VRI Corner

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#1


The Indian living abroad have excelled spectacularly in their chosen professions and fields by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work.

They have excelled in fields like the IT, medicine, venture capital, engineering, construction etc. to name a few.

The most important thing about the Indians living abroad is that they have retained their emotional, cultural and spiritual links with the country of their origin. This strikes a mutual chord in the hearts of people of India.

 
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vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#2
Indian-American professor Rakesh Khurana named dean of prestigious Harvard College

Indian-American professor Rakesh Khurana has been appointed dean of the prestigious Harvard College, becoming the latest addition to a long list of Indian-origin academicians assuming leadership roles at renowned global universities.

Khurana, 46, is currently the 'Marvin Bower' professor of leadership development at Harvard Business School (HBS), professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and co-master of Cabot House at Harvard.

He succeeds Evelynn Hammonds, professor of history of science and of African and African American studies at Harvard and will assume his new role on July 1.

Harvard College is the school within Harvard University that grants undergraduate degrees.

Khurana earned his PhD through a joint programme between HBS and Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1998.

Harvard president Drew Faust described Khurana as a "faculty leader who embodies the interconnectedness" of Harvard.

Indian-American professor Rakesh Khurana


"His experiences as a graduate student, an award-winning teacher at HBS, and the master of an undergraduate house give him a unique perspective on the university, and his deep respect for the liberal-arts model and the residential education will serve him well as he guides Harvard College," Faust said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Following the announcement, Khurana said he is "honoured" to have the opportunity to serve the college and work with the faculty, students, and staff to create a "transformative educational experience for our students. I am convinced that, working together, we will have a significant and positive impact on the college."

Although Khurana did not attend the college himself, he said, "one of the benefits of being a house master is that you get some window into student experiences."

FAS dean Michael Smith, who announced the appointment in an email to the FAS community, praised Khurana as a scholar and teacher with deep experience working with undergraduates and a strong commitment to the college.

He said Khurana is a "distinguished scholar of organizational behavior and leadership" and a dynamic house master who has also deeply engaged with undergraduate issues on important committees.

"He brings to the deanship an intimate understanding of the Harvard College experience," Smith said.

Harvard Business School's India-born Dean Nitin Nohria also welcomed Khurana's appointment saying his selection is a testament to his skill and vision as a teacher and scholar.

"I think the appointment is wonderful news, and I am looking forward to working with Rakesh to identify and strengthen efforts across the College and HBS that will be
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#3
[h=1]Neel Kashkari, Indian-American of Kashmiri origin, to run for California governor's post[/h]
When Neel Kashkari was drafted by the Bush administration in 2008 to oversee the massive bailout program following the mortgage meltdown, an online wiseacre quipped: "Seriously? The guy overseeing the $700 billion is named 'CashCarry'?"

On Tuesday, after declaring he will be running for governor of California, the 40-year old Indian-American whose parents emigrated from Kashmir will be hoping the name resonates with contributors and donors — not to speak of voters — whose help he will need to win America's biggest gubernatorial prize.

With little political experience and public exposure beyond the high-profile he had during the bailout crisis, he faces incumbent governor Jerry Brown, a formidable and well-heeled Democrat who already has $ 17 million in the kitty. If he succeeds, he will be the third US governor of Indian-origin, after Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and South Carolina's Nikki Haley, who are also Republicans.

Kashkari, who was born in Akron, Ohio, and lives in Laguna Beach, California, announced his intention to run in a speech at California State University, Sacramento. He cited California's public schools and economy as his motivation for running, declaring that status quo is unacceptable.




"Today, the gift of a good education and the opportunity it creates are out of reach for millions of struggling Californians...That's why I'm running for governor: To create jobs and give kids a quality education. Jobs and education. That's it. That's my platform," he said.

Kashkari will first need to get past fellow Republican challenger and California assembly member, Tim Donnelly, a tea party favorite and staunch social conservative. No Republican has won statewide office in California since 2006 when Arnold Schwarzenegger faded away. A December 2013 Field Poll found that fewer than 10% of Californians would vote for Kashkari, compared to 52% for Brown, and 80% were unfamiliar with him.

Kashkari's already put together a campaign team that includes political consultants who advised Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Money shouldn't be a major issue considering his strong Wall Street connections, although money doesn't buy California governorship. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman spent $144 million on her campaign and lost to Brown in a landslide in 2010.

A long-time understudy and associate of former treasure secretary Henry Paulson going back to their days at Goldman Sachs, Kashkari was nominated and confirmed as assistant secretary at the tail-end of the Bush administration's eight-year run in office to rescue the country from the mortgage doldrums.

"It seems a curious time to appoint a young acolyte from "The Firm" (Goldman Sachs) to run one of the most critical financial rescue programs in US history," the Financial Times' blog Alphaville observed at that time. "There is a small matter of experience. He is 35 years old and will, as the Wall Street Journal points out, gain a 'position of substantial power' overseeing Treasury's effort to buy the financial industry's bad loans and other distressed securities."

But from all accounts he acquitted himself well before leaving the government in May 2009 although the bailout was anathema to many Republicans. His role was portrayed in the television drama Too Big To Fail.

Compared to that monumental bailout task, this shot at governorship, with a primary run that will cost only about $10 million, will seem like a picnic. The big challenge will come if he gets past the primaries.

Neel Kashkari's parents, Chaman and Sheila Kashkari, are Indian immigrants originally from J&K, who took the well-trodden academic route to the US. Chaman Kashkari, who taught at the University of Akron, is now a retired professor of engineering, and Sheila Kashkari is a pathologist.

Neel himself has a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (birthplace of the original internet browser Mosaic) and went to earn a master's degree in aerospace engineering to initially take up a career in sciences. He worked as the R&D principal investigator at the company TRW in Redondo Beach, California, where he developed technology for Nasa space science missions such as James Webb Space Telescope, the replacement for Hubble.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#4
Indian woman scientist's portrait to be exhibited in Britain

Sunetra Gupta, an India-born chemist and physicist has joined the big league of female scientists like Marie Curie in a first-of-its-kind art exhibition at the prestigious Royal Society here.

Gupta, who was born in Kolkata and is now a professor at Oxford University, is among an exclusive group as part of the "Women in Science Portrait Exhibition" of the greatest female fellows of the Royal Society together with newly-commissioned drawings featuring Royal Society Research Fellows.

"It is a great honour to have my portrait included in this show," said Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford's department of zoology, working on infectious diseases.

Her main area of interest is the evolution of diversity in pathogens, with particular reference to the infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, influenza and bacterial meningitis.

"The position of women in science is being increasingly viewed as a rational problem requiring scientific methodologies to understand and improve, and I am happy to be part of such a project," she said.

She has a parallel career as a novelist as well and has written five acclaimed novels.

Gupta grew up in Calcutta of the 1970s and 80s and wrote her first works of fiction in Bengali. She is also an accomplished translator of the poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.

"Sunetra's childhood and her family's peripatetic lifestyle have had a great impact on her work, her early years were spent moving between Ethiopia, Zambia and England" said the Royal Society.

"When she was 11, the family returned to Calcutta, a city which continues to inspire her writing," it said in reference to the writer-scientist behind acclaimed works such as "Moonlight into Marzipan" and "The Glassblower's Breath".

Her fifth novel, "So Good in Black", was published in 2009 the same year in which she won the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific achievements.

The Royal Society display uses portraits by a range of artists to celebrate a few of the leading women in science titled — "does it make a difference?" including nutritionist Elsie Widdowson, astro-biologist Zita Martins among others.

The show has been curated by Uta Frith, a leading British developmental psychologist.

"Women in science have an image problem. It is not so much deciding whether they should aspire to the hard image of being a scientist or the soft image of being feminine, it is the more serious problem of invisibility," Frith said.

"This exhibition, part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition and one of the many activities it is undertaking to promote and increase diversity both at the society and within the scientific community, includes loans of works and, for the first time, commissioned d
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#5
Indian woman scientist's portrait to be exhibited in Britain

Sunetra Gupta, an India-born chemist and physicist has joined the big league of female scientists like Marie Curie in a first-of-its-kind art exhibition at the prestigious Royal Society here.

Gupta, who was born in Kolkata and is now a professor at Oxford University, is among an exclusive group as part of the "Women in Science Portrait Exhibition" of the greatest female fellows of the Royal Society together with newly-commissioned drawings featuring Royal Society Research Fellows.

"It is a great honour to have my portrait included in this show," said Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford's department of zoology, working on infectious diseases.

Her main area of interest is the evolution of diversity in pathogens, with particular reference to the infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, influenza and bacterial meningitis.

"The position of women in science is being increasingly viewed as a rational problem requiring scientific methodologies to understand and improve, and I am happy to be part of such a project," she said.

She has a parallel career as a novelist as well and has written five acclaimed novels.

Gupta grew up in Calcutta of the 1970s and 80s and wrote her first works of fiction in Bengali. She is also an accomplished translator of the poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.

"Sunetra's childhood and her family's peripatetic lifestyle have had a great impact on her work, her early years were spent moving between Ethiopia, Zambia and England" said the Royal Society.

"When she was 11, the family returned to Calcutta, a city which continues to inspire her writing," it said in reference to the writer-scientist behind acclaimed works such as "Moonlight into Marzipan" and "The Glassblower's Breath".

Her fifth novel, "So Good in Black", was published in 2009 the same year in which she won the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific achievements.

The Royal Society display uses portraits by a range of artists to celebrate a few of the leading women in science titled — "does it make a difference?" including nutritionist Elsie Widdowson, astro-biologist Zita Martins among others.

The show has been curated by Uta Frith, a leading British developmental psychologist.

"Women in science have an image problem. It is not so much deciding whether they should aspire to the hard image of being a scientist or the soft image of being feminine, it is the more serious problem of invisibility," Frith said.

"This exhibition, part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition and one of the many activities it is undertaking to promote and increase diversity both at the society and within the scientific community, includes loans of works and, for the first time, commissioned d
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#6
Indian-origin scientist chosen for UN's highest environmental award

An Indian-origin scientist, who proved how cutting emissions of "black carbon" or soot can significantly lessen the impact of climate change, has been selected for the United Nation's top environmental award.

A statement issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday said Veerabhadran Ramanathan of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California is to receive the 2013 " Champions of the Earth award", the UN's highest environmental award.

In 1997, he had co-led an international research team that first discovered the climate impact in Asia of widespread air pollution, known as the atmospheric brown cloud (ABC).

The prize is awarded annually to leaders from government, civil society and the private sector, whose actions have had a significant and positive impact on the environment.

"I am very honoured to accept this prestigious award, which recognizes the critical role of science and research in addressing the major environmental challenges of our time," Professor Ramanathan said in the statement.

A major UNEP study in 2011 of which Ramanathan acted as vice-chairman, presented 16 actions to cut black carbon and methane emissions, which, if implemented, would save close to 2.5 million lives a year through reduced respiratory illnesses, avoid crop losses amounting to 32 million tonnes annually, and deliver near-term climate protection of about 0.5 degree C by 2050.

Ramanathan's studies on the climate warming effects of non-CO2 pollutants dates back to 1975, when he discovered the super greenhouse effect of a class of halocarbons known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Translating his research into action, he had started "Project Surya" in India to phase out inefficient cooking stoves.

The report estimated that implementing these measures would help keep average global temperature rise below the internationally-agreed 2 degree C target, at least until mid-century.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#7
British Indian woman brings home-cooking to London doorsteps

Nostalgia for her own mother's home-cooked meals has led British Indian professional Shelina Dhuna to set up her own food business in London.


Indian Home Cooks offers an innovative home-delivery-cum-catering service that provides authentic home-cooked Indian food at doorsteps, anywhere in London.

"As anyone who is away from home misses their mum's home-cooked food, I felt there was a major gap in the market for authentic traditional Indian cooking that can be accessed at a reasonable price and at your convenience," says company director Dhuna, who was working as a media professional with Sky TV before taking the plunge into the entrepreneurial world recently.

"The market in Britain is under-served when it comes to fresh, healthy, authentic take-out Indian food. People are time-poor and want food at their own convenience, but are conscious about eating healthy, freshly cooked food, at accessible prices.

Indian Home Cooks, launched in February 2013, fills this gap by delivering freshly home-cooked dishes made from traditional, authentic, delicious Indian recipes and cooked using a high standard by experienced chefs at takeaway prices," she adds.

Alongside home deliveries, Indian Home Cooks' chefs provide catering for dinner parties, special occasions and corporate events. The concept revolves around a portal for chefs to advertise their home delivery and/or catering services.

Customers can view these carefully selected chefs' profiles and menus online and then order from them directly through the Indian Home Cooks website. They range from professionals to housewives working part time and offer a variety of cuisines from different regions of India.

While the chefs gain access to a broader London-wide customer platform, Indian Home Cooks get a 20 per cent commission on each order.

"The key USP (unique selling proposition) of the service is fresh, home-cooked food using locally-sourced ingredients, minimal oil/salt and no artificial flavours or colours. Dishes, very affordably priced, are cooked by experienced chefs to a high standard and in accordance with specific dietary requirements," Dhuna explains.

After an initial London base, she plans to expand Indian Home Cooks to other regions across the UK.

"Indian cuisine remains one of the most popular cuisines in the UK. I think this is because over the years many Indian dishes have been adapted to British taste-buds. However, I think we are starting to see a shift where people are realising just how delicious traditional home-cooked Indian cuisine is and once they are introduced to it, they love it."

As a professional who has been working across various sectors, including medical, information technology and recruitment, Dhuna's Punjabi roots have always drawn her towards traditional Indian cuisine.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#8
Young Indian-American girl appointed to United States Military Academy at West Point

It has been a long road from the small village in India where her parents were born, and her life began, but immigrating to the United States of America, becoming a naturalized American citizen, and on the cusp of becoming, perhaps, the first generation Indian woman cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in the Academy's prestigious 211-year history, is a "dream come true", for a 18 year old Avon, Connecticut young lady. Sneha Singh, daughter of Amar Singh of Avon, is proof that hard work, discipline, a positive mental attitude, and remaining patient and focused, can result in turning dreams into reality. Sneha, a 2013 Avon High School graduate, will enter the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point, on July 1st. Sneha will begin a 47 month odyssey that will culminate with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Sneha hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a medical doctor and plans to study in a major that will prepare her for applying to medical school.

Sneha's appointment, by the directorate of admissions board at West Point, on behalf of the President of the United States, culminated a long journey, beginning in Sneha's junior year of high school when she officially opened an admissions file at West Point. A turning point for Sneha was attending the West Point Summer Leadership Experience, a "one week" summer program that West Point offers to the top high school juniors in the country. During that experience, Sneha was able to experience "first hand", Army life. She rose at 5am for physical training, marched to all of her activities, wore a uniform, communicated with her leadership utilizing military protocol, and experienced basic military training (which included a land obstacle course, an introduction to combatives; a form of military wrestling, and firing the Army M4 rifle in a laser simulation center). Sneha also had the opportunity to attend academic classes, social functions, participate in group sports, and at the conclusion of the seminar, be honored in a formal graduation ceremony. The bonds that Sneha formed with her fellow teammates enhanced her desire to serve her country.

West Point Field Force Admissions representative major Nancy Bates, who is also a West Point graduate, met with Sneha and her parents during the admissions process and served as a mentor during Sneha's candidacy. Major Bates explained the characteristics that West Point seeks in cadet candidates and why Sneha was such an exceptional young lady and pleasure to work with:

"West Point evaluates each candidate utilizing a "whole person" concept. Over 15,400 young men and women applied during this past admission cycle, but in a typical year, only approximately 1,200 will ultimately be offered admission. Of those 1,200 candidates, approximately 200 will be women. It is a VERY competitive process. Each candidate offered admission must receive a nomination from his/her member of Congress, or a Presidential nomination (for service related candidates). Sneha received a nomination, last fall, from both United States Senator Joseph Lieberman and Connecticut 5th District Congressman Christopher Murphy. The nomination process involved submitting an extensive application package and a formal panel interview.

In addition to each candidate receiving a Congressional or Presidential nomination, they must be qualified academically, medically and pass a rigorous candidate fitness assessment. Furthermore, each candidate must demonstrate leadership skills, through clubs, teams or organizations where they lead, as well as follow. Finally, each offered candidate must successfully pass a background investigation through law enforcement. In essence, West Point strives to identify candidates that are well rounded, given the difficulty and challenges of the West Point experience. West Point cadets must possess strength of body, strength of mind, and strength of character. Sneha particularly impressed me, not only because of her diverse and accomplished background, but her humble upbringing, maturity, dynamic and personable nature, infectious enthusiasm and positive mental attitude. Some candidates may be a "fit" for West Point, in terms of their background, but may not "fit in", in terms of melding with the unique environment. After working with Sneha, I have absolutely no reservation that she will thrive at the academy."

Academically, Sneha was a top tier graduate in her 2013 high school graduating class, a National Honor Society member, and aggressively mastered Advanced Placement (college level) courses in Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Literature and Latin.

Athletically, Sneha was the team captain of her high school track team and also received several varsity letters. She was also a member of her high school marching and Jazz band. Her leadership accomplishments included being a delegate to Girls State, and serving in class leadership and officer positions in various school clubs. In her spare time, Sneha volunteered within her community and was actively involved in figure skating. Her outside interests include classical piano, writing short stories, designing computer games, and spending time with friends. In her study of American history, Sneha drew inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt, and her memorable quote "Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face......You must do which you think you cannot do!"




Despite these impressive accomplishments, receiving the appointment to West Point; a full scholarship valued at over several hundred thousand dollars, would not have been possible, without the leadership, love and guidance provided by her parents. Sneha credits her father and mother with providing her the values, moral compass, work ethic and discipline, to enable her to achieve her dream. "It was my decision, and my decision alone, to attend the Academy and pursue a career as an Army Officer," Sneha explains, "but without the love and support of my parents, I wouldn't have reached this important milestone in my life."

In accepting the West Point appointment, Sneha has committed the next 12 years of her life, in service to this country. Following her 4 years at the academy, Sneha will serve on active duty for a minimum of five years, and then an additional three years in a Reserve/National Guard unit.

Sneha's final few weeks before "R" Day (Reception Day) will be spent with family and friends, while continuing to prepare physically and mentally for the challenges she will face during Cadet Basic Training and plebe year (West Point's freshman year). In a few weeks, Sneha will grip hands with the members of the Long Gray Line, which came before her, but also leave a legacy for young women that choose to follow in her footsteps.

Notable members of the Long Gray Line include military Generals such as: Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S Grant, George Custer, William Tecumseh Sherman, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, John "Black Jack" Pershing, George S. Patton Jr., Dwight D Eisenhower, Matthew Ridgway, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, Henry "Hap" Arnold, Creighton Abrams, Alexander Haig, Maxwell Taylor, and H Norman Schwarzkopf. Countless others, following military service, have had distinguished careers in business, medicine, law, sports, politics, and science. This includes 18 astronauts such as Frank Borman and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin; George Washington Goethals (architect of the Panama Canal) Robert McDonald (chairman and CEO of Proctor and Gamble), James Kimsey (Founder of America Online) Mike Krzyzewski (head men's basketball coach at Duke) and Pete Dawkins (Heisman Trophy recipient and accomplished business executive). Several graduates are members of Congress.

What specific path Sneha Singh will travel over the next few decades has yet to be charted, but one thing remains certain as a chiseled stone....Sneha will succeed and her legacy as a future member of the Long Gray line will be remembered, and serve as a reminder that America is a beacon of hope and opportunity for immigrants from all corners of the earth.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#9
Chennai-born Indian-American elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences

Subra Suresh, Chennai-born Indian-American president of Carnegie Mellon University, has been elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a rare and highly coveted distinction within the academic fraternity.

The head of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based university, Suresh, 57, was chosen for his scientific contributions in materials science and engineering, including his work connecting nano-mechanical cell structure to disease states, according to the university.

He was also honoured for his leadership in building the worldwide scientific and engineering research dialogue through the Global Research Council, which he helped to found while director of the US National Science Foundation. The council will have its annual meeting in May 2014 in Beijing.

Suresh is one of nine foreign members elected in 2013 to CAS, a prestigious national advisory body for the Chinese government. They will be honoured at the 17th General Assembly of the CAS in June 2014 in Beijing.

He is the only current US university president to have been named a foreign member of the CAS and a member of all three US National Academies - the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences

Born in Chennai in 1956, Suresh earned his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

He then came to the US and earned his master's degree from Iowa State University, and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He did his post-doctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley, specifically the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

President Barack Obama nominated Suresh to be director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in June of 2010. He became Carnegie Mellon's ninth president on July 1 last year.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#10
Canada names park after first Sikh settler

To commemorate contribution of Sikhs in Canada's development, the country has named a new park in the city of Calgary after the legendary farmer Harnam Singh Hari, the first Sikh to tame the harsh climes of frigid Alberta province in 1909.

Alberta's minister of human services Manmeet Singh Bhullar, who was in Amritsar on Tuesday, told TOI that the park was dedicated to Hari and his family, who identified fertile farmland and set the pace of agricultural progress in the province. Manmeet accompanied Alberta premier Alison Redford on an official visit to India to set up a trade office for his province in Delhi.

With plans to enhance trade and investment opportunities between Alberta and Punjab, the two visited the Golden Temple on Monday to pay obeisance. Bhullar spoke about Sikhs' selfless service in Canada. "We have wings named after Guru Nanak Dev in almost all major hospitals in the country. Sikhs are enjoying great prosperity because of principles learnt from their forefathers, teachings of Gurus and inspiration from the divine," he said.

In reply to a question about Canada's province of Quebec where the Parti Quebecois government is likely to introduce a bill to regulate religious symbolism, Bhullar said, "Even if they introduce the bill, Canadian Charter will overrule it as it has always protected minority religious and equality rights."

Redford told media that she has signed two MoUs with Punjab government to boost cooperation and enhance trade and investment activities between the two states. "These agreements are focused on agriculture and animal genetics and would help increase trade in dairy production and piggery. Setting up of an agricultural working group is in the pipeline to encourage communication on projects of importance," said the Alberta premier.

Alberta Premier woos Punjabis

Impressed with the institution of langar (community kitchen), Alison Redford served the devotees in the Golden Temple on Tuesday. "In Alberta, I have visited many temples but visiting Golden Temple, and to see the same spirit of service and worship was an honour," Alison remarked. Referring to Redford's keenness in langar, Bhullar, in a lighter vein, said, "Alberta is a major producer of lentils and she got to see where the lentils from Canada go - in feeding tens of thousands of people every day."

According to Redford, "India is not only a big market for lentils and other products, but there's also a close commercial relationship between people in Punjab and Alberta." She also said that Alberta's large Sikh community contributes actively to political, social and business activities and thus, help making the province one of the best place to live, work and raise a family.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#11
Lord Swraj Paul second richest person in British Midlands

Soaring worldwide growth of Lord Swraj Paul's steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group, has elevated the family's worth to the two billion pound mark to make him the second richest person in British Midlands and one of the wealthiest in the country.

The family-owned company posted profits "in excess" of 50 million pounds on sales of 921 million pounds, according to the Birmingham Post which has placed him at the second position in its annual list of the 50 richest people in the Midlands region.

Operating from more than 80 locations across the world, Caparo's growing Indian businesses alone are now worth well over 1.5 million pounds, the newspaper said.

In 2012, the group played a part in the hunt for the "god particle". It supplied components and engineering expertise to CERN for the Large Hadron Collider which finally identified the Higgs boson particle.

The Caparo Group is reaping the benefits of trading with the world's fastest growing economies. A return to growth in some of its major markets - particularly India - have repaired the group's post-recession fortunes, the newspaper said.

The company saw spectacular growth until 2007 as a result of its strategy of building up a major presence on the sub- continent. The company's stated aim was to be the biggest automotive company in India.

But Caparo was hit hard by the recession and had a poor 2008 and 2009, reporting losses, racking up debt and causing its lenders some concerns. Now it has been restructured, with its US and Indian businesses operating on a stand-alone basis. Revenues from all of the companies have seen impressive growth, according to the Post.

The group remains ambitious and as economies across the world - particularly India - demonstrate enviable growth Caparo is taking advantage.

The company has three entities in India -- Caparo Maruti, Caparo Engineering India and Caparo India Private. Caparo's first venture in India was back in 1994 when the company set up a joint venture with Maruti, then India's largest car company.

Caparo's success and Lord Paul's wealth came through the meteoric rise of the Indian and Chinese economies and their insatiable demand for raw materials, it said.

Lord Paul is chancellor of two universities - Wolverhampton and Westminster and despite his wealth, he is a strict vegetarian who lives by simple Hindu principles and encourages his employees to show integrity and respect, the Post said.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#12
Indian-origin proffessor named dean of Princeton University school

An Indian-American has been appointed as the dean of the prestigious Princeton University Graduate School, becoming the latest addition to a long list of Indian-origin academicians assuming leadership roles at renowned global universities.

Sanjeev Kulkarni, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Keller Center, has been appointed as the next dean of the Princeton University Graduate School with effect from March 31, the Princeton University said in a statement.

His appointment was recommended by Princeton President Christopher L Eisgruber and approved by the Board of Trustees at their January 25 meeting, the statement said.

He succeeds William Russel, who has served as dean since 2002 and who announced in September that he would step down this year.

"Sanjeev Kulkarni will be a spectacular dean for Princeton's Graduate School," Eisgruber was quoted as saying.

"Sanj has a well-deserved reputation for excellence as an interdisciplinary scholar, a versatile administrator and a constructive colleague...I have no doubt that Sanj is the right person to build upon Bill Russel's many fine accomplishments as dean of the Graduate School," he said.

A search committee composed of faculty members and graduate students proposed the selection of Kulkarni, who joined the Princeton faculty in 1991.

Kulkarni said he appreciates the chance to serve the University and have an impact in a new role.

"Through more than 20 years as a faculty member and administrator, I have developed a very deep appreciation for Princeton," Kulkarni said.

"It is an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the University in this capacity. I look forward to working with President Eisgruber, Provost Lee, the trustees, and colleagues and students across campus to advance the mission of the Graduate School," he said.

Kulkarni, who also is an associated faculty member in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and in the Department of Philosophy, served as associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2003 to 2005.

He was the master of Butler College, an undergraduate residential college, from 2004 to 2012 and since 2011 has been the director of the Keller Center.

The Graduate School enrolls about 2,600 students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in 42 departments and programmes.

Kulkarni joins a host of other Indian-Americans who occupy top posts at reputed academic institutions.

Indian-American professor Rakesh Khurana was last month appointed Dean of the prestigious Harvard College.

In 2010, Nitin Nohria became the first Indian-origin head of the top ranking Harvard business school. In the same year University of Chicago's Booth School of Business had named Stanford University professor Sunil Kumar as its Dean.

Noted Indian-American academician Dipak Jain took over as Dean of INSEAD in March 2011.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#13
Indian helped draft Tunisia’s constitution

There is an Indian connection, a young one, to post-revolution Tunisia. Kolkata-born Riddhi Dasgupta, the 28-year-old chief draftsperson of British thinktank The Wilberforce Society, was a driving force in advising in the crafting of the nation's new constitution.

What began as a civil resistance against corruption in December 2010, the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, the cradle of Arab Spring, led to the ouster of authoritarian regime of president Zine El Abedine Ben Ali in early 2011 and eventually a democratically-elected coalition government of Islamists and Centre-Left party took over the reins of the country. And the Arab Spring spread.

The Wilberforce Society, under the stewardship of George Bangham, was asked by the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (NCA) leaders to put together a comparative-law team to draft a proposed Constitution in August 2011. The society submitted the draft in September 2012.

The new Charter, ratified in January 2014, is the first progressive document in the Arab world and presages a new era for Tunisian state's relationship with its citizens and the rest of the world. While signing the new constitution, Tunisia's president Moncef Marzouki said, "With the birth of this text, we confirm our victory over dictatorship."

A 35-member team, comprising various nationalities, drafted the most progressive constitution, keeping in mind Tunisian wishes, enshrining equality and women's rights, a balanced secularism suffused with the advantages conferred by religion, and greater diffusion of power away from the Executive than the Arab World has ever known, says Dasgupta.

"My view of international and comparative law is influenced by the cultural richness of India. As a child in West Bengal, I loved Shantiniketan and the university. What Indian life embodies. It's nice to be able to take that Indian essence, that matured in the US and deliver it to the rest of the world," he says.

Dasgupta was 12 when he moved with his parents from Lake Town in Kolkata to Washington. His grandparents were refugees from East Pakistan. Talking about the experience he says, "It's been great to be witness to history. Without the Tunisian people's help, we wouldn't have been able to produce the draft. The new Constitution moves to protect individual rights and human dignity, garner respect for religious traditions while securing secularism, and takes constructive strides against corruption."

Dasgupta graduated from Columbia University, completed master's on comparative social policy from Oxford University and followed it up with a doctorate in international economic law from Cambridge University where he was a Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar. He is now associated with University of California at Berkeley.

"We were moved by the conversations with Tunisians from different ethnic groups and economic classes in focus groups, town halls, editorial boards and village majlis: facing a range of questions. A 16-year-old girl student in Tunis had asked, 'What chance of comprehensive primary education in school does a poor Norwegian female infant born in 2011 have?'"

The multicultural tolerance and cooperation that, by and large, marks Indian society resembles the complexity in Tunisian society. This helped Dasgupta relate to Tunisians and non-Tunisians alike.

By 2011, a military coup in Egypt ousted an elected president, Libya was in turmoil even two years after Muammar Gaddafi's killing, civil war between President Assad and the anti-Syrian Regional Branch rebels and, the re-mobilization of Al-Qaida was in full swing in Syria, and the condition in Yemen was volatile. Constitutions in the making fell by the wayside.

Tunisia was the only exception to the chaos in the Arab world. In Tunisia's complex past, July 25, 2013 is a red-letter day. The sane day in 1957 had witnessed the Republic's proclamation and July 25, 2013, saw it crashing down with the assassination of Mohammed Brahmi, general coordinator of the Popular Movement and member of the NCA.

"After Brahmi's assassination, the future of the new Tunisia and its constitution looked grim. Team members were threatened. A Tunisian minister kept recalling the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in protest against corruption and his ordeal at the hands of public servants," he says.

"Tunisians have always shown exemplary courage in the face of perplexing crises worsened by religious and political tensions, assassinations and deafening uncertainty about the future. By learning from and imparting experiences to the community of nations, Tunisia will have an edge over many others," he says.

Maximilian Bulinski, Assistant Attorney General from State of Maryland, who advised the team while crafting the constitution, says, "The constitution provides Tunisians the tool to protect the foundations for a dignified life. For us, it is a lesson that has succeeded in founding the first Arab democracy of its kind."

Another member of the drafting team, Juan Zober de Francisco Rasheed from Bangladesh, says, "We examined five subject areas: Tunisian politics after the election, separation of powers, judicial independence and judicial review, individual rights, democracy and fair elections and anti-corruption. We recognize that solutions need to come from the Tunisian people and wish them best for the coming years."
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#14
NRI makes cancer treatment accessible, affordable in India

Moved by an insight gained during a vacation in India four years ago, a British citizen of Indian origin has launched an initiative that provides 22 hospitals across the country with the latest medical equipment to make cancer treatment accessible and affordable.

Shashi Kant Baliyan, who is in India for three years, recalls how his Diwali holiday here took a new turn after he attended a medical conference in Hisar in Haryana in 2009 with a friend, a radiation oncologist.

"I realized that people had to travel far for cancer treatment. Even then most hospitals in smaller towns were not equipped with the right equipment to treat them. I went back to Britain and discussed it with a few friends after which I started shunting between London and Delhi to do something concrete about this," Baliyan told IANS.

Baliyan's ClearMedi Healthcare - a joint venture between Medipass (La Repubblica group) S.r.l. Italy, KOS S.p.A. Italy and Clearview Healthcare India - providing hospitals with the best equipment for diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Hospitals, private or government-run, are also supported by trained manpower and its staff trained by specialists.

All this has helped cut costs by 50 percent or more.

"Among the equipment we supply are linear accelerators, radiology equipment and those used for nuclear medicine. We have focussed on cancer because of its high incidence in the country. Young people are getting affected by it and you cannot imagine the number of queries I get," said Baliyan, a doctor and a management professional.

According to the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, there are 2 to 2.5 million cancer patients in India at any given time.

The equipment is maintained by his company on contracts that run 15-20 years till the machine outlives its life and becomes obsolete, said Baliyan, who lives with his wife and children in Gurgaon, Haryana.

"In two years, 22 hospitals in Delhi, Hisar, Vadodara, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Patna, Indore and Gwalior have signed contracts with us," Baliyan said.

In Delhi's Hamdard Imaging Centre (Jamia Hamdard), his company has supplied equipment for MRIs, CT scans, Mammography and Digital X-Rays, while Ashwin Hospital in Coimbatore has been equipped with a Linac (linear particle accelerator used for radiation therapy).

"Other than accessibility to diagnosis and treatment, our initiative has also cut costs for patients by 50 percent or even more as compared to any diagnostic centre. An MRI scan costs Rs.8,000 in a diagnostic centre, of which half goes to the doctor. We remove those frills and charge the basic cost," he said.

"In Delhi, the cost is half. In Hisar, the cost is one-third. The patient pays the hospital directly, not to us. So, there is no discrepancy."

A CT scan in a ClearMedi-aided hospital costs Rs.1,600. Elsewhere, the cost ranges between Rs.4,000 and Rs.5,000.

Baliyan also claims not to be led by medical equipment suppliers, into whose trap some hospitals have admitted to have fallen into, resulting in largescale procurement of non-upgradeable machinery.

"We have a clear focus - of accessible and affordable medical care to people mostly in tier-II towns, and are doing our best towards that endeavour. Enquiries from hospitals in different states are coming in.

"In Jammu and Kashmir, hospitals are hardly equipped with cancer care equipment. I have been invited to Srinagar. I am also visiting Assam and a few other states. Talks are also on for a public-private partnership in some places," Baliyan said.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#15
Britain-based Indian origin designer to debut at Lakme Fashion Week

Mawi Keivom, Britain-based Indian origin accessory designer, will debut at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer-Resort 2014.

She will present creations from her latest collection Indian Odyssey during the five-day fashion extravaganza, starting March 11 here.

"I am very excited to showcase my collection in my home country for the first time. It's an honour to be a part of LakmA© Fashion Week," Keivom said in a statement.

The Manipur born accessory designer will team up with Gaurav Gupta for the March 13 show.

Gupta said he has created garments that perfectly accentuate her accessories collection and added: "I'm eagerly looking forward to presenting my collection adorned with her beautiful jewellery and accessories."
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#16
Non resident Gujarati is king of Indian spices in US

While working as a quality controller in Jefferson Electric, Chicago, in the 1960s, Mafat Patel often missed Indian food. Gujarati spices were slowly fading from his taste buds and cravings for home-cooked food was becoming a thing of the past. That is when Patel and his brother, Tulsi, started their little Indian grocery store named 'Patel Brothers' in the Windy City where most spices were sourced from Ahmedabad. Today, there are about 55 stores of the brand which sources spices from Gujarat as well as different parts of India. The 'Patel Brothers' stores can be called the Mecca of Indian spices for NRIs across the US.

Patel, 70, a native of Bandu village, belonged to a farmers' family near Visnagar. At 23, armed with a diploma in electrical engineering, he left for Chicago and pursued a degree in mechanical engineering. He also completed his MBA. But as work took its toll on his routine, Patel along with his wife and brother, realized that real Indian food was missing from their palate. The first Patel Brothers grocery store was set up in Devon Avenue in 1974. Today, this shop is ten times its size and still owned by the two founding brothers, while the business is run by Mafat's sons, Swetal and Rakesh.

"We are essentially grocers. From ingredients like turmeric, red chilli powder to snacks like khakras, gathiyas and theplas, we are a truly Indian brand and cater to almost all NRIs in the US," said Patel.

The thought of a food store came to the brothers because of pure Gujarati business acumen; "This is an industry that will never face any crisis. We have worked hard, taken loans to set up so many stores, but now the dream is to establish a hundred stores," Tulsi, the elder Patel brother said.

The company imports 90% of its goods from India, especially Ahmedabad. Everyday, two containers of products travel to various stores in the chain from India. "While 70% of our clientele comprises of Gujaratis, we have a healthy flow of American, Mexican consumers too. Indian palate appeases most taste buds," said Patel. Barack Obama, much before he became the president of America, had visited Patel Brothers to get a zayka India ka.

The brothers, who have over 250 family members in the US today, were welcome hosts to any relative who wished to set up a store under their banner. "We tried setting up a business in India but got no space in Mumbai, as that's where we first looked," he said.

In India, the veteran brothers have donated around Rs 2crore to the Kadi Sarv Vidyalaya in Gandhinagar and are also behind the Chicago township; the 160 housing units built after the Kutch earthquake.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#17
Indian-origin doctor finds ‘solution’ to problem of organ preservation

A Mumbai-born doctor could well revolutionize the world of organ transplants. Dr Hemant Thatte, a senior cardiovascular surgeon at Harvard University who was born in Dadar and raised in Pune, has worked out a 21-chemical solution that could preserve a donated organ for up to a week before a transplant.

"Preliminary studies have shown that hearts stored in SOMAH solution (as the new preservative is called) for 24 hours can be resuscitated without medicines as against other solutions that allow for only four hours," said Dr Thatte via email. In studies conducted on pigs, the solution has been effective in preserving tissues for up to a week.

Organs retrieved from brain-dead persons are stored for a few hours before being transported to various departments or hospitals for transplant. At present, hearts and lungs need to be transplanted within 4-6 hours of being recovered from a brain-dead donor, the liver within eight hours and kidneys within a little more than 24 hours.

What SOMAH—the Sanskrit name for the elixir of immortality—can do is preserve organs long enough to be transported across a large country or half-way across the globe. "Current technologies require that organs from cadaver donors be transplanted within a small window of 4-6 hours. If the transplant surgery cannot take place within that time, the available organ cannot be used. Moreover, the available organs cannot be transported long-distance for transplant and have to be made available locally. The use of SOMAH expands that small window to seven days,'' he said.

In technical terms, the preservative slows down the process of cell deterioration.

In October 2009, Dr Thatte had published a paper in the medical journal Circulation, comparing SOMAH to a widely-used preservation solution to show how the rate of cell death was lower in the former. This research suggested hearts kept in SOMAH could be stored for up to a week.

Dr Thatte believes Somah's biggest advantage is that it can be used at room temperatures. "If we physicians can maintain an organ in the same energy status it was used to before being retrieved, the organ is in a better state when transplanted. It can get into rhythm sooner," he said.

Dr Thatte has worked in Harvard for more than two decades. Over a decade ago, he synthesized a solution called GALA that could preserve blood vessels used as bypass channels during heart surgeries. GALA is in use across the US and France.

SOMAH is still a year or more away from clinical trial. Experts are, however, sceptical about its week-long claim.

A Canadian doctor, Dr Vivek Rao, from the Toronto General Hospital was quoted in local newspapers as saying, "There are thousands of solutions out there, all of which make the same claims.''

Mumbai-based cardiac surgeon Pawan Kumar said there is immense scope for progress as far as preservation of organs goes. "But we have to wait and see the results first," he said.

Dr Vatsala Trivedi, a urologist who conducted Mumbai's first cadaver kidney transplant in 1997, said SOMAH could be a boon for organ transplant if it can indeed be proved it works.

What SOMAH promises

* SOMAH, the new preservative that is a mixture of 21 chemicals, has the potential to store the heart (and other organs) for up to 7 days.

* A research paper published in the medical journal Circulation in October 2009 showed cells of organs preserved in SOMAH had a lower rate of death than in another preservation solution

Dr Hemant Thatte,
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#18
[FONT=&quot]10 Indian-Americans in race for 2014 elections in US[/FONT]

Even as the 2014 general elections in the US are still more than eight months away, as many as 10 Indian-Americans have already announced their decision to enter the race for elected public offices, including the House of Representatives.



Ami Bera, the only Indian-American Congressman and the third ever, is seeking re-election from the 7th Congressional District of California.

Another Indian-American Kamala Harris too announced her decision to seek re-election for Attorney General of California.



Republican Neel Kashkari has entered the fray for the top post of governor of California. If elected, he would be the third ever Indian-American governor after Bobby Jindal of Lousiana and Nikki Haley of South Carolina.
However, all eyes are expected to be on the 17th Congressional District of California from where Ro Khanna, the former deputy assistant secretary of commerce in the Obama administration, has thrown up a serious challenge to his own party colleague Mike Honda.



Khanna has not only raised a record amount of fund, but has also taken services of the victory team of the Obama's reelection campaign.



The 17th Congressional District has gained added attraction as another Indian-American Vanila Mathur Singh, an associate professor at Stanford University's School of Medicine, has entered the fray from the Republican Party.



While Singh has little chance of winning the seat, this would be for the first time that two Indian-Americans are contesting against each other from one Congressional seat.



Upendra Chivukula, the first Indian-American lawmaker in the New Jersey State Assembly, this month announced his intention to try his luck for US House of Representatives from 12th Congressional District of New Jersey, which is being vacated by his own party colleague Rush Holt.



Chivukula would have to win the Democratic primary this summer to bag the party?s ticket for November elections. He had lost the 2012 House elections from a different seat.



Never Give says the Iraq war veteran Manan Trivedi, who has announced to contest for the third consecutive House of Representatives election from sixth Congressional District of Pennsylvania.



Top Republican leader Paul Ryan, who was the vice presidential candidate in the 2012 elections, is receiving a serious challenge from Indian-American Amerdeep Kaleka, from the first Congressional district of Wisconsin.



Kaleka is son of the president of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin Satwant Kaleka, who was shot dead by a white supremacist in a Gurdwara shootout in 2012.
Swati Dandekar, the first Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2002, is seeking to enter the House of Representatives from the first Congressional District of Iowa. She has received quite a support from Indian Americans.



Indian-American Manju Goel is seeking election on a Republican ticket from eighth Congressional district of Illinois.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#19
Sikh man in Finland wins right to wear turban at work

A Sikh bus driver in Finland has won a year-long legal battle with his employer to wear a turban at work.

Gill Sukhdarshan Singh won the dispute against his employer Veolia Transport Vantaa following an agreement between the Transport Workers Union (AKT) and the employers' organisation (ALT).

According to the agreement, Sikhs should be able to wear either their own turban or one provided by their employer.

"It feels nice," Gill was quoted as saying by Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. "I can wear my turban at work now and that's the important thing."

Veolia had barred Singh from wearing his turban, saying it was not part of the company's uniform and that he therefore could not wear it while driving, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper had earlier reported.

A legal wrangling ensued, with appeals to the southern Finland regional administration following which organisations representing employers and employees sat together on the national level to hammer out a deal, the report said.
 

vijigermany

Well-Known Member
#20
US rejects dropping nomination of Vivek Murthy as surgeon general

The US on Wednesday rejected reports that it is abandoning the nomination of Indian-American Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, saying his name was approved with bipartisan support.

"No", White House press secretary Jay Carney said when asked if the Obama administration has abandoned its nominee for surgeon general for the United States.

Murthy has been facing problems in the US Senate for his confirmation for his strong views against the gun culture.

"Dr Murthy is a dynamic, entrepreneurial practitioner who had dedicated a lot of time, energy and passion to health and wellness," Carney said.

"As surgeon general, he will be a powerful messenger on these issues in each of the tenets of health: nutrition, activity and resilience. Dr Murthy, as you know, was approved out of committee with bipartisan support," he said.

Carney did acknowledge that the White House is recalibrating the strategy around Murthy's floor vote.

"We expect him to get confirmed ultimately and be one of the country's most powerful messengers on health and wellness," he said.

"So we're recalibrating our approach, but in answer to your question, no," the White House press secretary said.
 

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