April 17, 2012
A Publication of the Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
April 17, 2012
Join Our List
NOTE: GOPIO News is a FREE bi-monthly
newsletter of GOPIO International, based in the USA. We need your help in
reaching out more NRIs/PIOs around the world. Please go to the bottom of the
news bulletin and click the FORWARD button and type e-mail addresses of
your friends and relatives. One could also subscribe this newsletter by visiting www.gopio.net and type in the e-mail
address. All preivous issues of GOPIO News are provided at GOPIO News Archives.
If you do not wish to receive this newsletter in future, please click
SafeUnsubscribe at the end of this newsletter.
GOPIO is a community
supported non-profit organization taking up issues of the Indian Diaspora and
attempting to unifying the community in its common causes. Support GOPIO by
becoming a Life Member or chapter member. Once can become Life Member online by
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL MAKES
SEVERAL OFFICIAL APPOINTMENTS
GOPIO International Executive committee has made several appointments of its
officials and council chairs. They will serve the organization till the next
biennial convention to be held in the late 2013.
At the GOPIO International Biennial Convention 2011 in Iselin, New Jersey, USA,
elections were held on November 20, 2011 in accordance with GOPIO's constitution
and the following officers were elected (as reported in GOPIO News Bulletin December 5, 2011):
Chairman: Inder Singh (California, USA)
President Ashook Ramsaran (New York, USA)
Executive Vice Pres. Sunny Kulathakal (Bahrain,
Senior Vice President Dr. Piyush Agrawal (Miami, USA)
Subsequently, efforts have been made and are continuing to identify and appoint
suitably qualified persons to fill various vacant positions in the Executive
Committee as well as GOPIO's several Councils. GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran,
ably assisted by current and previous office bearers, began an intense effort
toward this goal.
"My objective is work collaboratively to further expand and grow GOPIO, to make
it much more globally representative as GOPIO continues its vital outreach and
service to an ever increasing population in the global Indian Diaspora," says
To date, the following appointments are confirmed:
Munish Gupta (USA, Africa, India) firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO Life Member and former Chairman of GOPIO Media Council; an accomplished
international journalist who co-founded India's top news agency (ANI) and led
the entry of private western TV channels into India including the privatization
of cricket; Chairman and Managing Editor of PIO TV (www.pioTV.com), a unique multi-media platform for Indian
Diaspora; Director of Universal Empire Infrastructures Ltd., India, a company
with diversified infrastructure interests in the emerging economies of Africa
and South Asia; program coordinator of very successful GOPIO January 6, 2012
events in Jaipur.
Rajindre Tewari (Netherlands) email@example.com
Previous Country President of GOPIO Netherlands; Secretary-General
of the Foundation for Indian Disapora in the Netherlands; managing
director of Capital Investors Intl. & Mahler Fund Management. He is active in
Asset Management & Private Equity investments; studied in New Delhi, Antwerpen,
Leiden, Amsterdam and London in technology,
real estate, management accounting , fund management, corporate finance. PIO of
Dr. Arnold Thomas (St Vincent) firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Chair of GOPIO Academic Council; formerly Ambassador to the European Union
representing Eastern Caribbean countries; President of St Vincent & Grenadines
Indian Heritage Foundation; former Executive
Director of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry & Commerce;
former professor at Brooklyn College in New York; started the first Indian radio
program in St Vincent SVG
Cross Country Radio broadcasting every Monday evening; St
Vincent coordinator of Diaspora Conference June 1, 2012.
Umesh Chandra (Australia) email@example.com
GOPIO Life Member, formerly President of GOPIO Brisbane, Australia; names as
People of Australia Ambassador by Prime Minister of Australia; he was
instrumental in the formation of Hindu Society of Queensland and formation of
Queensland Fiji Soccer Association; qnd of which he later served as President
for three years; launched Queensland's first full colour community newspaper for
the Indian and ethnic communities; Owner & CEO of Chantex Pty Ltd; resides in
Brisbane area, Australia.
Dr. Sai Giridhar (Bahrain) firstname.lastname@example.org
dental surgeon in a charitable hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore; then at Sagar
Apollo Hospital in Jayanagar, Bangalore; currently manages a multi specialty
hospital in Bahrain; designed community health programs and public health
initiatives suitable for the Indian community in Bahrain suitable to the
requirements of Indian community such as Community Relief Fund, the many medical
camps and its organizers, cost effective Health Insurance schemes, International
Patients Program; Resides in Bahrain.
GOPIO INTL. FOUNDATION
Dr. Thomas Abraham (USA) email@example.com
Abraham served as the convener of the First Global Convention of People of
Indian Origin in New York and as Convener/President/Chairman of GOPIO Intl. from
1989 to 2009. Dr. Abraham initiated several other Indian community groups in the
US including Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of New York, the NFIA,
NIAASC and SACSS. Dr. Abraham is recipient of Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award, Pravasi
Bharatiya Samman and Outstanding Alumnus Award by the Malaviya National
Institute of Technology. An alumnus of Columbia University, Dr. Abraham is
specialized in advanced materials and nanotechnology and currently is President
of Innovative Research and Products (iRAP), Inc., a Stamford,
CT (USA) based technology and market research firm.
J. Nami Kaur (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org
Member GOPIO Connecticut; Board
Member and Social Media Chair at Children's Hope India, a New York based
non-profit organization; Media Chair of GOPIO Convention 2009, 2011; Explainer
and Docent-in-Training for Public and Children's Programs at the New York
Botanical Garden; formerly Communications and Marketing Professional at IBM.
Jaswant Mody (USA) email@example.com
GOPIO Life Member; Gujarati Literary & Academic Association Life Member;
President of Association of Indians in America (AIA) - New Jersey; Piscataway,
New Jersey Planning Board Member; Secretary Asia American Heritage Council.
Netram Rambudhan (USA)
GOPIO Life Member; formerly
founding member; Vice President and Public Relations Office of GOPIO Upper New
York; Born in Guyana of paternal grandparents from Bihar and maternal great
grand-parents from Uttar Pradesh; currently employed with Banco LatinoAmericano
de Comercio Exterior S.A. as Deputy General Manager of the New York Agency.
Raj Pakianathan (USA)
Haresh Panchal (USA) - Previously Treasurer of GOPIO
George Abraham (Singapore), Chair
GOPIO Regional Coordinator South East Asia; Educated in India, Singapore and
U.S.A., formerly Executive Director and Secretary General of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry; consultant to various UN Agencies in SME development and
private sector capacity building in the Asia Pacific, SAARC, Africa and Eastern
European countries; Chairman of The GA Group on cross-border trade and
investment between Singapore and the region; launched the annual Global Indian
Business Summit in 2006 and the Global Diaspora Business Summit in 2009. Serves
on various government, civic and community organizations
Deo Gosine (Trinidad-USA); Co-Chair
Tallim Bacchus (Canada), Co-Chair
Kuldip Verma (India), Co-Chair
Dr Abraham Phillips (USA), Co-Chair
Shelly Nichani (USA), Co-Chair
Roy Budjhawan (Netherlands), Co-Chair
Dr. Sid Gautam (USA), Co-Chair
Dr Najma Sultana (USA), Co-Chair
Pritha Singh (Guyana-USA), Co-Chair
Satnarine Balkaransingh (Trinidad), Co-Chair
Dr Chandrikapersad Misier (Netherlands), Co-Chair
Naidoo Veerapen (USA), Co-Chair
Jean Sharad Sahai (Guadeloupe), Co-Chair
Christelle Gourdine (France), Co-Chair
Lajja Sambhavnath (Portugal), Co-Chair
Prof Mohan Gautam (Netherland), Co-Chair
Prof Mahin Gosine (Trinidad-USA), Co-Chair
Prof Biman Chand Prasad (Fiji), Co-Chair
Prof. Adeshpal Singh (India), Co-Chair
Dr Neerja Arun (India), Co-Chair
Prof Paul Tennassee (UDC-USA), Co-Chair
Prof Clem Seecharan (UK), Co-Chair
Dr Kumar Mahabir (Trinidad), Co-Chair
Dr Denison Jayasooria (Malaysia), Co-Chair
Prof (South Africa), Co-Chair
Human Rights Council
Dr. Parveen Chopra (USA), Co-Chair
Aminta Kilawan (USA), Co-Chair
Health Services Council
Sangeeta Ahuja (USA), Chair
Formerly President of GOPIO Connecticut Chapter; a nutritionist by education and
profession; Works as Director of Nutrition Services at Mount Vernon Community
Health Center in Mount Vernon, New York. On the staff as a Certified Diabetes
Educator at the Stamford Hospital; In private practice and a consulting
nutritionist for Catholic Family Services; On the speakers circle with Pfizer,
Bayer, Acuchek and Advanced Research Foundation; On the board of Connecticut
Association of Diabetes Educators and The Fairfield county's Center for Sexual
Assault and Crisis Services
Dr Vivian Rambihar (Canada), Co-Chair
Dr Rajeev Mehta (USA), Co-Chair
Dr. Asha Samant (USA), Co-Chair
Dr. Harish Srivastava (India), Co-Chair
Suman Kapoor (New Zealand), Chair
founding President of GOPIO Waikato Chapter and Life Member of GOPIO; Double
postgraduate, an educationist, research scholar, entrepreneur, a hospitality
professional; Director Indian Cuisine in company at New Zealand; executive at
National council of women, Waikato Graduate women, Multicultural council ,
interfaith council and Indian organizations; community advocate, serving various
boards and committees, leading positions in New Zealand.
Rekha Gupta (USA), Co-Chair
Bhagwatie Dwarika (Trinidad-USA), Co-Chair
Issac John (Bahrain), Chair
Business Editor of Khaleej Times, a leading
business journalist and respected economist in Glf region for 32 years;
Acclaimed for his invigorating and insightful analysis of global and regional
business and economic issues and trends; Won three pan-Arab media awards besides
over a dozen prestigious accolades, including Asian Achiever Award, Pravasi Ratna and GOPIO media services award;
Founder President of Kalabhavan Global and Gulf Arts and Literary
Academy; Former president of All Kerala Colleges Alumni Forum, an apex body
representing over 60,000 college graduates
J. P. Gautam (India), Co-chair
Ashok Motwani (India), Co-chair
Bina Mahabir (USA), Co-Chair
Sangita Myska (UK), Co-Chair
Rahul Verma (NZ), Co-chair
Anita Bhat (USA), Co-Chair
Priyanka Naidoo (S. Africa), Co-Chair
Silky Pruthi (India), Co-Chair
Liaison to Government of India
K. N. Gupta, Director
Liaison to US Indian
Radha Krishan, National Director
Liaison to United Nations
Harbachan Singh (USA), Director
Dr Sushila Gidwani-Buschi (USA)
Dr. Piyush Agrawal (USA), Chair
Chapter Policies & Procedures
Harmohan Walia (Australia), Chair
Inder Singh (USA), Co-Chair
Rajindre Tewari (Neth.), Co-Chair
Gadar Centennial Commemoration
Inder Singh (USA)
Jasbir Sachar (UK)
NRI/PIO Property Rights
Dr Subash Sharma (USA)
Molly Banderjei (Canada)
Mahavir Arya (Australia)
Manmohan Maheshwari (USA/India)
Prashant Gupta (India), Chair
Kolkata Memorial Committee
Ashook Ramsaran (USA), Chair
Leela Sarup (India-Mauritius), Co-Chair
Sayantan Chakravarty (India), Co-Chair
Priyanka Singh (Canada)
Tracing Our Roots Committee
Dr. Shekhar Tiwary (India), Co-Chair
Dr. Thomas Abraham (USA), Chief Editor
J. Nami Kaur (USA), Editor
Bina Mahabir (USA), Co-Editor
Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India)
Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA
INDIAN AMERICANS IN
INFLUENTIAL ROLES IN AMERICAN MEDIA
IANS Washington Bureau chief Arun Kumar has provided an analysis of Indian
Americans playing important and influential roles in US media. With two of them
governors, four billionaires and over a score sitting in high places in
government, Indian Americans not only keep making news but have also emerged as
major players in American media.
This month, Indian-born Aparism Bobby Ghosh, for instance, was named by Time
Magazine as 'Editor-at-Large'. In naming Ghosh, Time Managing Editor Richard
Stengel, called him "one of Time's greatest assets and this past year was one of
his best yet."
Indian American Fareed Zakaria is already another Editor-at-Large of Time
Magazine since October 2010 after spending 10 years overseeing all of Newsweek's
Called "the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation" by
Esquire Magazine, Zakaria hosts what has been dibbed one of the most intelligent
shows on American TV, 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' on CNN every Sunday.
Equally ubiquitous is Sanjay Gupta, the multiple Emmy-award winning chief
medical correspondent for CNN. A practicing neurosurgeon, Gupta has reported
from earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan, earthquake devastated Hauiti and
covered live the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan.
Vinnie Malhotra, a former program development executive at ESPN and long-time
ABC News producer, has just joined CNN as senior vice president for development
Last month, Raju Narisetti, credited with creating Mint, the successful business
daily out of Delhi, returned to the Wall Street Journal, where he had spent 23
years earlier, as Managing Editor of its Digital Network.
Nisid Hajari, Managing Editor of Newsweek is busy writing "Midnight's Furies," a
dramatic history of the Partition of India and Pakistan, told through the
characters of Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru, Churchill, and Mountbatten.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran is the National Editor of The Washington Post, where he has
worked since 1994. ESPN's sports anchor Kevin Negandhi is the first anchor of
Indian-American descent to be on a national sports network in American
Television history and Ali Velshi, son of Murad Velshi, the first Canadian of
Indian origin elected to the legislative assembly of Ontario, serves as CNN's
chief business correspondent.
Other names include Davan Maharaj, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times;
Stephanie Mehta, Fortune Magazine, Executive Editor overseeing technology, and
Nikhil Deogun, Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief Business News, CNBC,
the most-watched business TV network in the world.
Peter Bhatia, editor of The Oregonian, one of America's top regional newspapers,
is the first South Asian to run a major US daily.
Hundreds of lesser known Indian Americans are among the producers, reporters,
copy editors and production assistants, bringing Americans their daily news
-showing how far Indian-American have come in the media world where only a few
of them commanded bylines in the 1990s.
Courtesy - IANS
STATUS OF 'OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF
INDIA' CLARIFIED BY UK FORIEGN OFFICE
The news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) has reported that responding to
concerns of British citizens holding the status of 'Overseas Citizen of India'
(OCI), the UK Foreign Office has clarified that when such citizens are in India,
they will continue to be treated as British citizens and offered consular
assistance if required.
A large number of people of Indian-origin have acquired OCI status after being
naturalised as British citizens in the UK. The scheme launched by the Indian
government in December 2005 has been welcomed by the Indian Diaspora.
The Foreign Office has confirmed in a letter to a London-based solicitors
company, Freemans Solicitors, that when OCI holders are in India, they will
continue to be treated as British citizens and will be entitled to consular
The letter by Louse Edwards from the Consulate Directorate of the Foreign Office
says that the OCI status does not affect a person's nationality under
international law. "Our understanding is that the Indian authorities would not
consider a British citizen holding OCI to be a dual national, although this is a
matter for the Indian authorities. Therefore, for the purposes of consular
assistance, they would be treated as a British national and would be eligible
for the consular assistance," Edwards writes in the letter available online.
Registration as OCI entitles them to several benefits, such as multi-purpose
lifelong visa, exemption from registration with the police and parity with
non-resident Indians in financial and economic matters.
However, many OCI holders were not clear about their status while in India, and
were concerned whether they would be treated as British citizens in India and
extended consular assistance if required.
The OCI status is granted in the form of a booklet, which is not to be
understood as a 'passport', which is issued to Indian citizens. During the
period an OCI is in India, the person is subject to Indian criminal/civil laws.
OCI holders cannot vote or contest elections, nor hold any constitutional post
or enter into employment with the Indian government. An OCI can acquire Indian
citizenship again by renouncing the citizenship of the foreign country after
five years of being granted the OCI, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Courtesy - PTI
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND
GOPIO-CT TO HOST AWARDS
BANQUET ON APRIL 28TH
GOPIO-CT will celebrate its sixth anniversary at the Italian Center of Stamford,
honoring five Indian Americans for their achievements and contributions at an
Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 28. They are: Mr. Vivek Maru, Dr. Faquir Jain,
Ms. Chandra Prasad, Ms. Neena Singh and Ms. Malika Bhandarkar. Dr. William
"Vijay" Pinch will be honored with a Friend of India award.
Mr. Vivek Maru is Chief Executive officer of Namati, an international
organization that tests the potential of legal empowerment through innovative
interventions and research. Mr. Maru is recognized in the category of Social
Entrepreneur. Dr. Faquir Jain, professor in the Electrical and Computer
Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut is being recognized in
the category Applied Science and Research. Ms. Chandra Prasad is a
multi-talented writer whose work has received praise in Booklist and USA Today.
Ms. Prasad is recognized in the category of Arts and Letters. Ms. Neena Singh is
being recognized for her community service here and in India.
President's Young Person Award goes to Ms. Malika Bhandarkar, an accountability
expert who influences decision makers at all levels to amplify the message "Women Count for Peace".
of India Award goes to Dr. William "Vijay" Pinch, professor of History and Chair
of the History Department at Wesleyan University.
Over the last six years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become
an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy
makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking
workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better
Tickets can be bought online at
Buy Non-Member Ticket $75
Buy Member Ticket $65
Buy Life Member Ticket $55
Contact: Shailesh Naik, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 914-409-2552 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
GOPIO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ELECTS
membership elections were held on 25th March, 2012 to elect new officers. The Presiding
Officer was Adam Rampersad who is not affiliated with GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago
Results of the elections are as follows:
Vice President: Oscar Ramoutar
Secretary: Shivanie Ramcharitar
Assistant Secretary: Pamela
Treasurer: Shaheed Mohammed
Public Relations Officer: Karran Nancoo
decisions taken at the 25th March,
2012 meeting following the elections include: Retaining an internal auditor;
Re-instatement of annual chapter fees of $25 TnT; Change of GOPIO Chapter
registration with the new officers; regular monthly meeting
for executive members on the first Tuesday of each month and general membership
meeting on a quarterly basis.
Contact: Ena Maraj (President) or Shivanie Ramcharitar (Secretary) at email@example.com
Photo (l-r) - Back row: Karran
Nancoo (Public Relations Officer), Shaheed Latiff Mohammed (Treasurer), Oscar
Ramoutar (Vice President). Front row: Shivanie Ramcharitar (Secretary), Pamela
Mangroo (Assistant Secretary), Ena Maraj (President)
GOPIO-SYDNEY WEST PROVIDES
WINTER CLOTHES FOR A RURAL SCHOOL IN VILLAGE GANJA IN PUNJAB
Mr Harmohan Singh Walia, Chairperson, GOPIO's Committee on Chapter Policies &
Procedures travelled all the way from Sydney to India to provide winter
clothing, shoes, socks and ceiling fans in all classrooms for kids of Govt.
Middle School, Ganja, Distt. Gurdaspur on 24 February 2012. GOPIO Sydney North
West chapter collected funds on December 24th,
2011 at Sapphire Function Centre, Auburn. This event has left a lasting legacy
for the students of this selected school by providing them with well needed
Mr. Walia was welcomed by the school management as Chief Guest and school
children performed cultural program for over two hours. To witness this event,
local authorities, Mr. Hardeep Singh Chahal, District Education Officer; Mr
Inderjit Singh Bagi, Ex-Chairman Punjab Tourism Development Corporation; Mr
Jaskiran Singh, Principal SSM College and Mr Prem Khosla, President Bhartya
Vikas Parishad were present along with parents and local prominent dignitaries.
Mr. Walia informed the gathering that this is one of the objectives of GOPIO in
Australia to help under privileged schools in India. Last year a rural school in
Zira, Distt. Ferozepur was provided with a hand pump for clean drinking water
and warm clothes like this time. GOPIO Australia had helped earlier victims of
floods in Bihar & Fiji, tsunami in Samoa, earthquake in Indonesia, Victoria
Bushfire, attacks on Indian students in Sydney are some of the examples.
Photo Above: Studetns performing during the visit of GOPIO's Harry Walia at
Ganga Middle School.
Mr. Walia said that GOPIO Sydney North West Chapter members namely Prof. Balkar
Singh Kang, Neeru Singh, Ravinder Singh, Rajvinder Singh, Aman Singh, Harinder
Kaur, Baljit Singh Pelia and Harminder Singh were at the forefront to make it a
Contact GOPIO-North West:
Ravinder Singh, President, Tel: +61-433-179-303, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or Aman Singh, Secretary,
Tel: + 61-433-512-519, E-mail:email@example.com
GOPIO-CT OFFERS HINDI CLASSES
FOR PRE-K AND KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN
Session 1: 4/15/2012 - 6/8/2012 (15 classes)
Time: Fridays 1:30-2:30p, Sundays 9:00-10:30p
Place: Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
The format will be 2x/week, with a 90 minute class on Sunday morning, and a 60
minute class during the week. In addition to class time, the teacher will also
be giving homework/activities to kids to work on during the week. For those
kids that can't make the weekday class, the teacher will give additional work so
everyone is on the same page.
The session will run 8 weeks, from 4/15 - 6/8, with 2 classes per week. Classes
will be drop-off and held at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut
Class will be limited to 8 students in the Pre-K/Kindergarten level.
Ms. Vaishali Akole will be the teacher. She has been tutoring students and
adult for the past several years.
Please contact Mrs. Nisha Arora of GOPIO-CT at firstname.lastname@example.org if
interested in the program.
GOPIO HOLLAND HOLDS CONFERENCE
ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP & MANAGEMENT
GOPIO of Netherlands held a 1-day conference on "Transformations in
Entrepreneurship, Management and Society" on March 17th 2012 at the Nyenrode
Business University in Breukelen, The Netherlands. The moderator was Ir. Manish
Dixit, GOPIO of Rotterdam.
For more info and future
programs, contact: Ilse Dannen (Event Coordinator) +31(0) 26-369-1109,email@example.com, Web: www.gopioholland.nl
GOPIO SYDNEY ORGANIZES YOUTH
ACHIVERS AWARD - GYAN 2012
On 4th March, 2012, the heaving pioneer hall
at Castle Hill in Sydney with 400 people had a magnificent evening in many ways
.This was the evening when 41 high achievers of Indian origin youth and from the
community in the fields of academics, sport, media, community services, art and
culture, language, drama, film and music were recognized by GOPIO Sydney. Before
the impressive audience of distinguished guests, proud parents and
encouraging community members, the talented bunch of individuals were applauded
for their hard work, grit, determination and talent. The organization for making
this very special evening possible was GOPIO Sydney who is a trendsetter of
these awards night since 2010.
The students and guests were welcomed with traditional Teeka Ceremony at the
door. The people were fascinated by the bagpiper playing the pipe to welcome
them in his own inimitable style. The evening began with the traditional lamp
lighting followed by the welcome note of Lucky Singh, president GOPIO Sydney.
"I am both, proud and humbled to stand before you tonight, confident in the
knowledge that we are building something remarkable together when we greatly
value this extremely special occasion where we acknowledge, encourage & most
importantly promote the positive achievements of our young achievers of Indian
origin," said Lucky.
"These awards provide a great opportunity and give important recognition to our
leaders of tomorrow," Lucky added and congratulated all the high achievers and
their proud parents and wished them all a great future ahead.
Umesh Chandra, International coordinator of GOPIO Oceania/Pacific region
addressed the audience and read the message of GOPIO International president Mr
Ashook Ramsaran from New York. He congratulated the president for her team
efforts. GOPIO International chairman Mr Inder Singh's message was read by Rohit
Photo above: GOPIO Sydney 2012
Gyan 2012 Inauguration by Vice Consul Harjeet Singh Sethi
guest for the evening Harjeet Singh Sethi, Vice Consul at Sydney Indan consulate
who applauded and praised the efforts of high achievers. Other guests for the
evening were Matt Kean MP for
Hornsby, representing Premier of NSW, Nathan
Rees, former premier NSW representing
leader of the opposition NSW, Mr
Nihal Gupta, Chairman NSW Multicultural business advisory panel, Anupam Sharma,
Producer/Director and advisor of Indian Cinema, many MPs and councilors of Labor and
The evening was led by Radio jockey of Sursangam, Nitin Madan assisted by Manju
Mittal and Shaizy Singh. Gautam Koul from Canberra added spice to the evening by
asking witty questions to the high achievers. The caliber of all the high
achievers was outstanding. The students bagged trophies and gifts sponsored by
The Good Guys-Nash Patel and the Astrolab. The two All Rounder awards went to
Proteek Roy Chowdhry and Divyansh Saxena and both of them received Tablets
sponsored by Value world and Poonam's - The Fun House.
Photo above left: GOPIO-Sydney Gyan 2012 award recipinet with Umesh Chandra (in
the middle) and Lucky Singh (extreme right) and other digntaries; Photo above
right: Swamy Army Team with GOPIO-Sydney Joint Secretary Sukhjinder Rajput.
The other awards were- Pallavi Sinha for community services, Sonia Sadiq for
Art& Culture, Rajpal Sandhu for Literature, Sonu Sarda for education, Lady of
the Media- Kumud Merani, Woman of the year- Mala Mehta for promoting Hindi
language, Friends of India- Michelle Rowland MP, who sponsored all the awards
for the third consecutive year and Life time Achievement Award went to Bawa
Jagdev Singh OAM for his community services.
Harpreet Singh from Punjab Times and Anuj Kulshreshtha from Hindi Gaurav were
also acknowledged for their ongoing support and official media partners of GYAAN
The award ceremony was followed by a short entertainment program
that was mostly presented by the high achievers. The Shakespearean dance by
Shefali Chaukra, the locking and popping Bollywood dance by Gautam Koul, the
mesmerizing song of Gulnav Hora, the best Bhangra group of Sydney by Karan
Multani and Palaks dance enthralled the audience. While on the other hand
Niharika and Gargi captivated the audience with their spellbound traditional
form of dances.
Maya da Dhaba, also the platinum sponsor of the night had laid out a sumptuous
dinner, followed by an auction; return air ticket to India sponsored by the
Silver sponsor Best & Less Travel and a poster signed by Sachin Tendulkar
sponsored by Swamy Army.
Sukhwinder Rajput, the joint secretary of GOPIO Sydney closed the evening by
acknowledging and thanking everyone.
GOPIO Sydney team to put together the program inclueded of Dr. Lubna Thomas,
Bhupinder Chhibber, Rajat Midha, Sukhwinder Rajput, Manmohan Singh, Suresh
Sharma, Balbir Singh, Satpal Dhingra, Harpreet Singh, KL Dhingra, Himmat Singh,
Poonam Chhibber, Kuldeep Kaur, Rosina Sharma, Shivdev Kler and last but not the
least GOPIO Sydney's president Lucky Singh. All in all, a noteworthy evening.
GOPIO Sydney encourages
students of Indian origin to apply for GYAAN awards after their HSC exams in
December each year at their website www.gopiosydney.com.au.
Contact: Lucky Singh, GOPIO-CT President, Tel: +61 434631379, or 02 88090872, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOPIO OFFICIAL VISITS PUNJAB
UNIVERSITY WHICH ANNOUNCES CENTER FOR DIASPORA STUDIES
Mr. Harmohan S
(Harry) Walia, Chairperson, GOPIO's Committee on
Chapter Policies & Procedures delivered a lecture on "Personality Building and
Introduction to ISO 9001" to MBA students at Punjab University. Mr. Walia also
met Vice Chancellor Dr. Jaspal Singh and suggested opening an Indian/Punjabi
Diaspora Studies Program at the University to which he agreed. Dr. Manjit Inder
Singh of the English Department is now serving as the Director of Center for
Diaspora Studies at the university.
letter to GOPIO, Dr. Singh wrote that the new Centre would engage in research
and advanced studies on Indian/Pubjabi Diaspora. The aim is to carry out
interdisciplinary research and highlights iinformaiton about the achievements
and important facets of its experience in various disciplines/areas of study.
Besides, the Centre also aims to focus on professional, business, and
socio-cultural activities of Indians abroad by holding lectures, conferences,
conclaves and seminars in near future. The Centre solicits valuable inputs,
information, guidance and all possible help from all those interested in above
academic and cultural fields.
Photo above: Harry Walia with Prof. Manji Inder Singh
Contact: Prof. Manjit
Inder Singh, Director, Centre for Diaspora Studies, Punjab University, Patiala,
India; Tel: +91-9815952550, 0175-3046550 (O), E-mail: email@example.com or Harmohan
S (Harry) Walia,Chairperson, GOPIO's Committee on Chapter Policies &
Procedures, Sydney, Australia, Tel: +61-402 842 375.
GOPIO CONVENES DIASPORA
CONFERENCE IN ST. VINCENT - JUNE 1-3, 2012
The Indian Diaspora in Caribbean Regional will be held in St. Vincent on the
weekend of June 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2012 on the theme "The Indian Diaspora in St.
Vincent and the wider Caribbean". The
conference will coincide with Indian Arrival Day in St. Vincent on June 1st
which has been formally recognized by St Vincent and the Grenadines Parliament
The conference aims to bring together academics, scholars, students, teachers,
organizations and people with an interest in the Indian Diaspora in the
Caribbean to discuss their research findings. Space will be provided for less
formal presentations from activists and practitioners in the field in order to
contribute to the limited store of public knowledge on Indians in the St.
Vincent. Possible presentation topics can include, but are not limited to
conversion, resistance, discrimination, politics, history, family histories,
migration, literature, gender, oration, performance, art, sports, recreation,
accommodation, survival, the media, etc. At least a quarter of the paper to be
presented must deal with Indians in St. Vincent.
The St. Vincent Chapter of GOPIO (The Global Organization of People of Indian
Origin) will be the main host and organizer of the conference. The tentative
program is as follows:
Friday June 1- ceremonial
opening at 6.00 p.m. with a feature speech, concluding with cocktail reception
Saturday June 2 - all-day presentations from 9.00 a.m.
to 5.00 p.m., concluding with a cultural show and/or film screening beginning at
Sunday June 3 - all-day island guided tour that
would include tangible, intangible and natural heritage and historical sites
such as monuments, museums, beaches, events, ceremonies and activities.
Call for Papers on Indian Diaspora Conference in St. Vincent
abstracts of 200 words and brief
biodata (via MS Word attachment) by April, 1, 2012 to
Dr. Arnold Thomas in St.
Vincent - firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dr. Kumar Mahabir in
In the Subject line, please type "St Vincent Indian Conference". The deadline date
for the submission of the full paper is May 1, 2012.
Contacts: Dr. Arnold
Thomas in St. Vincent (GOPIO Regional Coordinator, Caribbean) email@example.com, Dr. Kumar Mahabir in
Trinidad (Assoc Prof, University of Trinidad & Tobago & Co-Chair, GOPIO Academic
Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW JERSEY DEPUTY SPEAKER
UPENDRA CHIVUKULA TO RUN FOR US CONGRESS
Indian-American politician and Deputy Speaker of New Jersey State Assembly,
Upendra Chivukula is all set to run for the US House of Representatives in the
ensuing national elections slated for November, 2012.
A recipient of GOPIO Community Service Award in 2009 and Pravasi Bharatiya
Samman in 2010, Chivukula, has been the member of New Jersey State Assembly
since 2002 and its deputy speaker for the last five years. The Democratic Party
leader represents the state's 17th Legislative District of Somersett. He will be
running for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District. Currently held
by Republican Congressman Leonard Lance who got elected first time in 2008 and
re-elected in 2010 to represent New Jersey's 7th Congressional District.
Elections, to be held on November 6, are due for another two-year term.
Upendra holds the proud distinction of being the first Indian-American elected
to the New Jersey Legislature, and only the fourth Indian-American to be elected
to a state legislature.
"There are a lot of factors favorable in my side. Incumbent Lance is facing a
primary challenge within the party and no one knows who will get the nomination.
New towns have been added to the district changing the demography thanks to the
reorganization of districts.
"Moreover, Lance had moved to right of center in his policies that has angered
many voters and created a strong displeasure in the community," Chivukula said.
He said major state Democratic organizations was supporting him and he does not
anticipate a primary challenge. Prior to his tenure in the state Assembly,
Chivukula served on the Franklin Township Council from 1997 to 2005. He was
elected mayor there in 2000 after serving as deputy mayor in 1998.
"America is a great country. It gave an opportunity for an immigrant like me,"
said Andhra Pradesh-born Chivukula, who came to the US when he was 24, to pursue
"America has been a great home for me, and our country has been at the top for
many, many years. Unfortunately, the country us facing many challenges that
affect the middle class. In the Capitol, there are far many people who are
obstructionist rather trying to solve the problems facing Americans."
TOP INTEL PRIZE GOES TO
INDIAN AMERICAN STUDENT NITHIN TUMMA
Nithin Tumma, 17, of Fort Gratiot, Mich., won the top $100,000 prize from the
Intel Foundation for his research, which could lead to more direct, targeted,
effective and less toxic breast cancer treatments.
He analyzed the molecular mechanisms in cancer cells and found that by
inhibiting certain proteins, we may be able to slow the growth of cancer cells
and decrease their malignancy.
Tumma is first in his class of 332, a varsity tennis player and a volunteer for
the Port Huron Museum, where he started a restoration effort for historical and
Another Indian American student Neel Patel (Geneva, Florida ) got to the 6th
Place with $25,000 prize. Patel, 17, studied how non-speech sound patterns,
called sonifications, can convey information. This work could lead to a
computer-user interface similar to graphic interfaces developed decades ago.
Yet another Indian American student reached to the 7th Place. Anirudh Prabhu, of
West Lafayette, Indiana, received a $25,000 award for his investigation of the
odd perfect number problem, and his suggestion that odd perfect numbers do not
INDIAN AMERICAN NOBELIST
AMARTYA SEN RECEIVES HUMANITIES AWARD FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA
Harvard professor and 1998 Nobel Prize winner in economics
Dr. Marya Sen has been recognized with the National Medals of Arts and
Humanities award by the US President Barack Obama at a glittering White House
"We even have an economist, which we don't always get on stage," Obama said
referring to 78-year-old Sen, before he presented the 2011 National Medal of
Arts and National Humanities.
"Sen is being awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his insights into
the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice. By applying philosophical thinking
to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and
increased our understanding of how to fight hunger," said the citation, read by
a military aid of the US President. Few minutes later, Sen was on the stage to
receive the medal from Obama.
Sen also attended the White House reception hosted by President Obama on this
occasion. The First Lady, Michelle also attended the awards ceremony.
The 2011 National Medal of Arts were also awarded to Will Barnet, Rita Dove, Al
Pacino, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Martin Puryear, Mel Tillis, United Service
Organization and Andr? Watts. And the 2011 National Humanities Medal were given
to Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Andrew Delbanco, National
History Day, Charles Rosen sand Teofilo Ruiz besides Sen.
INDIAN AMERICAN FILMMAKER
MANAN SINGH KATOHORA RECEIVES 2012 RISING STAR AWARD
Indian American filmmaker
Manan Singh Katohora has won the "2012 Rising Star Award" for his feature film
"8 Eleven" at the Canada International Film Festival.
Held in Vancouver, British Columbia, the festival brought the very best of World
Cinema from over 90 countries around the world. It is dedicated to the creation
of opportunities for the artistic interaction and exchange among independent
filmmakers and the film-going community.
Written and Directed by Katohora, "9 Eleven" portrays the life of 10 people who
belong to different walks of life.
Though each individual has achieved a measure of success in their individual
lives, their darkest secrets come out in the open when all of them are given
some time for introspection, when they meet each other in a bizarre twist of
They realize that their lives are inter-woven and this literally shakes up
their... peaceful lives. Terrorized to the core by an unknown entity in an
unfamiliar place, each individual is petrified and is hesitant to talk or take
each other into confidence for one simple reason... The Fear of the Unknown!
The film "9-Eleven" is a fast paced thriller with undertones of terrorism.
Terrorism need not be political, "ideologically" generated or xenophobic.
Kashmera Shah features in an item number composed by 'Dilwaale Dulhania Le
Jaayenge' fame music director Jatin Pandit.
TEN INDIAN AMERICAN
RESEARCHERS NAMES 2012 SLOAN RESEARCH FELLOWS
Ten Indian American researchers -Tulika Bose, Neal K. Dalal, Neil K. Garg,
Shwetak N. Patel, Parag Pathak, Prasad Raghavendra, Srinivas Raghu, Sohini
Ramachandran, Sylvia Ratnasamy and Satinder Kaur Singh - were recently named
recipients of the prestigious 2012 Sloan Research Fellowships.
The Sloan Research Fellowships program was established in 1955 to provide
support and recognition to scientists, often in their first appointments to
university faculties, who were endeavoring to set up laboratories and establish
their independent research projects with little or no outside support.
The awards include $50,000 for each honoree's university over two years for
equipment, travel, technical assistance and other support directly related to
the winners' research.
Bose, assistant professor at Boston University, received her Ph.D. in
experimental high energy physics from Columbia University in 2006. Her
post-doctoral research at Brown University focused on direct searches for new
phenomena at the DO experiment at the Fermilab Tevatron and at the Compact Muon
Solenoid experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.
Dalal, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Illinois, received
his doctorate in astronomy from the University of California, San Diego, in
2002. He received a Hubble Fellowship from the Space Telescope Science Institute
and was a senior research associate at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical
Astrophysics before he joined the faculty at the U of I in 2011.
Garg, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, received his
Ph.D. in 2005 from the California Institute of Technology. He completed his
training as an NIH postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Irvine,
and later joined UCLA in 2007. His research program at UCLA focuses on the
development of synthetic strategies and methods as well as the synthesis of
Patel, an assistant professor in the department of computer science and
engineering and electrical engineering at the University of Washington, received
his Ph.D. in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008.
His most recent research focuses on building low-cost sensing systems for the
Pathak, associate professor of economics at MIT and research associate in the
NBER's pro?grams on Education, Public Economics and Industrial Organization,
received his A.B., S.M. and Ph.D. in 2007 from Harvard University. His research
focuses on evaluating student assignment systems and has helped with New York
City and Boston school assignment mechanisms.
Raghavendra, assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology,
received his Ph.D. from the computer science and engineering department at
University of Washington, Seattle. He received his dual degree in computer
science from IIT Madras. His research interests include approximation
algorithms, hardness of approximation, complexity, and coding theory.
Raghu, assistant professor of the department of physics at Stanford University,
received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 2006. His research
interests include theoretical condensed matter physics, unconventional
superconductivity, correlated electron systems, and topological phases of
Ramachandran, assistant professor of biology, ecology and evolutionary biology
at Brown University, received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in biological
sciences in 2007. There, she worked on human population genetics. Ramachandran
was elected to the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2007 and did postdoctoral work
while studying coalescent theory.
Ratnasamy, assistant professor of computer science at the University of
California, Berkeley, received her Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley in
2002. As a second-year Ph.D. student, she was appointed to the ICSI Center for
Internet Research, in Berkeley.
Singh, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School
of Medicine, received her B.S. from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and her
Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2002. Her lab seeks to find out how
signaling proteins in neural circuits function at the atomic level, how
disease-associated polymorphisms disrupt activity and how therapeutic and
illicit compounds exert their effects.
SEEBARAN IS CROWNED MISS INDIA WORLDWIDE
In a glamorous and glittering function, Alana Seebarran of Guyana was crowned
Miss India Worldwide 2012 held in Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname,
February 25, 2012. The pageant was held for the first time in South America with
the maximum country participation. Alana won the coveted title beating beautiful
contestants from 34 countries.
Alana, 24, is a student of Business and Marketing and her hobbies include
listening to music, traveling, cooking and dancing. Alana's dancing also won her
the title of Miss Talented. This is for the first time Guyana has won the crown
in the pageant's twenty one year history. Alana will receive prizes totaling
over $15,000, including cash prize of $7,000, an all-expense paid trip to South
Africa, India, Suriname, Trinidad, India, Netherlands and USA among other
prizes. Alana was crowned by Ankita Ghazan of Australia, the outgoing Miss
India Worldwide in presence of Bollywood actors Aftab Shivdasani and Aarti
Chabria, a former Miss India Worldwide.
Anvita Sudarshan, 21, of Kuwait and Olivia Bourillon,18, of Australia were named
first and second runners-up respectively. The other two finalists were Deana
Uppal of United Kingdom and Varsha Ramrattan of Suriname. The other sub contest
winners were Uraysha Ramrachia of Mauritius for Miss Photogenic, Chandan Kaur of
U.S.A. for Miss Beautiful Eyes, Shreyaa Chawla of Canada for Miss Beautiful
Smile, Ankita Arora of Italy for Miss Beautiful Hair, Varsha Ramratan of
Suriname for Miss Beautiful Skin, Sharmisttha Yoogan of Malaysia for Miss
Congeniality, Deana Uppal of United Kingdom for Miss Bollywood Diva, Lizann
Afonso of U.A.E. for Miss Catwalk, Eram Karim of India for Miss Beautiful
Figure, Anvita Sudarshan of Kuwait for Miss Beautiful Face and Veebha Sharma of
Qatar for Chairman's Miss Professional.
The week long activities included a reception dinner hosted by His Excellency
Desire Delano Bouterse, President of the Republic of Suriname for the
contestants and all international guests at the President's Palace. Bollywood
Film Festival, Indian Food Festival, International Fashion Show were also part
of the week long celebrations.
The international panel of judges included judges from different countries
including Bollywood Actor - Aftab Shivdasani.
"The pageant was altogether a great experience. All other contestants were very
well prepared which made the competition very rewarding as well as challenging,"
said Rameet Sandhu, contestant from Scotland.
Dharmatma Saran, Founder of the Miss India Worldwide and GOPIO Life Member,
thanked Anil Ramhit Doebe, Namita Ajodhia and their entire team for organizing
an excellent pageant. He also presented The National Director of the Year Award
was to Chandini Ramnarain of Guyana.
The next Miss India Worldwide is scheduled to be held in Malaysia in 2013.
PRESIDENT OBAMA APPOINTS
INDIAN AMERICAN PAULA GANGOPADHYAY AND SONNY RAMASWAMY TO KEY ADMINISTRATION
US President Barak Obama has announced the appointment of two
eminent Indian Americans - Paul Gangopadhyay and Sonny Ramaswamy to key posts in
the administration. While Gangopadhyay has been nominated Member of the
prestigious National Museum and Library Services Board, Ramaswamy has been
appointed Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in US
Department of Agriculture, the White House said, as it announced about half a
dozen new nominations.
"These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to their
new roles and I am proud to have them serve in this administration. I look
forward to working with them in the months and years to come," Obama said in a
Gangopadhyay is currently the Chief Learning Officer at the Henry Ford, where
she is responsible for leadership, strategy, and education. She has held a
variety of positions in education and arts policy, including Executive Director
of the Plymouth Community Arts Council from 2006 to 2008; Curator of Education,
Public Programs, Visitor Services and Volunteers at the Public Museum of Grand
Rapids from 2002 to 2006; and Executive Director of the Great Lakes Center for
Education, Research and Practice from 2000 to 2001.
Ramaswamy is Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State
University and Director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. Ramaswamy
has been Associate Dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture and
directed the university's agricultural research programs from 2006 to 2009. He
is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the
Entomological Society of America.
MALTA KNIGHTHOOD FOR DR.
New Jersey-based Indian American physician,
publisher and philanthropist Dr. Sudhir M. Parikh has been nominated as Knight
of the Ecumenical Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. The Knighthood
ceremony was held on Mar 17 at the La Salle University in Philadelphia,
according to a notification issued by Malta-based Ecumenical Hospitaller Order
of the Knights.
The Knights of Malta, as the order is better known, was originally founded in
1176 in Jerusalem, during the Crusades to treat Christian pilgrims and soldiers.
Dr. Parikh was honored in recognition of his philanthropic contributions that
have enabled the Ecumenical Order to undertake humanitarian aid projects such as
establishing orphanages, schools, training programs, medical assistance programs
for the poor in association with local hospitals and general development
projects without taking into consideration the color or the belief of the
A Life member of GOPIO, the Knighthood is the latest among a series of honors
and awards that Dr. Parikh has received during his three-decade long career and
community service in the United States. Included among them are two of the most
distinguished awards bestowed by the Government of India -- the Padma Shri and
the Pravasi Bharatiya Saman. Dr. Parikh is also the recipient of the Ellis
Island Medal of Honor.
SEVEN INDIAN AMERICANS
ELECTED TO THE US NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
Seven Indian Americans are among 66
new members elected to the US National Academy of Engineering. Also included are
two Indians among the ten foreign associates, bringing the total American
membership to 2254 and the number of foreign associates to 206. Election to the
NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
The newly elected Indian American members, their primary affiliations at the
time of election and principal engineering accomplishments are as follows:
Dr. Supriyo Datta, Thomas Duncan Distinguished
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, West
Lafayette, Ind., for quantum transport modeling in nanoscale electronic devices
Dr. Akhil Datta-Gupta, regents professor and L.F.
Peterson '36 Chair, Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas
A&M University, College Station, for developing the theory and practice of
streamline simulation for fluid flow in heterogeneous reservoirs
Dr. Ray R. Irani, executive chairman,
Occidental Petroleum Corp., Los Angeles, for leadership in the petrochemical
industry and processes for applications of particulate systems
Dr. Jyotirmoy Mazumder,
Robert H. Lurie Professor of Mechanical Engineering, professor of materials
science and engineering, director of the Center for Laser-Aided Intelligent
Manufacturing, and director of the NSF I/UCRC for Lasers and Plasmas for
Advanced Manufacturing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for quantitative
transport modeling for laser interaction and design and commercialization of
direct metal deposition machines
Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara, chief technologist,
electric power and control systems, Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, for
contributions to electric power conversion systems in transportation
Dr. Nambirajan Seshadri, senior vice president and
general manager, Mobile Wireless Group, and chief technology officer, Mobile
Platforms and Wireless Connectivity, Broadcom Corp., Irvine, Calif., for
contributions to wireless communications theory and development of mass market
wireless technology and
Dr. Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, Google Inc.,
Mountain View, Calif., for contributions to information retrieval and search.
Named among the new foreign associates were Pradip, chief scientist and head of
the Process Engineering Lab, Tata Research Development and Design Center, Pune,
for contributions to processing of minerals and waste materials; and P. Rama
Rao, chairman, International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and
New Materials, Hyderabad, for advancing the understanding of deformation and
fracture of structural materials and development of materials research
infrastructure for societal needs.
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs
AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
US HIKES H-1B VISA FEE
In a move that is expected to hit Indian IT companies in a significant way, the US government has decided
to hike H-1B visa fee from next fiscal. In a statement, USCIS listed out the
details of the fees to be filed by the applicants for H-1B visas, which starts
from a base fee of $ 325 to $ 2,000 by the petitioner who employs 50 or more
employees in the US - where more than 50 per cent of its workers in the US are
in H-1B or L-1 non- immigrant status.
This year, the US Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) is charging $ 750 for employers with 1 to 25
full-time equivalent employees, and $ 1,500 for employers with 26 or more
full-time equivalent employees.There is another $ 500 listed as fraud prevention
and detection fee.
And employers seeking premium
processing service, in which application is processed within 15 days, need to
submit an additional $ 1,225, it said.India's software and services companies
earn around 60 per cent of their revenues from the US and employ a large number
of professionals here.
USCIS also said that
applications for the most sought after H-1B work visa - used extensively by
Indian IT professionals - for the fiscal beginning October 1, would be accepted
beginning April 2.The congressionally mandated numerical limitation on H-1B
petitions for the fiscal year 2013 is 65,000, as has been in the previous years.
Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who
have earned a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.
THIRD VOLUNTARY OFFSHORE
DISCLOSURE (OVDI) PROGRAM LAUNCHED
The IRS launched its third offshore voluntary disclosure program in early 2012.
The program encourages taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts to make full
disclosures in exchange for a reduced penalty. The terms and conditions of the
reopened program are very identical to the previous two programs, in 2009 and
2011 in which the government collected over $4.4 billion.
The new programhas no set end
date. It requires taxpayers to file all original and amended tax returns and
include payment for back-taxes and interest for up to eight years as well as pay
accuracy-related and/or delinquency penalties. Additionally, taxpayers must pay
a penalty of 27.5 percent of the highest aggregate balance in foreign bank
accounts/entities or value of foreign assets during the eight full tax years
prior to the disclosure. Taxpayers whose offshore accounts or assets do not
surpass $75,000 in any calendar year may qualify for the 12.5 percent penalty.
Some taxpayers may also qualify for a five percent penalty.
GOOD NEWS FOR AMERICAN
In good news to American visa applicants, US has announced those Indians who are
renewing their visas, valid or expired, within 4 years, are likely to get waiver
for a personal interview.
"This new program will permit consular officers to waive interviews for some
qualified applicants who are renewing their visa within 48 months or four years,
of expiration of their previous visa and within the same classification as the
previous visa," Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Janice Jacobs
The new rules will apply to those within categories of B1, B2, C and D.
Asked to specify the possible beneficiaries, Jacobs, who was in India for the
2nd US-India Consular Dialogue, said it would apply for tourists, business
travelers, crew members and for students.
TRINIDAD SCHOOLS TO TEACH
TABLA AND DHOLAK IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
News service IANS reports that nearly 167 years after Indians arrived in
Trinidad and Tobago, the sounds of the tabla, dholak and harmonium will be heard
in over 550 primary schools of Trinidad and Tobago which will now teach the
Indian musical instruments to students.
According to Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh, the cabinet has agreed to
introduce a multicultural form of music in the primary school curriculum,
representative of the country's diverse culture.
The current music program in primary schools is based on the Western musical
tradition. According to the minister, the instrument of choice so far has been
the steel pan or drum because of its origin.
Guitar, cuatro, xylophone and African drums will also form part of the new
program, he said. This program will be called the Multicultural Music Program,
instead of the Pan-in-The Classroom Unit.
Indians arrived in Trinidad and Tobago between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar
The Indian High Commission has been holding classes in Indian music and dance
through the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Cultural Exchange.
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND
GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in
several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin
worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and
by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in
GOPIO Individual Life
membership is open to all who believe in the mission of GOPIO. The one- time fee
is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for Gold Life Membership and
$1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for each category for those
from developing countries and India.
GOPIO is looking forward to
opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of
Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city,
please visit GOPIO website (www.gopio.net) and
get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm).
Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of
five people or more. For more information, contact:
GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885,
GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel:
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956
or +91 9845756692, E-mail: Kulathakal@yahoo.com
GOPIO Senior Vice President - Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel:
To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online athttp://gopio.net/online_membership.htm or fill up
the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO International, PO Box
560117, New York NY 11356, USA.
Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder
President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO
Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO
International (New York, USA)
Mahabir, Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, GOPIO International (Guyana-New York,
Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Contributors of this
Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO Intl.), Ashook
Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl.), Harry
Walia (GOPIO-Sydney North West), Lucky Singh
(GOPIO-Sydney), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT), Ena Maharaj (GOPIO-Trinidad & Tobago),
Nisha Arora (GOPIO-CT), Dr.
Arnold Thomas (GOPIO Regional Coordinator, St. Vincent)
GOPIO NEWS welcomes
NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or
reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas
Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: email@example.com.