V O I C E
I N D I A N S
W O R L D W I D E
India Post www.indiapost.com
NEW YORK • WASHINGTON D.C. • CHICAGO • ATLANTA • CALIFORNIA
Thousands enjoy FIA and Fremont Temple Holi Details on page 16
VOL 20, No. 1070
March 20, 2015
ONCE A FOE, UK HONORS GANDHI
Historic statue unveiled at Parliament Square
US gave 700 Indians political asylum in 2014
Indian-American to head US panel on education Details on page 5
Selma movie has lessons for community Details on page 26
Indian origin doc held in 'kickback' sting
Details on page 6
Details on page 21
US has told Pak about Lakhvi involvement
Indian researcher is woman of year in NSW
Details on page 6
Details on page 11
PM pitches for Indian as IMF Deputy MD
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 48
Details on page 6
MAGNIFICENT TRIBUTE: British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at unveiling of the historic statue of
INDIA POST SURVEY email@example.com This week’s question
Britain honors itself in honoring Gandhi? Last week’s result
Does banning films help in curbing crime? YES 20%
Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan and others look on, in London on March 14.
LONDON: A historic bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled on March 14 at the Parliament Square here, standing adjacent to iconic leaders like Britain's war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. A galaxy of political leaders led by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were joined by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi at the cer-
Date Book -------------------------- 47 Edit Page --------------------------- 54
emony to unveil the 9-foot statue of India's Father of the Nation. Gandhi is the first Indian and the only person never to have been in a public office to be honored with a statue at the Square. The statue was unveiled jointly by Cameron and Jaitley as chants of "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram", a popular bhajan that was Gandhi's favorite, reverberated in the air.
Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”
Community Post -------------- 16-23
Details on page 5
HealthScience Post --------- 34-37 Horoscope ------------------------- 49 Immigration Post ------------- 44-46 Life Style ----------------------- 50-52 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 38-42 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-15 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 30-33
March 20, 2015
March 20, 2015
India Post www.indiapost.com The Weekly Newspaper Serving Indians Worldwide
Romesh & Sunita Japra Publishers Rajesh Verma Co-Publisher Vikram Paul President Krishan Sharma Mg Director & Joint Editor Vinod Dhawan Senior Editor Naresh Sodhi General Manager Amit Saini IT Director Ghanshyam Bisht Supervisor Graphics SAN FRANCISCO & SILICON VALLEY Vijay Thapar CPRO & Advertising Deepak Chhabra Promotions Priya Nayar Bureau Chief Sonia Sidhu Marketing Analyst Ritu Maheshwari Director Promotions Rakesh Kapoor Correspondent Ratika J. Paul Photo Journalist Neeloo Kapoor Photo Journalist Sudesh Kumari Correspondent Rama Mehra Advertising Vidya Sethuraman Correspondent Archana Asthana Correspondent Sujata Singh Correspondent Manasi Maheshwari Youth Correspondent Raaj D. Photo Journalist LOS ANGELES Mrs Shashi Trivedi Bureau Chief J S Bedi PR & Marketing Mrs Prem Kishore Sr Correspondent Greg Heffernan Correspondent Ms Bobby Sharma Correspondent Babeeta Kaur Dhillon Correspondent Pavan Kaur Bhatia Correspondent CHICAGO Ramesh Soparawala Resident Editor A Q Siddiqui Correspondent ST. LOUIS Ashwin Patel Correspondent NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY Pinky Kaur Bureau Chief Srirekha N. Chakravarty Correspondent Nikita Japra Correspondent Sukhvinder Saini Circulation ATLANTA Sanjay Saggere Bureau Chief FLORIDA B K Madnani CANADA Firdaus Ali Correspondent
March 20, 2015
IndiaNewsweekly Post Mission Statement To empower the Indian Diaspora and make their voice strong and effective in countries of their adoption. RJ Media conglomerate offers a credible, professional and complete package of news, opinion, entertainment, networking and information.
ast week President Obama visited South Carolina and as a gracious host receiving the President, Governor Nikki Haley posted the picture on her Facebook page. And reading through the comments next to the picture, from regular folks in the state, I was shocked not only at how alive and kicking racism is in this country, but also at how deep rooted that hatred is. It's almost like the civil rights movement and the more than 50 years of efforts at racial integrity since did not happen at all. I would not like to make sweeping generalizations, but a lot of Americans are stuck in a time warp. Recent months have been seeing a rise of racial tensions across the country - like we had the incident of the visiting Indian grandfather in Alabama, the vandalizing of temples in Washington state to New York, and of course the ongoing race troubles in Ferguson, Missouri. The most shameful of this kind of hatred is visible in the comments one hears on and off on the country's first family. From calling the Obama daughters "classless" to denigrating the First Lady Michelle Obama to the Planet of the Apes to calling President Obama a terrorist and Satan no less, the hatred spews forth relentlessly. At least these hate mongers don't seem to discriminate based on the education or positions held by the victims of their vitriol. Nobody is off the limits for the hate bricks to be thrown at so long as they are Black. It's hard to believe this is 21st century America. But then, is it really? It's baffling how little modern education, technology, media and the resultant connectedness, information and awareness have changed innate human mentality. In fact, it is the anonymity that is afforded by modern communication technology that is unleashing the feelings of a section of people whose opinions may have hitherto been suppressed by the mainstream liberal media. As a civilization, I do wonder which way the human kind is headed, and whether that way can be called forward or backward because in many aspects I feel we haven't moved anywhere since modernity took root.
Romesh K Japra firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON Gope Gidwani Bureau Chief DETROIT Ashok B Jain, M D Bureau Chief Gurminder Singh SAN DIEGO Neelu Bhardwaj Bureau Chief SACRAMENTO Madan Sharma Bureau Chief Janak Sidhra Correspondent Upen Shukla Correspondent CENTRAL VALLEY (CA) Dr Ram Saini Bureau Chief Sheila Rogers Correspondent YUBA CITY (CA) Satnam Tatla Correspondent CAROLINAS Nalini Raja Patel Correspondent INDIA Vinod Dhawan Senior Editor & Bureau Chief NEW DELHI Vijender P Shah Graphics Jitender Singh Rawat Graphics PUNJAB Shiv Japra Bureau Chief Anil Kanwar Senior Correspondent/ Marketing DOABA, PUNJAB Romesh Kaura Correspondent
INFO-CENTER CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Tel: 510-565-9993, Fax: 510-790-2806; E-mail: email@example.com E-SUBSCRIPTION: Priya Nayar Tel: 510-565-9993; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds: Tel: 510-938-8668; E-mail:email@example.com or Tel: 510-565-9993, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Graphics Inquiry: Tel: 510-936-9490; E-mail: email@example.com For Editorial: Priya Nayar Tel: 510-565-9993; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For advertisement rates call the office nearest to you: SAN FRANCISCO & SILICON VALLEY 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Tel: 510-938-8667 e-mail: email@example.com Priya Nayar: 510-579-2760 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES 16224 Alpine Pl. La Mirada, CA 90638 Tel: 562-441-5511, email@example.com
HYDERABAD M Sagar Kumar Bureau Chief
2543 W Devon Ave Chicago IL 60659 Tel: 773-973-7394; Fax: 773-973-7396; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MUMBAI Nidhi Soparawala Correspondent Frank Fernandes Correspondent
VADODARA, GUJARAT Vaidehi Patel Correspondent India Post (ISSN-1064-3868) is published weekly for $30 for 52 issues yearly by India Post, 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538. Periodicals postage paid at Norwalk, CA and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the corporate headquarters: 1860 Mowry Ave # 200 Fremont, CA 94538 Copyright © 1994 Indamec, Inc. DISCLAIMER India Post assumes all advertisers to be reliable and responsible for all liability for their claimers
Tel: 908-338-3752 (Marketing) Tel: 732-283-4939 (Editorial) E-mail: email@example.com
NEW JERSEY 21 Longfellow st., Carteret, NJ 07008 Tel: 732-969-1114; Fax: 732-969-3735 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON Tel: 617-298-9200; Fax: 617-298-1104 GOPE; E-mail: email@example.com
HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Heavy lehenga The lehenga that Sunny Leone sports in the song 'Mere Sayiaan Super Star..' in movie Ek Paheli Leela weighs 12kgs.
Cover Story: Gandhi statue A historic bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in London adjacent to the statue of Winston Churchill
Community: Grand Holi FIA of Northern California and Fremont Hindu Temple celebrated their 38th Holi festival on a grand scale.
Dangerous hunt Diminished local cooperation is putting immigration officers in dangerous situations as they track down criminals
Life style: This too is Goa! Another Goa was unfolding in the beat of the dhol, clank of the ghungroo in the festive crowd of annual Shigmo parade.
TORONTO, CANADA Tel/Fax: 416-744-8610 DELHI Jin Kushal Suri Complex, 3rd Floor, 230-A, Masjid Moth, (NDSE Part-II) New Delhi - 110049 Tel: 11-26257769 / Fax: 11-46142969 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org MUMBAI • Fernandes Mansion Tam Taloa, Bassien (W) Mumbai Tel: 09619 330159
E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 91 98797 79976
For editorial, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-797-7799
ATLANTA 67 Peach Tree Dr., Ste. 102, Buckhead Atlanta, GA 30309, Tel: 404-425-3021 E-mail: sanjay@eBolo.com FLORIDA 8401 West Sample Road 30, Coral Springs, Florida - 33065
• Vaidehi Patel 31/32 J\Jaysantosi Nagar Society, behind Utkarsh Petrol Pump, Karelibaug, Vadodara-390018. Gujarat (India)
Tax demand Arun Jaitley has rejected suggestions that the tax demand on Cairn India has hit enthusiasm in the Indian economy
Somnath Somnath temple, dedicated to one of the 12 revered Jyothirlingas, enlivens the life of the city and visitors
44 50 12 30
March 20, 2015
Once a foe, UK honors Gandhi Historic statue unveiled at Parliament Square LONDON: A historic bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled on March 14 at the Parliament Square here, standing adjacent to iconic leaders like Britain's war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. A galaxy of political leaders led by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were joined by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi at the ceremony to unveil the 9-foot statue of India's Father of the Na-
Quoting some of Gandhi's famous words, Cameron highlighted how his teachings remain as potent today. "This statue celebrates the incredibly special friendship between the world's oldest democracy and its largest, as well as the universal power of Gandhi's message," Cameron said. "Our ties with India have remained close throughout history and continue to go from strength to strength - through mutual respect as equals, cooperation and trade, and of course through the one-and-a-half million Indians
His words were echoed by UK Treasury minister and Indian Diaspora Champion Priti Patel, who said: "Gandhiji was a man who became a great agitator of the British government back then. We have now got him coming to Parliament Square in front of the mother of all Parliaments. It is incredibly symbolic." tion. Gandhi is the first Indian and the only person never to have been in a public office to be honored with a statue at the Square. The statue was unveiled jointly by Cameron and Jaitley as chants of "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram", a popular bhajan that was Gandhi's favorite, reverberated in the air. "This statue is a magnificent tribute to one of the most towering figures in the history of world politics and by putting Mahatma Gandhi in this famous Square we are giving him an eternal home in our country," said Cameron.
who do so much to make Britain the country it is today, bringing our two countries closer, to the benefit of both," he said. Jaitley, invited to the UK especially for the unveiling, said the statue was a tribute to the British sense of civility that they now choose to honor someone who was conventionally regarded as their adversary. "It is a great tribute to both British liberalism and British democracy that they have now chosen Gandhi to share what is the most prominent public space in this country. It is a great day when two adversaries and contrarian
viewpoints converge to appreciate each other," Jaitley said. "The statue will help ensure that the legacy of Gandhi lives on for future generations. It also marks an important, historic moment celebrating the strong bond between our two nations. India and the UK share the same values and we are a partnership of equals. This lasting friendship is just one of many legacies left by Gandhi, which I am keen that we work hard to strengthen further," he said. His words were echoed by UK Treasury minister and Indian Diaspora Champion Priti Patel, who said: "Gandhiji was a man who became a great agitator of the British government back then. We have now got him coming to Parliament Square in front of the mother of all Parliaments. It is incredibly symbolic." The sculptor, Philip Jackson, described his creation as an important symbol in the global fight against terror. "We live in an age where terrorism and acts of random violence are used in an attempt to effect change. Gandhi's sculpture reminds us all that great change can be achieved peacefully and without violence," said the wellknown British figurative artist. Mahatma Gandhi's statue now stands exactly opposite Britain's Houses of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster with Churchill for company, an irony given the British ex-premier's dismissive thoughts of someone he described as a "half naked fakir". It depicts the leader of the Indian national movement wrapped
up in a shawl to shield himself from the London cold during his last visit to the British capital in 1931. NRI economist and founder of the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, Lord Meghnad Desai, described the unveiling as "great occasion for India, UK and the world." "Gandhi belongs to the whole
in front of the British Parliament is something every Indian and British-Asian would have wished for." The move to install Gandhi's statue was announced during an official UK ministerial visit last year and donors have included leading Indian-origin businessmen like steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal, Infosys co-founder
UK PM David Cameron (2nd L) with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan (R) during unveiling ceremony of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by sculptor Philip Jackson at Parliament Square
world but has now found a home in the centre of London, a city which he loved. Let everyone come from everywhere and see for themselves Gandhi in Parliament Square in London," he told PTI. Lady Kishwar Desai, a Trustee behind the 1-million pound global fund-raising efforts for the statue, said, "To have a permanent memory of Mahatma Gandhi
Narayana Murthy and his family and Bajaj Auto chief Rahul Bajaj. The sculpture is aimed as a focal point for commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's return to India from South Africa to start India's struggle for freedom, as well as the passing of 70 years since his death in 2018, and the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2019.-PTI
Indian-American to head US council on education NEW DELHI: An IndianAmerican has been named to head US' most influential higher education association. Renu Khator, Chancellor of University of Houston System and also President of University of Houston, will be the new Chair of American Council on Education (ACE) succeeding James H Mullen Jr. "On March 16, I will become chairman of the American Council on Education, a national organization representing all institutions of higher education - from elite private to community colleges to 'for profit' universities in America," Uttar Pradesh-born and University of Kanpur edu-
cated Khator told PTI. Currently the Vice Chair of ACE, she says she feels tremendously honored to be selected for the new position by fellow presidents. ACE represents the presidents of US accredited, degree-granting institutions which include two and four-year colleges, private and public universities, and non-profit and for-profit entities. In its role representing all sectors of higher education, ACE provides higher education administrators multiple opportunities to learn from colleagues and experts. "In the next decade, American higher education is going to be transformed. We need a collective voice, a shared platform, a place
where we can collectively anticipate change, dare to innovate, and learn from each other's mistakes. "I think ACE provides that forum, that collective voice that
She is the UH System's first woman chancellor, UH's first foreign-born president and the first ever Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the US
shared space, and that togetherness," reads a message by Khator on ACE's official website. She is the UH System's first woman chancellor, UH's first foreign-born president and the first ever Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the US. Last year, she was named the chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' board of directors. According to Khator, both the Indian and US education systems have the same mission but take different approaches to accomplish it. "India does not have a two-year college system for those who wish to pursue trade related degrees. It
has a cohort system where a student enters a university and must continue and finish his or her degree at a predetermined course in a pre-selected field. In US, students can work on their own pace and start their degree at any age and change majors several times," she says. "Bachelor's education in the US includes two years of common core. Irrespective of your field of study - engineering or commerce or arts Everyone must take common courses in humanities, math and social sciences," she says. A product of the Indian education system, she says she values it for all that it offers.-PTI
March 20, 2015
US has told Pak about Lakhvi PM pitches for Indian as IMF Deputy MD involvement WASHINGTON: The US has serving jail sentence for his in- commitment on bringing to justice said it shared "credible evidence" volvement in the attack, and the the perpetrators of the attacks. with Pakistan on LeT operations information gained from him. "The government of Pakistan commander has pledged its cooperation in Zaki ur bringing the perpetrators - finanR e h m a n ciers, and sponsors of the Mumbai Lakhvi's interrorist attacks to justice and we volvement in urge Pakistan to follow through the 2008 on that commitment," State DeMumbai terror partment Spokesperson Jen Psaki attack, days afhad said, adding that Pakistan is ter it reminded a critical partner in fight against the country its terrorism. commitment to Lakhvi and six others - Abdul bring the perWajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin petrators of Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil the horrific atAhmed and Younis Anjum - have tack to justice. been charged with planning and ex"The US ecuting the Mumbai attack in Nohas provided vember, 2008, that claimed 166 lives. credible evi55-year-old Lakhvi, believed to dence (on be a close relative of LeT founder Lakhvi) to Paand Jamat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief kistan," a seHafiz Saeed, was arrested in Denior US official cember 2008 and was indicted told PTI. along with the six others on NoThe official vember 25, 2009 in connection refused to give with the 26/11 attacks case. Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi any further deThe trial has been underway tails and said this was an ongoVarious security ing legal matter. agencies and intelliBut, the information provided gence wings of the US The detailed information by the US to Pakistan on Lakhvi have done their own in- shared by US on individuals and others related to the Mumbai vestigation with regard terrorist attack is credible, the of- to the Mumbai terrorist related to the Mumbai terrorist attack is based on the ficial said. attack. The detailed information Earlier, the US had interrogation of Headley shared by US on individuals re- said there was a strong lated to the Mumbai terrorist at- counter-terrorism cooperation since 2009. He has been detained tack is based on the interrogation with Pakistan and it hoped that at Adiala jail for the last five years of David Headley, who is currently Pakistan would follow through its or so.-PTI
Maldives 'hurt' that Modi could not visit NEW DELHI: Maldives has voiced its "hurt" at Prime Minister Narendra Modi not visiting it during his recent trip to the region even as it sought to allay India's concerns over the imprisonment of former President Mohammed Nasheed. Reacting to the response of international community, including India, which expressed "deep concern" over Nasheed's conviction under anti-terror law and 13year jail sentence, it said, "It is as per law and purely a domestic issue." "We do understand India's concerns. It is natural to be concerned if something is happening in your neighborhood, especially given Modi's neighborhood first approach," Fathimath Inaya, Deputy Minister in Maldivian Foreign Ministry, told PTI here. She also reiterated her President Yameen Abdul Gayoom's remarks that Maldives wanted to engage constructively with its in-
ternational partners, based on mutual respect and dialogue, in consolidating and strengthening democratic values and institutions in the country, implying that it will not like any interference in the matter.
Our government has maintained that it is a domestic judicial process, so we do not foresee any country coming into intervening in what is essentially a domestic issue in Maldives Asked about Modi choosing not to visit Maldives during his recent visit to the countries in the region, she said, "We had extensive discussions with Indian side
for a possible visit by Prime Minister Modi but we were told that environment was not conducive for his visit." "We are hurt that the Prime Minister could not visit this time." Admitting that there was no intervention from any country, including India, the deputy minister said, "No country has intervened. Our government has maintained that it is a domestic judicial process, so we do not foresee any country coming into intervening in what is essentially a domestic issue in Maldives." Earlier, Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon, in Colombo, had said, "I have consistently said that India respects our sovereignty and our independence. While on the basis of the friendship, we can discuss concerns and have a dialogue. But I don't think India nor any other country would be giving us directions...on a particular matter." -PTI
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Latin America to change this Narendra Modi has pitched for a trend. greater representation of Indians During her meeting with the in top leadership positions at IMF, Prime Minister, Lagarde even as its chief Christine Lagarde "complimented the government hoped an Indian will "one day" on the focused way in which it head the global body. has been working to revive the In a meeting with Lagarde, who economy", according to a stateis on a two-day India visit, Modi ment issued by the Prime "emphasized the need to have Minister's Office. greater representation for Indians During the meeting, Modi at the higher level of IMF, particu- "stressed the importance of havlarly at the Deputy MD level". ing a clear direction and focus" Earlier in the day, Lagarde had and said reforms are not restricted said during an event that "one of to legislation alone, and implethese days" an Indian can head the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "I hope one of these days. I can't tell you when. One day of course," she said in reply to a query on when an Indian could head the IMF. Among Indians having held senior positions at IMF, RBI Governor Raghuram Managing Director, IMF Christine Lagarde calling on the Rajan was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on March 16 Chief Economist, while Arvind Subramanian, mentation and direction are currently India's Chief Economic equally important. Advisor, has also previously "He said that his focus, while served as an economist at the promoting growth, is to create multilateral lending institution. jobs, have inclusive growth, and While Lagarde is from France, focus on development of backher predecessor Dominique ward regions in Eastern and Strauss Kahn at IMF was also North-Eastern India. This region from the same country. is rich in natural and human reTraditionally, the position of sources and we need to capitalIMF's MD has been held by a Eu- ize on this. The priority is on all ropean, although there have been fronts - agriculture, manufacturpressure in past few years from ing and services," the statement emerging countries from Asia and said.-PTI
US gave 700 Indians political asylum in 2014 WASHINGTON: The US provided 700 Indians political asylum last year as against 419 in 2013, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). "The USCIS Asylum division granted asylum to 419 individuals with Indian citizenship and/ or country of birth in 2013 and 700 in 2014," USCIS said in a letter to California-based North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) under the freedom of in-
formation act. "This does not include any individuals who may have been granted asylum by a Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review immigration judge," USCIS said. "One thing is very clear that the number of asylees of Indian origin are increasing every year, which is a matter of concern," said Satnam Singh Chahal, NAPA executive director. -PTI
March 20, 2015
March 20, 2015
25 years of Ekal celebrated in Dhanbad, its birthplace (RSS), when he asked the poor farmers how he can be of help to them, they requested him to make at least their children literate, so that they can avoid economic and
India Post News Service
DHANBAD, Jharkhand, India: In the first week of March, 'Parinam Kumbh' (meaning 'assessment') of " E k a l Vi d y a l a y a Foundation", was convened at Dhanbad, Jharkhand, where 'Ekal' was born 25 years ago. More than 2,200 delegates from dozen countries came for this 3-day unique event Ekal Chief Shyamji Gupta to witness the transformation "Ekal" had brought to the social subjugation. The seedling overall development of rural that the visionary Madanlalji sowed, quarter century back has masses in India. The goal, in the words of con- now prospered into the largest vener Yogendra Tulsyan, was not Literacy, Healthcare and rural deonly to bring in active supporters velopment movement in India and partner-organizations of with supporting chapters in more "Ekal" under one roof, but also to than a dozen countries. Ekal has now 55,000 schools celebrate and, retrospectively, to take stock of Ekal's success. It was spread throughout India, includalso an occasion to pay tribute to ing in Jammu-Kashmir and Nepal. Ekal's late founder Madanlal Through 'Ekal,' almost 1.5 million Agarwala, who established the children are receiving basic edu-
Chief Minister Raghuvar Das, VHP Chief Ashok Singhal, Sadhvi Ritambara, and ZEE-TV Chairman Subhash Chandra. At the mammoth public meeting, attended by over 50,000 people, Ashok Singhal, in his address emphasized that India needs to restore its lost identity and true character on the basis of self-respect and self-reliance. He added that Ekal was started with this objective by late Madanlalji. Shyamji Gupta, who paid an eloquent tribute to Madanlal ZEETV's Subhash Chandra, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Agarwala for his pioneering efEkal's Anand Agarwala forts to spread literacy, gave an overview of the ecliptic progress inspiration for the youth few Ekal USA Ekal had made to uplift forgotten years back, was an Ekal alumnus. "Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of masses in the villages. Sadhvi There were several testimonials by USA", has played a very signifiRitambara touched on the difficul- rural-folks which portray their suc- cant role in the expansion, ties faced by the volunteers and cess at tackling social ills like progress and success of 'Ekal compared Abhiyan' (Ekal-India) for more them with than two decades. 'Ekal' as it is ever-loyal known today had started out as 'Hanuman 'One-Teacher School Project' in Sena'. India as well as in USA. For last The Chief few years, Ekal-USA has been Guest for raising $4 to 5 million U.S. Dollars this occasion through its fund-raising concerts, was RSS all over USA. Chief Mohan This year's concerts artists are Bhagwat. In Bollywood melody makers Rana his address Chaterjee and Sangeeta Melekar to the deland they will be performing at egates, he more than 50 places. Their soldVHP Chief Ashok Singhal and Vatsalya Gram's challenged out concerts are under way since Sadhvi Ritambara them to exFebruary. plore possibilities where, 'Ekal' as bonded labor, mass drunkenness, For more information on Ekal a rural support-vehicle, could be spread of epidemics, migration of concert in your vicinity and to taken further with changing times youths to urban areas, and bla- get involved please kindly visit and in favorable political climate. tant corruption in their community. www.ekal.org. There were several presentations by various Ekal alumni groups whose main theme was the empowerment that Ekal had brought to their lives. According to them, this was facilitated, not only by education, and infrastructure of self-reliance that Ekal had provided, but also, NEW DELHI: Badminton Asso- March," he added. by its awareness campaign for ciation of India (BAI) President Srikanth was top seed at the one's 'right to information' in the Akhilesh Das Gupta has anSwiss Open Grand Prix Gold Badface of bureaucratic hurdles. Some nounced a cash award of Rs five minton Championship. He deof these people are now playing lakh for World No.4 Kidambi feated Viktor Axelsen in the finals leadership roles at the district Srikanth in recognition of the 21-15,12-21,21-14 to claim the title. level. young shuttler's 'Pinki Karmakar' who carried the Olympic torch at London Swiss Open vicOlympiad and became a national tory. "Srikanth is playing outstandingly at this moment and we need to reward our athletes for the recognition they acquire at the international level," Gupta said Ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, winner of Swiss Open in a statement. Grand Prix Gold 2015 trophy, on his arrival at "Backed by the Shamshabad Airport near Hyderabad on March 17 performance at the Swiss Open, expectations will He has been in terrific form in be high on Srikanth to get a po- recent times, defeating two-time dium finish at the upcoming Yonex Olympic and 5-time World ChamSunrise India Open, 2015 to be pion Lin Dan in his own backyard held in New Delhi from 24th at China Open.-PTI
5 lakh cash award for Kidambi Srikanth
Pan-India Ekal Exhibition
first 'Ekal Vidyalaya' in November 1988 in Laidvari tribal village near Dhanbad. As a dedicated 'Pracharak' of "Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh"
cation and healthcare training, each year. Prominent dignitaries who presided over this mega convention were Ekal Chief Shyamji Gupta,
Mamoth Crowd of 50,000
March 20, 2015
Modi visits Jaffna, seeks respect for citizens JAFFNA: Making a historic visit to a region once ravaged by strife, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 14 called for equitable development and respect for all citizens in Sri Lanka, seen as an oblique reference to Tamils who had suffered during the war between the LTTE and forces. Winding up his public engagements on his two-day trip to the island with a hugely-symbolic visit to Tamil-dominated Jaffna, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, he said he was glad that it "is one to wipe tears from the eyes of those who suffered". The Prime Minister, who is also the second international leader to visit the region after Premier David Cameron in 2013, handed over 27,000 new homes to Tamils who became homeless during the civil war. The houses were built with Indian assistance as part of India's efforts to help in the reconciliation process. Modi's visit came a day after
Indian roots for New Zealand to win WELLINGTON: Money can buy one everything and it has been proved yet again by a die hard Indian fan who is rooting for New Zealand, and not the country where he was born and brought up, to win the cricket World Cup. Arjun Bhardwaj, 24, now wants New Zealand to win the cricket World Cup, according to a report in 'New Zealand Herald'. The reason being is that Bhardwaj took a clean onehanded catch during a Pool B match between India and Zimbabwe at Auckland's Eden Park, which made him the sixth person to make the draw in the 'Tui Catch a Million' competition, and he currently has a share of NZD 350,000 (nearly USD 260,000). The current prize pool of NZD 350,000 would be increased to 500,000 if New Zealand win their quarter-final clash against the West Indies. It would subsequently be raised to 750,000 if the Black Caps make it to the final and to NZD 1 million if they lift the trophy. The booty would be shared between fans taking clean onehanded catches at any of the World Cup matches held in New Zealand, brewery brand Tui said on its website. Fans have to wear a special Tui 2015 'Catch a Million' tee-shirt to participate in the competition.-PTI
he had met President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo and favored a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a unified Sri Lanka. He had also urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure
at the event, made a strong pitch for replacing the 13th Amendment with a more dynamic system of devolution of powers. "13th amendment (to Sri Lankan Constitution) cannot be a
a helping hand in the traditional milk boiling before a family moved into a new home. He was received by women who performed the traditional 'aarti' to the accompaniment of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the handing over of homes, at Ilavalai North-West Housing Project site, in Jaffna, Sri Lanka on March 14
early and full implementation of the 13th Amendment relating to devolution of powers to Tamils and to go beyond that in finding a political solution. Laying the foundation for a Cultural Centre being built here by India, Modi said, "Sri Lanka should also progress. Unity, peace and amity are essential ingredients for equitable development where there is respect for all citizens." Northern Province Chief Minister and Tamil leader C V Wigneswaran, who was present
final solution," he said, noting that Modi himself is a proponent of devolution of powers and cooperative federalism. Earlier, Modi flagged off a train service in the north-western town of Talaimannar - the closest point to India - restored after decades of civil war, completing the reconstruction of the entire Northern Province Railway Line. At Ilavalai in Jaffna, where India is assisting in a housing project, Modi participated in a housewarming ceremony and lent
Nadaswaram music. Modi also offered prayers at the Naguleswaram Temple in Jaffna. "Feeling blessed," he tweeted later. The cultural centre which is to be funded by the Indian government is expected to cost Rs 60 crores. Modi assured the people of Jaffna that the task taken up by India in the construction of the cultural centre will be completed in time and will exceed their expectations. "India is proud to have an op-
portunity to establish a unique and world-level cultural centre in Jaffna. When a library is established, a place where books can be found, it unites the generations," he said. Extending his solidarity with the people of Jaffna, Modi said, "Jaffna is making a new mark for itself. The world is experiencing the message of peace from here". "Even if I had come here without any scheduled program, only to bow to this land, it would be a very big thing," he said. Referring to the trials and tribulations faced by people of Jaffna, Modi said, "Jaffna has seen several ups and downs. People have faced several difficulties". Modi also said that India and Sri Lanka are not just neighbors but have historical links. While in Jaffna, Modi also had a meeting with Wigneswaran at the Jaffna Public Library. At the function to handover houses, Modi said, "These houses are not merely walls of bricks and stone. These houses are an effort to make the lives of those who have suffered happier." "I am glad this program, my final public program during my Sri Lanka visit, is one to wipe tears from the eyes of those who suffered," he said. Modi said 47,000 homes will be built for the benefit of displaced persons in the next phase, a statement which was greeted by loud cheers from the assembled people.-PTI
10 India Post
March 20, 2015
Kejriwal feeling fresh and fit after naturopathy NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flew back to Delhi on Monday night after 12 days of naturopathy treatment in Bengaluru for chronic cough and diabetes, raring to resume work in the government and in AAP which is grappling with growing internal rift. The 46-year-old AAP leader was discharged from the Jindal Nature Cure Institute on Bangalore outskirts where he was admitted on March 5. "Cough gone, sugar under control. Feeling fresh and fit. (I) am excited to return to resume work," Kejriwal tweeted before leaving for Delhi. Kejriwal was undergoing treatment at
the hospital when the AAP was rocked by internal turbulence after its founders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav were ousted from the Political Affairs Committee. In Bengaluru, the Chief Minister said he was in touch with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on a regular basis and has certain schemes in mind to implement. "In the last 12 days, I got the time to think on what changes
which can be brought in Delhi, especially in education and ration scheme (PDS). I used to speak to Manish (Sisodia)," Kejriwal said.
Chairman of Jindal Nature Cure Institute K R Raghunath said the AAP leader's cough and sugar levels were "quite under control". He, however, said Kejriwal was following a regimented style routine while under treatment but going back to the "old styles" would mean problems again. "There has been some exaggerated report on Delhi Chief Minister's visit here; some people say that he has been cured of cough, some people say a phenomenal improvement, but please note that naturopathy is not a magic, neither are we conducting a miracle in our institute," he said. He said, "Like all systems of medication naturopathy has its limitations; yes we do a total detoxification, the byproduct of detoxification is getting the diseases cured." Describing Kejriwal as a highly dedicated person, Raghunath said "without any hesitation he mixed with people without taking any VIP facility. We found he was enjoying the bland food." -PTI
Singapore jails Indian for duping compatriot SINGAPORE: An Indian-origin man in Singapore has been sentenced to 22 weeks imprisonment for duping a drunk compatriot of SGD 13,000 through his ATM card. Vickneswaran Sivan, 24, was jailed for taking undue advantage of Shakthikalu Manjappa Gopalakrishna by taking his ATM card and later withdrawing money. After a night out drinking together, Sivan took a taxi with Gopalakrishna, 34, when the latter dozed off on the way. When they reached their destination, Sivan woke him up so he could pay for their fare. Gopalkrishna handed his ATM card to the taxi driver and later keyed in his pin code. Sivan noted the PIN number as his drinking buddy typed it in to the terminal, then took the card back from the driver without Gopalkrishna's consent and committed the crime.-PTI
Indian worker found hanging in UAE DUBAI: A 29-year-old Indian worker in the UAE has allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan. The worker was reportedly suffering from depression due to psychological and social problems which might have prompted him to end his life, Gulf News reported. The worker committed suicide in Sharjah using a rope, the official said, adding that the body has been shifted to Kuwaiti Hospital and then to the forensic laboratory for an autopsy. Police till now do not suspect involvement of anyone else. -PTI
March 20, 2015
AAP leaders from Kejriwal camp meet Yadav NEW DELHI: In a sign of reconciliation between warring factions of AAP, senior leaders from the Arvind Kejriwal camp have met Yogendra Yadav and held discussions over several contentious issues, hours after the Delhi Chief Minister's return from Bengaluru. Both the camps have termed the discussions as "positive". Party sources said AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh and Ashish Khetan met Yadav on Monday night and the discussions continued until 3 am. The discussions took place at a time when Yadav and Prashant Bhushan had sought time from Kejriwal for a meeting to put an end to the ongoing controversy. A message was sent to Kejriwal on behalf of both the leaders. Though there was no response
from Kejriwal to the SMS, the AAP leaders then met Yadav. "We were bothered with what was happening in the party for the past few days. We started talks
with Yogendra (Yadav) bhai. The start was good," Sanjay Singh tweeted. Sources close to Yadav too echoed similar sentiments. "There is peace after a threehour sleep. There is peace now.
Indian researcher is woman of year in NSW MELBOURNE: A 56-year-old Apte, Professor of Medicine at Indian pancreatic cancer researcher the South Western Sydney Cliniin Australia has been named New cal School of the University of South Wales Woman of the year New South Wales, last year, was 2015 for her contributions to medi- awarded the Order of Australia cal research, tertiary education and Medal (OAM) for her services to the Indian community. medical research, tertiary educaMinoti Apate, researcher at tion and the Indian Community. University of New South Wales "Inequality and disadvantage (UNSW) received the award from for women returning to work reNSW Premier mains a big Mike Baird and problem in AusMinister for tralia and more Women Pru work needs to Goward during be done in this a reception at area. NSW Parlia"UNSW is ment House releading the way cently. when it comes "Alongside to familyher impressive friendly workcareer sucplace arrangecesses, Apte is ments and supan active memporting women ber of the who want to Minoti Apate Marathi Assobalance family ciation of with pursuing a Sydney, an organization that career in science, academia or serves Sydney's significant In- medical research," she said. dian population," said Premier Based at Ingham Institute for Baird, adding that her achieve- Applied Medical Research, she is ments inspire other women to fol- director of the Pancreatic Relow in her footsteps. search Group and is an acknowl"In winning the award I'd like edged world-leader in alcohol-into acknowledge the wonderful duced pancreatic injury and pansupport of members of the Pan- creatic cancer. creatic Research Group, my curShe investigates pancreatic rent PhD students Zhihong Xu cancer at a cellular level to find and Sri Pothula and my mentors out how and why the cancer is so Professor Jeremy Wilson and aggressive and spreads so Professor Ron Pirola," she said. quickly.-PTI
We will be successful," party leader Kumar Vishwas tweeted. Over the past few weeks, AAP had been embroiled in internal turmoil with leaders from both the camps making accusations and leveling allegations against each other. The Kejriwal camp had alleged that Bhushan and Yadav wanted the party to lose the Delhi Assembly elections and were attempting to remove the Delhi Chief Minister from the post of AAP National Convener. The duo was dropped from the all-power Political Affairs Committee of the party at a meeting earlier this month. Kejriwal flew back to Delhi on Monday after 12 days of naturopathy treatment in Bengaluru for chronic cough and diabetes.-PTI
No breakthrough in Indian student's murder case LOS ANGELES: A 37-year-old Indian woman dental student, who has been found dead in the US city of Albany, was shot in the head but there were no signs of a forced entry into her apartment, police have said. Randhir Kaur was found dead in her apartment in Kains Avenue about 4 pm on March 8 in Albany, California State. Kaur was shot sometime after she attended afternoon prayers at a Sikh temple, police said. Kaur was a student at the University of California San Francisco. She had enrolled in the International Dentist Program with an anticipated June 2016 graduation date. Police believe Kaur was killed sometime after she arrived home the evening of March 8. "She was shot once in the
head inside her apartment," police said. Detectives found no signs of forced entry into her apartment or foul play. Kaur's car, a 1999 Toyota, was found parked and locked at her residence, police said. Despite a week-long focus on evidence collection and pursuing investigative leads no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified, it said. Police found personal items belonging to Kaur inside a trash receptacle in the 5200 block of Panama Avenue in Richmond, roughly two miles away from Kaur's apartment. Experts from the Alameda County sheriff's crime laboratory have been called to assist in the investigation, which police said is a standard practice for any homicide in the city.-PTI
Tech News Jaitley presents NRI award to G P Hinduja LONDON: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented leading industrialist G P Hinduja with the inaugural NRI Foundation Award for achievements in the field of business. The co-chairman of the Hinduja Group was honored for establishing a global presence across 10 different sectors and his philanthropic work in Britain and India. "The India-UK partnership is furthered by a very strong 1.5 million British Indian community, which has come into this land, adopted it as its own and probably will go down as one of the most extrovert communities anywhere in the world," Jaitley said at the awards ceremony here. "The Diaspora is in a unique position. It has become a very powerful and dominant force in this country with the proud privilege of being both British and being Indian," he said. The other NRI Foundation Award winners included the Asian Media and Marketing Group, publishers of the 'Garavi Gujarat' magazine, Lloyds Banking Group's Head of Responsible Business Kamel Hothi and the UK Government's Dealmaker for India Alpesh Patel.-PTI
Snap Fitness to open 178 new health clubs NEW DELHI: As part of its expansion plans, US-based Snap Fitness plans to add 178 health clubs in India by the end of 2017. It has 62 operational clubs in India, is looking at places like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad for expanding its footprint. "We are planning to have 240 locations under our brand by end of 2017. Out of these 20 centers will be company-owned and operated, while the rest which is close to 220 will be franchise owned, franchise operated," Snap Fitness India MD and CEO B M Vikram told PTI. "We will be positioning most of these centers in tier one cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and NCR. A fraction of them will also go to tier two and tier three cities," he said. On the investments for expansion, he said as majority of clubs will be franchise-owned and operated and the investments will come from franchisees, but did not disclose the figures. -PTI
TechBiz 12 India Post
March 20, 2015
European Investment Bank to set up office in India LUXEMBOURG: Impressed by India's economic reforms and its growth potential, the EU-owned European Investment Bank is planning to open its first office in the country soon to significantly expand its operations. Considered one of the world's largest multilateral borrower and lender, the European Union (EU) bank has already started negotiations with the Reserve Bank of India to facilitate low cost funding to various infrastructure projects as well as to small and medium enterprise in India. "We are very keen to open our first office in India soon and it should be in New Delhi. We want to expand our operations in India," Patrick Walsh, Director of Global Partners at the EIB, told PTI here.-PTI
Cairn tax issue has not discouraged investors, says Jaitley LONDON: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has rejected suggestions that the huge retrospective tax demand on Cairn India has overshadowed enthusiasm in the Indian economy and said it is a "legacy" issue that has to be sorted through legal process. "There's a huge amount of enthusiasm about India. People are looking for areas to invest in India. India is back on the radar of investors, we had fallen off from there earlier," Jaitley told reporters as he wrapped up his visit here. The Finance Minister said that, "at the same time, the investors also closely scrutinize every step (taken by the government) on two grounds - whether you are able to incrementally move in the direction you have promised or are you taking any movements in the contrarian direction. And, I think we are moving in one consistent direction." "The second fact is whether obstructionism is able to halt you or are you able to overcome it. So far, we've surely been able to overcome it," he said.
Asked if the recent headlines surrounding the tax demand issued to UK-based oil major Cairn Energy overshadowed this general
policy of the new government that it would not move in the direction of any retrospective legislation on tax issues.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing at a business meet on Investment Opportunities in India in London on March 13
sense of enthusiasm, he dismissed it as "legacy issues" of the previous government. "When the new government had come in, I had stated the
"Two, any fresh notices or new action will ordinarily not be done and if any assessing officer wants to take any such action, he'll require the clearance of the Central
Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)," Jaitley said. "As far as earlier notices and legacy issues are concerned, they'll have to be sorted out through a due judicial process. We've stuck to that word. And, wherever in the earlier issue the judicial process has decided some issue, as recently in some cases they have, we've accepted that," he said. For instance, Jaitley said, on Vodafone and Shell issues whatever the courts decided, the government accepted that. Stressing that it remains the declared position of the Government of India, Jaitley said, "Any assessee, if he has any grievance against what I call the legacy issues of the previous government, they have the due process to resort to." During his two-day visit, Jaitley held a series of conferences with investors, including one organized by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), one at the London Stock Exchange and a conference of institutional investors organized by JP Morgan.-PTI
Promise to ease process of doing business LONDON: The Indian government is fairly determined and is introducing changes to ease the process of doing business and attract investments in India while trying to rationalize and lower taxes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said. He also said that the GDP growth rate this year would be 7.5 per cent and hopefully higher in the next year. "We are trying to rationalize taxes, lower taxes and introduce a non-adversarial and fair system of taxation. There is a raging ideological battle between reform and obstruction. The government is fairly determined. "The roadmap for us is very clear. We need a lot of investment in India and we need to ease the process of doing business in India and therefore slowly we are
introducing changes in that direction," he said addressing a gathering of international investors on 'Investment Opportunities in India' here. Jaitley stressed that the new government's priority was to im-
prove the credibility of the Indian economy. "Fiscal deficits are on the downside. There is a flurry of activities, we are correcting aberrations in taxation structure, we are concentrating on infrastructure
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with London Stock Exchange (LSE) CEO, Xavier Rolet and UK Treasury minister Priti Patel. LSE marked Jaitleyâ€™s UK visit with a special Indian tricolor display
and trying to bring about fairness in our system. "The success of the auction of Spectrum and coal mines have shown how corruption could be avoided and bring higher values. We seem to be favorably placed," he said. In an attack on the previous UPA government, Jaitley stressed on how scandals such as the Spectrum and coal field allocations are a thing of the past. "If (former Prime Minister Manmohan) Singh had his way, the crisis would never have taken place but there was a sense of helplessness. "With regard to coal, he had announced an auction process within months of taking over but for 10 years he was unable to go through with it. Contâ€™d on page 14
March 20, 2015
Jaitley meets British PM Cameron, Chancellor LONDON: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met British Prime Minister David Cameron who evinced his interest in India's ongoing reform agenda. "This morning I called on the Prime Minister (David Cameron) and with regard to what is happening in the Indian economy as far as the reform process is con-
"The principle purpose of my visit was the unveiling of the statue itself and I had to represent the government of India. Today is both historic and nostalgic. It is a privilege to be associated with this. The real test of a great leader with a place in history that Gandhiji had is that his one-time adversaries now recognize his greatness.
Britains Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, right, speaks to the Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a meeting at Downing Street in London on March, 13
cerned, there is a huge amount of interest that all British leaders have. "The passage of the Insurance Bill in the Rajya Sabha on the eve of my visit here couldn't have come at a better time," Jaitley said soon after he joined Cameron at the unveiling ceremony of Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Parliament Square here.
"It's a very touching occasion as far as all of India is concerned," he said. In reference to his other key meetings during his two-day visit to the UK, the finance minister highlighted his meeting with Prince Charles at Clarence House. "This was really in connection with his charities and expansion of those activities in India. There
is some activity and an advisory committee he has in the context of India and he is quite keen that some of those programs could be expanded, so we shared some ideas on that," Jaitley explained. His meeting with the UK Chancellor was "really about the economic cooperation issues between India and the UK". "I've known and met Mr Osborne even earlier when both of us were in Opposition. There's a delegation of Indian industry and the Chancellor was gracious enough to host the delegation as well over breakfast. Of course, trade ties are becoming stronger. "We recently met when he came to India and then in Davos both of us had a meeting. There are not too many outstanding issues. India's investment here and the UK's investment in India are quite strong and improving," he said. Besides the Conservative Party leaders, Jaitley stressed that India has also had "historically close ties with the Labor Party" in reference to his meeting with Opposition leader Ed Miliband. In reference to the "high level of maturity" achieved in India's international affairs, the senior BJP leader highlighted that this has been the "first time in history that a US President has come twice to India during his tenure and the first time a British Prime Minister has come thrice during his tenure".-PTI
Exports dipped by 15 pc in February NEW DELHI: Falling for the straight third month, India's exports declined steeply by over 15 per cent to USD 21.54 billion in February, even as trade deficit narrowed to USD 6.85 billion. The decline in outbound shipments has been mainly on account of weak global demand. The fall in imports by 15.66 per cent to USD 28.39 billion has led to improvement in the trade deficit figures which declined to 17month low of USD 6.84 billion in February. The deficit, which reflects higher imports than exports, was USD 8.32 billion in January. "Contraction in global demand, lowering of prices of metal and commodities as well as volatility in currencies are largely responsible for such dismal performance," exporters' body FIEO President M Rafeeque Ahmed said. Cumulative value of exports during April-February 2014-15 was
USD 286.58 billion, as against USD 284.07 billion, up 0.88 per cent, over the same period last year. "The muted 2 per cent growth of services exports in y-o-y terms in January 2015 and 15 per cent
"The trade deficit for April-February, 201415 was estimated at USD 125.22 billion which was higher than the deficit of USD 124.84 billion during April-February, 2013-14" contraction in merchandise exports in February 2015 underscore the weak demand for Indian exports in the context of sluggish growth of global economic activity. Curtailed demand for Indian
exports remains a risk factor that may temper the growth of Indian economic activity going ahead," rating agency ICRA said. Imports during February were valued at USD 28.39 billion, while it was USD 33.66 billion in the year-ago month, down 15.65 per cent. "The trade deficit for AprilFebruary, 2014-15 was estimated at USD 125.22 billion which was higher than the deficit of USD 124.84 billion during April-February, 2013-14," the ministry said. Oil imports during February were valued at USD 6.101 billion, 55.49 per cent lower than USD 13.706 billion in the year-ago period. Oil imports during April-February, 2014-15 totaled USD 130.84 billion, down 12.24 per cent yearon-year. "All three major contributors engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery have shown a negative trend, EEPC India Chairman Anupam Shah said.-PTI
When 'humiliated' Tata did a 'favor' to Ford MUMBAI: Ratan Tata and his team faced "humiliation" when they went to sell the group's fledgling car business to Ford in 1999, but came back to "do a big favor" just nine years later by taking over the American giant's marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover. "They told us 'you do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all'. They said they will do us a favor by buying our car division," a Tata Group veteran said while recalling a meeting of Ratan Tata and other top executives with Ford officials in Detroit in 1999. The Tata Motors team decided to return to New York the same evening and Ratan Tata, then the group chairman, was somber throughout the 90-minute flight, said Pravin Kadle, who was part of the team at that time and now heads Tata Capital. "This was in 1999 and come 2008, the same Ford's JLR was bought by us. Ford chairman Bill Ford thanked Tata, saying 'you are doing us a big favor by buying JLR'," Kadle said, to a thunderous applause at an awards function here. He was speaking, mostly in Marathi, after receiving the YB Chavan National Award 2014 on behalf of Ratan Tata, who is now
Chairman Emeritus of the over USD 100-billion group. The poor response to its maiden hatchback Indica had driven Tata Motors to sell the car business, within a year of its debut in 1998, to Ford Motor. "Some people advised Chairman Ratan Tata to sell the passenger car division following the poor
response it got post launch. Ford officials came down to our headquarters Bombay House and evinced interest in our car business. "We were called to Detroit for discussions and I accompanied the chairman. For nearly three hours, we discussed the sell-off with Ford officials but were meted out humiliating treatment," said Kadle, who played a major role in the turnaround and growth of Tata Motors.-PTI
March 20, 2015
India can help nations in disaster Facebook acquires search engine TheFind response: Rajnath SENDAI, Japan: India has expressed willingness to share its expertise and help other nations in disaster response and capacity building and asked the international community to strengthen support mechanisms. Addressing the third world conference on disaster risk reduc-
tise and help other countries in disaster response and capacity building. We envisage a bigger role in capacity building in the Asia Pacific region and look forward to build sustained regional and international partnerships under the post-2015 Framework," he said addressing the international audience.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh address during the WCDRR third UN World conference on disaster risk reduction in Sendai, Japan on March 14
tion here, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India was committed to work with other countries in Asia Pacific region and beyond in building resilient nations and communities, against disasters. "We are keen to share our exper-
Singh said besides the role of specialized agencies, indigenous technical knowledge and community-based methodologies to deal with natural disasters are of utmost importance. "I would like to share that the
government of India has mainstreamed disaster risk reduction in its development policies at all levels. By taking adequate measures for preparedness to handle disasters at all the levels, we were able to limit the loss of human lives to 44 in Odisha due to cyclone Phailin," he said. This is in contrast with the death of over 8,900 people in the super cyclone that struck the state in 1999. This substantive reduction could be brought around through regular investments in improving our forecasting systems, apart from capacity building measures involving the communities, he said. The home minister said more multi-purpose cyclone shelters were constructed during this period and more than a million people were evacuated and brought to safe places, before the cyclone Phailin made landfall. "We would also like to call upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern technology for capacity-building and enabling institutional and policy environment at all levels," he said.-PTI
New tech may double networks' data capacity NEW YORK: In a first, engineers led by an Indian-origin researcher have developed a new technology that may double the data capacity of today's networks. Researchers have invented fullduplex radio integrated circuits (ICs) that can enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio. Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies. The Columbia University team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this. "This is a game-changer. By leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smart phones and tablets," said Krishnaswamy. In the era of Big Data, the current frequency spectrum crisis is
one of the biggest challenges researchers are grappling with and it is clear that today's wireless networks will not be able to support tomorrow's data deluge, researchers said. Today's standards, such as 4G/ LTE, already support 40 different
â€œBy leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smart phones and tabletsâ€™ frequency bands, and there is no space left at radio frequencies for future expansion. At the same time, the grand challenge of the next-generation 5G network is to increase the data capacity by 1,000 times. The ability to have a transmitter and receiver re-use the same
frequency has the potential to immediately double the data capacity of today's networks. Krishnaswamy notes that other research groups and startup companies have demonstrated the theoretical feasibility of simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency, but no one has yet been able to build tiny nanoscale ICs with this capability. "Our work is the first to demonstrate an IC that can receive and transmit simultaneously," he said. "Doing this in an IC is critical if we are to have widespread impact and bring this functionality to handheld devices such as cellular handsets, mobile devices such as tablets for WiFi, and in cellular and WiFi base stations to support full duplex communications," said Krishnaswamy. The biggest challenge the team faced with full duplex was canceling the transmitter's echo. Imagine that you are trying to listen to someone whisper from far away while at the same time someone else is yelling while standing next to you. -PTI
HOUSTON (US): Social networking giant Facebook embraced e-commerce after it acquired shopping search engine 'TheFind', signaling its aspirations in two of the Internet's biggest money-makers: search and e-commerce. Both Facebook and TheFind cast the acquisition as a way to lift the digital advertising business of Facebook, which with USD 12.6 billion in annual ad sales last year, is unquestionably a dominant player in the industry. "Together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers," Facebook said in a statement about the deal. TheFind
echoed those comments, saying its technology would be integrated into Facebook "to make the ads you see on Facebook every day better and more relevant to you." In its webpost, TheFind said many of its employees would be joining Facebook and work on improving the relevance of the social network's advertising. TheFind added that its search engine will go offline "in the next few weeks." Facebook has been testing a "buy" button since July 2014 that lets users purchase goods directly. Now, with TheFind, it would be able to add additional shopping tools to its service.-PTI
Airtel joins Orange for video conference biz NEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel's business-to-business service arm has partnered France-based Orange Business Services to allow their customers connect with each other for video conferencing facility. "Airtel Managed Video Conference customers will be able to collaborate with the Orange customers and vice-versa with an ease that is comparable to making a telephone call, not only within India but even at international locations," Airtel Business' Chief Product Officer Argha Basu told PTI.
This is first ever B2B deal of Orange with an Indian company in video conferencing space. While there are many free webbased video conferencing solutions available in the market, the large multinational companies prefer to use dedicated audiovideo conferencing facility for their business needs. Orange Business Services is present in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, Australasia, North America, Latin America and Russia. Orange claims to have an enterprise customer base of 236 million worldwide.-PTI
Promise to ease process of doing business Contâ€™d from page 12
How can we allow such a system to continue," he said at the event organized by FICCI and UK Indian Business Council. Speaking at another function launching the Union Bank of India (UK), a subsidiary of the Union Bank of India, Jaitley noted that India is emerging as one of the fastest growing economies and said that this year the GDP growth rate will be 7.5 per cent and next year hopefully it would be higher. He said that since the new government came to power the economy has regained. "During the last few years we
had fallen off the radar, our growth had slowed down, our priorities were blurred and the world was accusing us of policy paralysis. Finally people of India decided to bring about a change," he said. Without naming UPA, he said "the I (India) was falling off the BRIC. But today most of others are facing challenge while India is emerging as one of the fastest growth nations - This year we will close at 7.5 per cent GDP growth and next year hopefully higher. At the same time, he noted that elimination of poverty is a major challenge and government is working hard to tackle this great challenge.-PTI
March 20, 2015
'Mission Plan II' for auto industry in Sept CHENNAI: The government will come out by September this year with the draft Mission Plan II for the automotive industry for the 2016-2026 period, a senior government official has said. Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, said that the first version of Mission Plan was released in 2006 for the period up to 2016. "... that time in 2006 it (automotive) was USD 35 billion big industry and by 2016 it should reach USD 145 billion. In terms of employment from the present 11 million both direct and indirect, we hope to reach 35 million by 2016," he added. "We are hoping to maintain the current momentum and hoping to release the Mission Plan II, that is for the next 10 years 2016-26 which
may be released sometime in September 2015," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Automotive, Research and Development Trends, organized by CII. "Currently, we are standing almost midway. If we take the turn-
over (of the automotive industry), we have reached USD 78 billion today that almost doubled. On the job creation, we have reached 2829 million jobs", he said. According to him, the number of passenger cars was expected to reach nine million by 2022 from the present three million. The total two-wheelers size should reach 33
million from the present 15 million. "For the electric vehicle, we have an idea of six to seven million by 2020 from almost nil today" he said. On the setting up of National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), promoted by the Centre, he said the labs at the Oragadam centre situated near Chennai, was expected to be ready by end of this year and test tracks to be operational by middle of next year. "There investments will be around Rs 700 crore. For the total scheme, the sanctioned amount is Rs 2,288 crore which will end up to Rs 3,500 crore for all the seven centres. Some are coming up in Rae Barelli, Manesar", he said. Responding to a query about allocation of funds for developing Hybrid cars, he said the Finance Ministry has sanctioned about Rs 795 crore for two years which include Rs 500 crore for incentives, Rs 200 crore for technology and remaining for infrastructure and pilot projects.-PTI
Audi focusing on long term sustainability in India INGOLSTADT, Germany: Having achieved leadership position in the Indian luxury vehicles segment, German auto major Audi is focusing on long-term sustainability of its business while maintaining the top slot. "We need to make sure that dealers with our franchise make more money than others. So the most important part is the foundation that we are building to ensure long term leadership of Audi in India and no just rather looking at monthly volumes and competition," Member of the Board of Management of Audi AG Luca de Meo told PTI. For the last two years, Audi has been the largest selling luxury vehicle brand in India, ahead of rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Last year it sold 10,851 units. In comparison, rival Mercedes-Benz sold 10,201 units last year, while BMW India sold 6,812 units. On Audi's approach in the Indian market, Meo said: "I think we need to look at the issue not only
from volume point of view but most importantly we are keen to be the most desired brand, we need to keep serving our customers." The maker of various popular brands like Q5 sports utility vehicle and A3 sedan, also wants to maintain a bigger presence in the premium luxury segment. "No matter what the situation is, the minimum target we need to have is to keep a high market share in the premium segment no matter what the volatility," Meo said. The company currently has a market share of 34 per cent in the Indian premium car segment, which is one of the highest for the company in the world, he added. "It is one of the highest in the world. It means every time an Indian potential customer looks for a premium car he would always put Audi in the shopping list and this thing is an asset," he said, adding the company had a long term perspective when it came to the Indian market. -PTI
Desi News IACS hosts leadership networking seminar SURENDRA ULLAL
CHICAGO: Indo American Community Services (IACS), a Chicago based no-profit body, hosted a leadership and networking event on Saturday, March 14 at Marriott Hotel, Schaumburg (a northeast suburb of Chicago) where 'who's who' of Chicago area corporate executives participated to share their knowledge, background and experience with aspiring participants from Indian community. The speakers included Soma Somasundaram, CEO and President of Dover Energy, Mark Hacker, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer at Motorola Solutions, Socka Suppiah, Co-Founder and COO of Saggezza and Rajan Nagarajan, Vice President Strategic Business Process Transformation at Kraft Foods. Details on page 18
Useful tips at wealth & estate planning seminar RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
CHICAGO: It was second in line of the series of seminars on investment and wealth planning that a leading group of financial advisors at Wealth Planning hosted here on March 3 and 4, and by all account both the events met with success judging from the response from the attendees. The educational seminars focused on the major financial concerns for physicians, business owners, and corporate executives as they are approaching, or are already in retirement. Both nights, the room was full of guests taking notes while enjoying the dinner at Seasons 52 Restaurant in Oak Brook, a south west suburb of Chicago.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
16 India Post
March 20, 2015
We need both material world & God to practice spirituality Details on page 23
Ocean of people enjoy FIA and Fremont Temple Holi India Post News Service
MILPITAS: Federation of Indo-Americans (FIA) of Northern California and Fremont Hindu Temple celebrated their 38th Holi festival on a grand scale. Building on previous successes and huge response, this year's "Festival of Colors" was celebrated on Saturday March 7 at Cardoza Park, Milpitas. New Holi location was selected to provide plenty of parking and other amenities for participants. In keeping with yearly tradition, the admission to the event was free. There was tremendous response to the Holi event. It seemed as if an ocean of people had congregated to celebrate Holi. Over ten thousand people enjoyed
(L-R) Dr. Romesh japra, Vijaya Assuri, Rajesh Verma, Manorama Joshi, Deepak Chhabra, Milpitas Mayor Esteves, Chandu Bhambhra and Ritu Maheshwari
with great enthusiasm. In order to reduce pollution, skin irritations and make the festival environment friendly, Holi featured biodegradable and skin-friendly colors. People enjoyed music and DJ so much that they were requesting for music even after the event closing time. Dr Romesh Japra, President and Convener (FIA) said, "FIA Holi has over the years played an important role in keeping our culture alive and inculcating pious values in our youngsters. Contâ€™d on page 20 Dr. Romesh Japra addressing the crowd while Milpitas Mayor Esteves looks on
Details on page 19
Maharashtra ban on bull slaughter will hit economy
ndia is world's second largest democracy and we Indians are proud of it wherever we are. But is our democracy working on constitutional guidelines or going, "Do it as you like it" way for the whims and thoughts of the few in power? Democracy means a responsible government system elected by people working for the welfare of people. Details on page 22
Ocean of people enjoying Holi!
March 20, 2015
Community Across America
India Post 17
Reaching out to community in New England
Indian Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay presenting a plaque to Mayor Walsh with Rishikant Singh of Air India in the middle
Air India's Area Sales Manager North Eastern states Shiv Kapuria with Mayor Walsh on his left, and Rishikant, next to CG Mulay, on his right
meeting between Indian American community members, business interests and US NEW YORK: The Indian Consulate in officials in New England. This was part of the Indian Consulate New York recently helped in organizing a Community Outreach program for the New England area. The Indian delegates met Amy Hadrian of US India Business Council, US Dept. of Commerce Director James Paul, Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI), Massachusetts Tech Collaborative, Massport's Michelle Lampa besides community members like Kamaljit Bawa, and business representatives like Amit Gov Baker with a group of Indian community activists Kanodia and Anil Matta. India Post News Service
Indian delegate members with Gov Baker
The event coordinated ably by Amit Dixit, ED - South Asian Arts Council at Boston was held on Friday March 13. The Indian delegation was represented by Ridhika Batra of FICCI and Sumani Dash of CII, several Indian banks, Air India, Ruby Chadha of MakeMyTrip, Air India and senior Consular officials like Mohapatra, Ngaihte and Sreenivasa Rao led by Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay. The Indian delegates were thereafter received by Boston Mayor Martin J. "Marty" Walsh. This meeting was followed by a brief
meeting with the Governor of Massachussetts Charles Duane "Charlie" Baker, Jr. in his office. Participants for the visa camp organized by the Indian Consulate were mobilized by FIA represented by Ankur Vaidya and Saurin Parikh on March 13. A community event was organized in the evening with over 200 in attendance. Among the several speakers from the Indian delegation were representatives from Indian Banks. Air India presentation made by Rishikant Singh was very well received by the audience.
18 India Post
Community Across America
March 20, 2015
IACS hosts leadership networking seminar SURENDRA ULLAL
CHICAGO: Indo American Community Services (IACS), a Chicago based no-profit body, hosted a leadership and networking event on Saturday, March 14 at Marriott Hotel, Schaumburg (a northeast suburb of Chicago) where 'who's who' of Chicago area corporate executives participated to share their knowledge, background and experience with aspiring participants from Indian community. The speakers included Soma Somasundaram, CEO and President of Dover Energy, Mark Hacker, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer at Motorola Solutions, Socka Suppiah, Co-Founder and COO of Saggezza and Rajan Nagarajan, Vice President Strategic Business Process Transformation at Kraft Foods. United States Representative Bill Foster, representing 11th district of Illinois, also shared his business background and experience with the audience. Discussion was moderated by Sundaram Nagarajan Executive Vice President - ITW. The discus-
ACS speakers: Bill Foster, Soma Somasundaram, Mark Hacker, Sundaram Nagarajan, Socka Suppiah and Rajan Nagarajan
sion focused on key attributes of leaders, influence of role models in career growth, impact of globalization on leaders, leadership and organizations, risks and rewards leaders and potential leaders embrace and finally positive or negative impact leaders have on their families and family values ecosystem. The topics for the discussion were selected based on the questions received from the participants prior to the meeting. Nagarajan elicited views from panelists covering a broad spectrum
of opinions. Sunder Dittakavi, organizing member of IACS, welcomed the
audience and introduced the speakers. Bill Foster in his speech appreciated IACS for organizing
they face. This also motivates the field staff that the leaders are sensitive to their problems. Mark
A section of the audience
such events as they provide a fo- Hacker quoted the personal experum for aspiring as well as estab- rience from baseball in his childlished leaders to connect and net- hood days. He played the role of work with industry and business identifying weak aspects of his peers, exchange ideas and may team and played the role of 'bridgeven meet some potential custom- ing gaps and motivating players'. ers. An interesting topic concerned He recounted his own experi- ability of the leader to handle ence and hardship faced as a changes. All the panelists gave youngster trying to generate busi- real life examples of how they adness along with his brother for his justed themselves to change. The startup firm, when no such events consensus among the panelists existed. In those days, the only was that change is imminent and way they could connect with po- it is the only constant. Sometimes tential customers was to participate in tradeshows, which were An interesting topic conexpensive for small cerned ability of the leader businesses to afford. He encouraged IACS to to handle changes. All the hold more such events panelists gave real life exto help community memamples of how they adjusted bers. As globalization, themselves to change. outsourcing, economy and jobs issues are the major topics today; panelists change can be good or bad. But started the discussion with this every adversity also creates an topic. All panelists agreed that glo- opportunity. Leaders are those balization is here to stay and the who embrace opportunity and need of the hour is to accept this positively respond to change. reality and work around it. Deep This may involve some risk takunderstanding of the customer ing. Ultimately success or failure problems whether they are na- may depend on how well the optional or international, creating tions are evaluated and execution value proposition to customer, not of plan. Rajan gave an interesting just a product or service is a key quote which summed up leaderto survive, sustain and thrive in ship attributes as ABC viz. A the globalized business world. Aspiration, Attitude, Aptitude and Another key aspect which was Altitude; B- Beliefs and Behavior; discussed was the ability of the C- Creativity, Communication and leader to visit customers in the Collaboration. Contâ€™d on page 19 field to understand the challenges
March 20, 2015
Community Across America
India Post 19
Useful tips at wealth & estate planning seminar RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
CHICAGO: It was second in line of the series of seminars on investment and wealth planning that a leading group of financial advisors at Wealth Planning hosted here on March 3 and 4, and by all account both the events met with success judging from the response from the attendees. The educational seminars focused on the major financial concerns for physicians, business owners, and corporate executives as they are approaching, or are already in retirement. Both nights, the room was full of guests taking notes while enjoying the dinner at Seasons 52 Restaurant in Oak Brook, a south west suburb of Chicago. The first major concern that Vice President Larry Gatz talked about was the markets, and how to properly structure your investments to ensure that you are not taking on too much risk. "As you approach retirement, your risk tol-
some simple strategies that everyone could use on their own portfolios to evaluate their fund port-
opportunity to capture a portion of the market's gain, while guaranteeing that the account will never
proper estate plan in place, even he compared a Roth IRA converthe best investment strategies will sion with a Liquidate and Levernot be able to make up for what age strategy. Both strategies inthe government will volved withdrawals from the IRA take in taxes" he Account paying the income taxes said. as a lump sum and using the Roth Citing a few case Conversion option. studies, he pitched The Roth IRA assets will grow that smart investors tax-free. "The Liquidate and Leverwith their estate age strategy takes the money and plans ensure that puts it into a beneficiary trust, their assets are pro- where it is leveraged with life intected, taxes are surance to provide maximum death minimized, and their benefit to the heirs, and it is out of heirs receive the the estate. With the Roth IRA largest share pos- Conversion, the money now sible. He suggested grows tax-free, but it is still within the use of a marital the client's estate, and has to rely trust to avoid pro- on the markets for future growth." Michael Jankowski, President, Wealth bate and ensure the The event gave the attendees Vice President Larry Gatz Planning Network, host of the seminar security of both folios. "As with any investment, earn less than 0 percent." estate tax exemptions, "The Liquidate and Leverage it is important to focus on three President and CEO of Wealth and also consider setstrategy takes the money factors: cost, risk, and perfor- Planning Network, Michael ting up an irrevocable mance." He also noted that inves- Jankowski, was next in line and trust to pull assets out and puts it into a beneficiary tors should be asking their advi- touched upon the subject of es- of the estate and lever- trust, where it is leveraged sors to provide them with tate planning. He first reviewed the age them using a life inMorningstar reports of each of the new Federal Estate Tax Exemption surance policy for the with life insurance to provide funds that they recommend, as of $5.43 million, and the 40 percent benefit of the heirs. maximum death benefit His next topic was about income tax planning. Giving an example he said plenty to consider as they make that one of his clients had a large their estate and retirement plans. IRA account and was concerned Wealth Planning Network can be about his Required Minimum Dis- contacted by phone: (708) 481tributions as it would hike his in- 4000, email: email@example.com, or come tax. To remedy the solution, by visiting www.wpn360.com.
A section of the audience
erance decreases, because you have a much shorter timeline to recover from any sort of financial loss." He then went on to talk about the different investment strategies and the pros and cons of those options. He took time to focus on mutual fund investing, and outlined
well as getting a clear understanding of their fees. After Mutual funds, Larry spoke about safe money options, and the typically low interest rates that they offer. "One standout among the safe money options are indexed products, either as insurance or annuities. They offer an
tax that applies to anything above that amount. The State of Illinois has also estate duty and it charges 16 per cent after the exemption limit of $4 million. "Without proper planning, taxes, attorney's fees, and probate costs can eat away a substantial amount of one's estate. Without a
IACS hosts leadership networking seminar Contâ€™d from page 18
Next topic of discussion was about hiring fresh talent. What attributes do leaders look for while hiring a new employee? Socka had an interesting quote on hiring; 'hire for attitude and train for skills'. Do leaders sacrifice a lot to grow and sustain into leadership roles? All panelists agree that they do. Leaders do sacrifice some aspects of life and family to accomplish bigger things in life. That is a choice of life they make. The discussion was followed by a question-answer session and
some of the questions were addressed by the panelists. Sreenivas Katragadda, President of IACS, gave an overview of the activities organized by IACS which included student internship program, in which selected students get an opportunity to work at US Congress in Washington DC; Women's Leadership conference which will be held in April of this year, job fairs held in various US cities and a mentoring program. IACS launched mentoring program at the event. This is a new initiative by IACS. Nag
Vaidyanathan, from ALLSTATE insurance, stressed the need for participation in the mentoring program either as a mentor or mentee. This will help members of community in personal as well as professional development. The Event was sponsored by Grainger, ITW, L&T Infotech and Dynamic Enterprise Solutions. The audience included a mix of entrepreneurs, business professionals, aspiring youngsters and students who had the opportunity to interact and network with panelists and other participants before and after the event.
Community Across America
20 India Post
March 20, 2015
Musings from Chicago
Wanted: a health care model for India DR MUNISH KUMAR RAIZADA
ith a population of more than 125 crore, the contemporary India yearns for another opportunity to become a global leader. Looking at our credentials of democracy, diversity and tolerance, many look upon us as the future of the world. But rural-urban divide and non-
Dr Munish Kumar Raizada
inclusive lop sided development remain a matter of concern. While Silicon Valley in USA thrives upon the innovative minds of Indians, back home the country has no credible research and
development (R & D) and innovations to boast of. Similarly, Indians constitute 5% of doctor workforce in USA (and 20 % of its International Medical Graduates). Indian health workers are also the pillars of medical services in Middle East. In contrast, in India we continue to struggle with health challenges. With a massive population load and gross national income per capita of $3,900, India spends just 4.1 % of its national budget on health. It has one doctor for 1700 citizens (W.H.O. says the optimal number should be 1:1000). Cuba has 6.7 and America 1.5 doctors for their 1000 population. With its gross national income per capita of $54,000, USA spends about 18 % of its budget on health. However, this is not to say that everything is in perfect shape in USA. In fact, many experts feel that American health system is 'broken' due to its inability to provide health care to millions of uninsured people. With this background, let us
study the basic health care delivery models that are prevalent in the world. The most prevalent service model is 'Out of Pocket.' In India, we may not have any problem in understanding this concept: You are responsible for footing the fee and bills to the doctor and/ or
ment health facilities are dilapidated, over-crowded and dysfunctional thanks to poor work ethics, chronic absenteeism and corruption, thereby limiting the access for a large chunk of population. Contrast this with Britain's National Health System (called
India claims (unlike USA) that anyone can visit a government healthcare facility and avail treatment literally free of cost. However, in actuality, the government health facilities are dilapidated, over-crowded and dysfunctional thanks to poor work ethics hospital. Well, many will say, the government does provide free universal health care to all its citizens. That is true. India claims (unlike USA, as we shall see below) that anyone can visit a government healthcare facility and avail treatment literally free of cost. However, in actuality, the govern-
Beveridge Model). Here, the government provides you healthcare through its government doctors, clinics and hospitals. The private medical sector is negligible. Everyone is eligible to choose a General Practitioner (G.P.) who is your primary doctor and avail medical care free of cost (the care is free at the
point of use).The government will pay your bills. In communist Cuba, hailed by many as the successful model for a developing world, the same system is seen in extreme form: the whole health care system - be it clinic or a pharmacy - is owned by the government. No doctor is allowed to have a private practice. However, Canada also provides a universal health care to its citizens, but in a different way. The government provides every citizen a health insurance (National Health Insurance model). The patient can choose to go to a private clinic or a government doctor or facility. Germany has a slightly different system. The government mandates a health insurance for everyone, and that is provided by the employer. The employee also contributes a part of that. But the whole system is created not to make profit and must cover everyone, even if unemployed. Contâ€™d on page 22
Ocean of people enjoy FIA and Fremont Temple Holi Contâ€™d from page 16
With new and bigger location, Holi was so much more enjoyable experience for the families and friends. I am so glad to see young children playing Holi and coming
family with people applying color to each other and making friends. It was also an opportune time to renew and make new friendships. People from all over California came to participate in the festivities. Many dignitaries and commu-
to know more about it. When they participate they remember it for the lifetime." Holi is a great festive occasion to celebrate and wish each other and get inundated with a rainbow of colors. It was difficult to recognize faces as they were all covered in multitude of colors. The entire gathering morphed into a huge
nity leaders participated in Holi. Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves said, "We are really proud and grateful that Holi festival has come to Milpitas. After all Milpitas is city of diversity and we want people from all the ethnicities to join in." Holi is celebration of goodness triumphing over evil, and the festival is a celebration of love, truth,
faith and being a good person. There is a mystic story behind it. There was a king Hrinakashyap who was a demon. He wanted everyone to believe he is God and there is no other out there. His son Prahlad however turned out religious and spiritual and believing in God and not his father. The emperor's sister Holika had this gift that if she got into fire she would not burn. He ordered Holika to take his son into the fire, but she got burned and the son got saved. The truth always survives anything and goodness and good virtues like the son come out as the winner. That is why Holika Dahan (bonfire) is done on evening prior to the color Holi. Color of fire and other bright hues are thrown in celebration on color Holi. Divya Chugh, a San Jose resident, shared on Facebook: "That was the best Holi experience ever in US. Thank you so much for organizing all the fun food and colors. Yes we have been to Stanford too so many times but nothing beats today's Holi and the best part was awesome song collection by DJ. Loved it." FIA has upcoming event 'Festival of Globe' to be held from August 8 to August 16. All ethnic communities will join. It will in-
clude Mela, Cultural and Musical Extravaganza in Fremont on August 15 and 16, Grand Parade in Fremont on August 16, FOG/SF
Global Movie Fest at various theaters in San Jose during August 7-16 and FOG awards on August 15 at SAP Center, CA.
March 20, 2015
Community Across America
India Post 21
Derogatory remark on Hindu faith condemned India Post News Service
NEVADA: An unflattering remark by the Idao Senator has not only angered members of the Indian community at large but also many a leader from other faiths as well. ElizaBeth W. Beyer, Rabbi in California and Nevada, has urged a public apology from Idaho Senator from Cottonwood, Sheryl L. "Sherry" Nuxoll, who allegedly said on March 3 that "Hindu is a false faith with false gods".
Indian origin doc held in 'kickback' sting India Post News Service
CHICAGO: An Indian origin doctor practicing in Lemont, a south west suburb of Chicago, was in hot water as a sequel to investigation by Federal authorities which have accused him of scheming to accept kickbacks for patient referrals. Neil Sharma, 34, a medical director for a company that contracts with Medicare and Illinois Medicaid, was arrested March 13 in a federal sting operation after he collected
Dr Neil Sharma
an illegal $2,500 kickback for his patient referral scheme, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney. Sharma is facing five years in prison, if convicted. Sharma met in Darien with the owner of a company that provides benefits to Medicare and Medicaid patients. At the February 13 meeting, according to federal prosecutors, Sharma proposed that he refer patients in exchange for monthly cash payments and a title of medical director of the other man's company. The owner of the company, however, went to the FBI. On February 27 in Rockford under the watchful eyes of federal agents, that man paid Sharma $2,500, according to the US Attorney. Sharma was arrested and charged with receiving illegal remunerations. In addition to prison time, he could be fined $25,000 and be compelled to pay full restitution. Sharma was Vice President of Medical Affairs / Chief Medical Director at IlliniCare in Westmont. Previously, Sharma had a private practice in geriatric medicine in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.
Nuxoll made this statement in a media interview touching upon the historic first Hindu invocation of Idaho State Senate by Rajan Zed on March 3 which she and two other state senators did not attend. Rabbi Beyer, in a statement in Nevada, noted: "It is appalling that Sheryl L. "Sherry" Nuxoll, Idaho Senator from Cottonwood, protested a short Hindu prayer in the Senate. As a State Senator, she is expected to represent all
Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer (right) with Rajan Zed
people, not only those of her belief system." "Nuxoll should be called upon to offer a public apology and be sanctioned by the Senate for her inappropriate, insensitive and insulting remarks which included her reported statement-'Hindu is a false faith with false gods'. My respect goes to all people of faith who practice a compassionate lifestyle," Rabbi Beyer observed. "Even though I am not Hindu, I understand it is a major world religion with about a billion adherents and I love my Hindu brothers and sisters. Contâ€™d on page 22
Community Across America
22 India Post
March 20, 2015
Maharashtra ban on bull Wanted: a health slaughter will hit economy care model for India
ndia is world's second largest democracy and we Indians are proud of it wherever we are. But is our democracy working on constitutional guidelines or going, "Do it as you like it" way for the whims and thoughts of the few in power? Democracy means a responsible government system elected by people working for the welfare of people. The rulers are not permanently in power but are given a chance to do better than the predecessors. They cannot, however impose laws affecting even the smallest section of society. Choice of lifestyle by citizens is the gift of democracy. The government of Maharashtra has imposed a ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state. The decision has rendered thousands of people jobless. It has also deprived Muslims, Christians, Dalits and many others the cheapest meat they can afford for their daily protein healthy diet. It is surprising why the government of Maharashtra has imposed this new bill when the law
for the slaughter of cows was already in force under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976. The passage of the new Act will now ban the slaughter of bulls as well as bullocks.
The slaughter of bulls and bullocks was previously allowed based on a fit-for-slaughter certificate. The earlier ban on slaughter of cow was respected
This is a common man's concern. Why is the opposition silent when a decision to please a section of society is made and which will affect others ?
in general in view of the religious sentiments of Hindus. But why the ban on beef? It is a diet of millions of people in the state. Hundreds and thousands of traders are making their living on beef trade in the State. Did the government study the consequences of this ban? While it will render thousands of people jobless it will also affect the state economy. Now the traders will push their animals to neighboring states for sale. Also, the government has banned slaughter for beef, it cannot put a ban on eating of beef. Soon big department stores will distribute packed beef imported from other states. The Maharashtra Government will not be able to legally stop transport of packed beef from other states in major cities as beef is not contraband. And now who will benefit? Of course the neighboring states. The other states will take the animals from Maharashtra and do a brisk business of exporting packed beef to Maharashtra because the law puts a ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in the state, it does not specify a ban on eating of beef in the state. The ban on beef will also affect middle class families who prefer lamb or goat meats including majority of Hindus. The prices of lamb and goat meat, chicken, fish and vegetable will soon start going up. After all people have to eat something. The shortfall of beef as a food item in state has to be replenished by other food items or vegetables. The hotel menus for nonvegetarian dishes will be revised shortly. This is a common man's concern. Why is the opposition silent when a decision to please a section of society is made and which will affect the daily life of other sections of the same society. Fortunately, democracy still permits knocking the higher echelons of legal institutions. The beef traders are turning to the Supreme Court for stopping the state law. Have a comment? Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contâ€™d from page 19
of age), the government runs Medicare insurance scheme and thus bears the cost of their medical bills (Canadian system). Thus it is obvious that India has a mixed system where the government pledges to provide health care, but is unable to meet the demands. The private health sector is robust but the poor and the needy may not be able to use the services for want of money. How do we strengthen the health care system in India, then? We need to increase access to
The above models are typical examples of what we call Socialized Medicine, where government pitches in to provide subsidies through taxation. In other words, these are public-funded health care programs. Fuzzy concept When it comes to USA, the concept of universal health care becomes fuzzy. According to Institute of Medicine, USA is an exception among the developed countries that does not provide universal health care. Here India needs to increase its the government hardly budget share on health, runs any health care cenparticularly preventive and ters (except a few county hospitals administered primary health care. In by county govern- addition, we must produce ments. One famous example is Cook County more doctors and parahospital in Chicago). medical forces. For majority of people, health care benefits come through their jobs. In affordable and quality health care other words, your employer will for everyone. India needs to inbuy you a private health insur- crease its budget share on health, ance. You also pay a portion of particularly preventive and prithat premium per month, though. mary health care. In addition, we must produce The companies that issue health insurance are called Health Main- more doctors and para-medical tenance Organizations (H.M.Os) forces. Instead of running the health facilities itself, the governand they are for profit. But if you become unemployed ment will do well to broaden health or operate your own business, you insurance to its citizens and put have to buy your own private good regulations in place so that health insurance. However, for through private sector, it can proarmymen, the government pro- vide much needed health care to vides healthcare through govern- its citizens. ment-owned and operated facilities The author practices neonatal (Department of Veteran Affairs). For medicine in Chicago, USA. Email: senior citizens (more than 65 years email@example.com
Derogatory remark on Hindu faith condemned Contâ€™d from page 21
If Nuxoll had a clue, she would know that Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world and it offers rich philosophical thought. There are a substantial number of Hindus in Idaho and even a Hindu temple about a mile from the Senate in Boise", Rabbi Beyer stated. Idaho Senate, upper house in the State Legislature started its day with ancient Hindu mantras
on March 3, said to be a first since Idaho acquired statehood in 1890. It contained verses from Rig-Veda; the oldest existing scripture of mankind still in common use; besides Upanishads and BhagavadGita, both ancient Hindu scriptures. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, delivered this invocation in Sanskrit and English after sprinkling water drops from river Ganga, considered holy by Hindus.
SUBSCRIBE TO INDIA POST E-PAPER Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or login to http://www.indiapost.com/subscribe/
Community Across America
March 20, 2015
India Post 23
We need both material world & God to practice spirituality
n the last article, it was ex plained that by attaching our mind to God instead of the world, we not only improve our ability to perform our duties but also awaken all the godly qualities in our mind. This leads to a wider sense of compassion for all living beings, instead of only caring about those to whom we are attached. A common example of how someone can perform his/her duty without attachment is that of a school teacher. The teacher is not attached to the children the way the parents are, and in many ways this enables the teacher to care for them more professionally and to make more reasoned decisions about the welfare of the children. A good doctor cares for all of their patients, but is not attached to any of them. Thus, he/ she is able to make decisions regarding their patients' health with clinical logic. This is only possible because they are not attached to the patients - if they were attached to a particular patient, they would probably ask another doctor to take over, out of fear that their attachment would cloud their judgment, and thus cause them to make decisions not in the best interest of the patient. Thus, we see that attachment can impede one from being able to do one's duty, but by attaching our mind to God instead of the world, we can better observe our responsibilities. This is the karm yog of the Gita. Attachment root cause of all our mental afflictions There are additional problems created by harboring worldly attachment, of which you may not be aware (Chapter 2, verses 62, 63). The Gita tells us that worldly attachment is created by repeatedly dwelling upon a person or thing as a source of happiness. From that attachment, desire for that thing is born in the mind. That desire, if fulfilled, leads to greed for more (because a fulfilled desire does not end, it multiplies), and if unfulfilled, leads to anger. Anger causes us to lose our sense of discrimination, thus leading us to do many wrong things. This can lead to the total downfall of a soul. Therefore, attachment is in fact
the father of all the mental defilements we harbor. Attachment leads to desire, greed and anger, which give rise to all the other mental ailments like jealousy, hatred, dishonesty, arrogance, etc. If you wish to reduce these ailments of the mind, instead of trying to cure them one by one, you only need to reduce your worldly attachments, and they will all reduce in equal proportion. When your attachments are eliminated, all of these mental defilements will have automatically been eliminated, and replaced with all the good qualities of the mind (as described in the previous article). Now we have a better understanding of why Shree Krishna emphasizes on reducing attachments in the world by transferring those attachments to God.
What do we really need - world or God? At this point in the discussion, it is very common for another doubt to arise in the mind: do we not need this world? After all, God has put us here, He has created this world, and He has given us 5 senses with which to enjoy the world - then why is it wrong to become attached in this world? This is a basic misunderstanding which affects all of us. Let's clear it up here. We already have the knowledge required to resolve this doubt, based on what we have learned in Chapter 2 of the Gita. In fact, we do need this world but we need it for the maintenance of our body, not for the attainment of happiness. We know that our true self is the Divine soul. As a soul, we inhabit a material body. That body is not our true self, but is merely a temporary possession, like a house we live in, or a car we use to get around. The soul is eternally related to God, and our body, being a product of maya, is a part of this world. Thus, the soul needs God, and our body needs this world. Our
ultimate goal is to experience Divine happiness by attaining God. But to reach this goal, we must live in a material body, in this material world. If someone believes they will find happiness in the material world, it means they have forgotten their true identity as a Divine soul - how could a Divine soul be satisfied with material pleasures? Due to this ignorance, they will search in vain for perfect happiness in this world, thus creating more and more worldly attachments, and fostering all the mental ailments discussed above. God has not created this world as a source of happiness for us He has created it to support our body. We are meant to use our 5 senses to perceive this world, not to indulge in it. In the words of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, "Yah sansar hamare upyog ke liye hai, hamare upbhog ke liye nahin." (This world is for our use, not for our indulgence.) If we live in the world with this wisdom, then we are using the world the way it was meant to be. Conversely, if someone who desires to attain God thinks that they don't need this world, then they are also mistaken. As long as we are on this earth, we have basic physical requirements which must be met. If we do not care for our body with proper food, exercise and rest, then we will develop health problems. These health problems will disturb our mind and cause difficulty in attaching our mind to God. Then we will not be able to attain our ultimate spiritual goal. In fact, even a God realized Saint must continue to maintain his physical body for as long as he inhabits the earth. Thus we see that the physical things of this world have an important place in our life, but enjoying them is not the primary goal of our life. They are secondary and supportive to our goal of God realization. We should practice to attach our mind to God alone, who is our true eternal relative. Disciple of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj: Swami Nikhilanand Ji is a Canadian born Hindu spiritual leader based in Austin, Texas. He is a sanyasi disciple and pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Attracted to the teachings of Hinduism from a young age, Swamiji eventually let his deep
spiritual longing lead him to India, where he was most fortunate to come under the guidance of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Thereafter, living in the ashrams of JKP, he extensively studied Hindi, the philosophy of the prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Darshan Shastras, Gita, Bhagwatam), and practiced meditation in the tradition of raganuga bhakti. In 2003, he was given sanyas.
Swamiji conducts weeklong Family Gita classes across various cities in the U.S. Through these enlightening sessions, Swamiji imparts the true knowledge of the Hindu heritage, tradition and universal principles to children and adults alike. For more information regarding upcoming Family Gita classes in your city, please visit http:// www.familygitaclass.org/.
Making a difference to one 'Asha' at a time
are for the Cause is an organization that has been raising charitable funds for six years now and has been very successful in hosting marvelous charity events. These events benefit all by raising money for their chosen cause. This year, an organization Chhoti Si Asha, located in Chandigarh, India, was chosen. Chhoti Si Asha's mission statement says that they strive to "build sustainable livelihoods for underprivileged children and women." One of the events that Care for the Cause hosted this month, 'Color for the Cause', was held on Sunday, March 8 at the beautiful Yorba Regional Park, located in Yorba Linda. The volunteers that assisted in making this event successful and memorable were Ajita Chopra, Punita Patel, Ritu Chowdhry, Deepa Malkani, Bharti Patel, Lishma Patel, Ritu Rajpara, Mala Merchant, Bhanu Ghade, Juhi Pithia, Sangeeta Patel, Manju Saran, Reeyah Chopra and Simran Chowdhry. There were a couple of ice breaker games along with a round
of Bingo in which the 200+ guests were able to bond and have fun with family and friends. Lunch was served with Subway sandwiches provided by Ragini Patel from Subway located in Yorba Linda. Everyone then proceeded to engage in Holi festivities by filling the air with spirit and lots of Holi color!
It was a well-orchestrated event that ran extremely smooth due to the volunteers' and participants' cooperation. Care for the Cause would like to continue fundraising and continue making a difference to one "Asha" at a time. It plans to hold many more events throughout the year to fundraise for the underprivileged. Simran Chowdhry is a Youth Volunteer
24 India Post
March 20, 2015
March 20, 2015
India Post 25 www.indiapost.com
NEWS on your desktop www.indiapost.com
March 20, 2015
Selma movie has a few big lessons for us RISHI KUMAR
e will not wait any longer! Give us the vote! That's right no more! We're not asking - we're demanding! Give us the vote! - From the Movie Selma. Movements happen in baby steps, and with a phenomenal leader at the helm. The fact that you and I have the right to vote, the moment we embraced American citizenship, is partly because of what happened in Selma in 1965. Historical movies are a hit or a miss, but Selma touched a chord with many, and critics loved it. I definitely enjoyed watching it and feeling the angst of the characters.
It's a poignant rendition of one of the most searing moments of the civil rights movement - peaceful protesters violently stopped by police as they marched to demand voting rights. It's an incident that would ultimately lead to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Selma is a defining moment in American history and we have to thank Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. for it. With Ferguson so fresh in our minds, this movie will touch a chord, if you haven't seen it yet. Selma evokes similar feelings as watching Gandhi. The 'hatke' nonviolent freedom movement launched by Gandhi stirred our heart, and in Selma, the 'fight' for
deck of cards stacked against the movement, but winning against all odds, with finally President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This was a very significant victory for the civil rights movement, ensuring that race does not deny the right to vote, ultimately making America the country it is today. Jeff Greenfield, referencing those times, says: "Men and women in my lifetime have died fighting for the right to vote: people like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered while registering black voters in Mississippi in 1964, and Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1965 during the Selma march for voting rights." Taking voting for granted Back in India, the Constitution of India 1950 defined the "Right to Vote". The right to vote is a given for many Indians. The cost of freedom and independence is understood by most of us, but do we take voting for granted? In India it seems to be a passion. Last year, we saw a 66.4% voter turnout in India with an average of 60% between 1952 and 2014. Voting in India is still a process of standing in long lines to cast your vote; vote by mail-in-ballot is still not an option. Strangely, despite this being a holiday for public as well as private offices, no plans are being made for picnics and shopping trips, but the vote is exercised diligently. Are we Indian Americans taking voting seriously as our counterparts in India? Indian Americans make up about 2.8Million people - approximately 1% of the population of United States. The Indian-American community is likely the highest wealth and educational status
A scene from the movie Selma
the right to vote, equally so. Dr King's bold and sometimes dangerous campaign, viewed at very close range, demonstrates how Dr King worked through a
among U.S. ethnic groups, and is the country's third largest Asian group after Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans, according to American Community Survey of
2010 data. Indians are now the largest Asian subgroup in 25 states in America, mainly in the South and Midwest, responsible for population growth of Asian Americans, according to the US 2010 Census. California is the state with the largest population of Indian Americans at 528,176 with San Jose leading with 43,827 Indians or 4%, followed by Fremont at 38,711 or 18% and Los Angeles at 32,996. Indian Americans now constitute 22.6% of the population in Cupertino, 18.08% in Fremont, 15.52% in Sunnyvale. Fremont has seen an Indian American elected to city council in Anu Natarajan, and so has San Jose with Ash Kalra. How about Los Angeles and Sunnyvale? None so far. The path was not been easy for those who are elected and others who are trying to get the community better representation in the country's decision-making bodies. The key challenge - several Indian-Americans do not take their voting rights seriously.
Indian Americans mobilized, to register to vote. Also, as a community we need to build an infrastructure to make it easier for our Indian American candidates to win by getting our population engaged." Here is another key Fremont statistic. About 5700 out of the
shares similar voter apathy and disconnect as every other California community. I think civic engagement is something we start with high school kids. In my mayoral run in Fremont in 2012 - the voter turnout generally was fairly low and the turnout among the Indian voters was significantly low
11,000 vote in a Presidential election and only 3700 in a non-Presidential. Seemingly the importance of their vote is an alien concept for the Indian American community?
as well. "I believe we are not at a point where we have both a significant number of registered voters and a robust turnout where can bank on the Indian voter base to make a significant difference in local races. In as much as we need to focus on voter participation and civic responsibilities for all, we have a lot of work to do with the IndianAmerican community"
The Fremont council does not have an Indian American representation with Anu Natarajan recently termed out. A population of 40,000 Indian Americans of Fremont do not have a voice in the city, to keep them in the loop Case in point Fremont Let us take Fremont with a population today upwards of 40,000 Indian Americans out of 225,000. With only 11,000 Indian Americans registered to vote, that is a pretty depressing statistics. About 1500 have never voted ever. About 8,500 have voted occasionally, with about 3,700 high propensity voters (voters who have voted 3 times in the last 5 elections) - less than 10% of the population and about 30% of the registered voters. Raj Salwan who was appointed to Fremont City Council, and was running for election for the first time as an incumbent councilman, lost by 800 votes in the elections last November. This was a shock for many political pundits in the bay area, as his victory was considered a given being the incumbent. Raj explains his loss, "Only 3,700 out of the 11,000 Indian Americans voted. If we had only a 1000 more registered to vote, or actually vote, it would have made a huge difference for my win. What could we have done differently? There should be a way to get more
There is apathy! The result is now the Fremont council does not have an Indian American representation with Anu Natarajan recently termed out. A population of 40,000 Indian Americans of Fremont do not have a voice in the city, to keep them in the loop and safeguard their interest. That is surprising in a city where 1 in 5 residents are Indian-American. Can we do better? Those who have gone before us say "no more"! No more! NO MORE! â€ŚThat means protest! That means march! That means disturb the peace! That means jail! That means risk! That is hard! -SELMA. Voter apathy Many a times we hear Indian Americans running for office say, "Indians don't vote and I cannot rely upon their vote to win." Anu Natarajan a two time councilmember from Fremont, and who unsuccessfully ran for Mayor in 2012 has this to offer. "If you look at the numbers, there is an increase in the percentage of voters among the Indian American community. This community
Yes! There are role models Maryland in contrast to California has only 79,000 Indians but has a track record of getting Indian Americans elected to office, unlike any other state perhaps triggered by Kumar Barve's win in 1990 to the House of Delegates. Having a role model is key to mobilizing our election infrastructure, and getting them energized. Kumar Barve who is
currently the Majority House Leader has this to offer, "I first ran 24 years ago and won. Back then, Indian Americans only voted for Presidential election, but we see a steady improvement now. There is a strong urge within our population to support the public schools, and issues that impact them get their attention and the vote." Contâ€™d on page 27
March 20, 2015
India Post 27
Selma movie has a few big lessons for us Cont’d from page 26
Education is the one issue that seemingly resonates with our population and gets them out to vote in hordes. What can we do better? "The adoption of Indian Americans to citizenship can be better in comparison to some of our Asian brethren" Adopting American citizenship What prevents Indians from taking up American citizenship? We hear of the urge to hold onto the Indian citizenship. Sometimes it is the process/cost involved in going through the naturalization process. Another reason we hear often is the fear and commitment of jury duty. Not taking up citizenship gets you a "get out of jail free" card whenever you get a jury summons. But interestingly, it is perceived offensive by many Americans that someone would live in "my country", derive the benefits but not be interested in taking up citizenship. Then there is the taxation issue - once an American citizen, you have to pay your taxes, no matter where you are. Making a commit-
It takes 5 minutes to register for absentee voting online - so that excuse does not hold up. Collectively we have a Voice Elections have consequences, whether we want it or not. If you consider how campaigns are conducted, they target high propensity voters, and if as a community we don't vote, we are not only NOT targeted as a segment to approach, but we are also ignored as a community when it comes to issues that impact us. There isn't a strong urge to address our aspirations and needs, as we will have become a voting bloc that need NOT be pandered to. When we hear of Sureshbhai Patel, an Indian grandfather visiting Huntsville, Alabama to help out his family, being manhandled by a police officer, for no fault of his other a communication handicap due to an inability to speak English, there is a sense of outrage. "What can we do to prevent this happening again? How can we stop it?" We hear frustration on decisions being made at the school board or by the city council - that does not align with our core be-
Right to vote chronology
ere is the chronology of important events in the timeline, as it pertains to the right to vote. • 1866: Civil Rights Act of 1866 grants citizenship, but not the right to vote, to all native-born Americans. • 1869: Congress passes the Fifteenth Amendment giving African American men the right to vote. • 1940: Only 3% of eligible African Americans in the South are registered to vote. Jim Crow laws like literacy tests and poll taxes were meant to keep Afriment one way or the other simplifies life to some extent, and the merits of becoming an American citizen are many, which start crystallizing the longer folks stay in this country. Sitting on the fence is just confusing to life! We also hear plenty of reasons to NOT vote? Voting is found to be a cumbersome task by many of our busy, successful and family driven community. Seemingly, it doesn't surf up as a priority. Often, we cite the busy schedule as a hindrance to vote, not being willing to stand in lines. But with the absentee voting that is established voting practice in 50 states, that should not be an issue at all.
can Americans from voting. • 1965: More than 500 nonviolent civil rights marchers are attacked by law enforcement officers while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand the need for African American voting rights. • 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law, permanently barring barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote on account of race. liefs or even our intelligence. Our vote is the Satyagraha weapon for every Indian American. Simple, but it is very much true. We just have to break the stigma of a community that does not exercise their vote - as this could quickly snowball into a situation where Indian Americans running for office ignore their own Indian community during the campaign - which will further aggravate the problem. When Selma ends, theatres have found the audience sitting in their seats, wiping a tear or two and applauding. We leave the theatre on a high note - yes everything is hunky dory. But voting
rights have recently been eroded by our highest court and then by states across the country. So let us not take our right to vote to be taken for granted. Today, Section 5 of Voting Rights Act is set to expire in 2013, but it is to be noted that since 2010, the Department of Justice has filed 18 Section 5 objections to voting laws in various states. Yes, we all need to be vigilant, and not take the right to vote as granted, but
take it as a sacred fulfillment of our obligations in this world to make the world a better place. "Our lives are not fully lived if we're not willing to die for those we love, for what we believe"SELMA Rishi is Silicon Valley's energizer bunny deeply engaged in local causes in making his community better. He is an elected city councilmember in Saratoga, CA and a Silicon Valley hi-tech ex-
ecutive who continues to follow his passion for community service and community building. Rishi Kumar is also the founder of the Bay Area Indian American Democratic Club whose charter is to further the interests and values of Indian Americans, work towards political empowerment and advance ethical standards in the political system. You can reach him via his website www.RishiKumar.com
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Sooraj Dooba Hain : Roy 2 Tu Hai Ki Nahi : Roy 3 Jee Karda: Badlapur 4 Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan: Roy 5 Khamoshiyan : 28 India Post
March 20, 2015
icha Chadha will be travel ing to New York soon to do research for her upcoming film "Cabaret". Having done theatre in Delhi before moving to Mumbai, Richa is a huge fan of New York for its thriving culture of theatre and Broadway. She will spend two weeks there understanding the many elements of being a live dancer performing in front of a huge audience. "I am going to New York in April for work-cum-leisure trip. Hoping the research goes well," Richa, who will be seen essaying the glamorous and sensual role of a professional cabaret dancer in the upcoming film, said in a statement.
unny Leone is seen at her ethnic best in the song 'Mere Sayiaan Super Star..' from her upcoming movie Ek Paheli Leela. Teaming the Golden lehenga embellished with rich embroidery by designer Rohit Verma, the actress makes it look ethereal. But very few know that the lehenga she sports in the song weighed almost 12kgs. A source close to the film says, "Sunny's main concern was to carry herself with ease in that heavy, ethnic wardrobe. The shoot went on for three days and Sunny even found it difficult to sit properly and as a result whenever she wore the lehenga for the shoot, she would not be sitting at all."
mitabh Bachchan, who unveiled the trailer for "Broken Horses" along with Aamir Khan, says that given an opportunity to choose between an Indian and a Hollywood film, he would pick the former. "If I get an opportunity to choose a film between Hollywood and an Indian film, I will choose our country's film," Amitabh, who featured in Hollywood film "The Great Gatsby", told reporters during the trailer launch of "Broken Horses". Amitabh and Aamir looked happy and cheerful during the launch of the trailer of "Broken Horses", produced, directed and written by filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film features Maria Valverde, Thomas Jane, Anton Yelchin, Vincent D'Onofrio among others. Set in the shadows of the US-Mexico border gang wars, "Broken Horses" is an epic thriller about the bonds of brotherhood, laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence.
Khamoshiyan 6 Jeena Jeena : Badlapur 7 Chaar Kadam : PK 8 Tu Har Lamha : Khamoshiyan 9 Dance Basanti : Ungli 10 Piddly : Shamitabh
March 20, 2015
India Post 29
riyanka Chopra is currently unstoppable. After having conquered Bollywood, brand endorsements and also international singing, Priyanka recently signed up for the ABC drama Quantico, something that is considered to be a very prestigious addition in her career. Well, if you thought that, this was the crescendo of her career, here comes news which elevates her further ahead. Back home, Priyanka Chopra is now all set to enter the political world of Prakash Jha's Gangaajal 2, a film in which she will be playing the lead role of a female cop. In the same breath, there is also a buzz that Prakash Jha himself will be seen playing the main villain in the film.
atrina K a i f a n d D e e p i k a Padukone have a lot in common. Besides having been in love with the Kapoor lad, the ladies share great looks, glamorous figure and of course impressive acting skills. The leading ladies of B-town had to share yet another thing recently. The two had been put up in closeby suites and were neighbors for quite some time! D e e p i k a Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor are currently in Delhi for the filming of their upcoming ' Ta m a s h a ' . Katrina Kaif made a visit to the capital to see how her boyfriend was d o i n g . Katrina and Deepika were put in adjacent suits. But sadly, the two created no 'Tamasha' on this issue and the media didn't get any spicy news. Sources say that the two didn't have any problem being neighbors and were totally fine with it. Though the two actresses do not think exactly the best of each other, they have been keeping a healthy relationship - at least before the media!
"New day, new movie!! Happy to join the cast and crew of Fitoor for Day 1! Daughter has passed her verdict on my outfit so I'm good to go,"
ormer beauty queen Lara Dutta has joined the cast of Abhishek Kapoor's Fitoor, and she's glad her daughter has given her a thumbs up for her look in the movie. "New day, new movie!! Happy to join the cast and crew of Fitoor for Day 1! Daughter has passed her verdict on my outfit so I'm good to go," tweeted Lara, a mother to three-year-old daughter Saira with husband Mahesh Bhupathi. In "Fitoor", which also stars Katrina Kaif, Rekha and Aditya Roy Kapur, Lara is reportedly playing the part of an art curator.
etective Byomkesh Bakshy!' star Sushant Singh Rajput says the suspense drama is a special film in his career. The actor, 29, called upon his fans to watch 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' so that the other stories of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay's can get the big screen treatment. "In my eight years of career I think I have not worked on something like this. We all have worked very hard and put our best. I want everybody to watch this film and appreciate our efforts so that we can make the whole 32 novels of Byomkesh," he said. The actor said he is very selfish when it comes to selecting movies. "When I choose a film and start working on it, I never think whether the film will be a hit or not. I am a selfish actor. I only consider the role and the filmmaker and how much I can learn from the film. Only on the last day of the shoot I start thinking about audience reaction," Sushant told reporters here.
30 India Post
ith unstinted support from faith, mythology and history, Gujarat's temple town Somnath proudly stands with the towering shikhars of grand old ancient Somnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Somnath temple, dedicated to one of the 12 revered Jyothirlingas, directs all the movements in city. It enlivens the life of the locals and visitors. Somnath, literally means Lord of Moon, derives its name from the famous Somnath temple. This religious destination was earlier known as 'Prabhas Patan'. This town, unaffected by the modern luxuries and conc r e t e jungles,
still holds its historical, mythological and religious appeal to masses of Hindu devotees. Somnath gets mentioned in Puranas and Hindu epics including Mahabharata. It is considered a place where Moon (Soma) worshipped Lord Shiva and hence the name Somnath. Another Hindu mythological story mentions Somnath as the place where Lord Krishna was shot by an arrow in his foot. It is believed that the Yadavas, the descendents of Lord Krishna, fought among themselves and destroyed the Yadav community. Placed at the extreme southwest of Arabian Coast in Saurashtra, Somnath town encloses a serene beach, few streets and a bus stand. It
March 20, 2015
is believed that Somnath is located at a place where the holy River Saraswathy flowed into the Sea. This sacred temple town vibrant with 'Shiv Bhajan' is visited by millions of tourists every year. Several nearby attractions, including Somnath Museum, Somnath Beach, Junagadh Gate, Balukha Teertha, Akhilabai temple and Mai Puri, make this town a perfect tourist destination for pilgrims to India. Contâ€™d on page 32
March 20, 2015
Travel & Hospitality Post
Most Indians prefer low cost carrier to trains MUMBAI: While traveling most Indians, 67 per cent, consider flying in a Low Cost Carrier (LCC) to replace a train journey, highest in any Asia-Pacific country, according to a recent survey. Indians are most willing to consider a LCC to replace a train journey, which is 67 per cent, an Expedia report on Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Index said. The study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm, among
3,263 adults, aged 18 and above in India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, who have flown in the past two years. The report revealed that about 46 per cent Indians will also consider LCCs to replace a bus journey for trips with at least three family members for whom they are paying (45 per cent), for a trip with friends (44 per cent) and for trips to visit family and friends (45 per cent).
Foreign tourist flow in India rising NEW DELHI: Flow of foreign tourists to the country is on the rise despite the spread of swine flu, Rajya Sabha was told. There has been an increase of foreign tourists by 30,585 in January this year as compared to the same period last year, Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply. The number of foreign tourists in January 2014 was 7,59,515 which rose to 7,90,100 in January 2015. Sharma also said that Australia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and
Russia have advised their citizens to take precautions and preventive measures while traveling to India. In December 2014, 8,86,084 foreign tourists came to India whereas their number was 8,21,581 in December 2013, an increase of 64,503. There were 7,33,923 foreign tourists in November 2013, which rose to 7,66,690 in the same period in 2014, a rise by 32,767. Similarly, increase in foreign tourist arrivals was registered in August, September and October also.-PTI
No preferential screening of business class travelers NEW DELHI: Business or executive class air travelers will no longer enjoy the luxury of a separate counter for screening and will have to join the economy class passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
The civil aviation security regulator, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), has decided to do away with the practice of having separate queue for passengers of business or executive class for screening at IGI airport here, in a bid to cut down screening time and facilitate smooth travel for the air travelers. The BCAS, in a communication, said that there will be no sepa-
rate queue for business or executive (first) class passengers. Earlier, there used to be a separate queue for screening of passengers traveling in business and executive class. Also, there would be a dedicated channel for airline crew, senior citizens, who are above 60 years of age, and for persons with disability. The airline's crew, however, has been spared of these new rules and they would continue to be acceded an out-of-turn screening, it said, adding passengers in the queue whose flight departure is imminent would also be accorded out-of-turn screening at the airport. "The new instructions are being rolled out in order to streamline the screening of passengers at the terminals (international and domestic) at Delhi airport and have to be complied with," BCAS said in a communication to stakeholders late last month. -PTI
However, Indian are least likely to consider LCCs for a honeymoon (9 per cent), a long-haul flight (15 per cent) and company paid business trips (17 per cent),
results, women express greater safety concerns about low cost and full service airlines than men. "Around 72 per cent women respondents said they have
it said. About 41 per cent Indian travelers would also consider a LCC for a flight time of up to three hours. "For a flight spanning 5 hours, the figure drops to 27 per cent, and tumbles thereafter. Only 9 per cent Indian flyers would take a LCC for an eight-hour flight while only 2 per cent for a 16-hour flight," it showed. Looking at the overall survey
safety concerns about low cost airlines compared to 65 per cent men. With regards full service airlines, about 47 per cent women agreed they have safety concerns against 39 per cent men," the survey found. Further, the study showed that Indians were the second least likely (after Australia) to say they were willing to make sacrifices when flying in order to save money.
Ninety-one per cent of Indian respondents (flyers) said they were willing to make concessions to save. In terms of what they were prepared to give up to save, Indians were most willing to sacrifice inflight entertainment (52 per cent), full meal service (50 per cent), pillows and blankets (45 per cent), select seat in advance (46 per cent) and snacks and beverages (43 per cent). Indians were least willing to sacrifice on bathroom privileges (18 per cent), legroom (19 per cent) and free checked luggage (23 per cent), it added. "Despite being a highly cost sensitive market, Indians are one of the least travelers willing to accept slightly lower level of customer service to save money (58 per cent) on flights. The general thought behind flying a LCC is to replace their train tickets with a faster mode of travel or a trip with large number of people that could be friends or family," Expedia Managing Director-Asia Vikram Malhi said. Indians are also choosing to fly LCCs and then use the money saved to upgrade their hotels for the trip, he added.-PTI
Over 90pc Indian women feel safe traveling MUMBAI: Even as the incidents of crime against women are on the rise in India, around 94 per cent young Indian women feel safe to travel in the country, a recent survey showed. "Around 94 per cent of young women in the age group of 18-24 in India feel that traveling in India is safe," according to a survey by
group of 45-54 and 47 per cent in 55-64 years, it said. HolidayIQ conducted the survey among 20,000 women across the country. "This year is the seminal year for solo women travelers. We have been tracking a fair rise in this segment in the last four years, but the big spurt, up to 10 per cent, will be
HolidayIQ. The sense of security was also 92 per cent, among women in age bracket of 25-34 years, followed by 79 per cent among women between 35-44 years, 87 per cent in age
witnessed in 2015, for the first time. This jump will significantly alter tourism in India," HolidayIQ Founder and CEO Hari Nair said. He said women traveling solo will boost the domestic tourism in-
dustry just as couple travelers did in the last decade through the concept of weekend getaways and jungle lodges across. "Meanwhile, the tourism industry must note, when women plan a holiday, they spend 15 per cent more than men. Not wanting travel to be an extension of the family, independence and the exposure that comes with it, has led to the rise of the solo woman traveler," he added. When it comes to location, 92 per cent respondents said Mumbai is the safest among all cities to travel solo, followed by Bangalore (83 per cent), Kolkata (76 per cent), Hyderabad (75 per cent) and Chennai where 74 per cent women responded said it is safe for women to travel alone. About 71 per cent women feel safe traveling in Delhi, the survey showed. Beaches and hill stations are mostly considered safe destinations by women, with 60 per cent preferring beach and hill station holidays. -PTI
Travel & Hospitality Post
Somnath Contâ€™d from page 30
Kartik Poornima held on the full moon day in November / December is a major draw of devotees in this temple town. Tourist attractions Junagadh Gate: Junagadh gate, a main attraction in Somanth, is the prime gateway to Somanth. One can enter the temple town from the nearest city Veraval only through this gate. This is a triple gate with historical significance and is an ancient structure which was built many centuries back. This is a striking gate with many intricate carvings on the gate walls. Panch Pandav Gufa: Panch Pandava Gufa is a temple situated near Lalghati in Somnath. This is a marvelous temple founded by the late Baba Narayandas in the year 1949. This temple is dedicated to five Pandava brothers. Located at an elevated place, it offers a beautiful view of surrounding holy city. Balukha Tirtha: Balukha Tirtha (Bhalka Teerth) is a holy tirtha (pond) in Somnath along Prabhas-Veraval highway. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow shot by a hunter known as Jara. Lord Krishna was sitting under a Banyan tree in meditation when the hunter mistook the legs as a deer and released his arrow. Gita Mandir: Gita Mandir, placed at the confluence of three holy rivers known as Triveni Tirtha, is a Krishna temple built by the Birla family in 1970. Mythology says that Lord Krishna walked about 4km from Balukha Tirtha to here after being hit by the arrow of the hunter Jara. Kamnath Mahadev Temple: The Kamnath Mahadev temple, built
about 200 years ago by a Mayurdhwaj King, is a large temple complex with a holy pond known as Dudhiyu Talav, a water well known as Gangvo Kuvo and a bathing pool named as "Mahadev no Kund". Lakshminarayan Temple: Lakshminarayan temple is located closeby to Gita Mandir (Birla temple) in Somanth. It is ideally located at a pristine location in the Somnath shore. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Lakshminarayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is placed in a very big complex in a spiritual environment. Daily Pujas are offered in this temple. The idols of many other Hindu gods and goddesses are also enshrined in the temple. Old Somnath Temple: It is an ancient temple enshrining the sacred Shivlinga, one of the 12 Shiva Jyotirlingas. It is located on the shore of Arabian Sea. Mythological evidence puts the foundation of this temple by Soma, the Moon. It was constructed by the moon and dedicated to Shiva (Somnath) as the moon got reprieve from the curse of Daksha at this place. Parasuram Temple: The
March 20, 2015
Mythological town enlivening life of locals & visitors
Prasuram temple is located at a holy spot on the banks of the Triveni Ghat. It is believed that Parasuram, one incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had undertaken a long penance in this place to atone for the curse of killing Kshatriya Kings. It was here that Lord Shiva (Somnath) offered relief to him from
Kamnath Mahadev Temple
Panch Pandav Gufa
the curse. Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple: Somnath temple, a highly revered temple, is one of the main 12 Shiva temples in India enshrining the Jyotorlingas. This temple is constructed in the Chalukya style with a height of about 155 ft. The stone Kalash placed at the top of main shikhara weighs about 10 tonnes. Suraj Mandir: Suraj Mandir, also popularly known as Sun Temple is also an ancient temple dating back to the origin of Somnath temple. It is situated at the north of the Triveni Ghat, the confluence of three holy rivers. The temple was set up to offer prayers to Sun God. Triveni Ghat: Triveni Ghat is the confluence of three holy rivers namely Kapil, Hiran and the mystical Saraswathy. It is believed that the rivers flow to the ultimate destination of Sea from here. This symbolizes the human birth, life
and death. This is a sacred location for taking dip in the Triveni Sangam. It is believed that the holy bath at this Ghat offers relief from all curses and ills in life. Best time to visit The climate of Somnath is temperate and pleasant in most part of the year. But the best time to visit is from October to March. How to reach By Train: Veraval in Konkan line is the nearest railhead, which is only just 5 km away and is connected to cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Somnath Express and Vadodra. By Air: Nearest airport to Somnath is Koshed (55 km) and Diu (90 km), but this airport is connected to Mumbai only. By Bus: State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Somnath to various cities.
March 20, 2015
Travel & Hospitality Post
Mufti stresses infra development for tourism JAMMU: Identifying tourism as one of the key priorities for the new government, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has highlighted the urgent need to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure and promote new destinations in the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir. During an interaction with a delegation of Tour and Travel Associations of Kashmir, the Chief Minister, who also holds the Tourism portfolio, said there is an urgent need to create sufficient accommodation to meet the demands of incoming tourists in the Valley. "Tourism will not develop unless it comes with the required paraphernalia. We have to be innovative in our thinking to make Kashmir valley a leading tourist destination in the country and abroad. Tented accommodation and building eco-cottages at tourist resorts is one innovative way to increase the low intake capacity," Sayeed said. The Chief Minister asked the Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development
Corporation (JKTDC), Farooq Ahmad Shah to immediately undertake forceful marketing drives and FAM (Familiarity) tours to promote scenic destinations like Sonamarg, Kokernag, Daksum, Warwan and Dodhpathri so that visitors are able to explore the Valley beyond the well-known destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam. "Nature has bestowed us with beauty in abundance. We have to take steps to utilize idle tourism infrastructure at these nature spots for which New Tourism Development Authorities were created when I first took over in 2002," he said. Sayeed said the Tourism Development Authorities will be revitalized soon to focus on uniform spread of tourists across the Valley.
UP to attract 28 lakh foreign tourists by 2017 LUCKNOW: The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) has projected that Uttar Pradesh could attract over 28 lakh foreign tourists by 2017 up from about 20.5 lakh overseas tourists that visited the state in 2013. The industry body has made the projection in a recent study on tourism in UP, titled 'Realizing tourism potential in UP'.
"Increased thrust on tourism sector development by the state government through steps like enhancing air connectivity, development of heritage sites, better management of pilgrimage places and others can create about 10 lakh direct and indirect jobs in UP alone," the study said. "UP has become a prominent tourist hub for foreign visitors and is just behind India's top cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in attracting foreign tourists, earning foreign exchange and creating di-
rect and indirect employment opportunities," said national Secretary General of ASSOCHAM D S Rawat said. Also, growth and development of tourism sector in UP could mobilize investments in hospitality sector from both private and public sources and also attract indirect revenue like tax collections thereby filling state's coffers, he said. Registering a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about eight per cent, UP had attracted over 20.5 lakh foreign tourists in 2013 and the state had ranked fourth with just over 10 per cent share in total number of about two crore foreign tourists that visited India during this period, the study revealed. Agra (59 per cent), Allahabad (18.5 per cent) and Sarnath (17 per cent) were top three most-visited destinations by foreign tourists. Overseas travelers' visit to Allahabad had increased by a whopping 265.5 per cent from about one lakh in 2012 to about four lakh in 2013, while Lucknow registered about 21 per cent increase in attracting foreign visitors. -PTI
Describing tourism as a binding force that joins several other key sectors like the famed handi-
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
crafts/handloom and food industry of Kashmir, the Chief Minister assured that tourism, will flourish in the days to come. "We see tourism and industry as areas where we have great po-
tential to generate jobs for our skilled unemployed youth," Sayeed said. Sayeed said he will also immediately take up issues for removal of bottlenecks, like allowing night-landing facility at the Srinagar International Airport, realignment of the houseboats in the Dal Lake, putting to use the unutilized tourism infrastructure and better road and power-connectivity. He added that a joint Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Tourism Conference will be organized shortly to discuss issues for growth of tourism in the state Stressing the need to promote adventure activities and high-end tourism, the Chief Minister said new tourism circuits shall be added and several places like the Suru Valley in Ladakh, JaiBhaderwah in Jammu and the Mughal Road that connects Poonch with Kashmir Valley shall be taken up on priority. Sayeed asked Shah, who also holds the charge of Director Tourism, to explore ways and means
to offer package tours to the visitors which showcase the state as a confluence of nature, religious and heritage tourism. He also credited the sector with playing a vital role in encapsulating and defining Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh region in a right perspective. "We need tourists that travel to Kashmir to come to Jammu for paying obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and vice versa. Similarly, those visiting the enchanting land of Ladakh should travel to Kashmir and Jammu to see and enjoy the unique oneness of Jammu and Kashmir. This will come only when proper marketing strategies are in place," he added. The tour operators' delegation, led by Nasir Shah, presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister highlighting their demands, which include need for special rehabilitation policy for the floodhit travel bodies, soft loan, incentive- based schemes, better marketing drives and removal of travel advisories by various countries. PTI
UP to attract 28 lakh foreign tourists by 2017 LUCKNOW: The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) has projected that Uttar Pradesh could attract over 28 lakh foreign tourists by 2017 up from about 20.5 lakh overseas tourists that visited the state in 2013. The industry body has made the projection in a recent study on tourism in UP, titled 'Realizing tourism potential in UP'. "Increased thrust on tourism sector development by the state government through steps like enhancing air connectivity, development of heritage sites, better management of pilgrimage places and others can create about 10 lakh direct and indirect jobs in UP alone," the study said. "UP has become a prominent tourist hub for foreign visitors and is just behind India's top cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in attracting foreign tourists, earning foreign exchange and creating direct and indirect employment opportunities," said national Secretary General of ASSOCHAM D S Rawat said. Also, growth and development of tourism sector in UP could mobilize investments in hospitality sector from both private and public sources and also attract indirect revenue like tax collections thereby filling state's coffers, he
said. Registering a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about eight per cent, UP had attracted over 20.5 lakh foreign tourists in 2013 and the state had ranked fourth with just over 10 per cent share in total number of about two crore foreign tourists that visited India during this period, the study revealed. Agra (59 per cent), Allahabad (18.5 per cent) and Sarnath (17 per cent) were top three most-visited destinations by foreign tourists. Overseas travelers' visit to Allahabad had increased by a whopping 265.5 per cent from about one lakh in 2012 to about four lakh in 2013, while Lucknow registered about 21 per cent increase in attracting foreign visitors. -PTI
Dr Datsons bags big order for cancer drugs NEW DELHI: Drug firm Dr Datsons Lab has received an order worth Rs 120 crore to produce cancer drugs from Ochoa Laboratories. Dr Datsons Labs Ltd has forged a potential collaboration with Delhi-based Ochoa Laboratories to produce Oncology drugs to cater the European market, the company said in a statement. Commenting on the development, Dr Datsons Lab MD and Vice-Chairman Rajendra Kamat said, "We are excited about the latest order confirmation from Ochoa Labs which was there in the proposal since a year." "We are hopeful about a long lasting relation with Ochoa which will be a steady source of revenue," Kamat added. Ochoa Laboratories Director Sunil Chopra said, "We have received orders to export anti-cancer drugs to Europe and since we don't have specialized plants, Dr Datsons' facilities are ideal for us to source the finished formulation." -PTI
Kejriwal's insulin dosage comes down BENGALURU: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's insulin dosage has been reduced, and his sugar level and cough has come down, a senior Doctor treating him at the naturopathy institute here said. "He is responding well, insulin dosage has been reduced and his sugar level and cough has reduced now compared to what it was before," Dr Babina Nandakumar, Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Nature Cure Institute on city outskirts, told PTI. She said, "He is being treated with all prescribed therapies and massages; his diet consists of juices, kashayas, chapatis, soups, cooked vegetables." "Kejriwal's parents are also responding well to our treatment," she added. The 46-year-old Aam Aadmi Party leader was admitted to the Institute for a 10-day nature cure treatment for his persistent chronic cough problem and uncontrolled sugar level. Kejriwal is staying in an accommodation with two bedrooms, a hall and a treatment room, called "Nest" at the Institute, a specialty charitable naturopathy and yoga hospital in an eco-friendly campus of 100 acres. A set of four senior doctors, including an acupuncturist, physiotherapist and a yoga officer, are taking care of Kejriwal. -PTI
Health Science 34 India Post
March 20, 2015
Scientists engineer custom blood cells Details on Page 36
Arizona House committee approves abortion restrictions bill PHOENIX: Republicans in a House committee have voted to bar women in Arizona from buying any health insurance policies that include abortion coverage through the federal marketplace. The proposal passed through the Federalism and States' Rights Committee on a 5-3 vote along party lines. Senate Bill 1318 now moves to now moves to the House for action pending a routine constitutional review. The House committee held a contentious debate that devolved into indictments on the nature of the legislation. Rep. Bruce Wheeler, D-Tucson, called the bill extremist, and he asked why it was being heard in the committee instead of the House health committee. ``It boggles my imagination why the Federalism and State Rights' Committee is hearing abortion-rights legislation,'' he said. After trading barbs with Wheeler, Committee Chair Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, briefly recessed the committee, recognized the bill as an emotional issue and requested decorum before continuing. Supporters said the bill ensures tax dollars don't support abortions. Many people who buy insurance policies on the exchange receive government premium subsidies. The Affordable Care Act prevents those subsidies from paying for abortion coverage directly. It requires insurers to create sepa-
rate accounts for premiums to ensure federal subsidies aren't paying for abortion. Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, said a report by the Government Accountability Organization from September found that more than 40 Arizona plans include abortion
which supports abortion rights, said that undermines the point of the exchange. ``If you are not purchasing on the exchange, you are going out into the open market. That is very expensive as an individual and puts insurance out of reach for many people,'' Nash said.
coverage and that taxpayers' dollars could be used to fund those plans. ``Taxpayers abhor their money paying for elective abortions, so it's critical that we rectify the situation,'' Barto said. Senate Bill 1318 is backed by the powerful lobbying group the Center for Arizona Policy, and its president, Cathi Herrod, who testified during committee that the bill would only affect people who buy health insurance through the exchange. ``Nothing in this bill prevents an individual from obtaining private insurance coverage that would afford elective abortion coverage,'' Herrod said. Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute,
A US Health and Human Services Department report found 75 percent of the nearly 206,000 people in the state, who signed up for marketplace plans, get subsidies. But even those that don't would be precluded from buying optional abortion coverage under Barto's proposal. Opponents pointed out that the bill bars residents who use their own money to pay for a health insurance policies on the exchange from buying optional abortion coverage, said Bryan Howard, president at Planned Parenthood Arizona. ``It applies to everyone, including women and families who are using their own funds,'' Howard said.
The Federalism and States' Rights Committee also approved an amendment that would require abortion providers to inform clients that it may be possible to reverse the effects of an abortion medication if the woman changes her mind. Howard said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn't issued an opinion on the effectiveness of abortion medication reversals. ``We are writing an assertion that is not medically based into state law,'' he said. Supporters of the amendment said it's possible for women to reverse abortion medication using progesterone, a female hormone. There is little to no medical evidence to support their theory, however. Dr. Allan Sawyer, chairman of the bioethics committee at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, testified that he recently reversed a medicine abortion at 10 weeks, though he acknowledged the procedure is not widely known. ``This ability to reverse was not even known until recently,'' he said. Sawyer said that women should know they have a choice. The bill has already passed through the Senate, which adopted a Republican amendment to exclude cases of rape and incest from the bill banning coverage. The bill also includes an exception for women whose lives are endangered by the pregnancy. -AP
'India should cut down on black carbon emissions' NEW DELHI: India needs to cut down on its black carbon emissions for "co-benefit" agenda of making a positive impact on global warming on one hand and improving health of its people on the other, environment experts have said. Participants and researchers at the Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2015 organized by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) here focused on the impacts of diesel, brick kilns and cook stoves and said they were major
sources of black carbon and contributors to global warming. "India needs to cut down its
agenda comprises making a positive impact on global warming on one hand and improving the
Experts said that while primarily diesel-run vehicles were responsible for black carbon emission in Delhi, in rural areas, black carbon is clearly indicated for local air pollution as it adds to the health burden black carbon emissions for a cobenefit agenda. The co-benefit
health of the people on the other," a CSE statement said.
Experts said that while primarily diesel-run vehicles were responsible for black carbon emission in Delhi, in rural areas, black carbon is clearly indicated for local air pollution as it adds to the health burden of poor women who have no option but to cook food using biomass on inefficient stoves. Researchers said that cook stoves emit what are known as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) known as black carbon. Cont'd on Page 37
Health Science Post
March 20, 2015
India Post 35
Bill to ensure health coverage Delhi to ban raw chewable for public employees tobacco products BISMARCK, N.D.: North Dakota lawmakers want to ensure that they and thousands of public employees will have the same health benefits when their insurance coverage switches to another company this summer. ``We want to make sure all policyholders have the same coverage they're used to,'' Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, the House majority leader, told The Associated Press. Sanford Health Plan, which is based in Fargo and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will provide coverage for the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System on July 1. The board of the public employees group voted last month to switch the group's health coverage after Sanford underbid Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, which had provided the coverage to the group for the past 37 years. Sanford will insure about 65,000 people, including public employees, retirees and their families. The six-year contract, which must be renewed every two years, is valued at about $1.8 billion. Some lawmakers, who are covered under the plan, have been grumbling about the switch around the halls of the state Capitol. Carlson said he and other lawmakers also have been fielding many calls from public employees who worry the new coverage may be lacking. The contract could be rebid if the cover-
age does not offer the same level of coverage as previous plans, Carlson said. Cindy Morrison, a Sanford Health executive vice president, said in a statement that the company has ``committed to a goal of matching the existing provider network in North Dakota.'' More than 90 percent of North Dakota providers participating in NDPERS under
Rep. Al Carlson
Blues also are a part of the Sanford Health Plan network, Morrison said. The insurer has an ``open offer'' to all providers to join the network, Morrison said. ``We are optimistic this will be a smooth transition,'' she said. The deadline for introducing legislation in the North Dakota Legislature passed almost two months ago, but leadership from the Senate and the House agreed to accept the bill though its delayed bills process. The Legislation will be scheduled for hearings later.-AP
Lucknow docs remove 15 kg tumor from woman LUCKNOW: Doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences here have removed a malignant tumor weighing 15 kg from the uterus of a 62-year old woman. The tumor is among the biggest ones recorded in the country. A team of surgeons led by gynecologist Deepa Kapoor besides teams of Urology and Gastro-surgery departments of the Institute came together during the complicated surgery to remove the tumor known as "large ovarian cyst", which is the biggest-ever recorded in Uttar Pradesh. 62-year old Savitri Devi (name changed) from back of the beyond district of Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh had been complaining of swelling in her stomach and pain associated with it from the last two months. Despite going to a number of doctors in the district and nearby Gorakhpur, her troubles remained unsolved. Finally she traveled to nearly 300 kilometers to reach
SGPGI where a detailed diagnosis was done. "The tumor had not manifested itself that well in the diagnostic tests. We had no idea that it will weigh over 15 kg. It was only during the surgery that we realized the size of the tumor," Kapoor told PTI over phone. After realizing what was before them, a team of specialists from Urology and Gastro-surgery department came urgently to get the tumor removed. Further analysis has revealed that the tumor was malignant. "We have never seen such a huge tumor during our career spanning over 30 years. Recently, AIIMS doctors had removed a tumor which was about 18 kg. This one is in the same range," she said, adding the patient will be called back again for cancer treatment. She said the problem of ovarian cysts is very common but they weigh about five to six kgs before manifesting themselves but this grew till the size of a big melon before starting to cause discomfort. -PTI
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has decided to come up with a notification to ban the storage, sale and purchase of all kinds of raw chewable tobacco products such as gutka, khaini and zarda in the national capital. Health Minister Satyendra Jain has taken the initiative to ban all raw chewable products in Delhi for which a proposal has been finalized and notification will be issued soon, said a senior Delhi government official. "Basically there was a Delhi government notification in September 2012 which was in pursuance of series of directions from Supreme Court to ban gutka in the city. "But since the ban mentioned the term gutka, the tobacco retailers started selling the components of gutka (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches. So, the purpose of banning gutka was not served," said the official. Therefore, the health department last year started with a new proposal to ban all the raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi. The proposal has been approved by Jain and soon a notification in this regard will be issued. "The idea is to update the notification
and remove ambiguities to ensure that biggest source of oral cancer disappears and the city becomes a tobacco-free city," the official said. According to officials, gutka is also being supplied to retailers in Delhi from neigh-
boring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The last day of every month has been declared as a dry day for tobacco by the Delhi government. Stepping up its efforts towards tobacco control, the health department has also launched an innovative drive, creating a 'Tobacco Aware Citizens' Directory' to spread the word about its harmful effects.-PTI
36 India Post
Health Science Post
March 20, 2015
Scientists engineer custom blood cells WASHINGTON: Researchers have successfully corrected a genetic error in stem cells from patients with sickle cell disease, and then used those cells to grow mature red blood cells. The advance, by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, represents an important step toward more effectively treating certain patients with sickle cell disease who need frequent blood transfusions and currently have few options. In sickle cell disease, a genetic variant causes patients' blood cells to take on a crescent, or sickle, shape, rather than the typical round shape. The crescent-shaped cells are sticky and can block blood flow through vessels, often causing great pain and fatigue. Getting a transplant of blood-making bone marrow can potentially cure the disease. But for patients who either cannot tolerate the transplant procedure, or whose transplants fail, the best option may be to receive regular blood transfusions from healthy donors with matched blood types. The problem, said Linzhao Cheng, the Edythe Harris Lucas and Clara Lucas Lynn Professor of Hematology and a member of the Institute for Cell Engineering, is that over time, patients' bodies often begin to
mount an immune response against the foreign blood. "Their bodies quickly kill off the blood
cells with their genetic material would have sickle cell gene variant and replace it with the sickle cell defect. the healthy version of the gene. To solve that problem, the researchers The final step was to coax the stem cells started with to grow into mature blood cells. The edpatients' blood ited stem cells generated blood cells just cells and repro- as efficiently as stem cells that hadn't been grammed them subjected to CRISPR, the researchers into so-called found. induced pluri"This study shows it may be possible potent stem in the not-too-distant future to provide pacells, which tients with sickle cell disease with an excan make any citing new treatment option," Cheng said. other cell in the This method of generating custom body and grow blood cells may also be applicable for other indefinitely in blood disorders, Cheng said. the laboratory. One possibility, which his group hopes They then to begin studying soon, is that the blood These are human blood cells grown in the lab from genetically edited stem used a rela- cells of healthy people could be edited to cells. tively new ge- resist malaria and other infectious agents. netic editing The study is published in the journal cells, so they have to get transfusions more technique called CRISPR to snip out the Stem Cells. -PTI and more frequently," he said. A solution, Cheng and his colleagues thought, could be to grow blood cells in the lab that were matched to each patient's own genetic material and thus could evade the immune system. His research group had already devised a way to use stem cells to make human blood cells. The problem for patients with ALBANY, N.Y.: New York is expanding For clinic appointments, OMH works sickle cell disease is that lab-grown stem its efforts to make sure inmates who receive with providers around New York and state mental health treatment in prison aren't cut psychiatric center community-based clinoff from such care when they are released. ics to arrange an initial visit, he said. Discharge planning that included mediMore than 9,000 of New York prisons' cation, enrollment in Medicaid and initial 53,000 inmates are currently getting OMH clinic appointments had only extended to services, Rosen said. the 3,500 to 4000 inmates with a serious The Cuomo administration has promental illness or who were getting treat- posed adding $22 million for the new asment at the time of their release. sessments and services in the coming year. A new law that took effect last month In the Brooklyn case, police arrested expands that to 3,000 more inmates dis- Daniel St. Hubert in the June 1 stabbings. charged annually who got treatment some- He has pleaded not guilty to murder, attime in the previous three years. tempted murder, assault and weapon posSponsors of the measure said patients session. He had been released on probastabilized in prison shouldn't backslide for tion May 23 after five years in jail and state lack of psychiatric care. They cited the case prison for attempted murder and assault of a mentally ill ex-inmate who stabbed two against his mother. children in a Brooklyn elevator last year, killing a 6-year-old, saying that was only nine days after leaving state prison without medications or contact with a service provider. The law also clarifies that parole officers can petition for psychiatric hospital commitments for parolees they consider dangerously unstable and needing to be held in a secure facility. It's another alternative besides a return to prison, said AssemDaniel St. Hubert is arraigned at Brooklyn criminal court in blyman Daniel O'Donnell, lead New York. Hubert, an ex-inmate, was accused in a knife sponsor. attack that left a 6-year-old boy dead and a 7-year-old girl critically injured in a public housing building that didn't have Corrections officials desecurity cameras. clined to say this week whether they've done that since the law changed. OMH and corrections spokesmen deDischarged inmates deemed seriously clined to discuss the 28-year-old's psychimentally ill are provided with a case man- atric issues and treatment, citing patient ager, two-week supply of psychiatric medi- privacy laws. The New York Daily News cations and refill prescription and are en- reported that he had been diagnosed as rolled for a grant to cover the medication paranoid schizophrenic and three times cost while their Medicaid application is found temporarily mentally unfit for trial and pending, said state Office of Mental Health sent to a state psychiatric facility before he spokesman Ben Rosen. eventually pleaded guilty.-AP
Mental health safety net for released inmates
March 20, 2015
Health Science Post
India Post 37
New research brings drug to treat HIV closer to reality WASHINGTON: Scientists are one step closer to creating a drug that could prevent HIV infection and even remove all the dormant copies of the deadly virus from patients with the more advanced disease. Researchers at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US said such a drug could become a reality by customizing a powerful defense system used by many bacteria and training this scissor-like machinery to recognize the HIV virus. When a copy of the HIV virus sneaks into a human cell, it co-opts the cell's own molecular machinery to make copies of the virus's genetic material and then buries these copies in the cell's own genes. From there, the host's cell becomes an HIV factory, making new copies of the virus to spread throughout the body. Existing HIV drugs target individual steps of this lifecycle; some stop the virus from integrating into cells' DNA, for instance, while others try to stop the affected cells from producing more virus. Hsin-Kai Liao, first author of the study and a research associate in the lab of Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor of Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the study, said the problem with these drugs is that they don't actually remove the copies of the virus that are hidden within cells' DNA.
These copies can remain dormant for years and then activate again. Liao and Belmonte turned to a molecular defense system called CRISPR that bacteria use to cut up foreign DNA at specified spots. Liao and Belmonte were intrigued by its defensive ability and wondered if CRISPR could be programmed to slice and destroy viruses inside human cells. CRISPR uses bits of genetic material called guide RNAs to dictate its cuts, so
the scientists developed guide RNAs that bind to unique spots on the HIV virus. They added CRISPR, the guide RNAs and other molecules needed for the system to work to immune cells that had been infected with HIV, and found that CRISPR successfully cut the right spots in HIV's genes, inactivating the virus. -PTI
'India should cut down on black carbon emissions' Cont'd from Page 34
This is a product of incomplete combustion-burning fuel in cook stoves, diesel cars, brick kilns and others. Black carbon is a fraction of the tiny PM2.5 particle and deadly when inhaled. Underlining three failures, CSE Director General Sunita Narain said the first failure was that the world started cutting CO2 emissions in 1990s but was still struggling, while the second was that Delhi's air pollution had again risen to very high levels after declining due to the "first-generation reforms" in the 1990s which included putting CNG-run buses on road and using cleaner sulphur-free diesel. "The third, she said, was the failure to provide clean energy access to people," she said. Pointing out that a typical 'chulha' releases smoke equal to 400 cigarettes, Professor Kirk Smith from University of California said it was among the factors responsible for disease burden in India. Dietary risks were the first while indoor pollution was second and almost equal to the risk disease burden associated with smoking, Smith added. "Additionally, household cook stoves also contributed 26 per cent to outdoor air pollution," he said. Experts said that over two billion people
across the world use highly inefficient and polluting cook stoves and India alone has more than 800 million of them. "Cook stoves are at the centre of failing international action today. While on one hand women are breathing toxic emissions from stoves, on the other, these emissions are adding to the climate change burden of the world," Narain said during another parallel sessions of the Dialogue. Researchers said that though many countries - including India and China - may have modernized, the bulk of cooking in villages is still done using biomass. According to the World Energy Outlook, in 2030, 33 per cent of the global population will continue to cook on biomass. "In India, nothing has changed in the past two decades. According to the National Sample Survey Organization, in 1993-94, 78 per cent households in rural India used biomass as cooking fuel. In 2009-10, 76 per cent used it," the CSE said. Elaborating further, Narain said that while heat-trapping carbon dioxide was responsible for around two-thirds of the global warming, black carbon and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) contributed to the rest. "Cutting down black carbon and SLCPs would have benefits in the short term both on the health of people and climate change," she said.-PTI
'Yoga could lessen prenatal depression' WASHINGTON: Yoga could help pregnant women with significant depression reduce the severity of the mood disorder, a new study has claimed. Prior research has shown that depressed pregnant women are often reluctant to use medications and some also have difficulty engaging in individual psychotherapy, researchers said. "This is really about trying to develop a
wider range of options that suit women who are experiencing these kind of symptoms during pregnancy," said lead author Cynthia Battle, from Brown University. A few small studies have also suggested that yoga and mindfulness-based approaches could help prevent or treat depression during pregnancy. Battle's study, published in the journal
Women's Health Issues, is an initial test of whether a 10-week program of prenatal yoga, structured to be similar to yoga programs available to pregnant women in many communities, could be feasible, acceptable, safe and effective for mild to moderately depressed women. "What we feel like we've learned from this open pilot trial is that prenatal yoga really does appear to be an approach that is feasible to administer, acceptable to women and their health-care providers, and potentially helpful to improve mood," Battle said. "We found what we think are very encouraging results," said Battle. In the pilot study, Battle and second author Lisa Uebelacker worked with Rhode Island obstetricians and midwives to recruit 34 pregnant women with elevated depression symptoms. At regular time points during the 10-week study, the researchers measured depressive symptoms in the women, participation in yoga classes, home yoga practice, and changes in mindfulness, using a standardized questionnaire. Though there was no control group to compare against, the study provides signs that prenatal yoga could be helpful, Battle said. -PTI
NRI facility opens 100bed hospital DUBAI: An NRI founded healthcare facility has inaugurated a 100-bed hospital in Dubai to meet the growing demands of super-specialty care by providing "holistic treatment" to the residents in the Gulf emirate. The new branch of Aster DM Healthcare was inaugurated by UAE Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais at Mankhool-Bur locality here. "The hospital will cater to the growing demands for super- specialty care by providing holistic treatment to the residents," the healthcare's founder Azad Moopen, a native of Kerala and Delhi University alumnus said. With nearly three decades in the healthcare sector, the Dubai-based group operates over 239 health facilities across the Middle East and India. "We developed the Hospital guided by the need for superior medical service offerings and beds to improve patient experience. As a healthcare network, we significantly contribute to the UAE medical sec-
tor by means of the three different brands we are proud of- Medicare, Aster and Access. "These facilities offer primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary care meeting the requirement of people from a cross section of the society," Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director of the
healthcare said. The Hospital also has a specialty mother and neonatal care unit to provide tertiary level care during pregnancy and to premature babies, especially criticallyill neonates," Alisha Moopen, Director of Aster DM Healthcare said. -PTI
Hong Kong citizens can't buy property in India MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank says Macau and Hong Kong, the two special administrative regions of China, have been included in the list of countries whose citizens which are prohibited from acquiring or transferring immovable properties in India. "As they are notified separately, it has been decided...that citizens of Macau and Hong Kong will also be included in the list of countries which are prohibited to acquire/transfer immovable property in India in terms of Regulation 7 of FEMA ibid," the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a notification Under Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000 no citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan without prior permission of the RBI can acquire or transfer immovable property in India, other than lease, not exceeding five years.-PTI
Dunn residents seek more say in landfill sites MANNING, N.D.: Residents of Dunn County are banding together to try to gain more control over the location of landfills for energy industry waste. About 150 residents attended a zoning board meeting and demanded county officials reinstate an old zoning rule that said landfills can't be approved without the OK of 60 percent of landowners within a half mile of the proposed facility. ``You took our right away,'' resident Mark Kovash told the board. ``Why did you take out the 60 percent rule? What benefit did it give us landowners?'' Board members Ben Murphy and Craig Pelton said the rule was changed last summer to prevent pitting neighbors against one another. However, the zoning board voted unanimously to reinstate it under pressure from the large group, The Bismarck Tribune reported. The crowd was so big that it violated the fire code in the county courthouse meeting room, and the meeting had to be moved to a county shop a quarter mile away. The County Commission will have the final say on reinstating the rule and is expected to take up the matter during its March 18 meeting. -AP
Real Estate 38 India Post
March 20, 2015
Mayor Wright lawsuit settled for $350K HONOLULU: The state has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit by group of residents of a Honolulu public housing project over unsanitary conditions. The 2011 lawsuit said residents at Mayor Wright Homes suffered from a lack of hot water, vermin infestations, gaping holes in walls and inconsistent security. Attorneys for the group announced the settlement saying both sides agreed to it last year but the agreement recently received court approval. -AP
Be among the first to own at Terrace Ridge, Dublin India Post News Service
DUBLIN, CA: Sales at William Lyon Homes' new Terrace Ridge neighborhood will soon be underway, and buyers are strongly encouraged to register immediately for important details on the prequalification process. At completion, this limited edition of 36 new luxury single-family detached homes will accommodate the priorities of growing families with a host of richly appointed interiors, unparalleled amenities and a beautiful terraced setting against the foothills of Dublin. To be among the first to own at this intimate enclave, prospective homebuyers need to register at www.LyonTerraceRidge.com for important information on prequalifications and the initial sales release. "With only 36 homes available and strong interest in this spectacular collection, buyers will want to prequalify as early as possible,"
said Kathy Floyd, Director of Sales for William Lyon Homes. "If you haven't already, register soon. You don't want to miss this first step towards homeownership at Ter-
ens, large great rooms that open to covered patios, lofts in select plans and 2-car garages. Select locations will afford distant views of the valley and rolling hills. Prices
race Ridge." With European, Monterey and French Country-inspired exteriors, Terrace Ridge features three magnificent two-story floorplans that range from approximately 2,829 to 3,126 square feet, with 4 to 5 bedrooms, 4 to 5 baths, island kitch-
are anticipated to start from the low $1 millions. Set in Dublin, Terrace Ridge homeowners will appreciate the neighborhood's commuterfriendly location with easy access to Tri-Valley's business employers, shops and leisure destinations. In
addition to nearby I-680, a BART station is within close proximity, easing the burden of commutes to San Francisco and Oakland, while in Pleasanton, the Altamont Corridor Express 'ACE' Train is onhand for convenient trips to Fremont, San Jose and Santa Clara. Nearby retail and dining options include Downtown Dublin's Safeway, Target, Sports Authority, REI and Sprout's Farmer's Market, as well as a mix of restaurants featuring American and International cuisine. Owners can also head to the Livermore Premium Outlets; Shops at Waterford; Stoneridge Mall and Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center with its Regal Cinemas and IMAX. Numerous recreational opportunities are close to Terrace Ridge, including Mount Diablo State Park, Emerald Glen Park, Fallon Sports Park and for dog lovers, the Dougherty Hills Dog Park. Cont’d on page 25
India among top 20 realty investment destinations NEW DELHI: Investments in Indian real estate last year jumped more than two-fold to over USD 5 billion, helping the country figure in the list of world's top 20 property destinations, according to consultant Cushman & Wakefield. "India is amongst the top 20 real estate investment destinations for 2014 with total of USD 5,000 million," global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said in a statement. India at the 20th rank recorded the third highest growth in investments, with an increase of over 140 per cent in total investment volumes in 2014 at USD 5,050 million against USD 2,100 million in the previous year. Of the total investment volume, the domestic investments were recorded at USD 3,120 million (62 per cent) and foreign at USD 1,930 million (38 per cent).
"The Indian real estate investment scenario saw a high point in 2014 reaching highest investment levels in the last five years," C&W said in its report 'International Investment Atlas 2015'.
lion, 16 per cent ahead of China. These two of course dominate global activity with a combined 60 per cent market share," the report said. Out of total investment vol-
However, the consultant said the global real estate investments fell in 2014 for the first time in five years, dropping 6.3 per cent to USD 1.21 trillion. "By activity, the USA has moved back to the top for the first time since 2009, with volumes rising 16.2 per cent to USD 390.6 bil-
umes in Indian real estate, corporate investments increased sharply at USD 2,550 million in 2014 against USD 900 million in 2013. Private Equity investments too increased to USD 2,500 million from USD 1,200 million during the period under review.
Corporate investments transactions include real estate purchases by companies including office or development site assets for end-use, development or investment, C&W said. "Residential emerged as the sector to receive the highest amount of investment totaling up to USD 2,600 million while office sector followed closely at approximately USD 2,000 million," C&W said. Commenting on the report, C&W Executive Managing Director, South Asia Sanjay Dutt said: "The huge growth in investment volumes in real estate markets in India are proof that investors are already acting out on their expectations of improvements in the ease of doing business in India". He expects investment volumes to increase even more to match the levels of top 10 global investment destinations. -PTI
March 20, 2015
India Post 39
Real Estate Post
40 India Post
March 20, 2015
Normalcy returning to Maui's real estate market WAILUKU, Hawaii: Maui's real estate market is continuing to show signs of returning to normalcy, following the upheaval of the recession several years ago that left in its wake widespread foreclosures and short sales in Maui County. As recently as February 2012, the percentage of foreclosures and other distressed properties in the market for a 12-month period was 43.4 percent for singlefamily homes in the county. In February 2013, it fell to 31.8 percent. Last year, it was at 17.3 percent, and in February it was down to 12.8 percent, according to statistics released by the Realtors Association of Maui. For condominiums in February 2012, the percentage of foreclosures and short-sale properties was 33.5 percent. A year later, it was 18.9 percent. Last year, it was down to 9.7 percent, and this year, the percentage dropped to 7.8 percent, the Realtors association figures show. Stability was evident in single-family home sale prices. The median price of a home in February was $558,625, virtually unchanged from February 2014 and 3.2 percent off January's median of $577,000. Looking at the past year, the median price for homes was up five months in month-overmonth comparisons, down six months and there was no change in September when the median price remained at $570,000 - the same price as August. The highest median price in the past year was in March 2014, when the price hit $590,500. The low point was in June, $530,000. Prices were up and down for condominiums as well, with prices up six months and down six months in month-over-month comparisons. In the last year, the high point was in February at $475,000, and the low point came in November at $366,250. Looking at February in isola-
tion, there appears to be a dramatic upswing, Wailuku newspaper, The Maui News reported. Last month's median price for condominiums was $475,000, a jump of 37.7 percent from the
family home sales, with 27 units sold in February, up 80 percent from the 15 sold in the same month last year and 17.4 percent higher than the 23 units that exchanged hands in January. The
A four-bedroom, three-bath home at 75 Wilikona Place near Wailuku, Hawaii. Mauiâ€™s real estate market is continuing to show signs of returning to normalcy, following the upheaval of the recession several years ago that left in its wake widespread foreclosures and short sales in Maui County.
same month a year ago and up 25.7 percent from January. And, February's condo median price was the highest mark for such units since March 2010, when the median price of a condo in Maui County hit $499,000. In that same month five years ago, the median price for single-family homes was lower, at $460,000, which was the only time the median price of condos was higher than homes since at least January 2010. Single-family home sales volume was 60 units in February, no change from the number sold in the same month last year, but it was 15, or 20 percent, fewer than January's 75 units. Sales volume for condos was up to 93 units in February, a 4.5 percent increase over the 89 units sold in February 2014, and a 12 percent increase over January's 83 units. Central Maui continued to be the hottest market for single-
region with the second most home sales was Kihei, where eight single-family homes sold. That sales volume in South Maui was down 53 percent from the 17 units sold both in February 2014 and in January. For the first two months of the year, single-family home prices are up 26 percent to $507,441 in Central Maui and up 18 percent to $688,000 in Kihei. The lowest median home prices (for which data are available) can be found include Nahiku, $265,000; Molokai, $342,500; and Hana, $374,950. The highest priced homes are in Kaanapali, nearly $2 million; Lahaina, $1.9 million; Olowalu, $1.48 million; and Wailea/Makena, $1.2 million. On Lanai, where real estate prices have been volatile since most of the island was purchased by billionaire Larry Ellison in June 2012, median home sales prices were down 17 percent in the year's first two months to $408,500.
For condos, Kihei outpaced sales in all other regions with 30 units sold in February, although that was off 3.2 percent from the 31 sold in the same month last year and down 11.8 percent from the 34 sold in January. The Napili/ Kahana/Honokowai region was second with 14 sales, although that was down 39 percent from the 23 sold in the same month last year, but up 55.5 percent from the nine sold in January. For the first two months of the year, median condo prices were up 1 percent in Kihei to $338,500, and they've jumped 33 percent to $445,000 in Napili/Kahana/ Honokowai. The lowest median condo prices were on Molokai, $65,000; Central Maui and Maalaea, both $300,000; and Kihei, $338,500. The highest condo prices were in Kula/ Ulupalakua/Kanaio, (one sale only) $2.57 million; Spreckelsville/Paia/Kuau, (one sale) $1.75 million; Kapalua and Lanai, both roughly $1 million.AP
More tax sops needed to make REITs attractive NEW DELHI: Tax structures for the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) need to be further rationalized to make it more attractive to investors, particularly foreign, according to property consultant CBRE study. In Budget 2015-16, Finance
be done to finalize REITS? tax structures and make them attractive to investors, particularly foreign groups," CBRE Research said. The consultant said that the announcements fell short of industry expectations that REITs'
Minister Arun Jaitley had rationalized capital gain tax regime for the sponsors of newly-created business structure REITs. The rental income arising from real estate assets directly held by the REIT was also proposed to be allowed to pass through and to be taxed in the hands of the REIT unit holders. "Despite the greater clarity provided by the budget announcement, much still needs to
and their sponsors would be granted complete exemption from taxation. "A tax will still be levied on REITs' distribution of dividends to investors and there will be no exemption of stamp duty for sponsors which directly transfer assets to a REIT, a measure seen to be supporting the expansion of REITs in Singapore," it added. In September 2014, market regulator SEBI had notified norms
for listing of REITs that would help attract more funds in a transparent manner into the real estate sector. REITs, which can be listed on stock exchanges, would help channelise both domestic and overseas investments into real estate. CBRE Research noted that the pricing and quality of assets would be crucial for successful launch of the REIT market in India. "Other challenges, India-REITs must overcome lengthy registration processes and burdensome stamp duties; risks concerning asset selection; a bleak outlook for rental growth in most Indian office markets; and low yields comparative to other investment vehicles such as government securities and AAA bonds, with yields now at a range of 9 per cent," it said. In the last year's budget presented in July, the Finance Minister had provided partial pass through to encourage REITs, but real estate developers and real estate consultants sought more tax clarity. -PTI
Real Estate Post
March 20, 2015
India Post 41
Be among the first to own at Terrace Ridge, Dublin Contâ€™d from page 38
Golf enthusiasts can head to Dublin Ranch Golf Course, Dublin's first and only golf course. The neighborhood enjoys inclusion in the well-regarded
Dublin school district, with access to Green Elementary School, Fallon Middle School and Dublin High School. Private schools in the area include Valley Christian and Quarry Lane Schools. It matters who your builder is and William Lyon Homes is a
Detroit homes for natives and newcomers DETROIT: In 1950, Detroit had a population of 1.85 million. Today, 690,000 remain - a mere third of those who lived here when this was the fifth-largest city in America. The city's downturn includes decades of white flight, the auto industry's decline and a financial crisis that ended in bankruptcy.
oak floors. ``I've got no kitchen for the next year,'' he says, describing his renovation plans. ``If you're thinking about moving here, your start-up costs might be cheap. But a lot of these houses require a lot of work or a lot of money.'' A colleague, Lauren Hood, 43, a community organizer for Loveland, was also born and
Sylvia Hubbard with her daughter Maggie outside their home, which was built by Habitat for Humanity Detroit in the Morningside Commons section of Detroit.
Detroit adopted this motto after it was nearly destroyed by fire in 1805: ``It will arise from the ashes.'' Those who choose to live here now still believe that, whether they're natives or newcomers. Here are some of their stories, with a focus on housing, from a $500 abandoned building to the city's most expensive apartment. GROWING UP HERE AND STAYING Mike Evans, 28, a Detroit native, is a senior tech developer for Loveland Technologies, a company that's mapped every property in Detroit in an effort to help rebuild communities. Evans was raised in a historic neighborhood called BostonEdison, which had an aging population and few kids for him to play with. But he had a computer which led to his tech skills and passion for coding. He traveled to school elsewhere in the city, and describes parts of Detroit in the 1990s as ``terrifying.'' He's now restoring the house where he grew up. It dates to 1895, and has details worth preserving, like enamel bathtubs and original
raised in Detroit. Like 83 percent of Detroiters, Hood and Evans are African-American. Hood's parents sent her to suburban schools and later moved to the suburbs after a break-in, but Hood stayed in Detroit. She now lives in a loft in the historic Brush Park neighborhood. She thinks those tempted by the $500 houses for which Detroit has become famous may be ``unrealistic'' about what it takes to make them livable. ``You better bring 10 people with you,'' she said. THE $500 HOUSE Drew Philp bought one of those decrepit $500 houses. A story he wrote about it for BuzzFeed got 1.6 million views and led to a book contract from Scribner. Philp, 28, said in an interview that the book will include Detroit history as well as his experiences building ``everything but the frame'' of the house, from the foundation to the roof. Philp comes from a ``family of builders,'' in the tiny town of Adrian, Michigan. What he didn't know about construction he learned in the library. -AP
The neighborhood enjoys inclusion in the well-regarded Dublin school district, with access to Green Elementary School, Fallon Middle School and Dublin High School
company built upon a legacy of pride and integrity. A team of visionaries who are passionate about homebuilding and committed to providing a high quality homebuying and homeownership experience, William Lyon Homes has earned a solid track record for outstanding construction and customer service since 1954. The company continues to expand its well-respected brand beyond California, Arizona and Nevada and into
other market areas across the Western region with the acquisition of Polygon Homes, its newest division in Washington and Oregon, and its Village Homes division in Colorado. William Lyon Home shares are publicly traded on Nasdaq under the symbol WLH. For updated information and to learn more, visit www.lyonhomes.com. Pricing is approximate and is subject to change without prior notice.
Real Estate Post
March 20, 2015
India Post 42
Let buyer feedback help you sell your home
hen homeowners in College Station, Texas, were told by an agent that prospective buyers were too scared to tour their home because their dog was barking aggressively, the homeowners opted to send their dog to live with their adult kids until the house was sold. While not all sellers react as decisively as those homeowners, most find feedback extremely valuable, says Jan Fite Miller, executive vice president of Century 21 Judge Fite in Irving, Texas. Value of complaining complainers Often, a home seller will ask the agent what visitors say about the home's condition and sales price. And sometimes there are complaints. Just how valuable those comments are depends on what's said, who's saying it and why, says Morgan Knull, an associate broker with Re/Max Gateway in Washington, D.C. Valuable comments are those that help the sellers improve their sales chances. Miller says feedback from buyers can be helpful. Buyers have reported that for-sale homes have
been burglarized and, once, "that a squirrel had gotten inside and shredded the drapes." And buyers' comments "support things that we say to sellers to make their home more appealing." The dead zone Miller says that when she was selling her parents' home, another
agent told her that "it looks like someone died there." "I found out that my parents were closing the blinds, turning out the lights and shutting off the air conditioning every time they left the house," Miller says. "We ended up having them move out so we could show the house at its best."
Intel on knucklehead renters Knull says that comments are particularly important if a property is occupied by renters because it can be difficult to know if the tenants are allowing access to the home and keeping it clean. Self-serving responses
"Some people deliberately provide negative feedback or say that the price is too high in order to increase the chances that a low offer will be accepted," says Diana Saiz, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Coral Gables, Florida. "A good Realtor can usually tell if the feed-
back isn't true, but I take all feedback with a grain of salt." How to get useful responses Get your agent to ask prospective buyers and their agents how your home appears. Raylene Lewis, a Realtor with Century 21 Beal Inc. in College Station, Texas, says she asks targeted questions and for an opinion on the sales price. Knull emails buyers' agents the day they visit a home with a link to the virtual tour to trigger memories of the property. "I thank them for visiting and always write in capital letters that I want ALL feedback so they know I want to hear criticism, as well as compliments," Knull says. Miller says agents should always ask buyers for specifics about what they like and don't like about a property. This gives sellers an opportunity to make changes. Feedback: Ignore it or listen? Miller says that sellers should listen to all feedback to evaluate how to respond, particularly if their home is languishing on the market. And, Lewis adds, a good agent can determine whether a re-
sponse is helpful or is a gambit to land a better deal. Knull says the time to listen to feedback is when a theme appears at a broker's open house or from several prospective buyers rather than just a cranky statement from one buyer. "It's helpful to look at a compilation of comments," Knull says. "Some of the best feedback I've ever received says things that can be hard for me to say to a seller, such as that the renovation they're very proud of wasn't done well enough or thoroughly enough to justify the price they think they can get." Telling difficult truths Lewis says some of the best comments help her convince the sellers of something they weren't willing to hear, such as that their home has too much clutter or is too crowded with furniture, or that it smells like cigarettes or cats. "It can be hard to see right and wrong when you're in your home every day, so that's why you should sometimes listen to what buyers say," Lewis says. -Courtesy Bankrate.com
Tempted by Detroit's $500 properties? 5 things to know DETROIT: Sixty-two thousand properties have faced foreclosure in Detroit this year over unpaid taxes. About half will likely be auctioned for $500 apiece this fall. Buying homes or vacant lots for $500 might sound inviting, even in a city as troubled as Detroit. After all, look at New York: Decades of crime and decay gave way to a real estate boom that has gentrified even outlying workingclass neighborhoods. Properties that sold for thousands in the bad old days are now worth millions. But there are no guarantees. ``The opportunities are there but there are huge challenges,'' said Dang Duong, a law and business student at the University of Michigan who has bought and renovated several dilapidated homes in Detroit. ``If you're under the impression you can buy a property for $500 and wait a few years until Detroit has recovered, that's going to be difficult.'' Here are five things to consider before buying property in Detroit. THE HOUSE MAY BE OCCUPIED Are you prepared to evict former owners, longtime tenants or even squatters? Loveland Technologies, a mapping company that has surveyed every property in Detroit, estimates that half the
properties facing foreclosure are occupied, housing about 100,000 Detroiters. Critics question the morality of buying occupied homes and fear the program may increase Detroit's homeless population. They say many owners stopped paying taxes because they weren't getting city services in return. Others say those who failed to pay taxes contributed to Detroit's troubles. Darin McLeskey, who moved from an engineering career to buy, sell and develop real estate in Detroit, says sometimes ``people want out. They can't afford the home or are tired of the city. Mentally they may have moved on, and sometimes physically they have moved on.'' In one case, he made a ``cash for keys'' deal with a squatter in an uninhabitable home: ``I gave him $300, he signed a document. It was cheaper, easier and more amicable than an eviction.'' THE MOST EXPENSIVE $500 YOU'LL EVER SPEND Demolishing dilapidated properties and building from the ground up can be cheaper than rehabbing. But some buyers choose renovation to save historic architectural details found in much of Detroit's early 20th century housing stock: turrets, gingerbread trim, pillars and antique woodwork amid broken
windows and sagging rooftops. Duong bought a house in Detroit for $1,100 and spent $100,000 on roofing, wiring, plumbing, appliances, drywall, flooring, and new bathrooms and kitchens. He speaks reverently of preserving the 100-year-old maple floors, and wanted a quality renovation to attract good tenants. It's located in a privately patrolled neighborhood near a hospital, so he sees it as a good investment. But beware of hidden costs and
scams. Properties may come with liens, water bills and back taxes totaling thousands of dollars, in addition to renovation costs. It's also not unusual to hear of homes sold to buyers in other states and countries, with purchase prices rising with every flip. ABSENTEE LANDLORDS NOT
WELCOME If you buy a home through the Detroit Land Bank, you have six months to bring it up to code _ nine months for historic properties. The policy discourages speculators from buying and leaving property unattended. Duong got a call before one of his projects was complete, but he said ``if you are a legitimate landowner, they are easy to work with. They want people to either renovate or sell to someone
else who can do it. That goes a long way to removing blight.'' Looting and vandalism are also major problems. Homes under renovation risk having fixtures ripped out and tools stolen if the property is not lived in and secured. McLeskey moved tools into a townhouse and returned the next morning to find the door knocked
down with a battering ram. It helps to buy in populated areas. The more neighbors you have, the more secure it is. Combating blight also means maintaining vacant lots. McLeskey mows nearly all of his 40 vacant lots in the summer. CITY SERVICES HAVE IMPROVED, BUT... Garbage pickup, snow removal, water service, and police and fire department responses have improved in the last 18 months, but may still be less reliable than what you'd expect elsewhere. FORECLOSURE SALES ARE CONTROVERSIAL Are you willing to wade into controversy? Supporters say foreclosure sales help the city recover by forcing homeowners to pay up or move on. Auction buyers then decide what's salvageable. Detroit sprawls over 140 square miles, and officials would like to concentrate the population of 690,000 (down from 1.85 million in 1950) into a sustainable area by demolishing abandoned buildings in far-flung neighborhoods. Theoretically, new property owners will pay taxes, the revenue will support city services, and property values will recover. -AP
March 20, 2015
India Post 43 www.indiapost.com
FOR ALL YOUR
SEEMA WORLD TRAVEL, INC.
AIR INDIA AND ALL OTHER MAJOR AIRLINES.
PACKAGE DEAL TAJ TOUR-SOTC
One of the Oldest Travel Agencies in St. Louis
Competitive Rates & Confirmed Seats for All Major Airlines 10635 Page Ave., St. Louis, MO 63132
Tel: (314) 423-9990 or (800) 55 SEEMA Fax: (314) 423-0391
Sita Ram Patel @ 847-568-0535 New York (Hicksville)
AIRWING TRAVELS INC.
Tel: (516) 931 4600
Est. 1991 Toll Free: (866) 532 3413
New Jersey (Iselin)
Tel: (732) 658 5450
Lowest Fares / Confirmed Seats to INDIA & Other Destinations Worldwide Save upto 40% on First and Business Class OPEN 7 DAYS - Call or Email : AIRWINGTRAVELS@GMAIL.COM
In Brief Acceptance of H-1B petitions from April 1 WASHINGTON: The United States government will start accepting petitions for the H-1B visas, the most sought after work visa for Indian IT professionals, from April 1, an official release said. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2016 beginning October 1, 2015 remains 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. In a statement, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it expects to receive more petitions than the H-1B cap during the first five business days of this year's program. As such it will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public when the H-1B cap has been met. If USCIS receives an excess of petitions during the first five business days, the agency will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap, the media statement said. Successful H-1B applicants were determined through a lottery system last year. -PTI
Pakistani accused in US consulate plot arrested TORONTO: Canadian immigration officials have arrested a Pakistani man who they say was plotting to attack the U.S. consulate and other buildings in Toronto's financial district. At a hearing, Canadian authorities said Jahanzab Malik - a selfproclaimed supporter of the Islamic State and al-Qaida who received weapons training in Libya - told an undercover police officer about his plans involving remote control explosives. The Canadian government is looking to deport Malik, a 33-yearold who came to Canada as a student in 2004 and became a permanent resident in 2009. It wasn't clear why he hasn't been charged with any crimes. He was ordered kept in custody pending deportation. In a summary of the hearing provided by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, government lawyers said Malik attempted to radicalize an undercover officer he had befriended by showing him video's apparently of Islamic State beheadings. Prosecutors said Malik told the officer that he was a ``personal friend'' of radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, but whose words remain influential in cyberspace. -AP
Immigration 44 India Post
March 20, 2015
Missouri lawmakers OK scholarship ban for some immigrants Details on page 46
Immigration officials see danger as local cooperation wanes NEW YORK: Diminished local cooperation is putting federal immigration officers in dangerous situations as they track down foreign-born criminals, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say. They say that more of their officers are out on the streets, eating up resources, because cities and states have passed legislation that limits many of the detention requests issued by immigration authorities. For years, ICE has issued the detainers to local and state law enforcement agencies, asking them to hold immigrants for up to 48 hours after they were scheduled for release from jail. Most detainees are then either taken into federal custody to face an immigration judge or be deported. But more than 300 counties and cities, plus California, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, have chosen to release immigrants, claiming too many people who have committed low-level offenses or no crime at all were being deported and unnecessarily separated from their families. Courts have said that honoring detainers without probable cause could result in a civil rights offense. ICE insists that its priorities
have changed and it is only focused on foreign-born criminals who are a threat to society. It deported nearly 316,000 people in fiscal year 2014. In the first eight months of 2014, immigration officers filed roughly 105,000 requests for local enforce-
because they can't just pick up foreign-born criminals in a safe environment like the Rikers Island jail, said Christopher Shanahan, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York. ``We are in a situation in which
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer "tacs up" in the garage of a New York federal building, as he prepares for series of early-morning arrests. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement say an increasing number of cities and counties across the United States are limiting cooperation with the agency and putting its officers in dangerous situations as they track down foreign-born criminals.
ment agencies to hold immigrants, but local agencies declined 8,800 of the requests, according to data provided by immigration authorities. Officers now face more danger
we have to provide more men, more workers, more manpower in the streets, where it is more dangerous to take custody of somebody,'' said Shanahan. ``On the
street, when you go into a house, a place of employment, when you are arresting somebody, you don't know if they have weapons, you don't know the surroundings.'' Recently an Associated Press reporter and photographer accompanied officers as they conducted a series of early-morning arrests in the Bronx and Manhattan, part of a nationally-coordinated operation that netted 2,059 people. A half-dozen ICE officers met at 5:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a Bronx coffee shop, put on black bulletproof vests and reviewed the three people they would try to arrest that morning. After driving quickly to each location in unmarked cars with sirens blaring, they made two arrests: a Mexican man and a Dominican man accused of illegally re-entering into the country, which is considered a high priority for ICE. The Mexican man had been arrested 10 times by local police for driving without a license and then deported. The man, who was not identified per Department of Homeland Security policy, re-entered the U.S. illegally and then was accused of menacing a neighbor with a machete. ICE said it had issued a detainer for the man that was not honored by the city. Cont'd on Page 45
15 immigrants protected from deportation arrested WASHINGTON: Federal agents in a sweep targeting the most dangerous criminal immigrants arrested 15 people who have been allowed to remain in the U.S. under President Barack Obama's executive action intended to protect children who came to the U.S. years ago with their parents, The Associated Press has learned. Fourteen of the 15 had been convicted of a crime, the Homeland Security Department confirmed. In at least one case, the Obama administration renewed the protective status for a young immigrant after that person's conviction in a drug case, a U.S.
official briefed on the arrests said. One of the eligibility requirements for the program is that immigrants not have a criminal his-
when 13 of the immigrants were convicted or what their crimes were. They were arrested by U.S. Immigrations and Customs En-
Fourteen of the 15 had been convicted of a crime, the Homeland Security Department confirmed. In at least one case, the Obama administration renewed the protective status for a young immigrant after that person's conviction tory. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss the matter by name. It was not immediately clear
forcement. The answers to those questions could undermine the integrity of the government's program, since eligibility is reserved for ambitious, young immigrants
enrolled in school or who graduated and who would benefit American society. None of the names of the immigrants was disclosed. One of the young immigrants arrested hadn't been convicted of a crime, but was arrested after being found armed with a gun, the official said. Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said eight other people arrested during the sweep had received the protective status at one point, including three who had it revoked. Catron did not provide additional details. Cont'd on Page 46
March 20, 2015
India Post 45
US asks for end to hold on immigration action HOUSTON: The U.S. government has asked an appeals court to lift a temporary hold on President Barack Obama's executive action to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, arguing it can't wait for the judge who blocked the action to make a ruling on a similar request. Justice Department attorneys filed an emergency motion with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to lift a preliminary injunction issued last month by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. The injunction had been issued on the request of a coalition of 26 states that filed a lawsuit to overturn Obama's immigration plan. The states, led by Texas, argue that Obama's action was unconstitutional and would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. The injunction was intended to stall Obama's actions - which would spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally - while the lawsuit progresses through the courts. Many Republicans in Congress and states led by Republicans oppose the action, saying Obama overstepped his authority as president. Obama said he had to act because Congress has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Justice Department had asked Hanen to lift the injunction while the case was appealed to the
5th Circuit. But Hanen put that request on hold pending a hearing on March 19 to review allegations the government misled him about the implementation of part of the immigration plan. In their 21-page motion, Justice Department attorneys called the injunction ``unprecedented and wrong'' and argued lifting it was crucial as the order ``irreparably
Congress sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the fabric of our Republic ... The state of Texas and a bipartisan coalition of 25 other states will continue to oppose the President's unilateral and lawless actions,'' Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement responding to the Justice Department's emergency motion. A coalition of 14 states, includ-
Immigration protesters rally outside the White House in November. A federal judge has halted the Obama administration's new immigration policies.
interferes with (the Homeland Security Department's) ability to protect the Homeland and secure our borders.'' Justice Department attorneys said that if the injunction is not lifted, it should at least apply either only to Texas or to the 26 states that sued. ``President Obama's unconstitutional use of executive power to accomplish what he couldn't do in
ing California and Iowa, and the District of Columbia filed a motion with the 5th Circuit in support of lifting the injunction. They argued the immigration actions will benefit states through increased tax revenues and improved public safety. Legal experts say the 5th Circuit is known to be fairly conservative, and is likely to deny the Justice Department's request. Ul-
Immigration officials see danger as local cooperation wanes Cont'd from Page 44
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the legislation that limited cooperation with ICE in November. The law bars cooperation with detainers unless there's a federal warrant and the person is on the terrorist watch list or committed a serious crime in the past five years. From October 2013 through September 2014, the New York City Police Department received 2,635 immigration detainers. Of those, it held 196 individuals. The city says no ICE detainers have been honored this year. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who proposed the limitations, said ICE officials for years ``cast a dragnet at Rikers Island'' that resulted in unnecessary deportations. ``In addition to being unfair, ICE's policies were an offense to the rule of law and yet another symptom of our broken immigra-
tion system,'' Mark-Viverito said in a statement. In California, only immigrants illegally in the United States who have been convicted of a serious offense are eligible for the 48-hour hold.
From October 2013 through September 2014, the New York City Police Department received 2,635 immigration detainers. Of those, it held 196 David Marin, deputy field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations in Los Angeles, said that of the seven counties that form the Los Angeles area
of operation only two honor detainers that meet those standards. More than one-fourth of the people arrested by ICE in the Los Angeles area last week had recently been released onto the street by local authorities despite ICE detainer requests. Fifty-nine of the 218 individuals detained by ICE during the enforcement action had been the subject of immigration detainers, said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice. The issue is not black-andwhite, says Muzaffar Chishti, New York director of the Migration Policy Institute. ``My feeling is that, at some level, both (sides) are right'', said Chishti. ``This is a classic case of where you stand on issues depends on where you sit. The concerns and the priorities of the city and police are very different from the concerns and priorities of the federal government.''-AP
timately, it could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. At the next hearing, Hanen was set to have Justice Department attorneys explain why the federal government granted three-year deportation reprieves as well as work permits to 100,000 individuals before Hanen's Feb. 16 injunction. Attorneys had previously said federal officials wouldn't accept such requests until Feb. 18. The Justice Department has said the reprieves and work permits were granted under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which was not halted by Hanen's injunction. DACA protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. In a separate court document filed with Hanen's court, the Jus-
tice Department said the acknowledgement that some individuals were granted reprieves under 2012 DACA guidelines does ``not bear on the resolution'' of the pending request before the judge to lift the injunction. Hanen's injunction put on hold an expansion of DACA as well as a program that would extend deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years. The other states seeking to block Obama's orders are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.-AP
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
2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659
46 India Post
March 20, 2015
Missouri lawmakers OK scholarship Woman fights for records ban for some immigrants on detention center JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.: Immigrant students living in Missouri illegally could not receive the state's A+ Scholarship under two bills that advanced in the House and Senate. Republicans have said the measures are necessary to protect resources for U.S. citizens but
a new state Department of Higher Education rule set to take effect March 30 clarifying that those immigrant students can receive the A+ Scholarship. Those who graduate from a Missouri high school with at least a 2.5 grade-point average, good attendance and satisfy various
State capital building in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Democrats have argued they are discriminatory. At issue are students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by President Barack Obama in 2012 to stop the deportation of children who were brought to the country illegally by their parents. Missouri had about 6,000 to 7,000 K-12 such students in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. The Missouri bills would stop
other requirements would qualify for the A+ Scholarship under the new rule. But money for that program already is strained, and could pay for all but one credit of students' tuition in the current spring semester, Higher Education Department spokeswoman Liz Coleman said. House bill sponsor Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick said granting the scholarship to immigrant students will ``reduce benefits paid to Missouri citizens.'' The bill, approved 111-
41 and now heading to the Senate, would prevent any state financial aid from going to those students and would require colleges and universities charge them the international rate of tuition. ``If they're allowed to receive these scholarships, it will be at the expense of Missouri citizens,'' the Shell Knob Republican said. The House passed a budget proposal for next fiscal year that both allows the state to spend an additional $2 million on the A+ Scholarship and bans state money for aid for certain immigrants without legal status. Democrats said the legislation hurts students who want an education and are here without legal permission through no fault of their own. ``We are enacting discrimination,'' Democratic Rep. Genise Montecillo of St. Louis said. Montecillo also criticized a provision of the House bill that would expand the A+ Scholarship to students who study theology and divinity, which she said violates the constitution by promoting religion. The Senate bill, which won initial approval by a voice vote, is less sweeping and only adds the requirement that students who receive the A+ Scholarship be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. That measure needs a second Senate vote before it can move to the House.-AP
yann Greenberg pushes for access to public records and governmental meetings in the town of Southwest Ranches. The access provides information about a town plan to approve a 1,500-bed immigration-detention center, she says. The property is just up the road from her house and those of many others. Southwest Ranches is seven miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale. Greenberg, 37, is an IT sales manager who lives in neighboring Pembroke Pines. She is a candidate for the Pembroke Pines City Commission. Southwest Ranches is working with landowner and prison operator Corrections Corp. of America to build the detention center for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. To learn more, Greenberg requested town emails. The town said it would provide the emails, only after redacting - blacking out - certain information and payment of $1,000 for the work. A community-donation effort raised the $1,000. Then, Greenberg says, ``I got word that the town had hired a lobbyist.'' She asked the town for lobbying records. ``All I got was a contract, essentially, for lobbying services,'' she says. ``They charged it through the town attorney's law
firm, and the law firm paid the lobbyist.'' She had to comb point-by-point through the town attorney's bill to document the lobbying costs. For a town meeting on the detention center, she says, members of the public were grilled one-byone before being allowed into a town meeting.
To learn more, Greenberg requested town emails. The town said it would provide the emails, only after redacting blacking out - certain information and payment of $1,000 Those hoping to enter the meeting each had to write on a card ``their name, address and phone number; put whether they were for or against or neutral on the prison; and turn them in before they were granted access.'' Because of the expense to individuals seeking to enforce Florida's open-government laws, Greenberg says, the state should help them by creating a pro bono procedure ``just like the public defender.'' -AP
15 immigrants protected from deportation arrested Cont'd from Page 44
Under the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, more than 675,000 young immigrants since August 2012 have been granted a work permit and reprieve from deportation. ``With few fraud detection measures and effective background checks in place, it's no surprise that ICE arrested over a dozen DACA recipients last week, most of whom had already been convicted of a crime,'' said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte. ``I and other members of the House Judiciary Committee have expressed concern about this for years.'' Goodlatte, R-Va., and other Republicans have long decried Obama's executive immigration as a form of backdoor amnesty that circumvents Congress. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-
Iowa, said the case ``sheds light on what appears to be a haphazard and risky vetting process by an administration that is very interested in finding creative and
and Immigration Services ``is examining these cases to determine the appropriate course of action, which may include a denial or termination of deferred action.''
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington.
possibly unconstitutional ways for people to stay in the country.'' Catron said U.S. Citizenship
The sweep also captured five immigrants with protective applications pending and 19 others who had already been denied
protection from deportation under the program. Earlier, ICE Director Sarah Saldana said the operation focused on ``the worst of the worst criminals.'' ``This was a targeted enforcement operation, aimed specifically at enhancing public safety,'' Saldana said. ``It exemplifies our core mission, by taking dangerous criminals off the streets and removing them from the country we are addressing a very significant security and public safety vulnerability.'' ICE agents arrested 2,059 convicted immigrants, including more than 1,000 people who had multiple convictions. More than 98 percent of those arrested in the weeklong operation were a top priority, Saldana said. In November, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced new deportation priorities as part of Obama's planned expansion of programs to shield millions of immigrants from de-
portation. The top priority includes immigrants suspected of being terrorists, gang members, convicted felons and those caught crossing the border illegally. The second priority includes immigrants convicted of three or more misdemeanors or a single serious misdemeanor, such as drunken driving or domestic violence. Homeland Security Department documents say participation in the program can be revoked at any time. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which approves applications, reported to the House Judiciary Committee last year the government stripped that protection from 113 people as of August. The revocations included one case of gang membership, one aggravated assault, 11 driving-under-the-influence cases and 11 errors by USCIS, according to the committee. -AP
March 20, 2015
NEW JERSEY Upcoming Sat, Mar 28 • Gandhiji My Mentor - Gujarati Natak Venue: Crossroads North Middle School, 635 Georges Rd, South Brunswick Township, NJ 08852 Time: 10:00 am Contact: 908-458-3047
Sat, Mar 21 • Rang Tarang 2015 Venue: Deewan Banquet, 560 Stelton Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 Time: 11:00 am Contact: 609 354 8080
Sat, Apr 4
• Prevention Is Power – Health Awareness Day Venue: East Brunswick Public Library, 2 Civic Center Dr, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 Time : 11:00 am
NEW YORK Upcoming 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
Sat, May 9 • Ranjeet Rajwada Prince Of Ghazal Venue: Hindu Auditorium, 143-09 Holly Ave, Flushing, NY 11355 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 347-989-6104
India Post 47
Sat, Mar 21 • Adnan Sami Live In Concert - Bay Area Venue: City National Civic Center, 135 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95113 Timet: 7:30 pm Contact: 510-371-9999
Sat, Mar 28 • The Leela Tnstitute for the Art Venue: Ektaa Center 2691 Richter Ave., Suite 104 Time: 6:30 pm
Venue: Baylands Park, Sunnyvale, 999 E Caribbean Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94089 Time: 11:00 am Contact: 4089815995
Kalyana Souganthigam Venue: CET Anthony Soto Theater, 701,Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 408-252-1359
Fri, Apr 10 • Raga Boyz With Live Band Venue: Chandni Restaurant, 5748 Mowry School Road, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 408-881-4501
Sat, May 16 • Isayum Thendral The healing breeze Venue: DMarsee Performing Center, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506 Time : 05:00 pm
Venue: Meadows Club In Rolling Meadows Illinois Time: 4:00 to 7:00 pm Contact: www.PCSChicago.org
1st and 3rd Sunday of Month • Chicago Children's
Venue: Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807
Sat, Mar 28 • Bollywood Blast!! You Think
Sun, Mar 29 • Kathakali Dance Ballet -
Sat, Apr 4 • "Rangla Punjab 2015"
Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes
Celebration with DJ Vish
Venue: Club OMG, 43 6th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 Timet: 9:00 p.m
Sat, Mar 28 • Rang De Basanti - A Gala Holi
You Can Dance???
ATLANTA Upcoming Sun, Mar 22 • Ugadi Utsavalu 2015 Venue: Holy Trinity Banquet Hall,20523 Huebner Rd, San Antonio, Tx Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 210-669-7124
Sat, Apr 26 • CMA Walkathon 2015 - for CORD Venue: Settles Bridge Park, 380 Johnson Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024 Time: 9:00 am Contact: 678-428-4718
Mon, Aug 31 • MITHAS 2014 Membership Venue: Wong Auditorium, MIT, 70 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142 Time: 07:00 pm Contact: 857-205-9731
Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105
Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105
Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105
March 20, 2015
For Classifieds Ads Call NORTHERN CA (Sonia) Tel: 510-938-8668 email@example.com (Priya) Tel. 510-275-4467 firstname.lastname@example.org SOUTHERN CA (Shashi Trivedi) Tel: 562-441-5511/ Fax: 562-947-0632 email@example.com CHICAGO (Ramesh Soparawala) Tel: 773-973-7394 / Fax: 773-973-7396 firstname.lastname@example.org NEW YORK (Pinky) Tel: 908 338 3752 email@example.com
Serve as an Election Judge. GET PAID. The Cook County Clerkâ€™s office is looking for community members to serve as suburban election judges for the April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election. Itâ€™s a unique opportunity to get paid for serving voters and supporting local democracy. Election Judges are paid $175. (In some areas there are opportunities to earn $325 for taking on more responsibility for operating our voting equipment.) Bilingual judges who speak Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Spanish, or Chinese are always needed to assist voters. Visit cookcountyclerk.com/judges or CALL
to learn more and submit an application.
March 20, 2015
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar
March 20th - March 26th 2015 (March 21 to April 20)
ome money will go to government in shape of fine, penalty or taxes. Just remember whatever initiative you take, do it with confidence or it will misfire. Enjoy the company of a new colleague but within legal parameters. Planets will continue to help students stay well ahead in the education. You will buy some new cloths.
(April 21 to May 20)
ind will be towards enjoying life to max this week and you will take advantage of the good weather and extra time on hands. New relationship will continue to move in the right direction. Some of you may start a venture in partnership with some very hard working people. Spouse may still complain of aches and pain in joints.
(May 21 to June 20)
ransiting Saturn in sixth will help those seeking a change in job/career this week. Interview will go well and the offer may also come quick. People in business will spend more money and add new inventory/items. It will be better to check mail on regular basis in order to stay on top of everything. Old payments will come in mail.
(June 21 to July 22)
t will be very favorable week. Life changAnd in a hurry you will end up paying more for the items. A property deal will bring in much needed cash in your pockets. opportunity will come and you will try to analyze it with a cool and rational mind. Change of diet will help you loose some weight. An old friend will call to invite you to a big event in coming month.
(July 23 to August 22)
(November 23 to December 22)
t will be better to maintain a low profile for next few weeks. Don't gamble too much and avoid investing heavily in a new project. An old health issue will pop up again and over the counter medicines will be helpful. Car may need little repair. Mind will not be at peace and you may change your plans and not attend a religious event.
(August 23 to September 22)
ou will need lots of patience with spouse or business partners. Offer will come better than expected but will require you to relocate. It will be better to delay all important decisions for another time and seek outside help. A visitor will bring some nice gifts. Some of you will make up your mind to go back for higher education.
(September 23 to October 22)
ressure at work is on increase and some of you may continue your search for another opportunity closer to home. Bachelors may meet someone nice but from a different culture. Transiting Sun in sixth will help those appearing in a competitive exam or people involved in litigation. Money wise things will improve.
(October 23 to November 22)
ome of you may have to travel to a hot and dry area for business this week. Things will get little relaxed at work and boss may invite you to discuss an important project. You may miss some one who at one time was very close. You may also visit a holy place with family this week. A big stocks transaction will bring in extra cash.
PANDIT PARASHAR, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
usiness trip will be more beneficial than earlier expected. Do not ignore any legal papers on desk and respond before you have to pay penalty. Your search for an ideal property will continue and you may even look at couple of properties this week. You may also spend some money on repairs to one of your vehicle.
(December 22 to January 19)
iplomatic approach will get the job done and paper will get signed on the spot. You may seek advise from a learned person. Just don't take any hasty decision about career and stay where ever you are. Mind will lean towards and you may visit a holy place this week. You may dispose off something piling up dust and make some money.
(January 20 to February 18)
hings will work out the way you want and it will make you cheerful. People around will notice the remarkable change in your personality. People in business will spend more on advertising. You will get a chance to spend quality time with a very successful and famous person and learn few very good things from him.
(February 19 to March 20)
nd in a hurry you will end up paying more for the items. A property deal will bring in much needed cash in your pockets. opportunity will come and you will try to analyze it with a cool and rational mind. Change of diet will help you loose some weight. An old friend will call to invite you to a big event in coming month.
50 India Post
March 20, 2015
Vignettes from Shigmo Festival that showcases traditional Goan culture. -Pics Preeti Verma Lal
PREETI VERMA LAL
nd you thought Goa was only about sticking the toe in the silken sand, getting a bronzette on a sunbed and quaffing a sundowner cashew feni. Not for me on that beautiful Spring evening. The sound of the thrashing waves was not humming in my ears, neither was my iris laden with the cerulean blue of the Mandovi River. That Spring evening, another Goa was unfolding. In the oompah beat of the dhol, the clank of the ghungroo and the hubbub of a festive crowd, I found myself amidst a sea of bright oranges, emerald greens, chaste whites of a Goa that not many know or talk of. Sitting on a white chair in the Panjim's VIP enclosure, I thought I was leafing through a sepia-toned book on Goan folklore. Just that it was not a book - I
was watching the annual Shigmo parade. Borrowing from the Prakrit word Suggimaho and Sanskrit Sugrishmaka, and also known as Shishirotsava, Shigmo is a Konkani Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. Held in the month of phalgun, Shigmo is a fortnight-long festival that includes Holi and parades showcasing traditional music and dance as well as elaborately built tableaux that depict scenes from Hindu mythology and legends. There are two different ways of celebrating Shigmo: Dhakto Shigmo (small Shigmo) and Vhadio Shigmo (big Shigmo). Dhakto begins five days before the phalgun full-moon day and ends on the full-moon day in the Old Conquests area of Goa. Interestingly, Vhadio Shigmo, a 5-day celebration begins on the full-moon day in the New Conquests areas of Goa.
India Post 51
March 20, 2015 www.indiapost.com
Indian scribe & Starbucks plan films, TV shows HOUSTON: US-based coffee retail giant Starbucks is teaming up with long-time Indian-American journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran to produce "constructive" films and TV shows around issues "that matter" The new media start-up "will create and produce non-fiction, social impact content," according to the company's founder Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who bid adieu to The Washington Post for this venture on March 2. The company will start with producing television and film projects around Chandrasekaran's 2014 book 'For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice.' "I am not doing this so they can sell more cups of coffee. What we are doing is trying to play a posi-
tive and constructive role - and broaden understanding across the country around issues that matter to our nation," he said in an interview. His new venture is an outgrowth of a collaboration last year with Starbucks CEO Howard
Schultz on a book about US veterans. Schultz has made social causes an important part of the company's mission since he rejoined it fulltime in 2008. Chandrasekaran has had several jobs at The Post, including
national editor, assistant managing editor and Baghdad bureau chief. He is also the author of 'Imperial Life in the Emerald City,' a book about the post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq, which won the Overseas Press Club book award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Chandrasekaran also covered the David Petraeus affair for The Washington Post, chronicling the scandal's effect on other military officials, the lifestyle perks afforded a top general and the embattled official's consultation of civilian military analysts. Chandrasekaran said his departure from The Post is "not a reflection of how I feel about the newspaper business," but rather the uniqueness of the opportunity that grew out of his work with
Schultz. "I think the Post is a remarkable place today," he said, describing it as brimming with energy and dynamism. -PTI
IIFA Awards returns to Malaysia after 13 years NEW DELHI: The 2015 edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards is set to enthrall Bollywood fans in Malaysia as the annual prize-giving ceremony will be held in the city of Kuala Lumpur in June. This is the second time IIFA will be traveling to Malaysia. The Bollywood awards ceremony was last held in the country in 2002. "We are going to Malaysia in the first week of June. We had a great time in Malaysia in 2002. We are coming back after 13 years. It is a great destination, a lot of our movies are being shot there off late so it will enhance the business locally. It is going to be fun," Andre Timmins, spokesperson IIFA, told PTI. Timmins revealed that the other contending cities to host this year's ceremony were Bangkok, Thailand and Madrid. "We were in talks with Bangkok and Madrid. We are going to continue our dialogue with Spain for hosting future editions but Malaysia won it because the
country connects strongly to India and Bollywood and also in terms of business and tourism," he said. Last year's IIFA in Tampa Bay, US, was a great success with the involvement of Hollywood per-
sonalities like Kevin Spacey and John Travolta among others, he said. Timmins said that they are hoping to replicate the success this year with the involvement of South stars like Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and Vijay among oth-
ers. "We are going to work around what we normally do like there is going to be fashion, music and the main awards. What we did with Kevin Spacey and John Travolta we are going to do that this year with south stars. They are extremely popular. We will make them do things that they have not done in the past," Timmins said. "Kamal Haasan has come to IIFA very often. We will try to get Rajinikanth, Vijay, Kamal, it all depends on who is available at that time," he added. This year's event will span over three days and will include
film and music workshops, fashion shows, fans meet-and-greet, technical awards and media briefings of forthcoming movies. Timmins said that the organizers Wizcraft are closely working with the ministry of tourism and also trying to involve local TV stars at IIFA. This will be the 16th edition of the awards ceremony which was instituted in 2000. When asked what steps are being taken to revitalize the event, Timmins said, "So the reinvention of the next 15 years will happen from 2017. We are coming up with a plan about what we are going to do with the brand." -PTI
52 India Post
March 20, 2015 www.indiapost.com
Soon, computers that function like human brain LONDON: New research using optical fibers made of specialty glass can pave the way for faster and smarter computers capable of learning and evolving like the human brain, scientists say. Researchers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, UK, and Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies (CDPT) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, have demonstrated how neural networks and synapses in the brain can be reproduced, with optical pulses as information carriers, using special fibers made from glasses that are sensitive to light, known as chalcogenides.
"Since the dawn of the computer age, scientists have sought ways to mimic the behavior of the human brain, replacing neurons and our nervous system with electronic switches and memory," said co-author Professor Dan Hewak from the ORC. "Now instead of electrons, light and optical fibers also show promise in achieving a brain-like computer. The cognitive functionality of central neurons underlies the adaptable nature and information processing capability of our brains," Hewak said. Compared to our biological systems, today's computers are more than a million times less efficient. Simulating five seconds of brain activity takes 500 seconds
and needs 1.4 MW of power, compared to the small number of calo-
The research paves the way for scalable brain-like computing systems that enable 'photonic neurons' with ultra fast signal transmission speeds, higher bandwidth and lower power consumption
This too is Goa! Shigmo Festival reveals its traditional folklore Cont'd from Page 50
As the evening grew darker and the beat of the dhol and taso hit a crescendo, I could not distinguish between a naman and a jot
(two different kinds of songs) nor the steps of various dances like talgadi, hanpet, ghopa and lamp dance but I was tapping my foot to songs that I could not fathom the lyrics of. Men in fake moustaches and silver swords were raising war cries while women wearing
the nine-yard sarees with flowers in their hair danced with lamps on their head. Little children in traditional costume carried placards and matched the steps of versatile dancers. After
ries burned by the human brain. Using conventional fiber draw-
the street performances came 35 floats, each more intricately decked than the other. Showcasing traditional culture at Shim is a painstaking chore. With more than 1 lakh participants, preparations for Shigmo begin in earnest 15 days before the event. Says Mangaldas Naik, Vice President, Panjim Shigmo Committee, "The festivity of Shigmo in Panjim is growing every passing year and people from all over come to Panjim to witness Goa's traditional folklore, dances as well as tableaux depicting Indian and Hindu mythology". During the Shigmo celebrations, Goa metamorphosed from a cliched beach/food destination to a land with a million cultural hues.
ing techniques, microfibres can be produced from chalcogenide (glasses based on sulphur) that possess a variety of broadband photo induced effects, which allow the fibers to be switched on and off. This optical switching can be exploited for a variety of next generation computing applications capable of processing vast
amounts of data in a much more energy-efficient manner. By exploiting the material properties of the chalcogenides fibers, the team led by Professor Cesare Soci at NTU have demonstrated a range of optical equivalents of brain functions. These include holding a neural resting state and simulating the changes in electrical activity in a nerve cell as it is stimulated. In the proposed optical version of this brain function, the changing properties of the glass act as the varying electrical activity in a nerve cell, and light provides the stimulus to change these properties. This enables switching of a light signal, which is the equivalent to a nerve cell firing. The research paves the way for scalable brain-like computing systems that enable 'photonic neurons' with ultra fast signal transmission speeds, higher bandwidth and lower power consumption than their biological and electronic counterparts. The research was published in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.-PTI
Masaba engaged to film producer Mantena MUMBAI: Fashion designer Masaba Gupta is engaged to producer Madhu Mantena. Masaba, the daughter of Neena Gupta and cricketer Vivian Richards, has been dating the co-founder of Phantom Films for sometime and the duo made it official in a ceremony recently. The designer, who is known for her quirky fashion sense, took to Twitter to share her excitement in a lyrical tweet. "Yes-
terday was my engagement. And today I am happy. And in 7 days I have a show. Thank you for the love now back to work (sic)," she posted. Masaba is currently prepping for her upcoming fashion outing at the India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter. Her engagement saw many of Bollywood's A-listers in attendance including Sidharth Malhotra. Neena was also seen with the happy couple. -PTI
Madhu Mantena and Masaba Gupta
March 20, 2015
India Post 53
Page Sponsored by Sahanis ANNIE BESANT & C.W. LEADBEATER
ach definite thought produces a double effect - a radiating vibration and a floating form. The thought itself appears first to clairvoyant sight as a vibration in the mental body, and this may be either simple or complex. If the thought itself is absolutely simple, there is only the one rate of vibration, and only one type of mental matter will be strongly affected. The majority of human thoughts are by no means simple. Absolutely pure affection of course exists; but we very often find it tinged with pride or with selfishness, with jealousy or with animal passion. This means that at least two separate vibrations appear both in the mental and astral bodies - frequently more than two. The radiating vibration, therefore, will be a complex one, and the resultant thought-form will show several colors instead of only one. How the Vibration Acts These radiating vibrations become less powerful in proportion to the distance from their source, though it is probable that the variation is in proportion to the cube of the distance instead of to the square, because of the additional dimension involved. These vibrations tend to reproduce themselves whenever opportunity is offered to them; and so whenever they strike upon another
rich man owned 19 horses when he died. In his last will and testament he had written that upon his death, half the horses he owned should go to his only son; one fourth to the village temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The village elders could not stop scratching their heads. How can they give half of the 19 horses to the son? You cannot cut up a horse. They puzzled over this dilemma for more than two weeks and then decided to send for a wise man who was living in a neighboring village. The wise man came riding on his horse and asked the villagers if he could be of any help to them. The village elders told him about the rich man's last will and testament which stated that half of the (19) horses must be given to his only son, one fourth must go to the temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The wise man said he will solve their problem. He had the 19 horses placed in a row standing next to one another. Then he added his own horse as the 20th horse. Now he went about giving half of the 20 horses - that is ten horses, to the son. One fourth of
mental body they tend to provoke in it their own rate of motion. That is - from the point of view of the man whose mental body is touched by these waves - they tend to produce in his mind thoughts of the same type as that which had previously arisen in the mind of the thinker who sent forth the waves. The distance to which such thought-waves penetrate, and the force and persistency with which they impinge upon the mental bodies of others, depend upon the
of his enunciation. In just the same way the forceful thought will carry very much further than the weak and undecided thought; but clearness and definiteness are of even greater importance than strength. Again, just as the speaker's voice may fall upon heedless ears where men are already engaged in business or in pleasure, so may a mighty wave of thought sweep past without affecting the mind of the man, if he be already deeply engrossed in some other line of thought.
A man thinking keenly upon some high subject pours out from himself vibrations which tend to stir up thought at a similar level in others, but they in no way suggest to those others the special subject of his thought. They naturally act with special vigor upon those minds already habituated to vibrations of similar character; yet they have some effect on every mental body upon which they impinge, so that their tendency is to awaken the power of higher thought in those to whom it has
A man thinking along high lines is doing missionary work The forceful thought will carry very much further than the weak and undecided thought; but clearness and definiteness are of even greater importance than strength. Annie Besant & C.W. Leadbeater
strength and clearness of the original thought. In this way the thinker is in the same position as the speaker. The voice of the latter sets in motion waves of sound in the air which radiate from him in all directions, and convey his message to all those who are within hearing, and the distance to which his voice can penetrate depends upon its power and upon the clearness
This radiating vibration conveys the character of the thought, but not its subject. If a Hindu sits rapt in devotion to Krishna, the waves of feeling which pour forth from him stimulate devotional feeling in all those who come under their influence, though in the case of the Muhammadan that devotion is to Allah or for the Christian to Jesus.
not yet become a custom. It is thus evident that every man who thinks along high lines is doing missionary work, even though he may be entirely unconscious of it. Excerpted from the book 'Thought Forms.' Annie Besant (1847- 1933) & C.W. Leadbeater (1854-1934) were leaders of Theosophical Society
20, that is 5 horses were given to the temple committee. One fifth of twenty - that is 4 horses were given to the faithful servant. Ten plus five plus four made 19 horses. The remaining 20th horse was his own which he promptly mounted, spoke a few inspiring words, and rode back home. The villagers were simply dumfounded, full of disbelief and filled
about facing the day's happenings. Ever come across problems in life that are seemingly insurmountable? The wise man continued: Add the God Principle in our daily lives and the problems will become lighter and eventually disappear. In the manner of the ice which, with the addition of the heat principle will turn into water, and that
ing the mind Godward. But without true love and devotion entering into it, it remains like a boat without water. It is not difficult to push a boat that is floating in water, but extremely hard to drag the same boat on dry land. In the same way, if our life's boat floats on the waters of true love and devotion, we can sail easily in it. The principle of love
Tibetan sayings True happiness does not lie in the external world, it is not dependent on the acquisition of material comforts or other people. Your happiness lies within you. If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. There is no suffering. There is no source of this suffering. There is no stopping this suffering. There is no path to stop this suffering. For a passing infatuation it is the beauty that counts, for a life long love it is the goodness that counts.
Add the God Principle in our daily lives
When you open your eyes, I see your heart. When I close my eyes, I see the world.
Add the God Principle in our daily lives and the problems will become lighter and eventually disappear. In the manner of the ice which, with the addition of the heat principle will turn into water
Misfortune and happiness reside in the spirit. Heat and cold reside in the hands of the sun.
with admiration. And the parting words of the wise man were inscribed in their hearts and minds which they greatly cherished and passed on to their succeeding generations. The wise man said: In our daily lives, in our daily affairs, simply add God's name and then go
will eventually evaporate as steam and disappear. And how do we add God's name (God principle) in our daily lives? Through prayers, filled with true love and devotion with sincerity of purpose and dedication that only total faith can bring about. Meditation is a powerful means of direct-
of God and devotion with total faith makes easy the voyage of our lives. When the mind is pure and the heart full of simplicity and holiness, the devotee becomes an instrument in the service of the Lord. Story from ancient India; origin unknown
The powerful roar of the dragon is empty. The iridescent colors of the rainbow are only illusions. One has to know joy and pain to recognize happiness and misfortune.
sure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs
March 20, 2015
Non-proliferation, fissile material cut-offs & nuclear transparency
ools that promote a stable nuclear relationship between nations are characterized by a congruence of views on non-proliferation of weapon and vector technologies, fissile material control and strategic transparency; the last makes clear the strategic underpinnings that motivate weapon programs. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which was negotiated in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, is the corner stone of all international efforts to provide stability within the bounds of a globally 'iniquitous' nuclear regulatory system by limiting access to nuclear weapons. The impetus behind the NPT was a stated concern for the safety of a world with many nuclear weapon States. It was recognized that the Cold War deterrent relationship between just the US and the Soviet Union was fragile. Hav-
agreed to forego nuclear armament because the nuclear-armed States made a promise that in return they would work towards nuclear reductions with the ultimate aim of abandoning all nuclear weapons and because the nuclear have-nots had been promised support in making strictly peaceful use of nuclear energy. The system has not evolved to find a status for the last category of players whose security needs were neither addressed nor any remission given. Western thinking (by which is implied the nuclear haves) on the matter is, regrettably, dominated by only two issues: how best to retain the power exclusivity of the 'Nuclear Club' and the situation in the Middle East. Questions related to nuclear proliferation, hazards of non-State actors gaining access to nuclear weapons and stability of nuclear relations, on the other hand, have taken a back seat.
The US and Russia, as the States with by far the biggest nuclear arsenals, have neither shown the imagination nor the will to formulate a new dispensation that holds nuclear stability as a function of enforceable transparency and an acceptance of No First Use ing more nuclear weapon States would reduce security for all, multiplying the risks of miscalculation, accidents, unauthorized use of weapons and the hazards of regional tensions escalating to nuclear conflict. The concept of the NPT process was formulated by Frank Aiken, Irish Minister for External Affairs, in 1958. A total of 190 States have joined the Treaty, though North Korea, which acceded to the NPT in 1985 but never came into compliance, announced its withdrawal in 2003. States that have never joined the NPT are India, Israel, and Pakistan. The NPT is, unfortunately, a flawed treaty; while its origins predate the Cuban Crisis, it was the fragility of the existing fraught relationship between the two super powers that pushed leadership towards a pact that restricted possession of nuclear weapons. Based on a 'bargain' that traded denial of nuclear weapons for peaceful use technologies, it distinguishes between three categories of States: nuclear-weapon States (the US, Russia, UK, France, and China), non-nuclear weapons States and thirdly States that are not signatories of the Treaty in possession of nuclear weapons (India, Israel and Pakistan). Many of the non-nuclear weapons States
The US and Russia, as the States with by far the biggest nuclear arsenals, have neither shown the imagination nor the will to formulate a new dispensation that holds nuclear stability as a function of enforceable transparency and an acceptance of No First Use as an inviolable first step towards disarmament. On the ground, the US accuses Russia of violating the Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) treaty that commits both sides to abolishing their intermediate-range nuclear arms; there is no progress in matters of multilateral nuclear disarmament; the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a distant illusion as the US has still failed to ratify the treaty; there are no negotiations or an agreed agenda over stopping the production of fissile material for military purposes; the Geneva Conference on Disarmament that is intended for this purpose cannot agree on the principles that will govern the Treaty. While transparency in arsenals and doctrines has been rendered opaque as nuclear weapon States have found new reason to enlarge and modernize. In this milieu 'Global Zero' remains a Utopian ideal. Persuasive argument The 'cardiac' arrest in the nuclear
disarmament agenda is more symptomatic of the growing perception that in an uncertain world, nuclear weapons provide a persuasive argument for strategic stability. During the Cold War, strategic doctrines relied heavily on nuclear weapons for their deterrent effect; it resulted in a veritable freeze in the probability of war in Europe. Today, while the picture may have changed due to tensions of the multipolar and the competitive tyranny of economics, the need to underscore the boundaries of inter-State behavior remains an imperative. In the absence of globally accepted regulatory regimes not only are conflictual situations likely to arise and have indeed arisen, but there is also a necessity that these conflicts remain restrained; this is where the deterrent value of nuclear weapons plays a role till such time that an alternate disincentive can be devised. It is also for this reason that nations are increasingly demanding reliable extended nuclear deterrence. The escalating friction in the South and East China Seas; the war in Ukraine where a nuclear-armed Moscow has arrogated Crimea (and parts of eastern Ukraine) in defiance of the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum; the seemingly irrational nature of North Korea's nuclear threats; the continued existence of nuclear black market networks of AQ Khan notoriety; the appearance of non-State actors into the equation and China's program of nuclear proliferation which has nurtured and continues to sustain and enlarge Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, are all demonstrative of the current apocalyptical state of play. For many nations, this has reinforced the impression that possession of nuclear weapons adds-up to strength, protection, and inviolability; while foregoing nuclear weapons can threaten the very existence of the State. As the importance of nuclear weapons increases in a geopolitical environment of uncertainty the prospects of stability becomes bleaker. An appraisal of the contemporary universal state of nuclear affairs will suggest that the three pillars of global nuclear stability, namely, non-proliferation, control of fissile material production and transparency of nuclear arsenals are wobbly for lack of foundational support. And in the truancy of global foundational support, the answer may well lie in establishing a regional framework of dĂŠtente. The writer is former Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command of India
India Post Wanted consensus
n India, a messy democracy, where diversity of even views is celebrated, what one misses is consensus on important issues. India's Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramaniam said in a recent address at Washington's prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics that it was unreasonable to expect big bang reforms in India because power is so dispersed and "there are so many veto centers - the Centre, the states, different institutions." It was heartening therefore that the two mainstream parties, the BJP and the Congress came together to pass the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill which had been hanging fire since 2008. The bill increases the foreign investment limit in insurance from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, thus opening up the sector. This was sorely needed because this is an industry in which firms need huge capital to expand their business and also adequately provide for all claims against policies issued. Such large sums can come only from specialist foreign insurers. This was known to the Congress party also. In fact while passing the bill, Congress members made it known that had it not been for the opposition earlier from the BJP, major financial reforms would have been on track. It is true that while in opposition, the BJP did not allow the Insurance Bill tabled by the previous UPA government to be passed. Till now, the Congress did the same, despite claiming the proposed reform law as "our baby". In the same vein of co-operation, the coal, mines and minerals bill has also been passed. With the coming to power of the Modi government on the promise of economic reforms, the Congress is also aware that it has been punished for lack of movement on economic reforms. That may be one reason for its co-operation. But its opposition to the Land Acquisition Bill continues and along with other parties in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP is in minority, they have pledged to block the bill. The Modi government is bent upon making it easier for it and the industry to acquire land for infrastructure development. Modi recently went back to electioneering mode when he accused the Opposition parties, during a speech, of not allowing the rural areas to have roads, schools and hospitals thus forcing their young to migrate to Delhi slums to lead dismal lives. He wanted the land bill to pass so as to provide better infrastructure in villages. The villagers have also become more conscious of their rights and are loth to surrender claim on their land for lowly sums. Also, because of their experience with previous governments, they are afraid of being duped. The earlier Congress bill on land acquisition provided for consent of at least 70 percent of the landowners. The Modi government has circulated a list of nine amendments it plans to bring in the bill proposal, including putting in place a hassle-free mechanism for grievance redressal and removing the exemption to social infrastructure projects in public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Social activist Anna Hazare has also gone into agitation mode over the Government's bid to dilute the consent clause in the bill. He is busy rallying farmers for a march and rally against the bill in Delhi. Farmers also feel concerned and the government needs to reassure them. Sensing an issue which could revive its fortunes, the Congress led by its president marched to Rashtrapati Bhavan and presented a memorandum against the bill to President Mukherjee. The Modi government is accused of riding roughshod over the farmers' rights. At the same time there is impatience over it not moving fast enough on providing infrastructural development. Can there be a meeting ground where both the farmers' rights are protected by giving them a say in the future use of their land? The Congress knows it was brought down because of lack of progress on development. If it again blocks development, what does it expect from the electorate?
March 20, 2015
India Post 55
56 India Post
March 20, 2015
Voice of Indians Worldwide