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Rousing SF welcome for first direct AI flight Details on page 16

Time launches India Awards for manufacturing

VOL 21, No. 1107

December 11, 2015

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Periodical Postage

SUMMONS TO SONIA: CONG ON WARPATH

India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: The Congress has declared war on the BJP-led government over a case against party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, and a big casualty could be the key reform, the Goods and Services Tax or GST. "The GST Bill has gone for a sky walk," Anand Sharma, the Congress' deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Furious lawmakers of the main opposition party forced repeated adjournments in both houses on Tuesday Dec 8, not allowing Parliament to function at all as they raised slogans alleging a "political vendetta" against the Gandhis. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper, and a judge has ruled that they must appear in court. The petitioner in the case is BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Details on page 5

Details on page 6 GETTING OLD BUDDY? Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama greets Holllywood Actor Richard Gere during the Unveiling of the Foundation Plaque of the NIMHANS Integrated Centre for Yoga organized by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru on December 7 (Details on page 8)

Govt seeks NRI funds to clean Ganga Details on page 8

India's historic Test series win over SA Details on page 9

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

Is court summons to Sonia Gandhi political move? Last week’s result

Should India play cricket with Pakistan? YES 63%

NO 37%

Antony Blinken & S Jaishankar

India, US take stock of bilateral relations Details on page 6

UP Pravasi Diwas from 4-6 January Details on page 6

Indian-American to get UP Ratna Award Details on page 6

US backs IndoPak steps to reduce tension Details on page 8

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 48 Community Post -------------- 16-26 Date Book -------------------------- 47 Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 34-37 Horoscope ------------------------- 38 Immigration Post ------------- 44-45 Life Style ----------------------- 50-53 Philosophy ------------------------- 49 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 31-32 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-15 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43

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December 11, 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.

Publisher’s Diary

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oes one mourn differently over the death of a loved one depending on how that death may have occurred? I mean, does the intensity of grief vary if someone died of natural causes, or has been a victim of an accident, crime, natural disaster or a terrorist attack? So how does an administration deal with death caused by, say, a psychopath on a rampage and a person who kills in the name of religion? The questions arise because in recent weeks we have had so many killings around us that expressing a reaction and announcing a subsequent action are becoming ever so difficult for our governments. But what gets really ridiculous is intellectual rhetoric and vitriol from the likes of Donald Trump. So if in the wake of a mass shooting at a school the Trump barks for all students to be armed with guns while at school, somehow his logic and rationale tell him that all Muslims should be banned from the US when two radicalized Muslims kill people at a disability service center. How would it be, I wonder, if it was made mandatory for all homes, buildings, institutions, malls, theaters, schools, offices, and every other enclosed space to be fitted with guns in glass cases similar to those fire extinguishers? Surprising isn't it, that even though the most favored tool of death for anyone with an inclination to kill is the gun somehow no one ever talks of shutting down gun factories? Perhaps it is Obama who is being hypocritical when he talks of gun control; at least in asking for children to be armed for self defense, Trump is being realistic. It's that ship of paradox that has long sailed out around the world where the most lucrative industry is the mercenary weapons industry; where most deaths are caused in gun violence; where the most human misery is caused by guns. But of course I am being naïve. If it was human well being that was at the heart of the rulers, there would be no tobacco or poppy cultivation, there would be no weapons industry; there would be no nuclear bombs.

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Kajol to rescue At a waterfall in Iceland, SRK slipped and almost lost his life had it not been for Kajol’s presence of mind

Cover Story: Summons to Sonia The Congress has declared war on the BJP-led government over a case against party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

Community: Support to Raja Several prominent leaders of Dallas Indian community have given full support to Raja Krishnamoorthi’s candidature

Birthright denied Immigrant parents are claiming the state is denying "birthright" U.S. citizenship for their Texas-born children

Life style: Deepika in Hollywood Deepika Padukone has bagged a role opposite mega blockbuster superstar Vin Diesel of the Fast and Furious fame.

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Indian income In view of the India-US Agreement Indian banks are seeking information from account holders regarding US connections.

Gangotri One of the main religious places among the four Char Dham pilgrimage areas, Gangotri, is closely related to Ganga

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Summons to Sonia: Cong on warpath India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: The Congress has declared war on the BJP-led government over a case against party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, and a big casualty could

Reuters as saying. Furious lawmakers of the main opposition party forced repeated adjournments in both houses on Tuesday Dec 8, not allowing Parliament to function at all as they raised slogans alleging a "politi-

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

be the key reform, the Goods and Services Tax or GST. "The GST Bill has gone for a sky walk," Anand Sharma, the Congress' deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha was quoted by

cal vendetta" against the Gandhis. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National

Court directs Sonia to appear on Dec 19 NEW DELHI: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others have been directed to appear in person on December 19 by a Delhi court which allowed their plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day in the National Herald case. Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for their clients. "We are very keen to come before the court," Singhvi told Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, adding, "Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr Subramanian Swamy." Swamy, who has filed the case, however, told the court that there are seven accused in the case and this date was fixed in September itself. "Accused number 2 (Rahul Gandhi) has left for Chennai this

morning," he said. The magistrate, however, told the defense counsel to ensure that all the accused appear before the court on the next date of hearing on December 19. "Make sure that all the accused appear on December 19. I am giving exemption from personal appearance only for today. Don't come in the morning on December 19. You come at 3 PM," the magistrate said. During the brief hearing in the jam-packed courtroom, the court said, "Is the judgment of the (Delhi) High Court on the net? Can I see it?" Responding to the court's query, Swamy placed a copy of the verdict of the high court delivered before the court. During the hearing, senior counsel Ramesh Gupta told the magistrate that accused Sam Pitroda is presently in the United States and they will try their best that he appears before the court on December 19. Cont’d on page 6

Herald newspaper, and a judge has ruled that they must appear in court. The petitioner in the case is BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. The disruption of Parliament was the "start" of a protest over the court case, warned a senior leader of the Congress, which has stalled previous sessions, not allowing important reforms, including the GST, to be passed. The winter session is seen as the government's last real chance to push the GST bill through Parliament in time to meet a deadline to implement it by April 1, 2016. Despite having a substantial majority in the lower house or Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs the support of the Congress to get the constitutional amendment through the upper house. Hopes were raised that the long-delayed legislation would see the light of day this year after PM Modi invited Congress President Sonia Gandhi for tea and talks late last month. Meanwhile, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a Congress spokesperson and a lawyer representing the Gandhis said they were willing to appear in court, but sought more time and will be in court on December 19. Mr Singhvi said the case was an example of a "political vendetta at its worst". In Parliament House Sonia Gandhi told NDTV, "I was asked in the morning if I was afraid. I replied that I am the daughter-inlaw of Mrs Indira Gandhi and I am not afraid of anybody or anything." Her son Rahul said while touring rain-hit Puducherry, "This is the way the Union Government tries to silence me. It will not happen and I will continue to ask questions and put pressure on the government." The ruling BJP has hit back asking the Congress whether it is accusing the courts of being politically motivated. It has pointed out that the case was filed before it came to power. "The government has no role to play in it. This is the petition filed by a person, they should contest in the court why are they disrupting Parliament," said senior minister Venkaiah Naidu. Another minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "GST is for the benefit of the country. Except Congress all other parties have supported it. Now if Congress wants to oppose it only because it is facing cases in court, then the country will see it."

Jaitley rejects charge of political vendetta NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has rejected Congress' allegations of political vendetta, saying that the Modi government has nothing to do with the National Herald case. Attacking the Congress over disruption of Parliament on the issue, he asked party leaders - including party president Sonia Gandhi and deputy Rahul - to face

a private complaint is lodged in the case and the government is not involved. "The complainant has alleged violation of law and the court has said prima facie there is a violation. The court issued notice, the accused are summoned and they must appear before the court." The accused have a right to seek quashing. They sought a

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in Rajya Sabha during winter session of Parliament in New Delhi on December 8

the courts, saying India is not a quashing and failed, Jaitley banana republic in which the Par- added. liament or media can decide guilt "The government has done or innocence in such matters. nothing and if the government "Parliament does not decide were at some stage to find that an the guilt or innocence, nor does investigative agency were to find the media. India is not a banana some prima facie, they could do republic where the media or Par- so. They have not reached that liament will decide guilt or inno- stage," Jaitley said. cence in a private complaint." He said the remedy is to go and "No political vendetta. A pri- file an appeal against the order or vate complaint was lodged. Gov- to appear before the magistrate ernment had nothing to do with and face trial. "The remedy is not it. The high court has dismissed to disrupt Parliament." their case and asked them to go and face trial. Nobody in this country He said the remedy is has immunity from law. to go and file an appeal They can challenge the orders in a higher court against the order or to or face proceedings," appear before the he added. Jaitley was talking to magistrate and face trial reporters after both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day due to "Its India's misfortune that you repeated disruptions by Congress have a political party which has members over the Herald case. ruled this country for 50 years, The Delhi high court had, on Dec which when faced with criminal 8, dismissed Sonia and Rahul charge against its leaders and seGandhi's plea seeking quashing of rious criminal charge that the summons against them and ex- money collected for political puremption from personal appear- pose is used for real estate purance. poses," he said. Jaitley said the substance of He said a private complaint can court proceedings is that a politi- be filed by any citizen who feels cal party - Congress - collects there has been a criminal violafunds for political purpose, gets tion. "I am here and now challengtax exemption, but those funds ing the Congress party for a diswere transferred to a trust and cussion on this matter, like we ofthen a company by a series of fered the Congress party a discustransactions. sion on matters they demanded The finance minister also said during the last session."-PTI


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Time launches India Awards for manufacturing India Post News Service

NEW YORK: TIME, a Time Inc. brand, has announced the creation of the TIME India Awards, a recognition of leadership in Indian manu-

sented to three leaders in the categories of innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable manufacturing. TIME will release a short list of three finalists in each category at the World Economic Forum in

TIME will release a short list of three finalists in each category at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January. TIME will work closely with McKinsey & Company to identify the shortlist facturing. McKinsey & Company is the knowledge partner on this project. The TIME India Award winners will be announced on February 13, 2016 in Mumbai and will be pre-

Davos, Switzerland in January. TIME will work closely with McKinsey & Company to identify the shortlist, and a panel of elite judges, including global business

leaders, will determine the winners. "These are dynamic and challenging times for every economy and India is responding proactively and progressively," said Norman Pearlstine, Chief Content Officer, Time Inc., who will present the awards in February. "We are pleased to be working with McKinsey to identify the people and companies that are changing the Indian economy, which is the fastest growing in the world, from the inside out." "The Indian economy is likely to be a bright spot of growth on the global firmament in the coming decade," said Rajat Dhawan, senior director at McKinsey & Company in India. "Manufacturing in

UP Pravasi Diwas from 4-6 January India Post News Service

LUCKNOW: The Government of Uttar Pradesh, India jointly with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is organizing the first "U.P. Pravasi Diwas" from 4-6 January 2016, in the historical city of Agra. The government said in a press note that the proposed three-day "UP Pravasi Diwas" will provide NRIs with ample opportunity to interact with Cabinet Ministers, Senior Officers of Government of Uttar Pradesh and businessmen from across India. Highlights of U.P. Pravasi Diwas 2016 are: • Sharing of investment plans

and policies in Uttar Pradesh on sectors like, manufacturing, infrastructure development, urban transports, smart cities, industrial and social development, electronics, IT & ITeS and tourism etc. • Appraising steps taken for "Ease of doing business" initiatives by Government of Uttar Pradesh pertaining to industrial development and setting-up of your business. • Exchange of views of Indian Diaspora for developing Uttar Pradesh as a smart State. • Connecting Uttar Pradesh with Innovative and Knowledge network of Indian Diaspora. • Interface with senior officials from Government of Uttar

Pradesh for developing fast-track mechanism for absorbing and resolving U.P. Diaspora(s) issues related to business and other matters. • B2B and B2G meetings. • Heritage and Cultural trip. The registration process is online. Participants are requested to register after logon to www.upnri.com. The registration fee is USD 100 per delegate (Early Bird Offer), if they register their participation on and before 15th December 2015. It will be USD 125 per delegate w. e. f 16th December 2015 onwards till the closing of registration process. Special discount of 25% on registration fee for GOPIO members only.

Indian-American to get UP Ratna Award WASHINGTON: An IndianAmerican entrepreneur and philanthropist will be conferred with Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award to recognize his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign country. Frank Islam, 63, who was born in Uttar Pradesh's (UP) Azamgarh district and studied at Aligarh Muslim University, will be honored by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas in Agra on January 4. The UP Ratna award has been instituted to recognize achievements and outstanding contributions of NRIs who hail from the state. "Uttar Pradesh is where my journey started. It is where I grew up and spent the formative years. I am humbled and delighted to be honored by the state of Uttar Pradesh," Frank said in a statement.

"I feel a strong connection to the past and future of UP. I felt a reaffirmation of purpose to strive to improve the educational conditions for those who are less fortunate and underprivileged," he said. Frank came to the US in early 1970s to study at University of

Frank has donated USD two million to Aligarh Muslim University for the construction of a new school of management Colorado where he received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Computer Science. He founded an Information Technology firm the QSS in 1994 with him as the sole employee and built the company to more than 2,000 employees and sales of USD 300

million before selling it in 2007. Frank has donated USD two million to Aligarh Muslim University for the construction of a new school of management in the 140-year-old institution. He currently heads the FI Investment Group, a private investment holding company that he established in 2007. Frank has authored two books, Working the Pivot Points: To Make America Work Again (2013) and Renewing the American Dream: A Citizen's Guide for Restoring Our Competitive Advantage (2010). The UP Ratna Award is conferred to the NRIs, who hail from the state, for making significant contribution to the field of science, technology, culture, medicine, education, public service and commerce in foreign countries. The awardees get felicitated with a shawl, citation certificate and memento. -PTI

India has the potential to power this growth, and in the process transform millions of lives. We are delighted to partner with TIME in this seminal initiative to recognize the spirit of innovation, excellence and entrepreneurship in Indian

manufacturing." TIME is a global multimedia brand with an audience of more than 100 million worldwide, including its U.S and international magazine editions, Time.com, social media and TIME for Kids.

India, US take stock of bilateral relations NEW DELHI: India and US took stock of their bilateral relations including those of strategic interest. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken deliberated on a

rity scenario in the region. India and the US had managed to break the seven-year-old logjam in operationalising their landmark civil nuclear agreement during Obama's talks with Modi here in January.

US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken meets Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on December 7

range of key issues of mutual interests as part of the India-US Foreign Office Consultation. Jaishankar and Blinken also reviewed implementation of decisions taken during US President Barack Obama's visit here in January besides reviewing the secu-

Both sides had also agreed on four projects under the Defense Technology Transfer Initiative (DTTI) including exploring development of advanced jets in India. Issues relating trade, business and defense are understood to have figured in the deliberations. -PTI

Court directs Sonia to appear on Dec 19 Cont’d from page 5

To this, the court asked them to ensure that all the accused appear before it on December 19. The Delhi High Court had earlier rejected the pleas of Gandhis and others for quashing of the summons against them in the case and also turned down their pleas for exemption from personal appearance in the trial court. Along with the Gandhis, five other accused - Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd - had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a

complaint by Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily. The trial court had on June 26, last year summoned all the above accused to appear before it on August 7, 2014 on Swamy's complaint. The Congress leaders had, thereafter, on July 30, 2014, moved the high court which had stayed the summons on August 6, last year. Thereafter, on December 15, 2014, the court had further stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions. -PTI


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Govt seeks NRI funds to clean Ganga NEW DELHI: With surface cleaning of River Ganga's mainstream set to begin next year, Government has urged public and NRIs to contribute towards the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF). The Government has until now received approximately Rs 88 crore in the form of donations in CGF and will require more money as the cleaning activity gets underway most probably from Janu-

activities. Cleaning the river is an ongoing process and will require funds. Hence, we urge the public to contribute towards the CGF. This will also give tax exemption to donors," secretary in the ministry, Shashi Shekhar, said. "Out of the total fund received until now, bigger chunk has come from private players (CSR), while donations

ery Indian contribute Rs 10 per month for the purpose? It is not a big thing. Even if 20 crore people give us Rs 10, we get Rs 200 crore. If every Indian-American contributes 1a month, we will get 10 mil-

ary, 2016, according to Union Water Resources Ministry officials. The CGF was set up over a year ago. "We have the action plan for cleaning Ganga ready and will begin the work with entry-level

from general public and NRIs have been less," Shekhar noted. He said the government has the action plan ready now and will share the details of how the works will be carried out will be put on the Ministry's website. "We will ask people...can ev-

lion dollars. We will make such an appeal. We will make appeals on website, through print advertisements," the official added. The Government will carry out entry-level activities in four parts with surface cleaning being first of it. -PTI

US backs Indo-Pak steps to reduce tension WASHINGTON: The US has and Afghan President Ashraf said it supports "any and all posi- Ghani. tive steps" India and Pakistan take "We are pleased that Pakistan to reduce tensions and engage in is hosting the Heart of Asia Sumdialogue as it welcomed their mit. We are also encouraged that NSA-level talks in Bangkok. President Ghani, Indian Minister "We welcome reports of the of External Affairs Swaraj, and meeting between Indian and Pa- other senior officials will be atkistani officials. tending," the official said. "We support any and all posi"The meeting is an opportunity tive steps India and Pakistan can for the United States and all partake to reduce tensions, engage ticipating countries to discuss our in dialogue, and forge closer relations," a State Department The State Department also spokesperson said. "The normalization welcomed that Pakistan is of relations between Inhosting the Heart of Asia dia and Pakistan is vital to both countries and Summit in Islamabad, which the region," the among others would be spokesperson said when asked about the attended by External Affairs talks between the National Security Advi- Minister Sushma Swaraj sors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok. shared commitment to a stable, The talks that lasted for four peaceful, and prosperous Afhours were attended by the for- ghanistan," the spokesperson eign secretaries of the two coun- said in response to a question. tries. Deputy Secretary of State The State Department also Antony Blinken and Special US welcomed that Pakistan is host- Representative for Afghanistan ing the Heart of Asia Summit in and Pakistan Richard Olson will Islamabad, which among others represent the US in the fifth meetwould be attended by External ing of the Heart of Asia process Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Islamabad.-PTI

Indians are religiously tolerant: Dalai Lama BENGALURU: Amid the raging debate over intolerance, Tibetan spiritual head the Dalai Lama has said overall Indians are religiously

"Ninety nine per cent of Indians still are religiously tolerant and one per cent it is possible (to have intolerant people). I believe

Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama speaks during an interview with PTI in Bengaluru on December 7

tolerant, but there are some politicians and some sections of the media who create sensationalism out of "small things".

that. Some politicians may express different things, but that is their individual expression," the Dalai Lama told PTI in an interview

here. "Some people in the media too create small things into ....create sensationalism,' said the Dalai Lama, on a three-day visit to Bengaluru. The Tibetan spiritual leader said a lot of problems are highlighted in newspapers but they are not that serious. "In India I feel, when we look at the newspapers, there are a lot of problems, but besides that nothing serious. Totalitarian regimes' newspaper is smooth, but underneath a lot of problems," he said. Asked about criticism that writers did nothing like returning awards during the Emergency and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Dalai Lama said US President Barack Obama had mentioned Modi as a straightforward and a visionary leader and his visits to different countries has improved India's image and it is on the path of becoming an economic power. "President Obama sort of expressed Prime Minister Modi as

brother, truthful, straightforward political matter crops up," he leader with a vision. During his added. visits to different countries, the However, this sort of criticism image of India and also the is better than the totalitarian reeconomy improved. I do not know gimes of China and North Korea, the details, but if you see his own where there is no sort of freedom sort of speeches, India's economy of expression for different views, is very rapidly increasing and In- he said. dia is on the path of becoming more powerful," This sort of criticism is better he said. The Dalai Lama said than the totalitarian regimes he doesn't not know the details about Modi's al- of China and North Korea, leged "connection" where there is no sort of with the post-Godhra riots but these issues freedom of expression for crop up during elec- different views, he said tions. "When he (Modi) was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Asked if it was fair for writers a Muslim friend said he (Modi) to return their awards on the ismay have some doubt about his sue of "intolerance", the Dalai connection with post-Godhra vio- Lama said, "I do not know the lence. I don't know ... During elec- details, but there are some inditions we see more criticism of such viduals - they have some reasons kind," he said. and resentment. They also enjoy "This kind of criticism also is freedom. Whether that is right or witnessed in Tibetan communities wrong, we have to study very during elections and whenever a very carefully." -PTI


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India's historic Test series win over South Africa NEW DELHI: Indian bowlers led by Ravichandran Ashwin showed outstanding perseverance to end South Africa's dogged resistance and register a comprehensive 337 run victory in the final cricket Test, winning the fourmatch series by a historic 3-0 margin. Needing a mammoth 481 to win, South Africa depended on their ultra-defensive strategy before being bowled out for 143 in 143.1 overs, the last five wickets falling for a mere seven runs in a dramatic collapse. The 3-0 series win also enabled India to climb up to No 2 in the ICC Test rankings. Fittingly Ashwin (5/61 in 49.1 overs) got the final wicket with an angular delivery that Morne Morkel left and was bowled, triggering scenes of celebration in the Indian dressing room and among the players on the ground. Skipper Virat Kohli and Man of the Match Ajinkya Rahane picked the souvenir stumps as players engaged in hearty celebrations and also thanked the spectators who gave them a standing ovation. The Proteas, courtesy AB de Villiers' 43 off 297 balls, looked like pulling off an improbable draw from the jaws of defeat before the Indian bowling came to life in the final session courtesy pacer Umesh Yadav's fiery spell and Ravichandran Ashwin ending the stodgy De Villiers' near six- hour battle. Ashwin produced a magical delivery a sharp bouncing off-

break that de Villiers played awkwardly and the resultant catch was taken by Jadeja at leg-slip. The emphatic Test series victory more than made up for the losses in the ODIs and Twenty20s played earlier. Credit should also be given to Umesh Yadav (3/9 in 21 overs) for starting the slide in the final ses-

the turn. It hit plumb in-front much to the delight of Jadeja. India's most successful bowler in the series, Ravichandran Ashwin got his 30th victim when JP Duminy (0) was caught plumb on the backfoot having played a dozen of deliveries. Having got a couple of wickets, the drooping shoulders of the

towards one of their most creditable draws in Test history. However, the Indian bowlers ensured that the hosts wrapped up the series in style. While the pitch made it easier for the South Africans but no credit can be snatched away from currently the world's best batsman, De Villiers, who showed that

Indian cricket team celebrates the win over South Africa during final day of the fourth Test match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on December 7

sion by rattling Dane Vilas and Kyle Abbott's stumps. Dane Piedt was gone when Wriddhiman Saha took a stunner. The visions of victory were raised in the post-lunch session, Faf Du Plessis' (10, 97 balls) resistance ended when Ravindra Jadeja bowled an armer which the right-hander intended to play for

Indian fielders suddenly had some life in them. The Proteas, who continued with their 'Blockathon' added only 21 runs in the first session of the final day consuming another 35 overs while the post lunch session produced 42 runs in 31 overs. With a session left, it looked as if South Africa were inching

a class player can change and adapt his game according to adverse situations. De Villiers was in that zone where he did have only one thing in mind. Defend dourly and destroy the opposition's confidence. It was not destructive T20 batting for which he is so revered but slow disintegration of a team that

has been on top on 10 out of the 12 days of Test cricket that has happened during the series. There were times when the odd boundary was hit and the players carried out the formality of picking the ball from the boundary and throwing it back to the bowler. In the morning session, Jadeja ended Hashim Amla's dogged vigil with a beautiful delivery but de Villiers frustrated the Indian bowlers no end. Amla faced 244 balls for his 'epic' 25 before Jadeja bowled him with one that drifted in and then straightened knock the off-stump. If Amla was not enough, in came Du Plessis, who surpassed his skipper's South African record of playing 46 dot balls before opening his account. Du Plessis played 52 dots before taking a single of the 53rd delivery. He in fact also surpassed Grant Flower (51 balls vs New Zealand in 2000) to become the third slowest player of all time to open his account Make no mistake, Du Plessis has done this kind of defending earlier in Adelaide (2012) when he batted close to eight hours (7 hours and 46 minutes) to score 110 and denied the Aussies what looked like an inevitable win. And his partner in crime was none other than de Villiers, who had played 220 balls for his 33 in that particular match. Amla's strike-rate of 10.44 might have put everyone to sleep but his was a perfect example of how to save a Test match from a miraculously hopeless position.-PTI

AmeriCares deploys medical teams for Chennai STAMFORD, Conn: AmeriCares is deploying medical teams to Tamil Nadu, where relentless flooding has closed schools and a major airport in Chennai and claimed at least 269 lives. The first team, organized by the AmeriCares India office in Mumbai in partnership with the Indian Medical Association, is headed to Chennai, Thiruvaloor and Kanchipuram. AmeriCares is focused on ensuring families displaced by the floods have access to essential primary care services, including medication, as well as health and hygiene products that will help prevent the spread of communicable diseases. AmeriCares is also delivering water purification tablets and jerry cans in areas without access to clean water. "Cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other waterborne diseases are a major concern," said Shripad

Sagar Vishwanath Nirgun of AmeriCares India loads a shipment of medical supplies headed to Tamil Nadu on Dec. 4. Pic AmeriCares India

Desai, managing director of AmeriCares India. "We will help ensure families affected have access to medical care and safe

drinking water to help prevent the spread of infectious disease." Exceptionally heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu in recent weeks has

caused the worst flooding in 100 years, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Daily life has been crippled in Chennai, the capi-

tal, with washed out roads and major power outages. AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis. AmeriCares India, based in Mumbai, provides emergency medical and humanitarian aid in response to floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other disasters. Most recently, the AmeriCares India team responded to the Nepal Earthquake, the 2014 flooding in Jammu and Kashmir and the 2013 flooding in Uttarakhand. AmeriCares India also provides health education, supports health workforce safety programs and operates seven mobile medical clinics that provide free primary care services at 130 locations throughout the slums of Mumbai.


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Karnataka seeks investment US expert against nuke deal with Pakistan from US businesses WASHINGTON: Highlighting India's efforts towards ensuring ease of doing business in the country, a delegation from Karnataka has invited American businesses to make investments in the state. Ahead of the Karnataka Investor Meet in 2016, the delegation led by Minister of Large and Medium Enterprise and Tourism R V Deshpande held road shows in New York and Silicon Valley to seek investments in the state. In his address, Deshpande highlighted the steps being taken by the Indian Government on ease of doing business, physical and digital infrastructure and taxation, said a statement issued by US India Business Council (USIBC) which facilitated the meeting with US businesses on both New York and the Silicon Valley. In his presentations, the minister also spoke of the steps initiated by the state government to decongest Bengaluru and disperse industry to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Referring to a recent survey that the Indian economy grew at

7.4 per cent this fiscal year against seven per cent in the previous fiscal year making it the fastest growing global economy, Deshpande said Karnataka is expected to grow at 7.6 per cent this year, outpacing the national average. "We are proud of what our state

The minister also spoke of the steps initiated by the state government to decongest Bengaluru and disperse industry has accomplished so far to welcome the most innovative businesses globally. We have already added 2,000 MW of power generation capability, and 360 MNCs have their R&D and innovation centers in the state," he said. USIBC president Mukesh Aghi praised Karnataka's high standards for education and said the Council looks forward to support-

ing areas where USIBC members can engage in future investments. "We encourage Karnataka to continue the pro-growth agenda that will encourage entrepreneurship and allow the story of USKarnataka relations to flourish," he said. California-headquartered digital technology solutions and services firm UST Global has its second largest global delivery center in Bengaluru. "India's emerging economy is a key constitute of UST's global success. We have a significant presence in Karnataka and are making the right investments to harness the skills and expertise readily available in the state. "We are excited about hiring and scaling up our presence in Bengaluru to provide our clients with the next generation of digital services," said Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST Global. The event was also attended by a range of USIBC members such as Elite Football League of India, LeClairRyan, ICICI Bank, KPMG, and System Soft Technologies. -PTI

WASHINGTON: Pursuing a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan is not only unrealistic, poorly timed, and unwise, but also counterproductive to the US' national interest in the near term, a leading South Asia expert on terrorism has told American lawmakers. "My concern is that by turning senior-level attention to a nuclear deal, Washington sends a wrong and counterproductive message to Pakistan, as we have many times in the past," Daniel Markey, a senior research professor in international relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies has said. In prepared remarks submitted ahead of a Congressional hearing on 'Civil Nuclear Cooperation with Pakistan: Prospects and Consequences' Markey said the US is likely to come across as distracted, unable to set and maintain priorities, and suffering from unfounded expectations. "This leads to my conclusion that pursuing a nuclear deal with Pakistan now is unrealistic, poorly timed, and unwise," Markey said,

according to his prepared statement submitted to the terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade subcommittee of the committee on foreign affairs. "A nuclear deal of the sort apparently being discussed with Pakistan is hardly the 'blockbuster' that some commentators in the media would have us believe. Even so, it is still poorly timed and, if pursued further, would be more likely to prove counterproductive to other near term US security interests than deliver significant benefits," he said. Markey argued that even if Pakistan were to take incremental steps to limit the future growth of its nuclear program, it would be insufficient for the US to become a champion of Pakistan's membership in the NSG. Limiting future nuclear growth would do too little to address Washington's most pressing concerns about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which would still pose serious threats, including insider theft, onward proliferation, accident, sabotage, or unauthorized use.-PTI


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IAMA celebrates 35th anniversary with banquet Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: Indian American Medical Association of Illinois (IAMA-IL) celebrated its 35thAnnual Meeting and Gala Banquet on November 21 at the Meadows Club Grand Ball Room at the Rolling Meadows, a Chicago suburb. Despite the worst day of the month with 6 inches of snow and cold weather, the event was well attended by members and guests. 2015 has been a very successful year for IAMA under the leadership of Dr Samir Shah, the president of IAMA. Dignitaries present were Dr Thomas Anderson, President Elect, Illinois State Medical Society, Dr Gopal Lalmalanii, Past President of IAMA and Mayor of Oak Brook, Mickey Straub, Mayor of Burr Ridge and Dr Arvind Goyal,

community. Master of Ceremonies were Dr Vijay Prabhakar and Dr Radhika Chimata. The start was with the singing of the Indian National Anthem and the American National Anthem Dr Samir Shah, President of IAMA, stressed the importance of leadership, hard work and commitment to excellence. IAMA provided more than 15 educational events to members and provided information on 25-30 hours of free CME in Chicago area. Important new initiatives include beginning of IAMA office with a part time secretary, new improved IAMA website, Karaoke Club, progress towards having their own CME programs and creating a dynamic group of young physicians. In 2016, IAMA will recognize 5 top teachers from different teaching institutions of

A group of IAMA attendees

dedication and service to members and community. The Keynote Speaker and special Guest, Congressman Peter

Tapas K. Dasgupta, IAMA's very first president in 1981, serving two years and Dr Shashtri Swaminathan, also past President of IAMA in 1992 as well as many organizations like CMS and ISMS, for their continued leadership, teaching, service to community and medical organizations. Community activist Jayanti Thakkar was awarded for his life-

long services and dedication to community, organizing 37 Health Fairs over 26 years. The IAMA Leadership Award was given to Dr Bapu Arekapudi, for his Dedication and Selfless Service, managing IAMA website for last 7 presidents and his passion for photography for IAMA Events. Vote of Thanks was given by Dr Umang Patel.

Awardees Dr Swaminathan, Dr Arekapuydi and Community activist Jayanti Thakkar

Medical Director of Illinois Dept of Public Aid. One of the highlights of the event was the video presentation of the IAMA, 35 years of history from its conception to present status covering many community and health services provided by IAMA from 1981 to 2015, exploring the leadership and the legacy of many past presidents, who are still giving their services to humanity, medical organizations and

Chicago and organize IAMA trip to South Africa, Golf Outing Event, Golden Stethoscope Event and IAMA's Charity Foundation Semiannual Event in April, The Guest of Honor was Rear Admiral Dr James Lando, Assistant Surgeon General of United States. Stressing the importance of historic and exciting time in the American Healthcare and public healthcare systems, he congratulated IAMA for the hard work,

Roskam addressed the members. Acknowledging the challenges in the public health care and role of government, he thanked IAMA leadership and members for serving the community and providing excellent medical services. Mrs Prerana (Bella) Shah presented handcrafted wool shawls to Mrs Landoand Roskam, as a small token on behalf of IAMA. The Lifetime Achievements Awards for 2015 were given to Dr

India cautions China on Brahmaputra NEW DELHI: New Delhi has urged Beijing to ensure that India's interests are not harmed by any Chinese activities in the upstream areas of Brahmaputra River, Rajya Sabha was told. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati was responding to questions as to whether China's USD 1.5 billion Zangmu hydro-power project on the river in the Tibetan Plateau is of "serious" concern to India and whether New Delhi has, in that case, taken up the matter with Beijing. In her answer, Bharati said that "according to reports", the Zangmu project has been fully operationalised in October, 2015.

'Outline of the 12th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China' indicates that three more hydropower projects on the mainstream of the river in the Tibet Autonomous Region have been approved for implementation by Chinese authorities, she added. The Centre "carefully" monitors all developments on the river, Bharati said, adding that the four projects in question are considered to be Run of the River (RoR) hydro-electric projects. "As a lower riparian state with considerable established user rights to the waters of the river, India has conveyed the views

and concerns to Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels of the Government of People's Republic of China. "India has urged China to ensure interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas," the minister said. She further said that during a March, 2013, meeting between the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the fifth BRICS Summit in South Africa, the latter had said that Beijing was "quite conscious" of its responsibilities and the interests of lower riparian states.-PTI

Artists entertaining the crowd

Steps to check ISIS spread in India NEW DELHI: The government has initiated a series of steps to check the spread of ISIS in India, including the launch of a counterradicalization and deradicalization strategy, the Lok Sabha was informed. Responding to a supplementary in the Lower House, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the government has adopted a series of strategies to tackle the spread of ISIS in the country. He said a counterradicalization and deradicalization strategy has been initiated and the government is planning to check the threat

through cultural, education and employment activities. In a written response, the other Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, said ISIS was trying to attract new recruits through a variety of means, especially the social media. He said though the ISIS has not been able to attract many youths in India, its attempts are a concern for national security in the long run. The intelligence and security agencies have been mandated to keep an eye on such youth who could become possible recruits of the terror organization.-PTI


Tech News NRI businessman wins top London award LONDON: An NRI businessman has been honored with the Person of the Year award this year by a newspaper here for his outstanding contributions to community welfare. K T Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeulla, managing director of the Jeddah-based Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group a leading private

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Mandating CSR spends akin to tax: Tata MUMBAI: Mandatory CSR spends for companies are "like a tax" and government needs to help identify beneficiaries, Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata said here, adding that philanthropy is an act which comes from within. "Philanthropy or giving is something that comes within you and you obviously create another motivation when you mandate that you will give 'x' or 'y'," Tata said, in comments that come days after Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a plan to donate 99 per cent of his USD 45 billion fortune. On government making corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends mandatory for companies above certain threshold at 2 per cent of profits, Tata said, "The mandated 2 per cent the government has (enforced) becomes like a tax". -PTI

Declaration of Indian income in US tax returns mandatory RAJESH DHRUVE

I

K T Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeulla

healthcare provider in the Middle East, has been chosen for the award by London-based Asian Lite newspaper. Rabeeulla has previously won the 2013 Pravasi Bharatiya Award, the highest honor for members of Indian Diaspora. "Dr Rabeeullah's philanthropic activities in the remote areas of Thailand are highly commendable," the jury said. Rabeeulla has donated USD 100,000 to villagers in Thailand to buy tractors and farm equipment to change their life. The jury in a statement said Rabeeullah is setting an example for business leaders to help their communities. The award will be presented to him in London on April 23, 2016.-PTI

Comic book industry in India set to boom NEW DELHI: In 2005, entrepreneur Dinesh Shamdasani took over an ailing Valiant Comics and in the course of a few years turned it around, making it one of the largest comic book publishers in the United States after DC and Marvel. A man who clearly knows a thing or two about comebacks, Shamdasani has great hopes for seeing an upturn in fortunes for the Indian comic book industry, which for the last decade has been in a state of freefall. In the capital for the Delhi Comic Con 2015, an upbeat looking Shamdasani said the Indian market is one with great potential. -PTI

n case declaration of Indian in nections. come is not reported in Form From 1st January, 2016 all exist1040 and Indian financial as- ing bank accounts, mutual funds sets not declared under Foreign accounts, insurance policies and Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) stockholding accounts will require and Foreign Account Tax Compli- account holder's declaration proance Act (FATCA); Indian finan- viding specified information, incial institutions cluding the USA have now comIRS Tax Identificamenced reporting tion Number (TIN). of all account holdTill such informaers which show tion is provided, US citizenship, submission transUSA address, US actions will not be phone number, US permissible. place of birth or US It is therefore power of attorney appropriate for all holder (POA) US Citizens, Green wherein financial Card holders and balance exceeded US tax residents irUS$ 50,000 as on respective of their Rajesh Dhruve 30th June 2014. place of residence, In view of the to verify if the InIndia USA Inter Governmental dian income has been disclosed Agreement , Indian banks , mutual in US tax returns and whether all funds , insurance companies and bank, MF, insurance, shares and brokerage houses have initiated other Indian financial accounts such reporting recently - a couple have been declared under FBAR of months ago - and have started and FATCA. seeking information from account If not it would be appropriate holders regarding their US con- to opt for Streamlined Domestic

Offshore Procedure (SDOP) and declare such financial assets and Indian income under the lenient scheme of SDOP and buy peace of mind and immunity from penalties and possible civil and criminal action . The SDOP simply requires: • Payment of 5% penalty on maximum balances held during any one of the last 6 years.

ments in Private Limited Company in Form 5471; receipt of gift or inheritance exceeding US$ 100,000 in Form 3520. Details of SDOP can be viewed on our website at http:// w w w. f e m a o n l i n e . c o m / femamodule.php?id=20 Specimenn MF Notice re: FATCA - CRS Declaration can be viewed at http://

In view of the India USA Inter Governmental Agreement , Indian banks , mutual funds , insurance companies and brokerage houses have started seeking information from account holders regarding their US connections. • Filing of Form FinCEN 114 for previous 6 years under FBAR. • Filing of Form 8938 for previous 3 years under FATCA. • Declaration of Indian Mutual Fund income under Passive Foreign Investment Corporation (PFIC) rules. • Declaration of Share in Partnership Firm in Form 8865; Invest-

w w w. f e m a o n l i n e . c o m / femamodule2.php?id=11.http:// w w w. f e m a o n l i n e . c o m / femamodule2.php?id=11 . For any clarifications, feel free to contact 011,91 281 245 3367 (four lines) / 245 9613 Cell : 011 91 98240 49944 or email rajesh@femaonline.com ; keynote@nribanks.com .

Surge in high-quality scientific publication in India India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Providing an eye-opener of sorts, showing India's premier institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and IISERs doing remarkably well compared to even some of the developed nations of the world, the first of its kind report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Nature Index was released here on the occasion of 5th University Industry Congress and Higher Education Summit of CII. It shows that at number 13, India is among the top 15 countries globally in Nature Index 2014 The report is the first of a new style of Nature Index analysis which further probes data from the Nature Index to answer ques-

tions about India's place in global science, especially when compared with countries that have simi-

Korea and Taiwan. The Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of

lar volumes of index output in 2014 and with broadly similar economic conditions such as Australia, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South

nearly 60,000 scientific articles published in an independently selected group of 68 high-quality science journals, and charts pub-

lication productivity for institutions and countries. The report, titled, "Indian Science Ascending" shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 per cent between 2012 and 2014 in the output of top-quality science in the country. In particular, it chronicles India's particular strength in the broad discipline of chemistry showing the largest increase in CAGR of 8.6% among the comparator countries. Commenting on the report, President Designate of CII and Director of Forbes Marshall, Dr Naushad Forbes, said, "This report presents a picture which is refreshingly different from the common perception about Indian scientific output. Cont’d on page 14


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Tirupati temple undecided on pledging gold

HYDERABAD: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages the world's richest Hindu temple of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, has not decided yet on moving its stash gold under the recently launched Gold Monetization Scheme of the central government, a top official of the Board said. "We are evaluating different things. There is an existing highlevel investment committee which

will take a decision. Based on that, TTD will take a decision on participating in Gold Monetization Scheme," TTD executive officer Sambasiva Rao told PTI. He said the committee comprising retired officials from organizations such as the Reserve Bank and State Bank of India would give its decision based on which the TTD will take a decision. Rao said currently the

Tata Steel to lay-off 720 jobs in UK LONDON: Britain's largest steelmaker Tata Steel is likely to cut 720 jobs at one of its UK plants after talks to save redundancies failed. In July, the firm said the jobs at its Rotherham plant in South Yorkshire may have to be cut but it would work with staff to minimize job losses. Local MP John Healey said he has received confirmation from Tata that all the jobs will be lost at the Aldwarke plant in the suburbs of Rotherham. "Rotherham has become the forgotten town of the steel crisis. We are being hit just as badly as other parts of the country, hundreds of job losses have now been confirmed but the government is not giving us any of the support pledged to other steel towns," he told The Times. "With hundreds of forced redundancies ahead, steel workers are facing a bleak Christmas and New Year. They need all the help

we can get," Healey said. However, there was no official confirmation on the redundancies from the company. The UK government has introduced emergency support to the struggling steel industry which is grappling with a worldwide oversupply because of the slowdown

in the Chinese construction sector. It has exempted steelmakers from emissions regulations and introduced new procurement guidelines to encourage the use of British steel in public building contracts. The Rotherham unit made steel bar products for the car manufacturing industries.-PTI

Devasthanams is holding about 5.5 tonnes of yellow metal in different forms. The scheme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, has received so far a lukewarm response. Out of the 20,000 tonnes of gold worth over Rs 52 lakh crore lying idle with households and institutions, the scheme has been able to garner only 400 gm of physical gold till 18 November. The scheme is aimed at reducing the country s reliance on gold imports to meet the domestic demand. When contacted, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh, said the TTD is an independent body and does not require any "directive" from the government. "They do not need any directive from the Government. They can take independent decision. If TTD asks our permission we will certainly give," the minister said. A senior official of the TTD said most of the gold or gold ornaments offered by devotees is kept with various banks for nominal interest. -PTI

AIA to raise stake in Tata Life Insurance NEW DELHI: AIA group has said it will raise stake in the life insurance venture with Tata group to 49 per cent from the existing 26 per cent. AIA will increase shareholding in Tata AIA Life Insurance Company, a joint venture company formed by Tata Sons and AIA, from the current level of 26 per cent to 49 per cent through the purchase of a 23 per cent stake in the company, a joint statement said. However, both the companies did not disclose the financial details. "The completion of the transaction is subject to securing all necessary regulatory and governmental approvals," the statement said. Tata AIA Life Insurance, which started operation in 2001 offers a wide variety of life insurance solutions that cover protection, savings and wealth creation needs. Following Parliament passing the law for hike in foreign direct investment in private insurance companies to 49 per cent earlier this year, many overseas partners have proposed to raise stakes in their Indian joint ventures. -PTI

Tata Trusts ties-up with Khan Academy MUMBAI: Tata Trusts have announced it will be supporting US-based non-profit Khan Academy to provide free online education to Indians through one of the biggest open-access online platforms. Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata did not specify the aggregate

access to quality education is a "new era" and a "compelling opportunity" with a potential to multiply literacy rates which attracted the Trusts towards making the commitment. "What the Khan Academy has created is a concept which provides free education and knowl-

Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons (left) and Salman Khan, of Khan Academy at the Press Conference in Mumbai on December 6

value of resources which will be granted to Khan Academy during the five year partnership by Tata Trusts, which control 66 per cent of the shares of Tata Sons, the holding company of the over USD 100 billion group. Tata said the promise of free

edge to anybody, anywhere. Therefore, for me, as an Indian and as a citizen on this planet, it's a great privilege. I look at this as a great opportunity where we will do something to create a difference for generations," Tata told reporters. Cont’d on page 15


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Communication with taxpayers now through email NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified use of emails as the new mode of communication between the taxman and taxpayers, as part of the government's e-initiative to reduce human interface and complaints of harassment and corruption in conducting tax related jobs. The amendment in the Income Tax Act was also required as the IT department has recently launched a 'pilot project' of send-

mode of official communication along with the existing modes like courier, postage or departmental dispatch. Henceforth, the taxman can now send official communication to "email address available in the income-tax return furnished by the addressee to which the communication relates or the email address available in the last income-tax return furnished by the addressee or in the case of addressee being

Henceforth, the taxman can now send official communication to "email address available in the income-tax return furnished by the addressee to which the communication relates or the email address available in the last income-tax return furnished by the addressee ing email queries, notices and summons to taxpayers while processing cases of scrutiny. According to notification 89 issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy-making body of the tax department, an amendment has been made in the Section 282 of the I-T Act (Service of notice) allowing for inclusion of taxpayers or tax paying entities' email as the new

a company, email address of the company as available on the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs". "Also, any email address made available by the addressee to the income-tax authority or any person authorized by such incometax authority," the CBDT notification issued in this regard earlier this week said. The department, in order to re-

duce the taxpayers' visit to the IT office, had launched the 'pilot' project and the first set of e-communications have been decided to be mailed to 100 chosen people each in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai regions. The CBDT had recently asked the department to "initiate the concept of using email for corresponding with taxpayers and sending through emails the questionnaire, notice etc at the time of scrutiny proceedings and getting responses from them." "This would eliminate the necessity of visiting the Income Tax offices by the taxpayers, particularly in smaller cases, involving limited issues and where taxpayer is able to provide details required by the Assessing Officer (AO) without necessitating his physical presence," the order said. Former CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur, in a recent interview to PTI, had said that the "first-ofit's kind initiative" was aimed at making life easy for taxpayers. "We have been thinking how can we make life easier for taxpayers especially for those who are in the middle and the slightly higher tax bracket. "So, now we are thinking of allowing that when a notice is is-

Rs 50,000 cr AP roads project unveiled VIJAYWADA: The Centre is taking up road projects worth more than Rs 50,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh, including an Outer Ring Road (ORR) at Vijayawada, where the State's new capital city is coming up. Announcing this here, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said these new schemes, which include 392 km of national highways, are in addition to similar projects worth more than Rs 15,000 crore which are already going on in the State ruled by TDP-

crore. So, today, Rs 65,000 crore is to be given to the State of Andhra Pradesh from the federal Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji," Gadkari said. He declared different road projects in AP as national highways. "A 180 km Outer Ring Road around Vijayawada will be built with tentative cost of Rs 20,000 crore." Lauding the vision of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he said the CM is planning the ORR as an eight-lane highway.

ter (in mid-2014) only 2km per day road construction was being done. It gives me great pleasure to say that today that has gone up to 18km a day. Our target is to take this to 30 km per day before the end of March," he said. Gadkari also announced setting up a new regional office of his Ministry in Vijayawada in the wake of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh last year. "Chandrababuji (Naidu) is our close associate. He was our true

BJP alliance. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a six-lane fly-over at the famous Kanaka Durga temple here and three other ventures. "The cost of new projects is Rs 50,560 crore. Already, work is going on projects worth Rs 15,000

Talking about other projects of his Ministry, Gadkari said the modern highway being built between Delhi and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh would reduce the travel time between the two cities from three hours now to just about 40 minutes. "When I took charge as Minis-

friend. As NDA partner, he maintained good relationship with our leadership. This is one of the things I appreciate about his leadership. It is our responsibility to give him more strength to fulfill the promises he has made to the people of Andhra Pradesh," Gadkari said. -PTI

sued in an assessment or scrutiny case, the taxpayer can send the department an e-response," she had said. The former CBDT boss had also said the purpose of introducing the system was to reduce the interface between the taxpayer and the AO. "The taxpayer can send docu-

ments over email, scan them, upload them and it's over. It (email-based scrutiny session) should be over and should not go beyond that. "This is the way we are trying to address the issues of compliance and limiting the interface between the taxman and the taxpayer. This will be a sea change in our tax administration," Kapur said.-PTI

Surge in high-quality scientific publication in India Cont’d from page 12

its GDP for the past two decades, although the growth in Indian output in the index shows a steady increase. With other new initiatives by the Indian government such as tax incentives for R&D, we are excited to see the outcome in future years and continue working with CII to track the country's growth both in the quantity of high-quality research and diversity in collaboration patterns. India will continue to be a driver of growth in both the quantity and quality of global research and a country to watch closely." Some highlights from the report are: • At number 13, India is among the top 15 countries globally in

This perception - of India failing to produce anything of significant scientific value despite a huge young and capable population - is largely based on media interest. Positive stories rarely attract the attention they deserve. Hopefully, this maiden CII - Nature Index report will change perceptions." Director of IIT Kanpur, Prof Manna, said, "Internationalization, which is one of the focus of this report, is an important component of engineering education today. The Government of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) are placing major emphasis on internationalization of Indian campuses not The collaboration analysis just at the post-graduin the report shows that ate and PhD level but also at the undergradu- India's international colate level." Dr Baldev Raj, Direc- laboration far outweighs tor of National Institute domestic collaboration of Advanced Studies, said, ""The CII - Nature Index Report on scientific research Nature Index 2014. output from India is concise yet • India's research output has comprehensive. Few messages grown steadily since 2012, showwhich emerge from it are that we ing stronger CAGR of 8 per cent need more investment in R&D by than other countries with compaboth industry and government. rable output and economic condiWe also need to improve transla- tions. • Chemistry continues to be tional research which leads to creation of technology and patents. India's strongest research area Statistics clearly demonstrate the with 50 per cent of India's overcapability of Indian science both all Nature Index output coming in quality and quantity. De-bureau- from Chemistry alone. • The US is India's top colcratization and avoiding disruptions in funding of those individu- laborator followed by Germany. als and institutes which are doing India collaborates with 85 counwell are other critical parameters tries, mostly in Europe. Other strong collaborative ties include for our continued success." The collaboration analysis in East Asia and Australia. the report shows that India's in• Institutions in India collaboternational collaboration far out- rate mostly with international weighs domestic collaboration, counterparts, but their largest and zooming into links between collaborations tend to be with industry and academia reveals other domestic institutions. • Industry-academia collabothat Indian academic institutions collaborate mainly with interna- ration is at a nascent stage in tional corporations through their India, but Indian academic instiinternational branches. tutions have good collaborative India's investment into R&D ties with international corporahas stayed less than 1 per cent of tions.


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December 11, 2015

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'Public transport in Delhi must improve' BEIJING: As the Delhi Government unveiled radical plans to fight air pollution by allowing odd and even number plate cars to ply only on alternate days, residents in the Chinese capital, which already has a similar system, gave a mixed reaction to this move. Delhi's move resonated well with a number of people PTI spoke here for its effective way to reduce pollution but with unanimous impression that it can be convenient to people only when it is backed by efficient public transport system. With a population of 21 million, Beijing which has gone to the extent of banning the sale of new cars to bring down the pollution levels, imposes odd and even number plate system since 2008 Olympics but only periodically during high profile events. Besides the Olympics and Para Olympics, it was resorted to two

other times, during the APEC leaders' summit last year and this year's anti-fascist military parade. Currently, Beijing is struggling to control the traffic with two num-

ber system under which number plate ending with certain numbers is banned one day of the week. Also the city has already restricted the car sales since 2011 by issuing around 20,000 car plates

in auction every month. According to five-year clean air action plan (2013-2017) the total number of vehicles in the city will be restricted to around six million by the end of 2017. Currently the city has over 5.5 million cars. Any government which wants to restrict the cars on the roads should be sure to have an effective public transport system like well connected metro and bus systems without which people will suffer, Zhou Xujun, a senior journalist said in reaction to the recent move by Delhi Government to implement the alternate days concept. "I feel odd-even cars number ban is a good idea. Due to increasing noise and air pollution in big city like Beijing it is really important to take such measures to control it", Wang Liyl, who works in the private sector said.-PTI

Tata Trusts ties-up with Khan Academy Cont’d from page 12

The hedge fund analystturned-founder of Khan Academy, Salman Khan, said that Indian students already use Academy's content but it is now in the process of creating specialized content in English and Hindi for the benefit of India, one of the youngest nations in the world. He said the Tata Trusts has been supporting education for over a century now, which involves giving grants, providing scholarships for students going abroad for studies etc. The concept brought in by Khan Academy is "refreshingly different" and will make a "tremendous difference" in India by turning illiterates into literates. Stating that his ideas were called "delusional" when he first spoke of having top quality content and giving it for free and without subjecting the children to advertisements, Khan, who was present on the occasion, said times have changed now and there is a sense of appreciation. The Indian content will be

mapped to the standards set by the National Council of Education Research and Training, and work around subtitling and translation of video tutorials has already started, Khan said. He added that it will play a complementary role to the existing education system. Khan said content will also be produced in regional languages soon but it will stick to Math and Science. When asked about the potential difficulties for operating in a low and expensive bandwidth country like India, Tata said the demand for connectivity will make the exponential connectivity possible, while Khan said that the trends of broadband adoption are positive. He said the two were introduced to each other by an Italybased friend, while Khan said once the talks started, it was very easy connecting up with the Tatas. The tie-up with Tata Trusts comes days after the Khan Academy announced an entry into India and a partnership with Central Square Foundation.-PTI


Desi News Appeal for funds for Chennai flood relief India Post News service

FREMONT, CA: The Bay Area Tamil Manram has issued an appeal for funds to be sent for flood relief in Chennai and adjoining areas which have also been affected by the deluge. Tamil Manram has been able to raise about 70,000 USD. In the appeal it says their target is to raise 150,000 USD to save and feed the people in affected areas of Cuddalore, Pondicherry, Chennai and surroundings. Details on page 18

Gujarati Samaj celebrates Diwali on grand scale ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis, MO., set up in 1984 with the aim of preserving Gujarati culture in the community, celebrated the Diwali Festival on a grand scale and with great bonhomie at Machinists Hall on Saturday November 21. Over 600 members attended the event that was coordinated successfully by Executive Committee of St. Louis Gujarati Samaj. The event started with a social hour where community members wished each other Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak. Details on page 19

PG&E delivers emergency kits on Giving Tuesday India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Thousands of home-bound seniors in San Francisco depend on Meals On Wheels San Francisco (MOWSF) for food, home safety and a friendly face, which is why Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) volunteers joined forces with the organization, delivering emergency preparedness kits to those in need as part of Giving Tuesday. Details on page 22

Traditional & modern food offerings at Annakut Details on page 21

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

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India the great land of spirituality, & also corruption Details on page 26

December 11, 2015

Dallas community fully backs Congressional candidate Raja SURENDRA ULLAL

DALLAS, TX: Several prominent leaders of Dallas Indian community gave a rousing welcome to Raja Krishnamoorthi, an aspiring and leading Democratic Party candidate for the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. Illinois' 8th Congressional district leans strongly Democratic and covers Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties. President Obama won the district by 17 points in 2012. Over 30 supporters and friends of Raja met at the residence of Sai Sathish and Dr Prasanthi Ganesa in Colleyville, TX. Dr Prasad Thotakura made introductory remarks where he expressed his fond hope to see Raja as the next US Congressman after Dalip Singh Saund (US Congress member from the 29th District of California from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1963), Bobby Jindal (US Congress Member from the 1st District of Louisiana from 2004 - 2007) and Dr Ami Bera (current US Congressman from 7th Congressional District of California). MVL Prasad in his formal introduction traced Raja's humble beginning and touched upon the successes Raja had made in his

campaign so far. Raja talked about his roots as the son of immigrant parents, hardships they went through and how that has translated into a passion to make the lives of un-

tender to the position with over 100 endorsements from leading Democrats in Illinois and the rest of USA. Several attendees put their questions about the Congressional elections, funding etc. during the Q&A

ers of Raja include Dr Prasad Thotakura, MVL Prasad, Paul Pandian, CC Theophine, Piyush Patel, Dr Jai Kumar, Dr Rajiv Panditi, Rao Kalvala, Dr C.R. Rao, Sridhar Tummala, Murali Vennam,

Raja Krishnamoorthi with Dallas Indian Americans led by Dr Prasad

der-privileged to achieve economic and academic success. He said that he is the leading con-

session, which was followed by a sumptuous dinner. The Dallas Friends and Support-

Rousing SF welcome for first direct flight from India VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO: Air India's first non-stop flight from New Delhi to San Francisco landed in SFO on December 2 amid rousing welcome, becoming the first Indian airline to provide a direct air connection to the West Coast in the US. The Air India flight AI 173, a B777-200LR aircraft, with 230 passengers on board landed at 5.40 am with airport traffic control tower lit in Indian tricolor to welcome the flight to the city. A number of officials from the US and India, including Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, attended a formal ribbon cutting ceremony to mark beginning of the services. "It is a remarkable day and today is a great day for Air India" Ashok told the gathering at the airport. Details on page 19

Sai Sathish. Dr Prasanthi Ganesa, Satyan Kalyandurg, John, Anand Dasari, Abhinav, Amrit Kriplani, Balki Chemakura, Murali Mallina, Venu and Mahesh Guduru opened their hearts and valets. The Democratic primaries are due on March 15, 2016 winning of which will indicate Raja's future as the next Congressman from Illinois's 8th Congressional District. The meeting concluded with everybody wishing Raja their best in this Congressional race. Son of Indian immigrants to US, Raja was raised in Peoria, Illinois, where he attended public schools and graduated as a valedictorian of his high school class. Raja earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. Raja currently serves as President of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., a small business that sell products in the national security and renewable energy industries.


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Pathak appointed Sunnyvale Housing Commissioner India Post News Service

SUNNYVALE, CA: Narendra Pathak of Sunnyvale, California

Members confirmed the appointment on November 17 with unanimous votes. Narendra Pathak was sworn

Narendra Pathak being sworn in

was appointed as Commissioner on Housing and Human Services Commission by the City of Sunnyvale. The Mayor and Council

into office November 25 for a term that expires June 30, 2017. A native of Karamsad, Gujarat State, India, Narendra Pathak

holds a B.A. in Economics and Law Degrees in Labor Laws and Criminal Laws. Pathak graduated from Santa Clara County Gov 101 Academy. Pathak will advise on existing and potential programs and policies and will advise outside groups about community development, Affordable Housing and other issues. This seven-member commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council on programs, policies, and other issues regarding housing and human services, Below Market Rate Housing Program, Community Development Block Grant, Youth task force, civil rights issues, and on ways to counter discrimination by age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex,

sexual harassment and other things on existing and potential state, federal programs, policies, Seniors community development programs, International Human rights, other issues and coordinating with the United States Housing and Human Services Commission and provide input for the development of the Federal and State

ciation, India Heritage Research Foundation, Bay Area Gujarati Samaj, India Cultural Association of Bay Area and Brahamin Samaj of USA. Pathak has served as Treasurer, Charitable Care Foundation. Pathak has served on the City of Sunnyvale's as Board of Library Trustees. He has served as the

Pathak will advise on existing and potential programs and policies and will advise outside groups about community development, Affordable Housing and other issues. his seven-member commission acts in an advisory capacity Human Rights, Senior Housing, General Plan. Pathak has been active in the Santa Clara County's Commissioner, Human Relation Commission and Council on Equal Employment Opportunities and City of Sunnyvale as Commissioner, Housing and Human Services Commission. His community activities include as Board of Trustees, Devotional Association of Sitaram, Co-Coordinator of California Gujarat Sister State Asso-

City of Sunnyvale's Board member on General Plan Consolidation Advisory Committee and Advisory Board member on Below Market Rate Housing Program and Advisory on New Library of Future Project. City of Sunnyvale is a leading hub in Silicon Valley. It is home to many of the world's largest high tech businesses Pathak is married to Gita Pathak and they have a son, Sagar Pathak and daughter, Shruti Pathak.


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Appeal for funds for Chennai flood relief India Post News service

FREMONT, CA: The Bay Area Tamil Manram has issued an appeal for funds to be sent for flood relief in Chennai and adjoining areas which have also been affected by the deluge. Tamil Manram has been able to raise about 70,000 USD. In the appeal it says their target is to raise 150,000 USD to save and feed the people in affected areas of Cuddalore, Pondicherry, Chennai and surroundings. "This target is only possible if everyone, Tamils, Non-Tamils, American, Indian, everyone gets the opportunity to donate. Please share this news with people from all community. This is a huge hu-

manitarian effort," says Abu Khan, Convener, Bay Area Tamil Manram. The relief effort is being organized at a large level with many non-profit / social service organizations coming forward to provide help needed. At a meeting held recently, regardless of the language and region, people joined in large numbers. "The initial fund $7500 is being sent to save people in 5 colonies (slums) in Chennai. This will feed and rescue 1500 families there. We are keeping accounting of funds received, sent and how it is being sent. Soon, we will publish the details to everyone," the appeal says. "Dine for Chennai" is another

effort to raise funds for the relief, supported by restaurants in USA. More pledge is on the way. Restaurants in Bay Area and out of California State are also pledging to donate a percentage of their one day sale to this Flood Relief Effort. Aachi Aappakadai (Sunnyvale), Malaikkottai (Fremont), Chennai Kings (Mountain View) have pledged 100% of their one day sale. Details about dates these restaurants hold Dine-ForChennai drive will be communicated soon. In addition to this, Bay Area Tamil Manram has decided to pledge $5000 for this relief effort. Tamil Manram is 501-c(3) Tax Exempt non-profit organization.


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Gujarati Samaj celebrates Diwali on grand scale ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis, MO., set up in 1984 with the aim of preserving Gujarati culture in the community, celebrated the Diwali Festival on a grand scale and with great bonhomie at Machinists Hall on Saturday November 21. Over 600 members attended the event that was coordinated successfully by Executive Committee of St. Louis Gujarati Samaj. The event started with a social hour where community members wished each other Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak. The dinner event started with opening remarks by President Jitendra Parbhu offering Diwali greetings to all those present. He listed the activities that the Samaj undertook during his leadership. Thanking his Committee, volunteers, members and everybody for the support that he had, he pitched for the younger generation of members to come forward and give their time for the same. He said "It is important that we here in our adopted country preserve and promote our Gujarati heritage and culture for upcoming generations." This year's big achievement is the donation of $ 250,000 that the

Samaj gave to Hindu Temple of St. Louis to help it build a community center. It is also committed to help the temple raise additional funds and assured another $50,000 upon occupation of the building. Both parties have signed a lease of 99 years. The community center will have a kitchen and large hall with stage and classrooms in 8000 to 10000 square foot area. Gujarati Samaj will be able to host Navratri and other events at this community center. Bal Vihar of St. Louis is also part of this project The new center can be used by other organizations within the community. Having a center next to the temple will help the families to leverage the opportunity to instill more culture and faith in their children. The event highlight was a live musical performance by Panorama Musical Orchestra from India. Extraordinary vocal and instrumental talents of this musical group led by Kanodia Musical captured and thoroughly entertained the audience for over three hours with golden oldies and new Hindi movie songs. The event was a grand success, judging from numerous comments made by members and

Office bearers of the Samaj

guests Shital Sanghani Mehta said "Wonderful Diwali dinner... Kudos to the committee and all the members who worked so hard for an amazing evening. Great food, decor and music and above all the spirit." Hema Patel said '"It was a great Diwali celebration! Good food, decorations and management to serve over 600 members. Thumbs Up to the whole team."

A section of the attendees

Volunteers preparing dinner and volunteer with Rangavali

Rousing SF welcome for first direct flight from India Cont’d from page 16

The city mayor's office declared this day as 'Air India Day', a symbolic gesture to celebrate the arrival of the first direct flight from India here. With this non-stop flight to San Francisco from Delhi, Air India becomes the first domestic airline to provide a direct air connection to the West Coast. Air India has started three flights per week - on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley in

September had announced to connect the Silicon Valley with India through a direct flight. Passengers will have huge benefits traveling to San Francisco as they will undergo immigration and customs at their boarding point itself and can have comfortable journey further, according to the release. Passengers can enjoy non-stop entertainment, specially chosen food and best of comfort on this one of the world's longest flights, it added. "Starting a direct flight within two months was a daunting task but we made it possible with the

cooperation from US officials," an Air India official said. The flight offers a 3-cabin configuration, with 8 seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 195 seats in Economy Class. A US security official at the airport said that the Air India flight was the first flight of the day and extra arrangements were made to receive the passengers. Earlier, a special cake was cut just before departure at the Delhi airport to celebrate the launch of the maiden flight and passengers were presented with a rose bud each at the time of check-in.


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Bal Vihar of St. Louis celebrates Diwali RAJ IYER

Fireworks following Puja

Bal Vihar kids/students attending Puja

ST LOUIS: President Obama (the first president to light a Diya in 2009) in his Diwali greetings to the community here and at large said, "Doing good to others is Merit and causing pain to others is Sin." And to a great extent that is the integral theme of Bal Vihar of St. Louis At Bal VIhar, students not only learn the teachings of our scriptures but also practice that as well. Students participated in Donate a Diya project again this year. The project serves a dual purpose - the students get to make/ decorate a beautiful diya that they use during the Diwali puja and it remains as a keepsake that can be used year after year. The project asks students to donate money to a noble cause. Each year Bal Vihar picks two charities and donates to them

any money collected through this initiative. This year Bal Vihar raised $1800 for "Sankara Netralaya" and "Asha for Education". For over 23 years, Bal Vihar of St. Louis has been celebrating Diwali with great pomp. This year Diwali had a record attendance of 700+ attendees. The priests led the prayers and students participated with great devotion. Food is a major part of most festivals and Bal Vihar was not going to be left behind. While the prayers were in full swing, a group of about 50 volunteers were busy packing boxed dinner for all present. Another group of volunteers were preparing for the fire crackers distribution that they had packed a few days earlier. After the puja was over, stu-

dents came back. Soon, the place was lit with sparkles and the joy was in the air. The happiness and joy was

students asking their parents when they will get to do it again. Boxed dinner made it easy for parents to head back home after

Volunteers cleaning up premise

very visible as everyone enjoyed the evening. When the day was over, you could see some young

the fireworks and enjoy the delicious food in the luxury of their homes.

Center for Indian Cultural Education - Bal Vihar of St. Louis is a non-profit organization. Since its inception in 1992 it has been serving the Metro St. Louis Indian community. The primary focus of this organization is to provide Indian cultural education to students age 5-18, its application and integration with the global multicultural and multifaceted society. Over last 20+ years Bal Vihar has helped groom a breed of multi-cultural global leaders of next generation that have been shaped by the best of the cultures from east and west. These youngsters understand the need and value of the cultural values that have been instilled in them through the rigorous program. Students are also taught discipline, tolerance and devotion in their daily routine.

Hindi Lovers Club hosts Ramesh Lulla ARVIND PATEL

CHICAGO: Hindi Lovers Club did not want it to be a big and august gathering. It just wanted a small well knit group of music lovers who could appreciate Hindi songs and help give a boost to a talented artist - though not professional but surely a very promising. Close to four scores of mem-

bers and guests gathered at Chicago Drama Theater in Chicago downtown despite inclement weather to listen to Ramesh Lulla, a businessman turned singing sensation. Lulla did not disappoint those attending his program rendering one after another 20 plus Hindi film songs of yesteryears with his melodious voice.

Members of the audience appreciating Lulla songs

Ramesh Lulla entertaining audience with yesteryear Hindi songs

The time constraint prevented Lulla to render his selections alone and could not entertain the audience requests. Those present were so enamored that they felt like getting him invited again in a bigger platform. Gurbachan Kaur, founder president of Hindi Lovers Club, appeared well disposed to invite him for its annual gala or some such bigger event.

As she pointed out, the event had a twin-purpose - promoting Hindi in this area as also to give a platform to upcoming and budding artists to showcase their talent. Nirmal Shewakramani, who takes initiative for community oriented programs like hosting Devon Ka Raj Ganesh Ji, had heard Ramesh Lulla at a private event. He was so impressed by his tal-

ent that he pitched with the Hindi Lovers Club to host him for a select audience. Ramesh Lulla entertained those present with his beautiful voice that took all down memory lane. He excelled with Kishore Kumar numbers and was also good with Mukesh and Rafi songs. The program lasted for nearly two hours.


December 11, 2015

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Traditional & modern food offerings at Annakut COLLEEN TAYLOR SEN

BARTLETT: On November 12, several thousand devotees and visitors flocked to the magnificent Swaminarayan temple in Bartlett, Illinois, to celebrate Annakut (also called Govardhan Puja) as well as the beginning of Hindu New Year. This joyous festival commemorates an event in Krishna's childhood when he persuaded the local cowherds to make their annual offerings of harvest grains and pulses to Mount Govardhan instead of the god Indra, since it was the mountain's fertile soil that provided the grass which nourished their beloved cows. Enraged, Indra sent a violent rainstorm to punish the people. Krishna lifted up Govardhan with his little finger and for seven days and nights held it over the people to shelter them from the rain. To commemorate this event, a replica of Mount Govardhan was made and dishes offered to the mountain. At the end of the festival, the dishes are distributed to the worshippers as prasad. It is also an occasion to thank God for his providence and to

Rice offering

seek his blessings for the coming year. As a food writer and food historian, I was especially interested in the dishes prepared for Annakut at the Swaminarayan temple. My guide Kamala, a helpful young volunteer led me through the mandir and haveli which were both lined with displays of dishes. It would be impossible to name them all and what was most striking was how they combined the traditional and the modern. (All, of course, were vegetarian and had no onion or garlic). Traditional sweets included many varieties of ghugra (gujia) Little fried pastries filled with khoa, coconut and sometimes dried fruits; laddus, jalebis, different kinds of halwa, magaj (a kind of burfi made from coarse chickpea flour), and barfis in every color of the rainbow. The sweets were often piled to make miniature replicas of Mount Govardhan. There was a profusion of savories, including such traditional Gujarati snacks as handvo, batatanushaak (potatoes and spinach). Crispy vada), patra and katles (vegetarian cutlets) as well as colorful dishes of artfully

arranged rice. But many of the dishes had an American inspiration: giant pretzels, pizza, donuts, baguettes, cookies, apple turnovers, elaborately decorated cakes (some wishing Happy New Year in English or Gujarati), and row upon row of cupcakes that formed a vibrant border for the displays. Particularly impressive were miniature temples made of dough and a marvelous peacock with feathers made of butternut squash and beets. The creativity and labor Overview

of the cooks and all the volunteers was an impressive expression of their devotion on this important occasion. Colleen Taylor Sen is a writer and food historian specializing in south Asia. Her most recent book is Feasts and Fasts: A history of Food in India (Reaktion Press, 2015)


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Students solve trash problem with robot

Dartmouth College has a Hindu Temple NEELA PANDYA

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Prestigious Ivy League Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, ranked among the world's greatest academic institutions, has a "Hindu Temple" which holds daily and

Applauding Dartmouth for provision of "Hindu Temple", Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada described it as a step in the positive direction. He com-

Saraswati Puja at Dartmouth

India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: Northern California First Lego League competition encourages children to use engineering to understand all about trash problem that we are facing, from collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse; there is more to trash than meets the eye. Hence, the championship's theme: TrashTrek. Eleven teams from Fremont gathered for the Qualifying tournament on Saturday, November 21 at Niles Discovery Church, Fre-

rium to display their robots and compete. Cheers from the audience and "photo-snapping" parents added to the excitement. Whole day consisted of one practice round and three robot game matches. Teams were also tested for robot design, project work and core values. Epicbotz team won the ultimate award at this tournament that is the Championship award and have now advanced to District level championship. Epicbotz Team's head coach is Nishi Deokule and the team consists of members who are mere 12

Competitors were asked to create a robot using Lego Mindstorms technology, which attempted to complete as many missions as possible in 2.5 minute matches on a themed playing field mont. Students, ranging in ages from nine to 14-years-old were required to identify a trash problem and create an innovative solution, through engineering. This project was not the only portion of the challenge. Competitors were asked to create a robot using Lego Mindstorms technology, which attempted to complete as many missions as possible in 2.5 minute matches on a themed playing field, for over 900 points. The all day tournament closed with an awards ceremony presentation. Clad in colorful matching outfits, teams gathered in the audito-

year old. They are all 7th grade students, mostly from Challenger School, Ardenwood i.e. Akshey Deokule, Shervil Patel, Sahil Saoji, Sahith Kudaravalli. Other team members who are ex-Challenger students are Rishabh Saxena (Stratford school, Fremont) and Aryan Arora (Basis school, San Jose). Mark Edelman, Co-founder of Playing at Learning, which runs Northern California FLL, said while handing over the Championship award to Epicbotz, "The Championship award goes to the team that achieves excellence and innovation in both robot game and the

project." The judges said this team had excellent time management. "They showed consideration and appreciation for all their team members. This team could handle failure when the mission failed; they diagnosed it right away, even though it was the fault in the set up. This team deserves to be the champion as they stand out on all aspects of the project they implemented. Their idea was one of the best and was presented very well and they have done the required research in the field."

weekly Friday pujas (prayers). This Temple carries a statue of Saraswati; Hindu goddess of knowledge/learning, music, art, language/speech, and poetry. According to the Dartmouth Hindu students' organization called Shanti, it is for those "interested in practicing, learning about, and representing the Hindu faith" and to "cater to the religious needs of the growing Hindu community at the college". Besides pujas, it also organizes special events. Dartmouth College in Hanover, founded in 1769 by a Congregational minister, has about 6,300 students. Philip J. Hanlon is the President.

mended Dartmouth for recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism. Rajan Zed suggested that these Hindu prayer rooms should have an altar containing murtis (statues) of popular Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Durga, Venkateshwara, Ganesha, Murugan, Saraswati, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Kali, etc.; besides being equipped with ghanta (big metallic bell hanging from the ceiling), dholak (two-headed hand-drum), Shivalinga, etc. He or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help, if asked, regarding the structure of "Hindu Prayer Room", Zed indicated.

PG&E delivers emergency kits on Giving Tuesday India Post News Service

unteers joined forces with the organization, delivering emergency preparedness kits to those in need

as part of Giving Tuesday.

Cont’d on page 25 SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Thousands of home-bound seniors in San Francisco depend on Meals On Wheels San Francisco (MOWSF) for food, home safety and a friendly face, which is why Pacific Gas and Electric Company PG&E employees assemble the Meals on Wheels/PG&E emergency packages (left) Father Joseph receives a Meal (PG&E) vol-


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Diwali celebrated with fun and festivity cause a lapse in our traditions", said Bharatsinh Zala. "Preparations for the festivities begin months in advance. Devotees, young and old, sacrifice their time to help in creating decorations, food preparation, children's Diwali celebration arrangements, as well as decorating the stage for the most significant ritual of Diwali, the Annakut," concluded Divyesh Patel. Diwali is also a time when children look forward to the joy it brings. On Saturday, November 14th, the Children's Diwali Celebration took place. The celebration was as much fun as it was educational. The children learned the history and origin of this festival, played a variety of exciting games, and were given an assortment of gifts and goodies. This year His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrated Diwali

India Post News Service

CHINO HILLS, CA: Diwali serves as a time to gather with friends and family to welcome the New Year and celebrate the year past. During this time of togetherness, reflection and introspection, devotees at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, organized various events on November 12th to share in ancient traditions with the local community. Across North America, thousands of volunteers begin preparations months in advance of the festivities - from decoration design and creation to food preparation for the Annakut (offering of vegetarian dishes to Bhagwan). Celebrating Diwali with great enthusiasm and excitement inspires every generation of Indians to honor their deeply rooted Hindu heritage. The five days of Diwali are filled with optimism and enthusiasm as volunteers and devotees work side by side, looking past their differences, to build the Annakut and prepare for Diwali events at each mandir. Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, devotees welcome guests to the mandir with well wishes for the New Year. Swamis visit with community members to offer their prayers for peace and prosperity among families. This year, BAPS Mandirs across North America marked the auspicious festival of Diwali with fireworks and cultural exhibitions so visitors would find their experiences both entertaining and educational. "Diwali is that time of the year when family, friends and relatives

get together and strengthen their bonds through various festivities. Being away from India should not

and Annakut in Sarangpur, Gujarat, India. He blessed the devotees on the New Year day.


24 India Post

Community Across America

December 11, 2015

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Wake-up time for Indo American Center

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t seems, IAC (The Indo-American Center of Chicago) with a good intention tried to move the ship in right direction by replacing the executive director. Many still feel that this is but the first step. Much more needs to be done. As time moves on, it requires the changes to cope-up with ever changing time. Perhaps it may help if creative-fresh leadership is invited to come up with new

ideas. Even the president of USA has to vacate the throne after two terms. He cannot run for the third time, no matter how popular he may be .And the new President changes his entire administrative team to get in fresh blood. It is pertinent to have a look at the administrative team of the Indo American Center. It is important to see how long the present board and executive committee has been operating the Center

Madhu Patel

directly or indirectly. It will not be surprising and interesting as well to find out that the infusion of new blood is minimal. This blunts the ability of the team to take the Center in a new direction As the world is changing and shrinking, competition is a global phenomenon. Today, all seniors know the first end is the home but still there is a search for the other end of the world for betterment of life and gaining better opportunities. Since most of the newer generation has no time or interest for their old folks, the other end may not prove as fruitful to many, especially seniors, whose population is increasing. All of us have to plan a way ahead for our retirements, unlike before; as by today's education and environment, it is becoming so self-centered that the so called Village Society or Village Family are things of the past, especially in the urban atmosphere everywhere. A place or agency like Indo American Center is of huge importance to the seniors here. It is in this context that the Indo American Center should have a meaningful leadership that will take care of the needs of seniors. One of the issues relate to providing of healthy and good food. It still remains as a major concern. It may be due to inadequate funds, competence of the chef, poor management or the lack of interest on its part. Some members complained, "In old age food is very important to stay healthy

Readers Write... www.indiapost.com and avoiding medical problems is very essential even from economic view point. Good food brings happiness which improves the health and it is the most important factor for the seniors." I heard even Thanksgiving celebration was with very unhealthy discarded old food. I am getting many comments from members and friends who periodically visit IAC. The comments are, it seems like, the government funding is not utilized properly and it may require the food inspector's periodic visits; once it starts, it may become an avoidable nuisance as in the cases of restaurants. To avoid such stigma, it should be taken care immediately. Our folks also must know that the customers are the "kings". "If you do not like my food or service you go where you like it better" is not appropriate comment or reply to the customers' comments. When you are funded by the government and even private donations, your top priority should be to provide healthy food and the best possible service. Steps must be taken ASAP to avoid any disaster striking at the door. The change in mind-set is needed. Right now before it gets too late. Madhu Patel, Founder President, NRI Press Club, Chicago

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.


December 11, 2015

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Readers Write...

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artition of India is the cause and foundation of intolerance since 1947 among our people, both in India and Pakistan. The responsibility for this lies fully with Indian National Congress and Muslim League. The leaders responsible were the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohamed Ali Jinnah, President of Pakistan. Undoubtedly in India Nehru dynasty strengthened the intolerance in the last 60 years of its rule. It is Congress of Nehru and Mrs Indira Gandhi's dynasty which is responsible for divide and rule. The successive rulers of Pakistan have also done everything possible to fan the flames of hatred and intolerance against Hindus, and India. Academics and Bollywood stars have been critical of the popular present government blaming them for the so called

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Nehru dynasty responsible for 'intolerance' creeping intolerance. Why suddenly this minor segment of society has raised the entirely false claim of intolerance and made so much noise as if heaven is going to fall. It is clearly and unmistakably obvious, that there was the hidden hand of the Congress Party in India - which is still fully and fiercely faithful to Nehru/ Indira Gandhi's legacy of "Divide and Rule" - was coercing the Bollywood stars and academics to raise the cry against the present popular BJP Government. The Congress Party though routed by BJP led by Mr Modi in the last elections, is a minority

With the help of the Gigwalk-a mobile platform for managing large distributed workforces, connecting the right people with the right work, anytime, anywhere-teams delivered kits to 150 MOWSF clients throughout San Francisco in PG&E's hybrid electric fleet vehicles. "Every day in our great city, thousands of home-bound seniors depend upon Meals On Wheels for food, home safety and a friendly face. I believe wholeheartedly in Meals On Wheels, and the power of its mission of nourishing the whole person. I'm exceedingly proud to support the work that this organization provides and this event is an important reminder of the ongoing needs of the seniors who live in our community," said Helen Burt, senior vice president, External Affairs and Public Policy, PG&E and member of the MOWSF Board of Directors. The emergency kits include a two-day supply of non-perishable food and water, a blanket, a flashlight and a whistle. Teams will also provide clients with information about money saving energy programs with PG&E and ways to stay safe in case of emergencies. "PG&E has been an important partner in our efforts to provide seniors with what they need to live independently and in a dignified manner here in San Francisco. We are thrilled that PG&E,

Dial V.Gidwani

The Bollywood Khans need to find a country that would honor them or be first class elite community there. They are born post-partition. They do not realize the pain of 80 million displaced people. Badshah Khan (a close friend and follower of Mahatma Gandhi) became a victim and his noble work of non-violence was destroyed by Indian National Congress, the new state of Pakistan and British Government. He is a forgotten hero of freedom fighters. Have they ever considered to produce a movie on his mission, work and achievements! We are proud to inherit tolerance from our ancient civilization

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

PG&E delivers emergency kits on Giving Tuesday Cont’d from page 22

party holding only 45 seats in the Lok Sabha. But having ruled in India for decades, it commands considerable influence to persuade academics, film stars and other rich and affluent sections.

Gigwalk and so many other corporate partners have supported events like today's and helped raise awareness of this critical safety issue for seniors in our city," said Ashley C. McCumber CEO & Executive Director, MOWSF. Meals On Wheels San Francisco provides 1.5 million meals annually, representing the only source of food for 24 percent of its clients. Seniors depending upon Meals On Wheels are frail, have limited ability to purchase or prepare meals, and have little or no support from family or caregivers. Seventy-one percent of its clients live under the federal poverty line. "Every company in this great city has a responsibility to help the communities where we work and live. Gigwalk is honored to continue to support the work of Meals On Wheels, enabling the organization to efficiently engage with its volunteers and seamlessly collect vital data about its clients' needs," said David Hale, CEO, Gigwalk. Each year, PG&E, its employees and retirees support a wide range of local nonprofits and schools, including Meals On Wheels San Francisco. In 2015, PG&E provided more than $32 million in financial support, of which, its employees and retirees contributed a recordbreaking $7.3 million through the utility's annual Campaign for the Community giving initiative.

of Mohanjodaro and Harappa of 5000 BC along with the principles of equality, democracy and social justice. Tolerance and Ahimsa are our heritage. I invite you to read book The March of Aryans which traces the story of the culture and civilization of India from 5000 BC and the birth and beginning of the roots of Hinduism (Sanatan Dharma) or listen to Song of Sindhu composed by Karakarta Bharat on the bank of Sindhu River in 5000 BC. The 31 themes from the book and Song of Hindu can be read/ listened on website www.sindhulogy.org Dial V.Gidwani 433 Sunset Drive, Wilmette, Ill


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December 11, 2015

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India the great land of spirituality, & corruption

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ften people ask this one question as to how come India, which is most rich in its spiritual values and religious worship in comparison to the rest of the world, yet is found to have the highest amount of corruption There is a temple in almost every home and everywhere there are multiple temples, mosques, churches and other houses of worship. There are thousands of pilgrimage sites and large crowds gather at these sites. Throughout the year religious festivals are celebrated on grand scales at the temples. Despite all this religiosity, we experience rising amount

SUSHREE GOPESHWARI DEVI

practice one is performing. Is it with the mind attached in the material world with dirty thoughts, simply a physical drill with the senses or is it the true devotional longing with the mind attached in God, desperately longing for His Divine Love? Is our filthy mind and intellect ready to get dissolved in supreme consciousness and be part of its divinity? The answer is mostly NO! How will our mind get absorbed in God - the Supreme Purity? It can be done easily through proper spiritual practice and devotion. The million dollar ques-

Let me assure you that it is not because of poverty or illiteracy. The corruption is found even in the rich and educated class of people. It is everywhere and in almost everyone. Most of you must be aware of this fact through the media. of corruption, crime and unlawful behavior in the people. In other words, the minds and hearts of the people are becoming worse and more impure. Let me assure you that it is not because of poverty or illiteracy. The corruption is found even in the rich and educated class of people. It is everywhere and in almost everyone. Most of you must be aware of this fact through the media. But why is it so, that those who are seen to be spiritual are also so corrupt? Let me explain this through a simple analogy. Suppose someone fills a bottle with dirty waste, seals the bottle top tightly and submerges the bottle in the holy river Ganga. After few weeks he takes out the bottle and opens the lid and asks one to drink the contents of the bottle, because it was pure and holy now, as it was submerged in the holy waters of the Ganges. Will anyone drink it? No. Why? Because the person will retort back by saying that the bottle top was tightly sealed so the dirty content from inside the bottle didn't get mixed with Gangaji at all. Thus it has not become pure or holy as Ganga water. Thousands of dirty water sources, and sewages are flowing into the holy river Gangaji and Yamunaji and people are joyously drinking these holy waters without any hesitation, because the filth when mixes with the most pure holy waters of the Ganges it takes the form of pure Ganga water. Likewise, we will have to see what kind of worship or spiritual

tion is: Who is the doer of the spiritual action? Unfortunately, it is the mere physical sense and action organs such as visiting places of pilgrimage as tourists not as devotees. In other words only the legs are marching in the places of pilgrimage and not the mind, only the hands are offering the prayers and not the mind, only the tongue is parroting the mantra or reciting the scriptural verses, or chanting the holy name, and only the fingers are counting the rosary beads, with the mind attached in other material thoughts. Not even a single tear drops in the remembrance of the Divine Beloved Lord whose devotion is being practiced. Thus, wherein does the filth lie? It is in the mind. This is where all our thoughts and

bondage or liberation. Only when we shall practice devotion with the mind, then the mind will become pure. More the mind becomes pure; more the rise of thoughts towards spirituality and righteousness would be experienced. Just by preaching to become virtuous, spiritual or good one does not become virtuous or free from corruption etc. Corruption will come to an end when the mind becomes pure and mind will only become pure when devotion or any spiritual practice is performed with the loving attachment of the mind in God and shedding tears in longing for the Love of God. Thus the reason for corruption everywhere and especially in India is due to hypocrisy and false spiritual practice and most important, the impurity of the mind. How to practice devotion and do our regular activities in day to day life? It is very simple, actually since eternity, we have mistakenly understood ourselves to be mere physical bodies. Thus we forgot God and got attached to the physical relations and the Mayic world. We must remember that our true 'self' is the soul (ansh) and that God is the (Anshi) the origin of the soul. In the 8th chapter 7th verse of Shrimad Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjun: 'Tasmat Sarveshu Kaleshu Mamanusmar Yudhya Cha.' "Oh Arjun, remember me at all times and fight the battle". This shlok explains the simple remedy to success. Lord Krishna gives the message to the world. That while performing any action we need to have our minds exclusively fixed in the remembrance

Just by preaching to become virtuous, spiritual or good one does not become virtuous or free from corruption etc. Corruption will come to an end when the mind becomes pure and mind will only become pure when devotion or any spiritual practice is performed with the loving attachment of the mind in God ideas get generated. The root of all the evil, vice, sin and corruption is the mind and it is firmly attached in the filthy material world like the sealed bottled in the Ganges. The mind needs to be opened and attached to God. "Maneva Manushyanam. Karanam Bandh Mokshayo" The scriptures proclaim that mind alone is responsible for

of God. It is the sad truth that 99.99% of us don't practice this instruction. Our minds do not get purified at all because the majority of spiritual teachers do not teach the people to practice devotion in the correct way and we do not practice the devotion properly. In order to purify our hearts and minds, we need to practice

devotion in the right way and that is to lovingly remember the form of God i.e do Roopdhyan, and cry out in desperate longing to meet Him and receive His Divine Love. Because the true Vedic knowledge is not being promoted, ninety nine percent of the people simply practice their Sadhna with their sense or action organs.

the presence of God next to us while performing any action, (like working at the office, find him in the next seat or at home, find him seating with your family , etc,) we will be saved from doing wrong actions. In case at any given time, if a bad thought arises in the mind, then we will get a push from in-

Sushree Gopeshwari Devi

They do puja with their hands, go to temples and have darshan of the deities or the saints with their eyes, listen to the scriptural narrations with their ears, chant the Lord's name with their mouth, read the scriptures or recite the scriptural verses with their tongue, and with their feet they march in the places of pilgrimage. Any spiritual practice that is done with the sense or action organs and not the heart and mind, is merely a physical drill and is not true devotion to God, and is not taken note of by God as devotion. Hence, unfortunately all the time and effort people are putting in performing spiritual practices, will not be accumulating the spiritual merit needed to increase the purity of their hearts and minds. Shwetashwetaro Upanishad 4/ 6 & Mundakopanishad 3/1/1 says: "Dua Suparna Sayuja Sakhaya Samanam Briksham Parikhswajate." This beautiful Shlok describes 2 birds sitting on a branch, one eating the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree, the other bird is watching from above. It is a metaphor describing how Our Beloved God is seated in our hearts, watching and recording our every thought. God is omnipresent, but we don't feel this or remember it all the time. If we consciously remember

side, that "Oh! God will take note of my sinful thought, I must do the right thing‌.otherwise how can I receive His Divine Grace?" If only we could remember this simple practice alone, people would improve. This way faults will reduce and all the unrighteous deeds that people do would slowly subside and eventually come to an end. With proper Spiritual Guidance from True Saints and the Vedic Scriptures, our minds will purify and corruption will finish. Thus, the richness of our true Divine heritage will permeate the minds of the people of world and no one will be able to blame anyone. Thus, if we move in the direction of virtue and righteousness that our divine scriptures illustrate, connect with God realized Saints and change the wrong way of our spiritual practices, build the attachment of our hearts and minds in God and worship with love and longing, always remember that God is always with us and watching us, no matter where we are and what we do, we will then be the change and India will flourish in a golden age of spirituality. Sushree Gopeshwari Deviji is one of the foremost preachers of His Divinity Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj. gdidi@usbm.org She is a teacher for (JKP) Radha Madhav Dham, Austin, TX www.RadhaMadhavDham.org


December 11, 2015

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Gulaabo : Shaandaar 2 Main Hoon Hero Tera: Hero 3 Shaam Shaandaar : Shaandaar 4 Prem Leela: Prem Ratan Dhan 28 India Post

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December 11, 2015

Payo 5 Matargashti : Tamasha

hah Rukh Khan and Kajol have always been Bollywood's sizzle couple. But now, Shah Rukh owes Kajol big time and nothing less than his life! Bollywood's badshah and his favorite leading lady were shooting for Rohit Shetty Dilwale when this 'life threatening' incident occurred. When Rohit decided to take the crew to a waterfall in Iceland, SRK slipped and almost lost his life, had it not been for Kajol, the 41-year-old actor reveals in the video. Shooting in the middle of snow is not easy, as the actors discovered during the shoot. Kajol reveals in the latest video that their lips were not moving due to the cold. "If you see carefully, our lips are blue and there's no lipsync," she quips.

6 Tung Tung Baje : Singh Is Bliing 7 Bandeyaa : Jazbaa 8 Afghan Jalebi : Phantom 9 Singh & Kaur : Singh Is Bliing 10 Raitaa Phail Gaya : Shaandaar

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When Rohit decided to take the crew to a waterfall in Iceland, SRK slipped and almost lost his life, had it not been for Kajol, the 41-year-old actor reveals in the video

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alaika Arora Khan's unpleasant remark about Huma Qureshi's style statement has given birth to a new cat-fight in Bollywood. Celebrities are looked up for their style and glamour and sometimes they have to face embarrassment. The latest to face humiliation is Huma Qureshi. She was laughed off for her fashion statement by Malaika Arora Khan. During a chat show, 'Born Stylish', hosted by designer Pria Kataaria Puri, Malaika Arora Khan passed a derogatory statement about Huma. When she was asked to name whom she feels the worst dressed up, she named Huma. Well, the Khan parivaar might not be too happy with Malaika's remark because Huma has been quite intimate with Salman Khan and his family.

aby doll' Sunny Leone who is set to sizzle the screen in 'Mastizaade', had teamed up with her 'baby doll' singer Kanika Kapoor for a music video. The sexy siren will be seen grooving to Kanika's new single titled 'Main Super Girl.' 'Main Super Girl' is a peppy track composed by Kanika herself. The video has been directed by Ahmed Khan and produced by Bhushan Kumar of T-Series. The music video has Sunny sporting different looks. She will be seen as a robot helping a boy with his daily routine, as a maid cooking and working in kitchen. Sunny will also sport the look of a sexy police woman in short skirt wielding a stick and dangling handcuffs, besides appearing as a gym trainer and a super woman. Although much has not been revealed about the new single, Sunny has shared a picture of her in t h e maid's costume on her Instagram page.


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December 11, 2015

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he cutest couple of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor might come together for director Sanjay Gupta's next directional venture. Hrithik, who is currently doing some extensive hard-hitting shooting for Ahsutosh Gowariker's periodic drama 'Mohenjo Daro' will again team up with his dad Rakesh Roshan for a home production. Kareena Kapoor might be signed for the female lead. In 2001, Hrithik and Kareena first paired together for Subhash Ghai's 'Yaadein' and then the couple starred in Sooraj Barjatya's 'Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon' in 2003. "Yes, the makers have approached Kareena and she has liked the script. It is a daringly different and challenging role. She's good friends with Hrithik and keen to pair up with him," the source added.

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e thought that just like her last film, the thriller Mr. X, Amyra Dastur too had disappeared without a trace. But guess what, she has got some 'kickass' news for us. The girl has bagged an international film, titled Kung Fu Yoga, with none other than Jackie Chan. Earlier Ileana D'Cruz was supposed to do this part, but things didn't work out with the filmmakers. A good chunk of the film has already been shot with Jackie and Sonu Sood (as the parallel lead), and reportedly Amyra will join them shortly for the next schedule in China. A source confirms that the actress will have a full-fledged role in the film. Amyra, we are waiting to see you pack some punch to your role this time.

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ormer beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez did a music video of sorts along with Sooraj Pancholi, who debuted in Bollywood with Hero. And now we hear, that she is all set to join the league of actress turned singers like Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Sonakshi Sinha. Jacqueline Fernandez will be lending her voice for the music video along with R&B and hiphop singer Gurinder Seagal. While Jacqueline maintained that this is something really cool and different, her co-singer Gurinder added that she will be singing a major chunk of this cheeky romantic number. The music video of the said song, under the banner T-Series, will be shot in Dubai later this month.

ollywood actress Daisy Shah, who debuted in the industry with Salman Khan Starrer Jai Ho, says that she has given everything she could to look sexy on screen in her upcoming flick Hate Story 3. "This is definitely not my comfort zone. I wanted to challenge myself and have put in everything for the preparation of the character. The co-actors (Sharman Joshi and Karan Grover) were very supportive and Vishal (the director) also made sure to have minimum number of people on sets while we were shooting bold scenes. So, I think I have done well so far, rest is up to the audience," said Daisy. Daisy essays the character of a strong headed businesswoman in Vishal Pandya's Hate Story 3. The movie is an erotic thriller which stars Daisy along with Sharman Joshi, Karan Singh Grover and Zarine Khan in lead roles.


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December 11, 2015


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Realty Tidbits

Families evicted from low-income complex

HILTON HEAD, S.C.: Families evicted from a low-income apartment complex in Hilton Head say they had been allowed to pay their rent late for several years until the landlord abruptly changed the policy this fall. The Island Packet reported nine families are being evicted from 90 Dillon Apartments. Property manager Steve Norman said late payment has been allowed previously. But he

Real Estate 31 India Post

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says the number of tenants who paid late every month increased this year. He confirmed that residents received no notice about the change. Resident Claudia Toro says she doesn't know where she and her two children will live now. The newspaper reported that the change was handed down by the apartment owner, RLJ Management, based in Columbus, Ohio. RLJ owns 151 properties in the U.S. -AP

„ Borrowers to receive money for wrongful foreclosure RALEIGH, N.C.: North Carolina's attorney general says about 1,400 mortgage borrowers will receive payments of nearly $2 million from SunTrust, which wrongly foreclosed on them. Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a news release that eligible North Carolina consumers who had mortgages serviced by SunTrust, lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2013, and applied for relief by the June 4 deadline should receive their payment in early December. Checks of about $1,330 each are being mailed to 1,454 affected borrowers in North Carolina. The news release says the cash payments are part of an estimated $23.5 million in relief for North Carolina consumers that also includes loan modifications and lien forgiveness under a settlement with SunTrust that Cooper won last year. -AP

COLUMBIA, S.C.: State lawmakers have approved a change to help developers who want to build expensive homes on Kiawah Island. A Senate subcommittee agreed to remove language from a bill that would have sharply reduced the chances of the development, local news outlets reported. The full Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved the change, after delaying a vote on the previous version of the bill last spring. Details on Page 32

Rent-to-own: A debatable path to homeownership

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From left, Lilly Corder, Andrew Rickard, Brian Myers, holding the vacate notice, and Jaimie Lewis at the apartment complex where residents are being progressively issued vacate notices

December 11, 2015

Development on Kiawah Island approved

ot quite an owner, but more than a renter: A lease-to-own agreement is a bit like housing purgatory. But the arrangement is increasingly popular today because more sellers are having trouble unloading their homes in the real estate recession and plenty of buyers can't get a mortgage because skittish lenders are cutting back on making loans. Through a rent-to-own contract, a renter locks in the right to buy a home at a later date at a set price. The renter puts down a nonrefundable deposit, and sometimes - depending on the contract - part of the monthly rent goes toward the down payment. There are pros and cons on both sides. These agreements can help a seller get through a slow market with a little cash in the pocket, but a bad tenant can spoil the deal. Renters can potentially build home equity now even though they're not ready to buy. But it might be better to wait until you're financially settled before jumping into a large commitment. The Web site

ForSaleByOwner.com is receiving more requests for rent-to-own listings from both buyers and sellers, and it's working overtime to make searching for that option on their site easier, says Greg Healy, vice president of the company's operations. And anecdotal evidence from

housing prices are still unaffordable despite recent sharp declines. "We're seeing more of these than in a normal market," says Steve Goddard, a broker manager for Re/Max Marquee Partners in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The arrangement is compli-

real estate agents around the country suggests that these types of deals are on the rise, especially in the old boomtown markets where

cated with many moving parts. Think of it as combining a purchase and rental agreement. Both parties should go into it with help

from a real estate attorney or at least a real estate agent wellversed on rent-to-own arrangements. "You need to have a strong contract to make it work, not just a good handshake," Goddard says. To start, the renter and seller agree on a fair price for the home. This can be tricky. A renter could lose out if the home declines in value before he or she can buy it. Or, the seller could get the short end if home prices appreciate more than expected. Once a price is set, the renter pays a deposit, or option payment, to the seller, guaranteeing his or her right to buy the home in a set time. For example, a seller may ask for $10,000, or 2 percent, on a $500,000 home. The two parties must also agree on a monthly payment and determine if any of it goes toward the down payment. Often times, rentto-owners are willing to pay up to 10 percent above market rents to secure the home, especially if part of the money goes toward adding to the down payment, Goddard says. Cont’d on page 32

Quikr acquires analytics platform realtycompass MUMBAI: Online cross-category classified business Quikr has acquired realtycompass, a real-estate analytics platform, to enhance its offerings in the property space. The platform provides builder ratings and detailed project analysis to end-consumers and investors to help them in making informed decisions. Quikr will continue to invest and develop the realtycompass platform by adding project approvals, social sentiment analysis and user credit score, among others. Founded by Nimesh Bhandari, Sankara Srinivasan and Alok Mishra in 2013, realtycompass will now be a part of QuikrHomes, it said in a statement. "Real estate is a key category

for us. We have been keenly developing some innovations that have the potential to reshape the market landscape and the acquisition of realtycompass will help us bring more such solutions to our users," said Pranay Chulet, founder and chief executive of

points about the projects and builders. "realtycompass addresses the needs of the evolved home buyers and investors who seek better decision making tools and it also complements our offerings to consumers," Manish Sinha, Head of

Quikr. Ratings and user recommendations on realtycompass platform are derived from over 100 data

QuikrHomes, said. This is Quikr's second acquisition in the real-estate space as it seeks to strengthen its

QuikrHomes vertical. It recently made an investment towards acquisition of Indian Realty Exchange (IRX), a mobile-first aggregator of real estate agents, in a move to step up long-term engagement with the broker community. Quikr has also invested in A N Virtual World Tech, the company that runs hyper-local search engine providing 360degree street views under WoNoBo.Com, part-owned by Indian geo-spatial technology company Genesys International Corp. QuikrHomes currently connects customers from over 1,000 cities and towns across India and it helps conclude two lakh plus transactions per month. PTI


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Mobile home park owners challenge Pearl's regulations JACKSON, Miss.: Owners of five mobile home parks are challenging the city of Pearl's rental property regulations in federal court, saying the city ultimately seeks to close their businesses. The city, though, says the rules aim to ensure residents are safe from fires and tornadoes. ``The city's objective is to shut us down and they have taken step after step after step to do so,'' lawyer John Corlew told U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate during a hearing. Corlew argued that the

city is misusing its rental ordinance, which includes requirements for mobile home parks and apartments to build tornado shelters and rainwater detention features, by not grandfathering existing properties.

``You cannot take the nonconforming status of a property owner away without removing their dueprocess rights,'' Corlew said. The owners want Wingate to enter an order that allows them to fill empty spaces in their parks without complying with the rental property ordinance. Corlew argued the ordinance is a ``subterfuge'' that the city fell back on after the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the neighboring city of Richland couldn't use its zoning ordinance

to block a mobile home park there from replacing individual trailers. A judge then blocked a similar Pearl zoning provision. A group of apartment owners who own 1,145 units in the city have joined the lawsuit. They too

object to requirements for tornado shelters, as well as requirements to retrofit buildings with sprinklers. Citing experience from a 2014 tornado that hit a mobile home park and concerns from fire officials, Pearl lawyer James Bobo argued the city is justified. He rejected Corlew's claims that the ordinance discriminated against poorer people. The 2010 Census found that 37 percent of Pearl's 25,000 residents were renters. ``It's almost insulting that they raise the specter of poor people,'' Bobo said. ``The poor people they claim to be serving, they're not concerned about whether they burn up. They're not concerned about whether their neighbor's trailer rolls over them in a tornado.'' Bobo rejected claims that the city hadn't adequately notified the park owners of problems. He also said those suing hadn't proved their claims that building tornado shelters would be prohibitively expensive. The city government seeks its own preliminary injunction to bar

Rent-to-own: A debatable path to homeownership Cont’d from page 31

In addition to the purchase price and rent, there are many other important conditions that should be outlined in the agreement. Consider the gamut of scenarios for the sale and the rental arrangement and try to head off conflict before running into one of them. For example, can the terms be extended if the renter can't buy at the set time? If so, for how long, and should the renter be required to increase his or her deposit? What happens if the renter falls behind on the monthly payments? Who pays for the maintenance and repairs of the house? The eventual buyer should be ready for a vetting process that mirrors most rental applications. Prudent sellers will run credit checks and ask for income and employment verification to make sure the renter can afford the monthly payments. The worst-case scenario for a seller is getting a tenant who can't

pay rent, trashes the place and doesn't buy it. Similarly, renters should treat the agreement like they're buying a house. Get an appraisal and a home inspection. Check into the seller's mortgage status too. He should be making his monthly bills on time.

years. Create a financial game plan. Clean up your credit. Save a little cash each month for a down payment. He worries that people will jump into agreements without fully understanding the financial considerations, similar to buyers during the housing boom who

Renters should treat the agreement like they're buying a house. Get an appraisal and a home inspection. Check into the seller's mortgage status too. He should be making his monthly bills on time. "You're taking the normal steps of purchasing a home. You're not skipping out on the work," Healy says. However, if you're not financially ready to buy a home, don't rent-to-own, says Chris Krehmeyer, a housing counselor with Beyond Housing in St. Louis. Skip the shortcuts. Wait a few

signed up for exotic loans they didn't understand and ultimately couldn't afford. He also suggests contacting a nonprofit credit or housing counseling service to help with the planning. "We can set you on the path to the American Dream," he says.AP

new mobile homes from being placed without city approval. Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers, who was sued personally, seeks to be dismissed from the case. It's the latest in a series of legal battles over regulation of mobile homes, apartments and rental houses in Jackson suburbs. The city of Ridgeland faces multiple state and federal lawsuits after adopting a 2014 zoning ordinance that declared 15 apartment complexes violate density

limits and must reduce their number of units. Madison property owner Mike Crook challenged Madison's property rental ordinance, including a requirement that owners post a $10,000 bond for each property against possible repairs the city might require. The state Supreme Court upheld most of the ordinance this year, but ruled Madison couldn't require landlords to allow warrantless searches. -AP

Development on Kiawah Island approved COLUMBIA, S.C.: State lawmakers have approved a change to help developers who want to build expensive homes on Kiawah Island. A Senate subcommittee agreed to remove language from a bill that would have sharply reduced the chances of the development, local news outlets reported. The full Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved the change, after delaying a vote on the previous version of the bill last spring. The full Senate is expected to have the bill on its calendar in January. The bill, which was intended to stop new development projects from being built closer to the ocean, would have prevented state regulators from moving a building restriction line toward the ocean so that development could occur closer to the sea. That line has, in the past, been moved toward the ocean after taxpayer-funded beach renourishment projects artificially

widened the seashore. At Kiawah Island, developers oppose freezing the building restriction line because they say the beach is building up naturally. They want the flexibility to have the line moved seaward to provide more room for the project. Developers have been fighting environmentalists for 10 years in an effort to build expensive homes on a narrow strip of land. Kiawah Development partners to build on Captain Sam's spit, an area of dunes between the ocean and a tidal marsh south of Charleston. The plan last year called for construction of 50 houses. Critics said it's foolish to build on such a skinny stretch of land during climate change. ``This has broader implications for the coast of South Carolina,'' environmental lawyer Amy Armstrong said. ``It is just not good policy to build closer to the ocean. It's not safe. It puts people and structures in harm's way.'' -AP


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„ Health

Line

Ajanta launches Asthma tablets In US MUMBAI: Ajanta Pharma has launched its generic Montelukast Sodium tablets used for treatment of asthma and seasonal allergies in the American market. Ajanta Pharma USA Inc, a subsidiary of the company announced the launch of Montelukast Sodium immediate release tablets in the strength of 10mg and Montelukast Sodium chewable tablets in 4mg & 5mg strengths, Ajanta Pharma said in a filing to BSE. The company's tablets are generic versions of Merck & Co Inc's Singulair tablets and Singulair chewable tablets respectively, it added. The United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) approval is for Montelukast offerings in three dosage forms (immediate-release tablets, chewable tablets and oral granules), Ajanta Pharma said. The company has five Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) final approvals and two tentative approvals from the USFDA and 19 ANDAs are pending approval from the US health regulator, Ajanta Pharma said. Montelukast is used for prevention and chronic treatment of asthma, prevention of exercise induced bronchoconstriction and allergic rhinitis. -PTI

„

Cancer deaths on the rise in India

NEW DELHI: The number of deaths due to cancer has been increasing in the country, according to the National Cancer Registry Program of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Union Health Minister J P Nadda informed the Parliament that the estimated mortality from cancer in the year 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 were 4,65,169, 4,78,185, 4,91,598 and 5,05,428, respectively. The minister said treatment of cancer in government hospitals is either free or subsidized, and financial aid is available to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi. Besides this, the Health Minister's Cancer Patient Fund within Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi has been set up in 2009 where 27 regional cancer centers are provided with revolving fund to provide immediate financial assistance up to Rs. 2 lakh to cancer patients belonging to BPL category. Also, with an aim of making cancer drugs available at affordable prices, AMRIT (affordable medicines and reliable implants for treatment) pharmacy has been opened at AIIMS in New Delhi on pilot basis. -PTI

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Yoga, meditation reduce healthcare cost Details on Page 37

Senate GOP health law repeal delivers wins to party's wings WASHINGTON: Republicans ignored a White House promise of a veto and pushed toward Senate passage of legislation demolishing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and blocking Planned Parenthood's federal funds. After weeks of strategizing, GOP leaders began rolling out a measure they said would attract the votes needed for approval by week's end. To achieve that, they balanced victories for some of the most conservative GOP senators with concessions for more moderate Republicans facing competitive 2016 re-elections. The White House accused Republicans of ``refighting old political battles,'' a reference to unanimous GOP opposition to the measure ever since Obama began pushing it through Congress and dozens of votes lawmakers have staged to undo the statute. Repeal would ``roll back coverage gains and would cost millions of hard-working families the security of affordable health cov-

erage they deserve,'' the White House wrote in its letter pledging a veto. Senate Majority Leader Mitch

``This is their chance, and President Obama's chance, to begin to make amends for the pain and hurt they've caused'' by the

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, tells reporters that he’s confident he will have enough support on an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act during a news conference following a GOP policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

McConnell, R-Ky., tauntingly suggested that Democrats reconsider their defense of the health care law.

statute, which Republicans blame for rising health care costs. A Department of Health and

Human Services report said that health care spending grew last year at 5.3 percent, in part because over his law's coverage expansion and the steepest climb since Obama took office. The GOP said a veto would only help its presidential and congressional candidates by underscoring that Republican control of the White House and Congress could spell the end of the law they derisively label ``Obamacare'' and of Planned Parenthood's federal dollars. Pleasing conservatives, the measure would all but kill the 2010 Affordable Care Act, effectively ending its requirements that individuals obtain health insurance and that large companies offer coverage to workers by erasing the financial penalties enforcing those obligations. The bill would repeal the law's expanded Medicaid coverage for lower-income people and its federal subsidies for those buying policies in insurance marketplaces. Cont'd on Page 37

Health spending grew at fastest rate WASHINGTON: U.S. health care spending last year grew at the fastest pace since President Barack Obama took office, driven by expanded coverage under his namesake law and by zooming prescription drug costs, the government said. After five years of historically low growth, national health expenditures increased by 5.3 percent in 2014, reaching $3 trillion, or $9,523 for every man, woman and child. That followed a 2.9 percent increase for 2013. Such seemingly small percentage shifts resonate when the total is $3 trillion. The report by nonpartisan experts at the Department of Health and Human Services is an annual snapshot of the nation's health care system, a major slice of the economy. Rising spend-

ing eventually has consequences for taxpayers, employers and individuals.

ally long lull in health care inflation that yielded political dividends. While the president's

File photo of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

For the Obama administration, it may signal the end of an unusu-

health care law has increased coverage, the cost problem

doesn't appear solved. Even now, the Republican-led Congress is preparing to send a repeal bill to his desk. ``From the political point of view, it's absolutely significant,'' said Robert Blendon, who follows public opinion on health care at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Critics will point to the report as authoritative evidence the health law is starting to raise costs. Underscoring concerns about affordability, the report also found that health care spending grew faster than the economy as a whole, reaching 17.5 percent of GDP. That's worrisome because it means health care is claiming a growing share of national resources. Cont'd on Page 35


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Scientists discover new Health spending grew at fastest rate protein to fight TB Cont'd from Page 34

HYDERABAD: A team of scientists from city-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) has come out with discovery of a mycobacterial protein that promises to fight tuberculosis in a novel way. In the study, the team led by Sanjeev Khosla has used the knowledge of epigenetics to open a new frontier in the research on host-Mycobacterium tuberculosis interaction. Epigenetics defines the process by which same DNA in different cells of an organism perform different functions. The team has identified a novel mycobacterial protein Rv1988, which is secreted out of the mycobacterium into the host upon infection and localizes to the chromatin (DNA-histone complex) in the nucleus of the human cell. "Around six years ago, the team started this research work and further observed that Rv1988 is a methyltransferase enzyme that methylates the histone H3

protein at an arginine amino acid. This methylation epigenetically modulates the transcription of genes, which would have otherwise mounted an immune response against the infecting pathogen," CDFD Director G R Chandak told reporters here.

Identification of Rv1988 as an important mycobacterial virulence factor, augurs well not only for it to be a potential target for therapy against mycobacterial infections but also for developing a new biomarker Identification of Rv1988 as an important mycobacterial virulence factor, augurs well not only for it to be a potential target for therapy against mycobacterial in-

fections but also for developing a new biomarker for identification of M-tuberculosis infection in humans, he said. Rv1988 is important for the pathogen as its deletion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis reduced bacterial survival. These observations have been confirmed by Rv1988 expression in a non-pathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis that negatively affected the health of infected mice. This study has recently been published in the prestigious journal 'Nature Communications', Khosla said. Since arginine amino acid at 42nd position in Rv1988 is normally not known to be methylated by human methyltransferases, methylation of this amino acid can be used as a sensitive marker of mycobacterial infection, he explained. A patent based on using this novel atypical site of methylation in histone H3 for diagnosis of Mtuberculosis infection has also been filed by CDFD. -PTI

India-Africa synergies in health sector mooted JOHANNESBURG: The potential for cooperation between India and Africa in the health sector have been discussed during a seminar held here. "There were immense opportunities for collaboration between the two countries in the fields of telemedicine, high-end medical tourism, pathology and diagnostics care, research, education and e-health," High Commissioner Ruchi Ghanashyam said. "Massive transformation in the healthcare sector has happened in India in the last couple of decades. India today is not only the pharmacy of the world but also a leading healthcare provider for the world," she stressed. Referring to the recently concluded India-Africa Forum Summit, she stated that the Government of India, in addition to a Line of Credit of USD 10 billion to Africa over the next five years, has offered a grant of USD 600 million which includes a dedicated grant of USD 10 million for health cooperation. The seminar was hosted by the Indian Consulate-General and the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

In this context, she noted the success of cooperation between India and African countries on telemedicine through the Pan-African e-Network established by India, which connects Indian centers of excellence with hospitals

Apollo currently has a presence in Nigeria and Mauritius in Africa and the company is in discussion with several other countries on the continent as well. in Africa. Leading health care providers Apollo Hospitals and Max Healthcare from India shared their experiences in bringing low cost healthcare to the masses, with South African participants expressing amazement at how such high quality treatment at private hospitals could be provided at such low cost.

Radhey Mohan, Vice President of Apollo Hospitals, said that his hospital chain was providing healthcare to patients from over 120 countries, including several in Africa. "Apollo Hospitals has also trained over 200 doctors in Africa as part of its education program," added Mohan. Apollo currently has a presence in Nigeria and Mauritius in Africa and the company is in discussion with several other countries on the continent as well. Anas Abdul Wajid, Director Max Healthcare, said Medical Value Travel, also known as medical tourism, was growing by 30 per cent growth annually given the cost and quality advantage that India provides. "Over 120,000 foreign patients from US, UK, Africa and other developing and developed countries sought healthcare support in India in 2014," said Wajid. Policy makers from the Southern African Development Community countries have already expressed an interest in inviting India to assist in their countries. PTI

``The return to faster growth and an increased share of GDP in 2014 was largely influenced by the coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act,'' said the report, referring to Obama's law. It made no predictions, saying future trends depend on how the health care industry adjusts to continuing change and how the economy fares. Political appointees at HHS responded quickly, saying that spending is still not growing as fast as in the years before Obama's law, which passed in 2010. ``Health care spending growth stayed well below the trend seen prior to the Affordable Care Act,'' Richard Frank, a top economic adviser, said in a statement. The increase ``is not surprising given that more people are covered and getting the health care they need,'' Frank added. Much of that growth ``will be temporary and will fade in the coming years,'' he suggested. The report confirmed the increase in insurance coverage due to Obama's law, already documented by major national surveys that show the uninsured rate at 9 percent, a historic low. Beyond that, however, it painted a picture of costs creeping upward at many critical points in the system. Among the major findings: • Prescription drug spending shot up by 12.2 percent in 2014, driven by new medications for hepatitis C infection, as well as treatments for cancer and multiple sclerosis. Hepatitis C drugs con-

Political appointees at HHS responded quickly, saying that spending is still not growing as fast as in the years before Obama's law, which passed in 2010.

tributed $11.3 billion in new spending. • The growth in per-person health care spending was driven mainly by greater use of medical services, which outpaced increases in the price of those ser-

vices. That suggests that some newly insured people got care they had previously gone without. Additionally, already-insured people may have gotten elective treatments postponed earlier during lean economic times. • Medicare spending increased by 5.5 percent last year, the fastest rate of growth since 2009. The two biggest reasons were the rising cost of prescription drugs, and more spending

Spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people, jumped by 11 percent in 2014, the fastest growth in more than a decade. for doctors' services and other outpatient care. • Spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people, jumped by 11 percent in 2014, the fastest growth in more than a decade. That was mainly driven by the health law's Medicaid expansion, which is optional for states. In some reassuring news for states, the report found that perperson spending declined due to healthier people signing up in the program. Also, the federal government picked up nearly all the new costs. Some outside experts who reviewed the report say they don't see a return to galloping inflation, but even modest increases could lead to affordability problems. ``We don't read in this any sign that the pressure is off now and we are going back to double-digit growth,'' said economist Charles Roehrig of the Altarum Institute, a Michigan-based nonprofit that does health care system research and consulting. But even if health care spending grew at a slower rate, closer to the overall economy, that would still be a major problem. It's ``not sustainable in the long term unless we want to increase the amount we collect in taxes,'' said Roehrig. The federal report was published online by the health policy journal Health Affairs. -AP


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Dr Henk Bekedam new Delhi braces for a 'serious' spell of pollution WHO rep in India KOLKATA: Senior World Health Organization (WHO) public health specialist Dr Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the UN body's representative to India. Dr Bekedam, a Dutch national and medical doctor by training, has worked for 19 years with WHO as its representative in China and Egypt, Director of Health Sector Development in the WHO Western Pacific Region Office in Manila, and as team leader of the health sector reform project in Cambodia, a WHO release said. "It's a privilege to be in India. I am looking forward to building upon and further strengthening the excellent partnership that WHO has with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and other stakeholders," the release said quoting Bekedam. "WHO India will continue to strive towards further strengthening health and equity in the country as India takes major steps towards Universal Health Coverage," he added. Bekedam, who did his M.Sc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1996, was seconded to governments in Zambia and Malawi before joining WHO. Incidentally, Bekedam's work has in-

cluded supporting the Chinese government in successfully containing the SARS outbreak in 2003. "A similar outcome was seen in Egypt, where we assisted the national government to define a new vision of universal health coverage in response to the constitution adopted in 2014, which gave more atten-

NEW DELHI: There has been a "sevenfold increase" in Delhi's air pollution level since October, a CSE expert has said even as real-time exposure readings of nearly all monitoring stations put PM 2.5 and PM 10 figures above the 'severe' threshold. The city's ambient air quality (outdoor air quality over a 24-hour period as opposed to real time) also continues to be 'very poor', a situation that is extremely harmful for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children. Experts say, the sheer amount of microscopic pollutants, that Delhi's air bears would have prompted authorities in Beijing,

Dr Henk Bekedam

tion to health and education," he added. Other areas of Bekedam's strong expertise include health system strengthening, Universal Health Coverage health sector reforms, food safety, AIDS, tuberculosis, tobacco control and chronic diseases, the WHO release stated. -PTI another severely polluted megapolis, to issue advisories restricting outdoor activities, shutting down factories and regulating vehicular movement. At Anand Vihar, where pollutants have consistently breached safe limits, PM 2.5 and PM 10 were at a staggering 348 and 808 microgram per cubic meters. At Punjabi Bagh, PM 2.5 was 397 and PM 10 634 as per DPCC in the morning hours. The corresponding safe limits are 60 and 100. Anything beyond that can harm the

respiratory system as the particles embed themselves deep inside the lungs. "There has been a seven-times increase in pollution levels since October 1. The winter pollution is going to be very serious. Advisories need to be issued asking people to minimize their levels of outdoor activity," Anumita Roychowdhury of Centre for Science and Environment said. The Center's System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), DPCC and the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) figures leaves no room for doubt that the situation calls for immediate measures. SAFAR's air quality index of Pitampura, Delhi University, Mathura Road, IGI Airport among others displayed 'very poor' category. While CPCB's National Air Quality Index also threw up 'very poor' readings in places across the city. 'Very poor' signifies PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels between 351 and 420 and 211 to 252 micro gram per cubic metre. 'Severe' is declared when PM 2.5 and PM 10 cross 253, 421 micro gram per cubic meters respectively. However, smog has dissipated slightly as due to cloudy conditions, which IMD officials said, does not allow formation of dense fog and its coming together with smoke. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government to issue a notification with regard to areas in the capital which are most polluted and enumerate steps needed to check air pollution.-PTI

Diabetes can be cured with weight loss LONDON: Scientists from a UK university have found that the life-limiting Type 2 diabetes can be cured through as little as one gram weight loss in the pancreas. A new study by Newcastle University shows the disease is caused by fat accumulating in the pancreas and losing less than one gram from the organ can reverse the illness and restore insulin production. Type 2 diabetes, which affects millions, was until now thought to be chronic and can lead to blindness, stroke, kidney failure and limb amputation. "For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to drain excess fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal," said Professor Roy Taylor, of Newcastle University. "So if you ask how much weight you need to lose to make your diabetes go away, the answer is one gram. But that gram needs to be fat from the pancreas. At present the only way we have to achieve this is by calorie restriction by any means, whether by

diet or an operation." "What is interesting is that regardless of your present body weight and how you lose weight, the critical factor in reversing your Type 2 diabetes is losing that one gram of fat from the pancreas," he explained. According to 'The Daily Telegraph', as part of the study 18 obese people with Type 2 diabetes who were given gastric band surgery and put on a restricted diet for eight weeks were cured of their condition. During the trial the patients, aged between 25 and 65, lost an average of 2.2 stone, which was around 13 per cent of their body weight. Crucially they also lost 0.6 grams of fat from their pancreas, allowing the organ to secrete normal levels of insulin. The team is now planning a larger twoyear study involving 200 people with Glasgow University to check that the findings can be replicated and weight loss can be sustained for two years. -PTI


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'Gene-Edited' cells must not Senate GOP health law repeal be used for pregnancy delivers wins to party's wings WASHINGTON: Human cells or embryos that undergo a process of gene-editing must not be used to establish a pregnancy, an international scientific panel said, urging strict limits on the controversial research. The statement by the organizing committee for the International Summit on Human Gene Editing was issued after three days of meetings in the US capital to discuss the promise and dangers of new geneediting techniques that make it possible to alter genetic traits and potentially end certain illnesses. However, they stopped short of calling for a moratorium on the inexpensive and highly accurate technology, which is widely known as CRISPR/Cas9. Still, the risk of permanently altering human DNA or meddling with the process of human evolution poses significant ethical and health concerns, wrote the group which included hundreds of scientists from 20 countries including Britain, China and the United States. "Intensive basic and preclinical research is clearly needed and should proceed, subject to appropriate legal and ethical rules," said the statement. "It would be irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing" unless safety issues are understood and "there is broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application," the group added. "If, in the process of research, early human embryos or germline cells undergo gene editing, the modified cells should not be used to establish a pregnancy." The group warned that if genetic alterations were introduced into the human

population, they "would be difficult to remove and would not remain within any single community or country." They also raised the possibility that "permanent genetic 'enhancements' to subsets of the population could exacerbate social inequities or be used coercively." The group called for an ongoing inter-

national forum to guide the research in the coming years. Ethical concerns about the process have mounted since the announcement in April by Chinese researchers that they had modified a defective gene in two non-viable human embryos. According to Jacob Corn, scientific director of the Innovative Genomics Initiative, the group's statement was "very responsible." The statement "is also forward-thinking enough to recognize that we may eventually be able to tackle such issues, though it may take a while." -AFP

Yoga, meditation reduce healthcare cost HOUSTON: Practices like yoga, meditation and can help curb the need for general healthcare services by almost 50 per cent, according to a new study. "Evoking the relaxation response or a physiologic state of deep rest, helps alleviate stress and anxiety, while also affecting heart rate and blood pressure," according to a study by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Tech-

nology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute. "Our study's primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response can also dramatically reduce health care utilization," said James E Stahl. "These programs promote wellness and in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk," he said. By doing a comparative analysis of information available on Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) of Partners HealthCare and data on individuals participating in the BHI Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) from 2006 to 2014, researchers came to the conclusion that practitioners of yoga, meditation, prayer spent significantly lower than non-practitioners, on medical services. The study also found that practitioners primarily benefited from neurologic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal ailments. -PTI

Cont'd from Page 34

It would also annul a slew of tax increases the law imposed to cover its costs, including levies on medical devices, costly insurance policies, investment income of higher-earning people and indoor tanning salons, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. For GOP senators facing tough re-election fights, the measure offers some relief: a two-year delay in its repeal of the exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. That would allow Republicans to argue that the bill creates a two-year bridge until the next president takes office and can offer a replacement health care plan. In the five years since the health statute became law, the GOP hasn't coalesced behind a replacement proposal. That two-year delay also keeps the impact of those provisions from being felt immediately. That could help GOP senators facing strong re-election challenges in Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are among 30 states that have expanded Medicaid to thousands of voters. Also included is $1.5 billion over two years for mental health and drug abuse programs. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who could face a tough race next year, said that money is ``important to me, especially with a heroin epidemic in Ohio.''

Republicans brought the bill to the Senate floor 11 months before an election in which Democrats have a solid chance of retaking the majority of a chamber the GOP controls by 54-46. Republicans avoided needing 60 votes to overcome Democratic efforts to kill the measure by using a streamlined procedure available for deficit-cutting legislation. But that process has strict rules, including a bar against raising federal deficits, which repealing the entire health law would do because of higher taxes and reduced payments to health care providers the statute imposed. Yet even getting to 51 votes has been tricky for the GOP, and they have no chance of rallying the two-thirds majority they would need to override a veto. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and presidential candidates Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, had warned that a Houseapproved version of the bill was too weak. Lee said he supports the measure, saying the bill came as close to repealing the health law as Senate rules allow and ``lays the groundwork for Obamacare to be erased from the books altogether.'' On the other end of the party spectrum, moderates including Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who faces re-election in 2016, and Susan Collins of Maine, were concerned about the bill's Planned Parenthood cuts. -AP


Horoscope

38 India Post

December 11, 2015

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Dec 11th - Dec17th 2015

o harm in enjoying life but stay within legal parameters and stay away from that shady character, it's a bait. You may file an appeal with a government agency and quickly get the approval. Other side will get the message and consider your offer seriously. You may also try to get in touch with an old and trusted person for advise.

N

ou will enjoy the company of a new colleague but maintain a distance. Some of you may start working on a long distance trip and buy some nice gifts. People in business will experience great sale this week. An older family member may need extra medical care. You may completely ignore advise given by a trusted person.

Y

A

Y

ou will accomplish a lot. Mind will be at ease and you will hear some very good news about your children. Money wise you will continue to do well and get ready for an upcoming short vacation. Good week for bachelors as they will get introduced to someone nice at a social event. You will be involved in some charity work also this week.

A

nd any change in career at this point will be good. There will be some last minute change or delay in your travel plans. You will get to spend quality time with some famous people at the party this week. Money wise you will do well and may dispose off some stocks and put money aside for the time being. A big deal is on it's way to you.

M

ind will be full of few bright ideas and you will quickly start working on it. It is going to be a very expensive week and the family members will also charge heavily on the cards. Everyone will be excited about an upcoming trip and will start preparations. A close friend will make some comment which you may not like, ignore him.

A

nd it's going to be another hectic week as you will try to finish the projects on hand and start preparing for the trip as well. Your decisions will reflect wisdom and you will make an important decision about career. Eye sight may start giving little trouble or you may need new prescription and pair of new glasses.

nd it should prove to be a very lucky week. Property deal can finalize. Value of your assets and stocks will appreciate. Some of you may buy another vehicle for the family. Issues involving a child will get settled to your satisfaction. You may spend extra hours at work in order to finish pending work.

W

Y

ry to take decisions with a calm and rational mind and keep an eye on blood pressure as there is strong chance that you may take a self destructive decision in a hurry this week. Money wise you will continue to do well and will have plenty after making few big payments. Some of the money you spend, will be towards upcoming trip.

T

T

ou may again change the priority and put your needs aside and go out of your way to help or buy gifts for others. Have patience with spouse and avoid any arguments. Things will be just normal at work and you may plan something with a colleague for upcoming holidays. Some of you may be desperately looking for a possible change in career.

ith everything going alright in life,you may still feel little down and miss someone badly. It will be better to let the past go. You may have to travel to another state in connection with your work. Just handle all tools and machinery with extra care this week. You may go out to a mall and buy some nice clothing for yourself.

ou are really going to enjoy couple of evenings with close family and friends this week. You may buy something nice for the house or may find a great deal on another vehicle. Money wise things will be on the edge and you may need to do little juggling in order to meet your commitments. You will quickly recover from minor illness.

here will be few interest ing developments in career and any change at this point will prove very lucky in time to come. Some of you may sign to buy another franchise. Past good deeds will make you famous in social circle. You will receive blessings and great piece of advise from a holy man. Automobile may need little repairs.

Y


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40 India Post

O

ne of the main religious places among the four Char Dham pilgrimage areas, Gangotri, situated in Uttarkashi, is closely related to Ganga, the river that we know as Ganges. The history of Gangotri dates back to centuries when according to mythology, Goddess Ganga transformed herself into a river to dissolve the sins of King Bhagirath's forefathers, following his penance. In order to reduce the impact of her fall, Lord Shiva gath-

www.indiapost.com ered Ganga into his matted locks and has ever since been associated with Goddess Ganga. Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier and is known as Bhagirathi. The name Ganga picks up later after the river passes Devaprayag and merges into the river Alaknanda. Just the perfect destination to breathe in a serene and pious atmosphere, Gangotri has the charm to attract people from all over. The striking presence of the snow-clad mountains in the vicinity and the

December 11, 2015

pure crystal clear water of the Ganges flowing around add to the sanctity of the place. One feels close to God in the high altitude of Gangotri. Vegan food dominates the culture and is available in the local food joints or dhabas. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are a strict no-no. Attractions Dodi Tal At an altitude of 3307 meters, Dodi Tal is a clear lake nestled amidst thick dense forests. The lakeside has accommodation in the form of a wonderful rest house, a camp site and a log cabin. Dodi Tal is a very famous trekking site and any holiday package is incomplete without a trek to this area. Fishing may be allowed following permission from the Divisional Forest Officer. Cont’d on page 42


December 11, 2015

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Kerala to focus on 'Responsible Tourism' THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 2016 edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), billed as the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, will be held in Kochi in end-September with focus on 'Responsible Tourism.' Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said that the Samudrika Convention Centre would be the venue for the September 28-30 event, being held by Kerala Travel Mart Society, in partnership with the state's Tourism Department. KTM 2016 is expected to attract nearly 1,100 buyers from around the country and abroad, he told reporters here. "KTM 2016 will reach out to buyers from new markets like Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,

Middle East, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and USA, with special emphasis on raising the quality of participation next year," he added. KTM, the minister said, has contributed largely to the development of tourism industry in the state. "As the responsible tourism campaign titled 'God's Own Country, People's Own Tourism' goes, we hope to popularize the concept among the common man," he said. KTM brings together business entrepreneurs offering various tourism products and services, including tour operators, hotels, resorts, homestays, houseboats, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centers, onto a single platform and facilitates their meeting and interaction with buyers from around the

world. The Mart will also project Kerala as an ideal breakaway destination for weddings and honeymoons along with its Ayurveda

Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar

India no. 1 tourism market for Abu Dhabi India Post News Service

KOLKATA: Abu Dhabi is continuing its surge as the preferred outbound destination for the up-

Bejan Dinshaw, Country Manager - India, TCA Abu Dhabi, said: "Abu Dhabi has experienced consistently high double-digit growth from the Indian market over last few years. As the market matures,

and leisure products all of which are emerging segments for tourism destinations with the aim of increasing the state's tourism market share by an additional Rs 5,000

with our marketing and promotional activities the response from the Indian market has been extremely positive. Our activities with the travel trade emphasize our continued initiatives with all stake-

crore. Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao said a breakup of present statistics showed United Kingdom as the country that brought in the maximum percentage (17) of international tourists to the state. This is followed by France, US and Germany. "Our aim is to increase the number of tourists from the US in the next two years," he said, while reeling out relevant figures of the state tourism over the last five years. "The state tourism department will hold talks with the private airlines to bring about a slash in the air fare for more inflow of tourist to the state," he said. The Minister released a book on Kerala tourism Statistics 2014. -PTI

'Provide quality guides to Chinese tourists' NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has expressed dismay at the Tourism Ministry's "failure" to give thrust to Chinese language so as to ensure "quality guides" to Chinese travelers and recommended that the government augments its efforts in this direction. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, in its 229th action taken report, also recommended extension of 'Visa on Arrival' facility at all major ports of the country where cruise handling facilities are available. "The Committee notes with dismay that the Ministry has failed to grasp the importance of

reaucratic reply. "The Committee further recommends that the Ministry should augment its efforts to provide quality guides to Chinese travelers. The Committee may be apprised of the efforts made by the Ministry to incentivise foreign language training courses," the report, tabled in Rajya Sabha, said. "The Committee also recommends that Visa on Arrival facility may be extended to all major ports of the country where cruise ship handling facilities are available," it said. The panel also asked the Ministry to involve all north-eastern states in tourism promotion ac-

the recommendation of the Committee to give thrust to the Chinese language. What the Ministry has submitted is a routine bu-

tivities every year and sought clearing of bottlenecks in releasing funds for tourism promotion in these states. -PTI

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority recently organized a Trade Evening in Kolkata, attended by top line travel professionals of the Eastern India Region.

market and aspirational Indian traveler. Continuing the high focus and emphasis on India as the leading overseas source market for hotel guests, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) recently organized a highly successful trade interaction in the key gateway of Kolkata. Top-of-the-line travel professionals representing Kolkata and Eastern India Market were present and interacted with the TCA Abu Dhabi team for developing new itineraries and packages. Abu Dhabi welcomed 200,015 Indian hotel guests in January to September 2015, at a growth rate of 23% over the same period last year.

we are now placing greater emphasis on its growth potential, tailoring products to suit the needs of experiential Indian traveler. We endeavor to consolidate the destination's growing popularity amongst the leisure, luxury and lifestyle holiday segment. "This trade initiative in Kolkata further reiterates our commitment to this market. We are here to present a diverse mix of Abu Dhabi attractions and expand our profile with the Indian travel trade, to stimulate further increase in Indian visitors to Abu Dhabi in 2016. "Abu Dhabi is fast becoming the new hot-spot for the high-end Indian traveler and as we continue

holders on a pan-India level, especially in the key outbound gateway of Kolkata. "We want to showcase Abu Dhabi as the perfect choice for Family Holidays, Duty Free Shopping, Arts & Culture, Destination Weddings & Honeymoon, Golfing, Formula 1 Racing and MICE facilities. "Abu Dhabi is closer than ever for the Indian market, with a huge choice of flights and customized packages. The Etihad-Jet Airways combine operates daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Kolkata, providing excellent connectivity in a short span of just over three hours."


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Ganges Glacier Gangotri Temple Cont’d from page 40

Those planning to trek to Dodi Tal can take the route which passes Agoda via Kalyani, and advances into thick forests for a distance of about 16 kms. Every step that takes you higher and higher also exposes you to the beauty of Mother Nature! Ganges Glacier

cilities on the way is task for a dare devil. Ensure that you make the necessary arrangements well in advance before you begin your trek. Gangotri Temple The Gangotri temple, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, was constructed on the banks of Bhagirathi by a Gorkha Commander Amar Singh Thapa, in early 18th century. Kedar Tal

The Gangotri Glacier, situated at a height of 4238 mts, moves along the Gangotri track starting from Chaukhamba and finally merging into the Gaumukh. It is a known fact that the water of the Ganges is 100% pure in nature and contains absolutely no impurities. Even when kept for years, the water displays no change in properties; the various reasons that can be attributed to this fact are its holiness, secretion of herbs or the mineral content of water! The Ganges or Gangotri glacier is an ideal trekker's path that leads to various other spots such as Nandanvan, Tapovan, and Gaumukh.

This temple stands at an altitude of 3042m and emits a highly pious aura. Religious rituals are in full swing in the Gangotri temple with the Aarti ceremony performed by pujaris of the Semwal family.

Kedar Tal A crystal clear and transparent lake giving a feel of the chill waters, Kedar Tal is a spectacular creation that lies at an altitude of 4425 mts above sea level. This is the best place for a long trek. The trek to Kedar Tal needs to be directed through a local guide, and is not for the weaklings. To trek across and cover the entire patch of 18 kms from Gangotri to Kedar Tal without any modern fa-

Vishwanath Temple One of the most famous temples in Uttarkashi, Lord Vishwanath temple bears a description in the Kedar Khanda or Skanda Puran. The temple is 300 meters away from the local bus stand at Uttarkashi. This holy shrine has a Shivling which is 60 cms tall and is 90 cms in circumference. The history of this temple dates back to centuries and it is believed to have been constructed by

Parashuram. The temple was renovated much later in 1857 by the wife of Sudarshan Shah, Maharani Khaneti. Lord Vishwanath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and people from all over the world make it a point to visit this ancient temple. Harsil Situated two kms away from Dharali, on the highway towards Uttarkashi, Harsil is another picturesque village of scenic importance. Elevated at 2623 mts and stretched at a distance of 72 kms from Uttarkashi, this hamlet is a splendid attraction for nature lovers. The specialty of Harsil lies in the vast number of apple orchards spread across the village. This place can prove to be a source of inspiration for all artists, be it poets, painters or writers. You never know, Harsil may also instill creativity in ordinary individuals!

Maneri

A memorable holiday is guaranteed for those visiting Harsil. Maneri Situated about 13 kms close to

Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi en route to Gangotri, Maneri is the latest entrant in the list of tourist attractions around Gangotri. The main attraction here is the dam built across river Bhagirathi where the water is channeled to turbines through an 8 km long tunnel built at Tiloth at Uttarkashi. If you plan to approach Maneri from Gangotri, you have to travel a short distance of 92 kms. A wiser idea would be to plan a trip to Maneri after covering places in and around Uttarkashi, on your way back to Gangotri. The added attraction to Maneri is the beautiful lake developed as a result of the dam. Tapovan Tapovan is a camping base for those wishing to visit the Shivling peaks. Located at an altitude of above 4460 mts above sea level, Tapovan is a beautiful meadow that surrounds the peaks. Enriched with lovely flowers, a climb to this meadow sharpens the images of the surroundings peaks and ranges. As you ascend towards

Tapovan, the view of the Shivling peaks gets even better. An ideal trekking route, the Tapovan is visited by tourists from all over the globe to enjoy the experience of mountain climbing and trekking. A combination of peace and enthusiasm, spiced up with lots of adventure makes this place special! Uttarkashi Travel a distance of 155 kms from Rishikesh and you reach Uttarkashi, one of the important pilgrimage destinations of India. Uttarkashi is situated on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1150 meters above sea level. Uttarkashi is a home to various famous temples including Lord Vishwanath temple, Ekadash Rudra temple, Bhairav temple, Kuteti Devi temple and Gyaneshwar temple. Also situated close by is the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Uttarkashi is known to host the Magh Mela when people and pilgrims from all over the country bring along their village deity to take a dip in the holy Bhagirathi. How to Reach By Air: Jolly Grant at Dehradun, 226 km away, is the nearest airport. Taxis, private cars, state road transport buses are available from the airport to Gangotri via Rishikesh. By Rail: The nearest railway station is Rishikesh, which is well connected to Dehradun and Delhi. By Road: There are daily bus services from Gangotri to Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun. Jeeps and tempos are available from Rishikesh to Gangotri.


December 11, 2015

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World's tallest roller coaster to be in Orlando ORLANDO, Fla.: Orlando's hope of having the world's tallest roller coaster is one step closer to becoming reality. Orange County's board of commissioners has granted zoning approval for the $500 million Skyplex Orlando project. The unanimous vote means that developer Joshua Wallack and his family can move to the planning and construction phase on their project to build the 570-foot ``Skyscraper'' coaster and surrounding entertainment complex on Orlando's International Drive. ``We couldn't be happier with the board's decision,'' Wallack said. ``Central Florida really needed a renaissance of North IDrive. It had been decaying and shabby for the last 20 years.'' International Drive, located about 20 miles outside of downtown Orlando, is an 11-mile strip of shops, restaurants and hotels situated between Universal and SeaWorld Orlando. ``We want to build the world's tallest rollercoaster as our anchor

and, of course, Universal didn't want us to have such a competitive ride. Hopefully they've sort of seen the public sentiment is for Skyplex and for the rebirth of IDrive, for prosperity and the renaissance of this year.''

tures a 418-foot drop. Several dozen people voiced opinions about the project during the standing room-only public hearing. The support included residents of some of International Drive's closest residential neigh-

The Skyscraper will anchor the $250 million Skyplex indoor entertainment complex, due to open in 2017. The tower's observation deck will offer views 535 feet up, accessed by glass elevators.

The Skyplex complex, scheduled to open in 2018, would include two other rides, a 350-room hotel, restaurants and stores. The current tallest roller coaster is the 450foot ``Kingda Ka'' at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure. It fea-

borhoods, as well as business owners who said Skyplex would help revitalize the area. Opposition led by neighboring Universal Orlando argued the coaster, which would have a 450foot drop, would be too tall and

adversely change the culture of the tourist corridor. Universal vice president of external affairs John McReynolds told commissioners that Universal's opposition was not about fears of competition, but did still have concerns about Skyplex's impact on the area. ``It has to fit into the community, and height is the issue,'' McReynolds said. Skyplex did agree to some conditions as part of its zoning approval. Since it is yet unclear exactly how high the roller coaster will eventually be, it agreed that it won't exceed 600 feet. In addition, it must follow a plan it worked out with officials regarding its impact on traffic and easing any potential light pollution. Last month, the Orange County's advisory planning and zoning commission denied Skyplex's request that its nearly 12 acres be rezoned. The denial came even though Skyplex got a positive recommendation from

county support staff and Federal Aviation Administration approval. The Orlando city code restricts Universal's roller coasters to a 200-foot height limit because the park is bordered by a residential neighborhood. Like Skyplex, SeaWorld falls under county jurisdiction, but Orange County planning administrator John Smogor told commissioners that the park probably would have gotten a larger height allowance simply by asking for it. Its Sky Tower observation deck is 400 feet tall. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said that she thinks Skyplex will help to bring more tourists to the area. ``I think this is the first critical piece of getting that started,'' she said. ``Quite frankly a lot of what we hear in here when it comes to new development and bring change is negative by nature...To see so many people saying `Hey, I-Drive is the place for this' is really exciting.'' -AP

Hawaiian Airlines profits National Zoo puts up ZooLights display to rise in 2016 DALLAS: Hawaiian Airlines predicts that 2016 profits will beat this year's earnings assuming that travel demand remains strong and fuel prices stay around current levels. Hawaiian faces stiff competition on key routes between the islands and the U.S. mainland. The newest rival is Virgin America, which

began service between San Francisco and Honolulu last month and has started flying to Kahului. At an investor conference in New York, Hawaiian officials said

that the number of seats on all airlines between Hawaii and the mainland is still rising but at a much slower pace than in early 2015, which should help boost their company's margins and profit in 2016. The company has earned $144.7 million so far in 2015, more than double its profit over the same

period in 2014. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect 2016 net income to be 8 percent higher than 2015 earnings. West Coast customers are still

crucial, but Hawaiian has greatly increased its business of flying Asian tourists to the islands. This week, Hawaiian announced that it will begin daily flights to Tokyo's Narita airport in July. It already flies daily to nearby Haneda airport. In an interview, CEO Mark Dunkerley said the Narita route indicates that Hawaiian sees more short-term promise in expanding service to Asia, but he didn't rule out new routes to the U.S. mainland, where its only Eastern destination is New York. Hawaiian's on-time performance has lagged lately - usually first in recent years, it fell to 11th among the largest U.S. airlines in the latest government numbers, which covered September. The airline has blamed construction at Honolulu International Airport, which reduced the number of gates and increased the time planes spend on the ground. Dunkerley said the congestion eased this fall but ``it will become more acute again right at Christmas time.''-AP

WASHINGTON: The National Zoo in Washington has begun its holiday lights display. The zoo says it hung more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights throughout the zoo as part of its annual ZooLights display. The ZooLights event continues from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

through Jan. 2. Admission is free. The only days ZooLights will not be on display are Dec. 24, 25 and 31. The zoo says ZooLights will include live music performances and that new to the program this year will be a light show set to music.-AP

UK exhibition on Egypt's 'sunken cities' LONDON: The British Museum is planning its first major exhibition of underwater archaeology with a showing of artifacts from two of Egypt's ``sunken cities.'' Officials said that the six-month exhibit set to open in May will contain 300 objects from cities that have been submerged at the mouth of the Nile River for more than 1,000 years. The museum said the items have been unearthed off the coast of Alexandria in Egypt over the

past 20 years. Earlier attempts to find articles from the cities of ThonisHeracleion and Canopus, which were swallowed by the sea, had failed. Officials said the finds at the two cities are transforming the understanding of the relationship between ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. The exhibit will be supplemented with other objects from the river delta. -AP


In Brief Texas granted time in immigration case WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court has granted Texas some of the extra time the state sought to respond to the Obama administration's immigration appeal. The court could rule by late June on the administration's plan to shield millions of immigrants from deportation. The schedule the court outlined gives Texas only eight of the 30 additional days it wanted. That would allow arguments to be held in April and a decision to be issued two months later. If the justices rule for the administration, President Barack Obama would have roughly seven months in office to implement his plan. The program would mainly affect people who are living in the country illegally, but whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. -AP

„ Lawmaker for executing felons in US illegally DES MOINES, Iowa: An Iowa state senator and congressional candidate was criticized by Republicans and Democrats after he said he supports executing immigrant felons who seek to re-enter the U.S. illegally after being deported. The views of Republican Mark Chelgren were first reported by the Journal Express newspaper in Knoxville, Iowa. Chelgren is running for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. Reached by phone, Chelgren told The Associated Press that his comments came during a broader conversation about terrorism and border control. Chelgren stressed he was talking specifically about immigrants with felony convictions trying to re-enter the U.S. illegally with further criminal intent. ``I think capital punishment should be considered for people who are felons and re-enter this country illegally, yes,'' Chelgren said. ``We have to make sure we are not incentivizing people whose only intent is to victimize.'' Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire said the comments were ``vile, hateful and downright deplorable.'' Iowa Republican Party spokesman Charlie Szold said the comments ``do not represent the values and the beliefs of Iowa Republicans.'' Chelgren said Democrats did not closely read his statements, which he said were directed only at a ``subset'' of immigrants. Asked about the Republican criticism, he said, ``Those are my beliefs and my beliefs alone and I stand by them.'' -AP

Immigration

Gov, archbishop meet amid refugee flap

44 India Post

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Details on page 45

Officials admit violating Texas birth certificate rules BROWNSVILLE, Texas: Texas has for seven years said it won't accept Mexican identification cards when issuing birth certificates for children of people in the United States illegally. But it doesn't appear to have stepped up enforcement until recently, amid mounting political pressure to get tougher on immigration, records obtained by The Associated Press show. That could validate complaints from immigrant parents suing in federal court, claiming the state is denying "birthright" U.S. citizenship for their Texas-born children guaranteed under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The AP used open records requests to get annual "self-assessment" surveys completed by local registrars. They show that officials in at least five cities and counties along the U.S.-Mexico border told the Texas Department of State Health Services during the past three years that they were allowing parents to get copies of birth certificates using a Mexican identification known as the matricula consular. "Most of applicants are here illegally as they claim, and are therefore unable to obtain a valid form of identification from the United States," Janie Madero, then-registrar in McAllen, wrote in a 2013 survey response. "Therefore our

office accepts the matricula consular so they can obtain the birth certificate for their children who were born here." Elsewhere along the border, Arizona generally doesn't accept the matricula consular while New Mexico does. California lets nota-

registrars or other officials. In June 2008, the health department wrote to the Mexican consulate in Austin saying federal authorities had determined the matricula consular wasn't a "secure" form of identification and that it therefore wouldn't be ac-

A woman in Sullivan City, Texas, who said she entered the country illegally shows the footprints of her daughter, reaching into photo, who was born in the United States, but was denied a birth certificate. Texas has for seven years said it won’t accept Mexican identification cards when issuing birth certificates for children of people in the United States illegally.

ries decide whether the Mexican ID is acceptable. Texas says it doesn't trust the matricula consular because of forgery fears, not politics. Hospitals provide documentation of births in Texas, but parents have to obtain birth certificates from

cepted for people obtaining birth certificates for their newborns. The state began spelling out that policy in registrar handbooks in 2010. But the survey results show some registrars repeatedly admitting to accepting the Mexican

documents since 2013, the furthest back the state keeps records, and Texas officials not asking them to stop doing so until recently - if at all. The Department of State Health Services oversees Texas' Vital Statistics Unit. It reports issuing just one cease and desist letter to a county registrar in Brownsville who was accepting the matricula consular, and that didn't come until this July. Two months later, it wrote letters instructing against accepting the Mexican document in response to inquiries from registrars in Dallas and nearby McKinney. Those three letters were all the state provided when asked for correspondence related to the matricula consular since 2008. Health services spokesman Chris Van Deusen subsequently said his department had "identified some additional communications with local registrars about the matricula" but that the lawsuit made those confidential. When and how strictly Texas began enforcing its ID rules are important since more than twodozen parents in the country illegally have sued, saying the state is effectively denying citizenship the U.S. Constitution guarantees to all born on U.S. soil. Cont'd on Page 45

Sheriffs oppose Ducey's border security plan PHOENIX: Gov. Doug Ducey should restore money taken from counties and fix ongoing problems with the state Department of Public Safety before pouring more cash into a new border security strike force, the state sheriffs association said here. The Arizona Sheriffs Association said in an open letter that Ducey's new plan relies on cash previously taken by the state from counties that has hampered efforts to secure the border. In addition, the group said the state police agency needs to fill about 100 vacant positions that are hindering normal highway

patrol functions, upgrade its aging radio system, counter-terrorism information center and crime lab.

``Personally I don't think it's needed, I haven't met a border sheriff yet that says it is,'' Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said

Doug Ducey

of Ducey's new border force. ``If they found moneys that they want to spend in regards to border security, they can send that money to the counties to help offset the cost that we've incurred doing the job we're doing now.'' Wilmot signed the letter as president of the association, which represents all 15 county sheriffs. He said Ducey's plan to hire as many as 180 new DPS officers makes no sense given current understaffing and the time it would take to get the new officers hired, trained and deCont'd on Page 45 ployed.


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Gov, archbishop meet amid refugee flap INDIANAPOLIS: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence met with the Roman Catholic archbishop of Indianapolis, a day after the archdiocese said it has the means to resettle a Syrian refugee family bound for the state. The Associated Press saw Archbishop Joseph Tobin walk

being resettled by another refugee group was redirected to Connecticut as a result. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has said it can settle a Syrian refugee family of four anticipated to arrive in Indiana later this month, but its spokesman Greg Otolski noted it may not happen if

Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin, right, shakes hands with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence following a meeting at the Statehouse 2015, in Indianapolis

into the office of Pence, who blocked state agencies from distributing federal money for Syrian refugees following the deadly Paris attacks. One Syrian family

Indiana is perceived to be hostile or unwelcoming. Tobin has publicly called for the family of four, which has undergone an intense, two-year

vetting process, to be settled in the Indianapolis area, though Otolski said the archdiocese wants to focus on the plight of the refugees and avoid an overtly political debate. The Obama administration has said the vetting process for refugee resettlements is thorough and that states lack legal authority to block the funding. The Republican governor has not shifted his stance and blamed the administration of President Barack Obama for failing to ``provide adequate security and background information to governors across the country,'' Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said. Also, Indianapolis-based Exodus Refugee Immigration requested a temporary hold on Pence's order. In a federal court filing, the organization said Pence's action would ``frustrate and thwart'' its mission of helping refugees and that it would be difficult to make up the lost government funding. Exodus filed a federal lawsuit challenging the order Pence issued on Nov. 16, three days after the Paris attacks.-AP

Officials admit violating Texas birth certificate rules Cont'd from Page 44

Immigration attorneys suggest that the state only got serious about enforcement after women and children from Central America began pouring over Texas' southern border last summer. Further raising the political stakes was President Barack Obama's announced executive actions on immigration in November 2014, which sought to temporarily shield from deportation up to 4 million people in the U.S. illegally. Efren Olivares, one of the lawyers representing immigrant parents suing, said there was a "tightening of the screws" amid Obama's announcements and Central Americans crossing into Texas at record rates. "We believe there is an intent behind this," Olivares said. Jennifer Harbury with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid said the state "knew from the self-assessment forms that it was being accepted statewide" but didn't be-

gin objecting until recently. "It certainly doesn't look like it could have possibly been a coincidence," Harbury said. Van Deusen said the three letters don't reflect other efforts to

Van Deusen declined to comment on accusations that the policy change was political, saying the state will "respond in court as the suit progresses." enforce the matricula consular rule, such as when the state calls registrars, or sees them personally during about 50 visits conducted annually to registrars' offices. Still, the survey results show that some registrars said repeat-

edly that they were accepting the Mexican IDs without consequences. In the border town of Pharr, registrars admitted to accepting the matricula consular in 2013, 2014 and 2015 surveys, and are still doing so. In Brownsville, registrars said they were in 2013 and 2014, but no letter came saying not to until this summer. Van Deusen declined to comment on accusations that the policy change was political, saying the state will "respond in court as the suit progresses." "Our policy (is) to address any inconsistencies with how local registrars handle vital records at the time we learn of them," he added. "Those policies and their application are not related to immigration." Pharr registrar Maritza Gutierrez said she is still accepting the matricula consular, though only with other forms of identification, such as utility bills. "It's our prerogative that we take it," Gutierrez said.-AP

Sheriffs oppose Ducey's border security plan Cont'd from Page 44

``You're biting off a lot more than you can chew. It would take you over a year to get an officer hired on and field trained before they can actually get out on the street,'' Wilmot said. Ducey formally announced the creation of the border strike force last week, saying he would ask the Legislature to approve tens of millions of dollars of new funding in the coming state budget. He said his proposal would add staffing, technology, air assets and highway patrol coverage. He also wants to boost spending on prosecutors, help county jails pay for holding added prisoners and temporarily use Arizona National Guard troops. The opposition from the sheriffs association comes after years of budget cuts to counties by the state. Wilmot said sheriffs' ability to respond to border crime has been severely hampered by the cuts. Just this year, the budget Ducey signed shifted more than

$54 million in new costs to counties. For several years, the state highway user fund known as HURF that normally supports county road-building efforts has been tapped to fund the Highway Patrol. ``Send the HURF money back to the counties, quit putting cost shifts onto the counties to fix the budget at the state level,'' Wilmot said in an interview. ``The state needs to look at funding DPS through general fund moneys and address the concerns that we have before we even look at considering supporting any future additional projects the governor might have in mind for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.'' Ducey said last week that his administration would work with local sheriffs to implement his plan, but he sidestepped a question about opposition from some sheriffs. Ducey's office issued a statement saying he looks forward to working with law enforcement at all levels to implement his plan. AP

Muslims ask Trump to visit Jersey City JERSEY CITY, N.J.: The leader of a national Muslim-American organization has invited Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to come to Jersey City and meet with Muslims there. Last month Trump claimed he saw television reports of ``thousands of people'' in Jersey City cheering as the Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001. The city has a significant population of Muslim immigrants. There is no evidence of that actually having

happened. Trump also has said he would use a database to track Muslims in the U.S. if he's elected. At a news conference in Jersey City, Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Trump's comments ``vicious and unfounded'' and invited him to visit the city. A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. -AP

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• EduCare - 2015 Annual Gala Dinner/Fundraiser

• New Year Eve 2016 Extravaganza

Venue: Royal Albert’s Palace, 1050 King Georges Post Road, Edison, NJ 08837 Time : 06:00 pm Contact: 201-933-8963

Venue: Antun's by Minar, 244 W Old Country Rd, Hicksville, NY 11801 Time : 08:00 pm

Venue: Chandni Restaurtant, 5748 Mowry School Rd, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Pier 40, 89 King Street, San Fran-

Thu, Dec 31

Thu, Dec 11

Contact 315-746-0250

Sat, Dec 19 • IFMP - Annual Cultural Show 2015 Venue: West Windsor Plainsboro High School North, 90 Grovers Mill Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536 Time: 2:00 pm

Thu, Dec 31 • Chand Palace - New Years Eve 2016 Venue: Chand Palace, 269 Littleton Road, Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ 07054 Time: 8:00 pm

• New Years Eve Bash 2016! Venue: The Meadow Club, 1147 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776 Time : 08:30 pm Contact: 631-928-3800

The, Dec 31 • Midnight Masquerade Ball Venue: BOWLMOR - CHELSEA PIERS, 59 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011 Time : 10:00 pm Contact: 631-928-3800

Fri, Dec 11 • Naeem Abbas Rufi And Tarannum Naz

• Oasis Palace - Desi New Year’s Eve Party 2016 Venue: Ballroom at Oasis Palace, 35145 Newark Boulevard, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 06:00 pm Contact 650-670-6665

Fri, Dec 11 • Bollywood Singers 6th Show

Thu, Dec 31 • Nye 2016 Bollywood Cruise Carnival cisco, CA 94107 Time: 08:30 pm

Thu, Dec 31 • QP-Asian Association presents 2016 New Year Venue: Anaheim Plaza at Celebrity Ballroom, 1700 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92802 Time: 7:00 pm

Club Party Venue: TANDOOR RESTAURANT, 1132 E Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867 Time: 7:00 pm

Thu, Dec 31 •Desi Dhamaal 5 - New Year 2016 Venue: Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove, 12021 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840 Time: 6:00 pm

Thu, Dec 31 • The Diamond Ball New Years Eve 2016 Venue: Penthouse Nightclub, 652 North La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069 Time: 8:00 pm

Thu, Dec 31 • Desi New Years Eve Party -

ATLANTA Upcoming Sun, Dec 12 • Shaam E Sangeet Venue: The Impact Center at Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross, GA 30071 Time: 06:30 pm

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

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

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

Thu, Dec 31 • Beautiful Grand New Years Eve 2016 Atlanta

Swami Ishatmananda

Venue: Forsyth Conference Center (Lanier Tech), 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd, Cumming, GA 30041 Time: 8:00 pm

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

Fantasy Ball 10 - LAs Largest New Years Eve Party

Thu, Dec 31 • Grand Premier New Year Eve 2016

Venue: SPACE, 4067 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019 Time: 9:00 pm

Venue: Taste of India Banquet Hall, 3070 Windward Plaza, Alpharetta, GA 30005 Time: 8:00 pm

• Bhagavad Gita: Philosophy of life

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


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Philosophy

December 11, 2015

India Post 49

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L

ove has three stages. First you have to learn to love yourself, because only if you love yourself can you love the other. You have to love yourself so much that love starts overflowing. Perhaps that is where you are; you need the other. That is the second stage of love. Loving the other is a difficult job. Loving oneself is simple. Because the other need not fit with you, need not fulfill your expectations; the other may start power trips, ego trips, all kinds of numbers. And you will need love enough not to be dominated, not to be destroyed by the other; otherwise, the other always destroys it. Jean-Paul Sartre is not absolutely wrong when he says the other is hell. Alone you can be silent, peaceful. With the other everything becomes difficult, everything becomes a conflict. The very presence of the other makes demands on you. You have to be very compassionate, very kind, not to get caught into an intimate enmity; otherwise the other is going to become a hell to you. You have to be so loving that your love transforms the other, to such an extent that you can say the other is not hell. You have to be very articulate, very understanding. It is one of the greatest experiments in life. There is no other experiment which is bigger.

MAHATMA GANDHI

H

induism, remarks a Christian critic, has no New Testament, and hence no Gospel to offer to it adherents. Well, the critic did not know that the venerable Dr Deussen had already given the reply to him: "To every Indian Brahmana today the Upanishads are what the New Testament is to the Christians"; and if I may venture to extend Dr Deussen's comparison, I may say that if the Upanishads are the New Testament, the Gita may well be said to constitute therein the Gospels. The author of the Gita having lived the teaching of the Upanishads summed it up thus: "Performing action without attachment, man shall attain the Supreme" (III. 19), or if I may paraphrase the language of this and other similar verses, according to the Gita, 'Sacrifice is the fulfilling of the law.' But there is nothing exclusive about the Gita which should make it a gospel only for the Brahmana or the Hindu. Having all the light and color of the Indian atmosphere, it naturally must have the greatest fascination for the Hindu, but the central teaching should not have any the less appeal for a non-

You have to love in such a way that slowly, slowly it changes the other person, and the other person starts dropping the effort to dominate, the effort to manipulate. It all depends on your love. In each case you should remember that you have taken the step. It is your experiment, and you have to be grateful to the other that he is participating in your experiment. If you want your experiment to be successful, then you have to go

one whole. In India we have the statue of Aradhanishwar, half man, half woman. That is the third stage of love: when the man and the woman are no more two persons, they have become half and half into one whole. This third stage of love is, automatically, meditation. One who can reach this stage need not do anything else for meditation; this will be his mysticism. This was the whole approach of

The second step is really difficult, and because of the difficulty all religions have chosen to escape from life. But escaping from life is not the answer, it is simply cowardice. Life has to be changed through understanding. And if you love, love has an alchemy of its own. If love cannot change the other person, it only means you don't know what love is; you must be misunderstanding something else for love, because love is absolutely

Be so loving that it transforms the other In India we have the statue of Aradhanishwar, half man, half woman. That is the third stage of love: when the man and the woman are no more two persons, they have become half Osho Rajneesh

and half into one whole.

on loving in spite of the other, not bothering about small things. Only when you can love the other person to such an extent that it becomes a transformation in him or in her does the third stage of love arrive. Then it is not a question of two persons loving each other; then it is love which engulfs two persons and the two persons become, in a certain deeper sense,

tantra, to reach to the third stage of love; then no other religion, no other methods are needed. Love itself becomes your god, your ultimate experience. But the second stage is really difficult; otherwise, for thousands of years people would not have escaped into monasteries. What was the fear? Why were they trying to hide in monasteries?

capable of changing people. In fact, it is the only way to change. The more you love, the more you have it. The more you give, the more the universe goes on pouring into you. Excerpted from Osho, Upanishad, Talk #29. Courtesy www.osho.com. The 84th birth anniversary of Osho Rajneesh is being observed on December 11

Hindu as the central teaching of the Bible or the Koran should not have' any the less appeal for a non-Christian or a non-Muslim. In the verse I have just quoted is contained in a nutshell the teaching of the book. The Gita presents to its devotee a vision of the Supreme, tells him how to discover Him, how to recognize Him in His true nature and magnitude, how to

editions, the colophon itself is the same in all editions: "Thus ends discourse (number) entitled (name) in the converse of Lord Krishna and Arjuna, on the science of Yoga as part of the knowledge of brahman in the Upanishad called the Bhagawadgita (Sung by the Lord)." Upanishad etymologically means what the pupil learns sit-

of the knowledge of brahman, or the Wisdom and the Art of Life! This phrase in the colophon may also be translated, "the science of Yoga rooted in brahmavidya." It goes without saying that unless the Art of Life is rooted in the Wisdom of Life it will never lead to it. There seems to be no doubt, however we may interpret it, that Wisdom, as lead-

Gita presents to devotees a vision of the Supreme Yoga - or shall we call it the Art of Life - for the attainment of the knowledge of brahman, or the Wisdom and the Art of Life! ting at the feet of the master; it may also mean the knowledge which by taking one near the Supreme helps to cut off earthly ties. Thus, in one sense, brahmavidya and upanishad are synonymous. The Gita is, therefore, the science and art of Yoga - or shall we call it the Art of Life - for the attainment

This is the real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. -Alan Watts The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That's all there ever is. -Eckhart Tolle I'm here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away. -Pema Chรถdrรถn If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious! -Thich Nhat Hanh Practice is this life, and realization is this life, and this life is revealed right here and now. -Maezumi Roshi

The Gita is, therefore, the science and art of

enter Him and how to be one with Him- the End and the Means thereto as we might say in short. The colophon at the end of each discourse of the Gita is noteworthy. It has come down to us from an ancient date and though the title of each discourse given in this colophon differs in various

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself. -Shunryu Suzuki

ing to the summum bonum, is the goal for the attainment of which the Art of Life or Yoga is the means. The Gita is the Upanishad of the Mahabharata. Excerpted from 'The Gita according to Gandhi' by Mahadev Desai. Gita Jayanti is celebrated on December 13.

If you want to change the world, start with the next person who comes to you in need. -B. D. Schiers My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we're living with right now. -Byron Katie

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


50 India Post

D

eepika Padukone is certainly having a good year with her films hitting jackpot back to back and now with a Hollywood flick in her kitty, the actress sure is on a roll. Dippy has bagged a role opposite none other than mega blockbuster superstar Vin Diesel of the Fast and Furious series fame. Vin was last seen in the seventh installment of his hit series Fast and Furious and now has been cast opposite Bollywood's reigning queen Deepika. A source confirmed this development and said, "The night after the success party of 'Tamasha', Deepika flew to America for a meeting with Hollywood star Vin Diesel. No wonder, Ranveer Singh is still promoting his next release alone! But who knew Deepika would surprise everybody with this photograph! It is a big achievement for her and she is fin-

www.indiapost.com ishing all formalities in America." A recent picture posted by DP led her fans into frenzy after she was seen posing with what everyone supposed was Vin. However, taking to his Instagram account Vin cemented the rumors with a picture of him and Deepika together in one frame! It is said that a sequel of his film 2002 released film XXX: The return of Xander Cage is underway and Vin Diesel

Dippy has bagged a role opposite none other than mega blockbuster superstar Vin Diesel of the Fast and Furious series fame.

December 11, 2015

will return to the cast. He was part of the first film but wasn't present in XXX: State of The Union. A photo tweeted by Deepika shows her hugging Vin Diesel. In the image's background, we can see the 'XXX' logo. Deepika probably gave her fans and supporters a hint about her plans to be part of the franchise 'XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.' There were reports that Deepika had turned down Diesel's "Fast and Furious 7" to accommodate dates for her 2014 release "Happy New Year". "XXX", a 2002 American action film directed by Rob Cohen, starred, starred Diesel as Xander Cage, a thrill seeking extreme sports enthusiast, stuntman and rebellious athlete-turned-reluctant spy for the national security agency. Asia Argento, Samuel L Jackson, and Marton Csokas also played pivotal roles in the movie.

Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone


December 11, 2015

India Post 51 www.indiapost.com

Farhan backs actresses on wages MUMBAI: Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar says he supports actresses, who want to work on a wage system that will bring them on par with their male co-stars. The "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" actor said he will oblige to the wage system demand, if any actress asks for it while he is casting her. "I read recently somewhere that there are many female actors, who said they would want to work on a wage system that works even for men and I completely support them. If I want to cast them and they say that to me, then that's what I'll give them. But I can only speak about myself in relation to casting for a film," Farhan told reporters here. Commenting on the issue of pay-inequality in Bollywood, Farhan said the actresses have a right to say 'no' if they think they are being underpaid. "It's a personal choice. I can

never force you to work in my film for a certain amount of money. You have to say yes. But if you don't say yes, then you won't work. This is a personal decision and I cannot comment on someone's personal choice to say what they are happy with and what they are not." The actor was speaking at the launch of a new range of deodorants from Park Avenue, which has partnered with Farhan's foundation MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) to spread awareness about gender equality. When asked about objectification of women in Bollywood films, the 41-year-old actor said it is a personal choice to do such roles or not. "Every person has the right to think about himself. If you are asked to do a role which might objectify you, don't do it. You do have the choice of saying no. I do

believe they have the right and the choice to be able to change it themselves." Farhan believes the film industry thrives on talent regardless of gender.

B

I couldn't be there physically. But from my heart and soul, I am always up for such causes. To start a film festival especially for differently-abled is a really noble thought." Salman further said cinema was a big part of Indian culture, so

Salman Khan

of whether they are men or women, they will always do well and will always be appreciated. -PTI

Farhan Akhtar

Salman Khan bats for the disabled ollywood star Salman Khan sent a special video message for differentlyabled children who watched his comedy drama "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" at the first International Film Festival for Persons with Disabilities (IFFPwD), saying that despite all odds, such people should be provided all facilities at theatres. Though Salman, who is currently busy shooting for "Sultan", was not able to attend the screening, "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" director Kabir Khan and child actress Harshaali Malhotra, who played the role of deaf and dumb girl Munni, were present at the venue. In the video message, the "Dabangg" actor said: "I should have been a part of this festival, but due to my packed shooting schedule for 'Sultan',

"The atmosphere in the film industry has always been based on talent. If they are talented then irrespective

the differently-abled should not be neglected from watching films. The 49-year-old said: "Cinema, movies or entertainment are a big part of Indian culture, but I don't see differently-abled getting a chance to view films in theatres as most of them (theatres) don't have wheel chairs and other facilities. "I don't understand why the differently abled people should be left out of this. I feel very fortunate to have all my senses. But there are many who can see but not hear and some who can hear but not see, they all should go and enjoy and should be provided with the necessary facilities." During a question-answer session, Kabir Khan said that while he was making "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", he never thought of focusing on the issue of differently-

abled people, but in the whole film, everyone treated Munni like a normal person. "'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' is a very special film for Salman and me because there is a very special character of Munni in it. While making the film, I never thought of her being a physically challenged child. "The important thing that we wanted to show was that everyone forgets that Munni is disabled, we wanted to bring in that dignity and spirit of normal person in her and treat her like normal, regular person," Kabir said. "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", which released on July 17 and collected

more than Rs.600 crore at the box office, also starred Kareena Kapoor Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The three-day festival, organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the social justice and empowerment ministry in collaboration with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), started with the screening of Marathi film "Yellow" at the Siri Fort auditorium. It screened 40 Indian language and international films - 16 short films, 14 documentaries and 10 features (7 fiction and 3 documentary films).


52 India Post

December 11, 2015 www.indiapost.com

Sonam, Anil don't get excited by numbers

T

his year has been a good one for Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. While Sonam's latest release has become a box office success - it has entered the Rs 200 crore club - the actor has also shot for a "special" film on late flight attendant Neerja Bhanot. Meanwhile, Anil received rave reviews for his role in Dil Dhadakne Do. Now, the senior artiste is busy working on the second season of his popular TV show. In a freewheeling chat at their Juhu home, the father and daughter spoke to about their careers, fashion, and more. Sonam, are you happy that you are a 'Rs 200-crore heroine' now? Sonam: I don't understand numbers. Since everyone has been congratulating me, I presume it's a great thing. A few days back, I was in Varanasi for Dev Diwali, and the locals there were calling me Rajkumari (her character from her new film). That's the kind of impact the film has had, and I guess that automatically translates into numbers. Anil: As we speak, my feeling is to move on, because I have always believed in what's next. Of course, I am happy. When a family film, and not a commercial potboiler that is intended to be a big hit, does such big business, it's much more gratifying. I had the same feeling when films like Mr India (1987) and Beta (1992) did well. Do you feel these numbers are important nowadays? Anil: Earlier, it was always Boney (Kapoor; brother) who knew all the numbers. He would tell me about people's reactions,

but I was largely unaware. I feel that's one of the reasons behind my longevity. I didn't get excited with big numbers, nor did I get disappointed when the numbers were not so good.

ther six months or a year later. At that time, I can look at them objectively. You are being called a gamechanger in terms of revolutionizing content on Indian TV. Is that pressurizing? Anil: I have never planned anything. This is the kind of person I am. Everyone tells me that I pretend to be a commercial actor, but on the inside, I am the most 'arty' actor. But, I need to do both kinds of films. If I wasn't a mainstream actor, I wouldn't have able to do this TV s h o w . People are saying it's a g a m e Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor changer, but I didn't do it purSonam: You are an artiste, and posely. you are not supposed to [think Sonam: TV in the US and about numbers]. That's the pro- other parts of the world is bigducers' job. Numbers mean that ger than cinema. India is a naa film has been appreciated by a scent market, and if he is pioneercertain number of people. I also ing the change, it's amazing. make it a point to read all the reviews, but dad doesn't. I look at Do you two discuss Sonam's them constructively. marriage? Anil: I only read reviews eiSonam: We do, of course. Ev-

eryone does. We are normal people. Dad, you keep saying it's not needed. Anil: No, I have never said that. It's not the be all and end all of life, today. But, of course, it will happen at the right time. Sonam: If you find the right person, it's good. But if you don't, then‌ Anil: You can't get married to the wrong person zabardasti (forcefully), just because you have to get married. Sonam: Then you end up being unhappy, and he would rather have me be happy. That's a healthy attitude. Whether you are a girl or a boy, it doesn't matter. The same choices should be given to both genders. Sonam, you have taken your time to make a mark in the industry. Did it ever bother you? Sonam: You get certain endorsements or films, or get to work with certain people, only if there's a certain value to you. I am smart enough to understand that now. Also, there's this mentality, where everyone wants to root for the underdog, which is fine. I can't resent that, because I come from a place of privilege. People think, "She got it all very easily. So we need to make things tougher for her." But no one knows my struggle. For instance, I just refuse to take my dad's help. I have never put a pity story out there to get people to root for me. When you come from a place of honesty, no one can pull you down. I don't feed negative stories about others [to the press]. I make sure that I am always ethical and correct about what I do. Eventually, you can't demand respect but earn it. Anil: Be it business, politics

or films, the more difficult the path or journey is the bigger a person you become in the end. It's also because God is testing you. He wants to give you something very big, but he isn't going to give it so easily. He will make you go through hell for it. Even when Sonam's career was yet to take off in a big way, and she was yet to taste success, you were always confident about her... Anil: I am very objective. The emotional bond of a fatherdaughter exists, but we belong to a film family first and I am a film person too. It's in our DNA. For instance, so many of my friends have wanted to get involved in my films, but till they are right for the role, they won't get picked. I have been very cruel and ruthless. I don't mix personal and professional matters. Sonam: The same goes for his daughter (smiles). If I am not perfect for a role, I won't get cast [in our home production]. Anil: People say, 'Yeh beti ke liye film bana raha hai. Aisa kuch nahi hai (People say I am making films for my daughter, but that isn't the case).' All the films have happened very organically. I am never biased. I have always got great feedback from industry people and the media about her. It was not out of emotion. I used to tell her as well, but she would say, 'You are saying this because you are my father.' If she wasn't good, directors like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra or Sanjay Leela Bhansali wouldn't have cast her. Sonam: But I think I still have a long way to go. -Courtesy Hindustan Times

Action films teach you to cheat NEW YORK: If you are a movie buff, better cut down on action films! Researchers have found that watching violent movies or reading books with violent content can make you more likely to lie or cheat, suggests new research. Exposure to human violence is strongly linked to an increase in cheating for monetary gain, the study said. "Research shows that violent media increases aggressive behavior towards others, but what we are showing here is that it goes beyond that," said study coauthor Josh Gubler, professor

of political science at Brigham Young University in Utah, US. The researchers carried out several experiments with roughly 1,000 participants for the study. In one experiment, participants were paid to review sentences and edit those with mistakes. Half of the participants were given sentences with violent language. Subjects were told they would be paid whether or not they were correct, providing an incentive to mark all sentences "correct" to earn money quicker. Those who reviewed violent

sentences were 24 percent more likely to cheat. In another experiment, participants were hired to watch and evaluate movie clips. They were told they needed to watch the entirety of all the clips to be paid. The researchers found those who viewed violent movie clips were more likely to lie about watching all the videos. "We hope this information informs parents and communities as they make decisions about what types of media they consume," Gubler said. The study was published in the Journal of Business Ethics. PTI


December 11, 2015

India Post 53 www.indiapost.com

How top artists display works at home NEW YORK: Imagine being invited on a house tour of the homes of 25 well-known contemporary artists, strolling around their big, airy downtown lofts and other city abodes as they take you aside and explain how they chose the artworks displayed there. The new book ``Artists Living with Art'' (Abrams) is that tour. The coffee-table book, photographed by Oberto Gili and written by Stacey Goergen and Amanda Benchley, with a foreword by art historian Robert Storr, includes dozens of photos and interviews with the artists, most of whom live within blocks of each other. Chuck Close, Will Cotton, Rashid Johnson, Marilyn Minter, Cindy Sherman and others discuss how they select and display the artworks decorating their homes, and their thoughts on collecting. The result is an artistic and original approach to interiors. Here, art tends to be moved frequently - often every six months and paintings can be overlapped, often leaning casually against walls. Chinese scholars' rocks stones naturally formed by the weather into interesting forms and a range of handmade ceramics are featured in almost every home. And each intimate interior reflects friendships and inspira-

tions, and includes an often-unexpected array of collections, many displayed in unusual ways.

mentioning the artists' shared interest in rock formations. ``Joan Jonas collects interesting stones or rocks herself and sometimes gives them to her friends as gifts,'' Benchley added. Unlike professional art collectors, who might buy art as an investment or focus on a specific genre, or interior designers, who select works with an eye to decorating a space, these artists require a deeper, more personal connection for a work to gain entrĂŠe. An interior view of Chuck Close's home and art The results collection, included in the book, "Artists Living with can be startling, Art," published by Abrams in October. like Close's pas``Through looking at the things sion for Old Master canvases and artists own and listening to their drawings, sometimes alongside stories of what it means to them, more contemporary masters like you can learn more about their Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de work, inspirations and relation- Kooning. ships,'' explained Goergen, who ``If an artist's work can hold the previously worked in the curato- wall with that of his heroes, he rial department of the Whitney knows he's on the right track.'' Museum of Modern Art. writes Storr in the book. ``In every home featured, we The light-filled loft that Will saw a passion for form,'' she said, Cotton shares with Rose Dergan,

a staffer at Gagosian Gallery, features plenty of his own work. An enormous sculpture of stacked, life-size plaster cakes stands near a huge front window, not far from enormous landscape paintings featuring lollipop trees and gingerbread houses. There are portraits of beautiful women clad in marshmallows or cake, or lounging seductively on cotton-candy clouds. The loft also features works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and David Salle. But like many of the artists featured in this book, Cotton says he seldom buys art, and accumulated much of his collection through bartering. Flat, metal file cabinets store a decade's worth of drawings by fellow artists in a drawing group he has hosted at his home since 2002. ``Drawing is so direct. It's the moment of thought,'' Cotton said in an interview in his airy TriBeCa loft. ``It's the structure of painting. I always make a drawing before I make a painting.'' Some of his most cherished drawings - and among the few he has purchased - are dozens of 1960s rocket-ship drawings auctioned off by NASA and drawn by engineers, not artists. One of his favorites explores the ways an astronaut could exit a lunar module on the surface of the moon. ``This one looks like a fishing

pole that will pick up one of the astronauts and deposit him on the ground,'' Cotton explained with a grin. ``It's so ridiculous, but I love these because they remind me of my approach to working through ideas. When I'm working out what a painting is going to look like, I go through this same process. I love idea-drawings of any kind.'' But Cotton's most beloved piece, which hangs in his sparse, brick-walled bedroom, is a 1956 charcoal of a nude, legs crossed to one side, by Gil Elvgren, a midcentury illustrator known for calendar pinup girls. Cotton discovered Elvgren's work while searching for ideas about how to populate his candy landscapes, and the charcoal drawing became an inspiration to him. ``It's a light treatment of sexuality, as opposed to Hustler or Penthouse or something like that, which doesn't interest me at all. It's more playful and sweet,'' he said. Unlike other collectors, artists ``acquire and put up things that mean something very specific to them, things that energize them and help them to make their work better and more distinctive,'' writes Storr. In this sense, the book is a voyeuristic tour not only of artists' homes, but of their thought processes too. -AP

10-year-old collecting shoes to help others HEDGESVILLE, W.Va.: As people wonder how to give back this holiday season, 10-year-old Elli Hurst is simply asking residents to open their closets. Elli, of Hedgesville, is collecting new and gently used shoes to donate to the nonprofit organization Soles4Souls, which distributes shoes internationally. Elli and her family began to collect shoes on her birthday, with a goal to collect 1,100 pairs of shoes by her 11th birthday. ``I really like helping people. I know there are a lot of people that don't have a lot of money, so it's good to help those people,'' she said. With about three months left to complete her goal, Elli has collected about 800 pairs of shoes in a stockpile in her basement that is taller than she is. She is hoping to have a holiday rush this winter to help her complete her goal from people looking to donate or who need to make room in their closets. While the majority of shoes are donated through a collection box

in her father's office, Elli has also placed fliers throughout the community and her school, Potomack Intermediate. ``We put a box out in my dad's office and we did one at my school. We asked people that don't live in West Virginia through social media and Facebook,'' Elli said, receiving packages of shoes from across the country, including Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. While Elli knew she wanted to do an outreach program for her birthday, it was her mom Candi that presented the idea of Soles4Souls. ``I noticed that she just really does love helping people, and it just helps her grow as a person. She thrives doing that. I was looking for a project that would be good for her. I love Soles4Souls because I don't like asking people for money. It's hard to donate money to every cause,'' Candi said. So far, more women's shoes have been donated than men's,

with high heels as the most donated type of shoe, Elli said. Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes, from athletic to heels, boots, running shoes and flip flops. According to its website, the organization has distributed 22 million pairs of shoes in 127

countries since 2006. ``We have gotten so much help. We wouldn't be able to do it without everyone at her school and just throughout the community and the community at large. It's been really touching that people decided to help. We get

10-year-old Elli Hurst’s stockpile of donated shoes, as she works toward collecting 1,100 pairs of shoes by her 11th birthday to donate to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that distributes the shoes internationally in Hedgesville, W.Va.

really excited when a box shows up at the door,'' Candi said. When the Soles4Souls project is complete in February, the family will likely engage in another charitable campaign, either through the same nonprofit organization or a different one because of the positive benefits for the community and the family, Candi said. ``Especially for girls her age, it's so nice to do. It's been such a selfesteem booster for her. It's so nice to do it to help other people, and it really does come back tenfold. As a parent, you really see that,'' she said. When she reaches her goal, Elli wants to have a ceremonial delivery of the shoes to Soles4Souls' headquarters in Old Hickory, Tennessee, despite a dropoff location for the organization in Winchester, Virginia, because of how involved she has become in the project. Residents who wish to donate shoes can do so by dropping them off at the Center for Dermatology at 1000 Sushruta Drive or contacting Candi at candianderik(at)hotmail.com. -AP


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Interesting times ahead for Indo-Afghan ties India Post

RAJESHWARI KRISHNAMURTHY

I

ndia-Afghanistan relations took an interesting turn in November 2015. In the span of a month, New Delhi hosted at least two high-level visitors: Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar, and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai. Additionally, the Afghan Deputy Minister of Culture, Sayed Mossadeq Khalili, too visited New Delhi to address an academic conference. Atmar's visit followed an invitation from his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval. Atmar met Doval and the Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar, and discussed security-related cooperation in detail. Close on the heels of this visit was that of Karzai's, who met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, among others. This visit was centered primarily on the "operationalisation of the [India-Afghanistan] strategic partnership [agreement]" signed in 2011. What Kabul expects from the 2011 agreement was well-illustrated in Karzai's 17 November Op Ed in The Hindu, titled 'Traditional friends, modern allies'.

Following the debacle over former Afghan Taliban Chief Mullah Omar's death, his subsequent succession by Mullah Mansour and the Kunduz siege, the dispensation in Kabul, which was attempting to reorganize its equation with Pakistan as priority, decided to move on. Furthermore, the US appears to be increasingly desperate for any deal that can help them project successes achieved in Afghanistan, especially in the wake of the ongoing discussion on a nuclear deal for Pakistan. This was evident in the 4 November 2015 statement by Captain Jeff Davis, USN, Director, Defense Press Operations, at the US Department of Defense Briefing for Foreign Journalists, in which he said, "‌What we're not doing is counterterrorism operations against the Taliban. We don't - we actually view the Taliban as being an important partner in a peaceful Afghan-led reconciliation process. We are not actively targeting the Taliban." Meanwhile, although the reconciliation process is not dead yet, the Afghan Taliban's attacks on Afghans and Afghan territories

India has not involved itself in the Afghan peace process yet as it cannot offer much if things fall apart. Therefore, any further engagement on that front should be purely based on an assessment of the prospect of positive outcomes More importantly, details of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first official visit to Afghanistan, scheduled to take place in the near future, were discussed. This visit might coincide with the inauguration of the Afghan parliament building that India is constructing. May 2014-November 2015 These visits and exchanges have altered the general perception of a limbo in Kabul-New Delhi relations. That perception had set in when the then newly-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made peace overtures to Pakistan in an attempt to draw it into the conflict resolution process. India took a 'wait-and-watch' approach vis-Ă -vis deepening engagement with Afghanistan, and Kabul's preoccupation with Islamabad, Washington and Beijing made it appear as though India was relegated to the sidelines.

still continue; and the Afghan National Security Forces are stretched extremely thin. Furthermore, the Afghan public's perception of the coalition government is at an all-time low. Kabul is hardpressed to deliver. Afghanistan will not settle for just any deal. Their priorities, especially on security matters, are clear. They are unlikely to accept any lopsided and/or incomprehensive bargain; and they definitely do not take the evolving undercurrents lightly. Their reaching out to India, and India's receptiveness follows this scheme of events. This is not any policy shift from the Indian side. India had not made any dramatic changes to its Afghanistan policy in the first place - all it did was take a more measured approach than before, without interference and with Afghanistan taking the lead in its own dealings. At the most, one could say India continued its engagement with Afghanistan while simultaneously

accepting the altered procedure to do so, and it appears to be willing to accept the new alteration as well. This is not ill-advised, and New Delhi will continue maintaining positive relations with Kabul. Nonetheless, India still does not fall in the inner core of Ghani's 'Five Circle Foreign Policy'. Conversely, the US, Pakistan and China, do. Signaling and symbolism Symbolism is key here. There might be an opportunity for New Delhi to make a positive difference to the peace process. India could reach out to Yunus Qanuni, the newly-appointed chief of the Afghan High Peace Council, which is tasked with negotiating with the Afghan Taliban. He has held various positions: he is a former Afghan vice president, the former speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house), and the former minister of interior of the erstwhile interim government of Afghanistan, among others. Additionally, he is not viewed entirely as an adversary by the Afghan Taliban. In fact, he was one of the seven Afghan leaders proposed by the Afghan Taliban to conduct negotiations with. Most importantly, India holds a good place in Qanuni's mind and experiences. New Delhi should build on this connection, engage with him, and identify ways in which we can contribute to the peace process. While the Kabul-New Delhi bilateral has always remained warm, India has consistently chosen a measured stance for a variety of practical reasons. India has not involved itself in the Afghan peace process yet as it cannot offer much if things fall apart. Therefore, any further engagement on that front should be purely based on an assessment of the prospect of positive outcomes; how far India can go, practically, keeping its own compulsions in mind; and only at a request from Kabul. Most of all, New Delhi, while working towards contributions that are positive for Afghanistan in whichever measure, should try and avoid getting entangled in the newage Great Game afoot in the region. For that, India will have to express its stance on how it plans to engage. To that end, Modi's Kabul visit will be a moment India can use to vocalize how it defines its role and place in that region. The writer is Research Officer, IReS, IPCS

Secret beginning

B

ehind the few minutes of engagement on the sidelines of the Paris climate talks hid a resolve by the two Prime Ministers, Narendra Modi of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan to move forward on the much derailed talks between the two countries. The directive that went out from there showed up in the secret talks between the National Security Advisors of the two countries in the capital Bangkok of a third country - Thailand. There are enough detractors on both sides to sabotage even the semblance of a beginning made at that venue. So it is essential for the two countries to factor in the spoilers and move on, even if snail-paced, on a discussion threadbare of main issues before them. It was wise to have taken recourse to secret talks away from media glare because it is the media which has often played the spoiler. Pakistan recently replaced its civilian National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz with Lt Gen (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua, who is also a confidante of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. This augers well for progress in the talks and amounts to a link with Pakistani Army Chief. It is a fact that India Pakistan relations moved forward to a great degree when Pakistan was under the dictatorship of Army General Pervez Musharraf. Its Army is in a position to deliver while the civilian leadership can only make promises. For instance, while under Musharraf, the two countries had moved beyond the binary conversations of Kashmir and terrorism to discuss many other issues, such as trade, visas and cultural exchange. This process, known as the composite dialogue, first began in 1997. Trade was partially liberalized and a new regime for issuing visas was agreed upon and a protocol was established on the issue of prisoners. The greatest achievement of the dialogue was a ceasefire agreement in 2003, which substantially reduced the loss of life and property on the disputed border, as well as terrorism in the Kashmir Valley. The two countries reached a back-channel agreement to solve the Kashmir dispute, which did not involve redrawing borders. It included demilitarization, self-government and greater movement of trade and people across both sides. This could not become a reality as Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf was ousted from office. It remains the best solution so far to the Kashmir dispute. The Bangkok talks, which have been welcomed by the US, need to be taken forward. Now that the secrecy of the talks has been revealed, the news hounds will be trailing the negotiators to get a bit of "Breaking News" from them. It would be wise for the negotiators to change their next venue for talks, perhaps to some other friendly country. It is difficult to maintain secrecy in the present day atmosphere of openness and democratization of various spheres, especially information. Secret diplomacy involves maintaining contacts with adversaries and taking forward the momentum without revealing it for the general public and media to react prematurely to it. Having agreed to secret talks, the two counties may now be trying to get a better feel and understanding of each other, their sincerity of purpose, motivations, constraints and other issues. This will take time and patience and more importantly, does not create a host of expectations which fail to reach fruition. History shows even bitter adversaries have maintained contact hoping to avoid even worse outcomes. That is the way forward for India and Pakistan. Close on the heels of the Bangkok talks, India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the "Heart of Asia" conference in Islamabad and also met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Although no big breakthrough is expected during her visit, it is important to create a congenial atmosphere for future engagements between the two countries; notably the possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself traveling to Pakistan to attend the SAARC conference to be held there next year.


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