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NRI donates Rs 1.3 Cr to PU for funding yearly scholarships

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Chandigarh: US company Sun Deep Cosmetics founder, Jaswant Gill returned to Panjab University (PU) after about 45 years and donated Rs 1.3 crore. The interest from this amount would be able to fund four scholarships every year in the varsity’s pharmacy department.

“I studied free of cost for five years at the university… It was my dream that one day I should pay back… Better late than never,” Gill told HT.

Since childhood, Gill, who hails from Villa Teja village of Gurdaspur district, had limited means. He started work as a pharmacist at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, after completing his two-year pharmacy diploma. Though he got selected for the pharmacy department’s bachelor course in PU, PGIMER was not relieving him. Emergency was then imposed.

“Our department head at that time Dr KN Gaind told me to tell Dr Santokh Singh (one of the founders of the PGIMER), that if they want more pharmacy students, we all (a batch of 25) could serve at the institute. I told Dr Santokh that I wanted to pursue my career… Had those opportunities not been availed, my career wouldn’t have shaped out like this,” said Gill.

Gill joined PU in 1964 and left in 1969 after completing his post-graduation.

“Dr KN Gaind would discipline us in a sophisticated manner without punishing us for mischief. I have a lot of good memories at PU. That is why I am back. I am emotionally attached to it,” he said.

Gill was taken aback at the transformation that the pharmacy department had undergone over the years. “It has grown two-and-half-times now. We used to have a very small canteen on a cot, but now there is a full-fledged cafe.”

Gill migrated to the US after passing out from PU. There, he founded the Sun Deep Cosmetics about 25 years ago after working at a number of cosmetic industries. “We slowly grew into a significant company in 2007 and decided to donate to PU,” he said, adding that the company was named after his youngest son.

Gill had studied on scholarships at PU and said that he would consider himself fortunate if he could pass on that opportunity to others.

Three students would be able to get Rs 4,000 as monthly scholarship from Gill’s donation interest, along with Rs 20,000 per month for a research scholar.

PM Narendra Modi had talked about brain deposit against brain drain and I am just doing that,” concluded Gill.

(Quotes and inputs from Hindustan Times)

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A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

Rakesh Srivastava talked about increasing women employment, equal work participation, and gender equality

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A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages
A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages. Pixabay
  • Efforts are required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment
  • In November the government will honor 100 women achievers
  • Gender Equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment

New Delhi (India), September 7, 2017: Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that very soon a law will be finalized which will protect Indian women who are abandoned by their NRI husbands or foreign partners. He said this on 6th September 2107. It will be a praiseworthy step for women empowerment.

Srivastava was present for the inauguration ceremony of 2nd Conference on Women at the workplace- “Role of Leadership”, New Delhi. The Conference was organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Women Empowerment by increasing job opportunities for women

According to ANI report, Rakesh Srivastava said “India has taken a lead role in gender budgeting in the world. Efforts are also required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment in both organized/unorganized sectors, including entrepreneurial development.”

Women Achievers will be honored

Srivastava also informed that in November the government will honor 100 women achievers. The event will be held in Hyderabad and will possibly be attended by The US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. The government decided to honor women achievers will inspire other women to reach great heights of success, this step will foster women empowerment.

Equal Opportunities for Women

He further added that if suitable strategies and also laws which help in women empowerment are implemented- it will ensure equal opportunities for women to enter as well as enjoy decent work in a healthy work environment. This will also include fair and equal wages, health measures, social security measures and occupational safety.

Also Read: Misery of the outcast wives in India by their NRI husbands

Knowledge about Gender Equality will increase Women Empowerment

He cited that gender equality is critical for the development of any country. Srivastava said that by removing barriers which prevent women from having the same access to economic opportunities, education, and productive inputs as men will lead to productivity gains. It is a crucial step to be taken in today’s globalized and competitive world.

Srivastava said, “India has been ranked 87 out of 144 countries on the latest World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2016, but in the economic sphere, much work remains to be done as India ranks 136 in this pillar out of 144 countries.” He added that gender equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment.

Workforce Participation Rate in Men v/s Women

“In 2011, the workforce participation rate at all India level is 25.51% for women as compared to 53.26% for men. While there is no urban-rural gap for males (53%), there is a considerable rural-urban gap for females, when workforce participation rate for rural women is 30% it is only 15.4% for urban women,” Srivastava said, mentions ANI report.

Also Read: In Netherlands, PM Narendra Modi pitches for Women Empowerment in India

Women Empowerment by building women’s Hostels for widows and women in distress

Rakesh Srivastava, the secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development also shared that the government is working on women’s hostels that can also be utilized by the widows and women in distress in India.

Srivastava said “Women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. They need to be equal partners in the society for them to be equal participants in work. Women have to contend with discriminatory laws, institutions and attitudes that restrict their leadership and full participation in public life.” He added that what prevents women from becoming effective leaders is unequal access to resources.

October 15 will be observed as ‘Women Farmer’s Day’ all thanks to Krishna Raj, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This move by a minister, noticing rural women’s contribution in farming paves way for women empowerment of rural women.

Krishna Raj said, “Women can make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.”


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Indian-Americans Slam Singer Mika Singh for saying ‘Humara Pakistan’ in an Independence Day Video

In spite of the controversies, Mika Singh performed in Houston and Chicago

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Mika Singh faces wrath for saying humara Pakistan
Mika Singh faces wrath for saying humara Pakistan. Twitter
  • 15 August ko humara Hindustan azaad hua tha aur 14 ko humara Pakistan, says Mika Singh 
  • He received a lot of criticism for it from Indian- American public, Indian politicians
  • Indian Americans in large numbers strongly criticized the ill-timed video

New Delhi, August 14, 2017: Mika Singh performed in  Houston and Chicago on August 12 and 13 respectively to celebrate Pakistan and India’s Independence Day. He received a lot of criticism for it from Indian- American public, Indian politicians, twitter world and the FIA).

Earlier, the organizers of the show posted a video of Mika talking about his performance in which he said that he’s looking forward to celebrating the Independence Day of India and Pakistan. He said, “15 August ko humara Hindustan azaad hua tha aur 14 ko humara Pakistan,” The 40-year-old singer drew criticism for saying ‘humara Pakistan’  and evoked angry twitter reactions- “Shame on you. Are you celebrating Pakistani Day? Do you know how many of our Army Jawans are being killed by Pakistan?” a user tweeted.

FIA is a non-profit umbrella organization of other Indian associations in the Chicago land and Mid-West area for the Indian community. Iftikaar Shareef, Trustee Chairman FIA said, “We will not tolerate you (Mika Singh) participating in Pakistan’s Independence Day.” He also said that if he’s coming to Chicago he should better be prepared for actions taken by them. As per a collective vote, he said that Mika is not welcome to Chicago if he goes to Houston. Kanti N. Patel, president of FIA said, “We should oppose Mika Singh’s performance as Indians.” They said that they will protest if he performs in Houston for Pakistan’s Independence Day and then comes to Chicago to celebrate Indian Independence Day.

WATCH THE VIDEO: FIA Press Conference Condemning Mika Singh 

The federation includes groups like Indo-American Association of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, India House, Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Graduate Indian Student Organization of the University of Houston and Patanjali Yogpeeth.  “We have a strained relationship (with Pakistan)… If he has any sense of patriotism, he should cancel this concert. Money is not everything in life. Country comes first always,” said Col (rtd) Vipin Kumar, executive director India House Inc who wanted the concert to be canceled.

Amee Patel, president of Gujrat Samaj, Houston, said: “As an organization of Indian-origin (people), we fully stand behind our flag and our other Indian community organizations in protesting against this event and we do not support this event in any fashion.” Swapan Dhairyawan, a community activist and former president of the India Culture Centre, said that it would not have been an issue if the artist was performing for a regular concert. But he emphasized it as a celebration of Pakistan’s Independence Day and saying in his viral video ‘Humara Pakistan’ is unforgivable and unfortunate.

Indian Americans in large numbers strongly criticized the ill-timed video and expressed their anger towards the statement that the show is a joint celebration. They said that the video comes across as a ‘cruel joke’ in the wake of the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC, resulting in deaths of many innocent civilians and the armed forces personnel.

According to a PTI report, Ramesh Shah, an Indian-American philanthropist said   “Celebrating India’s Independence Day is for those who believe in India and its freedom and democracy…It can never happen with Pakistan, and not when they are sponsoring and supporting Pakistani terrorists on the Indian soil.”

Mika Singh also drew the ire of several political parties. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chitrapat Sena Chief Amey Khopkar tweeted, “Mika Singh is doing Hamara Pakistan concert in USA. Open challenge to him, try holding a mic (microphone) in Maharashtra now,” The MNS leader said that he would write to CM Devendra Fadnavis seeking suitable action against the singer for his unpatriotic remarks.

Later, on August 12, MNS staged protests in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, burned the Pakistani flag and effigies of Mika. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said, “He should know that the Pakistan which he is praising is our enemy. Pakistan always plans and plots against India and to praise such a country is incorrect.” Nirupam has asked Mika to apologize for his shameful act and to withdraw his statement. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also spoke on this issue and said that the artists should not compromise on patriotism over commercial benefits.

 ALSO READ: Delhi police arrests singer Mika for assaulting doctor at an event

India and Pakistan are not on good terms and there is a lot of tension between the two countries so this is not a correct time for an Indian artist to perform in Pakistan, celebrating their Independence Day when after the 2016 Uri attack all the Pakistani artists were banned to work in India. Twitter users criticized Mika Singh:


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US Senate Confirms Three Indian Americans picked by President Donald Trump to Key Governmental Posts

The Senate has unanimously confirmed three Indian-Americans to key government positions, including one as the Trump administration’s czar on intellectual property

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US Senate
Donald Trump appoints three Indian-Americans to key govt posts. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Vishal Amin is the Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Coordinator in the Trump administration
  • Krishna Urs is confirmed as the US ambassador to Peru

Aug 06, 2017: The US Senate has confirmed three Indian Americans picked by President Donald Trump for key governmental posts.

Neil Chatterjee was confirmed on Thursday as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees electricity, natural gas, and oil at the national level. Krishna R. Urs was confirmed as the Ambassador to Peru while Vishal Amin got the post of White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

Chatterjee will play a key role in Trump’s programme to reshape energy policy, most of which is opposed by environmentalists and Democrats. He is the second Indian American to be appointed by Trump to a major regulatory position with a controversial mission.

Chatterjee held the influential position of energy policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and helped shape energy legislation. His work backed the Senator’s campaign against regulations to restrict use of coal for electricity generation.

Also Read: US to probe into complaint: Does Harvard University discriminate against Indians, Asians?

Among issues he will likely deal with are Trump’s plans to allow the construction of the Keystone pipeline to carry crude oil from Canada to Texas in the US, which was stopped by former President Barack Obama, and several gas pipeline projects.

Krishna Urs has been a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned.

Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. Urs, who knows Spanish, Hindi and Telugu, has specialised in economic issues and has developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America, the White House said.

Vishal Amin is currently serving as a senior counsel for the US House Judiciary Committee. The IP enforcement position was created in 2008 in order to help the government combat online piracy.

Amin served in the administration of George W. Bush as the White House’s associate director for domestic policy and as special assistant and associate director for policy in the United States Department of Commerce. (IANS)