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Friday, May 19, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 20

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The members of the organizing committee and the people who participated in the games pose for a group picture after the Vaisakhi mela held at the Sikh National Center. Photos: Jaswant Singh

Annual Festival of Sri Guruvayurappan Temple

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May 19, 2017

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 19, 2017

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Bhavsar Receives SBA Financial Services Champion Award

From left: Rajni Bhavsar, Anju Mittal, Shiv Mittal, Rajiv Bhavsar, Mimanshi Bulsara, Niraj Bhavsar.

From left: Asif Dakri, CEO of Wallis State Bank; Rajiv Bhavsar, Sr. VP Commercial Lending Officer at WSB; and Timothy D. Jeffcoat, SBA District Director, Houston.

From left: Niraj Bhavsar, Bipinchandra Bhavsar, Rajiv Bhavsar, Bela Bhavsar, Bachubhen Bhavsar, Rajni Bhavsar

Rajiv Bhavsar with directors of the India Culture Center, of which he has twice been the president. From left: Parul Fernades, Manoj Patel, Bharat Desai, Swapan Dhairyawan, Rajiv Bhavsar, Nisha Mirani, Charlie Patel, Ajit Patel and Manisha Gandhi. IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia is third from right.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: It was a proud day indeed, this past Thursday, May

11 for a hard working member of the Indian community who has not only been deeply involved with the India Culture Center twice as its president but also been a tireless organizer of events. And he

has still found time to mentor and promote people who show promise of being future leaders and successful business owners. And it was a proud moment for ten members of his company Wal-

From left: Rajiv Bhavsar, Rajni Bhavsar, Niraj Bhavsar, Bela Bhavsar, Mamta Kapadia, Sushila Bhavsar, Ramesh Bhavsar.

lis State Bank and the close knit group of ten people who have worked closely with him on community activities to be on hand to witness Rajiv Bhavsar receive the Financial Services Champion of the Year award from SCORE Houston, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration. The function was held over lunch for over 600 people at the Westin Houston Hotel in Memorial City. Bhavsar, who hails from Bulsar, Gujarat (which is also the hometown of former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai), near Surat, has been a Houston native since 1991. Though he has a MS in Mathematics, he started his career in banking with United Bank, leaving it to join United Central Bank in Little India in 1999. He later joined Walls State Bank in 2011 and during the past six years has developed a loan portfolio of about $200 million, of which $150 are SBA loans. During these past 25 years, he has also worked with other community members to develop a base of people who trust and value his skills and ability to deliver on his word. These traits helped him to become the president of the ICC twice and then launch into other community groups like International Hindi Association and Ibn Sina Foundation. The SBA recognized his skill as a banker and relationship man-

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

ager at Wallis State Bank as well as his community activism when giving him this award. “Rajiv has an outstanding record of working with customers and community members alike,” said Asif Dakri, the CEO of WSB, when he introduced Bhavsar to the audience at the event. Wallis State Bank is a 111 year institution that was established a wood frame building in 1906 in the small town of Wallis, about 60 miles southwest of downtown Houston on Hwy. 36 between Sealy and Rosenberg. Musa Dakri, an Indian entrepreneur with considerable skill in banking took over ownership in the early 1990s and expanded its operations to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fulshear and Los Angeles. Since then, his son Asif has taken over the reins and continues with the same growth plans. The awards presentation featured Richard Rybacki, the SCORE Chapter 37 President; Al Lewis, Business Editor of the Houston Chronicle as emcee; Houston District Director Tim Jeffcoat and featured speaker Patrick Jankowski, VP of Research at the Greater Houston Partnership. Among other South Asians receiving outstanding awards in their fields were Dr. Saleha B. Khumawala of SURE, the UofH Bauer College of Business; Dr. Faheem Inayatali of the Eye Center of Houston and Sadik Dalal of Axistrade.


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May 19, 2017

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 19, 2017

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A Grand Traditional Festival at Sri Guruvayurappan Temple

BY BIJU PILLAI

HOUSTON: Flag hoisting cere-

mony for the annual festival of Sri Guruvayurappan Temple (Krishna temple), Houston was held on May 4, in presence hundreds of devotees. Deputy Consul General of India, RN Joshi was the Chiefguest for this auspicious inauguration ceremony. During the festival, many important Vedic rituals such as Kalasa pooja (Navakam Panchagavyam) and abhishekam were performed under the direction of Thantri (Chief priest) Brahmasri Divakaran Namboothiri. Cultural programs started on May 4th and continued until the 10th day of festival, May 13th. Numerous talented children participated and enriched the events every evening. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple at Houston has gained the reputation as a center where several ancient temple art forms are presented. The famous percussionists of Pallavoor family and accompanying artists performed varieties of chenda melam including Chembada, Keli Kottu, Panchari, Thayambaka, etc all through the event. The visitors enjoyed these distinct styles of melams. The annual utsavam (festival) incorporated several key elements of the traditions established at the ancient famous Guruvayoor Temple of Kerala, India. Elegant classical dances, Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam were performed by various professional artists. Kathakali was a major attraction and special feature of this year’s celebrations. This highly developed art form was born and nurtured by the temples in Kerala. Kathakali remains one of the fascinating art forms in the world. A large number of devotees and visitors witnessed the performance of a great epic art, Prahlada Charitham Kathakali. Attending Kodiettam (flag hoist-

Guru, Hiranyakashupu

Preparation of Kodierakkam, dismounting the flag.

was performed with coordinaAuspicious Ritual, Utsav Bali. tion of several priests on Suning), Aarattu (holy bath) and Kodiday May 7. The erakkam (dismounting the flag) is ritualistic Pallivetta (Royal hunt) believed to be an important epi- was conducted on May 12 evening sode of the festival rituals. Anna- followed by reverberating chenda danam (an offering of food) is con- melam with procession. The festisidered a scared tradition which val culminated with Aarattu (holy was sponsored by many devotees. bath) on May 13. Following the The auspicious Utsavabali ritual auspicious Aarattu ceremony and

procession, the grand finale of the cultural program was held at 8 pm on Saturday, by renowned Carnatic musician and play back singer Vidwan Sri Sankaran Namboothiri. Several hundreds of devotees had dharshan on the final day of festival (Mahotsav) and went home with a bliss of joy. Despite the temple festival conclusion on May 13, the auspicious ritual con-

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tinued on May 14 as the last Udayasthamana Pooja of 2017. Udyasthamana pooja is one of the most popular offering to Lord Sri Guruvayurappan required advanced booking. An outstanding Carnatic music recital is scheduled at temple hall on Sunday (May 21 at 4:30 pm) by the world famous Carnatic musician (Prince of Travancore Kingdom), Vidwan Prince Rama Varma and prominent accompanying artists Vidwan Avaneeswaram Vinu (Violin), Vidwan Trichy Harikumar (Mrindangam), Vidwan Dr. S. Karthick ( Ghatam). This annual festival was a noble example of a meticulously organized event. Synchronization of cultural programs, auspicious rituals, traditional temple arts lead to a remarkable Mahotsav (grand festival). The event organizers and volunteers’ dedication and team work resulted in the grand success of this event. For more information please contact temple (713-729-8994). Or visit temple located at 11620 Ormandy St, Houston TX 77035. Email:pr@guruvayurappanhouston.org; Web: www.guruvayurappanhouston.org.


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May 19, 2017

COMMUNITY

ASIE May Luncheon Features Karun Sreerama’s Talk on “Public Works Engineering 2025” HOUSTON: The American Society of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE) selected its May luncheon to honor Dr. Karun Sreerama, newly and unanimously appointed Public Works Engineering (PWE) Director by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council. In his role as the keynote speaker, Dr. Sreerama spoke on “PWE Houston 2025 Vision”. There was a record breaking attendance by over 350 ASIE members and guests, with an enthusiastic response from over 40 sponsoring engineering, architectural and construction companies. Past ASIE president Raj Basavaraju served as the emcee and kicked off the program by recognizing several public officials, government dignitaries, and prominent guests, including City Council members from Houston, Sugar Land, and Stafford, County Commissioner, and Chairman of Texas Board of Professional Engineers. In his opening remarks, ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah congratulated Dr. Sreerama by stating, “Education, experience, and entrepreneurship results into success and also promotes a person to the prestigious pedestal.” and added, “Ladies and gentlemen, this applies to Dr. Karun Sreerama.” Shah also provided a brief introduction to ASIE and described the organization’s mission is to help “Indian-origin engineering and architectural Students – to engineer their future”. After the serving of the three-course luncheon, ASIE Board Member Madhu Kilambi introducd Dr. Sreerama, his childhood friend. Kolambi shared a few humorous stories and provided background of Dr.

Dr. Karun Sreerama, Keynote Speaker; received a memento from ASIE Board of Directors and Advisory Council. From left: Raj Basavaraju, Sirish Madichetti, Ashish Bagga, Naresh Kolli, Chetan Vyas, Dr. Karun Sreerama, ASIE President Dinesh D. Shah, Madhu Kilambi, Chaitanya Gampa, Archana Sharma, Tej Kour, Ravi Arora, Gaju Patel.

ASIE May Event Program Committee Members with Student Volunteers. From left: Tanmay Thakker, Bhushan Patel, ASIE President Dinesh Shah, Naresh Kolli, Avinash Patel, Archana Sharma, Chaitanya Gampa, Madhu Kilambi, Raj Basavaraju, Rahul Kilambi, Chetan Vyas, Navin Mediwala, Karan Panchal

Photos: Navin Mediwala

Sreerama’s extensive array of graduate degrees and his work experience across many continents and running his own engineering business. Now Sreerama headed the City of Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering, which is $ 2-billion operation with 4,000-plus employees. An ASIE life member, Dr. Sreerama started his speech by quoting the Bhagavat Gita in sanskrit and then translated the passage as, “Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone, not with the fruit of action.” Then, Dr. Sreerama explained his philosophy of work and how one can put in their best effort forward. Dr. Sreerama commended Mayor Turner for his leadership, vision and courage to work through problems to provide solutions. He then gave a brief overview of how he anticipates executing the city’s projects for the near future and then shared his vision for the city in the year

2025. He added that the city will lead in the nation in multi-modal transportation and serve as an example of a well maintained and managed sewer network and not to have a single residence to be flooded, even after a major storm. Dr. Sreerama’s speech was well received by the various engineering and construction firms and many professionals. After the speech, the entire ASIE Board honored Dr. Sreerama by presenting a colorful crystal memento as a token of their appreciation. Chetan Vyas, the current Vice President of ASIE, concluded the event with vote of thanks. After the event, many special mention and congratulatory messages were received by the ASIE board members. For more information about ASIE, please visit www.asiehouston.org

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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COMMUNITY BY DR. HARISH CHANDRA

HOUSTON:

DAV Sanskriti School, the Sunday School of Arya Samaj Houston for age 5-13 kids celebrated its end of the year 201617 last Sunday with great enthusiasm. Three hours were filled with several show casing events that time simply flew away. Children learn Naitik Shiksha (moral instruction), Hindi conversation and choose an elective such as music, dance, Tabla, Yoga, public speaking, Vedic Math, etc. Audience was thrilled to see them performing on stage with confidence after a mere two hours’ weekly training. Their presentations on Yoga, Tabla, singing, and dance enthralled everybody, capped with a group song by the entire 100+ ensemble when every child appeared on the stage. Teenagers forming the Arya Kishor Mandal (AKM) form the backbone of Arya Samaj for voluntary service. More than a dozen of them were awarded the President’s Voluntary Service Awards. Eleven of them graduated to join leading universities such as Caltech, UT Austin, etc. They with their parents were the Yajmaan in the morning Havan that brought in the special message for the Mother’s Day, too. They were excited to continue to remain bonded to Arya Samaj via the just-announced Arya Yuva Mandal (AYM) for age 1830. Arya Samaj is proud institu-

May 19, 2017

Vedic Oasis for Holistic Growth

tion to nominate one outstanding graduating member of AKM for the prestigious Posse scholarship. Service without selfish motive is the ultimate teaching of Arya Samaj. In that spirit, the Sunday School

Photos: Sanjay Sood

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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kids and their seniors in AKM are associated with the Jeevan Prabhat, an orphanage set up by Arya Samaj Houston in Pondicherry, post-Tsunami. The annual event of Readathon inculcates reading habits with love and compassion for the unfortunate children in India. Monetary collection for 2017 surpassed that of the previous years. As they were to proceed to sumptuous meal, they were given food for thought that the classical Vedic Dharma is a proper mix of science and religion, enabling them to face the world with confidence. There was excitement among the parents to participate to yet a greater extent in the joint responsibility of holistic growth of their children. Some of them volunteered to be part of producing new reading materials. The event saw record enrollment of kids for the next year 2017-18 of the Sunday School and AKM. Early bird discount is available until 4th June. Write to davssgm@ gmail.com or call 832.874.3376 for more details.


10 May 19, 2017

COMMUNITY

TiE Houston Holds May Mentoring, Networking Meeting

HOUSTON: On Tuesday, May

1, TiE Houston members congregated at the newly opened The Sugar Refinery, owned by TiE Houston Charter Member, Jiten Karnani for their May event. The evening began with networking social hour. Dr. Arun Pasrija (TiE Houston President) started the meeting with reiterating’s TiE’s mission to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education. Dr. Pasrija mentioned that TiE, with 56 chapters across 17 countries with 11,000 members and 2,800 charter members, is celebrating its 25 year anniversary this year. Charter Members, who are successful entrepreneurs and/or business executives, make the pillars of each chapters. They commit their time to help next generation of entrepreneurs - a “leveraged give back” which creates jobs, economic activities and wealth in the community. Dr. Pasrija provide an update for the new TiE Houston Angel Investor initiative that has been kick started by the incredible over $200,000 prize, raised by TiE Houston/Global charter members, presented to a student team from Aachen (Germany), Medical MagFor Advertising in Indo-American News call:

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Dr. Arun Pasrija addressing TiE Houston Members.

Jay Patel

Rajdeep Golecha

nesium, at the Rice Business Plan Competition on April 8th, 2017. TiE Houston plans to promote angle investment initiative, by its charter members, as an on-going

activity. “One of the goals for TiE Houston’s meetings is to provide a forum to present new companies founded by its members to the

community”, said Dr. Arun Pasrija as he introduced TiE Houston member Rajdeep Golecha to present his startup company, Zdaly. Zdaly is a big data technology company that integrates world data and transforms into insightful analytics. Trillions of valuable data are generated each year that are critical for businesses and researchers. However, the data is unstructured and spread across various sources, making it extremely challenging to integrate, clean, analyze and understand cross pollination of these data. Zdaly’s proprietary technology is the most powerful data transformation tool, built to solve these challenges. Zdaly’s technology is bringing world data in one

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place using Artificial Intelligence that creates Insightful Analytics and Data Visualization. More information available: https://www. zdaly.com/ Dr. Pasrija also welcomed one of TiE Houston’s newest charter member, Dr. Jay Patel. Dr. Patel shared his background. He is the proud founder of NRI Startup India. NRI Startup India is formed by a group of successful and professional Non-Resident Indians to bring together, inspire and empower a new generation of Indian Leaders by creating a unique ecosystem of opportunities and helping them to grow in the international market. NRI Startup India provides a winning strategy for Indian entrepreneurship and innovation that mobilizes and spearheads to the forefront of India’s foremost talents and creative geniuses. More information available: www. nristartupindia.com Finally, Ana Rojas, the Executive Director of TiE Houston, gave a demonstration of newly veiled technology platform that will now connect all 20, 000 global TiE members. This will allow members to connect with other members from all over the world in a brand new way. The initiative began that evening. For more TiE Houston news, to become a member, or to discover upcoming events visit www.houston.tie.org


COMMUNITY

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May 19, 2017

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ence it was by and for Hustonians. The first international Konark Festival enthralled more than 250 classical dance lovers, conglomerated at Pershing School auditorium a beautiful afternoon on May 6. Why waste three whole hours? That too watching Indian Classical Dance? The skeptics might have thought.... But amazingly, oblivious to all, 3 hours just went by. It began with an opening song in Sanskrit in praise of motherland. Followed by Mangalachran; the commencing dance thanking the audience and salutation to Lord

Ganesha, by odissi group dancers. Ensued many more stellar performances both solo and in group, by dancers from Odissi Academy in Houston. Odissi Academy a 501(3) (c) notfor-profit organization started a year ago to promote the authentic style of Odissi teaching in Houston. It’s an extension of World’s largest Odissi School in India, Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar. Each year practicing Odissi guru visits Houston on a year long sabbatical to train young minds in Houston. This institution follows the traditional Odissi style of famous Gurus like Pankaj Charan Das and Kelu Charan Mohapatra. The highlight of Konark Festival was a 40 minutes jaw dropping performance by none other than, Padmashree Guru Mrs Aruna Mohanty. Last month she was bestowed with the most prominent civilian award “Padmashree” from the President of India. Guru Aruna is one of the finest Odissi dancer of this era, and undoubtedly the queen of Abhinaya (dance drama).

The audience sat motionless as if a spell was cast by her endearing presentation. The icing on the cake was not just traditional cakes but a sprawling array of many delicacies from little known Orissian cuisine that gave appeasing end to the gustatory sense of the attendees. The food was free and the festival went on tapping to the rhythms of melodious live Odia songs by local artists. Never before Houston experienced such east-meets-west event. Odissi Academy promises to bring such event each year with visiting artists from India. For more about Odissi Dance learning opportunities and events please visit www.OdissiAcademy.com, or email at OdissiAcademy@ gmail.com. Please enroll into mailing list by sending email.

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See article on page 13 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 19, 2017

13

A Mela to Test Strength, Skill and Stamina in the Sun!

From left: Surjit Singh, Gursharan Singh, Harjit S Galhotra, Hitpal Singh, Gurnam S Sandhar, Dr. Hardam Singh Azad and Gullu Dhindsa.

– followed up with a tug-of-war which even had men’s and women’s teams competing. Two commentators gave running narratives, one on the ending stretch and the other at the startline standing on a makeshift stage of a truck trailer bed under some shady trees. Two vendor booths lined the emergency road leading to the original gurdwara building, one serving gol-gappes for a dollar-forthree. The langar was set up under one side of the pavilion, and on the other side two teams of teenagers played an exciting game of basketball. In the adjacent unfinished dirt lot, a small choo-choo train made lazy eights in the sun with its three bogeys of passengers. In the last space left with some pine trees, a children’s play area was crowded with young kids at the inflatable moonwalks and castles, a petting zoo and a cotton-candy booth.

From left: Gurmeet Saini, Aman Sidhu, Bhupinder Singh, Gullu Dhindsa and Hitpal Singh

Manohar Singh Mann pointed it out wistfully. Mann sat with other elders at the edge of the sand covered court where the volleyball teams were competing in a rugged and thrilling match for the championship of the Vaisakhi Mela 2017 with a $1,100 prize as the attraction. Off to the other side of the large clearing, kids of all ages ran races – three-legged, sack, 50 meters

The Vaisakhi mela held this past Saturday, May 13 at the SNC, which brought out several thousand people to pray, celebrate, eat langar and play sports.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

Each year the grounds of the Sikh National Center are a little different, with a little more progress as this site evolves into what the original founders had first dreamt of. The Gurdwara building has finally been completed, though the façade still needs some work and the interior is yet to be done. The parking lot is paved over and the blacktop emergency road has been replaced with a concrete one. And with a note of finality, the main entrance off the southbound Sam Houston

Beltway feeder road has been constructed, with a wrought iron gate and a fence between concrete columns running on one side of the front property line. There’s been a lot of sweat and tears that went into turning this 20 acres of land that once was covered with dense brush and trees over 15 years ago. And sadly, there is even some blood on the site. In a terrible accident over a month ago, Harjinder Singh Mann was pinned down by a bulldozer and died while clearing some tall pine trees from the site. In his honor, the main school building has been named for him, as his brother INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Once again this past Saturday, May 13, it was a time to celebrate the beautiful Spring weather – sunny with low humidity – never mind that it was a month after the Vaisakhi festival. For at least the last two years, the SNC has heralded spring with a mela that has focused on athletics for young men and games for children and the young at heart. Thirty miles away across town, AsiaFest was being celebrated in the Museum district. Perhaps next year, a Sikh and Punjabi Festival could be celebrated at this large and open site.

For photo collage, see page 12


14 May 19, 2017

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BY ZAID HUSSAIN

HOUSTON: It was a cool and

cloudy morning, but there was the buzz of electricity in the air at the large hall filled to capacity. Contenders and their supporters were gathered once again on Wednesday , May 10 for the highly anticipated Better Business Bureau’s annual Awards for Excellence luncheon, an event to showcase some of the best companies in the Houston area. The event honors the companies which have displayed great service and business within their fields, but it is also a chance for professionals to network. The first hour of the program was dedicated solely to that aim, with booths lined around the Bayou City Event Center, a large event hall located just south of downtown Houston, near NRG Park and the Houston Medical Center. With over a thousand such professionals in attendance at the event held at the Center for the third year in a row, the excitement was truly palpable.

After a break for a sit-down lunch, the main focus of the event began: the distribution of awards. There are two types of awards that the BBB hands out at this event: the Distinction Award, given to those who have displayed a level of outstanding customer service in their field, and the much more coveted Pinnacle Award, given to those who stand even higher, at the peak of their industries. This year, the BBB signed Landry’s, a wellknown Houston-based restaurant chain, as an event sponsor. The chief guest of the event was the host of KHOU 11’s “Great Day Houston”, Deborah Duncan who lauded the audience with her customary zeal and pep. Once again this year, Harjit Singh Galhotra, founder of Galson Auto & Body Repair, a 23year old Cypress-based company, waited anxiously for the results along with his wife Seema, sons Ravi and Balraj and others from his firm. Galson’s first won the Pinnacle in 2005, and then picked up two others in 2007 and 2014, and has won the Distinction all

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the other years since 2005, or 12 awards in total. The company’s tagline “Excellent service at reasonable rates” underscores the reason for their nomination to the annual event, a clear and demonstrable level of care towards his consumers who write glowing reviews of the service they get. This year, Galson’s walked away from this luncheon with another Distinction Award under their belt, though Galhotra did have their eyes on the Pinnacle. “We strive to be the best and give the best customer care to our customers, Galhotra said, “in both body and mechanical work.” For someone who just won an award for being outstanding, it was interesting to note why he has been such. Galhotra doesn’t rest on his laurels, and constantly strives to be a better company for not only his employees, but for the people who truly matter - his customers. There is no doubt that Galson’s will be nominated next year again for this event … and it’s fingers crossed that it will walk away with Pinnacle Award number four!


COMMUNITY BY MALAY VYAS

SUGAR LAND: Dusk falls on a

quiet weekday evening in the suburbs, shopping strips as are shorn of traffic, weekend rush is a distant memory except at the corner of Williams Trace and Highway 6 in Sugarland. Café India’s Bollywood Chat is buzzing with families walking in in anticipation of a tasteful meal. Its community Tuesday – a unique concept that is taking the City or rather the Country by storm. Here’s a restaurant that offers free food, literally, you can order food and you only pay whatever you feel like paying or just leave without paying on every Tuesday. This idea is the brainchild of the new owner of this establishment Dinesh Purohit. “I once had guests at my house when I was new to the United States and I couldn’t afford to take them to the restaurant”, says Dineshbhai, “that’s when I got this idea and I am blessed that I can implement it here in this great city”. He bought the Café India establishment from the previous owner and has been in Houston for less than a year and yet he is already a popular name in the community. Across the restaurant, Aisha & Saeed with three children are eagerly waiting on their food. Aisha says “Almighty will give Dineshbhai blessings for feeding hungry families for free”, “he indeed has a

May 19, 2017

15

A Restaurant for the Community!

big hear”, says Saeed. They have been in Houston for over nine years and have never seen a restaurant offering food for free. Aman is here with his Grandmother, mother & his brother, according to him, Bollywood Chaat serves the best masala dosa and paubhaji in town. “The community Tuesday idea is very unique and creative”, he adds. They moved to Houston from New York and have not seen anything like this before. “We are very inspired to see the owner himself in the kitchen preparing dishes, it’s a good way of payingit-forward” adds his grandmother. On this Tuesday, Jitendra and Priyanka are enjoying some de-

licious chaat in the company of their one year old son Ayushman. The family is new to Houston and its their second time at Bollywood Chaat on a Tuesday. “This is a very good initiative”, says Priyanka while munching on the Pau Bhaji while Jitendra likes the presentation and of course, everything on the menu. Jitendra adds “this is a noble cause – if you feed someone for free, they will remember you for life and will return the cause. The world is round, what you give is what you get”. It is interesting to note that everyone from the Purohit family is working in the kitchen to serve over a thousand dishes that are

consumed on a typical Community Tuesday. “He came for a $6 Bombay Sandwich, and gave me $111 in cash”, says Dineshbhai with a smile about Mr. Tushar Patel, a regular patron. The restaurant serves full menu on Community Tuesdays as well, from idlis to paubhaji to bhel and panipuri. Dineshbhai is a telecom executive by profession and got this idea of community Tuesday from the ‘Seva café’ in Ahmedabad. He has two sons – one in college and the other one ready to become the masterchef at his father’s establishment. Dineshbhai has just one request “write me a good review, online”. He plans to continue to

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

serve the community by opening the doors of his restaurant to everyone for free on Tuesdays. “I have the resources, so why not use them for a good cause”, is his motto. As I leave the restaurant, way past 9 pm, there are more families coming in. The atmosphere is lively with a DJ and strobe lights and smiles on faces of the staff here says it all “a lot of good things in life, are free”. Café India & Bollywood Chaat are at the corner of Williams Trace & Highway 6. A visit to either restaurant will make you keep coming back for more.


16 May 19, 2017

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18 May 19, 2017

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY You March On, Girl!

The Teasing Thalaiva

BY MEERAN BORWANKAR Uttar Pradesh police officer Charu Nigam grabbed national headlines this week after standing up to a BJP legislator and a photo of her teary eyed went viral on social media, garnering sympathy and support across India. BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Sadar Radha Mohan Das Agarwal publically rebuked her for taking action against a group of his supporters who were staging a protest. At one point of the incident, she got emotional.

M

ove over, Baahubali. The Thalaiva — supreme leader — himself has spoken. And shaken the earth. Chennai was all a-tremble when superstar Rajinikanth mentioned, in his ongoing four-day meet-and-greet session with fans, that just as it had been God’s will for him to join acting, God may will him to join politics too — who knows? Said in that delightfully casual manner, which makes hearts race from Tamil Nadu to Tokyo, the Baasha’s musing has left fans in a tizzy. Would Rajini sir return to the DMK, which he supported in 1996, only to proclaim later that this was a political accident (which, of course, only The Boss himself can fix)? Could he join the AIADMK which, missing its Puratchi Thalaivi, might welcome the Thalaiva? Or might he join the man Venkaiah Naidu described as the real-life baahubali, PM Modi? The match would be made in electoral heaven. Perhaps considering this, Modi had made a courtesy call to the magnificent Muthu back in 2014, dressed in a veshti and bright saffron shirt. Yet, the superstar is as inscrutable as the mythological characters he’s played. Only Rajini knows — just as only he knows which came first, the chicken or the egg. And Rajini will certainly tease, just as he so stylishly flips a cigarette — now a healthier chewing gum, Jackie Chan-style — several times before it lands perfectly in his mouth. Rajini can flip scarves and goggles too, in physics-defying parabolas, but that’s piffle for the man who can play a violin with a piano, who, with one kick, proved to Einstein that you can travel faster than light, whom God himself is said to recall when exclaiming, “Oh, my Rajini!” No wonder forgetful Ghajini forgot all but Rajini, who will himself reveal, like Moses loftily addressing the Red Sea, whom he’ll join if he takes the political plunge. Until then, let’s join that mock turtle chanting in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance — only here, we’re talking about a lungi dance. - Indian Express

Y

ou had tears in your eyes. So what? You stood your ground. You have changed India and you are still changing it. You, in your uniform, are still a rarity — an officer whom people come to look at and look up to. Because they see in you and in your uniform an authority that is sincere, hard-working and committed to justice for the common man — and woman. And they do so because you are living up to their expectations. You are listening to them and are not busy pandering to the whims and fancies of VVIPs. So, march on, girl. India needs you. Remember the time when you took over as the district superintendent of police? Women in your area greeted you with open arms, admiration writ large over their faces. They saw in you what many of them had missed out on in their lives. They saw in you what they want for their daughters and sisters today. You have made their dream a reality. They see their future in you. And so, march on, fearlessly. Women and girls are with you. By being more accessible to the poor and downtrodden, you have shaken and disturbed well-entrenched powers, who thought they were invincible. You listen — a rare feat for those in authority as they are accustomed to listening only to their own voices or to those of their sycophants. You have challenged the traditions of power, changed its equations. You have acted on your belief, of equality before the law and of the rule of law. So, they will shout, of course. But don’t you let that daunt you. Simply march on. The weak and the poor are with you.

IPS Officer Charu Nigam takes on the establishment. Photo: Mid-Day

You took on a powerful male bastion. You forced them to sit up and take note of your fearless fight against illegal activities, be it the adulteration of petroleum or milk, the sand mafia or the deep roots of violent organised crime. You have the law on your side — they have only their nuisance value. Ignore them, young lady, as the all-important law of the land stands by you. Your parents were far-sighted; they encouraged you to dream and achieve. Looking at you, many more parents are dreaming for their girls, citing your example now. Your shoulders are young but they have already proved their might. On those shoulders rests the responsibility also of inspiring generations. Do not let them down. March on, girl, many ambitious parents are watching you. Remember the lady with the torn sari and the bruises on her body that told the tale of her husband’s daily lashes brutally rained down on her? When she approached you, she saw in you a saviour. Characteristically, you went beyond the call of duty to help her. Think of the long queue of visitors outside your office, waiting patiently because they nurture the hope that you will give them justice. That queue has both women and men in it for both have seen your actions and appreciated your steadfast help to the poor and needy. They want you in this position. For their sake, march on, dear woman. They are with you. And what about your own staff?

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After a long time, they have a fearless, honest leader who works with sincerity and sensitivity, with them and for them. A leader who leads from the front and is yet a complete team player. An officer who takes decisions and does not sit on files. Who understands that the buck stops at her table. They want such a leader and in fact, many more like you. So, march on, girl, your police department needs you. If citizens want you, the community appreciates you, your own team needs and applauds you, why should you care about those screeching just to grab attention? They are crying only about their loss of power. Pity them, ignore them — they are losers. They have already lost and they understand that the people are with you. They make public scenes as their lastditch effort to cling to some power. Ignore them and their impotent anger. Carry on with your honest work, girl. Carry on. Just one request, one word of caution as you go about your onerous task — do not let the system kill you. Do not let it dampen your selfless energy or dilute your devotion to the cause. Because it can happen. As it has to many before you. Guard against that with all your might and zeal. Because all of us see the future of India in you. So, march on, my good officer. The whole country is with you. The writer is director general, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Delhi


COMMUNITY

May 19, 2017

19

Krishnamurthy Meets Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter at Habitat BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

PLAINS, GA: Though she and her

husband have been associated for years with the Habitat for Humanity’s Houston Chapter, where she serves on the Board, and have long admired the charitable work that the organization has done in changing the lives of those without homes, Leela Krishnamurthy was pleasantly surprised when she received the invitation came to visit a person she admired. And soon thereafter, she found herself among a select group of 45 individuals from all over the world who were having a private meeting on April 27 and 28 with the two people most closely associated with the HFH, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, at Carter’s hometown Plains, Georgia. Krishnamurthy was accompanied by her daughter Sujata’s husband, Tom Speiss of Los Angeles. The occasion was to allow the people to network with one another and exchange ideas on how to address the needs for homes in their parts of the world. HFH was founded in 1976 and has been active internationally, with five area offices in the Americus, Georgia for the US, and Canada; Africa and the Middle East (located in Pretoria, South Africa); Asia-Pacific (Bangkok, Thailand); Europe and Central Asia (Bratislava, Slovakia); and Latin America and the Caribbean (San Jose, Costa Rica). The attendees were given a tour of the Global Village in Americus where replicas of the before and after versions of the houses built around the world are on display. But the real treat for them was a chance to meet the Carters who have been as-

Leela Krishnamurthy meeting former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn at an invitation only meeting in Plains, Georgia for those associated with the Habitat for Humanity.

The boyhood home of Jimmy Carter in Plains, Georgia

sociated with HFH since 1984, three years after they left the White House. The Carters briefly visited with each person over a buffet lunch and they later heard him give a Sunday School sermon at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains. A touching moment of the trip was a visit to the boyhood home in Plains of Jimmy Carter, which still has no running water or electricity and for a shower has a bucket with holes suspended from a steel pipe. At the age of 92, Jimmy Carter and

Rosalynn, 89 are still so committed to HFH that they will help to build 150 homes in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to help mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. “I am very humbled and blessed to have been invited by Habitat International to attend this by invitation only. It was a unique spiritually uplifting experience,” said Krishnamurthy after she returned. “Jimmy Carter is a true role model and inspiration. I feel very blessed to have met him.”

Funding Sought for 3½-year-old Boy with Brain Cancer

HOUSTON: A family from Pe-

rundurai, Tamil Nadu, is seeking crowdfunding to save their 3½-year-old son, Merwin Bright Daniel, who was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Merwin was diagnosed in February 2017. There is, however, no medical treatment that can cure this

disease in India. After exhausting all options in India, the family finally found the Bruzynski Clinic (www. cancermed.com) in Houston, that can help save Merwin. The clinic’s cancer therapy utilizes an understanding of each patient’s genetic make-up to develop a treatment with non -toxic medicine. Being from the middle class, the family

could only manage for travel and first month treatment with the help of people in India. The doctors at the clinic suggest eight months of treatment to completely cure Merwin. An MRI is planned after three weeks for a progress check. “We paid for the first month medical expenses at the clinic, but don’t have any money or resources to continue for the rest of the months,” according to father Ramasamy Velumani, and mother Prabha Kumaragurusami, via email. “Having estimated expenses of $17,000 per month, and to continue that for eight months seems unimaginable without any monetary assistance.” The family has created a fundraiser page for Merwin, requesting donations from the IndoAmerican community. Please visit www.gofundme.com/merwin/

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20 May 19, 2017

COMMUNITY

A Stroll Through the Heat, Food and Music of Asia on Southmore BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

H

OUSTON: The Asia Society closed off the section of the street in front of its building and once again brought the colors, sounds and flavors of Asia to Southmore this past Saturday, May 13 just a day before Mother’s Day. It was reminiscent of the Society’s Night Market that has become a popular event in the Fall, albeit much sunnier and hotter! An estimated 2,500 people came to visit the Center throughout the day for AsiaFest 2017, though it was a lighter turnout than the past two years, some vendors noted. People flowed onto the front lawn to mingle and eat at tables and benches while watching performers on a stage in one corner. The sound of Asian music – and Bollywood dance numbers – wafted across the entire block. Vendor booths were setup at the sidewalk while food trucks featuring Asian cuisines lined the street. Inside, vendor booths were set up in the lobby and the upstairs lobby and main hall were turned into a kid zone with plenty of activities for the tiny tykes and their parents. Along the backwall, an exhibit of ikebana – the Japanese art of flower arrangement – was laid out for people to marvel. In the North Gallery and Grand Hall, an ongoing exhibit (from April 22 to September 10) by the contemporary artist Sangram Manjumdar was open to the public, as was the

Modern Twist (January 28 to July 30), a Japanese Bamboo Art display in the second floor Gallery, featuring works by Living National Treasures Katsushiro Sōhō (2005) and Fujinuma Noboru (2012) and other visionary Japanese artists. Born in Kolkata, India, Manjumdar has an MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a full-time Professor of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. This is his first-ever exhibition in Texas. His work evokes the cyclical nature of history and the mingling of Asian

and western cultures. Modern Twist shows how the creativity and talent of bamboo basket makers has been elevated by 16 contemporary artists to a modern genre with unexpected new forms of technical, and artistic ingenuity. The weaved works are so exquisite that it

is hard to tell whether the medium is bamboo or metal. This is the third year that the Asia Society has held AsiaFest to celebrate the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month during May, which also marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad track in 1869; largely by Chi-

nese, as well as Irish, immigrants. “The purpose behind AsiaFest is to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage,” said Rose Rougeau, the center’s vice president of communication, “and to bring families together in celebration of Houston’s diverse cultures.” She thanked the event cochairs, Teri and Jeffrey Lee, for their

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

role for the second consecutive year. A number of Indian vendors had booths at the festival and the Avantica Academy of Odissi Dance performed live onstage. There was also a rangoli and sari tying demonstration by the India Culture Center as well as ebru painting, henna and art display by the Islamic Arts Society.


IMMIGRATION

May 19, 2017

21

Huge Change Planned to EB-5 Investment Visa Program

BY CHARLES FOSTER, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY

HOUSTON: The EB-5 Regional

Center program is being extended through the balance of the fiscal year through September 30, 2017 as is; what we call a “clean extension.” I’m on the Board of IIUSA, the largest industry organization and in the past the EB-5 Regional Center industry was more than happy to have the proverbial “can kicked down the road” and take it as it is. I joined the IIUSA Board precisely because we in fact need the reform specifically the so-called “integrity measures” to provide further protection to EB-5 investors as well as an increase in visa numbers. Sooner or later the backlog in visa numbers will hurt all petitioners, although it is primarily hurting petitioners from the People’s Republic of China. Another reason why we need reform is that during the winding down days of President Obama’s Administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued some extensive regulations which would reform the EB-5 Regional Center program by regulation. The general consensus was that these proposed regulations would be very harmful and would seriously damage the EB-5 Regional Center program, particularly with the large proposed increases in the minimum investment

amount. The period for comments has ended and we could anticipate that final regulations could

be iss u e d by September 30, 2017. Thus, the industry has come together to try to find a consensus position and in particular, supported the effort of Texas’ own U.S. Senator and Majority Whip John Cornyn to bring all parties together on a consensus bill for EB-5 Regional Center reform. However, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from the State of Iowa, has been the primary moving force to bring about EB-5 reform which, in the opinion

of Sen. Grassley, needed to give greater preference (as he thought was originally intended) to rural projects and truly distressed urban area projects. They wound up with competing bills drafted b y

It is certain that all the legislation contains significant integrity provisions that protect the investors and clarifies that an interest in an EB-5 Regional Center project constitutes a security, thus making the offers subject to all the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is also

Sen. Grassley’s staff as well as a rough outline of the bill drafted by Sen. Cornyn’s staff. Many of the differences have been resolved and it looks like we will be coming to an agreement between all the parties that the EB-5 Regional Center industry can support.

very clear that the definition of a “Targeted Economic Area” (TEA) will be significantly revised s o there are much fewer urban TEA’s and, according to the terms of Sen. Cornyn’s bill, only those that meet the definition of “distressed” TEA’s will qualify for the lower dollar amount.

The current minimum dollar amount is $1,000,000.00 unless you invest in a TEA and in that case it is $500,000. As a practical matter, by accumul a t i n g census tracts, today virtually all projects qualify for the minimum investment amount of $500,000. Thus, we could expect a significant increase in the minimum investment. The difference, as now proposed, is that the TEA investment would be increased to $800,000 and the normal minimum investment, as proposed by Sen. Cornyn, would be $925,000 or a differential of $125,000. Sen. Cornyn original proposed a $50,000 differential but in order to accommodate Senator Grassley, he has moved to a much larger differential. The take away is that this legislation could pass sometime in the next 30-60 days, if not sooner. Thus, potential investors should be aware that if they want to take advantage of the current $500,000 minimum investment amount rather than what is most likely for most projects to be a minimum investment amount of at least $925,000, they should make their investment decision soon as to which project they wish to invest in through the EB-5 Regional Center program.

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22 May 19, 2017

INDIA

Kochi Metro Hires 23 Transgender Women, Making History

T

Meet Vincy, who is one of the 23 transgender women who have been hired by the corporation.

In 2015, Manabi Bandopadhyay became India’s first transgender principal.

he transgender community in India has been long ostracised. Many third gender children are abandoned by their families, and have to fend for themselves. They are not integrated in the society, and are denied basic human rights such as education and employment. As a result, they form strong communities with each other, and are forced to beg and sell their bodies for money. But, in the last couple of years, this vicious cycle has slowly started disintegrating. The transgender community is slowly being welcomed into the society. In another move to make the third gender a part of the mainstream society, Kochi Metro Rail has hired 23 transgender women to take on roles behind ticket counters, and in housekeeping. Rashmi CR, spokesperson for Kochi Metro Rail said, “People don’t interact with trans people. They live separately from society, they are not given jobs, their rights are not respected. We want to bring them into the mainstream by ensuring that people interact with them everyday on their way to work, for example.” Vincy is all set to start working at a ticket counter. She told a leading publication, “Kochi metro is the first company in India to accept us. It is a huge achievement for us. I feel very comfortable there. The other workers know how to respect me because Kochi metro is recognising us.” -idiva.com

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

May 19, 2017

23

Strength in the Tapestry that Weaves Together Different Faiths

Swatantra Jain, Dr. Sushma Mahajan and Dr. Sippi Khurana on stage reciting passsages from their faiths.

HOUSTON: Interfaith Ministries

for Greater Houston was proud to honor Shell Oil Company at its ninth annualTapestryGala,heldonWednesday, May 3. Close to $550,000 was generated by the festive evening, which celebrated Shell’s philanthropic efforts in the community and Houston’s great diversity in cultures, ethnicities and faith traditions. More than 500 guests were on hand at the Hilton Americas-Houston to recognize Shell and to support IM’s many programs including Meals on Wheels/aniMeals, refugee resettlement and interfaith relations. “IM was deeply honored to recognize Shell for its generous contributions and deep commitment to the Houston community,” said Martin B. Cominsky, IM’s President and

IM Board Vice Chair Shaukat Zakaria and Boardmember Dr. Sippi Khurana.

Gala Finance Chair Swatantra Jain and his wife Bimla receiving an award, from IM President & CEO Martin B. Cominsky and IM Board Chair Paula Sutton.

CEO. “Shell is a valued partner of IM. It has been one of the lead sponsors of Meals on Wheels for years and Shell employees are stalwart volunteers in our program to feed more than 4,000 homebound seniors each weekday.” Among the audience were members of Galveston County Senior Services – Carla Ayala, Jennifer Krups and Susan Brace, and drivers Dominica Zepeda and Robert Neal – who run a similar meal program on the island. They were excited about the recent association with

IM’s Meals on Wheels to take over and administer the program, which would alleviate the burden on their small organization. The evening began with a shared prayer from different faith leaders who stood onstage reciting a verse from their holiest texts while the symbol representing their religion was projected on a red background behind them. Among them were Dr. Fatima Mawji reciting a Muslim passage; Swatantra Jain reciting a Jain passage; Dr. Sushma Mahajan reciting a Hindu passage from the Gita and Dr. Sippi Khurana reciting a Sikh passage. The evening also featured musical selections by the Phillip Hall Singers who sang a soulful rendition of John

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Lennon’s I and two other pieces, A Place Called Love and Lean on Me, featuring Kenneth Gale, Mary Griffin and Bubba McNeeley and also a finale at the end of the program. It concluded with the presentation of the 2017 Tapestry Award by Houston City Mayor Sylvester Turner to Scott Ballard, Shell’s Executive Vice President for Human Resources. This year’s honorary chairs were Philamena Baird; IM Board Member Swatantra Jain who was presented with a crystal bowl for contribution to the event as the Finance Chair and IM Board Chair Paula Sutton. Lisa Malosky, sports reporter and former KPRC-TV news reporter served as the evening’s emcee. The evenings guests included: Shell EVP Scott Ballard, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Houston City Mayor Sylvester Turner, Cindy and John Kellum, Paula Sutton and Bill Gross, Philamena and Arthur Baird, Bimla and Swatantra Jain, Karyn and Charles Crisp, Susan and Dan Boggio, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Brigitte and Bashar Kalai, Houston City Councilmembers Amanda Edwards, Steve Le, Mike Laster and Robert Gallegos, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and 2016 Tapestry Gala honorees Lily and Charles Foster.


24 May 19, 2017

COMMUNITY

Dr. Krishna Dronamraju Honored at Oxford University, U.K.

HOUSTON: Dr. Dronamraju, President of

the Houston-based Foundation for Genetic Research, was recently honored at Oxford University in Great Britain. Oxford University Press, a branch of the University, published his latest (and 20th) book: “popularizing science: The Life and Work of JBS Haldane”. The Press organized a reception and book signing in Oxford for Dr. Dronamraju, which included a discussion about the book by his friend Sir David Weatherall, Founder and Director of the Weatherall Institute at Oxford University. The book is a chronological biography of the great British polymath, J.B.S. Haldane, who was Dr. Dronamraju’s mentor. Besides being a brilliant scientist, Haldane led an exciting, colorful life which makes him an ideal subject for a biography. Descended from Scottish aristocracy, Haldane was the son of John Scott Haldane, an eminent Oxford University physiologist,

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who taught his son the principles of scientific experimentation from an early age. The younger Haldane grew up to be a famous scientist without an academic degree in science.All his scientific knowledge was self-taught. Another aspect of Haldane’s life were a series of experiments in physiology when he tested the effect of breathing various poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide upon his own body in tightly sealed metallic chambers. The results are of great importance to underwater diving as well as space flight. They were dangerous experiments which required much courage. In his last years, Haldane moved to India and died in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He became an Indian citizen, shortly before his death. Dr. Dronamraju is a Visiting Professor of the University of Paris and the Albert Schweitzer International University in Geneva. He was an advisor to the U.S. Government in Biotechnology, and DNA technology. He received the Nayudamma Prize in science, and the National Research Service Award of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Public Health Service. He is the author of over 20 books and 200 research papers in Genetics and Biotechnology.

Job Posting: DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCER

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX, is seeking a Multi-Platform Producer/Writer/Editor for the digital department. We are looking for a creative genius who can write, shoot, produce and edit news videos, as well as create digital original content that keeps audiences engaged in our local news products. The ideal candidate will be a team player with a strong understanding of local news branding, journalism, and digital marketing trends with at least 3 years of experience working in a newsroom. In-depth knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Suite as well as basic After Effects skills are necessary. Extensive experience working alongside a large news staff to turn daily news stories into compelling content is necessary, as is the ability to work in fast-pasted, creative environment. Our digital department is staffed 24/7, so all applicants must be willing to work any day or shift, as needed. To be considered all interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers. com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please include a link to a reel of your editing work. Please Reference Job ID: 453745BR No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


DIASPORA

NEW YORK: Eleven Indian-

American investors feature in Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 100 best venture capitalists who are behind some of the highest-returning investments in the technology sphere. ‘Midas 2017’ comprises the 100 best venture capitalists in the world, taking into account a five-year lookback at a partner’s portfolio, with exits by IPO or acquisition of $200 million or more and private holdings that raised money at valuations of $400 million or more over that time period. The list has been topped by Jim Goetz, Partner in Sequoia Capital. He retains the top spot three years after the monumental sale of messaging giant WhatsApp to Facebook for nearly $22 billion. Goetz, the only investor in the company, transformed $60 million over three rounds into more than $3 billion in Facebook stock.

May 19, 2017

25

11 PIOs in Forbes List of Best Venture Capitalists

The list includes 11 venture capitalists who are of Indian-origin. Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner in Battery Ventures is on the 17th spot and leads the pack of Indian-origin venture capitalists on the list, followed by Sameer Gandhi, Partner in Accel Partners (23); Asheem Chandna, Partner in Greylock Partners (28); Salil Deshpande, Managing Director in Bain Capital Ventures (33); and Aneel Bhusri, CEO and Cofounder of Workday (37). Gaurav Garg, Founding Partner of Wing Venture Capital (48); Promod Haque, Senior Managing Partner of Norwest Venture Partners (67); Hemant Taneja, Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners (70); Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of Mayfield Fund (73); Ravi Mhatre, Partner in Lightspeed Venture Partners (76); and Deven Parekh, Man-

Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner in Battery Ventures, leads the pack of Indian-origin venture capitalists on the list.

Sameer Gandhi, Partner in Accel Partners, ranks number 23 on the list.

aging Director of Insight Venture Partners (99) also figure on the list. Agrawal returns to the Midas List for the 7th consecutive time. Two of his software companies, Coupa and

Nutanix, went public in 2016, and another, AppDynamics, was about to go public in early 2017 before it was scooped up by Cisco for $3.7 billion.

Indian national pleads guilty in multi-million dollar call centre scam in US

W

ASHINGTON: A 28-year-old Indian national in the US has pleaded guilty for his role in a multi-million dollar scam in which individuals from call centres located in India impersonated US tax and immigration officials to defraud victims across America. Harsh Patel, who most recently lived in New Jersey, is the third Indian national to have pleaded guilty to this scam that targeted hundreds

of Americans. Till date, Patel, over 50 other individuals and five Indiabased call centres have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury last year in October. He pleaded guilty before US District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is scheduled for August 7, 2017. Victims who agreed to pay the

scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money, and upon payment, the call centres would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the US to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds. Since January, 2015, Patel worked as a “runner” operating primarily in New Jersey, California and Illinois. Patel is the third Indian national

Taneja, who holds five degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, debuts on the Midas List due to an early investment in Snap, the social platform that went public at a market capitalization of $25 billion in February 2017. Haque, an alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering, has served as senior managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners since 2013, where he focuses on enterprise and healthcare IT. He has invested in more than 70 companies that have produced more than $40 billion in exit values in over 15 years of venture capital experience. Forbes said while micro-blogging site Twitter still accounts for 12 Midas investors and Facebook another 10, they’re now making way for Snap, the social app that went public in February 2017, with eight of its investors in the 2017 Midas ranks. -timesofindia.com to have pleaded guilty in the call centre scam. Bharat Kumar Patel, 43, previously pleaded guilty for his role in the fraud and money laundering scheme. Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, 28, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centres. -timesofindia.com

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26 May 19, 2017

SUDOKU

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before May 24, 2017. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Channe di Daal Te Methi (Split Chickpea Daal & Fenugreek) the rest of the stems. 4. Place the picked leaves and tops in a strainer and wash thoroughly to remove any dirt. Let stay for the water to drip. 5. Coat a pan with oil over medium heat, then put in the methi and cover to let the methi shed water. 6. When the methi is dried, add the boiled channa daal and add salt and pepper. Stir and leave on the heat for 5 minutes to evaporate any remaining water. Then cover and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 more minutes, then turn the heat off. 8. Serve with hot roti and any other vegetable dish.

Solution Next Week

Methi (fenugreek) is a plant with

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three small oblong leaflets that is grown in many countries around the world in semi-arid climates, especially in South Asia. It is grown all across western and northern India, with Rajasthan alone producing 80% of India’s output. Used from ancient times, methi has been known for its medicinal qualities to soothe digestive problems, help control blood sugar, reduce diabetes and cholesterol and now as an ingredient in some medicines. The leaves of the plant are relished for their bitterness and sweet aroma that add extra flavor to the foods they are mixed with. It is labor intensive to pick and clean the leaves and so is now widely available in dried form in sealed packets. The dried leaves are also used as a spice for flavoring other dishes. Methi is used in making pickles, daals (lentils), paranthas and vegetable dishes, but by far the most widely used and popular dish, as least in the Punjab, is aaloo methi (sautéed potatoes and fenugreek). Channe di dal (split chickpea lentils) is produced by removing the outer layer of black chickpeas and then splitting the kernel. Although machines can do this, it can be done at home by hulling or soaking the whole chickpeas and removing the loose skins by rubbing. Many people mistakenly believe that channa daal comes from large white chickpeas or garbanzos. Hulling helps to improve digestibility, but it affects the nutrition provided by the dish by reducing dietary fiber content.

Ingredients: • • • •

1 cup channa dal (split channa lentil) 2 medium bundles of methi (fenugreek) or use two packets of dried methi 1 tbsp olive oil Spices to taste: lal mirch (red pepper); namak (salt); haldi (turmeric)

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.

Directions: 1. Place the channa dal in a bowl, wash it thoroughly in cold water, let it soak overnight. 2. In the morning, drain the water. Place the dal with 4 cups of water in a pot, add some haldi and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let it sit. 3. Meanwhile, open the methi bundles and pick off the top portion of each stem with the leaves. Discard

MAMA’S TI P OF THE W EEK KEEP CUT DRIED M ETHI HANDY TO PR EPARE A QUICK DISH

Methi (fenugreek) is a vegetable which has a strong aroma doesn’t require too and taste and many spices or oth er ingredients like enhance its flavor. onions of garlic to When it is sold in bu ndles, it comes with even roots, so it ha long stems and s to be carefully wa shed, cleaned and in a time consuming the leaves removed task. These days, cleaned and dry methi leave s are sold in large pla can be kept in the pa stic bags and ntry for a long time. It can easily be used aloo methi (potatoe to make a quick s fenugreek) or ga jjar methi (carrots with raita (thinned fenugreek) dish or yogurt). All you ne ed to do is liberally potatoes or carrots sp rinkle it over the and let it cook in the ir steam.

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May 19, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

27

Amitabh Bachchan is Compelling as Sarkar: SARKAR 3 mense clout with the masses. In this outing, the Godfather is joined by his grandson Shivaji Nagre(Amit Sadh), who loves and hates his grandfather with equal intensity. Will Shivaji betray Sub-

Subhash Nagre or Sarkar (Am-

itabh Bachchan), the patriarch of the most powerful family of Maharashtra, continues to hold centre-stage because of his im-

hash? Or will he become a prey to his grandfather’s machinations? We have lived with the protagonist and premise of this franchise for 12 years now. That explains

the sense of déjà vu while watching the third part. But it also accounts for the audience staying invested in Sarkar right from the start. Having lost his two sons Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon) and Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan) earlier, he has aged but not mellowed. Now he is kept insulated for the most part, by two lieutenants Gokul(Ronit) and Raman(Parag). His wife Pushpa(Supriya) is ailing and he does his best to shield her. Proceedings pick up with the entry of his estranged grandson Shivaji aka Cheeku. The hardnosed youngster picks up the scent of traitourness from Gokul, who secretly aspires to supersede the

don. Even as the power-struggle within the four walls of the Nagre home intensifies, outsiders like Govind Deshpande (Manoj), a power-hungry political aspirant, a greedy Dubai-based businessman, Michael Vallya(Jackie) and a power-broker Gandhi(Bajrangbali), make their own pitches to destroy Sarkar. Coming to the all-important question—is Ram Gopal Varma of Shiva, Satya, Company and the first part of Sarkar back in form? Well, you can see some flashes of the filmmaker’s intensity here. His Mahabharatha tale or palace politics as it is termed, plays out uninterruptedly. However there isn’t much intrigue because most of

the twists are easy to guess. Some of the dialogue is pithy but then again, this accounts for little. The brooding palette of shadow and light that has been the trademark of this franchise is retained, as is the Govinda chant that works as a terrific background score. The Ganeshaarti rendered by Bachchan is spellbinding; the iconic actor is also in top form, mesmerizing you with his grey shades and grey irises. For his legion of fans, this one is an important outing. Amit, Manoj, Jackie and Ronit lend weightage. However, the actresses--Yami, Supriya and Rohini are short-changed. -timesofindia.com

SS Rajamouli ‘Strongly Considering’ Baahubali 3, Set to Launch Prabhas in a Karan Johar Film If you watched Baahubali: The Conclusion, and this dialogue in the post credits left you intrigued and with a hint that Baahubali 3 might be on the cards, then rejoice, as a third film is strongly under consideration. And why not? Seeing the kind of response Baahubali 2 has received at the theaters, and world box office, the audience will welcome its next outing with open arms. -indianexpress.com

Nawazuddin Siddiqui May 19, 1974

Karan Johar

May 25, 1972

Meri Pyaari Bindu: Ayushmann Khurrana, Parineeti Chopra Try but can’t Make us Feel

A bhimanyu

Roy, also known by his ‘daak naam’ Bubla ( Ay u s h m a n n Khurrana), is a corporate typeturned-pulp novelist. Bindu Shankarnaryanan (Parineeti) only known as Bindu, is an aspiring singer who turns... she knows not what, for the longest time. In Meri Pyaari Bindu, these two come and go, come and go, and leave us wanting more. To not know what you want is not a crime. Drifting can be a perfectly respectable occupation. Or preoccupation, depending upon how you look at it. Abhi is smitten with the girl-next-door Bindu at a very young age, and

we see them grow into prank-filled teenage and what passes for adulthood in Bollywood. But to keep us interested in this construct of a ditsy, selfish, flighty, confused female lead for two hours and more becomes an exercise in patience, because Bindu herself isn’t interesting enough. For a rom com to stand out from the ones that have been done before, setting, situations and characters have be new. Or new-ish. Ayushmann Khurrana, as the steadfast Bubla (lovely touch, that pet name), fares a little better because he is given more to play with. Parineeti Chopra is written minus requisite depth, and stays on the surface. Yes, she is bubbly, and cute, and all the descriptors given above, but that’s not enough. Speaking of which, the background music in Meri Pyaari Bindu will resonate with those who loved making ‘mixed tapes’ (audio cassettes), which could be played on the twoin-ones so commonly used through the 80s. And what’s not to love about that evergreen love song full of wistfulness and longing: abhi na jaao chhod kar… through which Bubla

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

and Bindu connect? Khurrana and Chopra have a connection — they laugh at the same things even after they’ve left childhood and adolescence behind — but raise too little steam. At one point, Bindu is on the phone, speaking to Bubla, her nail varnish chipped, her make up not immaculate: she is messy, and that’s perfect, because conveying emotions is a messy business. Chopra comes alive in that scene, and makes the bittersweetness that the film is after, come to the fore too. If that had spilled over into the film, it would have made us feel. -indianexpress.com


28 May 19, 2017 IPL 2017: Dhoni, Sundar Vault Pune Risers into the Final

Yasir Shah’s 6 for 90 Helps Pakistan’s Fightback vs WI

BRIDGETOWN: Pakistan 376

BY NIKHIL KALRO

MUMBAI: (ESPN Cricinfo): Ris-

ing Pune Supergiant 162 for 4 (Tiwary 58, Rahane 56, Dhoni 40*) beat Mumbai Indians 142 for 9 (Parthiv 52, Sundar 3-16, Thakur 3-37) by 20 runs After being asked to bat on a favourable chasing ground, Rising Pune Supergiant lost the majority of the first innings. But it was an atypically slow surface at the Wankhede Stadium and Rising Pune utilised those conditions better than Mumbai Indians did to clear a path to their maiden IPL final. Rising Pune defended 162 comfortably in the end, by 20 runs, for their third win over Mumbai this season. Mumbai, despite having squandered the shootout for the final in front of a packed home crowd, will have a second chance in the second qualifier in Bengaluru on Friday. At the forefront of a sublime bowling performance was teenage offspinner Washington Sundar. His fullerthan-good length and straight lines meant the batsmen were not able to attack either side of the wicket with any conviction. His quick pace didn’t let them get under deliveries either. The 17-year old finished with 3 for 16 from four overs and the Man-ofthe-Match award. The harder task on the night, though, was with the bat. Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane struck patient fifties, setting a platform for MS Dhoni to use his wiles and hitting prowess at the end to help Rising Pune finish with a decent score and sufficient momentum. A strong start In Mumbai’s last league game at this venue, Kings XI Punjab defended a total of 230 by just seven runs. Even with the possibility of dew and the short boundaries, Rising Pune may not have been aiming that high after losing the toss, but they knew they needed to get close. Planning, check. Execution, a big red cross. Rahul Tripathi fell over a flick and was bowled. Steven Smith’s leading edge was snaffled up at backward point. Rising Pune were 9 for 2 in two overs. The surface may have been slow, and Mumbai’s variations were effective, but after that start, a

SPORTS

MS Dhoni muscles one into the off side, Mumbai Indians v Rising Pune Supergiant, Qualifier 1, IPL, Mumbai, May 16, 2017.

score of close to 170 was the best Rising Pune could hope for, which meant Mumbai were never out of the game. Different pitch, same Dhoni finish Rising Pune had laboured to 121 for 3 after 18 overs. The five overs prior to that yielded just 32 without a wicket as Mumbai’s bowlers found the right length to Dhoni and Tiwary. Dhoni’s strike rate in his first 10 balls in the IPL, before this game, was 88.52. Against Mumbai, he could only muster 14 off his first 17 balls. But then Mitchell McClenaghan, not for the first time this season, missed his yorker. A high full-toss was hit for four and the resulting freehit went for six over long-on. Dhoni anticipated McClenaghan’s good or short length in the second half of that over, and sat back to hit two sixes. Jasprit Bumrah hadn’t pitched anything in Dhoni’s half all through the match. But in the final over, he gifted two good length balls that were smashed for sixes as Rising Pune plundered 41 off the last 12 balls. Their score of 162 was below par at this ground, but the momentum and confidence - of having defended a similar score before on this ground earlier this season - was firmly with

Rising Pune. Falling behind from the start Rising Pune had only one way forward - exploiting a two-paced Wankhede surface. Even if they didn’t get early wickets, they had to keep Mumbai in check because batting was going to get harder. Jaydev Unadkat brought out his offcutters in the first over and conceded just one run. Mumbai were already behind the game. Parthiv Patel hit 33 off 16 in the Powerplay, but Mumbai lost three wickets. Lendl Simmons was runout, backing up too far at the nonstriker’s end. Rohit Sharma was undone by umpiring error, given out lbw despite a thick inside edge. Ambati Rayudu found midwicket with a pull; the second wicket in Sundar’s over. Mumbai were 42 for 3 inside the fielding restrictions and behind the asking rate. Undone by conditions Timing shots and picking slower deliveries was getting tougher. Why? After a bowler releases his delivery, batsmen pick the speed through the air and then adjust accordingly. But with the ball gripping the surface, it came onto them slower than expected. Mumbai, having played seven league matches on an even, true

Wankhede pitch, weren’t used to that pace. Unadkat used his slower balls, Shardul Thakur his knuckle balls and Sundar an effective change in pace, to thoroughly flummox Mumbai’s batsmen. Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Mohd. Nawaz Suspended

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AHORE: Pakistan left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz has been suspended for two months after admitting to the PCB’s charge of failing to report a suspect approach. Nawaz’s suspension is effective from May 16, but he can return to cricket after one month provided he fulfills criteria set by the Pakistan board. Nawaz’s player contract with the PCB was suspended, and he was also fined 200,000 Pakistani rupees. Among other conditions set by the PCB are that Nawaz should not be found in further breach of the PCB’s anti-corruption code, and that he should take part in the board’s anti-corruption education programmes. “Nawaz submitted his written statement admitting the charges levelled against him by PCB.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

(Azhar 127, Misbah 59, Chase 4-103) and 174 for 8 dec (Yasir 38*, Younis 35, Joseph 3-53) beat West Indies 247 (Chase 69, Abbas 5-46, Yasir 3-126) and 202 (Chase 101*, Yasir 5-92, Hasan 3-33) by 101 runs Dominica bid farewell to two legends of the game in a most fitting manner, giving Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq the most heart-stopping send-off possible. History beckoned time and again, torturing and teasing them. It made them wait, it made them wonder, it made them despair. But, with six balls left in the game, the series, and their careers, came perhaps its most satisfying moment. Shannon Gabriel, West Indies’ No. 11, had spent just over half an hour at the crease, and had seen out 21 balls. See out one more, and it would leave Roston Chase, who was batting on 101, to face the last over of the match, the last over of the series, and dramatically raise West Indies’ chances of saving the Test. This side - Misbah’s side - had done what Hanif Mohammad couldn’t do, what Javed Miandad couldn’t do, what Imran Khan couldn’t do. He had led his side to its first ever series victory in the Caribbean, a 101-run win sealing his - and Younis’- careers with aplomb. Test cricket certainly has a way of rewarding its own. Pakistan looked like they would make short work of the final session when, three overs in, Hasan Ali brought an end to Jason Holder’s obdurate resistance. It left West Indies seven down with only the tail to give Chase company. But despite all that, West Indies had it in control. Then came Gabriel’s moment of madness, and Misbah went berserk. Cool and calm? What are you on about?

isbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan sign off, West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Dominica, 5th day, May 14, 2017.


May 19, 2017

UN Cuts India’s Growth Rate to 7.3% in 2017 Due to Bad Bank Loans GENEVA: The United Nations (UN) has revised downward India’s GDP growth forecast for 2017 but predicted an increased 7.9% GDP growth next year as it cautioned that stressed balance sheets in the banking sector due to bad loans will prevent strong investment rebound in the near term. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid- 2017 report, launched on Tuesday, said India is projected to achieve a 7.3% growth in 2017, a downward revision from the 7.7% forecast for the year made when the report was launched in January. The revised report, however, projected that India will achieve an impressive 7.9% GDP growth in 2018,. The report warned that stressed balance sheets in the country’s banking sector, which has emerged as a cause

According to the UN, India is projected to achieve a 7.3% growth in 2017.

of concern for the Narendra Modi government, will have an adverse effect on investment rebound in the country. “Despite temporary disruptions from the demonetisation policy, economic conditions in India remain robust, underpinned by sound fiscal

and monetary policies and the implementation of key domestic reforms. Yet, stressed balance sheets in the banking and corporate sectors will prevent a strong investment rebound in the near term,” the report said. It noted that current accounts deficits have narrowed “visibly” in India, Brazil and South Africa, and some countries have undergone significant corporate deleveraging, particularly Russia. Despite India’s growth being revised downward, it remains the fastest growing large developing economy, way ahead of China which is projected to grow at 6.5% in 2017 and 2018. The report said world gross product is expected to expand by 2.7% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018, unchanged from UN forecasts released in January this year. This marks a notable acceleration compared to just 2.3% in

2016. The report identifies a tentative recovery in world industrial production, along with reviving global trade, driven primarily by rising import demand from East Asia. Assistant secretary-general for Economic Development in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Lenni Montiel underscored the “need to reinvigorate global commitments to international policy coordination to achieve a balanced and sustained revival of global growth.” According to the report, underpinning global economic recovery is firmer growth in many developed economies and economies in transition, with East and South Asia remaining the world’s most dynamic regions, benefiting from robust domestic demand. - Live Mint

Apple’s ‘Made in India’ iPhone SE is Ready from Karnataka Plant BENGALURU: Apple’s first the report. ‘Made in India’ iPhone could become available in India as early as next week as the first units have already been manufactured on a trial basis. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Karnataka state officials have confirmed that Apple’s manufacturer Wistron Corp has started making the iPhone SE in India. These phones will start shipping to customers in India by this month. In January 2017, The Indian Express had reported that in an inter-ministerial committee meeting on whether iPhone kits and consumables should be made duty free, Apple had indicated it wanted to assemble the iPhone SE first in India. Now Apple has confirmed to Wall Street Journal that it will start production with some iPhone SE units. Also, these ‘Made in India’ iPhones could land in stores by “this week or next,” according to

However, it remains to be seen if the new iPhone SE, which is ‘made in India’, will be priced lower thanitsothercounterparts. A ‘Made in India’ iPhone would not face the regular import duty imposed on smartphones, which are wholly manufactured outside the country. The report adds that this particular iPhone SE could cost nearly $100 lower than the current models, though this is not confirmed. In February, the government of Karnataka had issued a press release confirming Apple’s plans of initial manufacturing operations in the state. In January, Wistron Corp, one of Apple’s manufacturing partners applied for permission to expand its plant in Bengaluru. The Taiwanese contract

manufacturer had also requested its application be fast-tracked. Apple iPhone SE is currently priced at Rs 27,200 for the 32GB version, and Rs 37,200 for the 128GB version. This could directly change the com-

panies fortune in India. As things stand, Apple currently ranks 10th among other brands in the Indian market, which is led by Samsung, as highlighted by a recent IDC report. - Indian Express

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Udan Licenses India’s First Turbo Jet Regional Airline

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EW DELHI: Turbo Megha Airways has become the first private airline to get a licence to fly under Udan, the government scheme for subsidized regional flights. The Hyderabad-based airline, which flies as TruJet, last month said it will launch flights on HyderabadCuddapah, Hyderabad-Nanded and Nanded-Mumbai routes. A spokesman for Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the aviation regulator on Wednesday issued the first air operator certificate in the scheduled commuter category to Turbo Megha Airways. “Earlier, being scheduled regional, they could not operate to metros of other regions. Under SCO (scheduled commuter operator) category, they can operate to metros of other regions.” TruJet is one of the five operators who have been awarded a total of 128 routes under the Udan scheme. The airline will use three ATR-72 aircraft, and will add more planes later. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first flight under the scheme on the Shimla-Delhi route on 27 April. The flight will be operated by Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India. Under the scheme, fares have been capped at Rs2,500 for a 1-hour flight. The government has also extended subsidy in the form of viability gap funding to the operators flying on these routes. The five airlines awarded the rights to fly Udan flights are Air India, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha and Deccan Air. -- Live Mint


30 May 19, 2017 Kapil Mishra: Kejriwal a Corrupt Man, AAP Received Crores from Shell Companies NEW DELHI: Sacked Delhi min- He said there were also discrepancies ments. Mishra was accompanied at

Kapil Mishra fainted at a media conference on Sunday, but not before he levelled ‘massive’ corruption charges against CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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ister Kapil Mishra fainted at a media conference on Sunday, but not before he accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of “massive” financial irregularities. Mishra demanded Kejriwal’s resignation and said if he didn’t step down, the former water minister would “drag” the chief minister by his “collar” and “lock him up” in Tihar Jail. “It has now become clear that Arvind Kejriwal is a corrupt man,” Mishra said before he swooned, apparently weakened by five days of fasting in protest against the AAP’s refusal to disclose details of five party leaders’ travels abroad. He was taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, where doctors said he was stable and conscious, but suffered from a “a little weakness and mild dehydration”. “His vital signs are all normal,” a doctor at the hospital said. Mishra told the media at his residence that the AAP had received “crores of rupees” from “shell companies” run by people close to Kejriwal, including AAP legislators Shiv Charan Goel and Naresh Yadav. These shell companies, Mishra alleged, also had “ghost” directors who donated money to the party and converted “black money into white”.

in the money received by the AAP and the amount it declared before the Election Commission (EC). The party refuted Mishra’s charges and said he was “parroting” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In another press conference, AAP MLAs Goel and Yadav denied links with the entities named by Mishra and said they would file a defamation suit against him. Earlier, referring to one of the cases of alleged discrepancies, Mishra said AAP received Rs90 lakh as donation from a person identified as Priya Bansal of Bengaluru for 2014-15 and 2015-16, but the tax payable on her income was merely Rs4,000. “In 2014-15, the AAP had Rs65,52,40,752 (Rs65.5 crore) in its bank account, but the Election Commission was informed about only Rs32,46,16,662 (Rs32.4 crore) while the party put only Rs27,38,71,611 (Rs27.3 crore) in the public domain and told volunteers it had no money,” Mishra said. He also held that the party had made 461 “bogus” entries. “All this happened with the knowledge of Arvind Kejriwal as these shell companies deposited money in AAP’s bank account on the same day and time in January 2014,” Mishra said, brandishing a sheaf of docu-

the meet by a man identified as Neil Haslam, who he said helped in “exposing” the funding. “This is why I have been demanding foreign travel details of five AAP leaders,” Mishra said. He added that he would also approach the CBI on Monday with documents and would soon expose another “scam” related to the AAP’s mohalla or colony health clinics. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said Mishra was echoing the allegations the BJP voiced just before the 2015 Assembly polls. “This is the BJP’s ploy to finish AAP. It should stop questioning the credentials of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal. He (Kejriwal) quit as the joint commissioner with the income tax department as well as the chief minister (during his first term as CM). We have ensured all transparency while accepting funds,” Singh said. On 7 May, Mishra had claimed that he had seen Health Minister Satyendra Jain pay Rs2 crore to Kejriwal. Meanwhile, the Congress demanded a thorough probe into the allegations levelled by Mishra. “The allegations are serious. Kejriwal should step down on moral and legal grounds,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said at a press conference here. -livemint.com

Prime Minister Modi to Inaugurate India’s Longest Bridge in Assam Near China Border DIBRUGARH: India’s longest crore. The de-

river bridge, capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank, will be inaugurated in Assam close to the border with China on 26 May by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the inauguration of the 9.15km-long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river, the prime minister will kick start the celebrations of the NDA government’s three years in office from this eastern-most part of Assam. The bridge is seen as an attempt by India to shore up its defence requirements along the Sino-Indian border particularly in the Northeast besides providing easy access to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with air and rail connectivity. It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai, making it the longest bridge in India. “The prime minister will dedicate the strategically important bridge to the nation on 26 May. It will bolster the road connectivity in the Northeast as the bridge will be used by people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh besides defence forces extensively,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told PTI. The construction of the bridge began in 2011 at a project cost of Rs950

sign is such that the bridge can withstand the movement of military tanks. “Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have huge strategic value to the country. Since the bridge is lo- The Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river cated close to in Assam can withstand the weight of a 60-tonne our border with battle tank Photo: Wikimedia Commons China, it will help quick movement of much as four hours. military troops and artillery in times As there is no civilian airport in of conflict,” Sonowal said. Arunachal Pradesh, this bridge will The bridge is located 540-km away help people of the state to reach the from Assam capital Dispur and 300 nearest rail head in Tinsukia and the km away from Arunachal Pradesh airport in Dibrugarh easily. Sonowal capital Itanagar. The aerial distance said the delayed works of the bridge to the Chinese border is less than was expedited after Modi assumed 100 km. After Kaliabhomora bridge the charge in 2014. near Tezpur, there is no bridge over The bridge was originally schedthe Brahmaputra for the next 375 km uled to open in 2015. The BJP govupstream till Dhola, where the new ernment in Assam will complete one bridge is constructed. year in office on May 24. The bridge Currently, all the transport between is one of the key projects of the minthe two banks of the river are being istry of road transport and highways carried out through water only. The in the Northeast and is built in publicbridge, when opened for the public, private partnership with a construcwill cut down the travel time between tion company. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by as -livemint.com

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