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Friday, August 18, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 33


Indo American erican News

www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Consulate General of India

Houston In Indian Tricolors

Gurudwara Sahib of SW Houston

BAPS Shri Swaminarayn Temple

Sri Meenakshi Temple

2nd Annual Opportunity Fair for Women

NSF Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary P11


North South Foundation (NSF) Founder and President Dr Chitturi recognizing Sai and Lalitha Rachakonda for their extraordinary service.

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August 18, 2017



joint statement issued by the Presidium of the Federation of Indian-American Associations, Greater Houston Local Area HOUSTON: The serving presidents of the Indian-American associations of the Greater Houston area, strongly condemned the perfidy committed by artist Mika Singh against the Indian nation. Mika Singh performed at an event on Saturday, August 12, billed by its Pakistani sponsors as a “joint celebration” of India’s and Pakistan’s Independence days. The Presidents came together under the umbrella of the Federation of Indian-American Associations (FIAA), Greater Houston Area, and released a joint statement representing their respective organizations and giving one voice to the entire Indian-American community of the Greater Houston Area. The Presidium welcomed the imperative to bring together the peoples of the two embattled and scarred nations to solve the myriad problems festering between them since their respective births in 1947. The Presidium appreciated the tall efforts that are underway by civil society and also the two governments to bridge the gap between the two countries. However, taking a strong exception to the act of “joint” celebration of the two Independence days, the Presidi-

August 18, 2017


Mika Singh’s Perfidy Against the Indian Nation Condemned

um considered it as an act of gross insult that anyone could fling on the Indian nation. This act of insult is exacerbated by the daily news of terror attacks launched from inside Pakistan against India where scores of innocents are injured and killed. Under such circumstances, if an artist of Mika Singh’s popularity offers himself to perform at such a concert, it is a grotesque form of perfidy committed against Mother India. Satement before the performance, “If Mika Singh performs tomorrow for his Pakistani sponsor, he would have no less than blood of brave Indian Jawans on his hands, and tears of the martyr’s widows and orphans shall haunt him in his nightmares. The Presidium demanded that Mika cancel his appearance at the Pakistani concert tomorrow.” False Story in the Media Condemned: The Presidium took strong view of the false story that was planted in the media (Times Now), by certain vested interests, which said that Mika has canceled his Houston show. This false story turned out to be a salt in the wounds of the Indian-American community, as the Pakistani sponsor used the planted story to further heap insults against IndianAmericans. The Presidium noted

that it supports trad and commerce wholeheart- e d l y between various communities including Indian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans. However, business interests cannot supersede national interest of India. The businessmen who make money on the blood of Jawans, and tears of their widows and orphans, are no different than pimps engaged in the flesh trade, and their perfidious act of pimping Mother India shall not be tolerated by the Indian-American community. The Presidium issued a warning to businessmen who wish to make money at the cost of India’s honor, should prepare themselves for a boycott of their products and services by the Indian-American community. The Presidium urged the Times Now

management to unearth the source of the false story and expose the nexus of Indian and Pakistani businessmen who are milking the patriotism of ordinary IndianAmericans to fill up their coffers. The Presidium convened had participation from Indo-American Association of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, India House, Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Graduate Indian Student Organization of University of Houston, and Patanjali Yogpeeth. Shri Hari Dayal of Indo-American Association of Greater Houston said: “Mika Singh’s decision to perform for Pakistan Independence Day is no doubt deplorable and must be condemned.” Amee Patel of Gujarati Samaj of Houston said: “I do not agree with the statement released by Mika Singh that we should be celebrating Indian Independence Day together with them (Pakistanis). Especially not with any country that supports terrorism, and tries to destroy democracy and the values that our great nation stands and fights for.” Dr. Falguni Gandhi, President of India Culture Center said: “The Independence day celebrations have been conducted by Non profit organizations in Greater Houston for the last 4 decades and have raised

patriotic feelings for the community. To celebrate such National Days as a Commercial Event for popularity is a disappointment. By doing so the fabric of close knit community is disintegrated.” Jiten Agarwal, Ambassador of India House said: “It is so disturbing to see that a popular Indian singer Mika Singh is performing in Houston against the wishes of prominent Indian American community in Texas. We condemn any such event that hurts the sentiments of Indian American people.” Vivek Sharda of Graduate Indian Student Organization at University of Houston said: “I strongly condemn this cowardly act of Mika Singh. Mika’s “Apna Pakistan” comment and planning to perform for Pakistan Independence Day celebration in the USA is a cruel joke on martyred soldiers and all Indian citizens. If he has any sense of patriotism, he should cancel this concert. Patriotism just can’t be sold for money.” For further information, contact Sangeeta Dua-Kataria (Spokesperson, Federation of Indian-American Associations) at (832) 252-7272 or email at pr@fi-aa.org

St. Luke’s President Bob Heifner on the Health Needs of Fort Bend County

From left: Jagdip Ahluwalia, Allen Richards, Joya Shukla, Rob Heifner, Janice Lamy, Tarush Anand Photo: Bijay Dixit


SUGAR LAND: On July 26, the

lobby at CHI St. Luke’s Health in Sugar Land was filled with healthcare professionals, IACCGH members and guests who were attending the Business of Medicine Series featuring St. Luke’s President Rob Heifner. The Series which seeks to build bridges between the medical community in Houston and India was initiated

and developed by Past President Joya Shukla. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia outlined the Chamber’s work of promoting Houston’s economy and enabling its members to network with members of different industries at events such as this. President Allen Richards reminded the gathering about the Chamber’s upcoming Gala which brings together Houston’s top business leaders. He encouraged

them to attend the event which is to be held on August 26th at the Hilton Americas in downtown. In an address that highlighted how CHI St. Luke’s was addressing the health needs of the Fort Bend community, Rob Heifer pointed out that there were 8 hospitals in a 10 mile radius of which CHI St. Luke’s was one. Business and healthcare for him, he stated, were clearly “separate” and while a hospital needs to be financially

viable to continue serving the healthcare needs of the County, a more pressing concern for him was addressing these needs in a responsive manner. A study conducted found that Fort Bend County is statistically the most ethnically diverse community in Texas. The demographics show the population to be young and affluent but a startling discovery was the rampant sexual abuse among children. A grant was secured and the issue is being addressed by creating awareness and a program for adults which will be expanded to pediatrics. He also observed that there will be a fundamental shift in the future of healthcare. Health care costs will be determined by genetics, lifestyle choices and the utilization of healthcare resources. The industry will also need to reflect on how to improve the healthcare of the population and focus on changing inpatient care to more outpatient services. He asserted that it is vital to “stay ahead of the

curve to address the needs of the community” and regularly meets with hospital heads in the vicinity to share best practices that will benefit patients. The hospital which opened in 2008, became CHI St. Luke’s in 2013 and over the years focused on delivering quality healthcare. An endorsement of how they rate among the country’s hospitals’, he noted with pride, came from the Department of Health and Human Services which awarded St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital with the 2017 Partnership for Patients for significant levels of improvement in quality, safety and satisfaction. This distinction is given to the top ten percent of the country’s hospitals and according to Rob Heifner has “set the bar.” Joya Shukla thanked President Heifner for sharing a “level of detail in his talk that was impressive” while VP of Marketing and Communications Janice Lamy highlighted the partnership between the Chamber and CHI St. Luke’s.



August 18, 2017



HOUSTON: Women have been

August 18, 2017

Women: Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today!

active participants in all walks of life. Shouldering, embracing and balancing responsibilities at home and work, women have their aspirations, abilities and qualities as a man does. Yet, women receive only one-tenth of the world’s income. Women’s empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development and economics. ‘Women’s Voice for Better America’ is one such noble institution that was initiated to enable women from all walks of life to have a better quality of life, with confidence, knowledge and a network for professional and personal growth. Women’s Voice for Better America is committed to empowering women, thereby strengthening families and transforming communities. Women’s Voice for better America, a multi-ethnic organization dedicated to the advancement of issues pertaining to women, organized their 2nd Annual Opportunity Fair for Women, on Saturday, August 12. The organization focuses on increasing women’s access to healthcare, careers, entrepreneurship, finance, voter education, family support and civic engagement. With the support of their rich network of diverse women, this organization has enthusiastically opened the doors of opportunities for women to empower them. Determined and committed to their objective, the passionate and dedicated network of Women’s Voice for Better America put in their efforts to organize this 2nd “Opportunity Fair” in just few months, creating a new momentum for all women presenters, participants, booth holders and volunteers. This was an accomplishment indeed, as the network provides a unique platform thus encouraging women to advance in life and in society. The event was held in the afternoon from 1 to 4 pm at the spacious Memorial Hermann, Southwest. A variety of resourceful, seasoned and proficient associations had set up kiosks, and information

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was freely available for close to a hundred attendees that had preregistered or walked in. The promotional booths offered a line-up of resources ranging from credit education to child advocacy, and yoga to fashion designing. The fair included presenters from MD Anderson, SCORE Houston, SBA, Workforce Solutions, Ibn

Sina Community Medical Center, Woodforest National Bank, civic organizations such as League of Women Voters, NALEO Educational Fund, Equal Vote America, Fort Bend for ALL. These varied topics of interests helped in motivating and catapulting women towards their goals in life. Attendees participated with camaraderie, and a quest to source information about job search skills, business start-ups, finances, investments, and healthy living. Free parking, raffles and refreshments were an icing on the cake. This event was full of learning’s, enlightenment, wisdom exchanges and much more. The energy and the action in the hall was phenomenal. The number of at-

Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam & Vanshika Vipin Varma

tendees were much more than last year and this has given a boost and confidence to the organizing team, to persistently continue their hard work in improving the social, economic, political and legal strength of women. To join Women’s Voice for better America and for further details contact Neeta Sane @ 832279-9601 or Shaheen Vora at 281-235-7883. To view more information about ‘Opportunity Fair’ visit https://www.facebook. com/OpportunityFair2017

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August 18, 2017


Sri Meenakshi Temple Society Celebrated Aadi Sukravara Ashtalakshmi Deepa Pooja on Friday August 11 BY NACHAL SETHURAMAN

PEARLAND: Aadi Sukravara Ashtalaksh-

mi Deepa Pooja was conducted at MTS on Friday, August 11, 2017 in a grand manner. More than 75 devotees participated in lighting the lamp and reciting the slokas which was a feast to the eyes. The Fridays in the month of Aadi is very special for women in performing this pooja. It is believed that Goddess Shakthi doubles her power and worshipping her will help one to achieve what one needs. Ashtalakshmi represents the 8 goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure and Strength. The month of Ashada (Tamil month of Aadi) is the fourth month of the Tamil Calendar, and the start of this month is the Dakshinayana punyakalam or the night time of Devas. Ashada Sukravara Lakshmi Puja and Vratam is observed on the Fridays of the month in many communities in South India including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. This Vratam also known as Shaaka Vrata is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Aadi is also the month where prayers and pujas are offered to seek the protection of many other powerful goddesses like Mariamman in Tamil Nadu. The month of Aadi is considered very auspicious to connect oneself to the power of the divine mother, Lakshmi. The heat of the sun reduces and the rains start during this month to replenish the rivers and streams, often to near full levels. Traditionally the names of Tamil months are named based on the star that prevails during the full moon day or Pournami. In the month of Aadi full moon day happens during Aashada Nakshathiram, giving this month the name Aash Aadi (in north) / Aadi (in the south). Lighted lamps are used for puja to pray to the goddess for the wellbeing and prosperity of the family. According to tradition, all Poojas and auspicious religious events begin with the lighting of an oil lamp, also known as Deepam or ThiruVilakku in Tamil. The ghee or oil, and the flame signifies Goddess Lakshmi who blesses us with her wealth. The bright flame signifies Goddess Saraswathy who blesses us with education and knowledge, while the heat from the flame signifies Mother Durga who destroys all evil. Lighting a lamp is considered as the first step to enlightening ourselves and taking us a step closer to god by keeping the darkness of life away. Aadi Sukravara Ashtalakshmi Deepa Pooja aims at worshipping the 8 forms of Mahalakshmi through offering prayers to the Deepam by many women collectively to bring prosperity to their homes and peace to the world. The women who participated in the Ashtalakshmi Deepa Pooja sat before the lighted lamps, and followed the Pooja rituals as instructed by the priests Sri Sridharan Raghavan, Sri Pawan Kumar Sribhashyam, and Sri Sriman Narayana Charyalu. The divine ambience was created by the chanting of mantras. The Ashtalakshmi Lamps and Utsava Murthy decorations by the Priests was a sight to behold. The flawlessly executed event was coordinated by Nachal Sethuraman, Padmini Nathan and Sheila Sriram.


August 18, 2017





August 18, 2017

Solve & Win 2 Free Tickets to Texas Renaissance Festival

Find 10 Words related to India’s Independence Day: • • • • • • • • • •

Congress Constitution Independence Jawaharlal Nehru M K Gandhi National Holiday Nonviolence Partition Rajendra Prasad Reforms

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• Like us on Facebook, Indo-American News • Solve the Word Search puzzle • Email us the screenshot of our liked Facebook Page, and the solved puzzle at indoamericannews@yahoo.com • Email by Wednesday, August 23, 2017 • For first 3 entrees only, 1 submission per month, 1 per Household



August 18, 2017

Suneja, Pai, Desikan Make Top Cardiologist’s Lists in Houston, Katy B J M Y



HOUSTON: The largest medical

center in the world, the Texas Medical Center, is world-renowned for its medical prowess with the sheer density of hospitals and research facilities in its 1,345-acre domain. And at the heart of it are the physicians and researchers who have made it the place to come to for treatment and cutting-edge solutions to medical mysteries. Such a concentration also gives Harris County – and Houston which takes up most of area – the distinction of having the largest number of physicians in the entire USA, according to the Harris County Medical Society which counts 15,000 of them among its ranks. Among such a huge number of peers, it is often hard to stand out but talent, expertise and an ability to empathize with your patients and truly show your caring goes a long way in the medical profession to bring recognition to your work. These days, online surveys have allowed people to send in their opinions and two area magazines serving Katy and the Bayou City – Living and Houstonia – have been doing so for the past few years. And it’s not surprising that in both magazine’s polls, the cardiologist Dr. Randeep Suneja has been

Dr. Randeep Suneja (center) flanked by his partners Dr. Ram Pai (left) and Dr. Kamal Desikan at their practice in Katy.

repeatedly selected. Suneja has made the Living magazine list for two years in a row, and four out of the past five years; and in Houstonia magazine’s latest poll (which was published this month) as well as in 3 out of the past 10 years. Houstonia has also listed Suneja’s partners at the 10,500 sf Cardiology Center of Houston - Dr. Ram Pai and Dr. Kamal Desikan - for the first time in its top 22 cardiologists list. Suneja is elated by the recognition, which is one the latest in a long list of awards and platitudes in his long career. He has seen over 60,000 patients in the 25 years of his solo and now combined practice and is one of the few Quadru-

ple Board Certified cardiologists in the nation. In addition, Suneja is planning to become certified in Lifestyles Medicine which incorporates yoga, medicine, diet and exercise into the art of healing and will take the Board exam in October. As if that wasn’t enough, Suneja is also involved in several community organizations and is currently focused in organizing an international conference on compassion and medicine. He is working on bringing His Holiness Dalai Lama to Houston in late 2018, in association with the City of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine, to give lectures and meet with medical professionals.



10 August 18, 2017 BY PADMASHREE RAO


On this auspicious morning of August 12, 2017, just after 8 am, the audience in Chinmaya Smrti hall were witness to a most profound and moving Diksha ceremony. Aditi Deshmukh, a child of Chinmaya Balavihar Houston, born to two blessed parents, Jay and Rohini Deshmukh, and raised with a great love for spirituality, received her Brahmacarini Diksa from Pujya Mukhya Swami Swaroopanandaji, the global head of Chinmaya Mission who is presently at Houston for an awe-inspiring jnana yajna on “Ik Onkaar.” Giving her the new name of Brni. Shweta Chaitanya chosen by Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda, Mukhya Swamiji inspired her to brilliant purity of purpose as her new name suggests. He blessed her to carry the message of the scriptures (pravacana) and reminded her to be steadfast in her selfstudy (swadhyaya). Aditi’s spiritual journey began from childhood at Balavihar nurtured by the loving guidance of the Acaryas, Sri Gaurangbhai and Smt. Darshanaben. After graduating from University of Texas, Austin, she followed a deeper calling and completed her Vedanta Course at Sandeepany, Mumbai, under the great tutelage of Swami Bodhatmananda. Just a few months back, Aditi finished her secular commitment of earning a post-graduate degree from Columbia University. The decision became very firm in her mind about dedicating herself to uninterrupted Chinmaya sadhana. Her transformational journey found its first momentous milestone this morning when she offered herself to the Chinmaya


A beautiful Diksha at Chinmaya Prabha

Photos: Rajesh Thatte

monastic order and donned her yellow clothes. Overwhelmed by the sheer and sublime power of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara that has transformed an earnest and inspired Aditi into a serene and dedicated Brahmacarini Shweta Chaitanya, the audience was overjoyed, moved, proud, and also humbled by the uplifting ceremony. There were eyes moist with tears of joy and hearts full with a sense of great love. The entire Chinmaya family of Houston is honored to be part of her noble journey and pray for the new Brahmacarini’s spiritual fulfillment. Hari Om! For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www. chinmayahouston.org or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-9330233



August 18, 2017

Houston Hosts North South Foundation’s 25th Anniversary of Academic Contests


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Shri Lakshmi Puja Hindu Wedding Markand Puja Engagement Shri Ganpati Puja Simant Laghu Rudra Vastu Shanti Mundan Sanskar Navchandi Puja Shanti Havan Shri Gayatri Havan Shri Satyanarayan Puja Junior Science Bee winners proudly displaying their hard earned trophies.

North South Foundation volunteers enjoying a light moment at the Photo Booth.



The Houston Chapter of North South Foundation (NSF) hosted the 2017 National Finals contests on August 12-13 at the University of Houston. This is a historic year for NSF, which celebrates its 25th anniversary of highly successful academic contests. All of the recent winners of the Scripps, Natonal Geographic and other national academic contests got their start with the NSF bees. About 1,250 children from grades K-12 participated in the finals of multiple competitions such as Spelling Bee, Vocabulary Bee, Geography Bee, Math Bee, Science Bee, Brain Bee, Essay Writing, and Public Speaking. The children were selected based on their performance from 92 centers located all over the USA where regional contests were held. Academic excellence was on full display as children competed to secure top ranks. NSF is a non-profit organization established in 1989 under the vision and leadership of Dr. Ratnam Chitturi to provide merit-cum-means scholarships for poor talented children in India. In 1992, the foundation expanded its mission to achieving academic excellence among Indo-American children as well. The competitions on both the days were supported by more than 400 volunteers that included

numerous Houstonians, past NSF children, High School students and UH Graduate students. The event also helped raise more than $100,000 towards scholarships for poor students in India. The first day’s events concluded with an award ceremony at the UH Cullen Performance Hall, which was highlighted by a Proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner declaring August 12 as NSF Day in Houston. The awards ceremony was attended by distinguished guests including Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India and Paige Kimble, Executive Director of Scripps National Spelling Bee. Ms. Kimble commended the children for their competitive spirit and encouraged them to dream high. Dr. Ray explained to the children how India invested heavily in education since independence and developed a culture where education is valued. Dr Ray suggested that these choices benefitted India and allowed Indians to excel in education, and urged all to follow the beacon of hope set by NSF by volunteering in its activities. The speeches were followed by a presentation of awards to the participants and trophies for the top winners. The second day of the academic fest on August 13th featured Geography, Math and Brain Bees – each similarly categorized based by grade level and supported by past

national level champions. Dr. Latha Ramchand, Dean of the Bauer College of Business at UH, addressed the children at the awards ceremony. She commented that children need both talent and perseverance to be successful in life. The academic competitions on both days were interspersed by “Meet the Pro” sessions, where national champions in math, science, geography and spelling shared their study strategies and personal experiences with the younger audience and by self development seminars such as, “Confidence Building and Public Speaking”, “Universal Values” and “Unlock your Potential”. The academic contests including Awards ceremony can be watched at h t t p : // w w w. y u p p t v. c o m / nsf-live.html or on YouTube by using the link http://tiny. cc /2017nsfcontests. To learn more about NSF’s mission and its India Scholarships Program, please visit www.northsouth.org. To donate for this cause please visit http:// tiny.cc/donateforkids.

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12 August 18, 2017



August 18, 2017

Amiralli Dodhiya Named to New York Life’s Chairman’s Council

HOUSTON: Amiralli Dodhi-

ya has been named a member of the 2017 Chairman’s Council of New York Life today. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top three percent of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Mr. Dodhiya has been a New York Life agent since 2008, and is associated with New York Life’s Houston General Office in Sugar Land. Mr. Dodhiya has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Finance. He is a member of NAIFA, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisory, in which he has been receiving the NAIFA National Quality Award consecutively since 2010. Also, he has been a member of the MDRT, Million Dollar Round Table, for 8 consecutive years out of which the last 4 year he has qualified for Court of the Table MDRT1. He has received many other awards in the company as well including the West Central Zone Eagle Award 2014, the Annuity Elite Producer Award 2016, and the Centurion Award 2010-2017. Along with his achievements, Mr. Dodhiya is an active member in the community and supports various non-profit organizations. He strongly believes in sharing what you have whether it is mon-

Amiralli Dodhiya

etary, time, or knowledge! New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family

of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at www.newyorklife. com for more information. *Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/12/17. **Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/9/16. ***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC. The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is recognized globally as the standard of excellence for life insurance sales performance in the insurance and financial services industry. Bates 465825 For further details contact Amiralli Dodhiya at 832-8770177 or email at adodhiya@ ft.newyorklife.com


Talk on Plant-based Diet HOUSTON: On Sunday, 27th

August, the Jain Center in Houston will be hosting an illuminating talk by Dr. Sailesh Rao on adopting a plant based diet for better health and reducing your carbon footprint. The talk will be held at the Jain Center of Houston, 3905 Arc Street, Houston Texas 77063 and will begin at 2 pm. Dr. Sailesh Rao is on a tour to inspire the Great Transition to a Vegan World by 2026. At each stop, he uses his personal story to show how we can re-frame commonly held stories to help each other transform our civilization into a life-affirming global culture. In the talk, Dr. Rao presents compelling factual reasons why Veganism is important and why the Great Transition is bound to occur within the next 9 years, by 2026. Dr. Sailesh Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. A systems specialist with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, conferred in 1986, Sailesh worked on the Internet communications infrastructure for twenty years after graduation. In 2006, he switched careers and became

Dr. Sailesh Rao

deeply immersed, full-time, in the spiritual and environmental crises affecting humanity. He is the author of the 2011 book, Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies and the 2016 book, Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis. He is the CoExecutive Producer of the trilogy of documentaries, The Human Experiment (2013), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) and What The Health(2017), which explore the systemic causes of human and environmental ill health and of the forthcoming documentary, The Compassion Project.” Contact Dolly Vyas Ahuja at 713.478.5599 for any questions.

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14 August 18, 2017


ASIE Hosts Presentations on Meditation, Human Heart

ASIE former Presidents Ben Bansal (left), Chandrakant Patel, Vishal Merchant, and Ravi Arora, current President Dinesh D. Shah with a seminar sponsor, the first ASIE president and one of ASIE founders Hasmukh Doshi, presenter Dr. Nik Nikam, Samaniji Kanchan Pragyaji, and another presenter, Samaniji Pranav Pragyaji, and current ASIE Secretary Gaju Patel.

HOUSTON: American Society

of Indian Engineers and Architects (ASIE) presented a special presentation for professionals and business members on Saturday, August 5. About 60 people attended the event at JVB Preksha Meditation Center. There were two topics. The first one was presented by Samaniji Pranav Pragyaji on “Transform Yourself from Business Stress with Meditation”. Samaniji explained the various

types and causes of stress. Then she elaborated the effect on health and solution to relieve stress in a simple manner through meditation. Shailesh Choksi, cost engineer for Bechtel for more than 35 years said, “This ASIE seminar helped me a lot. I have put it in practice immediately, and now I feel stress free at work. The meditation exercise is very simple and it works like magic.” The second topic on “Engineering vs. Human Heart” was pre-

sented by Dr. Nik Nikam, a wellknown cardiologist. Dr. Nikam orchestrated the topic by comparing human heart with various engineering disciplines. Hasmukh Doshi, owner of Doshi Engineering and Surveying, and active member of JVB Preksha Meditation Center sponsored this ASIE program. For information about ASIE and Upcoming Events, please visit www.asiehouston.org or email at asiehouston@gmail.com

Zee Tv Launches, “Made in America”

The first English Language Bollywood Reality TV Show filmed in Hollywood


YORK: Zee TV America had its official launch party on August 2nd, 2017 for their first English Language reality tv show, “Made In America”, which was held at the PHD Rooftop, located at The Dream Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Over 200 guests to celebrate this monumental launch and expansion of programing of ZEE TV America. Zee TV, the largest Indian television network in the world is now making its presence known in Hollywood. In August 2017, the first English language South Asian Reality show that Zee TV will be launching is titled, “Made In America”. Six South Asian millennial women were chosen from a nationwide audition that drew in over 6,000 applicants. The show features Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014 as its host. Over a period of 10 weeks, the six contestants participated in grueling physical training, beauty and wardrobe styling, personal talent training, acting classes from New York Film Academy, dietary training, and more. All of this lead to shape their physical and mental strength to compete against the best in the world. During their time, the contestants also participated in community outreach programs, and com-

peted in one challenge per episode ranging from, “Best Walks to Best Wardrobe, Best Swimwear and more.” A winner was chosen in each episode, ultimately decreasing from six contestants to a final single winner. On October 10th, 2017 the first Bollywood, “Made In America” contestant winner will be revealed on Zee TV. The winner will get crowned as the, “Made In America” Woman. Prizes will include the winner walking on the runway for Andre’ Aquinol Couture New York Fashion Week. A one year modeling contract with a top New York City Modeling Agency. Acting course from New York Film Academy. The opportunity to be cast in an upcoming Bollywood movie as well as be cast in a ZEE TV original content produced show in America. “We realized that there was a need in the marketplace that was to reach younger South Asian women who had an enormous desire to be

in the glamour world. Zee TV being the flagship television network for the South Asian community in the United States, we decided to launch “Made In America”, giving the opportunity and inspiration to these women to fulfill their dreams and create a platform for them to be able to showcase themselves” – Sameer Targe, CEO, ZEE TV America. ABOUT ZEE TV: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is one of India’s leading television media and entertainment companies. It is amongst the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world, with an extensive library housing over 222,000 hours of television content. With rights to more than 3,818 movie titles from foremost studios and of iconic film stars, ZEE houses the world’s largest Hindi film library. Through its strong presence worldwide, ZEE entertains over 1 billion viewers across 172 countries.



August 18, 2017


Sankara Nethralaya’s Mobile Eye Surgery Unit Gets Mayan Awards


INDIA: The Mobile Eye Surgical Unit of the non-profit Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Hospital received its due and long overdue recognition from its peers in an award ceremony on July 22 held at the Accord Hotel in this tiny former French colony, formerly known as Pondicherry. Two doctors associated with MESU – Dr. Rajesh Sharma and Dr. Gajendra Kumar Verma –received the Mayan Awards, on behalf of the SNOH. The Mayan Awards are dedicated to those who work for the benefit of society in societal transactions, the construction industry and by delivering medical care to the underprivileged and the needy. For the past four years, the annual Mayan Awards have been presented to people who work in healthcare, construction and social mobility. This year, the awards were presented by Dr. Kiran Bedi, the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. The awards were first instituted in 2013, by Mayan Kattumana Ulagam, a monthly magazine published in Tamil devoted to people and technological developments in different aspects of the construction industry. Mayan Kattumana Ulagam is published by Vista India, which also publishes the monthly Health and Fashion magazine devoted to the latest

Dr. Gajendra Kumar Verma, also of the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Hospital, receives his award from Dr. Bedi, for providing free service for eye-surgery with MESU.

Dr. Rajesh Sharma, of the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Hospital receives his award for Ophthalmology from Dr. Kiran Bedi, the Lt. Gov. of Puducherry.

trends and revolutionary ideas in health care and fashion. MESU is a radically novel concept of delivering free eye care to the underprivileged at their doorsteps free of cost in rural places where quality eye care is inaccessible. It was started by the renowned Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Hospital based in Chennai, Tamilnadu to tackle cataracts, the major cause of preventable blindness, by providing quality mobile eye care. The unit comprises of a sterilized van containing the operating theatre, and an unsterilized van with changing rooms, toilets and facilities. The mobile units are the first of their kind in India, and the only

Today it has become one of the best managed charitable organizations in India with 100 ophthalmologists and 1,000 employees serving 1,200 patients a day and performing 100 surgeries a day. SN has 60% paying patients and 40% non-paying. In the US, the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust, a non-profit established in 1988 has supported the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Hospital, The SN OM Trust is composed of 18 trustees in six states – Texas, California, Georgia, Maryland, New York and Illinois – and has raised substantial funds for the hospital to provide free world class ophthalmic eye

project that has been approved by the Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to carry out cataract surgeries in rural villages. On behalf of Sankara Nethralaya, the award was conferred on Dr. Rajesh Sharma for his contribution to the field of Ophthalmology and Dr. Gajendra Kumar Verma for his cost-free service in eye-surgery in the remotest parts of the country. The highly regarded, non-profit Sankara Nethralaya (meaning “The Temple of the Eye”) Ophthalmic Hospital was formed in in Chennai, India in1976 by Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, with a group of philanthropists.

care to thousands of under-privileged, indigent people in India. The SN OM Trust is led by Houston community activist and philanthropist Leela Krishnamurthy, who was selected as its president in 2017. Houston is also home to two other Trustees: ongoing Trustee Dr. Kris S. “Ashok” Vasan who is also the Managing Director of the Sankara Nethralaya Hospital and spends part of the year in Chennai and new Trustee Jawahar Malhotra, Publisher of Indo American News, who was just appointed in 2017. Another Houstonian, Sam Sockalingam Kannappan, has been a former Trustee.


16 August 18, 2017


August 18, 2017



18 August 18, 2017 z

India at 70: Unrealized Potential

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Living with the Deluge


During his recent visit to Assam,


eventy years after 15 August 1947, India has made undeniable progress. But there will be many to question whether the ‘tryst with destiny’that Jawaharlal Nehru spoke of at the dawn of independence has been realized. PM Narendra Modi called for an end to poverty, illiteracy and corruption last week. Unfortunately, Indian leaders have been making similar calls for decades. The tryst with destiny can only be said to have been realised when such calls have become redundant. Stepping outside today’s partisan political bickering, what are some structural impediments to India fulfilling its potential? Poor governance is one failing which, in turn, has several causes. Government spreads itself into too many areas, which stretches its resources thin while holding up the development of civil society. Government would do much better if it focussed on a few core areas and delivered quality outcomes in those areas, while not getting in the way of civil society in other areas. A realization of this is embodied in Modi’s slogan of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, but that dictum has hardly been put into practice in the last three years. The slow pace of reform means that growth in investments and formal job creation remains weak; farms are in crisis and ‘Make in India’has hardly taken off, even as millions of young people enter the job market every year. Related is the fact that the political class imagines social justice largely through the lens of reservation while hardly debating the role of quality school education to uplift the underprivileged. No nation has become prosperous without delivering such education universally. The Mandal legacy has entrenched rather than dislodged caste, even as emphasis on caste-based reservations and quotas has meant patronage- rather than merit-based systems. That in turn feeds poor governance, low productivity and institutional mediocrity. Another tripwire has been India’s ambivalent secularism which stops short of separation of church and state – embodied, for example, in different personal laws for different religions. This ambivalent secularism makes the argument for Hindu majoritarianism seem convincing to many – if the state is to have truck with all religions then (or so the argument goes) it should have more truck with the majority religion. Only strong secularism can obviate communal tensions and conflict. On the plus side, India stands a reasonable chance of realising its vast potential within a generation. But these tripwires will need to be negotiated. -- Times of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 2,000 crore package for relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation in the flood-affected states in the Northeast. A corpus fund of Rs 100 crore will be used to set up a high-powered committee that will work on finding permanent solutions to the flood problem. There is, however, a need to shift the focus from flood protection to flood governance. Hopefully, the high-powered committee, whenever it is constituted, will make this paradigm shift. This would require a shift in the understanding of floods from being an extreme weather event, to a hazard that is partly natural and partly anthropogenic. Flooding is natural because the rivers in the Northeast, mostly originating in the Eastern Himalayas, experience a sharp fall in gradient as they move from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan to reach Assam’s floodplains. This fall in altitude causes a large volume of water to gush to the floodplains. Most of these rivers carry large amounts of sediments, which then get deposited on the floodplains, reducing the storage capacity of the river channels and resulting in inundation of the adjoining floodplains. Flooding is partly anthropogenic as the sediment load carried by the rivers is accentuated through “developmental” interventions in the Eastern Himalayas that result in deforestation. The dominant narrative of flood protection includes measures such as embankments, dredging rivers and bank strengthening. In a study spread over 96 villages in Assam, Bihar, UP, and Bengal, we found embankments are cost-intensive options. The focus here has been more on construction and less on maintenance. The scope of storage dams in Arunachal Pradesh is limited, given the region’s geology and the ecology. Proposals for dams have been a matter of serious debate in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Shifting the focus of action towards

The dominant narrative of flood protection includes measures such as embankments, dredging rivers and bank strengthening.

flood affected people will require building resilience of these communities. Access to schools during the flood months is restricted, because the schools are either inundated or are make-shift relief centres. Water and sanitation issues require attention during the flood months. Floods are accompanied by outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhea. Access to veterinary services is limited resulting in high cattle mortality and morbidity. People in the flood-prone areas in the Northeast, by and large, practice subsistence agriculture. While the land remains inundated for an extended period in the monsoons, limited irrigation coverage (less than 10 per cent in Assam, compared to 49 per cent as an average for the country) constrains intensification of agriculture in the dry months. Flood governance through resilience building could bring about sustainable change in this situation. This could be an outcome of three broad sets of action: Reducing vulnerability, increasing access to services, and maximising productivity through optimal use of available resources. Community-based advance flood warning systems, for example, have been successfully piloted in parts of Assam. Providingadequatenumberofboats — the most important, yet scarce resource in the villages — will enhance access to developmental activities during floods and also facilitate safe commute for schoolchildren.

Usual toilets are of limited use in flood-prone areas. Elevated toilets, ecosanitation units — promoted in the flood-prone areas of North Bihar — and elevated dugwells or tubewells with iron filter need to be installed in the Northeast. These are more expensive than the Swachh Bharat toilets and wells or handpumps. But if promoted on a large-scale, they will reduce the public health challenges in the flood-prone areas. Productivity can be maximised by giving people access to cheaper sources of irrigation, research on short duration boro paddy, and innovative agriculture techniques like floating vegetable gardens. Scientific fish farming on the waterbodies and the inundated land can ensure that inundation, when it cannot be avoided, is put to optimal use. Flood governance would require innovative combination of these initiatives. Strategic environment assessment of development activities, a practice followed in several countries, needs to be undertaken in the Brahmaputra basin. Strengthening planning authorities like the Brahmaputra Board and flood control departments by staffing them with scientists from a wide range of disciplines is essential. The floodprone regions of the country require a focused approach from the Centre and state governments. -- Indian Express The writer is a Consultant for Tata Education and Development Trust and a member of the research team at Centre for Development and Research, Pune.


CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: ASEEM KULKARNI ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www.indoamerican-news.com



August 18, 2017


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 12

The Story thus far…A separate

institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. In spite of the diehard opposition from nationalists, the Rowlatt bill became law. At this time, Gandhi got an invitation from activists in Madras to visit the city. He went there, though still weak, along with Mahadev Desai. That was Gandhi’s first meeting with another stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, C. Rajagopalachari, a man of towering intellect and firm convictions. A small conference of leaders was held and Gandhi explained to them the implications of the Rowalatt act. While these talks were being held news was received that the Rowlatt Bill had been published as an act. It was also in Madras that Gandhi first conceived the idea of an all-India hartaal (strike) as the beginning of the satyagraha movement. The leaders at once took up the suggestion and gave much publicity to the forthcoming action. The date was first fixed for March 30, 1919, but was later changed to April 6. The masses had received only short notice for the hartaal, but it turned out to be most successful. That was the first great awakening of India in her struggle towards independence. Gandhi left Madras and went to Bombay to join in the hartaal there on April 6. Meanwhile in Delhi, Lahore, and Amritsar, the hartaal had been observed on March 30. In Delhi the police did not allow free movement to the demonstrators and firing by police caused a number of casualties. Gandhi was requested to go to Delhi and he replied that he would do so after the hartaal in Bombay on April 6. In Bombay the hartaal was a great success. All over India the hartaal was observed. Gandhi had asked the people again and again to be peaceful and not to be provoked to violence by the Government’s actions. In spite of this, violence broke out in many places. There were disturbances in Ahmedabad and also in the Punjab and he decided to go to these places to propagate nonviolence. On the way to the Punjab he was arrested at a wayside station called Palwal and sent back to Bombay. The news of his arrest inflamed the entire population of Bombay. There was an enormous crowd awaiting his arrival there. When he reached Bombay he was set free. The crowd was getting impatient. “Only you can control the crowds,” said a friend to Gandhi. “Come, I shall take you to the spot.” The crowd greeted Gandhi with frenzied joy. A huge procession started but the police barred its progress. A company of mounted police was

ordered to charge the crowds. Piercing screams and cries from women and children filled the air as the horsemen plunged forward with lowered lances. People ran to escape the fury of the police. Gandhi was shocked by the police brutality. He went and met the Commissioner. The official was boiling with rage. “We, the police, know better than you the effect of your preaching on the people. If we had not taken drastic measures the situation would have gone out of our hands. I have no doubt about your intentions, but the people do not understand them. They only follow their natural instincts.” “The people are not violent by nature; they are peaceful,” countered Gandhi. “You wanted to go to the Punjab,” said the Commissioner. “Do you know what is happening in Ahmedabad, the Punjab, and Delhi? You are responsible for all these disturbances.” Gandhi was pained to hear of the disturbances and said that he would certainly take the responsibility upon himself if he was convinced that it was his. Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. On the way he learned in detail about the happenings there. Ahmedabad was under martial law. Apolice officer was waiting for him at the railway station to escort him to the Commissioner. This commissioner too was in a rage. Gandhi expressed his regret for the disturbances and promised complete cooperation in restoring peace. Gandhi then asked for permission to hold a public meeting on the grounds of the Sabarmati

Ashram. The officer liked the idea. At the meeting Gandhi announced with great sorrow the suspension of civil disobedience. He said he would fast for three days as a penance and he appealed to all the people to fast for one day. He asked those who were guilty of violence to confess their guilt. He expressed his regret at having started civil disobedience too early without giving sufficient training to the people. “I have made a Himalayan miscalculation,” he said. Many people jeered at Gandhi for saying that. Many of his friends and followers were furious at his stopping satyagraha. Gandhi then started teaching people the true meaning of satyagraha and how it should be conducted. Through writing and speeches he wanted to drive home to the people the essence of his new creed. In the Punjab the situation was very critical. It was true that there were disturbances on the part of the people, but the measures adopted by the Government to check the disturbances were too severe. The leaders were trying to keep the people peaceful, but the measures of repression taken by the authorities had few parallels in history. In Amritsar the people were not allowed to move about freely. A proclamation was issued forbidding all gatherings and meetings. Only a few had the chance to know about the proclamation, however, because it was not announced widely, and it was made only in English. It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the Government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The garden was surrounded by walls and buildings and had only one exit. At the first shot the exit was jammed and there was no hope of escape for the crowd. There were between eight and ten thousand people attending the meeting. The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. — To be continued next week

Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

Coloring Poster Speech iTribute Essay The contest are open to all children in the greater Houston Area. The winners of these contests will be recognized at the 1000 Lights for Peace, a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, on Sunday, October 1, 2017. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org


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20 August 18, 2017


A 30 Year-Old Independence Day Poem

SUGAR LAND: Personal in-

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dependence was a sentiment that was very much on Saeed Pathan’s mind when he penciled this poem 30 years ago when he thought of the independence of his country India which had just turned 40. Pathan, had just finished his mechanical engineering degree from the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology in Surat, Gujarat. Zail Singh was President, Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. He was overcome with a feeling of freedom but conflicted by the state of the country and penned this poem as it came to him. He bared the emotions the time evoked and he shared the poem with his family and friends. He then put it aside and forgot it in among other papers and books in his house, some of which traveled with him when he came to the US in 2002. He was in Lafayette, Louisiana before moving to Houston in 2007. Now, 30 years later, Pathan found the poem once again and remembered how it made him feel. With similar conflicting events swirling around the world these days, he decided this time to share the poem with a larger audience and so … here it is. An ode to Independence and what it means to him, in the original Hindi and with an English translation. Text by Jawahar Malhotra, Poem and translation by Saeed Pathan

On the occasion of Independence Day of India, I am presenting a few lines which I had created three decades ago. I found them while turning pages of my old diary. It is quite surprising how it still fits in today’s circumstances. “Independence?” What’s happening with our country right now? The whole world is laughing, making bow our head (with shame) We are not bothered with the intention of (our) enemies Our heart gets scared with the apathy of own people Every branch (of tree) is seeking its own (separate) identity And our gardener is sitting helplessly Everyone has got stuck in the vortex of inflation

We can’t see the shore of 21st century yet Iqbal wouldn’t have said if he were alive today “India is the best among all countries in the world” How could “musafir” move his next step (When) our path is filled up with thorn? -Saeed “Musafir” 15th August, 1986 The following two lines are dedicated to the those 30 innocent children in Gorakhpur (in August 2017 due to the shortage of supply of liquid oxygen- Editor’s note) who were set “free” from this world. O Lord, please don’t send back here (in this country) in (our) next life (We) could not even breathe, (and) we got suffocated.


August 18, 2017



22 August 18, 2017 HOUSTON: Incredible India is being pre-

sented by Indian Performing Arts, Samskriti at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on the 19th of August, 2017 at 8.15pm. This popular event is presented in association with the Consulate General of India in Houston and funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. In a message Hon.Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston says, “Samskriti does an amazing job of keeping our culture alive. The Indian diaspora in Houston is a very successful one which represents the best of India in many ways. It is a matter of great importance that it retains the links with its heritage and anything that is done in that direction is something we wish to encourage. And that is why we are happy to support Samskriti and what better occasion than the 70th anniversary of our Independance. The Indian government is proud to be associated with this organization and whatever we can do we will continue to do.” Rathna Kumar, Artistic Director, Samskriti and curator of the show says that the theme for this year is Unity through Diversity. There is an interesting line up of programs that will take the spectators on a virtual dawn to dusk trip from Kasmir to Kanyakumari. The Programme will commence with Suryanamaskaram and Yogasanams performed by the students of the Narasimhacharis from Chennai, India. The classical dance ensembles are the Houston branch of Aruna Mohanty’s Odissi Academy, Shivangini School of Kathak and Anjali Center for Performing Arts. There is also Kalari, a martial art of Kerala and a multilingual thematic presentation on national, religious and cultural integration with representation of 15 Indian States through their culture and language. The dance will be enhanced with visuals of natural


Incredible India: Unity in Diversity

and architectural splendor associated with each place. The recurrent theme is that we speak different languages and have different religious beliefs but remain united through our deep rooted love for the Motherland. The central

theme of Unity through Diversity will bring together all the dancers on the stage for the soul stirring finale, Vande Mataram, the glorious salutation to Mother India. This event is FREE to the public, and so is

the parking. For information or for tickets to the covered area, visit www.samskritihouston. org, or call Artistic Director Rathna Kumar at (832) 275-9658.



August 18, 2017

Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston Gala Features LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel “Impact on Humanity Award” for her forceful advocacy for the cause of education of underprivileged children in India via Pratham USA and her support of many deserving causes in healthcare. Bal Sareen, CEO, Brask, Inc for his entrepreneurial success as a leading manufacturer of shell and heat exchangers in Texas. Swapnil Agarwal, for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, as Founder and Managing Principal of Nitya Capital and Karya Property Management, companies that buy and manage properties. The event, to be held at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston, starts at 6 pm. For more information, call 713.624.7131

Gala Keynote Speaker CEO LyondellBasell Bob Patel

HOUSTON: The IndoAmerican Chamber of

Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) will be hosting its 18th Annual Gala on August 26 and will be attended by .Houston’s top business leaders, elected officials, Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell will be the Keynote Speaker. Created in 1999, the Chamber promotes business growth, job creation in Houston and facilitates bilateral trade between Houston and India. Founding Secretary, Jagdip Ahluwalia, who currently serves as Executive Director, described the Gala as “part update, part thank you and part honoring the men and women who have achieved success not only for themselves but for the community they live in.” President Allen Richards announced the 2018 Honorees selected for their diverse and exceptional achievements in entrepreneurship, impacting economic growth in Houston and Humanitarian Service. The honorees include: Janiece Longoria, Chairman, Port of Houston for her outstanding contribution in positioning the Port as a globally competitive port and a key economic driver for the Greater Houston and gulf coast region. Dr. Marie Goradia to be honored with the

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WRITERS ... TAKE NOTICE Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information: Call 713-789- 6397 or email us at: indoamericannews@yahoo.com



24 August 18, 2017


Rich History of Religious Tolerance Among the Buddhist Faithful



ANGON, MYANMAR: Remarkably fast changing Yangon – or as I fondly like to call it, Rangoon – is at a confluence of its modern history, with old buildings being torn down to make place for newer modern highrises. My son Jeremy bemoaned the loss of the cinema hall on Bogyoke Aung San Road (formerly Montgomery Road) not far from the market (formerly Scotts Market) of the same name, just within the year he had been in the city. Diagonally across the street, is the new Sule Shangri-la Hotel and the sleek Carrefour grocery store in the basement mall. Japanese and Korean made cars flood the streets that only a decade ago were filled with old clunkers, bicycles, buses and rickshaws (no longer allowed). At the intersection of Sule Pagoda Road and Anawrahta Road, an elevated walkway allows pedestrians to cross safely, while far in the distance is the 2,500 year-old Sule Buddhist Pagoda. The downtown Kyauktada district of the city is also where you find a remarkable mixture of religious shrines. In the wide plaza and roundabout in front of City Hall (built in 1936), in the heart of the city lies the revered Sule Pagoda, believed to be 2,500 years old and just behind it to the west is the Bengali Sunni Mosque designed in a black and white façade, reminiscent of Shakespearean-era architecture. Across the plaza, is the white Immanuel Baptist Church (opened in 1854) which has sermons in Burmese, simultaneously translated into English. A few blocks to the west on Maha Bandula Road is the Maha Theindawgyi Buddhist temple, established in 1854, with its tall ornamental clock tower with a replica of a Buddhist Shrine on top. Just a short distance away, on 26th Street is the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, consecrated in 1896 by a once vibrant community of Jews of the Baghdadi descent, of whom only 20 now remain. To the east, just past the renovated British colonial era Strand Hotel on Bo Aung Kyaw Street in the 6th Ward is the Armenian Apostle Church, consecrated in 1863, now being renovated, and serves perhaps 30 Christian worshippers every Sunday. Across the street from it is the long-shuttered 1940’s era Gandhi Hall building on Merchant Street, which was visited three times by Mahatma Gandhi. And further east, in the 6th Ward, on the banks of the Yangon River is

the revered Botahtaung Pagoda complex, also thought to be 2,500 years old, which is a picnic site for many locals and the point from which many take motor-boat ferries across to Dala and other lesser developed districts on the southern bank.

Pictures clockwise from left: Cars clog up the intersection of Sule Pagoda Road and Anawrahta Road, Sule Pagoda from the elevated walkway at Anawrahta Road, Water-filled Clay bowls are very common across Rangoon, offering a free with a steel mug of cold water to anyone, The Immanuel Baptist Church (opened 1885) across from City Hall. The Buddhist shrine at the 2,500 year-old Sule Pagoda across from City Hall, The Bengali Sunni Mosque behind the Sule Pagoda Buddhist shrine, The

Maha Theindawgyi Buddhist temple, established in 1854, The Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue (consecrated in 1896) in the downtown area, With the caretaker of the Armenian Apostle Church, consecrated in 1863, The inside of the Armenian Apostle Church, The long-shuttered 1940’s era Gandhi Hall building on Merchant Street, Smaller shrine at the 2,500 year-old Botahtaung Pagoda complex by the YangonRiver, By the pier behind the Botahtaung Pagoda complex.



August 18, 2017


Eclipse: Who? What? Where? When? and How?

Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk. Who Can See It? Lots of people! Everyone in the

contiguous United States, in fact, everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse, while the thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states. What is It? This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a

given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. Where Can You See It? You can see a partial eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun, anywhere in North America. To see a total eclipse, where the moon fully covers the sun for a short few minutes, you must be in the path of totality. The path of totality is a relatively thin ribbon, around 70 miles wide, that will cross the U.S. from West to East. The first point of contact will be at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Totality

begins there at 10:16 a.m. PDT. Over the next hour and a half, it will cross through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. The total eclipse will end near Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 p.m. EDT. From there the lunar shadow leaves the United States at 4:09 EDT. Its longest duration will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds. When Can You See It? Times for partial and total phases

of the eclipse vary depending on your location. How Can You See It? You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. That could severely hurt your eyes. However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. Both methods should produce clear images of the partial phase of an eclipse. -eclipse2017.nasa.gov

Photos: NASA


26 August 18, 2017


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 August 23, 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).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Ande di Bhurji (Spicy Scrambled Eggs)

Solution Next Week

Here is a very easy recipe that is also

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very fast to make. It comes in handy when you have a starving bunch of people who crave for the desi taste of food. All it takes is a few eggs and some desi spices and a few veggies to make a dish that goes well with rice but is especially tasty with hot desi bread. I have made it many times for my two grown grandsons and watched in delight as they finished the bhurji down with paranthas, roti or even heated wheat tortillas! Eggs are, of course, popular all around the world. In India, which is a predominantly vegetarian country, some vegetarians do eat eggs (mostly on doctors orders) to supplement their protein intake. Egg stalls can be found all over the country in India, offering eggs in a wide variety of ways and sliced hot boiled eggs sprinkled with spices are big sellers in New Delhi during the winter months. Egg production has grown tremendously through large scale hen raising methods in huge farms. Still, most people visiting the country say that the eggs taste better in India. Chicken eggs supply protein through essential amino acids, vitamins A, B2, B9, B5, B12, and choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Vitamins A, D and E are in the egg yolk, which also has two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300mg of cholesterol. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 calories; the egg white contains about 15. You can make the bhurji using many different ingredients – some even put coconut milk in it – but the difference is that my recipe uses the spices and basic ingredients that we used in our ancestral village before the Partition and it retains a Northern Indian flavor. After trying this bhurji, you will never appreciate the bland taste of regular scrambled eggs again!


them aside. 2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet and lightly brown the onions and potato in it. 3. Throw in the peas and tomato and let the vegetables cook a little bit, turning a little browner. 4. Now, crack open the eggs in the skillet and into the vegetables. Mix thoroughly, adding the salt, pepper and turmeric to taste. Stir till the liquid is congealed but the eggs must be mostly scrambled. 5. For best results, serve the bhurji with hot paranthas. This dish is also best eaten with hot roti.

• 3 large ande (eggs) (brown eggs have a better taste) • 1 small aloo (potato) • 1 small pyaaz (onion) (green onions may be used too) • 1 small tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best • 1 tablespoon of matter (peas) (optional) • 2 teaspoons of vegetable or olive oil • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) and haldi (turmeric) Directions: 1. Peel and cut the potato, onion and tomato into small cubes and keep

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 in 1947. 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 Punjabi recipes.




pes of tea available exotic ingredients like chamomile, ro all over the world, many with se petals and ginger. ancient herb that is ov Ther er of eyesight, especia looked but has the ability to help with de e is one lly as you grow ol der, and it gets diffi gradation and to read in insuffi cult to drive cient light. Saffron is often us ed in cooking pila fs or pilaus (steam sweet dishes, but ed ric it is issues. Saffron impr a natural herb that can treat age-relat e) and oves blood circulat ed vision io regulates cholester ol and helps to clean n and memory; treats arthritis, the bl Just boil a cup of w ater, add in 1 gm of ood. 1 minute. Stir in 1 saffron and let it sim tea drink every night be spoon of honey and let it cool down, mer for str fore bedtime. Your to 2 weeks. eyesight should im ain and prove in 1

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August 18, 2017



A Visit to this Toilet is A Must !!! G

o-getter Keshav (Akshay) serenades liberal-thinker Jaya (Bhumi), a woman from his neighbouring village in Uttar Pradesh. They marry but it doesn’t strike Keshav to tell her that his house doesn’t have a toilet. This then becomes the grounds for Jaya to file for a divorce. For most of us who take the toilets in our homes for granted, the burning issue of 58% Indians practising open defecation could be a flush-worthy concept. But, director Shree Narayan Singh holds up a mirror to society, showing us how our superstitious villagers, lazy administration and corrupt politicians have actually converted India into the world’s largest shit-pond. Women especially, are treated more insensitively than

cattle! This film is a satirical take on the age-old ‘tradition’ of seeking fields to relieve ourselves. Mercifully it steers clear of being a documentary on sanitisation. Instead TEPK is a robust love-story striking a balance between entertaining and educating. Writer-duo SiddharthGarima take us through this eyeopening journey of how we need to build toilets for our women (if not a Taj Mahal) through dramatic conflicts between the lead couple — Keshav and Jaya, followed by those between Panditji (Sudhir Pandey) and his older son. The easygoing equation between two brothers, Naru (Divyendu) and Keshav is also delightful. Not to forget the protagonist’s war against his entire village for a latrine. Every

characteristic of rustic UP life is captured through the ubiquitous sarpanch and the naughty Kaka (Anupam Kher). The second-half borrows the template for films that address causes and allows for some lecturebaazi. A 10-minute snip here would’ve helped the focus stay sharper. Akshay is the backbone of this satire. His inner journey as an actor pays dividends and he delivers yet another topnotch performance. Half a star in the rating is rightfully his. Bhumi is perfect in her rendition of the feisty Jaya and Divyendu is a terrific comic. The presence of veterans, Pandey and Kher, is unmissable. The screenplay is peppered with loads of LOL moments balanced correctly with emotional outbursts.As bonus, you get a hummable soundtrack with Hans Mat Pagli, Bakheda and Gori Tu Lath Maar.


Randeep Hooda August 20, 1976

Malaika Arora August 23, 1973

So whether you have pressing matters to attend to or not, please take a detour to this toilet. Each of us needs to raise a stink about what our countrymen do in the open. After prolonged movie promotions across the country and abroad, Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar’s rom-com ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ opened amid much fanfare. The film showed a massive growth during the weekend as it collected around Rs 17 crore on its first Saturday, as reported by Boxofficeindia.com. After witnessing a good opening of Rs 11.71 crore, the film has now collected a total of around of Rs 28.71 crore and is expected to improve

further in the extended holiday season around the Independence Day and Janmashtami. -TimesofIndia.com



August 23, 1968

Gauhar Khan August 23, 1983


Vaani Kapoor August 23, 1988

28 August 18, 2017 Ashwin, Shami Lead Rout as India Complete Whitewash BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY


RISTOL: (ESPN Cricinfo): India 487 (Dhawan 119, Pandya 108, Rahul 85, Sandakan 5-132) beat Sri Lanka 135 (Chandimal 48, Kuldeep 4-40) and (f/o) 181 (Dickwella 41, Ashwin 4-68, Shami 3-32) by an innings and 171 runs At 2.46 pm on Monday, when Lahiru Kumara played down the wrong line of an R Ashwin carrom ball, India achieved something they had done only once before. Until then, they had only once won three Tests in an away series, back in 1967-68, when they beat New Zealand 3-1. Now the scoreline was even more impressive, a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, each Test won with a fearsome victory margin: 304 runs, an innings and 53 runs, and now, inside three days, an innings and 171 runs. Plenty has and will be said about the lack of quality in Sri Lanka’s squad, and plenty of that is true, but India’s dominance had just as much to do with their growing into a truly formidable side, with all bases covered, even - in this respect differing from previous Indian sides - on the bowling front. The last day of the series showcased India’s attack at its relentless best, in particular Ashwin and Mohammed Shami, who finished with combined second-innings figures of 43.3-12-100-7 to hasten Sri Lanka’s defeat. After a solitary over from Kuldeep Yadav to start the day, Shami andAshwin bowled in tandem right through the first hour of day three, setting the tone for a day with no respite for Sri Lanka. Ashwin struck in his first over of the day, removing Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s second-innings specialist. Karunaratne might have been fresh off a hundred in the previous Test, but managed to pick neither the line nor length of the second and third balls he faced from Ashwin. This was one of those days when the ball just comes out perfectly from Ashwin’s hand, when batsmen cannot predict with any sense of certainty where it will land. First up, a big offbreak beat Karunaratne’s outside edge by a long way, his front foot planted down the wrong line thanks to the drift into him. Then, stuck on the crease to a quicker one that took

Mohammed Shami continuously troubled batsmen with his seam movement, Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, 3rd day, Pallekele, August 14, 2017.

off from a length, he was caught at slip off the shoulder of his bat. Dimuth Karunaratne watches his outside edge pouched by slip AFP At the other end, every ball from Shami looked likely to dismiss the nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara, with the TV producers lingering on slow-motion replays of his perfectly upright seam. Having beaten him four times with balls that held their line after angling into the fourthstump channel, Shami finally found his edge through to Wriddhiman Saha in his fourth over of the day. Kusal Mendis, the other centurion in Sri Lanka’s second-innings resistance at the SSC, was jittery at the crease right from the start, getting himself into tangles in the effort to put the bowlers off their rhythm. Predictably, he tried sweeping Ashwin as often as he could, but this time he wasn’t as successful in picking up the offspinner’s changes of pace and trajectory. On one occasion, he adjusted to the dip, collapsing his back knee and leaning backwards to manufacture room for a swipe through backward square leg. On another, he had to hurriedly change his shot and play a defensive jab into the leg side instead. Mendis was stuck at Ashwin’s end for the first 16 balls of his innings. Finally, facing Shami, he received a rare bad ball - a short, wide one - that he slapped away to the point boundary. The next ball, though, he paid the price for trying to manufacture a scoring opportunity. Spotting his shuffle across the crease, Shami went wide of the crease and fired one in, full and

straight. Rod Tucker gave him out as soon as Shami began appealing, penalising his across-the-line shot as much as anything else, with the line suggesting the ball may have carried on past leg stump. Mendis did not review, and ball-tracking returned an umpire’s-call verdict. Chandimal had been the most assured Sri Lankan batsman in the first innings, especially against pace, and a couple of flowing drives through the off side off Umesh Yadav gave the same impression in the second innings too. He was less certain against Ashwin, though, and in one over had two lbw appeals turned down, the ball beating his sweep both times, with his long front-and-across stretch saving him.

Chandimal and Angelo Mathews saw Sri Lanka through to lunch, and for a further 8.2 overs after the interval, putting on 65 for the fifth wicket in 27.4 overs. Having survived those lbw shouts, Chandimal put away the sweep, and began instead to use his feet to the spinners. He didn’t always get to the pitch against Ashwin, and a couple of inside edges flew dangerously close of short leg. A catch at short leg eventually sent Chandimal back, though off Kuldeep rather than Ashwin, turn and bounce cramping him as he went back to flick. Then Mathews, looking to sweep a full ball off the stumps, missed, and Ashwin had his second wicket. He soon had his third too, Dilruwan Perera slogging him to deep midwicket. With Sri Lanka seven down, the quicks returned to try and finish things quickly. Lakshan Sandakan top-edged a cut off Shami, and then Niroshan Dickwella, who top scored with a typically punchy 41, fell to a stunning reflex catch from Ajinkya Rahane at gully, when he middled an open-faced slash to his left off Umesh. Shami could have had a fourth, when Vishwa Fernando chipped one straight back at him, but the onehanded effort fell to the floor, leaving Ashwin to return and take the last wicket, swelling his series-topping tally to 17. Karthik Krishnaswamy is assistant editor at ESPN Cricinfo.

Shastri Wants India as Best Fielding Team

MUMBAI -- India’s coach Ravi

Shastri has prioritised fitness, and wants his side to be the “best fielding XI” at the 2019 World Cup. Shastri’s comments echoed those of India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad who, while naming the squad for the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka, stressed fitness would be the key parameter while picking the World Cup squad. “When the time comes for India to field a side for the 2019 50-over World Cup, we should have the best fielding XI in the world walking out,” Shastri told the Times of India. “Only the fittest of the lot will survive and thrive going forward

and that’s right up there in the list of priorities.” While admitting that the World Cup would be the focus going forward, he also outlined another goal for the team: keep excelling in Test cricket. Since the rain-affected one-off Test in Fatullah in 2015, India have won eight consecutive series and are only one short of equalling the world record. “The World Cup has its own space that needs to be respected. And while that remains the goal, a fact also remains that if India need to show their real might in the game, then achieving results in Test cricket is the pinnacle,” Shastri said.


Indian Hockey Team Scores Win vs Austria


IENNA: Ramandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh scored a brace each to help Indian men’s hockey team end its ‘Tour of Europe’ on a high. India registered a thrilling 4-3 victory against Austria in their fifth and final match of the tour at Amstelveen in Netherlands on Wednesday. It was Chinglensana’s goal in the dying seconds which sealed the win for India, after they conceded two late goals to give Austria a chance for a comeback. It was India’s third victory on the trot, after beating the Netherlands in consecutive games. The young side led by Manpreet Singh finished their five-match European tour with three wins and two defeats. Austria took the lead early in the first quarter, before Ramandeep scored the equaliser in the Q2 through a penalty corner. India put the pressure on the Austrians by creating more penetrations through the midfield as the game progressed. But they couldn’t convert them to goals and went into the halftime break with score reading 1-1. India started the third quarter aggressively and Ramandeep thundered in a screamer through a reverse hit from the top of the circle to put the visitors in front for the first time in the match. The constant pressure resulted in another goal for India, with Chinglensana tapping in the ball into the nets after receiving a clever pass from Varun Kumar. With less than ten minutes left in the match, Austria scored two quick goals to level the scores and left the Indian side stunned. But India vice-captain Chinglensana scored a brilliant goal with just ten seconds left on the clock to give India a welldeserved victory.

Chinglensana’s goal in the dying seconds which sealed the win for India.


August 18, 2017


Indians Are Second Largest Buyers of Properties in Central London

ONDONI: Indians are the second largest buyers of property in central London, accounting for 22% of sales in the year to August, pushing buyers from West Asia to the third slot (at 21%), according to property investment advisory London Central Portfolio’s (LCP) latest sales audit. South-East Asian buyers took the top spot, accounting for 36% of all purchases. Interestingly, Indians also spent more per house. They accounted for one-third of the total spend, with an average purchase price of £1.77 million, slightly higher than the market average of £1.6 million. Meanwhile, the number of buyers from continental Europe has fallen significantly, and they now account for only 7% of sales, from 24% previously. Analysts attribute this to the uncertainty following Brexit. Following 2015’s changes to the

Liberalised Remittance Scheme in India that increased the amount Indians could spend on properties in the UK (or elsewhere) to $250,000 per person, there has been a notable surge of purchases from wealthy Indian families. Their interest has been stoked by a sluggish real-estate market back home, LCP’s chief executive Naomi Heaton said in a 14 August release. “As India has become a more challenging place to invest in, with high loan interest rates and rising prices in the main urban centres, together with increasing global political and economic uncertainty, Indian buyers with a larger amount of capital to spend have increasingly turned to London as an investment destination of choice.” “As sterling has weakened against foreign currencies, representing a 20% discount for dollar denominated investors compared with two years

ago, we are now seeing Indian buyers becoming an increasingly dominant force in the marketplace. They have overtaken buyers from the MiddleEast, who have fallen to third place,” Heaton said. In the year to 15 August, the pound has fallen 1.38% against the rupee. Indian developers beat Indian buyers to London by a few years. In 2014, Mumbai-based Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd acquired the

MacDonald House property from the Canadian embassy in Mayfair for over £300 million. Lodha also bought another property in Lincoln Square, and started selling apartments in the project last year. In May, Lodha UK, the London-based development arm of Lodha Developers, also raised $375 million (£290 million) of construction finance from Cain Hoy for the Lincoln Square project. -Live Mint

Govt Moves to Disallow More of Reliance-BP-Niko’s KG-D6 Cost N D - The oil ministry ficial who also spoke on condition of EW


has sought to disallow about $264 million of the exploration and production cost the consortium of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), BP Plc. and Niko Resources Ltd wanted to recover in 2015-16 from the revenue generated by their D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin. The ministry cited below-target output from the field for disallowing the cost recovery, a person privy to the development said on condition of anonymity. The government demanded extra profit share—called profit petroleum—from the field as lower cost recovery leaves the consortium with more profit on paper to be shared between the developers and the government, under a formula in their production sharing contract. A second person aware of the development, a government of-

anonymity, said disallowing part of the 2015-16 cost is in continuation of a move initiated in 2010-11 and was incremental in nature. “The issue is in arbitration. These are not disputes in perpetuity. We do try and resolve differences of opinion within a time frame. We have walked the talk as far as opening up the hydrocarbon sector is concerned which has resulted in a sizable increase in investor interest,” said the person. On 15 June, Reliance and BP announced their plan to invest a combined Rs40,000 crore in the D6 field to boost production over the next 3-5 years. Emails sent to officials of Reliance and BP on Tuesday, a holiday for independence day, remained unanswered at the time of publishing. The government had disallowed the consortium from recovering a cost of $380 million in 2014-15 for not meeting output targets.

Reliance said in its annual report for 2016-17 that the contract for the KG-D6 Block permits full “cost recovery” of its costs of exploration, development and production from the value of petroleum produced from the KG D6 Block. “RIL on behalf of all contractor constituents—BP and Niko—served an arbitration notice on the government on 23 November 2011,” it

said, adding that parties had made their submissions before the arbitral tribunal. Gas production from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields in the KG-D6 block was to reach 80 million metric standard cu. m a day (mmscmd) but actual production fell below the estimate and was only 35.33 mmscmd in 2011-12 due to water and sand ingress in some of the wells. -Live Mint


India’s Drug Regulator Cuts Knee Implant Prices by 69 %


EW DELHI: India’s drug pricing regulator capped the prices of knee implants on Wednesday, in a move that is expected to reduce product prices by as much as 69%. The move may upset companies selling knee replacement products and comes six months after the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped prices of cardiac stents. The most widely used complete knee implant (cobalt chromium) will now cost Rs 54,720, excluding goods and services tax (GST) as against Rs 1.58 lakh earlier, according to a notification issued by government’s price regulator. NPPA has also capped prices of a second surgery, if required, to Rs 1.13 lakh as against Rs 2.76 lakh earlier. Prices of special metals that are used in treatment, such as titanium and oxidised zirconium, have been capped at Rs 76,600 from Rs 2.49 lakh earlier. These prices are applicable with immediate effect. The NPPA brought cardiac stents under price control in February to make them more affordable to patients. Stents are wire-like meshes that are used to remove blocks, largely in the heart. The price of drug eluting or drugcoated stents were slashed by NPPA to about Rs 30,000 from as much as Rs 2 lakh. The move, which was preceded by several rounds of deliberations with companies, had upset manufacturers who said the new prices dissuade research and development. Companies like Abbott Healthcare opted for a selective recall by withdrawing stents such as Absorb and Alpine from the market.


30 August 18, 2017 US Ready to Help India Modernise its Military: US Top Commander W

ASHINGTON:The US is ready to help India modernise its military and jointly they can improve India’s military capabilities in “significant and meaningful” ways, a top American commander has said. Over the past decade, the defence trade between the US and India has touched nearly USD 15 billion and is expected to gallop in the next few years, as India is looking at the US for some of the latest military hardware including fighter jets, latest unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft carriers. “I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of the US. This is a strategic declaration that’s unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level that we have many of our treaty

allies,” Com-

mander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris told PTI. “This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways,” said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship. The Admiral said he is fairly happy with the level of defence cooperation that exists today between the two sides. “We have been partners with India in the Malabar exercise series, the

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maritime exercise, for a number of years. I participated in one of the very first… one of the early Malabars, in 1995,” he recollected, reflecting on the decades-old association with India. Noting that the exercise, and the complexity of it, has improved steadily over the years, he said he is very pleased that Japan is part of Malabar. “I think the trilateral relationship between India and Japan and the US, that relationship is very important,” he said, while advocating that Australia too should join this group. “We could explore together bringing Australia into the exercise. That has merit. There’s a lot of common interests in the Indian Ocean, between Australia and India. But that’s really a decision for India to make, and then a decision

for Australia to participate, if so invited. I’ll leave that to those two countries,” Harris said in response to a question. According to Harris, there is a lot that India and the US can do together. “I’m pleased that India is a participant in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the Pacific exercise that’s hosted every other year in Hawaii. I’m pleased in general with where the relationship is going, and I look forward to more as the years progress,” he said. Responding to a question on India’s decision against the American move to have a joint India-US naval patrol in the Indian Ocean, Harris said the US is not disappointed at all. “I’m not disappointed. This is on the patrols… I’m not disappointed at all, I’m encouraged that we were able to have a discussion about it, and I hope that that discussion remains open,” he

said. “We stand ready to participate at whatever level India wants us to participate,” Harris said. Harris refrained from giving any answer on India and the United States starting to share information about Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean region. “I don’t want to answer the question, because I don’t want to imply that I’m sharing intelligence, or anything like that. I’ll just simply say that a close relationship between US and India is clearly helpful to the United States, and I believe helpful to India as well,” Harris said in response. Harris reiterated that he believes that the deepening US-India relationship is the defining strategic partnership for the 21st century. “I’m very interested, and very supportive, of what’s happening in India. The Indian armed forces, and that whole piece… I think that the opportunities for our two countries are simply great. It’s fantastic,” Harris said. Noting that India remains an important line of effort at Pacific Command, Harris said America’s national leadership is working closely with India’s to grow the partnership between the two countries. -indianexpress.com

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges All to Celebrate August 15 as ‘Sankalp Parva’ As India completes 70 years of Independence, PM Modi asked people to pledge to free the country of the evils of poverty, terrorism, casteism and communalism in the next five years


EW DELHI: In the 34th edition of his radio programme, ‘Mann ki Baat’ last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called upon the citizens of India to observe this Independence Day as ‘Sankalp Parva’ and urged them to dedicate themselves to social causes and share their ideas to creating a new India. As he asked them to pledge to free the country of the evils of poverty, terrorism, casteism and communalism in the next five years, he said, “Let us come together and resolve: Dirt-Quit India; Poverty-Quit India; Corruption-Quit India; TerrorismQuit India; Casteism-Quit India; Communalism-Quit India!” While remembering the father of the nation, PM Modi said, in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die), but today, it is Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge (we will do and surely do). During a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement on August 8, he said that just as the five years from 1942 to 1947 were

PM Narendra Modi asked the youth to dedicate themselves to social causes to create a new India.

decisive for the country’s independence, these five years from 2017 to 2022, when we celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence, will play a decisive role for the future of India. “Let’s launch a mega campaign ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’-Attainment through Resolve. The next five years should also be about Sankalp Se Siddhi (pledge to achieve), a

resolve which will lead us to accomplishment,” he said. “This five-year period can ignite the transformation that will create an India, which our freedom fighters will be proud of,” a Ministry of Personnel order to celebrate Independence Day on August 15 as the ‘Sankalp Parva’ said. -ndtv.com


August 18, 2017




August 18, 2017