which are new for me and challenging to do. With both successes and failures on the big screen for over a decade, he says the joy of social work and supporting chari-

table causes for others' happiness is far more fulfilling than an award or reward for him. Vivek helped rebuild a village, which was hit severely by the 2004 tsunami in Tamil Nadu. The actor also runs a school at Vrindavan in Uttar

Pradesh. Named Project Devi, the facility caters to over 3000 underprivileged girls abandoned by their families. Vivek Oberoi has started supporting Children Across Borders (CAB) which is a non-profit orga-

nization founded by Vivek and Sharmila Seth, of Tampa, that provides financial and non-financial assistance to grass-roots organizations primarily in the areas of housing, health, education and wellness.


Tech News India Inc hopes AAP will make Delhi a global city NEW DELHI: Indian industry is exuding confidence that the AAP government will be able to make the National Capital as a global city and improve ease of doing business scenario to attract investments. PHD Chamber appealed to new Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal not to insist on bringing down tariffs of utilities in areas of electricity, water and the like below their cost for those who do not fall in the category of vulnerable sections since such measures may be nonproductive on the new dispensation in the long run. Assocham expressed confidence that the AAP government will be able to make the national capital as a global city harnessing the strength of the common-man whose power and potential has not been fully tapped. "Kejriwal's connect with the common man would go a long way in harnessing the people power which makes a huge difference to the industry and economy," Assocham President Rana Kapoor said. "The AAP Government will improve Delhi's index on ease of doing business and attract new investments as the capital city will have better infrastructure," the chamber said.-PTI

Bloomberg signs pact with India on smart cities NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg have announced a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Urban Development Ministry to advance the government's ambitious smart cities initiative. Under the partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide funds and other assistance to Urban Development Ministry to implement the Smart Cities project in select cities. The announcement was made after Bloomberg's meeting with Modi. "The Prime Minister described the Smart Cities Initiative as a challenging task, which nevertheless has to be undertaken to improve the quality of life for India's urban citizens with stakeholder's participation," a government release said. The Smart Cities Initiative is aimed to promote economic growth, improve governance, and deliver more effective and efficient public services to India's urban residents. -PTI

TechBiz 22 India Post

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February 20, 2015

Microsoft launches Lumia 435, Lumia 532 CHENNAI: Microsoft has launched two smartphones - Lumia 435 and Lumia 532, priced at Rs 5,999 and Rs 6,499 respectively. The launch is part of Microsoft's plan to strengthen its presence in the smartphone category after rebranding itself in the handset category following the purchase of handset division from telecom major Nokia. The Lumia 435 smartphone is the first in the 400 series Lumia platform and comes with the latest Windows 8.1 operating system, 2MP camera, eight GB memory, a company statement said.-PTI

Job creation big challenge, say industry leaders in India MUMBAI: The biggest challenge for the country is to help talented young people fulfill their aspirations, State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said here while terming demographic dividend as an opportunity for growth. "If you look at India, the biggest challenge and opportunity today is demography. You have this young country, and you have one million people who are joining job market every month. "How do you look at the aspiration of these people and how do you fulfill them?" she said during a panel discussion on 'India 2025Challenges and Opportunities', organized by Bombay Management Association (BMA). ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar said creating employment is a very big challenge. "If you look at 2025, this (job creation) problem is going to grow larger. Creating sustainable employment which is environment friendly are the two big challenges that our country has to address, right now, and at an accelerated pace tomorrow," he said. The biggest potential for growth in jobs will come from manufacturing sector, he said. Tata Group's chairman emeritus Ratan Tata said India's demographic pattern not only presents strong workforce but an intellectual cadre of people who can prove themselves and stand up to foreign competition. "In the years that I have been in industry, I have watched India transform itself from a protected country and becoming an open economy in early 90s, and then seeing its complete change of political leadership, in the last year, to an India which is now poised with a great deal of aspiration and expectations, but poised with a new government and a new leadership and I think great desire to be a country that will stand up and be counted in the economic scene," he said. India today has young people who are listened to because they are successful, but more importantly because the environment is

willing to listen to them, he said. Tata was conferred with BMA Diamond Jubilee Lifetime AchievementAward 2013-14 during the event. Standard Chartered Bank's India CEO Sunil Kaushal said the strong demographic dividend of the country can become demo-

Kotak Mahindra Bank executive vice-chairman and MD Uday Kotak said if India has to progress and education has to be the key, then there is need for more and more people to join teaching profession. Talking about infrastructure

that this capital needs in order to find a home," she said. She said investors do not always look for returns but they need clarity and consistency. "It's about not changing the rules of the game while the game is on. It is about ensuring there is

Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata along with Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank Uday Kotak and Chairperson of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya during the Bombay Management Association (BMA) awards in Mumbai on February 16

graphic disaster if it is not managed properly by creating job opportunities and skilling the population. Snapdeal founder and chief executive officer Kunal Bahl said the county needs more entrepreneurs who can help in solving real world problems.

which requires a lot of funding, Bhattacharya said, infrastructure cannot be created unless there is long term capital. "There is no dearth of capital in the world, and the reason why it does not find home in India is because India is not able to provide the clarity and consistency

no sovereign risk. In that, if the sovereign says something then it is the sovereign that is saying something and therefore it is something that will get honored," said Bhattacharya, who was given BMA Management Woman Achiever of the Year Award 2013-14.-PTI

India-born Punit Renjen to be Deloitte Global CEO

Punit Renjen

NEW YORK: India-born Punit Renjen has been appointed the next CEO of US-based accounting giant Deloitte's global operations, becoming the first Indian-origin person to head a 'Big-Four' audit firm. Renjen joins a growing list of persons of Indian origin like Indira Nooyi, Satya Nadela and Anshu Jain, who have made to the top posts at multi-billion dollar global corporations like PepsiCo, Microsoft and Deutsche Bank, respectively.

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HSBC India at centre of fresh tax evasion claims LONDON: HSBC's Indian banking unit is at the heart of fresh revelations around tax evasion, days after a global expose showed tax dodging through accounts in the British major's Swiss banking unit, a media report said here. It is alleged that representatives of HSBC India, which has employees based in America, assured customers that details of their accounts would not be reported to tax officials.

ployees in one case allegedly advised a New Jersey Indian-origin businessman to transfer funds in tranches of under 6,500 pounds to "stay below the radar". Court documents reveal that HSBC India has been accused of helping American citizens of Indian-origin to avoid tax, the report said. The American justice department issued a summons against the bank in April, 2011 to reveal

In a separate prosecution, unnamed HSBC India banking officials were alleged coconspirators in the case of Arvind Ahuja, a neurosurgeon from Wisconsin who allegedly hid 5.5 million pounds in secret offshore HSBC accounts The latest revelations came even as the bank issued full-page advertisements in British newspapers as a public apology after reports that its Swiss banking arm had helped some wealthy clients avoid tax. According to court documents seen by The Sunday Times, em-

details of clients. It was claimed that the bank promoted its services on the basis of keeping information secret from the tax authorities. "Prospective clients were told that, as a foreign bank, HSBC India would not disclose the accounts to the IRS (Inland Revenue

Service)," the government said in court filings. "The IRS has learnt that thousands of United States taxpayers with accounts at HSBC India may have failed to disclose those accounts, and report income on them, as required by law," it said. The bank was said to have had 9,000 American residents of Indian-origin but fewer than 1,400 had disclosed the existence of their accounts. In a separate prosecution, unnamed HSBC India banking officials were alleged co-conspirators in the case of Arvind Ahuja, a neurosurgeon from Wisconsin who allegedly hid 5.5 million pounds in secret offshore HSBC accounts and filed false tax returns. It was claimed Ahuja and HSBC officials used "undeclared accounts in Jersey, India and other countries for the purpose of concealing income from the IRS". Ahuja was fined 222,000 pounds and ordered to serve three years probation. In another case, HSBC India representatives are alleged to have advised New Jersey businessman Vaibhav Dahake to transfer money

India to file complaint against HSBC Geneva NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department is soon expected to file a complaint against HSBC bank, Geneva, for allegedly "abetting" tax evasion in India by way of unauthorisedly operating accounts of its citizens in its over-

get "time barred" after that date. The department, a senior I-T officer said, has taken upon itself to file these cases after informing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, which is understood to have given its go ahead.

seas branch. Sources said the complaint against the global banking giant is expected to be filed under Section 278 of the I-T Act (abetment of false return) before March 31 as these accounts pertain to the time period of 2006-07 and would

The taxman, sources said, has worked on at least four cases figuring in the purported 'HSBC lists' it got from France a few years back and gathered evidence against the bank to say that it "willfully abetted" tax evasion in India by not disclosing client information

and layering it to avoid law enforcement agencies, thus leading to violation of I-T laws and evasion of huge amounts in taxes. "The evidence has been vetted at the senior-most level in the department and the CBDT. The prosecution complaint against the bank would seek punishment under tax laws," the sources said. In the four cases, the I-T probe has recorded statements of the bank account holders who said they were "aided and helped" by the bank in not disclosing their cash movements and balances. These clients have also submitted some email communications exchanged in this regard. The probe in the HSBCGeneva cases, with names of 628 entities, gathered momentum recently as a number of cases under this category are getting time-barred by the end of this financial year, meaning they cannot be acted against after the said time period. The SIT has also widened its probe into these cases after revelations in this regard were made recently by ICIJ - a global collective of journalists. -PTI

in batches of 6,500 pounds to "stay below the radar". The bank officials are alleged to have "advised and assisted" in tax evasion. Dahake admitted concealing undeclared bank accounts

failures and assuring customers that the bank had "no appetite to do business with clients who are evading their taxes". The advert reproduces an open letter signed by chief executive

in 2011, but said bank representatives had solicited him to open accounts that paid high interest rates and would not be declared to tax officials. HSBC has been at the centre of a major storm after files were exposed by Herve Falciani, who started working for the HSBC private bank in Geneva in 2006. The whistleblower has said the UK government should have known about the scandal in 2010. The UK's Treasury Committee will conduct an inquiry into the claims. The British bank has taken out advertisements this weekend apologizing for past compliance

Stuart Gulliver, which says recent coverage had been "a painful experience". It reads: "The media focus has been on historical events that show the standards to which we operate today were not universally in place in our Swiss operations eight years ago. "We must show we understand that the societies we serve expect more from us. We therefore offer our sincerest apologies." HSBC's former chief executive and chairman Stephen Green, who was at the centre of the SwissLeaks tax scandal, stepped down from his role at finance lobby group TheCityUK. -PTI


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Manufacturing key to India's future: OECD economist BENGALURU: India needs to strengthen its manufacturing activities as well as reform labor laws to ensure good growth, Paris-based

ing competitiveness and structural challenges, like labor laws and land acquisition, along with poor infrastructure quality and uncer-

OECD's Chief Economist Catherine L Mann

think tank OECD's Chief Economist Catherine L Mann said here. "Negative exports, deteriorat-

tainty to financing it and building it are acting as barriers to India's growth," Mann said.

Manufacturing was indeed the key to India's future, she said while presenting the findings of the 'Third OECD Economic Survey of India', hosted by the Centre for Public Policy at IIM-B, in association with Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). "Modernizing labor laws is crucial to encourage employment formalization and to reduce labor market segmentation, gender bias and income inequality. While the services sector in India looks robust, manufacturing does not," she was quoted as having said by IIMB in a release. The release said Mann, who presented the findings of the 'Third OECD Economic Survey of India', hosted by the Centre for Public Policy at IIMB, in association with OECD, offered a brief description of the aims and goals of the OECD and listed the challenges, as examined by the survey, to India's growth story. -PTI

Singapore slowdown leaves 10k Indian jobseekers at sea SINGAPORE: A slowdown in construction activities and tougher rules on the employment of foreign workers in Singapore have left more than 10,000 job seekers stranded in India and Bangladesh, media here reported. Advanced estimates show the construction sector's growth has slowed down to three per cent last year, half from the six per cent in 2013, The Singapore Daily said. Strict rules on employment of

An average new worker spend about 7,000 Singapore dollars (USD 5,598) to get a job here and 2,000 dollars (USD 1,599) of which is spent on training centers in India and Bangladesh which conduct skill tests under Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA) qualification scheme. The new worker pays a hefty sum, anything between 5,000 dollars (USD 3,999) and 6,000 dollars

"We have heard of construction firms which need the manpower but cannot afford to (hire) because of the higher levies for construction workers. Overall, the industry is moving towards retaining existing workers" foreign workers have also reduced employment scope of new laborers while companies have opted to retain existing workers and upgrade their skills as a better option. Besides, levy on hiring foreign workers has also been raised under new regulations which aim to have the Singapore companies automate and reduce labor-intensive jobs. Such changes have left many of the workers stranded in their homes with rising piles of debts.

(USD 4,798) to employment agent to get a job in Singapore, which on an average earns him 600 dollars (USD 479) per month. "The demand for new workers used to be so high that employers would have to wait for them to be trained and tested. Now, it is the other way round," David Leong, managing director of recruitment firm, People-WorldWide said. Two years ago, most foreign workers would have been able to find a job in Singapore's construc-

tion sector within weeks, he added. "We have heard of construction firms which need the manpower but cannot afford to (hire) because of the higher levies for construction workers. Overall, the industry is moving towards retaining existing workers," the daily quoted Andy Goh, chief financial officer at construction company Sysma Holdings, as saying. Migrant Workers' Centre chairman and a member of parliament, Yeo Guat Kwang said the problem of an excess of trained foreign workers starts as errant foreign employment agents recruit workers without securing jobs for them. "Source countries share an equal or greater responsibility to enforce against the errant practices taking place in their own countries," the daily quoted Yeo as saying. Jeyapraesh Pannerselvam, 27, is one among those stranded workers in India, who has been waiting for a Singapore job. He has spent all of his life savings and passed the BCA skill test for which he registered in March last year. "I have already spent all my life savings to find a job in Singapore. I will wait and I am sure I can get a job," he was quoted as saying by the The Straits Times.-PTI

Modi promises more reforms; rolls out red carpet to investors PUNE: Ahead of the Budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured investors more reforms as he rolled out the red carpet to multinationals, inviting them to make use of the large pool of highly talented youth in the country. "I invite all those who want to participate in the economic development of the country to generate employment for our youth.

youth population, he said, "We have the highest demographic dividend, as 65 per cent of our population are below 35 years. Our talented youth have power to attract investments from across the world. Our skill power can also attract the investors." Modi also assured his administration will improve the ease of doing business.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE shake hands at the inauguration of General Electrics (GE) multi-modal manufacturing facility at Chakan near Pune on February 14

Your (investors) growth is also linked to our growth," the Prime Minister said. "In this age of competitive world, I assure corporates across the world that India is a land where they can find talent which can help them manufacture products that are very competitive," Modi told a select audience of corporates. The Prime Minister was inaugurating the multimodal manufacturing facility set up by the American engineering giant GE Corporation. Calling upon the investors to utilize the talent of large educated

He said the number of clearances for setting up a hospitality venture will be brought down from a massive 110 to just about 20. "Our government has ensured predictability in our procedures, laws and policies. We have also taken many initiatives towards ease of doing business," Modi said. The NDA government will present the first full Budget on February 28 with some analysts wondering whether it would be a reform oriented budget following the defeat of BJP in the Delhi elections.-PTI

90 lakh discussed IndoPak match on Facebook NEW DELHI: The India-Pakistan World Cup cricket match at Adelaide was discussed by about 90 lakh people on Facebook, while nearly 16.94 lakh tweeted about the clash of the arch-rivals. There were also 2.5 crore interactions about the match on Facebook, the world's biggest social media platform said in a statement. Interestingly, while 5.9 million people in India had 16.9 million interactions on Facebook about the match, 1.1 million in Pa-

kistan had 3.3 million interactions. The most discussed players were 'Men of the Match' Virat Kohli (scored a century) of India and Sohail Khan of Pakistan (scalped 5 wickets). Microblogging site Twitter said a total of 16.94 lakh tweets were sent out during the game. "The total number of views of tweets related to #INDvsPAK during the live #CWC15 match window was 118.3 million," it said in a statement.-PTI


TechBiz Post

February 20, 2015

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Swiss info exchange with India by 2018 BERNE/NEW DELHI: In its fight against black money menace, India will have to wait till 2018 for Switzerland to provide bank ac-

dia had agreed to become 'early adopters' of an 'automatic exchange of information' mechanism prepared by global body OECD to

count details of Indians under the 'automatic information exchange' framework. Under a global framework, more than 40 jurisdictions including In-

help each other in fighting the tax evasion and frauds. "This so-called early adopters group plans to collect data from 2016 and exchange information for

Austrians eyeing share of Indian aviation market VIENNA: Austrian Airlines is aiming to corner a larger share of the "very competitive" Indian market, also the carrier's third largest, by offering attractive products to meet the growing challenges posed by its global competitors, a top airline official said. "Indian market is very competitive and it is growing so fast now. We have to be competitive. We are in competition with everyone who is flying in the Indian market," Stephan Linhart, International Sales Director of Austrian Airlines,

customers. These are little things but it makes a huge difference," he said. Noting that a major chunk of Indian air travelers were bound for destinations in North America, he said Vienna could become an important transfer hub for the change-over of flights to destinations in the US and Canada. Commenting on the burgeoning Indian aviation market, Linhart said the low cost carriers (LCC) in India have created an additional demand in the market. "It (LCC) makes

told visiting Indian correspondents here. In a bid to attract Indian customers, the airline is offering Indian cuisine, as well as others products ranging from Bollywood movies on their in-flight entertainment systems to latest Indian news on board flights between Delhi and Vienna. India has become the third largest market for the airline in the Asia-Pacific region after China and Japan, he said. "We are trying to pamper our

people start flying, which means increase in demand," he said. The premier European airline, which operates flights to 130 destinations across the world, is a member of the largest global airline grouping Star Alliance, of which Air India has become the latest member. Austrian had joined Star Alliance in March 2000. "Being a member of Star Alliance, Air India has opened the doors for us and other member carriers in the Indian aviation market," Linhart said. -PTI

the first time in September 2017," according to a new report by the Swiss government. However, Switzerland would see its 'first exchange' under this framework taking place in the year 2018. As per the report, as many as 58 countries would see their 'first exchange' taking place in 2017, followed by another 35 in the year 2018. While India is part of the 'First Exchange 2017' group, it will have to wait till 2018 for 'automatic exchange of information' with Switzerland because of the Alpine nation being in the second grouping. The details that would be shared include account number, name, address and date of birth, tax identification number, interest and dividends, receipts from certain insurance policies, credit bal-

Infosys to buy automation tech firm Panaya NEW DELHI: Betting big on new technologies to boost growth, country's second-largest software services firm Infosys will acquire US-based automation technology company Panaya for USD 200 million (over Rs 1,200 crore). The all-cash deal is the second-largest acquisition for the Bangalore-based firm, after Swiss consulting company Lodestone, which it bought for about USD 350 million (Rs 1,932 crore) in 2012. The move comes as part of Infosys' 'Renew and New' strategy to enhance competitiveness and productivity of current service lines by leveraging automation, innovation and artificial intelligence, Infosys said in a statement. This is the first acquisition since former SAP Board member Vishal Sikka took as the CEO and Managing Director of the over USD 8 billion firm in August last year. "The acquisition of Panaya is a key step in renewing and differentiating Infosys' service lines," Vishal Sikka said. The transaction is expected to close before March 31, 2015, subject to customary closing conditions. "This will help amplify the potential of our people, freeing us from the drudgery of many repetitive tasks, so we may focus more on the important, strategic challenges faced by our clients," Sikka said.-PTI

ances on accounts, as also proceeds from the sale of financial assets. Explaining the exchange process, the report said: If a taxpayer in a Country A has a bank account in Country B, the bank would disclose financial account data to authorities in the Country B, which would automatically forward the details to authorities in Country A to help them examine the data. Once in place, the mechanism would help the Indian authorities to have a strong ground while seeking to bring back and tax the funds stashed overseas by its citizens. To curb illicit fund flows and to tax unaccounted wealth stashed abroad, India has stepped up its efforts, including re-negotiating tax treaties with various countries. India expects automatic exchange to help curb this menace. Many countries worldwide are taking steps to address the menace of illicit funds being stashed away in tax havens. On ways to prevent black money menace in the future, Fi-

have to build a case that the money lying in off-shore bank accounts in unaccounted and tax liability on such income has escaped assessment. "This exercise would need to be completed for tax authorities to form an opinion that certain income has escaped assessment, which would be needed to issue a notice for re-assessment," she said. KPMG in India's Partner (Tax) Vikas Vasal said the challenge in case of overseas income or assets situated outside India is in getting necessary information and also to collaborate it with sufficient evidence for having a strong case. "Therefore, the relevant provisions in the treaty or the specific information exchange agreements play an important role in this context. "In general, roving enquiries are not permitted and information has to be sought for a particular case or a transaction from the overseas authorities," he noted. About loopholes in existing tax law regime that may hurt efforts to recover untaxed money, Bakhru

KPMG in India's Partner (Tax) Vikas Vasal said the challenge in case of overseas income or assets situated outside India is in getting necessary information and also to collaborate it with sufficient evidence for having a strong case. nance Minister Arun Jaitley has also said that the world is moving towards automatic exchange of information. After meeting his Swiss counterpart Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf in Davos last month, Jaitley said the bilateral agreements with regard to automatic exchange of tax information with various countries, including Switzerland, would be "the long term solution to check this menace." As it steps up measures to bring back black money stashed overseas, current law allows the government to re-open tax assessment for cases as old as 16 years. With respect to taxing the unaccounted money overseas, experts said the challenge for the Indian tax authorities would be in building a strong case. Experts opined that the time limit of 16 years provides adequate time to the tax authorities to bring to tax income in relation to assets located outside the country. Grant Thornton Advisory Pvt Ltd's Director Pallavi Bakhru said that first tax authorities would

said there is a lack of structured mechanism to recover taxes from foreign assets of non-resident taxpayers. Besides, litigation options are available to taxpayers challenging the tax assessment and consequent tax demands can come in way of government's effort to recover taxes from unaccounted money, Bakhru added. After last week's fresh 'HSBC List' expose, wherein names of 1,195 Indians have been disclosed, the government said that it has taken "vigorous and proactive measures to expedite investigations in the cases of Indians holding undisclosed foreign accounts/assets abroad". "Useful contacts have been established with foreign governments who might have some further information in this regard. "Based upon credible information of undisclosed foreign bank accounts, fresh references for obtaining further information in more than 600 cases have been made to foreign jurisdictions, under available treaties/agreements. The same are being pursued," as per a Finance Ministry statement. -PTI


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February 20, 2015

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Inflation at 5 year low; raises hope for rate cut NEW DELHI: Wholesale inflation turned negative for the second time in three months as fall in petroleum and food prices dragged it to a five-and-a-half year low of (-) 0.39 per cent in January, raising hopes of a rate cut by RBI. Reflecting significant improvement in the price situation, the inflation for the second time in three months remained in the negative territory in January.

all food inflation was at a six month high of 8 per cent, as per government data. The last time the inflation had touched this low level was in June 2009 when it was at (-) 0.4 per cent. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had on January 15 cut interest rates ahead of the scheduled monetary policy review and it is expected that he might announce another cut after the Budget in

Data showed that inflation in pulses, vegetables and cereals was higher in January over the previous month. On the other hand, the rate of price rise in potato, milk, rice and protein rich items like egg, meat and fish was slower Inflation measured on wholesale price index (WPI) was at 0.11 per cent in December. The data for November was revised downwards to a negative (-) 0.17 per cent, from the provisional estimate of zero. Although the prices of certain protein rich items and wheat declined during the month, the over-

wake of significant improvement in the inflation situation. The next review is due on April 7. Inflation in 'fuel and power segment' was negative at (-) 10.69 per cent in January, while in manufactured products it was at 1.05 per cent. The contraction in WPI inflation for petrol was steeper at 17.08

per cent in January from 11.96 per cent in December. Similarly the rate of decline in diesel prices last month was higher than in the previous month. "Given the continuing trend of moderate inflation both at the wholesale and retail level and the fact that a durable recovery in the industrial sector is out of sight, we hope that the central bank would continue with the policy rate cut cycle after the forthcoming budget," FICCI President Jyotsna Suri said. Data showed that inflation in pulses, vegetables and cereals was higher in January over the previous month. On the other hand, the rate of price rise in potato, milk, rice and protein rich items like egg, meat and fish was slower in the month under review. The inflation in the primary articles segment inched up to 3.27 per cent in January, as against 2.17 per cent in December. Commenting on the numbers, PHD Chamber said a significant rate cut by the RBI becomes inevitable to boost the demand scenario vis-a-vis easy availability of

Hitachi eyes Rs 11,000 cr turnover in 2015 NEW DELHI: Japanese industrial solutions giant Hitachi is targeting a turnover of around Rs 11,000 crore (210 billion yen) in FY 2015 from India and will hire around 3,000 people to expand its business here. "Hitachi will contribute to the medium and long-term develop-

ment of Indian society through the social innovation business which integrates cutting-edge IT and infrastructure technologies developed over many years, and strive to expand consolidated revenues in India in FY 2015 to 210 billion yen," Hitachi said in a statement.

The company that currently has 31 business bases and over 10,000 employees in India, further said it "is planning to increase the number of group employees in India in FY 2015 to approximately 13,000." It will also continue its plan and implement investments totaling 70

billion yen (around Rs 3,670 crore) over the four years from FY 2012 to FY 2015, the statement added. Commenting on the targets, Hitachi President & COO Toshiaki Higashihara said: "India is becoming an increasingly important country for Hitachi's global

growth. We believe that the extensive experience Hitachi has acquired in facing challenges over the years can be of service to help build strong and sustainable social infrastructure in India." The group, which has started its business in India in 1935 by opening an office in Mumbai as Hitachi's first overseas base, will also commemorate 80th anniversary of its establishment this year. Hitachi at present promotes the global rollout of the Social Innovation Business based on the 2015 Mid-term Management Plan, and has set a goal of increasing the ratio of overseas revenues, which was at 45 per cent in FY 2013, to more than 50 per cent by FY2015. "In India, Hitachi is currently expanding its business based on the 'India Business Strategy 2015' that was created in December 2012," the company said. The company said it would participate in government-led efforts to put in place and maintain social infrastructures and provide a wide range of products and solutions, such as social infrastructure systems as advanced medical devices and rail systems.-PTI

credit to the various consumers and producers' segments. "We expect at least 1 per cent cut in the repo rate before entering the new financial year 201516, it said. Rajan, in the monetary policy review earlier this month, kept key interest rate unchanged saying the apex bank wanted more comfort

As per data, retail inflation moved up to 5.11 per cent in January month-on-month, measured on a new base year 2012, mainly due to dearer food items including fruits and vegetables. ICRA Senior Economist Aditi Nayar said lower commodity prices dampened inflation in minerals, fuels as well as various com-

on inflation front as it awaited cues from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's first full year Budget. Rajan said retail inflation was likely to be around the target level of 6 per cent by January 2016 but flagged monsoon and oil prices as upside risks.

modity-intensive manufactured products. "We do not expect this reading to significantly influence the timing or extent of subsequent repo rate cuts, given that CPI inflation is the nominal anchor," she said. PTI

Haryana to help Telangana & Mizoram in horticulture CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved the proposal for providing technical assistance to Telangana and Mizoram for setting up centres in horticulture. The Telangana and Mizoram governments had requested Haryana for technical co-operation in their respective states on the pattern of the centre in Haryana, an official release said here. While Telangana sought tech-

nical support, Mizoram has set up a Technical Screening Committee with the Haryana Horticulture director as its member. A Centre of Excellence in Horticulture for flowers, vegetable and fruit production is to be set up at Jeedimetla in Telangana's Ranga Reddy district, the release said. The experts from Haryana will visit these upcoming centers from time to time to monitor the development of these projects. -PTI

Chhattisgarh excels in renewable power development NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh has been felicitated for emerging as one of the best performing states in the renewable energy segment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the award to Principal Secretary of Chhattisgarh's Energy department, Aman Singh, during the Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest) held here. "Chhattisgarh has been doing commendable work in renewable energy sector. We are generating 45 MW off grid solar power and

200 MW through rice husk," Singh told PTI after receiving the award. The state was adjudged for the award on the basis of criteria fixed by 13th Finance Commission. Singh said solar power is being used in 600 primary health centre, 100 community health centre, 350 police stations, 1800 tribal hostels, 27 collectorates and 1,700 villages of the state. In addition, various villages are using 3,000 solar power pumps for drinking water and 1,500 for irrigation purpose, he said. -PTI


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February 20, 2015

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Samsung launches affordable India-born Punit Renjen to be Deloitte Global CEO 4G smartphone Cont’d from page 22

BANGKOK: Facing growing competition from brands like Micromax and Xiaomi, Samsung has launched the Galaxy J1 4G - to be priced at Rs 9,900 in India - as the Korean electronics giant looks to protect its turf in one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets. It launched two other 4G enabled smartphones - Galaxy Grand Prime 4G and the Galaxy Core Prime 4G. Samsung also unveiled its slimmest Galaxy handset - the Galaxy A7, priced at Rs 30,499. Galaxy A7 is available in India, while the other t h r e e smartphones will hit the domestic market from the second week of March. The firm also unveiled a range of products including the world's first convertible refrigerator, its first tablet for enterprises, SUHD TVs and washing machines at Samsung's annual South West Asia Forum 2015 here.

"In 2015, we plan to introduce path-breaking technology across different categories of products, which will enhance consumer experience and strengthen our position in the market," Samsung India Electronics President and CEO Hyun Chil Hong said. Samsung will continue to manufacture its products in India reinforcing its commitment

t o t h e government's 'Make for India' program, he said. In the past 20 years of operations in India, the company has set up 2 manufacturing plants and 3 R&D facilities employing close to 45,000 people, he added. On the launch of 4G handsets,

Samsung India VP (Marketing, Mobile and IT) Asim Warsi said: "India is at the cusp of its digital revolution journey and we expect 4G technology to rise and push internet usage to an unprecedented level." Consumer demand is constantly shifting towards devices offering multi-tasking capabilities, 24X7 data connectivity with increased video consumption and real-time mobility solutions which enable global interactions, he added. "Samsung Electronics is poised to drive the next step of smartphone evolution by offering a comprehensive portfolio of quality 4G LTE enabled devices and propel the next wave of business and economic growth," Warsi said. Galaxy A7 has 5.5 inch screen, 13 MP rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera. The handset has 16GB internal memory and 2GB RAM. It is supported by 2,600 mAh battery and Qualcomm's Snapdragon Octacore processor.-PTI

degree with honors and a master's degree in management from Willamette University, US. Renjen did his schooling at Lawrence School, Sanawar, Himachal Pradesh after which he left for the US to pursue higher studies. He has held a number of leadership positions, including chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. In addition to being chairman of Deloitte LLP, he currently

Deloitte, which is present across 150 countries including India and employs over two lakh people, is one of the four largest audit firms in the world and competes with PwC, KPMG and EY. Hailing from Rohtak, Haryana, Renjen will assume his new role of Deloitte Global Chief Executive Officer from June 1. He will succeed Barry Salzberg in this role and is currently serving as US business Chairman and Renjen did his schooling at CEO of the group. "I am honored to Lawrence School, Sanawar, have been elected as Himachal Pradesh after Deloitte Global's next which he left for the US to CEO," Renjen said in a pursue higher studies. statement. "Renjen's leadership appointment is part of a rigorous and comprehensive nomi- also serves as a member of the nation and member firm partner rati- board of directors of Deloitte Toufication process that occurs every che Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte four years and includes all mem- Global), and as chairman of the ber firms of the Deloitte worldwide Deloitte Foundation board of dinetwork," Deloitte said. rectors. His new role would begin on Renjen, who has been with Deloitte for over 27 years, grew up the first day of Deloitte's new fisin India and holds a bachelor's cal year on June 1, 2015. -PTI


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Khamoshiyan : Khamoshiyan 2 Tu Hai Ki Nahi : Roy 3 Sooraj Dooba Hain : Roy 4 Tu Har Lamha : www.indiapost.com

28 India Post

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acqueline Fernandez who plays the classical dancer is training hard to be in step with the flying Sardar. Choreographer-turned-director Remo D'Souza has spent the last six months searching for an apt title for his upcoming superhero-drama starring Tiger Shroff and Jacqueline Fernandez. First, he came up with Flying Jatt, then moved on to Turbo Singh and has now finally settled on Turbanator since Tiger plays a Sardar superhero. A source close to the 29-year-old actress confirms that she gave the film her nod without even reading the script. "She was so excited to be a part of a dance film that she came on board without even asking for a character brief," the source says. Jacky plays a classical dancer in the film who meets the turbaned Tiger when he foils an attempt to abduct her. "I play a Bharata Natyam dancer and I'm learning the dance form from a teacher in Delhi. I've watched Heropanti and I feel Tiger is a really good dancer. My role includes a lot of dancing and flying so I want to match him, step for step," says the actress.

S

onam Kapoor was hospitalized recently when she suffered a respiratory infection on the sets of Sooraj Barjatya's Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Sonam who posted a picture of herself on a social networking site with drips in her hands, is now out of hospital. "It was basically a respiratory infection and paratyphoid .I was in hospital for four days," she said. Concerned friends feel Sonam has been excessively dieting. "Not at all. I've stopped dieting. I eat well. And I sleep well. Such things do happen."

February 20, 2015

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

Anushka for

ADULTS

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H10 has grabbed a lot of attention owing to the fact that it will mark the debut of Anushka Sharma as a producer. The film, which deals with the violence and gang wars in the interiors of Northern India, recently was launched with much fanfare. In the film, Anushka is on a mission to survive and fight the killers of her husband. Since, it is a crime thriller involving a lot of bloodshed and gore, the censors have decided to rate the film as 'Adults only'. Also agreeing to this decision, director Navdeep Singh stated that the film was never meant for children and hence he is happy with the certification. Though he was disappointed over the fact that some may miss the film due to the 'A' certificate, he maintained that he did not want to compromise on the content. NH10 also stars Neil Bhooplam of '24' fame along with Darshan Kumar of Mary Kom fame.


February 20, 2015

Bollywood www.indiapost.com

W

hether it was Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (with Salman Khan; 2005) from her early days in the industry or Dhoom: 3 (with Aamir Khan; 2013), Katrina Kaif has mainly worked with established actors since the start of her career. But, the recent turn of events indicates a change of plan. As the actor shoots for her next - which was supposed to have Sushant Singh Rajput - with Aditya Roy Kapur (who made his debut in 2009 with London Dreams), she has also signed Farhan Akhtar's next production

K

aran Johar has plans to produce a film which will be helmed by Shakun Batra and from what we hear, the untitled film will star Alia Bhatt along with Sidharth Malhotra and Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Afzal Khan. Karan Johar recently took to Twitter to announce the new project and maintained, "Rarely does a filmmaker write a super script in 2 months....@shakunbatra's new family film just got greenlit and cast! Details coming up...." Prior to this, there were also rumors that Fawad was constantly spotted around Dharma Productions because he was to sign Karan's directorial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil opposite Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. However, now it is being said that the role in question was just a cameo and Dharma wanted to sign Fawad for a full fledged role. It is also a well known fact that Karan Johar is the mentor for Alia and Sidharth and hence he has decided to bring their chemistry back on screen after their act in their debut film Student Of The Year.

opposite Sidharth Malhotra (who started his acting career just three years ago in Student Of The Year), showing her inclination to work with younger actors. Trade expert Komal Nahta puts things into perspective, "Often heroines don't dictate who the hero of the film should be. Also, not just heroines, but actors, too, after a certain point in their career, will like to work with the younger lot so that their appeal with the youth remains intact."

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he gorgeous Shraddha Kapoor, who also has a beautiful voice, has been finalized as the female lead for Rock On 2 The sequel that has Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli, who were also there in the original, will now see Shraddha enter the band as a young girl, who changes a lot of things. Given that she is a lovely singer, it is fair to assume that she will also be singing in the film. Confirming this, she said, "I am extremely excited to be a part of Rock On 2. I am a big fan of the first part and love the character I am playing in the sequel. It is a role that involves singing and live performances and that very few roles give you the chance to do.'' Well, it seems that this Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani sequel to their cult franchise looks all set to rock.

The sequel has Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli

India Post 29


„

Realty Tidbits

NY senators tout bills for senior housing ALBANY, N.Y.: A group of New York state senators has released a package of bills designed to help struggling seniors The measures come from the Independent Democratic Conference, a small faction of breakaway Democrats. Sen. Jeff Klein, the Bronx Democrat who leads the group, says the state has a responsibility to help seniors ``thrive in their golden years.'' One of the proposals would invest $40 million in a fund to provide grants to developers who build senior housing. Another would increase funds for in-home health and human services for elderly residents by $5 million. A third bill would provide help to seniors struggling to pay high utility bills. The IDC also is calling for a tax credit for seniors who repair their home or add ramps, handrails or other safety upgrades. -AP

„ HDIL's profit zooms to Rs 65.29 cr MUMBAI: Realty firm HDIL's consolidated net profit zoomed to Rs 65.29 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2014 from Rs 5.10 crore in the comparable period. The company reported a fourfold a rise in total sales during the period under review to Rs 359.50 crore from Rs 89.63 crore in the corresponding period. "We have achieved a satisfactory growth this quarter on account of good sales," HDIL Vice Chairman and Managing Director Sarang Wadhawan said. HDIL Vice-President, Finance and Investor Relations, Hariprakash Pandey told PTI: "There was an overall slowdown in the sector in last two years mainly due to delays in approvals. "But since the last few quarters approvals are improving and therefore project execution has started to pick up. As more and more projects reach completion stage, sales will start reflecting in our balance sheet as we follow project completion method." The revenues were mainly driven by sales in its commercial projects in Kurla and Goregaon, he said. "Our residential business, which will be our main focus area, is also witnessing good traction.... We expect to see similar improvement in sales in the next 3-4 quarters as most of the residential projects, which were stuck, will reach completion stage," he said. -PTI

Real Estate 30 India Post

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February 20, 2015

Sunteck Realty net up over five fold MUMBAI: Real estate firm Suntech Realty has reported over five-fold increase in net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, at Rs 12.65 crore on the back of exponential growth in sales. The Mumbai-based firm had reported a profit of Rs 2.52 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. Its total sales for the October-December 2014 quarter stood at Rs 64.56 crore against Rs 15.65 crore a year-ago, registering an over four-fold growth. -PTI

National home prices climbing faster than rate of inflation

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hat is the state of the U.S. housing market? Ask that question in two different cities and you may get dramatically different answers. For example, in Denver, values have soared a mile high, far above their peak during the recent housing bubble. By contrast, homeowners in Las Vegas continue to feel as if they lost the bet, with prices that remain well below their bubble highs. Overall, though, the American picture looks good. National home prices continue to climb significantly faster than the rate of inflation, according to Thomas Thibodeau, academic director of the University of Colorado Real Estate Center in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder. However, challenges remain. Thibodeau highlights a few of them in the following interview. The U.S. housing market has been through one of the most turbulent periods in its history -- a soaring bubble, followed by an enormous crash and a somewhat bumpy recovery. What is your take on the state of the nation's housing market? Nationally, house prices continue to increase significantly faster than the rate of inflation. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the average annualized rate of change in quarterly U.S. house prices between the first quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014 has been 5.2 percent. Even with this rapid rate of increase, national house price levels are still 5.5 percent below their 2007 second-quarter peak. There is substantial spatial variation in the house price recovery. In Denver, for example, thirdquarter 2014 nominal house prices are 24.5 percent above their second-quarter 2007 pre-financial crisis peak. Third-quarter 2014 nominal house prices in Houston are 38.4 percent higher than their 2007 second-quarter peak.

CHRIS KISSELL

At the other end of the distribution, nominal house prices in Las Vegas are 26.3 percent below their 2007 second-quarter levels, and 2014 third-quarter nominal house prices in Stockton, California, are 32.5 percent below their 2007 second-quarter levels.

this cohort of young households ages. It is not clear where the decline in homeownership rates will begin to level off.

The rate of homeownership in the U.S. continues to decline and, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, was 64.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014 -- about the same as it was in 1995. The decline in homeownership rates is attributable to three things:

There are two factors that have had the most important influences on local housing markets in the past few years: relatively inexpensive debt and very strict underwriting requirements. These two factors have opposite effects on the demand for

What were some of the most significant housing-related developments over the past year?

It is cheaper to own -- if the household expects to be in the same place for two or three years. The break-even time period decreases if house prices or rents are increasing • A structural shift in households' attitudes about the risk and financial rewards of homeownership. • A lack of single-family inventory. • Strict underwriting standards. Most of the decline in the rate of homeownership is among households whose heads are less than 44 years of age. The decline in the rate of homeownership is likely to continue to increase as

homeownership. Low interest rates reduce the after-tax cost of housing and increase the demand for owner-occupied housing. At the same time, lenders appear to have significantly tightened underwriting requirements, making it difficult to obtain mortgage debt for both financing purchases and for refinancing. All housing is local, of course. But in general, what are some of

the most important trends and developments that today's buyers should keep in mind when shopping for a home? The choice between buying and renting should depend primarily on a comparison of the aftertax cost of owning and the aftertax cost of renting. In most housing markets and most of the time, the annual aftertax cost of homeownership declines as the length of the holding period increases. This is primarily because homeownership comes with very high transaction costs when homes are purchased and again when homes are sold, and it takes time to amortize these costs. The longer the holding period, the lower the annual average transaction cost. The financially correct choice depends on a careful analysis of all the after-tax costs and benefits associated with owning and renting in a particular housing market. Having said that, in most markets, it only takes two or three years before the after-tax cost of owning is less than the after-tax cost of renting. Consequently, a household is financially better off owning -- it is cheaper to own -- if the household expects to be in the same place for two or three years. The break-even time period decreases if house prices or rents are increasing and increases if house prices or rents are decreasing. Looking into your crystal ball, what do you expect will be the biggest housing-related trends and developments this year? Future trends depend on the local market. In housing markets where house prices are above their historic average (e.g., Denver, Houston and others), the recent rapid increase in house prices is likely to slow down and future house prices changes are going to be closer to the rate of inflation. I expect house prices to continue to increase in places where inflation-adjusted house prices are currently below their historic average. -Courtesy bankrate.com


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'Common man' can have a street named after him NEW DELHI: Residents of north Delhi can now buy name tags of a public place or property in return for its maintenance. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation in a special meeting of the House chaired by the Leader of the House Meera Aggarwal approved the proposal during its budget finalization but the option comes with a few riders. "As per this plan, people can buy name tags of say a park, street, school, community centre, hospitals after their grandfather or anyone whom they think deserves the honor due to their work in the past," a senior NDMC official said. But, the idea would first have to be cleared by the NDMC's Naming Committee, which would weigh in the merit of the proposed names before putting the seal on it. According to the municipal rule, the proposal is first examined on a zonal-level by its ward committee and then it comes under the Naming Committee, headed by the Mayor. The Standing Committee then tables it in its meet and the final approval is given by the munici-

pal House. "So, it is not that we are allowing anybody to name anything after anybody. There is a due process. Just because, someone can pay for naming, doesn't mean that we will allow it," Chairman of NDMC's Standing Committee

Mohan Bhardwaj said. "There is a procedure in getting a place or property named. And, the merit of the proposal would be analyzed and examined on social and moral grounds by the Naming Committee before giving any approval," he said. The idea also was to generate additional revenue, the official

said. "We realized that apart from places and properties being named after famous and eminent people, common people could also get named as per their choice to bring in extra revenues. "It is like people paying extra to get a VIP car number. And the earning could be used in maintaining such properties," he said. Congress councilor and Leader of Opposition Mukesh Goel had opposed the move earlier as "inappropriate" and "illogical". The budget proposal in November 19 last year had said that "the Naming Committee invariably finds itself politically and morally on wrong foot to recommend a name after which a street or park is to be named". The House also rejected all proposed new taxes and hike in old ones. It also approved Rs 6 crore for 'Swachh Bharat' campaign in its areas. -PTI

New home launches in 2014 dipped 12% NEW DELHI: Real estate developers launched 1.53 lakh new housing units during the last calendar year, a fall of 12 per cent from 2013, in the country's top eight cities. According to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield, cities such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune had together witnessed a launch of 1,74,400 housing units during 2013. Barring Chennai and Kolkata, the other six cities saw fall in the number of launches. In Delhi-NCR, the launch of new homes dropped by 30 per cent to 38,400 units in 2014 from 26,800 units in the previous year, C&W said in a statement. Mumbai saw a decline of 19 per cent in launches at 25,000 units,

while Bengaluru witnessed a fall of 17 per cent at 40,900 flats. Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai accounted for 60 per cent of the total new launches in 2014. The number of new unit launches dropped substantially

by 46 per cent in Hyderabad as developers reconcile to the changing market dynamics post the bifurcation of the state, the consultant said. C&W Executive Managing Di-

rector South Asia Sanjay Dutt said: "Despite the upliftment of economic sentiments post the election, the end user uptake of residential units has been restricted leaving a reasonable unsold inventory that developers would like to off-load." Mid-segment residential units continued to remain favorite amongst developers with a two-third share in total launches. Unit launches in this segment increased by 5 per cent from the previous year. "Unit launches in the high-end segment dipped by 29 per cent in a year; whilst in the affordable segment they declined by 38 per cent from the previous year. Although luxury units contributed only 1 per cent to total unit launches, they increased by five times from the previous year," the statement said. -PTI

Maharsahtra plans 2600 houses for mill workers MUMBAI: In a bid to provide affordable housing to mill workers, the Maharashtra government has decided to complete the construction of additional 2,600 houses by 2016. In the Congress-NCP regime, families of 6,925 mill workers had bagged low cost houses in June 2012 under the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority's (MHADA) scheme for mill workers. A decision to complete the construction of 2,600 homes by October 2016 was taken in a review meeting chaired by the Minister of State for Housing

for mill workers and 8,100 flats can be used as transit camps on the 15.78 hectare land from 36 mills," the minister said. He said till date, 10,165 flats have already been constructed on 6.83 hectares of land at 11 different mill lands, out of which, 6,948 flats are for mill workers, 3,204 for transit camps and 13 shops are completed. "We have a proposal to construct flats for mill workers on land of Bombay Dyeing mill and Srinivas mill," he said. Responding to a query, Waikar said, "the land ratio of MHADA and mill owners is not yet final-

Ravindra Waikar. "These flats will be constructed on land of Western India, Bharat Textile, Prakash Cotton, Jubilee, and Ruby mills. "I have instructed the MHADA officials to complete the construction work before the end of next year, so that more than 2,600 mill workers' families can be accommodated in the second phase," Waikar said. He said MHADA will construct a total of 24,800 flats on an area of 15.78 hectares of land of the 36 textile mills in Mumbai in several phases. "We can construct 16,700 flats

ized in case of the New Great Eastern Mill and MHADA is in possession of the land at Victoria mill. But the land size of these two mills, along with five other mills, is very small and hence we are considering to exchange a bigger size of land owned by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)." The proposal to exchange the land is submitted to Urban Development Department and final nod of chief minister is awaited. "Once, the proposal is approved, we will start constructing lowbudget flats for mill workers," Waikar said. -PTI


„ Health

Line

Google developing body odor busting device LONDON: Tech giant Google has been awarded a patent for a body odor busting device which releases fragrances to keep the user smelling fresh. The wearable 'fragrance emission device' includes several sensors that can detect the physical activity of the user. These sensors would also detect a rise in temperature and moisture, suggesting increased sweat levels and body odor. The device fits under the clothes and uses its range of sensors to keep tabs on odor levels. When needed, it releases fragrances to keep the user smelling fresh. It is also able to regulate just how much spray is needed to cover the user's body odor needs, 'express.co.uk' reported. The device will also provide travel tips which can suggest routes away from people within the user's social network of contacts that are linked to the device, in case of those bad-smelling situations. The route suggesting portion may employ searching technology such as Google Maps or Google Earth to supply the alternate route. -PTI

„ Khattar launches 'Khelega HaryanaBadega Haryana' SONEPAT, Haryana: Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who launched a 'Khelega Haryana-Badega Haryana' awareness campaign here, said it would cover the entire state to keep every citizen healthy and diseasefree. Under the campaign, 'Vyayamshala' will be opened in every village over two acres to draw people to yoga and sports, Khattar said. The campaign was launched at Moti Lal Nehru Sports School, Rai here, an official release said. He said that every week programs would be held in one district where one state minister would participate in the marathon along with children and local people. The campaign would lay strong foundation of a healthy Haryana and help promote sports and encourage the state players. 'Physical Activities and Sports Policy 2015' has been formulated under which the amount of cash awards is increased and new awards are instituted, the release said. -PTI

Health Science

Twitter can help doctors treat patients better

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Computer model of blood development to treat leukemia LONDON: The first comprehensive computer model to simulate the development of blood cells could lead to new treatments for leukemia and lymphoma, scientists say. The human body produces over 2.5 million new blood cells during every second of our adult lives, but how this process is controlled remains poorly understood. Blood cancers, which include leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, occur when the production of new blood cells gets out of balance, for example if the body produces an overabundance of white blood cells. Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Microsoft Research have developed a computer model to help gain a better understanding of the control mechanisms that keep blood production normal. "With this new computer model, we can carry out simulated experiments in seconds that would take many weeks to perform in the laboratory, dramatically speeding up research into blood development and the genetic mutations that cause leukaemia," said Professor Bertie Gottgens at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. To construct the computer model, PhD student Vicki

Moignard from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute measured the activity of 48 genes in over 3,900 blood progenitor cells that give rise to all other types of blood cell: red and white blood cells, and platelets.

Importantly, subsequent laboratory experiments validated the accuracy of this new computer model. One way the computer model can be used is to simulate the activity of key genes implicated in

These genes include TAL1 and RUNX1, both of which are essential for the development of blood stem cells, and hence to human life. Computational biology PhD student Steven Woodhouse then used the resulting dataset to construct the computer model of blood cell development, using computational approaches originally developed at Microsoft Research for synthesis of computer code.

blood cancers. simulations will accelerate the development of new drugs. For example, around one in five of all children who develop leu- 'rules' in the network model, they kaemia has a faulty version of the can simulate the formation of abgene RUNX1, as does a similar normal leukaemia cells. proportion of adults with acute By tweaking the leukaemia myeloid leukaemia, one of the model until the behavior of the most deadly forms of leukaemia network reverts back to normal, in adults. the researchers believe they can The computer model shows identify promising pathways to how RUNX1 interacts with other target with drugs. genes to control blood cell develThe research is published in the opment: the gene produces a pro- journal Nature Biotechnology. -PTI

tein also known as Runx1, which in healthy patients activates a particular network of key genes; in patients with leukaemia, an altered form of the protein is thought to suppress this same network. If the researchers change the

Professor Bertie Gottgens says fast computer

Tech identifies patients at risk of second stroke WASHINGTON: Risk of recurrent stroke is higher in patients who have low blood flow to the back of the brain, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago also found that the condition can be visualized using specialized software that analyses blood flow using standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients with blockage of the blood vessels that supply blood to the back of the brain - a condition known as vertebrobasilar disease, or VBD - are at risk of having a stroke or temporary symptoms of a stroke known as

transient ischemic attack (TIA). These posterior-circulation

strokes. The risk of a repeat stroke as-

Vertebrobasilar flow evaluation for risk of transient ischemic attack and stroke.

strokes account for 30 per cent to 40 per cent of all ischemic

sociated with VBD may be tied to several factors, including the

degree to which the blockage reduces the blood flow to the brain, researchers said. Patients with VBD can have blockage ranging from partial to complete, which affects blood flow accordingly. Some patients with VBD can also have normal blood flow to the back of the brain. A six-year, multi-centre trial sought to identify patients with VBD and low blood flow to see if they had a higher risk of recurrent stroke than those with normal blood flow to the back of the brain. A quarter of the enrolled patients were identified as having low posterior blood flow. Cont'd on Page 35


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New aggressive form of HIV discovered in Cuba LONDON: A new aggressive form of HIV can progress to AIDS in just three years so rapidly that patients may not even realize they were infected, scientists say. Engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting multiple strains of HIV. Once inside a host, these strains can recombine into a new variant of the virus, researchers said. One such recombinant variant observed in patients in Cuba appears to be much more aggressive than other known forms of HIV, researchers said. Before it can enter human cells, HIV must first anchor itself to them. The virus does this via anchor points, or co-recep-

tors, which are proteins on the cell membrane. In a normal infection, the virus first uses the anchor point CCR5. In many patients, after a number of healthy years, the virus then switches to the anchor point CXCR4. This co-receptor switch coincides with a faster progression to AIDS. Researchers at KU Leuven's Laboratory for Clinical and Epidemiological Virology in Belgium have described a recombinant form of HIV observed in patients in Cuba that makes this transition much faster. The virus targets the anchor point CXCR4 early after infection, shortening drastically the healthy phase and triggering rapid progression to AIDS.

Docs store digital human hearts on computer LONDON: UK doctors have stored 1,600 beating human hearts in digital form on a computer to better understand the relationship between people's genes and heart disease.

Scientists at the Medical Research Council's Clinical Sciences Centre at Hammersmith Hospital are scanning detailed 3D videos of the hearts of 1,600 patients and collecting genetic information from each volunteer. "There is a really complicated relationship bet w e e n people's genes and heart disease, and we are still trying to unravel what that is," said Dr Declan O'Regan, who is involved in the heart study. "But by getting really clear 3D pictures of the heart we hope to be able to get a

much better understanding of the cause and effect of heart disease and give the right patients the right treatment at the right time," O'Regan said. The idea of storing so much information on so many hearts is to compare them and to see what the common factors are that lead to illnesses. "There are often subtle signs of early disease that are really difficult to pick up even if you know what to look for. A computer is very sensitive to picking up subtle signs of a disease before they become a problem," O'Regan said. The study is among a wave of new "big data" ventures that are transforming the way in which research is carried out, 'BBC News' reported. Computers at the European Bioinfomatics Institute (EBI) in Cambridge store the entire genetic code of tens of thousands of different plants and animals. The information occupies the equivalent of more than 5,000 laptops. To find out how the human mind works, researchers at the Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics at the University of Southern California are storing 30,000 detailed 3D brain scans, requiring the space equivalent to 10,000 laptops.

The Square Kilometre Array, a radio telescope being built in Africa and Australia, will collect data in one year that is 150 times the current total annual global internet traffic. -PTI

Professor Anne-Mieke Vandamme and colleagues studied the blood of 73 recentlyinfected patients - 52 at AIDS diagnosis and 21 without AIDS - and compared re-

In the patients infected with the HIV recombinant, the researchers observed abnormally high doses of the virus and of the defensive molecule RANTES. sults with blood from 22 patients who had progressed to AIDS after a normal healthy period with HIV. In the patients infected with the HIV recombinant, the researchers observed abnormally high doses of the virus and of the defensive molecule RANTES.

This molecule is part of the natural immune response and acts through binding to CCR5, to which most forms of HIV have to bind before entering the cell. The high concentration of RANTES suggests that most of the CCR5 proteins were no longer available as anchor points for HIV. This may have caused the HIV recombinant to bypass that anchor point and go straight to anchor point CXCR4. The observation that all study patients who were infected with the recombinant HIV variant went on to develop AIDS within three years of infection supports this theory, researchers said. The transition from anchor point CCR5 to CXCR4 is normally very difficult. The researchers suspect that the rapid transition observed in this HIV recombinant occurs as a result of combining fragments from different HIV subtypes. One of these fragments contains a protease (from subtype D), which acts very efficiently. Protease is an enzyme that cleaves the proteins that are used in new virus particles. This protease is very 'fit' - it enables the virus to replicate in greater numbers hence facilitating the transition to CXCR4 anchoring, researchers said. The study is published in the journal EBioMedicine. -PTI


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Twitter can help doctors China links promotions in PLA to fitness treat patients better TORONTO: Using Twitter can help physicians be better prepared to answer questions from their patients, according to new research. The study by researchers from the University of British Columbia has found more and more health care professionals are embracing social media. This challenges common opinion that physicians are reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon. "Many people go online for health information, but little research has been done on who is participating in these discussions or what is being shared," said Julie Robillard, lead author and neurology professor at UBC's National Core for Neuroethics and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. Robillard and psychology student Emanuel Cabral spent six months monitoring conversations surrounding stem cell research related to spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease on Twitter. They found roughly 25 per cent

of the tweets about spinal cord injury and 15 per cent of the tweets about Parkinson's disease were from health care professionals. The study found the majority of tweets were about research findings, particularly the ones perceived as medical breakthroughs. The most shared con-

tent were links to research reports. The study also found the users tweeting about spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease differed. Users who tweeted about spinal cord injury talked about clinical trials, while users who tweeted about Parkinson's disease mostly talked about new tools or methods being developed to conduct research. Less than five per cent of the tweets spoke out against stem cell research, which surprised the researchers. "We expected to see debate on stem cell controversy. But people are sharing ideas of hope and expectations much more than anything else," said Robillard. Robillard believes social media can help physicians become more aware of what their patients are consuming about scientific research beyond traditional media. This could help temper patients' expectations about potential treatments. -PTI

Beaver enamel holds clues to tooth decay WASHINGTON: Beavers have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth, according to a new study that could lead to improved treatments for human tooth decay. Northwestern University researchers found that the pigmented enamel of beavers, which contains iron, is both harder and more resistant to acid than regular enamel, including that treated with fluoride. "We have made a really big step forward in understanding the composition and structure of enamel - the tooth's protective outer layer - at the smallest length scales," said Derk Joester, lead author of the study and an associate professor of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. "The unstructured material, which makes up only a small fraction of enamel, likely plays a role in tooth decay," Joester said. "We found it is the minority ions - the ones that provide diversity that really make the difference in protection. In regular enamel,

it's magnesium, and in the pigmented enamel of beaver and other rodents, it's iron," he said. Layers of well-ordered hydroxylapatite "nanowires" are the core structure of enamel, but Joester and his team discovered it is the material surrounding the nanowires, where small amounts

leagues imaged the never-seenbefore amorphous structure that surrounds the nanowires. They used powerful atomprobe tomography and other techniques to map enamel's structure atom by atom. Rodent enamel is similar to human enamel. The researchers subjected the teeth to acid and took images before and after acid exposure. They found the periphery of the nanowires dissolved (the amorphous material), not the nanowires themselves. The researchers next identified amorphous biominerals in the structure, such as iron and magScientists look at chemical composition of nesium, and learned how beaver teeth for clues in the battle against they contribute to both the tooth decay. Beaver tooth enamel contains mechanical hardness and iron, which protects against decay, claim resistance of enamel to scientists. acid dissolution. of amorphous minerals rich in iron Of particular interest to Joester and magnesium are located, that and his colleagues was the pigcontrols enamel's acid resistance mented enamel of the beaver's inand mechanical properties. cisors. Their studies showed it to In a series of experiments of be an improvement over fluoriderabbit, mouse, rat and beaver treated enamel in resisting acid. enamel, Joester and his col- PTI

BEIJING: China has stepped up the fitness campaign for its 2.3 million-strong army, linking promotions of the personnel in the world's largest military to their health conditions. People's Liberation Army (PLA) members have been reminded to stay in shape or else they will lose out on promotions. "Soldiers are easily gaining weight in peacetime," said Li Daguang, an expert with the National Defense University. "It has been more than 30 years since the Chinese army fought in a war" state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Li said that with improved liv-

A soldier under the Shenyang Military Region of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducting combat drill in the snowfield

ing conditions, changing lifestyles and dietary structure, soldiers live comfortably and are putting on weight. "Being overweight will not only harm soldiers' image, but also affect their performance on the battlefield and the troop's overall combat power," he said. The PLA has set compulsive standards for soldiers' weight and vowed to pay more atten-

tion to military fitness training, which aims to build a stronger force, according to new guidelines. "Physical training should be linked to personnel management," the guideline said, referring to promotions or demotions. Military physical training is "a basic way of enhancing soldiers and officers' physical and mental quality" and helps cultivate combat power, it said, calling for innovative training methods and outlining a distinctive military training system. "It is strength but not weight, muscle not fat that is to be compared on the future war field," said PLA Major General Luo Yuan. The guideline reflects the principle of running the army strictly, Luo said, adding it is an international convention to quantify soldiers' weight standards. Senior Colonel Zhang Junshe, a researcher with the PLA's Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said the weight problem is even bigger for those working indoors. "They are older than frontline soldiers and often work overtime and do little sport, especially military computer technicians whose average weight surpasses standards," said Zhang. The PLA did not disclose new weight standards, but those for soldiers and administrative officers should differ. Chinese people often joke about big bellied PLA generals and policemen, questioning their ability of fighting a real war on the battlefield, according to the report. -PTI

Kansas spends millions to upgrade hospital OSAWATOMIE, Kan.: Kansas is spending millions of dollars to rehab one of its two psychiatric hospitals to avoid the loss of federal Medicare and Medicaid funds that make up about one-fourth of the facility's $26 million budget. The Kansas City Star reports Osawatomie State Hospital an hour south of Kansas City is replacing patient beds and mattresses, installing new bathroom fixtures and making other changes after an inspection in late January

raised concerns about patient safety. Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services spokeswoman Angela de Rocha says it will cost the state about $3 million to bring the hospital into compliance on top of costs it already has incurred. It's the second time in recent months that federal regulators have threatened to take away the facility's Medicare and Medicaid funding. -AP


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Congressional panel seeks Nonprofit's marijuana license governor's documents challenged in court PORTLAND, Ore.: A Congressional panel investigating Cover Oregon has asked departing Gov. John Kitzhaber to preserve all documents related to the shutdown of the dysfunctional health insurance exchange. A letter by four members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asks for a slew of documents in hopes of understanding whether campaign advisers played a role in the decision to switch to the federal health insurance exchange. The letter warns the governor's office not to alter or destroy any records - a reference to a Kitzhaber staffer's recent request to have the governor's personal emails deleted from the state archives. The request was denied. ``If it is the routine practice of any state employee or contractor to destroy or otherwise alter such records, halt that practice,'' the letter states. Kitzhaber announced his resignation amid a conflict-of-interest scandal involving his longtime girlfriend, Cylvia Hayes, and whether she used her access to power to advance her consulting business. The Cover Oregon debacle has been a years long headache for Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor who prides himself on matters involving health care. The exchange website never fully launched, forcing the state to hire hundreds of workers to manually process applications. The state finally scrapped the online portal in spring 2014 and switched to the federal site, HealthCare.gov. The decision

came in the same year Kitzhaber was running for what would prove to be a successful re-election campaign. The U.S. House committee seeking the documents by Feb. 27 wants to know if the decision to abandon the Cover Oregon exchange - funded with $305 million in federal grants - was based on election-year politics.

Gov. John Kitzhaber

The Republican-controlled committee seeks all communications from those associated with Cover Oregon, the re-election campaign and other contractors and consultants. The committee has been investigating Cover Oregon since last March, when it requested thousands of documents to see if the private information of Oregon residents was placed in a vulnerable position. -AP

Tech identifies patients at risk of second stroke "We found that patients with low blood flow had a 22 per cent risk of recurrent stroke in the first 12 months, versus a 4 per cent risk for patients whose blood flow was not low," said Dr Sepideh Amin-Hanjani, professor of neurological surgery at the UIC College of Medicine and principal investigator on the study. At 24 months, the risk for patients with low blood flow was up to 30 per cent versus 13 per cent for other patients. "If you can establish that there is a proportion of people who have reduced blood flow, then you can consider them for treatments that might actually increase it - for example, [by] surgery or stents or other procedures that might open up the blood vessels," Hanjani said. Just as importantly, if you find a group of people whose blood flow is not reduced, Hanjani said, there would be no need to subject them to a procedure and its associated risks. NOVA technology, a computer-based

system used to visualize brain anatomy and quantify blood flow developed at UIC by Dr Fady Charbel, professor and head of neurological surgery, made it possible to easily identify patients with reduced posterior blood flow using standard MRI. With help from the UIC Office of Tech-

"If you can establish that there is a proportion of people who have reduced blood flow, then you can consider them for treatments nology Management, NOVA was transferred to a newly formed company, VasSol, where the technology was further developed into a product with an improved user interface, adding functionality and applicability.-PTI

CHICAGO: An unusual legal case brewing in central Illinois poses a provocative question: Should a nonprofit organization that's exempt from federal taxes be allowed to grow medical marijuana, in violation of federal law? An attorney is seeking a judge's permission to file a lawsuit against Shelby County Community Services, a Shelbyville nonprofit that provides drug addiction counseling and runs a mental health clinic. The nonprofit recently won a license to grow marijuana in Illinois' new medical cannabis program. ``Shelby County Community Services was never legally able to have a medical cannabis license at the time they applied,'' said attorney Sean Britton, who filed the petition in Coles County Circuit Court. The petition claims the nonprofit has federal tax-exempt status, which should bar it from breaking federal law. The court filing is a required preliminary step before a lawsuit can be filed, Britton said. The court is expected to decide later this month whether the lawsuit can be filed. Britton represents Shiloh Agronomics, a for-profit business that lost out in the competition for a marijuana cultivation license in Illinois State Police District 10. ``We feel they would have had a shot at

that license'' if the nonprofit group hadn't won, Britton said. Shiloh Agronomics was formed by the owners of an Edgar County family farm that's been in operation for more than a century, according to the court filing. The owners applied to grow marijuana in Edgar County. The nonprofit provides mental health

services, including counseling for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, according to its website. Colclasure told the Chicago Tribune he doesn't see a contradiction in growing medical marijuana and providing addiction counseling. Growing marijuana would provide jobs and help the nonprofit deal with declining state government funding, he told the newspaper. -AP


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Aam Aadmi Party: Victory of common man! DR MUNISH KUMAR RAIZADA

T

he stunning victory of Aam Aadmi Slowly and steadily it is becoming clear people a talking point about concepts like The spirit of volunteerism in politics is Party in Delhi state assembly elec- to the public that Modi is not a reformer. 'internal democracy' and primaries. another fascinating aspect that AAP has tions within a span of less than a He wants to maintain status quo of adAAP also stirred Indian politics by re- been able to successfully demonstrate and year is indeed historic. Its re-emer- ministration, sprinkling with a little bit jecting the caste and community equation sustain. The overwhelming response of gence is a milestone in Indian politics. dose of development. Had he been seri- in fielding of candidates. In Delhi elec- people coming from out of Delhi and even The victory is not only a resounding ver- ous about reforms then the crucial ap- tions, caste and religion were not the pri- abroad to volunteer their time and skills dict on the steadfastness, self-belief and hard work of largely volunteer-driven Aam Aadmi Party; it is equally a reminder to the incumbent BJP (at Centre) that public goodwill cannot be sustained if promises are not kept. At national level, Narendra Modi -who came to power with a thumping majority on the plank of clean governance and development - soon, was seen as a man not willing to look at the issue of corruption and black money through a common's man lens. Rather than focusing on governance that brings reprieve to common man, Modi has so far chosen to craft symbolic pillars and exhibits for the slogan of development and governance. Even at the state level in Delhi, BJP never walked the talk! Despite initially refusing to form government as it was short on numbers, why did it make frantic attempts to form government in Delhi state by horse-trading in last several months? Secondly, general public ever suffocated with simmering corruption and inefficiency in offices, and MCD (BJP-controlled) found no improvement in quality of local infrastructure; rather it was thrust upon with a larger than life portrayal of its Prime Minister. AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal with Manish Sisodia and other Cabinet ministers waves to suppoters after taking oath as It goes to the credit of Arvind Kejriwal Delhi Chief Minister at Ramlila maidan on February 14 that his party was able to highlight this duplicity and at the same time thwart the efforts of government formation by BJP pointments of Chief Information Officer mary basis of selecting a candidate and is a testimony to mass mobilization. by hook or crook. Despite the fact that (CIC), and Lokpal would have been done the election results have shown that it Whereas other parties have an estabmedia and intellectuals had written off without delay. Similarly what is prevent- went well with the electorate. lished culture of paid workers, AAP was Kejriwal's politics, the diminutive figure ing him from bringing legislation through These elections have reinforced an- able to mobilize public participation for kept his peace and kept demanding what Parliament leading to transparency in po- other interesting phenomenon of what political action. a common man aspires - right to better litical finance? we call "Citizen Politics". Aam Aadmi deWith the emergence of what Arvind civic facilities and A watershed ciding to take a plunge in politics, aam Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party terms as some grace! Delhi assembly aadmi deciding to contest elections and "Clean Politics", the other political parThen came the paraelections 2015 are a successfully winning several seats gave ties would be forced to adopt the agenda! trooping of Kiran Bedi watershed in the hisby BJP. What initially tory of Indian politics. seemed to be a What started as a hic- With the emergence of what Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam masterstroke, in retrocup and bump experi- Aadmi Party terms as "Clean Politics", the other political spect Ms Bedi did a ment in 2013, the redisservice to her emergence of Aam parties would be forced to adopt the agenda! AAP has newfound love by Aadmi Party has now come in clear support of measures like political parties needless utterances, an approval stamp on grumbling tone and a few defining charac- coming under RTI scanner, a stronger Lokpal Bill, electoral tenor. With BJP asteristics in Indian poli- reforms like Right to reject and Right to recall. Thus, other cending to power in tics. political parties will be forced to re-examine their stands. Delhi in May last year, Aam Aadmi Party Dr Munish Kumar Raizada the local state unit was has amply proved in a formidable position that elections can be a jolt to the usual stereotypes that poli- AAP has come in clear support of meato serve the public through its MLAs and fought with white money donated by pub- tics was a domain of the wealthy and the sures like political parties coming under a supportive Lieutenant Governor, but it lic. privileged few. RTI scanner, a stronger Lokpal Bill, elecchose to direct its energy on personally It also has exemplified that if there is a Also, the methods adopted by AAP like toral reforms like Right to reject and Right attacking Arvind Kejriwal and continue will, money influence can be decreased in door to door campaigning, engaging to recall. Thus, other political parties will labeling him as a bhagoda (absconder). politics. people in nukkad meetings, music walks, be forced to re-examine their stands. Rather than taking a cue from the transAAP also set a new standard in Indian metro train campaigns not only gave them Let us hope, an era of new politics deparent manner of fund raising by a fledg- politics by advocating what we call the time to connect to the electorate, they also manding more accountability and transling Aam Aadmi Party, BJP on the oppo- phenomenon of primaries or caucuses to proved to be very economical models of parency has arrived! site chose to vilify AAP. Buoyant with choose the candidates for elections. election campaigning. In fact, topi (cap) The author is a practicing doctor in Lok Sabha victory, BJP also chose to rake While AAP itself has not been able to put and jhadoo (broom) were good eye catch- Chicago and a member of Aam Aadmi up divisive politics based upon religion. this fully in practice, the party has given ers for the public. Party.


February 20, 2015

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amed with one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal, Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Agra is a virtual fort of history and architecture located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Historical monuments, grand architectural grandeur and the beauty of marbles, Agra thrives as one of the tourist destinations in India. Agra, a medieval city, was assumed to be built in 1475. It finds a place even in the epic Mahabharata as Agraban (means paradise). The renowned second century geographer Ptolemy spotted this place as Agra in his world map. Agra was the capital of many dynasties including Lodhi and Mughals.

February 20, 2015

Located on the banks of River Yamuna, Agra offers the tourists the richest of the man-made beauties including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal. It is the haven of Mughal art, culture and architecture on your India tour packages. Agra is the foremost tourist spot in India and has been equipped with all kinds of infrastructure facilities for tourists. The city with multi colored illuminations provides a marvelous view at night to offer hearty welcome to its tourists. Many high standard hotels and resorts add to the enjoyment of the vacation and picnic in Agra. Cont’d on page 42


February 20, 2015

Travel & Hospitality Post

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Record 12 lakh visited Surajkund Mela this year SURAJKUND, Haryana: The 29th edition of fortnight-long Surajkund International Crafts Mela culminated on Feb 15, recording a footfall of around 12 lakh visitors, including 1.6 lakh foreigners, this year. Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, who presided over the closing-cum-award presentation ceremony here, said it was heartening to see the mela being organized on this magnitude. The fair contributes in stirring a spirit of unity and brotherhood among different nations, he said. Solanki said the fair offered an ideal opportunity to bind countries together and think for a larger good with over 20 countries taking part in it and different folk cultures being unveiled during the fortnight. Hailing the strong roots of Indian culture, he said, "India's culture and heritage had such strong roots that it could offer a solution for problems like terrorism and international strife, and along with 'yoga' it could help the youth imbibe a strong value system." Assigning full credit to the mela for instilling harmony among different cultures, he highlighted Haryana's progress in every field including industry, agriculture and sports. Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Ji Das Tandon was the special invitee on the occasion. Drumbeats and foot-tapping music gave the esteemed dignitaries a rousing welcome from the participating cultural troupes of various countries and states of the nation. Sumita Misra, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism and Chief

chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority, highlighted that the fair had become a repository of arts and crafts from across the globe. He said Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Rwanda, Syria, Vietnam, Uganda, Mongolia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,

Cultural performance during closing ceremony of the Surajkund Mela

Uzbekistan and Georgia participated in this edition of the fair. Dhillon said last year the number of crafts persons to participate in the fair were 850 which increased to 941 this year, an increase of about 11 per cent. "The footfall of visitors last year was over 10 lakh, including 80,000 foreigners. This increase is a positive sign and would certainly be converting to increase in the tourism of the country," he said. Zahir Ridwan, head of the Lebanese delegation, said this has been one-of-its-kind of an experience and they look forward to be a part of this fair next year too. Karan Dev Kamboj, Minister of State for Tourism, Haryana said the arrangements made for the comfortable stay and transport of

Musician Anush Stepanyan from Armenia displaying chiffon scarf and musical instrument on display at her stall

Administrator, Surajkund Mela Authority said "the mela is the biggest crafts fair of the world that symbolizes brotherhood of cultures and has been indeed very successful this year". More than 20 countries participated in the craft fair this year. S S Dhillon, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, Haryana and vice

He further said the government will think about extending the duration of the fair from a fortnight to one month, as it presented a colorful show of cultural performances, and blended the crafts and traditions of different countries beautifully. Balram Ji Das Tandon, the Chhattisgarh Governor,

the participants from across the globe is commendable and 50 per cent discount extended to the youths and senior citizens are also the initiatives worth applause. Ram Bilas Sharma, Tourism Minister, Haryana, said that the participation of 20 countries in the mela offers encouragement and motivation.

complimented that Surajkund mela offered a great platform for the next generations to connect with culture and folk arts. He added that this mela offered

a perfect opportunity to the states Bengal and Bana Devi from Bihar of the country in particular to were presented awards in Kala showcase their culture and tradi- Nidhi category. tions. Nisha from the host state During the closing ceremony, Haryana was honored with Kala awards to artisans and craft per- Mani award for specialized contrisons were given. bution in marble stone craft along In the Kala Shree category of with eight artists from other states crafts persons, Seema from Chhattisgarh was awarded the first prize for her craft work in Godhna silk while Jai Ram Solanki from Delhi for his Dhokra craft was given the second prize. Chan Chaiah from Andhra Pradesh, Janmamed from Gujarat and Kamini Kaushal from Bihar Face painting competition at Surajkund Mela were also awarded in this category for their skills in craft. of the country and two artisans Ravindra from Chhattisgarh, from Syria. Mohd Ishaq Timorjada from Abdul Kadar Khatri from MP, Venkar Devjee Premjee from Afghanistan was given the Kala Gujarat, P Sangottu Vel from Tamil Ratna for his work on Afghani carNadu, Bhantu Chitrakar from West pets.-PTI


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Tomb of Itmad ud Daulah

Agra Haven of Mughal art, culture and architecture Cont’d from page 40

Tourist Attractions Taj Mahal: One of the Seven wonders in the world, a must see place in India, Taj Mahal is situated majestically in Agra. It is acclaimed as one of the three World Fatehpur Sikri

Heritage Sites in Agra and is the living specimen of romantic love life of Shah Jahan and his favorite beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Located on the banks of the majestic River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is a masterpiece of architectural design and excellence in finishing. Mehtab Bagh: The Mehtab Bagh, a 25-acre garden plot constructed during 1631 to 1635 AD, is the moonlight garden located along the western side of bank of the river Yamuna. It is laid just across the Yamuna, aligned with the world famous Taj in a symmetrical style. Agra Fort: Also renowned as the Red Fort of Agra, Agra Fort is located near the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the Great King Akbar and con-

tinued up to the period of King Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar. The fort, encompassing a length of 2.5 km within marvelous enclosure walls, is built in red sandstone and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Shah Jahani Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, the Khas Mahal, audience halls named Diwan-i-Am and the Diwan-i-Khas are enclosed in the fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque. Mausamman Burj: Musamman Burj is placed very close to the Diwan-i-Khas, the imposing private hall of Shah Jahan. Mausamman Burj, also renowned as Saman Burj, is an exquisite architectural marvel with octagonal tower. There are many carvings on the structure adorned with colored tiles. Moti Masjid: Located on the slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-e-aam complex, Moti Masjid is famous for its pearlwhite exteriors and the beautiful interiors as well as exteriors. Built during the years 1648-54, the mosque has 12 pillars and cusped arches. The mosque is very large and can be entered from three gates out of which the main entrance, located on the eastern side, is the grandest and most exquisite. Chini Ka Rauza: Chini Ka Rauza is a spectacular tomb very close to Taj Mahal in Agra. The tomb is dedicated to the Prime Min-

Khandesh in Gujarat, is the gate- elegantly finished in marvelous arway to the renowned Fatehpur chitectural styles. Sikandra Complex (Akbar's Sikri near Agra. This exquisite architectural wonder provides an eye Tomb): Sikandra Complex containcatching view for travelers and ing Akbar's tomb is another architourists, which is visible even from tectural marvel. The Great Mughal a long distance. The Darwaza is emperor began the construction of placed at an elevated height about this complex in 1605, embedding 40 meters and seems to be inviting various architectural styles. the tourists to the land of Agra Jehangir, Akbar's son, completed wholeheartedly. the Sikandra Complex after Akbar's Panch Mahal: A big five sto- death. ried pavilion placed in the Fatehpur Sikri fort complex, Panch Best time to visit Mahal was believed to be the pleaAgra experiences extreme temsure and relaxation place for peratures in summers and winters Mughal emperor Akbar. The pavil- and moderate temperatures in ion is made up of beautiful red other seasons. The best time to sandstone and is at the highest visit Agra is from October to point in Fatehpur Sikri. This is a March. monument depicting the Buland Darwaza architectural marvel of How to reach Persian style of conBy Train: There are four railstruction. way stations in Agra - Agra Cantt, Maryamuzzamani Raja-ki-Mandi, Agra Fort, and P a l a c e : Idgah Agra Junction. The city is Maryamuzzamani Palace well connected by train services is an exquisite palace lo- to all the important cities in India. cated in the fort complex By Air: Agra's Kheria Airport of Fatehpur Sikri. This is located 8 km away from the heart was the palace of Queen of the city. Agra is connected to Maryamuzzammani, the Varanasi, Delhi and Khajuraho by Goan wife of Emperor Akbar and air. the Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. By Bus: Agra is connected by Jama Masjid: The Jama Masjid the mother of Jehangir. Itimad-ud-daula's Tomb: Itimad- road to Delhi, Lucknow and is one of the largest mosques in Agra. It was built in 1648 and is ud-daula's Tomb on the bank of Kanpur. popularly known as Jami Masjid. River Yamuna was This mosque is credited with the built by the queen Maryamuzzamani name of Princess Jahanara Begum, Noor Jahan, the queen Palace the lovely daughter of Shah Jahan. of Jahangir, for her The mosque is noted for the ab- parents. It is an archisence of minarets and also for the tectural marvel situated in the middle of exquisite tomb. Buland Darwaza: Buland the well known and Darwaza, an entrance constructed scenic Persian Garden. by Akbar to celebrate his victory The tomb was suin 1573 over the kingdom of perbly designed and ister of Mughal dynasty Allama Afzal Khan, the Mullah of Shiraz, during the rule of Shah Jahan. The name Chini Ka Rauza is derived from most attractive tiles (Chini) used to adorn the ceilings and walls of the structure. The tomb is decorated with different colors, blue, yellow and green tiles adding a spectacular view to it. Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri is a town located about 40 km away from Agra and is one of the renowned World Heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. The city was built during the period 1571 to 1585 by the great Mughal emperor Akbar. The city in red sandstone was built to celebrate the birth of his son Salim and also to honor


February 20, 2015

Travel & Hospitality Post

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'Make pilgrimages affordable for common man' NEW DELHI: Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has advocated making domestic tourism, especially pilgrimages, affordable for the common man. Tourism should not be the sole prerogative of the rich and should be made affordable for the domestic tourist also who desires to take his or her old parents on a pilgrimage, Sharma told the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Tourism and Culture Ministries at a meeting in Kachchh in Gujarat. The meeting was held to take a general overview of the tourism and cultural sectors, said a release. The minister explained to the participants the new schemes of the national mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) and Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), which were introduced in the 201415 Budget. The MPs at the meet, meanwhile, lauded the introduction of Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) as an excellent initiative and said it should be expanded further.

The MPs also spoke of opportunities for promoting culture and tourism in their respective constituencies and also touched upon means of ensuring proper monitoring of central funds.

Presentations on the working of the Ministries of Tourism and Culture were made before the members of the consultative committee during the meeting. Sharma elaborated the vision

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand has won the best decorated pavilion award during this year's 'Travel and Tourism' fair held in the national capital. A replica of the famous Badrinath temple located in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand was present at the event in New Delhi, an official release here said. Sixteen tour operators and hoteliers of Uttarakhand took part in the pavilion which was visited

by over 10,000 people. The visitors gathered information about tourism in the hill state, the release said. The fair was held from February 10-12 Feb at Thyagaraj Sports Complex in the capital. Tourists made inquiries about several events like the forthcoming International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh from March 7, the winter time Char Dham Yatra and a Yatra which begins after winters, it said.-PTI

Minister Mahesh Sharma

MP Bishnupada Ray spoke of the immense potential of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for tourism and called for the development of Viper Island and Cellular Jail by the ASI.

and mission of the two ministries to the MPs present. The scenario for tourism in Indian economy along with the global scenario and the challenges and goals were also discussed at the meeting. -PTI

Warm winter not all bad for ski industry BOZEMAN, Mont.: With recent weather more akin to springtime than February, it's been no stretch to hear skiers crying foul of Mother Nature's refusal to produce powder days. But despite the brown grass, bare streets and balmy days in Bozeman proper, ski shops and ski areas report the season is still humming along just fine. ``It's not as bad as people would think,'' said Kevin Weisner, owner of Ph.D Skis. ``People are still skiing. You have to tell them it's good though.'' The warm weather, in fact, has been helping keep the season alive in lieu of big powder days. ``People still want to get out and ski,'' said Doug Wales, marketing director for Bridger Bowl. ``When it's bluebird days out, it's really enjoyable.'' At Round House Ski and Sports Center, manager Michell Potts has seen the warm weather keep skiers buying gear and heading to the hill, she told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. February has been ``decently slow'' at Round House, but with a

Best decorated pavilion award for Uttarakhand

busy, warm weekend ahead, Potts said she expects things to turn around and get better. ``I think (the softening snow) is going to help, because they're going to see spring-skiing conditions,'' she added. ``And everybody likes spring skiing.'' Wales said things have slowed down the last couple of weeks,

primarily because of high wind conditions last week, but the area is still drawing skiers at ``decent'' levels. The area at times sees snowfall that misses Bridger or Bozeman, said Sheila Chapman, public relations manager for Big Sky Resort. And even with the warm

weather, Montana areas are leaps and bounds ahead of West Coast ski areas. ``Being locals, we tend to get a little spoiled,'' Chapman said. ``But when people come here from out of town, they can't believe how much snow we have.'' This year, that's more true than ever, as many California areas are sitting closed for the fourth year in a row as the drought there continues. Farther north, in Washington, conditions are only slightly more in favor of skiers. So, in comparison, skiers in Bozeman should feel pretty good, Wales said. And while it's brown in town, some snow does keep falling at Bridger - a few inches this week, a foot or so last week - and at Big Sky, where a big powder day was had just a week ago. -AP

Wi-fi service in UP airconditioned buses GHAZIABAD: Uttar Pradesh Roadways has decided to provide wi-fi internet facility to the passengers traveling in its low cost airconditioned bus service 'Janrath,' for which they will be charged. "In the first phase, Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSTRC) will equip its 10 air-conditioned 'Janrath'

cent' for the usage of internet, which would be included in the ticket amount, he said, adding conductors on board would provide the password to the passengers en-route. Tickets for 'Janrath' buses can be booked online in advance. UP government has sanctioned a contingent of 25 'Janrath' buses

buses with wi-fi systems for which it has signed a contract with a private telecom service provider," Additional Regional Manger UPSRTC Ashok Kumar Shrotriya said here. The passengers will be charged 'one time extra payment of 20 per

for Ghaziabad region for long route journey of which 10 have arrived, he said. As per the schedule, two buses will start plying between Ghaziabad and Dehradun, six to Lucknow, and two to Haridwar regularly within a short span of time. -PTI


In Brief Pakistani groom jailed for forgetting wife's name LONDON: A UK court has sentenced three people, including a Pakistani bridegroom, to up to 20 months in prison for immigration offences after he forgot his wifeto-be's name minutes before the wedding. Authorities were alerted after Zubair Khan phoned his marriage fixer to ask his bride's name during a meeting with the register before the ceremony. Home Office investigators were contacted by the registrar and the couple were arrested at the Hull Register Office in October. Khan, 28, was a former college student who turned to a sham marriage plot in a desperate attempt to stay in the UK because his student visa was about to expire. Khan and his Hungarian bride Beata Szilagyi were sentenced to 20 months and 17 months respectively at Hull Crown Court, Telegraph reported. They both admitted conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law. Marriage fixer Khaliq Dad Khan, 48, from London was also jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to the same charge. The trio was also arrested at the register office in October last year. Home Office investigator Andy Sharpe, from Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations, said: "This was a farcical but nonetheless serious attempt to cheat the UK's immigration laws. "The sentences handed out reflect the gravity of their criminality. This case shows that the people who attempt to abuse the system will be caught, and they will end up in prison," Sharpe said. -PTI

„ Colombia detains 16 Pakistanis trying to reach US BOGOTA: Colombian authorities detained 16 Pakistani nationals who illegally entered the country and were trying to reach the United States, immigration officials have said. Initial investigations found the Pakistanis had come from Brazil and planned to travel more than 3,200 kilometers to the US via Panama and then through Central America, immigration spokesman Juan Caicedo told AFP. The group, picked up in the Colombian city of Medellin as they were boarding a bus to another town, were being led by a "guide" who had been paid to get them through the country. He was accused of being a people smuggler. The 15 Pakistanis were taken to a humanitarian center. -AFP

Immigration

New Mexico House votes against driver's licenses

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February 20, 2015

Details on page 46

Colorado moves closer to immigrant drivers' license showdown DENVER: The Colorado Legislature moved closer to a partisan showdown over granting driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally. The GOP Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill blocking funds for the state agency that oversees driver's licenses. The state Department of Revenue has asked budget writers for permission to spend about $166,000 that they've already collected from immigrants who have paid for licenses, driving permits, and identification cards. The program receives no state funding and is operated through user fees. Republicans have blocked the spending of the fees to sustain the program, despite Democratic complaints that the money has already been paid by the immigrants. ``It is fundamentally unfair for people who have followed the rules'' and paid fees for licenses, said Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, DWestminster. Republicans insisted that they

should use their new majority in the Senate to block a policy they oppose. When the Legislature voted in 2013 to allow driver's licenses for immigrants without permission to

reduce backlogs for issuing licenses to the immigrants. ``When they came here, they did not come here legally. That's what we're talking about,'' said Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-

Immigration reform advocates march through Denver, Colorado.

be in the country, Republicans didn't have the votes to stop it. This year Republicans control the state Senate by a single seat, their first Senate majority in a decade. Republicans called it wrong to

Berthoud. One of the Republican budgetwriters said the GOP isn't obligated to help implement policies passed under Democrats. ``I for one did not come here

to rubber-stamp,'' said Sen. Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City. Without the funds, the department has said it may need to reduce the offices that process the licenses from five statewide to one. Earlier this month the agency announced that license appointments for people ``unable to demonstrate lawful presence'' would be delayed, some until 2016. The Senate has one more procedural vote before sending the measure to the House. The Democratic House is likely to amend the measure to get the money, setting up a partisan showdown. One Democrat warned Senate Republicans that because the budget-writing committee is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, the license impasse could presage a prickly legislative session. ``This scares me to death,'' said Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder. ``I think we're going down a dangerous path here. And two people can play this game.'' -AP

'Deferred Action' is protection from removal

U

SCIS has recently re leased a flier on Obama's new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which can be found on the following link: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/ default/files/USCIS/ ExecutiveActions/ EAFlier_DAPA.pdf Just over two months ago, President Obama announced his executive actions to resolve some of the problems that we have in our immigration system. One particularly controversial measure was the creation of the DAPA program. Specifically, the DAPA program would allow parents of US Citizens and US lawful permanent residents to request "deferred action" along with work authorization for a three year

Hasan Abdullah period, as long as they have lived in the country continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks. This expanded DAPA program is expected to start by mid-tolate May of 2015. It is important

that those who obtain DAPA will have a path to permanent residence in the future. Although this is a welcome change to the millions of potential DAPA applicants, it has been attacked by Republicans who consider it to be a unilateral ac-

The DAPA program would allow parents of US Citizens and US lawful permanent residents to request "deferred action" along with work authorization for a three year period, as long as they have lived in the country to understand that deferred action is not exactly a specific immigration status, but rather, an assurance of protection from removal proceedings. The hope is

tion to create amnesty for undocumented residents, and that it would create a precedent where the executive branch is allowed to disregard the will of Congress. It

should be noted that the DAPA program requires funding, however, and recently, the House voted on and passed legislation to defund Obama's immigration orders. On the other hand, Senate leaders have stated that the legislation to defund the program is unlikely to pass in the Senate. Therefore, it seems likely that DAPA will be instituted as planned, however time will tell. Readers who are interested in learning more about this program or who would like discuss their immigration matters with an experience attorney may visit our web site at www.usavisalaw.com where they may find our contact information. Hasan Abdullah is Attorney at Law


Immigration Post

February 20, 2015

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'Known Employer' Program to aid business travel CYRUS D. MEHTA

T

he Department of Home land Security (DHS) is con sidering a "Known Employer" pilot program to streamline adjudication of certain types of employment-based immigration benefit requests filed by eligible U.S. employers. DHS expects to launch the pilot by late 2015 to test the program, which is designed to make adjudications more efficient and less costly, and reduce paperwork and delays for both the department and

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ FR-2015-01-22/pdf/201501120.pdf. USCIS issues reminder for requesting DACA U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued the following reminder on January 20, 2015: If you request either initial or renewal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you must submit Form I-765, Application for

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated the poverty guidelines effective January 22, 2015. Among other things, the poverty guidelines are used in determining minimum income requirements for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support U.S. employers who seek to employ foreign workers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will jointly implement the pilot program. A goal is to expedite or otherwise facilitate legitimate crossborder business travel along the northern border ports of entry. "Doing so is a binational commitment under the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border initiative," DHS explained. In particular, the U.S. and Canadian governments intend to "explore the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travelers between Canada and the United States." Additional information about the Known Employer program will be provided in the coming months. For background and updates, see http://www.dhs.gov/beyond-border. DHS seeks input on the Beyond the Border initiative, which can be emailed to beyondtheborder@hq.dhs.gov or mailed to Beyond the Border Coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mailstop 0455, Washington, DC 20016. HHS updates poverty guidelines The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated the poverty guidelines effective January 22, 2015. Among other things, the poverty guidelines are used in determining minimum income requirements for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and Form I-912, Fee Waiver Request. The latest guidelines were published in the Federal Register at

Employment Authorization and required fees. USCIS will reject your request if you fail to submit Form I-765, the required filing fee, Form I-765 Worksheet, and Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. For complete instructions on requesting DACA, go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page [http:// www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/ consideration-deferred-actionchildhood-arrivals-daca]. For DACA renewals, USCIS

proval notice and Employment Authorization Document. Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that your current period of DACA will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request. USCIS' current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. However, you may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1800-767-1833). State Dept. anticipates visa number movement in some employment-based categories The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for February 2015 notes that movement is possible in some employment-based categories in the coming months. In the employment-based "Worldwide" third preference category, the Visa Office expects rapid forward movement "for at least another month or two." The bulletin notes that rapid movement in recent months is expected to generate a significant amount of demand for numbers. "Once such demand materializes at the anticipated rate, it will have a direct impact on this cut-off date," which stands in February at January 1, 2014.

The bulletin notes that the determination of the monthly cut-off dates is subject to monthly fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables, so trends and estimates are not guaranteed. strongly encourages you to submit your renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA ap-

Similarly, the Visa Office expects rapid forward movement in the employment-based third preference category for China. "Such movement is likely to result in a

dramatic increase in demand which could require 'corrective' action within the next six months," the bulletin notes. India may move by up to two weeks. On the other hand, Mexico and the Philippines will remain at the Worldwide date, although increased demand in the latter could require "corrective" action at some point later in the fiscal year, the bulletin states. The bulletin notes that the determination of the monthly cut-off dates is subject to monthly fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables, so trends and estimates are not guaranteed. The Visa Bulletin for February 2015 is available at http:// travel.state.gov/content/visas/ english/law-and-policy/bulletin/ 2015/visa-bulletin-for-february2015.html.

USCIS revises petition for a nonimmigrant worker U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The revised Form I-129 is labeled with an October 23, 2014, edition date. It expires on October 31, 2016. Starting on May 1, 2015, USCIS will accept only the October 23, 2014, edition of the I-129. USCIS will not accept previous editions of the I-129 on or after May 1, 2015. Among other things, the revised form includes a question on the H classification supplement that asks, "Does any beneficiary in this petition have ownership interest in the petitioning organization?" Details and a link to the form are available at http:// www.uscis.gov/i-129.

PRADEEP ROY-SINGH B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Attorney-at-Law

Former Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney

Civil & Criminal Litigation Felonies, Misdemeanors, Inc DUI 1 Personal Injury, Business, Divorce etc. 1 Property Tax for Commercial Properties 1 1

http://www.proy-singh.com

2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659


Immigration Post

46 India Post

February 20, 2015

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New Mexico House votes against driver's licenses SANTA FE, N.M.: The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill that would end the state's practice of giving driver's licenses to people even if they can't prove they are in the country legally. The GOP-led House passed the bill 39-29 after three hours of debate, with two Democrats siding with the Republicans in the majority. The measure would repeal the 2003 law that made New Mexico one of the first states to offer licenses to immigrants regardless of their legal status. The bill now moves to the Democrat-controlled Senate for a vote, and Democrats have vowed to fight the legislation. The House voted to repeal the law on the same day that the Senate in neighboring Colorado took action in the partisan showdown over granting driver's licenses to immigrants who are in the country illegally. Republicans in Colorado, who also made big gains in the 2014 elections, passed a measure

that blocks funds for the state agency that oversees licenses. A growing number of states around the country have been granting driver's licenses in recent years to people regardless of immigration status. In addition, President Barack Obama's executive actions to allow immigrants to remain in the country have forced other states to allow people in his deferred-action program to get licenses. Ten states now offer licenses to immigrants who can't prove they are in the country legally. Proponents of New Mexico's bill argue that repealing the law would help prevent fraud and bring the state into compliance with federal identification requirements. ``This bill is attempting to secure New Mexico's driver's licenses and bring us into compliance with the (federal) Real ID Act,'' said Rep. Paul Pacheco, RAlbuquerque, whose repeal legislation garnered vigorous debate. ``In my heart I am trying to do

the right thing,'' said the retired police officer. ``I am not a malicious person. I am trying to solve a problem.'' Those who want to keep the law the way it is argue it will hurt otherwise hard working families, and other states that have joined New Mexico in doling out licenses are

that the driver have an ID, which makes the traffic stop less dangerous for the officer, he said. Retired police officer William ``Bill'' Rehm, R-Albuquerque, who has offered his own version of the repeal legislation, countered that he heard from state police organizations voicing support for the

House Minority Leader Brian Egolf offered a substitute bill that would allow New Mexico to issue two distinct licenses - one that would meet federal requirements and another that is not intended to be accepted by federal agencies. not running afoul of federal ID laws. Rep. Patricio Ruiloba, D-Albuquerque, a police officer with Albuquerque Public Schools, said the issue before the House was one of safety for the officer and the community. When an officer stops a motorist, it is important

repeal. House Minority Leader Brian Egolf offered a substitute bill that would allow New Mexico to issue two distinct licenses - one that would meet federal requirements and another that is not intended to be accepted by federal agencies. He said federal compliance

was the key issue. ``We can do it today and stop the annual debate,'' Egolf said. His substitute was voted down. The debate on the repeal bill was witnessed by about 250 children and parents, many of them wearing yellow shirts with lettering on the back that read, ``Keep our parents licensed.'' The bill would allow those who have proof that they qualified for Obama's deferred action program to get a license, but the license would expire when their status expires. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, asked lawmakers to consider how the repeal will impact ``our kids, both undocumented and citizen kids alike.'' ``What are we going to do with the 90,000 children here who have at least one parent who is undocumented?'' he said, adding that the proposal before the House ``has tremendous unintended consequences for the people of New Mexico.'' -AP

Group sues US over records Pakistani groom jailed for forgetting wife's name for migrant children TUCSON, Arizona: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking information about allegations of abuse involving migrant children, including many who were placed under the care of immigration authorities while a wave of unaccompanied minors fled to the U.S. last summer. ACLU chapters in Arizona and California filed the suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, claiming the government

groups filed a lawsuit in October against DHS seeking information on the department's policies and procedures at an isolated detention center for immigrant families with children in New Mexico. Both suits stemmed from the unprecedented surge in immigrant children and young families this summer. Tens of thousands of migrants crossed into the U.S. illegally, most through Texas, overwhelming Border Patrol agents who were not

Salvadorian immigrant Stefany Marjorie, 8, watches as a U.S. Border Patrol agent records family information.

has stonewalled requests made under the Freedom of Information Act for records pertaining to the children. The law firm Cooley LLP also joined the suit. The ACLU and other advocacy

positioned to process so many people. Many migrant children who had crossed without a parent were sent to a warehouse in Nogales, Arizona, while they were processed. Some families were

eventually sent to the new center in Artesia, New Mexico. Most of the migrants were from Central American countries and said they were fleeing extreme violence and poverty. The ACLU in June filed a complaint alleging that more than 100 children had been abused and mistreated while in Border Patrol custody. The organization says the children were kept in harsh temperatures and severe overcrowding, and that they were denied adequate hygiene supplies, bedding, food, water and medical care. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said in a statement that the agency does not comment on pending litigation. However, he said that CBP takes allegations of misconduct seriously. ``In response to the unprecedented humanitarian situation last summer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel around the country responded in a professional and compassionate manner. Border Patrol Agents provided safety, shelter, and care for immigrants in custody from the initial encounter up until they were processed and out of the agency's custody,'' Friel said. He said Border Patrol agents took extraordinary efforts to care for the children. -AP

LONDON: A UK court has sentenced three people, including a Pakistani bridegroom, to up to 20 months in prison for immigration offences after he forgot his wifeto-be's name minutes before the wedding. Authorities were alerted after Zubair Khan phoned his marriage fixer to ask his bride's name during a meeting with the register before the ceremony.

Beata Szilagyi were sentenced to 20 months and 17 months respectively at Hull Crown Court, Telegraph reported. They both admitted conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law. Marriage fixer Khaliq Dad Khan, 48, from London was also jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to the same charge. The trio was also arrested at the register office in October last year. Home Office investigator Andy Sharpe, from Immigration EnforceZubair Khan and Beata Szilagyi m e n t Home Office investigators Criminal Investigations, said: were contacted by the registrar "This was a farcical but nonetheand the couple were arrested at less serious attempt to cheat the the Hull Register Office in Octo- UK's immigration laws. ber. "The sentences handed out reKhan, 28, was a former college flect the gravity of their criminalstudent who turned to a sham mar- ity. This case shows that the riage plot in a desperate attempt people who attempt to abuse the to stay in the UK because his stu- system will be caught, and they dent visa was about to expire. will end up in prison," Sharpe said. Khan and his Hungarian bride -PTI


Datebook

February 20, 2015

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

Sat, Mar 7 • HOLI Mela NJ Venue: AKBAR, 21 Cortlandt St, Edison, NJ 08837 Time : 10:00 am Contact: 732 763-0118

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

NEW YORK Upcoming Sat, Feb 21 • YUVA Bollywood Dance Party Venue: Maple Lounge at The Night Hotel, 157 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: 917-572-1533

Sat, Mar 28 • Hans Raj Hans Venue: Performing Arts Center Of York College, 94-45 Guy R Brewer Blvd, NY 11451 Time : 7:00 pm Contact: 917-325-4903

Thu, Apr 2 • Nafees | Sama Blake Live Venue: Antun's by Minar, 244 W Old Country Rd, Hicksville, NY 11801 Time : 8:00 pm Contact: 516-336-9042

India Post 47

www.indiapost.com

ILLINOIS

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO

Upcoming

Upcoming

Fri, Feb 20 • Pretty In Pink Ladies Night,

Sat, Feb 28 • Bollywood Blast * Dhating Naach!!! Dance Party w/Live Dholi In Sf!

Fundraiser + Karaoke in Sunnyvale! Venue: Athidhi Indian Cuisine, 727 S Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Timet: 07:30 pm Contact: 925-261-8682

Sat, Feb 21 • Movie Screening of Popular, Acclaimed movie - Lokmanya: Ek Yugpurush

Upcoming

Venue: Club OMG, 43 6th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 Time: 9:00 pm Contact: 925-261-8682

Fri, Mar 13 • Zakir Hussain Connection

Celtic

Venue: Serra Theatres, 200 Serra Way #37, Milpitas, Ca 95035 Time: 01:00 pm Contact: 214-957-2634

Venue: Pabst Theater, 144 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 414-467-3032

Fri, Feb 27 • Party Club Entertainment &

ATLANTA

Meri saheli Venue: David's Restaurent, 5151 Stars and Stripes Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Time :08:00 pm Contact: 650 669 0281

Fri, Mar 6 • GujjuBhai Banya Dabang Gujarati Drama Venue: Chabot College Performing Arts Center, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545 Timet: 7:30 pm

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

Upcoming Sat, Feb 28 • ZN Fashions Atlanta 2015 Bazaar at Gwinnett Center, Duluth

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

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

Venue: Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097 Time: 11:00 am Contact: 630-776-9407

Mondays and Fridays

Sat, Feb 28 • Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana

Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

Venue: Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Rd, Lilburn, GA 30047 Time: 8:30 pm Contact: 678-789-4690

Mon, Aug 31 • MITHAS 2014 Membership Venue: Wong Auditorium, MIT, 70 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142 Time: 07:00 pm Contact: 857-205-9731

• Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Metropolitan Asian Family Services

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


48

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Classifieds www.indiapost.com

For Classifieds Ads Call NORTHERN CA (Sonia) Tel: 510-938-8668 sonia@indiapost.com (Priya) Tel. 510-275-4467 priya@indiapost.com SOUTHERN CA (Shashi Trivedi) Tel: 562-441-5511/ Fax: 562-947-0632 shashi19@yahoo.com CHICAGO (Ramesh Soparawala) Tel: 773-973-7394 / Fax: 773-973-7396 sramesh@aol.com NEW YORK (Pinky) Tel: 908 338 3752 pinky@indiapost.com

February 20, 2015


Horoscope

February 20, 2015

India Post

49

www.indiapost.com

Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

February 20th - February 26th 2015 (March 21 to April 20)

E

xpect big financial growth this week. Money will pour in from various places. You will gain from a very influential person. Avoid any argument with a sibling and especially the one who is younger than you. You may start to worry about a relationship recently started. You may buy some nice decorative items for the house.

(April 21 to May 20)

Y

ou may finally lay your hands on a nice piece of property. You will finish the project well before deadline and earn appreciation from boss. People in business will see increased foot traffic and may get new long term contracts. Some one close will really benefit from your expert and valuable opinion.

(May 21 to June 20)

W

atch out for a colleague trying to make things tough by inciting boss gainst you. You may purchase another car for personal use. Value of your assets and stocks will appreciate. You may call some one to seek legal advice on an important matter. Money will come in plenty but will disappear very fast this week.

(June 21 to July 22)

B

eing emotional is not going to help. You should gather all force and go after who's been a pain and a half for past several years if you really want the past not to haunt you any more. Expect some improvements in career as boss will take lots of pressure off you. You may receive a big check from a government agency.

(July 23 to August 22)

(November 23 to December 22)

A

n old health issue that pops up from time to time could bother you and this time you may decide to go for minor surgery to take care of it once for all. Boss will call and discuss an interesting assignment. Some of you may travel to a neighboring state to attend an event. It will be another good week for brokers.

(August 23 to September 22)

S

ome cracks could start to appear in a recent business partnership or a relationship. Spouse will need minor surgery if now now but in next few weeks. Some one you never trusted will give you some useful lead and show you the easy way to hit your goals. Legal bills may put a hole in your savings this week.

(September 23 to October 22)

F

inancial opportunity will put you back on driving seat. You will try to maintain a balance between professional and personal life, though it will be not that easy this week. Project you are involved in can take you to financial freedom in next few months. You will also receive money in shape or rent or brokerage.

(October 23 to November 22)

A

ny legal process started at this point will not get you any where. Forget about any financial benefits but you will end up spending a fortune on legal fees. Things will continue to grow slow and steady in career. You may purchase some high tech gadget for your self. Dispose off money making stocks this week.

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

Y

ou will need to put your foot down and stick to your guns. Other party does not have much resistance and will give in quickly. You may have a small injury on hand while handling some tool. You may need to help a child with some paper work and money too. Working extra hours this week will be rewarding in many ways.

(December 22 to January 19)

A

void any speculation and stocks for few more weeks. Quick actions can get you a big contract this week. An old friend will give useful hints. You will be spending more time outside or away from home. You may also buy some gadget for the kitchen. Some of you may start applying for another job at far off places.

(January 20 to February 18)

I

t will be an exciting week. New relationship or partners will create enough motivation in life. Changes you had been waiting for can also take place in career this week. You will be invited to a big get together. You may need to help a child with studies. You may dispose off some stocks also and pocket the money.

(February 19 to March 20)

Y

ou will really enjoy the company of a new friend and even make some future plans. Try not to waste money on things you do not need anyway. Health issues can be controlled by home made remedies only. You may start gathering paper work to apply for a loan also. Just phone calls will make things happen for you.

510-886-4370 www.parashar.com


www.indiapost.com

50 India Post

HONG KONG: A 29-year-old Indian yoga teacher in Hong Kong has set a Guinness World Record for performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours non-stop, demonstrating more than 1,500 'asanas'. Yogaraj C P, a yoga instructor based here, broke the record for the 'Longest Yoga Marathon (Male)' by performing continuously for three days. The yoga instructor did multiple twists and turns at his Tsim Sha Tsui studio, Prana Yogam, which was open to public for the duration of the challenge. "Yoga record. Yogaraj sets record with 40 hours of non stop Yoga Sadhana in Hong Kong, demonstrating

February 20, 2015

1500 plus asanas," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted after Yogaraj accomplished the feat. "Heartiest congratulations Yogaraj. The Consulate team is proud of your achievement," the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong posted on its Facebook Page. Yogaraj started practicing the discipline at the age of five and began teaching when he was 12, the South China Morning Post reported. Among other records under his belt, in 2003, the year he first came to Hong Kong, he held a headstand for two hours and 40 minutes. Back in India in 2011, he held 23

postures while balancing on the seat of a moving motorbike. His record-breaking attempt this time was supported primarily by the Indian Consulate. Before attempting the record, Yogaraj had said if he succeeds, he will dedicate the record to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was instrumental last year in the UN's decision to declare June 21 International Yoga Day. "It was great recognition for yoga, so to thank our prime minister I want to achieve this Guinness World Record and help propagate yoga on a global level," he had told the Hong Kong-based daily.-PTI

Yogaraj C P

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga instructor Yogaraj CP, who created a Guinness World Record by performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours nonstop. He also lauded the role of the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong for their efforts to popularize Yoga and their support to Narendra Modi

Yogaraj. "Congrats to Hong Kong-based Indian Yoga teacher, Mr Yogaraj C.P. for creating a Guinness World Record!," he tweeted. "I appreciate the Indian Consulate in Hong Kong for their efforts to popularize Yoga & their support to Mr. Yogaraj," he said in another tweet.-PTI

Yogaraj CP


India Post 51

February 20, 2015 www.indiapost.com

Sadan's Gandhi drawings win great appreciation India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti October 2, which

Sadan to exhibit his drawings of Gandhiji at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Sammelan held at Mahatma Mandir Convention Center in

Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel meets with young Indian artists winners Mohammad Hussain and Simran Khurana in the presence of Suraj Sadan. The Art Contest is organized annualy by Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation based in Canada

symbolizes the International Day of Non-Violence declared by the United Nations Organization, international artist Suraj Sadan was invited to present his drawings of Gandhiji and his associates at the Salon d'Honour exhibition inaugurated by Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador in Paris. Recently, during the "Celebration of 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India" Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs extended a special invitation to Suraj

Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Indian delegates congratulated the artist and admired his art work. With the aim of promoting non-violence especially among youth, Suraj Sadan, who is also

Founder President of Mahatma Gandhi International Foundation (MGIF) conducted several initiatives during the year 2014-15. For the sixth consecutive year the MGIF organized exhibitions and art contests on the theme of nonviolence and peace through which art works were selected from Canada, USA, France and India. From November 11 to 17, a group show of the International Youth Art Contest winners was held at Jamia Millia Islamia University Art Gallery. The Vice Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmed inaugurated the show. The Award ceremony was held for the two Indian winners at the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi.

Suraj Sadan was invited to present the Gandhi drawings at Gandhi Gallery during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from 7-9 january 2015 in Gujarat, India

Simran Khurana and Mohammad Hussain had the honor of receiving their prize money from Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel. On 30 January, to observe the Martyrdom Day, Suraj Sadan was invited as a Distinguished Guest to read the Keynote address at the International Seminar - Relevance of Gandhian Ideology in the

Present Violent Context' at DAV College in Amritsar, Punjab. Suraj Sadan exhibited his drawings entitled 'Gandhi & his Disciples' at Gandhi Bhavan in Chandigarh; DAV College, Hoshiarpur; DAV College Amritsar; RK Arya College, Nawashahr; Sant Mohan Singh Khalsa Girls Collge, Barara and DAV College for Women in Yamunannagar.

With PM Narendra Modi

A beaming Coco Rocha shows off her bump NEW YORK: Coco Rocha's baby bump has caught up with the limelight and the proud supermodel mama couldn't be happier. The redheaded beauty was backstage at Christian Siriano's New York Fashion Week show, posing for cameras and chatting about her spring arrival - a girl! No names yet, but five or six are on the table. ``I hope that I'll be the type that once I see her I'll know, but I haven't been able to hone down on one. It's hard when you haven't met a human being and then you

think that's going to be the name for the rest of her life,'' said Rocha, dressed in a tight high-neck, blackand-white print Siriano dress - her bump on display. ``I'm not hiding. I'm so excited. It took a while for the bump to show so now that it's showing it's been fun,'' a beaming Rocha said. Siriano sent out an African jungle-inspired collection of florals and animal prints, including a muted tiger stripe cashmere coat, against a welcome backdrop of potted green foliage. He sweated out the snowy weather

with a nervous smile after making contact with clients and buyers. ``It's really hard. It's snowing and it's Valentine's Day and it's later, so it's a challenge for people to get in,'' he said of his afternoon show in an industrial space downtown, away from the hustle of the Lincoln Center tents. Among his backstage guests were Brad Goreski, the celebrity stylist and fresh face with Kathy Griffin on ``Fashion Police'' as the E! cable TV show regroups after the passing of stalwart Joan Rivers. -AP

Posing before his drawing


52 India Post

February 20, 2015 www.indiapost.com

Banned in India but 'free' abroad India Post News Service

BERLIN: Dark Frames, a new distribution company dedicated to bringing high-quality, nonBollywood Indian film to North American and international audiences through theatrical and digital channels, will release its first title, Unfreedom, on May 29, it was announced by Dark Frames' Founder, Raj Amit Kumar. Veteran film marketer and distributor Mark Urman of Paladin is partnering with Dark Frames to lead the Marketing and Distribution of its release slate. Dark Frames will also partner with Film Buff to distribute Unfreedom at the same time on Cable VOD and other digital platforms. Unfreedom juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance.

Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman. The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family. Written and directed by Kumar, the film stars Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India, Meherjaan), Bhanu Uday (Monsoon), Bhavani Lee, Preeti Gupta, Seema Rahmani (Good Night Good Morning, Loins of Punjab Presents), Ankur Vikal (Slumdog Millionaire, TV Series: "India"), Samrat Chakrabarti (Midnight's Children, The Waiting City, Walk-

away), and Adil Hussain (Life of Pi, Gangor, English Vinglish). Recently, Unfreedom was banned in India, where homosexuality was criminalized in 2013, by

Raj Amit Kumar

the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), rendering much of its content too controversial for general audiences. Kumar is

Jr Bachchan plays in NBA Celebrity Game NEW YORK: Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan became the first Indian to feature in an NBA All Star Celebrity Game but his debut did not turn out to be an ideal one as Little League Baseball pitcher Mo'ne Davis helped the West beat East 59-51 at the Madison Square Garden, here. The junior Bachchan, a goodwill ambassador of the league, hardly made his presence felt on

Star Celebrity Game, albeit in a losing cause. Hart scored 15 points for his side. The Madison Square Garden was lit up with stars from the NBA, WNBA and Hollywood two nights before the NBA AllStar Game. But the 13-year-old teenager, who got one of the loudest cheers from the crowd when she was introduced before the game,

Abhishek Bachchan

the court as "Wedding Ringer" star Kevin Hart stole the limelight for the East by winning his fourth Most Valuable Player of the All

outshone her much older opponents with a superb display. Bachchan did not start for the East and only played in patches,

mounting an appeal at the same time that he is launching a crowd-funding campaign to finance a release in India via alternative methods. "Unfreedom represents the

making his first appearance in the second quarter. He tried a three pointed in the third quarter but failed to find the basket. The West team was coached by ESPN personality Mike Golic and American film maker and a die-hard New York Knicks fan Spike Lee of the New York Knicks, while the East side was coached by Carmelo Anthony along with ESPN personality Mike Greenberg. Other celebrities who participated in the game were actors Anthony Anderson, Common, Nick Cannon, Sarah Silverman, Ansel Elgort, Chadwick Boseman, Jesse Williams, Michael Rapaport and singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire. NBA Hall of Famer and New York native Chris Mullin also played, as did former New York Knicks' star Allan Houston. Current WNBA players Skylar Diggins, Tina Charles and Shoni Schimmel also featured in the game. Schimmel, who was the MVP of the WNBA All-Star game last year, was the leading scorer of the match with 17 points, while Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and Diggins finished with 13 points each for the West. This was the first time that the celebrity game was played in an NBA arena. -PTI

type of challenging socio-political film that Dark Frames will be bringing to theaters in the future," said Raj Amit Kumar, who wrote and

directed the feature. "Too many wonderful Indian independent films have gone unseen and I'm very proud to finally bring the best of these to audiences." Dark Frames previously acquired director Kamal K.M.'s acclaimed feature I.D. and will be announcing distribution plans for it shortly. About Dark Frames: Dark Frames is dedicated to the proposition that there is ample new product - non-Bollywood, independent films - that represent the Indian film business at its finest. Based in Mumbai and Florida, Dark Frames will distribute Indian cinema to a U.S. and global audience theatrically and via digital channels. Dark Frames is dedicated to bringing edgy Indian films with a strong socio-political focus to the fore.

LA orchestra gives instruments to poor students LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Philharmonic is reaching out to underprivileged children by providing them free instruments and musical training. The Youth Orchestra Los Angeles is modeled after a Venezuelan program that sponsors more than 100 orchestras and has taught hundreds of thousands of students. The Los Angeles Times reports the orchestra was also launched to help persuade

Gustavo Dudamel to sign on as conductor. More than 700 children are currently enrolled and 400 more on waiting lists. The students include Vivian Trejo, 13-year-old who lives with her parents in a small apartment near the city's downtown and has won a scholarship to the prestigious Colburn School, one of the nation's top conservatories. The program has also helped students like Rodas Hailu get into college. -AP

Plastic bag bans in Texas are working AUSTIN, Texas: Austin has bans on plastic bags and one of the state's strictest tree removal ordinances. Denton became the first in the state to outlaw hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Although Gov. Greg Abbott has said derisively that such ordinances show that Texas is ``being Californianized,'' the Austin American-Statesman reports that environment-minded ordinances seem to be working in Austin and on the rise in the Lone Star State. At least a dozen Texas cities have bag bans, the newspaper reported. Dallas last month started charging an ``environmental fee'' of a nickel per single-use paper or plastic bag at groceries, convenience stores and big-box retailers. Retailers can still provide free multi-use bags.

The ordinance is designed to reduce litter. Darren Hodges, a City Council member in the West Texas city of Fort Stockton, said the bag ban has vastly reduced the ``millions of plastic eyesores'' caught on cactus, mesquite and barbed-wire fence. H-E-B spokeswoman Leslie Sweet says that less than 1 percent of Austin customers buy emergency bags when checking out. No retailers have been given penalties or fines, said Emlea Chanslor, a spokeswoman for Austin Resource Recovery. As Texas Attorney General, Abbott said in August that a state law prohibits local governments from prohibiting, restricting or charging a fee for solid waste management purposes, for ``the use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law.'' -AP


Philosophy

February 20, 2015

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indness results from sattvaguna. Sattvaguna preserves, rajoguna creates and tamoguna destroys. But Brahman is beyond all the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas. It is beyond prakriti (nature). The gunas cannot really reach where Brahman abides. They are like robbers who cannot go out in the open. They are afraid lest they should be arrested. Sattva, rajas and tamas all the three gunas are robbers. Let me tell you a story - Once a man was going through a forest when three robbers came and caught hold of him. They robbed him of all he possessed. One of the robbers said, 'Why keep this man alive now?' Saying so, he came forward with a sword to hack him. The second robber then said, 'No brother, what use killing him? Let us tie his hands and feet and leave him here.' Then tying his hands and feet the robbers left him there and went away. After a while one of them returned and said, 'Ah! you are suffering a lot! Let me free you from the knots.' Untying his bonds he said, 'Come with me, I will take you to the main road.' After a long time when they reached the main road, the robber said, 'Take this road. See that is your house.' ] This man then said to the robJ. KRISHNAMURTI

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he eight verses of Siksastaka, as written in Sanskrit by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and as translated by Srila Prabhupada, encapsulate the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The translated version is as follows: "Glory to the Sri Krishna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. “This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious. "O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. “In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord,

ber, 'Sir, you have been very good to me. Please come with me to my house.' The robber said, 'No, I cannot go there. The police will come to know of it.' The world itself is a forest. In this forest sattva, rajas and tamas all the three gunas are robbers. They rob the jiva of his tattva jnana (spiritual knowledge). Tamoguna destroys the jiva, rajoguna binds him to the world. But the sattvaguna saves him from rajas and tamas. By taking refuge in sattvaguna one is saved from

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa

What Brahman is cannot be expressed by the word of mouth. He who attains Brahman, cannot give information about Him. There is a saying, 'The ship never returns once it has reached the black waters.' "Four friends while roaming about saw a place enclosed by a wall. The wall was very high. They were very curious to see what was inside it. One of these men climbed up the wall. “As he peeped inside, he exclaimed in great wonder, 'Ha, ha, ha' and fell down. He did not give

(Brahmajnana) yourself, O mind, take Rama Prasad with you.' The mind must merge. After that Rama Prasad i.e. ego must merge. Only then one attains the Brahmajnana (knowledge of Brahman)." A Bhakta: Sir, did Sukadeva not attain jnana? Sri Ramakrishna: Some say that Sukadeva only saw and touched the ocean of Brahman, he did not go down and dive deep into it. That is why he could return and

Fear keeps us focused on

Brahman is beyond three gunas & beyond speech

the past or worried about

But even the sattvaguna is a robber, it cannot give the tattva jnana (highest knowledge). However, it puts you on the road to the Supreme Abode. Putting you on the road it says, 'Just see, this is your house.'

we are okay. Right now,

the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear

lust, anger and such other evils of tamas. Besides, sattvaguna cuts asunder the bonds of the world also. But even the sattvaguna is a robber, it cannot give the tattva jnana (highest knowledge). However, it puts you on the road to the Supreme Abode. Putting you on the road it says, 'Just see, this is your house.' Sattvaguna remains at a great distance from the Brahmajnana.

any information. Whosoever climbed, he cried, 'Ha, ha, ha' and fell in. Who would then give information?" Jada Bharat, Duttatreya and Sukadeva - all Brahmajnanis. Jada Bharat, Duttatreya could give no information after having vision of Brahman. One's I-ness vanishes after samadhi on attaining Brahmajnana. So Rama Prasad says: 'If you cannot attain

impart so much instruction. According to others, he returned after attaining Brahmajnana - for instruction to mankind. He was to narrate the Bhagavata. So the Lord did not merge his 'I' altogether. Excerpted from 'Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita' by Mahendranath Gupta. The 179th birth anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna will be observed on Feb 18.

the voices of our loved

out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by chanting Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them. "One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a

(Krishna), I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms of Your lotus feet. "O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my

even if He handles me roughly in His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally." Swami Vivekananda, in the book-Bharate Vivekananda, says that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has

means, watch it, learn

Religious works are to be taught by own example "O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world” tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly. "O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service birth after birth. "O son of Maharaja Nanda

voice choke up, and when will the hairs on my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name? "O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence. "I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so

ones. - Thich Nhat Hanh What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it. -Jiddu Krishnamurti We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. - Plato Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of ev-

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

distributed the idealism of loveaddicted extra-special mood of Gopis to the world "Apani Achari Dharma Jivere Shikhaya, Apani na koile dharma shikhana na jaya" (Religious works are to be taught to others through self-performance. If one does not act himself, he can never teach others). The 532nd birth anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be celebrated on February 18.

ery fear is freedom. -Marilyn Ferguson One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do.

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

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New leadership in Saudi Arabia: Reading the tea leaves RANJIT GUPTA

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n Saudi Arabia, the incumbent King has the absolute right to designate a successor who is titled as the Crown Prince. However, with an eye to ensure acceptable successions in the future given the intense factional rivalries within the royal family and the advancing age of potential monarchs, King Abdullah established the Allegiance Council in 2006 to decide upon succession matters. Also, in March 2014, King Abdullah, controversially, created a new designation - Deputy Crown Prince - and appointed his halfbrother Prince Moqren, thus placing him second in the line of succession. The appointment decree was strangely worded, stating that the appointment had been made in consultation with the Crown Prince, had been approved by the Allegiance Council, and could not be changed by anybody in the future. Disgruntled members of the royal family tweeted objections and it became publicly known that unprecedentedly a quarter of the

portfolios to pass on to the next generation. For years there has been speculation of when that might happen and who would be the chosen one. All this was settled within a few hours of Salman's ascending the throne and even before King Abdullah was buried. The single most important decision announced by King Salman was the appointment of the incumbent Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Nayif to be concurrently the new Deputy Crown Prince, unequivocally making the latter the first amongst the next generation to be in line to take the crown. He is 55 years old. The other particularly significant appointment was that of his son, Mohammed bin Salman, only 34 years old, as the new Defense Minister and also the Head of the Royal Court, a singularly important post. He will also be a member of the newly created high-powered Council of Political and Security Affairs (chaired by the new Deputy Crown Prince and Interior Minister) and head the newly cre-

The new King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Allegiance Council did not agree. The reality is that the Allegiance Council has functioned as a rubber stamp. The fact is that in the normal course it would have been highly unlikely that Moqren, the son of a Yemeni slave woman, who never had a front rank job, would be in the line of succession, particularly as there remained an elder brother, the youngest of the powerful 'Sudairi Seven', Prince Ahmed. It was clear that Moqren's appointment was designed to ensure that Abdullah's sons would have a prominent governmental future. King Salman, already 79 and in poor health, is the last of the prominent sons of the founder King, and the time is inevitably coming for the crown and other important

ated high-powered Council of Economic and Development Affairs. To assign two particularly powerful portfolios and give membership of the government's newly created policy and implementation hubs to an untried and untested rather young individual is absolutely unprecedented. He has been clearly placed in the line to become King one day. The many changes also affect two of the late King Abdullah's sons who have been removed from significant jobs by making Faisal bin Bandar Governor of Riyadh instead of Turki bin Abdullah and reinstating Khaled al-Faisal as Mecca Governor less than two years after he was replaced by Mishaal bin Abdullah. All these appointments cumu-

latively herald the return of the Sudairies to overriding power after the 20 year Abdullah hiatus 10 years as virtual regent and King for another decade. The former King's son, Prince Meteb, remains the head of the National Guard - it would have been hazardous to remove him since the National Guard has been commanded by Abdullah since 1962 and more recently by Prince Miteb, is numerically larger than the army, as strong as the army, and fiercely loyal to the Abdullah clan. Prince Moqren was confirmed as Crown Prince but remains the fly in the ointment. This was probably done not to rock the boat immediately on taking over. In the past once designated as the Crown Prince he has invariably become the King unless he predeceased the incumbent King like Crown Prince Sultan and Crown Prince Nayef successively. However, Moqren has no supporting constituency in the country either in the royal family or in the governmental establishment or amongst clerics or the people, and it should not be too difficult to remove him if only the ailing King Salman has enough time left to consolidate his hold on power and earn sufficient popularity with the people. In the meantime he is unlikely to be given any significant role in the new and evolving set-up. Moqren has lost his most powerful supporter Khalid Al-Tuwaijri, the erstwhile head of the Royal Court. Despised and deeply resented by the vast majority of the royal princes, his removal was the first and entirely predictable decision taken by the new monarch upon accession to the throne. Significantly the Oil Minister Naimi has been retained, clearly indicating that Saudi Arabia will continue its policy of retaining market share even at the risk of keeping oil prices low. Despite resultant budgetary constraints this year, the new King has showered large monetary hand-outs to a vast number of people and entities totaling several dozens of billions of dollars to garner popularity. He is the first Saudi King to use social media and has racked up more than 450,000 new followers on the microblogging site Twitter (@KingSalman), bringing the total to over 1.75 million. King Salman has certainly got off to a very deeply personally satisfying beginning. The writer is Distinguished Fellow, IPCS and Former Indian Ambassador to Yemen and Oman

India Post Lessons learnt

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here are lessons to be learnt for every political party from the astounding verdict that Delhi voters have recently given. The winning streak of the BJP under the "reformer" image of Modi has been dented. The Prime Minister has taken note that vandalizing of churches, abusing of other religions, the communal rhetoric and religious conversions by pro-Hindu groups under his watch has done incalculable harm to his party. And his long silence on these issues has given rise to rumors that he is secretly encouraging the Hindutva brigade. As if to counter this feeling Modi came out with his first strong statement at a Delhi function, declaring that his "government will not allow any religious group, belonging to majority or minority to incite hatred against others overtly or covertly." On conversions also he took the stand that "everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence." A perception had been gaining ground that the Hindutva groups had been emboldened under the BJP rule to take the law in their own hands. In Delhi the leadership was not in sync with the workers. And the imposition of Kiran Bedi as the CM candidate upset even the leaders who were not united earlier but now had the common feeling of net letting the outsider ride roughshod over them. Bedi has a reputation being a dominant figure and she must have ruffled many a feather. Arvind Kejriwal hit the nail on the head by describing the reason for the defeat of the BJP and the Congress as their "arrogance." The BJP in particular had taken the Delhi electorate for granted. After its clean sweep in the Lok Sabha elections, it thought the Delhi assembly was its for the taking. It did no work in Delhi although the corporations are under its sway. Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party lost in the Lok Sabha elections, as admitted by him, once again due to its arrogance. Their bagging of 28 seats in their first attempt went to their head and they thought they can now make an all India foray. Kejriwal even challenged Modi in Varanasi and other leaders spread out to contest in various states. Chastened by the defeats everywhere, the AAP leader came back to Delhi and began his campaign once again from scratch. He learnt early that they had paid the price of being overconfident. At his swearing in, he declared that though there was talk in his party of contesting coming elections in other states but he ruled out such an action plan. He will stay put in Delhi and first deliver on his promises like removing corruption, and reducing rates of water and electricity in Delhi. Kejriwal too is a mellowed person. No more dharnas and governing from the streets. The "tamasha" kind of politics impresses no one. He has also learnt to keep the media at a distance. On his first avatar, the media was all over his CM's chair sending pictures of his every movement. This time he has banned the entry of media in the secretariat so that the work of governance is not disrupted. In a novel experiment, Kejriwal himself has not taken on any portfolios. He will only oversee the work of other ministers. If this works, even the Prime Minister may keep off ministries and keep a watch on how governance is taking place. Modi is also made in this mould although he has a few departments under him. He likes to keep a watch on the work in other ministries. Keeping all on their toes is a good idea. The Congress is down in the dumps and unless it breaks for good with the dynasty, its future is dark. The young people of today are not impressed by your links with a family of past achievements. They want results now.


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