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British-Indian MP Virendra Sharma receives Stya Paul Memorial Award

Virendra Sharma, One of Britain's senior-most Indian-origin MPs, has been awarded Dr Stya Paul Memorial Award for his contribution regarding India-UK ties

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Virendra Sharma receives Stya Paul Memorial Award for his contribution in strengthening Indo-Uk ties. Image courtesy: wikimedia commons
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London, February 24: Virendra Sharma, One of Britain’s senior-most Indian-origin MPs, has been chosen as the first recipient of Dr Stya Paul Memorial Award for his “outstanding contribution” regarding India-UK ties.

The award was received by the Labour party MP for Ealing Southall at a ceremony in London on Wednesday from NRI industrialist and the younger brother of Indian educationist Dr Stya Paul, Lord Swaraj Paul.

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“It is a great honour to receive this award in memory of Dr Stya Paul, who hails from the same town in India as me ? Jalandhar,” Sharma was quoted as saying at the third annual Indo-UK Thought Leadership Awards.

The event which was organised by Great Place to Study (GPTS) Research Institute, an international auditing firm for Indian colleges and UK-based consultancy Sterling Media, is an annual program that celebrates achievements in the field of economic development and education.

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Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik, put the focus on the importance of education to the India-UK relationship.

According to him, “It is vital that education acts as a great link between the two countries. However, over the years, the number of Indian students coming to the UK to study has fallen down from 40,000 to 16,000”.

“While this is not a loss to India, considering they have other welcome options such as the US, Canada, Germany or Australia, where numbers seem to swell, it is certainly a setback for working and expanding on the historical UK-India ties. Students and academia play a great role in cementing this relationship,” he added.

According to PTI reports, The Global Icon Award for 2017 was awarded to Rajesh Agrawal, Londons Indian-origin Deputy Mayor for Business.

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In his acceptance speech, he stated, “London is a city of dreams, where one can achieve anything. My story is a testimonial to that, I grew up from a small town in India (Indore) and stepped out for the first time abroad, and landed in Heathrow with 200 pounds in my pocket back in 2001”.

The list of the other key award-winners includes dignitaries like Dame Asha Khemka, principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, for “outstanding contribution to Indo-UK academic relations”; Centre of Excellence Award to the head of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Shaunaka Rishi Das; Lord Pauls niece Sushma Paul Berlia, chairperson & president of Apeejay Svran Group & Apeejay Education Society, for “outstanding contribution in Indian education & industry” and many more.

According to the explanation of Shekhar A Bhattacharjee, founder of the GPTS Research Institute, “These thought leadership awards are not just about celebrating the leading contributors to sectors like education, business and economic development from both countries, but also building and fostering new relationships between the UK and India.”

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

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Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)