President confers Padma awards 
President confers Padma awards Updated on : 31-03-2014 04:16 PM
Eminent scientist R A Mashelkar was on Monday conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, while acclaimed artiste Kamal Haasan and ace shuttler P Gopichand were among the 12 personalities conferred the Padma Bhushan by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.
Award winning actor Vidya Balan, coach of Indian women kabaddi team Sunil Dabas, sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik and activist Jawahar Lal Kaul were among the 53 personalities conferred the Padma Shri award at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan’s Durbar Hall.

. The award ceremony was attended, among others, by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, Union ministers Sushuilkumar Shinde, P Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar and Sriprakash Jaiswal, and Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and leaders from opposition and other political parties were not present.

Mashelkar (71) is well known globally for his path breaking research in polymer science and engineering.

He has chaired 12 high powered national level committees to look into diverse issues of higher education, national auto fuel policy and measures to deal with the menace of spurious drugs.

Anumolu Ramakrishna, who pioneered the use of precast concrete technology, was conferred the Padma Bhushan posthumously. He passed away last year at the age of 73.

Kaul (69), known for his voluntary services for the blind, had lost his eyesight due to smallpox at the age of five.

The President climbed down from the podium to confer the Padma Shri on him.

February core infra grows at 4.5%


The core infrastructure grows to 4.5% (Y-O-Y) in February 2014 as compared to 1.6% (Y-O-Y) in January 2014. The combined index of Eight Core Industries stands at 156.7 in February 2014 with a growth rate of 4.5% as compared to 1.3% in February 2013. Crude oil and Natural gas registered a growth rate of 1.9% and (-) 4.4% respectively in the month of February 2014.


   Sector wise trend in monthly production                                          (% growth)


Weight in IIP



Crude Oil




Natural Gas




Petroleum Refinery Products



(-) 4.5




(-) 0.7














6. 6 8






1. 6

  Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India


In cumulative terms, core infrastructure industries registered a growth of 2.6% during Apr-Feb 2013-14 as against 6.4% during the corresponding period of previous year.


     Sector wise trend in production                                                                         (% growth)  



Apr-Feb 2013-14

Apr-Feb 2012-2013

Crude Oil




Natural Gas




Petroleum Refinery Products





















6. 6 8







      Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India


Electricity generation grew by 5.7% during Apr–Feb 2013-14 as against 4.1% growth during Apr–Feb 2012-13, while steel production grew by 4.2% during Apr– Feb 2013-14 as against 3.4% during Apr- Feb 2012-13. The production in crude oil grew by (-) 0.1% during Apr– Feb 2013-14 as compared to its growth at (-) 0.7% during Apr– Feb 2012-13, whereas petroleum refinery production registered a growth of 1.6% during Apr– Feb 2013-14 as compared to 29.4% during Apr– Feb 2012-13. Fertilizer production grew by 2.2% during Apr– Feb 2013-14 compared to its growth at (-) 4% during Apr– Feb 2012-13 and cement production grew by 3.3% during Apr–Feb 2013-14 compared to its growth at 7.6% during Apr– Feb 2012-13.

 Trend in growth of steel, cement, electricitycoal and overall                                                   (%)

 Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from the office of the economic advisor to the Govt. of India


Warm regards,


Dr. S P Sharma

Chief Economist

BJP and Congress campaign in its crescendo

<br /> Star campaigners of both BJP and Congress addressing election rallies<br />
 BJP and Congress addressing election rallies on Monday as Narendra Modi holds rally in Arunachal and Assam while Sonia Gandhi addresses rally in Mewat and Rahul Gandhi too addressed rally in Odisha and Chhattisgarh reached its crescendo with multiple verbal  attacks   each scoring point of nationalism, welfare for the people,taking dig onto each other past and other parties leaders too join in this historical electorate battle of one of the biggest democracy to exercise their voting rights,

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said this election is not just about development and her party is fighting for safeguarding the secular values enshrined in the Constitution.”This election is not only about the development of country. This election is to safeguard the constitutional framework which our freedom fighters, our forefathers have bestowed on us after much struggle and sufferings”.

“This Constitution recognises our secular values and teaches us how to respect them,” she said addressing a rally in Mewat, in a veiled attack on BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Gandhi went on to say that Congress will fight for a country which is not just for a few but a country which belongs to everyone and where everyone enjoys equal rights.

“We will fight for a country where it is not imporant what is our religion, language, place of birth or in which caste we were born, but we will fight for a country which is secular and where it is important that we all are Indian,” she said.

The UPA chairperson said no other government has undertaken as much developmental activities during the last 10 years as done by the Manmohan Singh government, including in the backward region of Mewat.

“You can see the changes which have taken place here (Mewat) if you compare the development with the previous government here, be it giving backward region status, providing drinking water facilities or developing a separate cadres for teachers and doctors,”, she said.

She said Congress manifesto also promises right to health for everyone, even as it has fulfilled its promises on rural job scheme, implementation of Right to Education and RTI, besides stringent law to stop violence against women.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Modi while addressing an election rally in Chariali in Assam said people of the country were unaware of the punishment meted out to the marines.

“Two Italian marines had killed innocent fishermen in Kerala but instead of being in jail in India, they were sent back to Italy. They were innocent fishermen fishing in Indian water”.

“I want to ask: who or what power sent them back to Italy and asking them not to be brought back. Should they (marines) not be in jail in India,” he asked.

He said it was only after the Supreme Court intervened and ordered that they be brought back, that the “powers were forced to ensure the return of the marines”.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate said, “The nation now wants to know the address of the jail where the marines have been lodged. Just because they are from Italy, they cannot be subjected to different treatment”.

Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012, sparking diplomatic tensions between India and Italy.

The marines, deployed on the Italian-flagged oil tanker ‘MT Enrica Lexie’, had said they mistook the fishermen for pirates and were allowed to leave the country.

They are now staying in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi awaiting trial as India has insisted that the marines would be prosecuted under the anti-piracy law and face up to 10 years in prison as the victims were Indians on board an Indian fishing boat.

Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of hijacking the credit for the work done through the welfare programmes of UPA government, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today claimed the state is ruled by “mine mafia” and not by the people’s representatives.

“The state government is run by the mine mafia and not by leaders. Valuable minerals worth thousands of crore rupees are looted and state government is aware about it,” Gandhi alleged at a public meeting at Semiliguda in the tribal-dominated Koraput district.

“Though the Centre sends thousands of crores for the welfare of tribals, the amount is not reaching the beneficiaries at the village level. The state government is diverting central funds and taking credit without any justification,” he said.

While a handful of mafia loot mineral resources of Odisha and become rich, the poor and tribal people do not get any benefit, Gandhi said.

In contrast, the Centre has set up a large number of institutes, medical colleges and hospitals for the betterment of the people, he said.

Highlighting the Congress party’s concern for the poor and tribal people, Rahul Gandhi said his family had long-standing bond with the tribals and “I love to be in the midst of tribal people.”

Recalling that Rajiv Gandhi had also visited the area, Gandhi said he would continue to fight for the cause of tribals The Congress vice president claimed that it was he who stood by the agitating tribals of Kalahandi and saved Niyamgiri Hills.

Strongly opposing displacement of people for various projects without offering adequate compensation, Gandhi said Congress would strive for safeguarding the interests of the poor and underprivileged.

Hitting out at the state government, Rahul accused it of being insensitive towards the poor and said it was unfortunate that Food Security Act was not implemented in the state.

He also raised corruption issues like chit fund scam and alleged that the ruling BJD leaders were behind the ponzi companies which duped the poor and innocent investors in the state.


Boletín informativo. Domingo 30 de Marzo 2014.
Lo más visto de la semana
La mitad de lo que cuesta salvar las autopistas rescataría a los 700.000 hogares españoles sin ingresos 

Rescatar a los 700.000 hogares sin ningún tipo de ingresos que hay en España (500.000 si se restan los que tienen rentas mínimas), costaría 2.600 millones de euros, la mitad de lo que costará salvar las autopistas.

La reforma laboral de Rajoy vulnera derechos de libertad sindical y negociación colectiva 

El Gobierno debió promover un proceso de diálogo social efectivo en lugar de utilizar la crisis para imponer esta reforma y vulnerar los convenios firmados.

· Rafael Simancas: EL PP entrega el AVE y AENA a sus amigos del negocio privado 
Así de clarito. Sin apenas disimulos. La propia ministra Ana Pastor lo confirmó públicamente hace pocos días…
“Enfrente siempre han estado los violentos y siempre son los mismos” 

CCOO de Madrid responsabiliza a “grupos violentos claramente identificados” de los altercados ocurridos el sábado y acusa a los mandos policiales de actuar con “temeridad” al poner en peligro la vida de los agentes de la Policía Municipal, de los cuales 17 resultaron heridos.

La macrodemanda de ADICAE por las cláusulas suelo se desbloquea 

El Juzgado Mercantil número 11 de Madrid rechaza los argumentos de las entidades demandadas y confirma la procedencia de la reclamación de devolución de cantidades planteada por ADICAE junto con la nulidad de las cláusulas suelo. El auto se suma al dictado por el Juzgado mercantil 5 de Madrid admitiendo la demanda colectiva de ADICAE contra Bankia.

El ERE del SESCAM “viene orquestado por Cospedal” 

Desde la Asamblea en Defensa por la Sanidad Pública muestran su repulsa ante el ERE presentado por Cospedal en el SESCAM.

El Sindicato de Estudiantes convoca huelga en secundaria y universidad 

Las jornadas de paros en la enseñanza tendrán como colofón varias manifestaciones y concentraciones en varias provincias españolas a lo largo del jueves.

El PSOE ganaría las elecciones europeas del 25 de mayo 

Los socialistas ganarían las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo con el 29% de los votos frente al PP que perdería 7 escaños con respecto a los comicios de 2009.

· Pablo Vaamonde: Las Áreas de Gestión Clínica: una amenaza para la Sanidad Pública y la Atención Primaria 
Además contribuyen a marginar aun más a la Atención Primaria (AP), en detrimento de la equidad y la racionalidad del sistema…
· Alberto Soler Montagud: Epístola de Rouco Varela a Rajoy 
Carta escrita por Rouco Varela dando instrucciones antes de su cese como presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal…
Juncker, defensor de los paraísos fiscales y de la austeridad 

Por Andreu Missé | Su elección como candidato suscita una seria inquietud sobre el modelo de Unión que quieren construir los conservadores…

¿Qué está pasando en Ucrania? Su relevancia para la Eurozona 

Por Vicenç Navarro | La Troika ya ha presentado a Letonia como un ejemplo a seguir. En aquel país, las políticas de austeridad forzaron la emigración del 10% de la fuerza de trabajo…

Washington y París ultiman acuerdo de cooperación en materia de actividad solar 

Alemania, Reino Unido, Noruega, Suecia, Finlandia, Corea del Sur, Japón, Australia, Nueva Zelanda, Sudáfrica e Israel, revisan sus capacidades para protegerse de una catástrofe por EMP.

Está recibiendo este boletín tras solicitar este servicio a través de la web de Nuevatribuna. En cualquier momento puede modificar o cancelar su suscripción accediendo a esta dirección

Nuevatribuna Información continua y análisis para una ciudadanía comprometida con los valores de libertad, igualdad y justicia.

© medio digital de información general
editado por Página 7 Comunicación S.L.
C/ Noblejas, 5 Bajo – 28013 Madrid

GOPIO Color Logo

 A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) 
Issue: XIII-2                      March 15, 2014   
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The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) will be holding its 25th(Jubilee) Anniversary in Port of Spain in Trinidad & Tobago, with a 2-day gala celebration on 27th to 29thMay, 2014 preceding the annual Indian Arrival Day commemoration in that country. GOPIO International Trinidad & Tobago Chapter will be the convention host, along with a well organized convention team which includes GOPIO’s regional and international chapters, executives, councils and life members, as well as businesses, government, organizations and academic supporters.


Hosting of GOPIO 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in Port of Spain has been enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, prominent persons of Indian origin and several chambers of commerce, businesses, organizations, academicians and academic institutions, media and others.


The strong relationship between GOPIO and Trinidad & Tobago began with the formation of GOPIO in 1989 with high level representation of several prominent persons from Trinidad & Tobago, as well as other countries of the Caribbean region. This relationship blossomed to continuing participation in GOPIO at the highest levels at GOPIO’s major events and GOPIO’s many visits to Trinidad & Tobago over the years. In addition, the International Chapter of Trinidad & Tobago is among the most active and vibrant of GOPIO’s many chapters globally, addressing current and critical community issues such as spousal abuse, alcoholism, education, children and health concerns. GOPIO is proud to have hosted Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar on 12th January, 2012 at special reception/dinner in Kolkata during her visit to India as the chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012.


GOPIO chapters in the Caribbean region are: Trinidad & Tobago; Guyana; Suriname; St Vincent; Belize; Guadeloupe and Martinique, with others in formation in Jamaica, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados. Recently, GOPIO has held and collaborated on several major conferences in the Caribbean region: Trinidad & Tobago (2011); St Vincent (2012); Suriname (2013); Guyana’s 175th Indian Arrival Day Commemoration (2013); and Belize (2014). Minister Vayalar Ravi (India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs) visited Trinidad & Tobago and other countries in the Caribbean region in 2007, 2011 and 2013.


The program outline is as follows:


Program Outline


27th May

Welcome Reception & Dinner

28th May

GOPIO meetings

Business-to-Business meetings

28th May

Dinner & Cultural Evening

29th May

GOPIO All-Day Conference:

Economic Opportunities

Social Issues & Diaspora Sessions

29th May

Awards Banquet and Gala

30th May

Participation: Indian Arrival at Nelson Island

30th May

Participation: Indian Arrival Commemoration

30th May

Participation: NICC Cultural Evening

31st May – onwards

Tourism & Visits –

Tobago, Barbados, Aruba, Guyana, etc.


“We feel privileged and are fully prepared to host GOPIO 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in 2014 in Port of Spain in grand style that is fitting and well deserved”, said Ena Maraj, president of GOPIO International Trinidad& Tobago Chapter, who initiated the proposal to host the event.


Dr. Arnold Thomas, GOPIO International Coordinator (Caribbean Region) remarked that, “It is important to highlight this region of the Indian Diaspora, along with the many benefits and unique advantages of holding GOPIO’s 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in Port of Spain”.


“We are planning a huge, historic 25th Jubilee Anniversary in Port of Spain never done before and will become memorable in GOPIO and the Indian Diaspora”, said Deo Gosine, grand patron.


Ease of travel to and from Trinidad & Tobago regionally and internationally, excellent infrastructure, communications and accommodations, as well as enthusiastic support and encouragement from all sectors, helped to substantiate this proposal for Trinidad & Tobago as the perfect, most suitable venue and setting for GOPIO to celebrate its Jubilee in 2014. More details are forthcoming via newsletters and postings on GOPIO’s website on:

Program Details

CSA Recognition

Registration- no cost for registration

Travel & Visa


Trinidad and Tobago is an independent island nation located just off the northern coast of South America, with a population of over 1,300,000 of which 45% are people of Indian origin whose ancestors were brought there as indentured sugar plantation laborers with the first arrivals on 30th May, 1845.


 Photo above: GOPIO Convention organizers, From l. to r.: Dr. Arnold Thomas, Ena Maraj and Deo Gosine

For more information, please contact;

Trinidad & Tobago: 

Ena Maraj (Convener):

Dr. Arnold Thomas (General Convener):

Deo Gosine (Grand Patron):




Passengers flying into India will have to declare Indian currency exceeding Rs 10,000 being brought by them, according to new Custom Rules which has been implemented from March 1, 2014. 
Besides, they will also be asked to declare number of baggage, including hand baggage, while entering into India, said the new rules notified by the Finance Ministry on February 10th.

Earlier rule appearing in the Govt. of Indian website showed that international passengers could not carry any Indian currencies to India and they also have to carry Indian rupees while leaving India. GOPIO Convention in New Delhi had passed a resolution which was submitted to Prime Minister’s office to change that rule to allow NRIs/PIOs as well as international passengers to carry limited amount of Indian rupees.

According to new rules under Customs Baggage Declaration (Amendment) Regulations, 2014, an Indian citizen would need to fill up the immigration form only when he or she goes out of the country. There will be no immigration form for Indian citizens returning from abroad. 

All passengers coming to India will be filling up a new ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’ which will seek details that will be different from the detachable perforated strip which is a part of the immigration card at the moment. 

The ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’ carries additional fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods, which will help authorities in checking customs duty frauds and keep a record of gold jewelry and bullion being brought into the country, customs officials said.   

For the first time, travelers would be asked to specifically declare any prohibited articles, gold jewelry (over free allowance), gold bullion and Indian currency exceeding Rs 10,000 in the new form, they said. 

A passenger will have to give details of countries visited in the past six days and mention the passport number on the new form, which was not there earlier. 

Old fields like declaration of satellite phone, foreign currency exceeding $5,000 or equivalent, aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeding $10,000 or equivalent, meat, meat products, dairy products, fish or poultry products and seeds, plants, fruits, flowers and other planting material have been retained in the new format. 

The passengers will also have to give details of baggage, including hand baggage, being carried by them in a separate column on the form. 

India has 19 international airports in Srinagar, Amritsar, Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Nagpur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Calicut, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Port Blair.  



Following up on a large number of complaints from frustrated India travelers, the Indian Embassy in the US has announced on Feb. 5 that it is accepting bids to replace BLS International, its current outsourcing service that accepts and processes visa applications.


A new company is scheduled to service the U.S. by the end of May 2014, which is expected to establish centers in New York, Houston, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta; the number of centers may increase if the need arises.


GOPIO Passed Resolution to Remove BLS International


GOPIO and other Indian community organizations have been campaigning to remove BLS International for the last six months. At the GOPIO Delhi Convention, GOPIO passed a resolution to that effect as follows:


Unreasonable & Unrealistic Harassment of NRIs & PIOs by BLS International


Issue: The procedures established by the Government of India and the services provided by BLS International to support the Consular Services are so poor that it brings shame and suffering who wish to travel to India. 


Whereas GOPIO commends Government of India for organizing these PBDs in a fabulous manner by spending millions of dollars; and,


Whereas GOPIO commends the well-intentioned Government of India to serve the Indian Diaspora through these PBDs; and,


Whereas the members of the Indian Diaspora need to make travel arrangements to visit India and need consular services for their VISAs, OCI Cards, and/or Renewal of Indian Passports; and,


Whereas the Government of India has procured the services of BLS International to expedite the consular services provided by the Indian Mission abroad; and,


Whereas the services provided by the BLS International are so poor and the behavior of BLS personnel so terrible that the Indian Missions abroad, and, the Government of India are getting a worse public opinion and press; it is indeed shameful.


Therefore, be it resolved that GOPIO request Government of India replace BLS International with an efficient and competent service agency that can facilitate the workload of Indian Missions and serve the Indian Diaspora with respect, dignity, decency and efficiency.


The invitation from the Indian Embassy to vendors implicitly states: “The agencies would be expected to provide courteous and efficient service at all times. The Embassy / Consulates General reserve the right to monitor the quality of service provided and impose necessary corrective measures on the agencies in terms of their contractual obligations.


BLS International began its services in the U.S. in July 2013 and quickly gained a reputation for its lackadaisical approach to processing visa, Overseas Citizen of India and Person of Indian Origin applications.  




Of the 137 million objects owned by the Smithsonian, only a handful represents the history and experience of the roughly 3.3 million Americans with roots in the Indian subcontinent. So in 2008, the institution decided to stage the exhibition 

“Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation,”which opened on Thursday, February 27th.


Indian Americans have been recognized as a model minority, celebrated for their achievements in different fields, and feted for their contribution to American society. They own some of the most-prized records in the United States, from the best-educated ethnic group to earners of the highest per capita income, nearly twice the national average. 
But their history in the United States going back two centuries has been a spottily-recorded mystery, although the first ones arrived on these shores in the 1790, just a over a decade after American independence.
Smithsonian Museum in Washington


DC plugged this gap significantly, rolling out the first-ever exhibition c


hronicling the heritage of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans and the contribution they have made to the American melting pot.

With dozens of historical and contemporary images, including photographs, films, and artifacts, the exhibition documents tales of discrimination, resistance, and achievement, starting with the struggles for citizenship in the first half of the 20th century, professional contributions from the 1960s and beyond, organizing for labor rights, women’s rights and labor rights and cultural contributions through food, music, dance and in the entertainment industry in recent years.

The vivid images and stories include Indian labor in the building of US railroads and in farms and lumber mills in the 19th century, to the well-known journey of Swami Vivekananda to America later in the century. There are lesser-known milestones such as the Indian debut in Hollywood through the child actor Sabu Dastagir in the 1930s, pre-dating the entry of a raft of Indian-Americans into the entertainment industry.

Early recorded Indian contributions to science and technology include the effort of Yellapragada Subba Rao and Nobel laureate Hargobind Khorana to the more recent achievements of technology pioneer Vinod Dham that is now part of the Indian-American folklore in Silicon Valley.

The Indian-American political rise is captured in a striking photograph of Congressman Dalip Singh Saund (the first Indian-American elected to the US House of Representatives) with President Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, although the community’s political awareness is reflected from the very beginning with the arrival refugees on board the ship Komagatamaru and the subsequent founding of the Ghadar Party. 

The community’s spiritual input into American consciousness is seen in another photo showing Swami Satchidananda addressing the Woodstock music festival in 1969, where Pandit Ravi Shankar also played.

Smithsonian’s Masum Momaya, who has curated the exhibition, said at a media preview that the title and the theme “Beyond Bollywood” was chosen intentionally “to attract visitors and show we intended to go beyond stereotypes.” As with any group, she said, we are a lot more than popular stereotypes suggest, “And my intention as a curator has been to focus on cultural, political, and professional contributions that the Indian-Americans have made to shaping US history.”

The exhibition, which is also funded by more than $1 million in contributions from the Indian-American community besides Smithsonian’s own input, has opened to the public and will run for at least a year, before it goes on the road as a travelling show for five more years.


Credit: Times of India  






Scholarship Awards for Graduating Students in Southern California


Sponsored by Indian American Heritage Foundation, GOPIO LA chapter and India Association of Los Angeles 


Applications are now being accepted from qualified High School and Middle/Junior High School students of Asian Indian ancestry, graduating in the year 2014 for scholarship awards to be presented at the 28th Annual India Heritage Awards function on April 20, 2014 at the Long Beach Hilton, Long Beach, California.




Academic Excellence Awards    

High  School Graduates  – Nine Awards     $750 – $2000

First Place Winner will also receive “Profiles in Excellence” Revolving Trophy


Middle  School (8th grade) Graduates – Five Awards  $200 – $600

First Place Winner will also receive “IAHF Founders” Revolving Trophy              

Outstanding Achievement Awards             
High School Graduates:  $600 and a revolving trophy           
1-Sports;      2-Math,Science&Technology;   3-Visual & Performing Arts;              
 4-Community Service               
Special Awards:        
$200/each for Perfect score in Quiz/SAT


Middle/Jr. High School Graduates:

Visual & Performing Arts – Two ($250 and $200), India Heritage Plaque



Eligibility Criteria
GPA of C or higher for Outstanding Achievement Awards and B or higher for Academic Excellence Awards, graduating in year 2014 from a school in Southern California, with one or both parents of Asian Indian origin


The last date for receipt of completed applications is April 7, 2014.

For more information, application forms and guidelines for applicants, send an email  or call  Inder Singh at (818) 708-3885.





GOPIO-CT organized a tax seminar titled “2014 US Tax Planning and Tax Saving Tips – International Tax Session – India US Tax Issues, on February 22nd at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford. Topics included the following: US individual tax planning & saving tips for 2013; US tax planning for small business 2013; International tax changes – FBAR, FATCA and IGAs; Cross-border transactions; Indian tax law changes and Global tax optimization. The speaker was Cecil Nazareth who is a partner with Nazareth CAs & CPAs.


Nazareth emphasized on filing FABR and OVDI, especially for those who have deposits in the Indian banks. He also recommended to the audience to file a tax in India, even if one does not have much income there. A part of Nazareth’s presentation on FBAR and OVDI is uploaded in the YouTube at

Photo above: GOPIO-CT President Shelly Nichani presents a book on Global Indian Diaspora – GOPIO Making an Impact to Cecil Nazareth. From l. to r., Ashok Nichani, Shailesh Naik, Nichani, Nazareth, Santosh Gannu, Anju Simon and Dr. Thomas Abraham



Contact: Shelly Nichani, President, GOPIO-CT Chapter, E-mail:


For the Fourth consecutive year the team of GOPIO Sydney North West Chapter has delivered donations to school children in India.

During the Indian winter of January Harmohan Singh Walia of GOPIO Sydney North West personally delivered shoes to 177 children of Government middle school and warm clothes to 45 Anganwari (preschool) children, village Wara Poh Windia, Zira, Punjab. 

Meanwhile an active member of the team Sumit Joshi distributed warm clothes to 219 school children and a water cooler to Govt. school, village Chundiala, Distt. Ambala, Haryana.

GOPIO Sydney North West team held the Annual Caring & Sharing Charity event in 2013 to raise funds for under privileged school children in India. The event held, on the 2nd of November at Bowman Hall, was sold out.

The voluntary team members of GOPIO Sydney North West consisted of Ravi Singh, Prof. Balkar Singh Kang, Aman Singh, Neeru Singh, Sumit Joshi, Tia Singh, Baljit Pelia, Raj Singh, Paramjit Multani and Harmohan Singh Walia actively participated in thefund raising event.


Photo above, from, l. to r.: Harmohan Singh Walia with Baldev Singh (Ex-Sarpanch), Sakatar Singh (current Sarpanch), Gurpreet Kaur (Headmistress), Ravinder Kaur (In-charge Primary wing) and some prominent persons of the village with school children; Warm clothes are being distributes by Harmohan Singh Walia at Anganwari (Pre-school) Wara Poh Windia (Zira); Warm clothes and a water cooler distributed by Sumit Joshi at Govt. School, Chundiala (Distt. Ambala), Haryana



On February 4, 2014, GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin), Houston Chapter at its General Council meeting held elections for positions in the GOPIO Executive Board for the next two-year term in accordance with GOPIO’s By-Laws. The results of the elections are as follows:


President:  Ms. Mitra Panchal, Vice President:  Mr. S.K. Trehan, Secretary: Ms. Uma Mantravadi (to continue), Treasurer: Mr. Som Nair (to continue).



Photo above: GOPIO-Houston Team, Seated: Exe. Board members L-R: Som Nair, S.K. Trehan, Mitra Panchal and Uma Mantravadi, Standing: Advisors L-R: Koshy Thomas, Sam Kannappan, Mehesh Shah and Chad Patel


Tax Seminar 

Despite their hectic schedule and time constrains, six leading CPAs from Houston: Mike Jain, Kershaw Khumbatta, Atul Kothari, Mahesh Desai, Swapan Dhairyawan and Imtiaz Munshi were in attendance serving on a panel for a free tax seminar held on Saturday, February 22 at India House. This timely and informative seminar was organized jointly by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, (IACCGH) and GOPIO-Houston to help provide up-to-date information and guidelines on tax filling for 2014. These annual tax seminars have proven to be extremely successful each year and this year also the event was packed to capacity with over 170 attendees. Prominent CPA Ajit Thakur served as the moderator for the panel of experts.


Earlier, Jagdip Ahluwalia, IACCGH Executive Director and Surender Trehan from GOPIO-Houston welcomed the participants.


A wide range of presentations included: ‘Changes to 2013 Tax Laws. Individual and Business,’ by Kershaw Khumbatta, ‘FBAR and declaration of foreign assets,’ by Mahesh Desai, ‘Changes for 2014 Individual taxes,’ by Mike Jain, ‘Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Program and Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act,’ by Swapan Dhairyawan, ‘Obamacare,’ by Imtiaz Munshi, and ‘Individual Tax planning techniques,’ by Atul Kothari. All speakers gave a great insight on their topics and provided valuable practical tips to handling taxes. The Q & A session moderated by Ajit Thakur followed the seminar. The program ended with Vote of Thanks by Jagdip Ahluwalia and presentation of plaques to the panelists.



Photo above right: A section of the audience at the seminar; right: Panelists, seminar moderator, volunteers and executives of IACCGH and GOPIO-Houston


For more information, contact GOPIO HOUSTON CHAPTER at or



MIT scientist Sangeeta Bhatia has developed a cheap, simple, paper test that can detect cancer, circumventing expensive approaches such as mammograms and colonoscopy. 

The diagnostic, which works much like a pregnancy test, could reveal within minutes, based on a urine sample, whether a person has cancer, MIT said in a statement announcing the amazing breakthrough, adding that while this approach has helped detect infectious diseases, the new technology will allow non-communicable diseases to be detected using the same strategy. 

Dr. Bhatia, John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor at MIT and a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, explained that the paper test essentially relies on nanoparticles that interact with tumor proteins called proteases, each of which can trigger release of hundreds of biomarkers that are then easily detectable in a patient’s urine. 

“When we invented this new class of synthetic biomarker, we used a highly specialized instrument to do the analysis,” said Dr. Bhatia. “For the developing world, we thought it would be exciting to adapt it instead to a paper test that could be performed on unprocessed samples in a rural setting, without the need for any specialized equipment. The simple readout could even be transmitted to a remote caregiver by a picture on a mobile phone.” 

Cancer rates in developing nations have climbed sharply in recent years, and now account for 70 percent of cancer mortality worldwide. Early detection has been proven to improve outcomes, but screening approaches such as mammograms and colonoscopy, used in the developed world, are too costly to be implemented in settings with little medical infrastructure. 

The MIT nanoparticles are coated with peptides (short protein fragments) targeted by different matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These particles congregate at tumor sites, where MMPs cleave hundreds of peptides, which accumulate in the kidneys and are excreted in the urine. 

In the original version of the technology, these peptides were detected using an instrument called a mass spectrometer, which analyzes the molecular makeup of a sample. However, these instruments are not readily available in the developing world, so the researchers adapted the particles so they could be analyzed on paper, using an approach known as a lateral flow assay – the same technology used in pregnancy tests.     


Dr. T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at McGill University, Montreal, Canada has written a new book, “The Warrior States: Pakistan in the Contemporary World,” released by Oxford University Press on Feb. 3. In this new book, Dr. Paul tackles what may be the world’s most dangerous powder keg and untangles a fascinating riddle-why can’t Pakistan progress? 


Paul identifies the fundamental source of Pakistan’s lack of progress in his book as “a geostrategic curse and the hyper realpolitik ideas that the country’s elite hold in creating and maintaining a semi-feudal society,” according to a press release. 


Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has been the center of major geopolitical struggles-the U.S.-Soviet rivalry, the conflict with India, and most recently the post 9/11 wars. No matter how ineffective the regime, massive foreign aid continues pouring in from major powers and their allies with a stake in the region. 


The reliability of such aid defuses any pressure on political elites to launch far-reaching domestic reforms that would promote sustained growth, higher standards of living, and more stable democratic institutions.


In his book, Paul tackles the questions: Why has Pakistan emerged as a “failing state,” a state that cannot provide minimum law and order, control various competing societal forces, and survive economically without external support?


He also asks: Why does it remain a heavily militarized warrior state with narrowly defined national security concerns while several military-ruled countries in Asia and Africa have become democratic?


In an effort to “encourage the Pakistani elite and informed public to think hard on the nation’s strategic and economic choices that were made in the past 65 years and the consequences that they have generated internally and externally,” Paul executes a thoroughly researched argument that clarifies the true cause of Pakistan’s failure to process, added the publicist’s notes.


Credit: India West




Getting a flat tire is never convenient. In a war zone, it can be deadly and very dangerous. While special operations vehicles have been loaded with extra armor to protect troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the tires remain vulnerable to attacks by improvised explosive devices (IED). The unique carbon fiber multiple hoop tire design by American Engineering Group may be the key to a new Zero Pressure Tire that could keep military vehicles running faster and longer after an attack.


Indian American Abraham Pannikottu owned American Engineering Group (AEG) has received a $1 million Phase II project grant from the US Department of Defense (DOD) to develop a tire that will continue running even after being shredded by roadside bombs or gunfire. Though military vehicle tires are now equipped with run-flat inserts, the DOD wants to upgrade to a zero pressure tire that’s better at carrying heavier loads and can quickly move soldiers out of harm’s way.


When engineers at American Engineering Group began working on tire designs, they settled on a flexible multiple carbon fiber hoop structure – which functions like air inside a tire. Along with carbon fiber multiple hoops for strength, the design allows shrapnel and high-caliber bullets to pass through the tire. During project phase I testing in 2011, the tire continued to run well – keeping the same functional road performance – even after receiving several rounds of gun shots.


Zero pressure tires have been around for a long time, with major drawbacks such as bumpy rides and overheating. The American Engineering Group (AEG) prototype dissipates heat and has the tire flexibility and strength to support the heavy military pick-up weight while providing a relatively smooth ride.


In a 5,000-square-foot lab in Akron, Ohio, AEG works on different combinations of polymeric elastomeric materials to make the multiple carbon fiber hoops that are bonded to the carcass of the tire. Finding the right combination of hoop dimensions and materials is the challenge. A softer material provides good durability and flexibility but wears out sooner. A harder material lasts longer but also generates more heat.


Eventually, zero pressure tires will be tested by the military at Proving Grounds to demonstrate results of mine blasts and handling during obstacle encounters. Since the tire is still under development, there’s no price tag. AEG is expected to develop a tire that costs the same or less than current military tires.


“AEG’s motivation and driving force for this project are that AEG gets the privilege to be of help to save lives of our soldiers,” said Abraham Pannikottu, Operations Manager at AEG who is also a Life member of GOPIO.


AEG started its operation in Akron, Ohio in 2000. The companyhas patents pending for the Zero Pressure tire technology. This tire company will help with manufacturing of commercial tires. As for commercial applications of the zero pressure design for run-flat tires, AEG is focusing its current efforts on the pick-up truck. However this technology eventually could be used on all-terrain vehicles, as well as mining and construction vehicles.


Indian-born Abraham has a mechanical engineering degree from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (Surat, Gujrat). He later completed graduate studies in polymer science at the University of Akron. He has written several research articles on engineering applications of rubber. His group is also working on new innovative product such as US National Football League Helmet and Implantable Cost-effective Titanium Hip & Knee.


In 2006 Pentagon honored Pannikottu & his engineering group for designing an airless tire for the Stryker armored vehicle. This Pentagon award was for exceptional performance that exemplifies the goal of bringing innovative technologies to the soldier.




Prof. Suprakas Sinha Ray (42) recently bagged one of the most prestigious international awards for polymer processing. Ray, director of the CSIR/Department of Science and Technology (DST) National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) received the Morand Lambla Award (MLA) from the International Polymer Processing Society (IPPS) at its 29th conference in Nuremberg, Germany.


Prof. Ray joined South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2006. At the time, there was little research activity in his field and he was tasked with putting together a group of researchers in the field of nanotechnology in 2007; the team has grown to about 50 staff members.


In remarking that centre had started from nothing in its 6-yr history. Prof. Ray’s team is one of the most active research groups, thanks to unbelievable support from the CSIR and the DST. Nanotechnology in polymer science is used to improve the properties of plastics, to make them tougher, more   impermeable and less flammable.


“One of our big projects is to develop optimal nanostructure materials to reduce the weight of a car. Conventional composites (used for the dash board, etc.) consist of 30% to 40% fillers, for example, glass fiber, but if we use nanotechnology, the composite can be stronger with only 3% to 5% filler, reducing the total weight. Due to the rising fuel costs, every manufacturer works towards fuel efficiency and the way to do this, is by reducing weight’


For this Award, the 7 member jury looked at the researchers’ work over several years, with impact over the last five years being most important. They also consider quality of publications & impact factor of journals where it was published. 


Another prestigious recognition Ray had enjoyed was that he was rated one of the world’s top 50 high impact chemists in 2011 out of approximately a million chemists who were recorded in journal publications indexed by Thomson Reuters. After receiving his PhD at the University of Calcutta, India in 2001, he completed three years of postdoctoral research at the Toyota Technological Institute in Japan.


When the CSIR offered him a job, Ray and his wife, Jayita Bandyopadhyay (MSc in nuclear physics and a PhD in chemical engineering) had been living in Canada where he was a postdoctoral scientist at the chemical engineering department of the University of Laval in Québec City. 




Indian-American attorney Vince Chhabria, who has represented San Francisco in defense of its health insurance law, adoption rights of same-sex couples and other major cases, has won Senate confirmation for a federal judgeship. Chhabria, 44, who presently serves as the deputy attorney of San Francisco City, will become California’s first federal judge of South Asian descent.


The Senate vote on March 5 was 58-41, with four Republicans joining Democrats in approving President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chhabria. A University of California Berkeley Law School graduate, he fills the last of three vacancies on the Bay Area’s 14-member U.S. District Court.


“While I had high expectations when I started here nine years ago, I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to work on so many exciting cases, for so many dynamic clients, with so many dedicated and high-caliber public lawyers,” said Chhabria.


He began his legal career by clerking for Judge Charles R. Breyer of the US district court for the Northern District of California from 1998 to 1999.


The South Asian Bar Association of North America and the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California have applauded Chhabria’s historic confirmation to the U.S. district court.


The lone Indian-American member of the US House of Representatives, Ami Bera, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus chair, Judy Chu, and CAPAC chair emeritus, Mike Honda, also applauded Chhabria’s confirmation.



 Dr. Sanjay Madria, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is a recent recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award. The Golden Core Award is a plaque awarded for long-standing member or staff service to the society.


Madria’s research revolves around resource management, data management, security and handling attacks in wireless sensor networks, mobile ad hoc networks and cloud computing. In the Web and Wireless Computing Lab, the Indian American researcher has small miniature devices called motes that can self-organize themselves to create a wireless sensor network and can send data to a given base station. While Madria received his B.S. degree from Delhi University, he earned his master’s degree as well as his doctorate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. 


Two Indian American professors have received a 2014 IEEE Technical Field Award in their respective fields.


The IEEE Andrew S. Grove Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to solid-state devices and technology, was presented to Dr. Sanjay Kumar Banerjee, a Cockrell Regents Chair professor of electrical and computer engineering and director, Microelectronics Center at the University of Texas, Austin, “for contributions to column-IV MOSFETs and related materials processing.”


Dr. Balaji Prabhakar, a professor at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., received the IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award “for his demonstration of the innovative use of information technology and distributed computing systems to solve long-standing societal problems, in areas ranging from transportation to healthcare and recycling.”


The award recognizes significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development, and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems through the application of information technology with an emphasis on distributed computing systems.


Credit: India-West






Indians are among the most enterprising of Britain’s migrant communities, a new data analysis report here has found. 


As many as 456,073 migrants have launched a small or medium-sized business in Britain, according to the think tank Centre for Entrepreneurs and due diligence platform DueDil. 


The report titled’Migrant Entrepreneurs: Building Our Businesses, Creating Our Jobs’, found that migrant entrepreneurs are behind one in seven of all UK companies and that Irish, Indian, German, American and Chinese make up the top performing nationalities. 

Ireland leads the charge with 48,854 founders running their own businesses across the UK, followed by India with 32,593 and Germany with 30,755. 

Around half a million people from 155 countries have launched businesses in the UK and these migrant-founded companies are responsible for creating 14 per cent of all jobs, it said. 

“The majority of the public appreciate the value of migrant entrepreneurs, yet our politicians and media send out negative signals that risk alienating this vital group of job creators,” said Luke Johnson, Centre for Entrepreneurs chairman and serial entrepreneur. 

“Given the huge contribution of migrant entrepreneurs, we are calling upon the media and politicians to join us in celebrating those who come to our country and launch businesses,” he added. 

The report coincides with a BBC revelation that the UK government held back a politically sensitive migrant impact report that suggested the impact of extra migrants on the country’s workforce is weaker than what government has claimed. 

According to the “Migrant Entrepreneurs” report, the entrepreneurial activity among the migrant community was found to be nearly double that of UK-born individuals, with 17.2 per cent having launched their own businesses, compared to 10.4 per cent of those born in Britain. 

They are also, on an average, eight years younger than indigenous entrepreneurs at 44 years-old compared to 52. 

This is despite the extra challenges they face, including access to finance and cultural and language barriers. 

A YouGov survey undertaken for the report found that a significant proportion of the general public believe migrant entrepreneurs make a positive contribution to the UK (44 per cent) and a majority support the government’s efforts to attract new migrant entrepreneurs (50 per cent). 

This is despite the fact the public view immigration in a generally negative light and support a reduction in net immigration (68 per cent).


Credit: IANS





A group of 105 US lawmakers has urged the Pentagon to lift the presumptive ban on the Sikhs serving in the military by easing restrictions on beard, turbans, and other religious accoutrements. 

“Given the achievements of these soldiers and their demonstrated ability to comply with operational requirements while practicing their faith, we believe it is time for our military to make inclusion of practicing Sikh Americans the rule, not the exception,” the lawmakers said in a letter to US defense secretary Chuck Hagel. 

Led by Congressmen Joe Crowley, vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, the 105 members of the US House of Representatives requested that the US armed forces update their appearance regulations to once again allow Sikh Americans to serve while abiding by their articles of faith, such as wearing a turban or beard. 

They said the Sikhs have served in the US army since World War I, and are permitted to serve in the armed forces of Canada and the UK, as well as key partner India. 

The three Sikh Americans who have been granted individualized accommodations to serve in the US army wear turbans and maintain beards in a neat and conservative manner, both in accordance with operational requirements and their Sikh religious beliefs. 

They are also able to wear protective equipment, including helmets and gas masks, in conformity with safety requirements. 

Sikh Coalition applauded lawmaker’s move calling for an end to the presumptive ban on devout Sikh service in the US military. 

“Today’s letter from Congress is a big step forward in our campaign to ensure equal opportunity for Sikh Americans in the US military,” said Rajdeep Singh, director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. 

“Sikhs have proven time and again around the world that they are excellent soldiers. It’s time for the Pentagon to realize that Sikh Americans are here to stay and that policies of exclusion are inevitably going to fail,” Singh said.





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 various countries.


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 ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit 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: 718/939-8194,  E-mail:


GOPIO Executive Vice President – Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692, E-mail:


GOPIO Senior Vice President – Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel: +1-954-684-6494,


To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at 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, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)   


Editor: Nami Kaur, GOPIO  Secretary (New York, USA)

Co-Editors: Bina Mahabir (Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, Guyana-New York, USA), Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA) and Kishor Kapitan (GOPIO Durban, South Africa)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)   

Contributors of this issue:
Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO Int’l), Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO International), Harmohan Singh Walia (GOPIO’s Committee on Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Sydney, Australia),  Shailesh Naik (Immediate past President, GOPIO-CT, USA) 

GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. 

‘Angry Young Man’ to release on 18th April 2014

ANGRY YOUNG MAN  produced by Vijay Sinh Rathod under the banner of VSR FILMS, is releasing on 18thApril 2014.  Directed by Ramesh Rout, it’s star cast includes Ajay Sinh Rathod & Prachi Sinha (introducing), Rajarjun, Ehsaan Khan, Nawab Shah, Suneel Godse etc.

It’s the story of a disillusioned young man who has taken to crime to take revenge and a young nubile girl who falls in love with his macho image and power over underworld. Angry young man is thrilling and mysterious journey of a man who’s every breath was filled with revenge. Who is he seeking? Why is he so full of rage?    

It’s editor is Dilip Deo, Cinematographer is Siddharth More, its Story, Screenplay & Dialogues are written by Ajay Sinh Rathod and music is Amjad Nadeem and Mikey McCLEARY. Songs are sung by Javed Ali, Mamta Sharma, Mohammed Irrfan and Shalmali Kholgade.


 Shooting Locations in India are Mumbai, Rajasthan , Vizag & Silvassa and overseas it is Thailand.


Shailesh GiriEffective Communication
(A Division of Shailesh Giri Media Group)