E newspaper 12092016

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Friday, December 09, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 50

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At the Pratham Holiday Luncheon last Friday, December 2, from left: keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum; emcee, former tv anchor Sharron Melton; Pratham President Ash Shah and Vice President Asha Dhume.

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December 09, 2016

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COMMUNITY BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON:

The unexpected election of Donald Trump has exacerbated tensions felt among South Asians, who are dealing with complex paperwork processes associated with obtaining a green card and permanent citizenship. Trump has talked about building a wall to keep out Mexican illegals, mass deportation of undocumented workers, and putting barriers against outsourcing. To provide a realistic perspective in light of such fears, India House teamed up with the law firm of Willy, Nanayakkara & Associates to present an Immigration Seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 30 evening. More than 200 people of diverse South Asian origin attended the presentation. India House President Manish Rungta welcomed the gathering and recalled his own trials and tribulations with the citizenship process. Six members of the Willy & Nanayakkara law firm served as the panelists. These were George

December 09, 2016

Immigration Seminar: “Mass Deportations Unlikely under Donald Trump”

million for rural areas.” On the other hand, applicants under the I140 program can continue to work while their employment authorization document (EAD) remains pending. Under the I480 program, applications will be able to change jobs. During the Q&A session, Attorney Willy said that even under the Trump administration, the US government will continue to look favorably upon college graduates,

R. Willy, Founder & Principal Attorney; Chiranjaya “Chiro” Nanayakkara, Managing Attorney; Jimmie L. Benton, fourmer Judge, Immigration Court; Roger Piper, former Immigration District Director of Houston; James Parker, Associate Attorney; and Ahmad Baeg Chughtai; Associate Attorney. Attorney Willy introduced the panel and made introductory remarks. “There has been heightened interest in immigration matters after the election of Donald Trump,” explained Willy. “I think Trump is a smart businessman and a pragmatist. I don’t think there will be mass deportations. However, those who are out of status have a rea-

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son to worry. A president can only do so much. We are governed by laws and there are three branches of government. We do, however, have to exercise vigilence and guard against excesses.” Experienced with numerous changes of administrations in Washington DC, Roger Piper said, “Under a new administration, things actually slow down. Rounding up criminal aliens has been already underway under the Obama administration. That process could actually slow down as the field agents await new policies.” Judge Benton provided a judicial background. “Right now, there are 373 immigration judges who have a backlog of 510,000 cases.

particularly those with STEM majors. While some members of the audience left to partake dinner catered by Madras Pavilion, a long line formed to ask the panelists specific questions about their immigration situation. With such strong interest in immigration issues, India House will be well advised to hold such immigration seminars on a period basis.

That backlog could be erased by 2022 if the Trump administration hires 300 additional judges. With Trump’s emphasis on reducing the size of the government, that is not likely.” “What Donald Trump can do through executive actions is withdraw the DACA provision and delay or prevent employment authorizations and drivers licenses.” “There’s good news and bad news on the employment-based program (EBS) said “Chiro” Nanayakarra, “New rules introduced by the Obama administration will go into effect on January 17. The investment requirements will go up from $1 million to $1,5 million in general and $800K to $1

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December 09, 2016

See article on page 5 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

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Holiday Cheer, Fashionistas Make a Statement for Pratham

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

December 09, 2016

Its annual fashion shows have become as much of a draw as the good cheer and fundraising focus of the luncheon itself. This year was no different as the models strutted down the runway to the sound of pulsating music and showed off the elegant designs of Fady Armanious, the Creative Director for Tootsie’s, one of Houston’s well-known boutique of high couture. The crowd of mostly welldressed and elegant women, with a sprinkling of men, sat entranced through the lineup of whimsical gowns and dresses and broke out in loud applause as Armanious took his bows. The fashions and the fashionables are very much in mind at the annual Pratham Holiday Luncheon and Fashion Show held every year in the coziness of the Junior League of Houston just inside the Loop, and a small group of cosmetics and beauty products vendors is always tucked in towards the back of the main hall. This past Friday, December 2, the crowd spilled out to the inner courtyard for some aperitifs but was chased inside to the ballroom as the overcast skies broke into afternoon sprinkles. “It’s encouraging to see more men participating this year,” said Pratham Houston President Ash Shah to titters of disagreement from the overwhelmingly female capacity crowd. But he broke the ice and gave a brief rundown on the work that Pratham does and its lowest administrative costs, according to Charity Navigator, a rating website which gave it four stars. Shah described Pratham’s outreach and programs, and in particular the education, vocational a training and entrepreneurial incubation effort for Indian women which was the emphasis of the luncheon’s fundraising drive. Pratham has collaborated with local Indian conglomerate Godrej as a partner to scale up these programs in the coming years. Luncheon emcee Sharron Melton,

Pratham Houston Board of Directors

From left: Dr. Marie Goradia, Pratham USA Board member and Past President, Pratham Houston, Fady Armanious, Creative Director, Tootsies, Asha Dhume, Vice President, Pratham Houston

former anchor at KTRK TV, kept the program moving along to the short video “Nancy’s Footsteps” that retraced the journey of a woman in India from poverty to education and empowerment by being able to read to an entire group of kids. Honorary Chair Shital Patel – supported by co-chairs Annu Naik and Dr. Vanitha Pothuri – introduced the keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum, the Director of the Rice 360 Institute for Global Health, Malcom Gillis University Professor at Rice University and a member of the Department

of Bioengineering. Her research has been instrumental in improving early detection of cancers and other diseases, especially in lowresource areas. With the aid of some slides, Richards-Kortum illustrated the power of education to change the world for women and children in the developing world, especially Africa which has been her focus. “The leading cause of death for babies is pre-term birth,” she said, with India having a very large number and Mali in Africa the highest rate of pre-term babies, almost 1 out of 5. To increase the

odds to match US rates would require an estimated 75 years for India and 150 years in Africa. In the US the survival rates improved in the 1960s with advancements in neonatal care. “But technologies fail in developing countries,” lamented Richards-Kortum, “due to heat and dust and lack of simple things like syringes for pumps that lie unused. Though dedicated physicians work hard, they need tools that are affordable and rugged.” She went onto describe how her institute teaches motivated students to develop affordable technologies and turn them into design challenges and they take their solutions back to physicians for trial runs. She gave the example of a C-Pak device, first used in the US in 1961, which helps babies breathe. The students came up with a design that was rugged and improved their survivability rates in Africa from 25% to 65%. The device costs $600 versus the $8,000 price tag for those used in the US. “The experience changes the students,” declared Richards-Kortum as she described the story of Elizabeth Stowe who went to Malawi in the summer of 2016 and taught a local nurse Chrissy how to use the C-Pak device. “Soon Chrissy had won respect among

Ash Shah, President, Pratham Houston P h o t o s : D e b o r a h Wa l l a c e , Barfield Photography

her patients as ‘the C-Pak nurse’,” she said, adding, “Today’s students are so inspired to change global life issues and health.” Last year’s Pratham President Dr. Marie Goradia brought the first part of the event to an end, just before lunch was served, with a plea for supporting the women education, training and vocational school and entrepreneurial programs that have helped 4,000 of them get jobs and allowed 800 beauty salons open up across India. She explained the gist of the short video which was shown but had poor sound quality, which showed the story of a young girl Radha who was married off at the age of 15 and was used by all of her husband’s brothers. She escaped by jumping out of a second story window and fled, leaving behind her children. Pratham helped her to get an education and training and she eventually began her own beauty salon and is happily married. Goradia said her goal was to raise $30,000 during the luncheon to help fund this program and set down the challenge for all to donate.

For photo collage, see page 4

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COMMUNITY

December 09, 2016

The Nuance of Indian Poetry, One Tantalizing Word After the Other!

Photos: Saundarya Sohoni

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

SUGAR

LAND: Where else could you get an animated story of the battle between tea and lassi (buttermilk) delivered to you in lyrical, rhyming verse? Or the frustrations and challenge of a cop in writing poems, at first rigid and unevoking, later becoming

more fantastic and provocative? These aren’t the sort of things that certainly enter the minds of poets who rummage around for whimsical ideas and ways to present them. And it’s made all the more challenging when set in the Indian context and in Hindi to a crowd in America. The crowd, it seems, that ap-

preciates this style of lyrical Hindi rhyme is growing, judging from the 200 people who showed up to the Kavita ki Sham (Evening of Poetry) that was held last Saturday evening, December 2 at Madras Pavilion restaurant by the International Hindi Sammelan (Association) in collaboration with the India Culture Center. The two organizations share some of the same Directors and objectives to spread Indian culture, so it’s has been a natural fit for them to participate of this effort annually for the past five years. The point was brought out by IHA Houston Chapter President Dr. K. D. Upadhyaya who gave a rundown on the group’s work through the year to promote Hindi, and ICC President Rajiv Bhavsar. Sponsors for the event were Sling TV, Deep Foods, Discount Power, Anand and Dr. Ashima Chauhan. It was the rare day in the Bayou City when almost the entire evening was spent immersed in Hindi and for those ears which have become accustomed to being suffocated by English and had to retrain their brains to decipher and comprehend the words, it was a delightful, though occasionally challenging evening when grasping for a Hindi dictionary may have been helpful! But the nuances of the language were there to enjoy, starting with Sapna Shah as the emcee for the evening. And to remind us of the difficulty of staying connected to your Mother language, a young 11 year-old Diya Patel kicked off the poetry session by reciting Hindi poems on Machli (fish) and Titli (butterflies) followed by two verses in Sanskrit from the Bhagwat Gita. Fourteen other local poets, most familiar and a few new faces, stood on a small stage at the corner of the large hall to recite their favorite verses, including a few original pieces, to illustrate the different kinds of Ras (verse) - Veer ras, Shringar ras, Hasya ras, Bhakti ras, Vyang ras, Karuna ras and Bhav ras. The evening CONTINUED ON PAGE

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nice to kick back and unwind once school is out for winter break, you and your child should be wary of completely turning off their brains for a two or three-week period. Not unlike the “Summer Slide,” winter break can be a time when students shut down and lose a lot of what they learned in the first half of the school year. By incorporating education and learning into the holidays in a fun way, your child won’t feel like they are back in school and won’t have to suffer from learning loss. Best in Class Education, which helps K-12 students prepare for academic success through customized educational programs, is constantly thinking of ways for students and parents to create new learning opportunities in their everyday lives. Here are six ways you can help avoid brain drain during winter break for your child: Keep a Reading Schedule First things first: don’t let the extra time off ruin your usual routine. Maintain a regular reading schedule with your child to keep them on track with school readings as well as reading just for

fun. Reading time can also serve as a nice break from the busy holiday activities. Get Active Physical activity is proven to help increase brain function by improving memory and lengthening attention span. Anything that is good for your heart will benefit your brain. Depending on the weather, have your kids get active inside or outside. Play Board Games Board games provide a mental workout for everyone playing by strengthening attention, visual processing, and cognitive skills. Scrabble, Risk, and Monopoly are all classic board game examples the whole family can play – or, try a jigsaw puzzle for mental stimulation. Visit a Museum With your extra time off, museums are the perfect educational activity to do with your kids. If you have time to research, find a museum that includes an exhibit that aligns with your child’s school curriculum. This will provide more of a worldview for your child’s schoolwork and incorporate extra learning on topics your child is already familiar with from school.

Plan an Arts & Crafts Day that Aligns with School Curriculum Instead of turning on the TV or playing video games, your child can benefit from working on arts & crafts projects. Pinterest is a great resource for parents for researching various projects that can relate to what your child is learning in school. Not only will it keep your child busy, but it will also allow your child to practice motor skills and create home decorations the whole family can enjoy. Get Organized and Review Schoolwork Planning ahead can significantly reduce the stress that comes with a new semester. Whether your child needs to do homework, get organized, or quickly refresh what your child has learned leading up to winter break, your child will feel more prepared heading back to school in January with a little preparation. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, Best in Class Education Center offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2016. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www. bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1-888-683-8108.

The Nuance of Indian Poetry, One Tantalizing Word After the Other! CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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started with Fateh Ali Chatur a versatile artist who presented Ashok Chakradhar’s Kavita based on Hasya ras. Devika Dhruv, a versatile Gujarati writer who has started writing in Hindi, presented shabdon ke pallu mein (in the company of words) and akshar ujale mein (always in the light) based on Bhav ras. Dr. Sarita Mehta, a retired Rice University Lecturer, presented her Veer ras original poem which delighted the audience. Sangeeta Pasrija, Past President of IHA Houston and an ICC Trustee presented a Hasya ras poem about the tussle between “chai (tea) and lassi (buttermilk)”, in a typical Rajasthani andaz (style) for which she got giggles and loads of applause. Dr. Meghna Banerjee, a first timer performer in Hindi, presented a Shringar ras poem. Dr. Harendra Chahar was the evening’s featured poet. A PhD Biotechnologist at UTMB Galves-

ton who hails from the historic city of Agra, his Braj bhasha and pure Hindi kept the audience enthralled with Hasya ras poems, especially the poem entitled Sasu (motherin-law) which brought smiles on many faces. Sarojini Gupta, President of the local SEWA Chapter presented a Hasya ras poem Kuch to standard banao! (keep some sort of standard!) with energy and enthusiasm which kept everyone laughing. Anjana Pandey, another first time performer presented a Hasya ras poem. Sanjay Sohoni, a Marathi writer who has shifted to writing in Hindi since 2012, presented a short Hasya Vyang ras poem on Intolerance. Seema Jain, another first timer presented her Bhav Karuna ras poem Rishte (relations). Meera Kapur presented a Bhakti ras poem khud kaun and jeevan path. Pravina Kadakia, normally a Gujarati writer, presented a Veer ras poem written in Hindi. Dr Khalid Razvi, who knows Hindi, Urdu, German, French, Russian, Arabic, Persian,

Marathi and Telugu’ presented a hilarious Hasya ras poem. Sudha Goyal presented a Veer ras poem Mann ki Baat (matter of the mind) on the issues faced due to the current Indian Demonetization. After the recitations, IHA National President Swapan Dhairyawan disclosed that apart from the three regular programs in 2017, IHA plans to add a “Shaam-eGhazal” program in February to coincide with Valentine’s Day and start a Hindi language class for kids. He recognized and felicitated three community volunteers for their continued support: Manisha Gandhi of TV Asia, Nisha Mirani and Ajit Patel with token awards. The poets were presented token gifts by Col Raj Bhalla, Girish Pandya, Praful Gandhi and Manohar Gidwani. Madras Pavillion provided the food and venue, Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds did the sound system, and Shreya, Eesha and Nimish were volunteers at the registration desk.

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COMMUNITY

New Board Takes Helm at ICC

The ICC Board with the newly installed Directors at the general b o d y m e e t i n g o n S u n d a y, December 4.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: While the national

electioneering fever has inflamed passions all across the nation, one small election for Directors to the India Culture Center’s Board drew nary a whimper of protest or accusation! Which is precisely the way the venerable 43-year-

old organization wants to operate and hopes to flourish. There is no lack of enthusiasm or eagerness in the 16 members who comprise the Board, many of whom have worked together for many years and continue to support each other like a well-oiled machine. It wasn’t always so, and the changes began to show about 5 years ago as dif-

ferent personalities jelled! This year there were eight seats available on the Board and two seats for Trustees. After a monthlong period of advertising, the nominations started coming in to the Election Committee made of Girish Pandya, Sam Merchant and this reporter. Only four nominations were received for the eight

seats, hence no voting was conducted during the General Body meeting held on Sunday, December 3 at India House. The nominated Directors are Sapna Shah, Rafi Ansar, Hemant Patel and Saundarya Sohoni. However two people from the assembled were nominated and accepted as Directors; namely Nimish Sheth and Ina

Patel. The two other vacancies will be filled in the course of time. Before the vote, ICC President Rajiv Bhavsar gave a rundown of all the activities that the ICC has been involved in during 2016. And the audited accounts and tax-filing papers were presented by Trustee Swapan Dhairyawan, who also has his own accounting firm, MD Associates. There were three nominations – Charlie Patel, Lachman Das and Dr. Raj Bhalla - for the two Trustee positions and who will be selected will be resolved by a vote of the Directors in their January 8, 2017 meeting at which time the Executive Committee will also be formed.

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COMMUNITY

December 09, 2016

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Eat to Live: New Ideas on Preventing Diabetes BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

H

OUSTON: It is commonly understood that the South Asian community’s dietary habits leaves a lot to be desired. As a consequence, we’re susceptible to Type 2 diabetes. A possible solution may be at hand. A retired physician, who practiced in Lake Jackson, Texas, has authored a book on how to shape your diet and the habit of eating to develop a healthy lifestyle, and possibily, prevent disabetes or reverse its impact. Dr. John M. Poothullil, MD, FRCP, has furnished a review of his book in a conversational format: What is different or new in your book about type 2 diabetes? Diabetes is viewed as a hormonal disease caused by the occurrence of insulin resistance. Is this theory correct? Normally, the logic, mechanism and measurement are required to validate a scientific concept. Insulin resistance theory does not fit this scientific requirement. For example, it is not logical that out of 200 types of cells in the body, only three types of cells—muscle, liver and fat—become resistant. Also, considering that the liver has about 240 billion cells, how do some women develop gestational diabetes, in which at least 20% of their liver (approximately 40-50 billion cells) must become resistant? It is claimed that the placenta releases an agent that causes insulin resistance. Yet, no one has identified this agent. Furthermore, how can the responding cells at only three sites in

the body understand the message? And then, after being insulin resistant for about eight months, pregnant women regain sensitivity to insulin within four days after delivery. No one knows the mechanism of this amazing flip-flop, and there is no test to measure the degree of resistance. In short, based on logic, mechanism, and measurement, insulin resistance is a bogus concept. What is your theory about the cause of diabetes? My theory begins with the fact that the body’s cells are like a hybrid car; they can burn glucose OR fatty acids as a normal metabolic process. The body breaking down the triglycerides and burning the resulting fatty acids in muscle is what leaves glucose in your bloodstream, creating high blood sugar and diabetes. The triglyceride production happens when you overconsume grains and grain-flour

products, which is happening in much of the world. This is far more logical than sudden insulin resistance in only three types of body cells. It is believed that diabetes can be controlled, but you suggest that it can be reversed, how? It is absolutely possible to lower blood sugar and reverse diabetes even in people, who are already using insulin. By losing sufficient weight through avoidance of the very foods that fill up your fat cells—i.e., grain-based complex carbohydrates—you create space for the circulating fatty acids to be stored as fat. Your body will therefore switch back to burning the glucose as its main source of fuel and you can maintain normal blood sugar by continuing to avoid the consumption of grains and grainbased foods on a regular basis. Does your book recommend a special diet or are you selling any types of foods? My book does neither of these, as my belief is that everyone has a natural mechanism to acquire nutrients needed in the body on a timely basis. My philosophy is that every individual needs to learn how to listen to his or her body. I explain in my book Eat, Chew, Live how everyone can learn to listen closely to their brain’s natural signals of hunger and satiation and override the bad eating habits they formed over time due to stress, social pressure, and the mass marketing of unhealthy foods. The book was judged as the winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award in the Diet & Nutrition category.

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Hewlett Packard & India Today Honors Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation BY PRAKASH WAGHMARE

HOUSTON: Energized by its

exemplary success in providing literacy and integrated development in villages across India, “Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation”, two years back, introduced an innovative digitized supplement to rural life to speed up its integration into the mainstream. This was never before conceived, leave alone an adopted approach to affect rural life. Recently, Ekal was honored with the “Digital Trailblazer Award” at the Digital Conclave organized by ‘Hewlett Packard’ in association with ‘India Today Gr.’ for this unique initiative. The event was held at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Ranchi, Jharkhand on October 21, 2016. Shri Raghubar Das, the Chief Minister of Jharkhand state presented the award to Shri Lalan Kumar Sharma, Program Director of ‘Ekal Gramotthan’ (village renaissance). Several luminaries including C.P Singh, the Min-

ister for Urban Development, Sunil Barnwal, Secretary, Information Technology, Jharkhand state, Vivek Modwal, Country Manager Hewlett Packard and Aradhna Patnaik, Secretary Education and Human Resource Development attended the event. The award by Hewlett Packard and India Today is a great testament to the impact Ekal is creating in rural India. Recently, Ekal had another occasion to put a feather in its cap of achievements. On Dec. 2, the US-India Chamber of Commerce of Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX conferred ‘Leadership in Community Service Award’ on “Ekal Vidyalaya” at their annual Award Banquet. Dr. Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of Federal Reserve bank of Dallas was the key-note speaker and Hon. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India (Houston) was the Chief Guest. According to Kaplan Fruitwala, a member of Ekal ‘Board of Directors’ and Reginal President of South-West region, ‘this Award is given after a rigorous and competitive evaluation process with regards

to consistency, achievements and contributions to the Society and Ekal is very grateful that ‘US-India Chamber of Commerce’has recognized Ekal’s efforts”. Last month also saw ‘Better Business Bureau’ (BBB) putting a seal of approval on ‘Ekal’ as the member of ‘Wise Giving Alliance’, a select group of honorable prestigious organizations for public charity. Ekal, a non-profit organization, runs single teacher schools in over 54,000 rural remote villages that benefit 1.5 Million young children - more than half of which are girls. According to Mohan Wanchoo, who has pledged $200,000 per year for several years, ‘Digital-Ekal’ works on many different levels and is a lightning rod to change the ‘face of villages’ as we know them today. Through ‘Ekal-On-Wheels’, a mobile computer training lab, Ekal imparts digital literacy to 5,000 CONTINUED ON PAGE

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18 December 09, 2016 Incentive-based or Forced Sterilisation Plans can’t Curb Population Growth

Union minister Giriraj Singh obviously does not remember

history. If Mr Singh did, then he would not have called for mass sterilisation in the country. At a function in Bihar last week, the minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises advocated sterilisation to control population growth. Mr Singh said the India needs a strong population control law including sterilisation as the country was facing a population boom impeding development and social stability. “India has 17 % of the world population and adds population equal to Australia each year. The country only has 2.5% of land mass of the globe with only 4.2% of water resources. In this scenario, the population explosion in the country is proving to be a big roadblock for development. We need population control act to tide over the problem,” he said. Before proposing such a law, Mr Singh should have taken into account the fate of such programmes in a democratic country: In the mid 1970s, the Congress tried to implement a similar plan but the political and social backlash singed the party badly. Mr Singh is the second senior BJP leader in Bihar who has advocated sterilisation after demonetisation. Last week, former union minister and senior BJP leader Sanjay Paswan said sterilisation will help control the population of the country. While it is true India’s population is a challenge, but it can also be a huge demographic dividend, if tackled properly. Moreover, India’s sterilisation campaign has been badly managed, and in September, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to end sterilisation camps within three years and strengthen the primary healthcare system, saying “it is time that women and men are treated with respect and dignity and not as mere statistics in the sterilisation programme.” If India is to effectively curb its population, it cannot happen by incentive-based or forced sterilisation programmes. Instead, as the Supreme Court suggested, the State must focus on the education and empowerment of poor women in rural areas and encourage them to make an informed choice on family planning. -hindustantimes.com

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY From Puratchi Thalaivi to Amma: Jaya Firmly Established her Political Legacy

CHENNAI: She was called Pu-

ratchi Thalaivi, or revolutionary leader, in Tamil, but by the time the end came, she was Amma, mother. Jayalalithaa’s desire to be a revolutionary leader saw her often defeated at the hustings, but in the eyes of the people of Tamil Nadu she was the universal mother -- Amma. Jayalalithaa as Puratchi Thalaivi was attempting to grow out of the shadows of her mentor and founder of the AIADMK, MG Ramachandran (MGR). The men in her life had been the source of her travails: Her father died too early and not before emptying the family coffers, and she was forced into an acting career, reluctantly, despite her inclination to study. Her acting career and her relationship with MGR is a saga of success though tumultuous, a fight even for the legitimacy of being the heir to MGR’s legacy. MGR never officially anointed her his successor. The uncertainty was the reason for her unceremoniously being ejected from his hearse, and then later the battle with his wife, which resulted in the party splitting. Her stoic battle eventually resulted in her faction emerging victorious and the two factions merging. Her political naivete was often made obvious by her flip-flops, the most dramatic of them being her decision to withdraw support to the Vajpayee government in 1998 at the national level. But at the state level too, even as late as her 2011 stint, her alliance with the DMDK with Vijayakanth and then the falling out, was typical of her political impetuosity. But the tragic physical assault on her in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1989 not just made her a bitter woman but also shaped the political culture of the State. The bitterness between the two primary Dravidian parties never ended, despite some feeble attempts towards the end. The hope is that O Paneerselvam will be able to reach across the political divide to elevate the political culture of the southern State. During this period, she was often criticised for encouraging a culture of sycophancy in the party, with party cadre and supporters in general often

People pay homage to the body of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, in Chennai.

A sea of crowd during the funeral procession of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai.

genuflecting in front of her. A common site in Chennai was the huge hoardings lining the route from the Secretariat to her residence and she was known to keep an iron control over her administration. She had a penchant for the ostentatious that landed her in a host of legal cases and the wedding of her foster son V N Sudhakaran acquired national notoriety for its ostentation. The disproportionate assets case remained a thorn in her political career even to the very end. Amma emerges Jayalalithaa emerged in 2011 as the chief minister, more as Amma than as Puratchi Thalaivi. Amma canteens, Amma Water or Amma Pharmacy have been talked about to emphasize the personality cult she encouraged, but there are other welfare measures that have made the lives of girls, widows and workers hovering around the poverty line significantly better. These schemes also built Jayalalithaa

a strong political base beyond caste or regional equations and the loyal base that MGR had built through his network of fan clubs that formed the backbone of the AIADMK. She headed a 13-party alliance in the 2011 Assembly to resurrect from near political oblivion to a position where she went it alone in the last elections. She said, of what now looks like a pyhric victory, “Even when 10 parties allied themselves against me, I did not have a coalition and I placed my faith in God and built an alliance with the people. It is clear that the people have faith in me and I have total faith in the people.” Jayalalithaa had finally come into her own. She had emerged from the travails of the patriarchal machinations that bound her life, she was firmly establishing her political legacy and she was emerging as a political leader of her own standing. Life willed otherwise. -hindustantimes.com

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December 09, 2016

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19


20 December 09, 2016

HEALTH

Winter Ayurveda: Yoga Poses, Foods & Secrets to Feel Better this Season

Wet, cold winters define West

Coast Canada, which happens to be where I call home. It’s the kind of dampness that seems to settle in around October and doesn’t leave until April. Some days it feels like the chill is penetrating your very being and warmth seems like a lofty goal instead of an achievable state. This cool dampness can make you feel sluggish and for many it can also get you down. Fortunately Ayurveda – the sister science to yoga, has some tips on following your intuition, practicing certain yoga poses, fighting the heaviness of winter and allowing you to celebrate this beautiful and festive season. In our house, all winter long, we start our day by lighting a wood fire. The actual process of lighting this fire is healing and warming. Stoking this literal fire has the metaphorical effect of stoking our own fires within. Not of all of us agree with wood fireplaces or have them in our homes, but similarly you will intuitively wake up and start the warming process, turning the heat up, making a warm drink. This is the type of intuitive activity Ayurvedic medicine says you should listen to and adhere to throughout the day. But let’s back up, what is Ayurveda? This scientific backbone to yoga is over 10,000 years old and encourages a life intimately intertwined with the natural world and the forces of nature,

You can’t control the weather but you can control what you do, how you react, what you eat.

including the change of season. This science says the alternation of day and night, the rhythmic yearly cycles of temperatures and daylight—affects us all. Being in tune with nature, you can also be more in tune with your individual constitution, or prakruti, which is comprised of three subtle energies: vata, the energy associated with wind; pitta, the energy associated with fire; and kapha, the energy

of earth and water. Winter is kapha time. With the dampness of kapha, we are more susceptible to mucus type illness (like colds) so throat opening yoga poses are your friends. Here’s a list of postures that invigorating and help to warm the kidneys and clear phlegm. 7 Poses to Practice This Winter: 1. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara): This invigorating invocation

to your yoga practice helps build heat in the body. 2. Fish Pose (Matsyasana): This supine backbend/inversion opens the throat and chest. 3. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Open your chest with this backbend. 4. Boat Pose (Navasana): Light your internal fire. 5. Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana): This supported inversion helps with stagnation and circulates

blood and detoxifies lymph nodes. 6. Locust Pose (Salabhasana): This “baby backbend” opens the chest while strengthening the back. 7. Breath of Fire Pranayama, also know as kapalabhati breathing, a practice that builds internal heat and eliminates mucus from the respiratory tract. These are rapid, sharp exhales, passive inhales, and a snapping of your lower abdomen. Try a hot yoga class and even if you don’t like a warm room, dress a little warmer for your practice, particularly for your Savasana. Next take a look at your diet. Add warmth to your body with your food. You can still eat raw foods, but try raw soups, where food is not necessarily cooked but warmed. Add cayenne to your warm water in the morning, or ginger or both combined with a little lemon. Add warming spices to your food, like cinnamon to your oatmeal or a couple sprinkles of chili flakes to your meal. Lastly, be good to yourself. Just being aware of kapha tendencies in winter will bring you more aligned with your present state and you will be able to adjust accordingly. Enjoy your warm bath at night, rub yourself with sesame oil after and snuggle a little tighter in your bed. All of sudden your winter will become sweeter and less of an endless cold cycle you can’t snap. -yoganonymous.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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December 09, 2016

Hewlett Packard & India Today Honors Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation

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necessary tools for their success. In short, ‘Ekal’ is expanding its horizon beyond basic Education, healthcare or village-development. With generous support from masses, it wants to play a major role molding the character of the nation itself. Kindly join and help Ekal through www.ekal.org.

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chchh Bharat’ (Clean India) clarion call, Ekal has embarked on clean environment campaign in several villages where the focus is on awareness and accountability of ones’s action. Himanshu Shah, CEO of ‘Shah Capital’, who has pledged $100,000 per year for several years, is spearheading these efforts. Village folks are also being trained to conserve clean water and observe cleanliness in daily functionality. For this to become a way of life, habit-changing infrastructure is being vigorously promoted with

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students each year. By next year, there would be 9 such computer-fitted van making rounds of villages and 45,000 students computer-literate, each year. They make use of spoken tutorials techniques, specially developed by IIT Bombay. Another initiative of Digital-Ekal is ‘Lok-Vidya’ or educating a common man. It provides practical information on vast number of topics related to indigenous conditions so as to improve personal health or crop output. To support and flourish this vast number of digital transactions, Ekal has erected several Internet Towers where the power is provided by solar-panels. ‘TabletComputer’ pilot program is under way in some of the villages where teachers make use of ‘Tablets’ loaded with educational material. According to Dr. Shubhangi Thakur, President of ‘Health Foundation for Rural India’ (another wing of ‘Ekal Vidyalaya’), for next year, ‘Tele-Medicine’, that remotely digitally diagnosis most common ailments, is under consideration, with help from ‘John Hopkins University’, Baltimore, USA. There is also a proposal to put the impoverished farmers directly in closer contact with the market-place through digital technology. Hampered by unsanitary conditions and lack of awareness about personal hygiene, proper healthcare in all its form is a distant call in rural life. Inspired by PM Modi’s ‘SwaRao’s Satish CA FE

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PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Kathal da Achaar (Pickled Jackfruit)

Solution Next Week

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Punjabis, kathal (jackfruit) is a very underrated and misunderstood vegetable and perhaps even less appreciated as a fruit when it is the sweetest. It is hardly the vegetable that most housewives in Delhi go to first as it is so large to manage. It is quite difficult to peel the prickly skin and then separate the pulp from the almond shaped seeds which are similar to chestnuts. Kathal is native to the Western Ghats of India, all the way down to the Malabar Coast, and also West Bengal. In Malayalee it is called chakka and kathal in Bengali. As a vegetable you have to choose a green, unripe raw kathal which has a subtle taste of its own and absorbs other flavors easily. Ripened ones are very sweet and are eaten as a fruit which tastes like is a mix of apple, pineapple, mango and banana. In North India, it is usually cooked around Holi when it is in season. Kathal is popular because its texture is starchy and fibrous and once cooked in a curry, people call it the “vegetarian’s meat” which is often compared to poultry, because of the way it crunches when bitten. The

pulp of the jackfruit is 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein and 1% fat. It is a rich source of vitamin B6 and has moderates amounts of vitamin C and potassium. Green kathal can be sautéed or cooked in a curry, but is also popular as pakoras (fried fritters) with some chutney. It can also be eaten as an achaar (pickle) which is often compared to the King of Indian pickles, ambh da achaar (mango pickle). Ingredients: • 500 gm kathal (jackfruit) • 100gm sarson da tael or mustard oil • 1 tsp rai (mustard seed) • 1 tbsp methi danna (fenugreek seed) • 1 tbsp saunf (fennel seed) • 1 tsp haldi (turmeric) • 1 tbsp namak (salt) • 1 tsp lal mirch (red pepper) • 4 cups pani (water) Directions: 1. Peel the thick skin to the inside, then cut the kathal length wise, about 1 inch long and about 1/2 inch thick slices. Discard the seeds. 2. Bring the water to boil in a pan.

Turn the heat off and drop the cut kathal into the pot, cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes. 3. Drain the water; place the kathal pieces on a large towel and let them dry completely. 4. When dry, place in a bowl, pour in some of the mustard seed oil, salt, red pepper and stir to coat well. Transfer the kathal, spices and oil into a glass bottle. 5. Pour the methi danna and saunf in a mortar and crush them with a pestle, into rough but not fine pieces. Now pour in the remaining salt, pepper, turmeric and mustard seeds and mix. 6. Pour the mixed spices into the bottle and shake well. Pour in enough oil to cover the kathal. 7. Let the bottle sit in the sun for a few days, shaking the contents throughout the day and make sure to keep the kathal coated with oil so that it will preserve the vegetable for a long time. 8. After two weeks, serve with any assortment of meals. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.

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haar with the lar has a thick inner see gest following, amb da achaar (mango d pickle) mangoes. It the sam shell that is left onto the young gre en unripe e way, kathal pickle has a hardened outer is tossed out when ea peel that tin is also very similar. g. The style of masalas (spices) for both achaars So, if you have so me mango pickle tha t is ready to be finis can use the leftover masala and mix it in he while making the ka d, you will bring in more flavor when you ad thal. This d the rest of the mu other spices. stard oil and

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KAHAANI 2: Vidya Balan’s Performance is the Saving Grace of this Predictable Thriller

Singh, the protagonist of Kahaani 2, which is not a sequel to the first part, but a stand-alone second instalment of a series that director Sujoy Ghosh is interested in fashioning. The first Kahaani had Balan play a heavily pregnant woman in search of a missing husband. It was set in Kolkata, and that was a win. Sated with the too-familiar by-ways of Dilli-Mumbai, Kolkata was refreshing. So was Balan’s playing of Vidya (pronounced, quite properly, Bidya, in good Bangla) Bagchi who quests and finds: what we got was a mostlycompelling thriller, more why-doneit than whodunit, powered by a fully rounded performance by its leading lady. Kahaani 2 has one of the best first halves I’ve seen in a while. Not one frame is wasted as the set-up is introduced and teased out: a woman with a painful past encounters a young girl with whom she senses a strange bond. What happens next is a seamless building up of dread and tension as the woman, Durga Rani Singh (Vidya Balan) tries getting close to the unnaturally silent Mini (Naisha Singh), and finds herself drawn into an ugly situation featuring the latter’s unctuous

uncle (Jugal Hansraj) and creepy grandmother (Amba Sanyal). Up until this point, we are spellbound. There is a clear sense of the trauma Durga, whom we see struggling to sustain a romantic relationship, must have faced when she herself was a child; to be little and defenceless and in the clutches of allpowerful, abusive adults is a horror that is tough to imagine, let alone to live through. Post-interval, Kahaani 2, which ranges from Kalimpong to Chandan Nagar to Kolkata, becomes a different film, reminding you in bits of the Bollywood Teen, and the Hollywood

Kill Bill. There’s an alleged kidnapping and murder, and dapper cop Inderjit Singh (Arjun Rampal) finds himself hot-footing after the elusivebut-familiar Durga, who seems to have changed names and towns. Is she is a sinner or a saint? The pace slackens. The action becomes clunky, and some glaring contrivances crop up, and the meant-tobe-humorous bits between Rampal and his rotund boss become less and less funny. A stealthy female harridan shows up, brandishing a razor blade. The subtle notes are dispensed with, and things start getting underlined. And then the film starts telegraphing its punches: you know, well before it is a wrap, how it will end. There can be nothing worse for a thriller. The one who keeps you watching is Balan. She puts behind her over-wrought turn in Hamari Adhuri Kahani and gets back to doing what’s she’s done well in the past — giving us a solid, fleshed-out character with motivations she makes us see, and feel. After Kahaani, which took us into a fresh space, this one disappoints. If Ghosh does plan on making a third, he’ll have to up his game considerably.

Dharmendra December 8, 1935

Dino Moreo December 9, 1975

-indianexpress.com

Vidya Balan is back.As Durga Rani

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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24 December 09, 2016 Rahul, Shami Expected to be Fit BY SIDHARTH MONGA

SPORTS

India Lift Sixth Asia Cup Title after Raj’s Unbeaten 73

M

UMBAI: The most satisfying aspect of the 2-0 series lead for India will be that they haven’t always had their best XI available. They have played only one of the three Tests with first-choice openers. They lost their No. 1 wicketkeeper after the second Test, and the leading fast bowler has been fighting a niggle through the series. When they went into a weeklong break, thanks to an early finish to the Mohali Test, India had a dodgy M Vijay added back to the catalogue. Two days before the Mumbai Test, though, India took to training with fewer doubts than they had in Mohali. KL Rahul, who took a blow on the arm when fielding in Visakhapatnam, was back in the nets, taking the first hit. Vijay looked in a better space as he had a long net session too. While Mohammed Shami didn’t train on Tuesday, India don’t have a major concern over him right now. India’s coach Anil Kumble addressed a press conference before the start of their training session at Wankhede Stadium, but he was confident about Rahul’s fitness. “I am sure Rahul will have a hit today and will be fine, let’s see how it goes,” Kumble said. Kumble did speak about managing Shami’s workload, though. “Workload is something that we monitor, especially Shami, because he came back after 18 months after being away from the game,” Kumble said. “It is not easy for any cricketer so that is something we are constantly monitoring. It is quite a challenge when you only have a three-to-four day gap between Test matches. And this series has gone till the last day so it is important that these guys are given enough breaks “Credit to the way Shami and Umesh [Yadav] have bowled, not just with the new ball but also the way they have been able to come back and bowl in the last hour of the day. Coming back in the third spell or probably sometimes the fourth spell, and rattling the batsmen and picking up wickets is something I am pleased

The victorious Indian team with the Asia Cup trophy

Anil Kumble praised India’s pace duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami

about.” If Shami is indeed rested, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took a five-for in his last Test, is not a bad replacement to be waiting in the wings. “It is not just the two of them [Shami and Umesh] but Bhuvi, Ishant [Sharma], all of them have contributed significantly,” Kumble said. “To have someone like Bhuvi and Ishant sitting out is a credit to the way Umesh and Shami have bowled.” Ishant won’t be available for this Test because he is getting married on December 9. A sign of India’s confidence in Shami’s fitness could be that they have not asked for a replacement for Ishant. In Mohali, India had four quicks in the squad because Shami was not a certain starter. The one compromise India will have to make is to go in without the first-choice wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, but his replacement Parthiv Patel more than made up for Saha’s absence, especially by volunteering to open when Rahul aggravated his injury from Visakhapatnam. Kumble was all praise for his wicketkeeper for the Mumbai Test. “He came in as a 16 or 17-year-old and now - when he still looks 16 without the beard - he has showed a lot of maturity,” Kumble said. “He saved the [Trent Bridge] Test match

for India. It certainly shows that if you are really putting in the hard yards in domestic cricket, never losing your faith and believing that you can come back into the Indian team, then it is possible. “I was really pleased that he could walk into the match and not just keep wicket and bat at six or seven but when he was asked to open, he put his hand up and did that really well. That goes to show not just the individual but the character of the player and to say - team comes above self. He was not worried about failing. When you are coming into the team, making a comeback after eight years, you always want to do well for yourself but here was Parthiv who was willing to put his hand up and said ‘I don’t mind opening’. And he did that really well.” If all goes to plan, India are set to make just the one change to the side that won in Mohali: Rahul coming in, Parthiv dropping down in the order, and Karun Nair being asked to wait for a longer run. India should continue with five bowlers because the pitch at Wankhede Stadium didn’t look exceptionally dry although it is expected to turn eventually, as Indian pitches are. Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

BANGKOK:

India’s dominance in the women’s Asia Cup extended as they sealed their sixth title in as many editions with a 17-run win over Pakistan in Bangkok. It was the second consecutive time India had beaten Pakistan in an Asia Cup final, having done so in 2012-13 as well. The win also ensured India remained unbeaten in this year’s tournament, which was being played in the T20 format for the second time. It was Mithali Raj who set up the win, scoring an unbeaten 73 after India opted to bat and taking them to 121 for 5. The bowlers then sent down economical spells to choke Pakistan in the chase, restricting them to 104 for 6. Raj dominated almost every partnership she featured in. She started off by putting on 24 for the first wicket with Smriti Mandhana, who contributed just 6. After her dismissal, it was the turn of Sabbhineni Meghana to play second fiddle as she made 9 in a second-wicket stand of 44. Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, the India captain, were also sent back for single-digit scores, before Jhulan Goswami’s late cameo lifted India. Goswami pinged two sixes on her way to a 10-ball 17 before perishing off the

penultimate ball of the innings. Raj had struck seven fours and a six in her 65-ball knock. Left-arm spinner Anam Amin topped the wickets column with 2 for 24 in four overs, while Sana Mir and Sadia Yousuf were economical in their respective quotas and took a wicket apiece. Pakistan scored at nearly a run a ball during the first half of the chase, but lost three wickets. Goswami had Ayesha Zafar bowled in the fifth over before Asmavia Iqbal fell in similar fashion in the next over, sent down by Shikha Pandey. Javeria Khan added 28 with captain Bismah Maroof, but could not make her start count as she was snuffed out by Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner, and Pakistan became 56 for 3. That third-wicket stand was the highest Pakistan could manage as regular wickets stalled them. Nida Dar and Mir made identical scores of 12 not out in late resistance, but both were kept quiet - neither scored a single boundary - as Pakistan fell short. India’s bowlers shared the wickets around. Bisht, who opened the bowling, took 2 for 22. Anuja Patil, Goswami, Pandey and Preeti Bose took a wicket apiece. -Espncricinfo.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


December 09, 2016

I-T Dept Rejects Declarations of Over Rs 2 lakh Crore by ‘Suspicious’ People

India Presses Iran to Award Farzad-B Gas Field to ONGC Videsh

NEW DELHI: India has nudged

Police and income tax officials with realtor Mahesh Shah, who declared Rs 13,860 crore under the Income Declaration Scheme in Ahmedabad.

A

HMEDABAD: The government will not take into account two high-value disclosures under an amnesty scheme for tax dodgers — Rs 2 lakh crore by a Mumbai family of four and Rs 13,860 crore by an Ahmedabad-based real estate businessman. The Union finance ministry said the declarations were rejected as these were “suspicious in nature, being filed by persons of small means”. According to the income tax department, the family’s case was rejected because three of the four PAN numbers were originally in Ajmer, which were migrated in September 2016 to Mumbai, the place of declaration. Likewise, Gujarati realtor Mahesh Shah’s case looked fudgy too. He had threatened to disclose names of politicians and businessmen for whom he was allegedly acting as a front. Shah, who declared unaccounted for income of Rs 13,860 crore before going “missing” and then surfacing on TV on Saturday, faced questions from taxmen through the night before being allowed to leave for a day. “The 67-year-old is a heart patient,” an officer said. The realtor, whose business interests are mostly in Mumbai, was “missing” after he defaulted on the first tax instalment

of over Rs 1,500 crore on the amount he had disclosed. He was supposed to pay the instalment by November 30 as a part of the amnesty, called the income declaration scheme (IDS). Shah alleged he was offered a commission to make the declaration, but the real owners of the money backed out before the first instalment was to be paid. In Mumbai’s Bandra, residents of Jubilee Court, Linking Road, woke up on Sunday to see a media scrum outside their building. The reason: A family, the Sayeds, in the building declared an income of Rs 2 lakh crore. The residents say they have never heard of the Sayeds living in flat number four as claimed by the official government release. They claim the flat has been vacant for several years. A resident said: “Around a decade ago, Shailesh Hingorani owned the flat and he used to run a beauty parlour. Before that, RR Vaid lived there and sold the flat around 15 years ago.” Like Shah’s, the income tax department rejected the family’s declaration. But in both cases investigations are on. The finance ministry revised the “black money” disclosed under scheme to Rs 67,382 crore, which will fetch a little over Rs 30,000 crore in direct taxes. -hindustantimes.com

Iran to quickly award rights to develop the coveted Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Videsh Ltd (OVL) by wrapping up negotiations that have been dragging on for months. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday to press for award of rights to develop the field, which was discovered by OVL, at the earliest. “Our relationship is much more than a usual (bilateral) relationship,” Pradhan said. “We stood by them (Iran) in their difficult times (US and western sanctions) and continued to buy oil from them.” He said he reminded the visiting minister of Iran’s commitment to awarding the field development to OVL on nomination basis. “I hope

It feels the $5 billion cost OVL and its partners have put for developing the field is on the higher side and wants it to be reduced. OVL will earn a fixed rate of return and get to recover all the investment it has made in the field development. India, however, feels that Iran is not making the right comparison by comparing it with South Pars field development. Farzad-B field is more complex than South Pars and has high sulphur, whose production and handling cost is additional. The field in the Farsi block was discovered by an Indian consortium led by OVL in 2008. It has an in-place gas reserve of 21.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of which 12.5 tcf are recoverable. But India initially felt deterred from investing because of the fear of sanctions imposed by the US. But with the lifting of sanctions this year, it is back discussing a master develop-

Iran is reportedly unhappy with the $10 billion plan submitted by ONGC Videsh for development of the 12.5 trillion cubic feet reserves in Farzad-B field.

they will complete the process within the agreed time-frame,” he added. In October, the two nations had pushed back the timelines for concluding a deal on Farzad-B field to February from November agreed previously. “Let me just say that I am hopeful of concluding the deal within the agreed time-frame,” Pradhan said when asked if Iran would awarded the field to OVL within this fiscal.

ment plan involving investment of $5 billion in field development and an equal amount in an liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. Iran and six world powers in July last year sealed a deal to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme in return for ending sanctions, opening prospects of Indian investments in the Persian Gulf field. The sanctions were lifted in January this year. -livemint.com

25

RBI to Soon Issue Rs 20, Rs 50 Notes; Old Notes to Remain Valid

The design and security features of these banknotes will be similar to old notes of the same denomination.

NEWDELHI:TheReserveBank

of India will shortly issue new notes of Rs 50 and Rs 20. The Rs 50 notes will be without inset letter in both the number panel while the Rs 20 notes will have inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels, bearing signature of Urjit R Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, and the year of printing ‘2016’ printed on the reverse of side. The design and security features of these banknotes will be similar to old notes of the same denomination. While there is no change in the colour at the reverse, the colour at the obverse is lighter. As a major relief, the old notes have not been demonetised and will continue to be legal tender. The government last month had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, in a bid to flush out black money. -indianexpress.com

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26 December 09, 2016 RBI Likely to Cut Rates by 25 bps as Note Ban Rattles Economy

B

ENGALURU: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to cut interest rates next week and economists are set to chop growth and inflation forecasts after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s currency crackdown rattled the economy and severely hurt consumption, a Reuters poll showed. Modi’s outlawing of high-value bank notes last month, aimed at curbing corruption and tax evasion, has

left the nation’s 1.2 billion population scrambling to exchange old notes for new and left many companies’ cashreliant supply chains in tatters. India’s economy expanded 7.3% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, making it the fastest growing major country in the world. But it could easily lose top spot if some of the more pessimistic views that suggest growth could halve postdemonetisation come true.

It could also drag inflation down. At 4.2% in October, it is below the central bank’s early-2018 target of 5%. The median forecast in the poll of nearly 60 economists this week was that the RBI’s recently formed Monetary Policy Committee will cut the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6.00% when it concludes its twoday meeting on 7 December from 6.25% now. Two-thirds of the respondents expected a cut, with 31 of 56 respondents expecting it to be 25 bps, while six predicted a deeper 50 bps reduction. One said the RBI would slash rates by 75 bps. “Given the concerns about demonetization and the slowdown it is likely to generate in sectors that have traditionally been cash dependant, such as consumption goods, the RBI will try to cushion the blow with a rate cut,” said Shilan Shah of Capital Economics in Singapore. Still, 18 analysts forecast no move next week. Only four of them were based in India, suggesting domestic banks and research houses closer to the real impact from the policy generally held a more negative view on the effects of demonetization. Consumer spending accounts for

over half of India’s output and the overnight withdrawal of 86 percent of the currency in circulation has left farmers, households and even companies struggling to meet their daily needs. The rupee has weakened some 3 percent in recent weeks to record lows. although a Reuters poll this week showed it is unlikely to continue falling. The deluge of cash pouring into banks has resulted in excess liquidity, which the RBI tried to mop up with a temporary hike to its reserve requirements last week. The poll found the cash reserve ratio will be kept unchanged at 4 percent in December. The reverse repo rate, which moves in tandem with the main lending rate and is the interest the RBI pays to soak up funds, is expected to be cut to 5.50 percent from 5.75 percent. After next week, the consensus is that a final 25 bps rate cut will come in the April-June quarter. The RBI has chopped rates by 175 bps since January 2015 on a global disinflation trend from lower energy prices and slowing growth. “With the banking system flush with liquidity, monetary policy transmission should be better in the months

ahead. We expect the RBI to use the potential impact of demonetization as a rationale for further rate cuts,” said Kaushik Basu, economist at Deutsche Bank in Mumbai. While there is no clear indication on how much of a hit growth is likely to take as a result of Modi’s demonetization drive, economists are certain it won’t be minor. All but one of the 29 respondents to a separate question in the survey said they would be downgrading nearterm growth forecasts as a result of demonetization. The vast majority of them also said the outlook for inflation would be lowered. Analysts generally agree that under the newly-formed Monetary Policy Committee chaired by Urjit Patel, the RBI’s stance has drifted somewhat away from former Governor Raguhuram Rajan’s priority on inflation towards underpinning growth. “The RBI put its credibility on the line by cutting rates the last time in October when there were still concerns that it wouldn’t meet its inflation target,” said Shah of Capital Economics, adding: “that is a clear departure from how monetary policy was run under the previous governor Raghuram Rajan.” -livemint.com

India Presses for Collective Efforts Against Terrorism at Heart of Asia Meet

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, finance minister Arun Jaitley and other delegates, poses for a group photo before the inauguration of the 6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference.

AMRITSAR: India pressed for

collective efforts on Sunday to ensure resurgent forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens in any name, form or manifestation. Neighbours of Afghanistan have a particular responsibility in this regard, union finance minister Arun Jaitley said at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in Amritsar. “There is also a need to neither differentiate between good and bad terrorists, nor to play one group against the other,” said Jaitley, who

is representing an ailing external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Taliban, Haqqani Network, AlQaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e- Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, etc. are all terror organisations and should be treated as such, he said. “End to terrorism and extremism, and adherence to internationally-accepted redlines including renouncing of violence, severing ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits and commitment to democracy and human rights are essential for successful reconciliation and lasting peace in

Afghanistan,” Jaitley said. The theme for the Heart of Asia Process this year is ‘Addressing Challenges, Achieving Prosperity’. As Afghanistan faces the challenges related to its multiple transitions,focusedandsustainedsupport will be required from all friends of Afghanistan in the international community for overcoming these challenges and achieving durable peace and prosperity, he said. -hindustantimes.com

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December 09, 2016

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December 09, 2016

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