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Indian Americans can help India realise its full potential and how to deal with Challenges in a better manner

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A Indian Woman holding Flag (Representational Image), Pixabay

– by Frank Islam

May 4, 2017: In 2010, during his first visit to India, President Barack Obama proclaimed: “I believe that India and America are indispensable partners in meeting the challenges of their times.”

I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment and feel strongly that Indian Americans can play a key role in strengthening that partnership and helping India achieve its full potential.

Because of their accomplishments in the United States and understanding of India, Indian Americans are uniquely positioned to step forward and provide assistance to address pressing issues in their mother country.

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Consider the following remarkable statistics reported by Indiaspora, a non-profit organisation based in San Francisco with a mission of transforming the success of Indian-Americans into meaningful impact worldwide:

* Highest household income of any ethnic group in the US — $100,000 versus a national average of $51,000

* 32% have Bachelors degrees versus 18% for the US overall

* 38% have advanced degrees versus 10% for the US overall

These numbers reveal the potential that Indian-Americans have to help India achieve its full potential. They can make a substantial contribution in any number of areas.

To maximise their involvement, I recommend that Indian Americans align their investments of time, talent and money in the areas discussed as part of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

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The Dialogue was established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama during the latter’s visit in 2015 as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Simultaneously, a business roundtable comprising Modi, Obama, senior government officials and prominent CEOs from both countries was convened. I had the privilege to participate in that roundtable as one of the US representatives.

The roundtable provided initial inputs to the Dialogue, the first of which was held in September 2015 and the second in 2016.

The Dialogue develops position statements in a wide range of policy areas. Some of the promising areas are:

* Innovation and Entrepreneurship through the Start-up India initiative to further collaboration between Indian and US start-ups, venture capitalists and other stakeholders.

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* Commerce, Economy and Growth: One focal point is helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to spur growth and create jobs across India. A priority here is to create a platform for sharing best practices and technology with SMEs and helping them access financing to participate in global supply chains.

* Smart Cities Cooperation: India has launched an ambitious smart cities initiative, which aims to develop more than a hundred smart cities. In the most recent dialogue, emphasis was placed on continuing reverse trade missions to look at smart solutions for these respective cities.

* Health: One of the heathcare priorities in this broad category is the control of infectious diseases and the initiation of programmes on vaccines for TB, dengue, and respiratory syncytial virus through public-private partnerships.

* Education: An education priority is “to increase cooperation in all higher education areas, including … vocational training, technical and professional education and philanthropy in higher education.” Because of the difference that education can make, higher education is one of my personal priorities for philanthropic investment.

Indian Americans have the character, capacity and competence to be leaders in addressing the pivotal areas identified and in many other areas as well. In fact, many are already doing so.

I know numerous Indian American groups and individuals who are extending a hand to help India achieve its full potential. I urge more Indian Americans to join them as allies in this most important joint venture between Indian Americans and their counterparts in India. (IANS)

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)