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Indian origin girls -- New Jersey-based Natasha Peri (11) and Dubai-based Priyamvada Deshmukh (12) -- have been named in the worlds "brightest" students list based on results of above-grade-level testing of 19,000 students across 84 countries, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), a part of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
"Peri, a student at Thelma L. Sandmeier Elementary School, was honored for exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, or similar assessment is taken as part of the CTY Talent Search," said a statement from the CTY.
Deshmukh, a student of GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai, has been honored for her exceptional performance on the SCAT assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent Search, a university statement said.
She was one of nearly 19,000 students from 84 countries who joined CTY in the 2019-21 Talent Search years. CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their true academic abilities.
Peri took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2021 when she was in Grade 5. Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections leveled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance.
"This motivates me to do more," she said, adding that doodling and reading J.R.R Tolkien's novels may have worked for her.
Deshmukh took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2020 when she was still in Grade 6. Her results in the verbal sections leveled with the advanced Grade 10 performance. She made the cut for Johns Hopkins CTY 'High Honors Awards'.
Due to the Covid19, induced delay in Global logistics support, she finally received her much-awaited "High Honors" pin this week, which she lovingly kept in front of her Grandparents photograph as a tribute to her roots.
The delay in officially getting the certificates did not stop her from attending the summer program at John Hopkins University's CTY in English literature where she studied the confluence of Art and Science in literary writing and completed the course scoring 'A' Grade.
She followed up with top-scoring the second level of Asset Talent Examination which also qualified her for the summer program at Northwestern University this year, where she is learning about world-building in fiction writing this year.
Her elder brother was among the first UAE students to have cleared the Duke University TIP (Talent Identification Programme) when he was in Class 8.
Her parents joke that it's nothing but routine sibling rivalry that she wanted to achieve the same, just a year ahead of her brother. Even though she loves Physics and Computer Science as subjects, unlike her elder brother (who is Chancellor's Scholarship holder student of Astro Physics at the University of Massachusetts), Deshmukh wants to pursue humanities and literature when she goes to college five years down the lane.
As part of Johns Hopkins policy, granular information is not broken down by age or race.
Likewise, it is left to the guardian to disclose the prodigy's name. Within the US, awardees come from all 50 US states.
"We are thrilled to celebrate these students," said Virginia Roach, CTY's executive director.
"In a year that was anything but ordinary, their love of learning shined through, and we are excited to help cultivate their growth as scholars and citizens throughout high school, college, and beyond," Roach added.
The quantitative section of the Johns Hopkins CTY test measures the ability to see relationships between quantities expressed in mathematical terms, the verbal section measures understanding of the meaning of words and the relationships between them.
By- Khushi Bisht
Pandit Ramlall, a renowned Indian Guyanese and Indian American social and religious activist, was honored with a solemn and elaborate event last month in Queen's Richmond Hill, New York City, to install a road sign dedicated after him.
The life and legacy of Pandit Ramlall will be discussed in this article.
Ramlall was born in Guyana to Indian indentured parents on February 28, 1928. He was a famous Vedic scholar and a freedom fighter for Guyana's independence. Ramlall was born into a humble family and lived a modest life till his death. His parents were impoverished, yet they worked extremely hard.
When his father's indentureship expired, he left the sugar farm and went to work in Skeldon, where he became a talented and well-known barber. Ramlall's father died while he was only 4 years old. He said that his father's death had a significant mental and emotional effect on him. He did, however, inherit his father's will to succeed via hard effort.
Ramlall's mother took over the position of both parents when his father passed away. But, as they say, life is never straightforward and always unpredictable. Ramlall's mother died when he was eight years old from a sickness for which she could not afford medical care.
Pandit Ramlall's upbringing was challenging since he was an orphan trying to seek his place in the world.
Ramlall went to work at his uncle's bakery when his father passed away, earning the nickname "Baby Ramlall." When both of Ramlall's parents died, his uncle vowed to assist pay for his schooling. Although, he didn't follow through on his commitment. Ramlall was eventually exploited as though he were a juvenile slave.
Well, Ramlall was able to get an education thanks to a stroke of luck along the journey. Much of his expertise, particularly his in-depth mastery of Hindi, was self-taught. He gradually came upon the Arya Samaj and became a devout disciple of the Vedas and the writings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
He was engaged in the Arya Samaj campaign in New York, helping to build two Arya Samaj temples and contributing to the foundation of the Arya Samaj Mandir Federation. He was appointed a priest at the age of nineteen as a recompense for his devotion to his temple and its worshippers. Since he was an authorized priest, he also conducted marriage rituals for numerous Trinidadians, Guyanese, and Indians.
Even in his early twenties, Ramlall battled to find financial security. However, he decided to teach the Hindi language at Guyana's Tagore High School.
Ramlall was a key figure in Guyana's independence movement. He was also imprisoned in Sibley Hall for 3 years during a period of ethnic and sociopolitical unrest in Guyana. He departed Guyana in 1979, fearing for his and his family's safety, and immigrated to the United States of America.
He was a huge supporter of education and was never reluctant to promote rigorous studying to any young people he encountered. He got a college degree when circumstances provided him the opportunity, although he was already a grown person.
He also earned several additional honors in the United States, Canada, and India.
On January 26th, 2019, Ramlall passed away calmly encircled by his friends and family. He was one month away from becoming 91 years old. Ramlall's life depicts a man who faced adversity yet conquered it to ultimately prevail. His persistence of spirit and commitment to oneness might educate many in today's society about leadership skills. He had gained everyone's love and appreciation, and he will always be remembered for his many contributions to society's welfare.
The 2020 survey carried out by Carnegie Endowment, tries to find and analyze the reasons for Modi’s popularity in the United States. Indian-origin American citizens now comprise the second-largest immigrant group in the USA. Over the years with increasing political influence and playing an active role in the US internal politics, this group also tends to be actively involved in the politics of the country of their origin.
Since the turn of the twenty-first century the burgeoning US-India partnership, which has enjoyed steady progress and has touched on areas as diverse as climate change, defense, and space exploration. Thus, an analysis of their role and attitudes has an important influence on both the American and Indian policymakers besides the US-India relations.
Outreach to the far-flung Indian diaspora has been a signature element of Indian PM Narendra Modi since coming to power in 2014. Modi has focussed particularly on the Indian diaspora in the USA, a considerable percentage of whom is from his home state Gujarat, and has held two massive rallies in 2014 and 2019 on US soil. These gatherings signified the particular importance that the Modi government has placed on the Indian diaspora as a force multiplier of India’s foreign policy. The Indian American immigrant group has become the second largest in the United States and as per the current count stands at more than 4 million.
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These high-octane gatherings, however, naturally lead to a series of questions: How do Indians in America regard India, and how do they remain connected to developments there? What are their attitudes toward Indian politics and changes underway in their ancestral homeland? And what role, if any, do they envision for the United States in engaging with India?
To analyze these and other related issues Carnegie Endowment of the US, commissioned a survey on How Indian Americans Feel about India and Prime Minister Modi’s popularity. The online survey was carried out by Devesh Kapur, Professor of South Asian Studies and director of Asia Programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Milan Vaishnav, a senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Sumitra Badrinathan, a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of Pennsylvania.
The survey lists out four major takeaways from the analysis. First, Modi’s popularity across most of the major demographic groups is striking. Second, older Indian Americans tend to be more favorably disposed toward Modi’s popularity. His approval is highest among those above the age of fifty (55 percent), but it is nearly as high among thirty- to forty-nine-year-olds (53 percent). However, there is no clear gender disparity: men and women approve of Modi in nearly equal proportions (49 and 50 percent, respectively).
Third, Modi’s popularity fares better among non-US citizens naturalized citizens and immigrants who are more recent arrivals. Fifty-three percent of non-citizens and 52 percent of naturalized Indian Americans approve of Modi compared to 44 percent of US-born citizens. Interestingly, Modi’s approval is lowest among Indian Americans who have been in the country the longest. For respondents who have been in the United States for more than twenty-six years, Modi’s approval stands at 46 percent.
Fourth, there are also striking patterns when analyzing the data by occupation and region of origin. Indian Americans employed as engineers (including architects and computer scientists), are more supportive of Modi than non-engineers: 61 percent of engineers approve of Modi compared to 48 percent of non-engineers.
In terms of region of origin, the analysis used a respondent’ smother tongue’ as a proxy. Modi’s support is greatest among those who speak Hindi or the languages of Western India (Gujarati and Marathi) at 66 and 65 percent, respectively. Conversely, it is lowest among those from Eastern India (speaking languages such as Assamese, Bengali, or Odia) at 38 percent and those from primarily English-speaking families at 34 percent.
The relationship between duration of stay in the United States and support for Modi could be either due to informational or selection effects. More recent arrivals are likely to be more plugged into the Indian political scene. At the same time, those who came to the United States earlier likely hailed from an Indian middle class forged in a polity dominated by the Congress Party, while recent migrants arrived during a time of BJP political dominance.
On foreign policy, Indian Americans endorse efforts to deepen ties between Washington and New Delhi and share broadly negative views of China. However, they are more split on how far the two countries should go in confronting China. This study is the second in a series on the social, political, and foreign policy attitudes of Indian Americans. The major findings are briefly summarised below.
Indian Americans are divided about India’s current trajectory. Respondents are nearly evenly split as to whether India is currently on the right track or headed down the wrong track. Indian Americans are especially concerned about the challenges which government corruption and slowing economic growth pose to India’s future.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the most popular political party among Indian Americans. One-third of respondents favor the ruling BJP while just 12 percent identify with the Congress Party. Indian Americans hold broadly favorable views of Modi. Nearly half of all Indian Americans approve of Modi’s performance as prime minister. This support is greatest among Republicans, Hindus, engineering professionals, those not born in the United States, and those who hail from North and West India.
Indian Americans’ policy views are more liberal on issues affecting the United States and more conservative on issues affecting India. Regarding contentious issues such as the equal protection for religious minorities, immigration, and affirmative action, Indian Americans uphold relatively more conservative views of Indian policies than of US policies.
Indian Americans heavily rely on online sources for news about India, though they do not view it as particularly trustworthy relative to traditional news sources. Indian Americans are broadly supportive of the US-India relationship. A plurality of Indian Americans believes that current levels of US support for India are adequate, while a large majority hold unfavorable opinions of China.
However, Indian Americans are divided about US efforts to strengthen India’s military as a check against China. Foreign-born Indian Americans and those who identify as Republicans are more supportive of US efforts to support India militarily than their US-born and Democratic counterparts. The parallels between a Modi-supporter be it in India or in the USA, are very uncanny and that’s what provides foot soldiers to his politics, besides the well-educated and settled individual.
These stark realities are a definite pointer to the trajectory, which the Indian politics seems to have taken during the last 15-20 or so years. With BJP rising to be a regular actor on the national political scene, it has been able to consolidate its grip over power through a decisive and charismatic campaign led by PM Modi, and there seems to be no alternative to its brand of majoritarian politics to be replaced soon, as most of the significant political players in India have been swept to the margins, the Survey concludes. (IANS/SP)
An Indian flag was seen amid a sea of American and Trump flags in the footage, as well as images, of the violent protests at the US Capitol that went viral on social media. An Indian-American Republican political activist, Vincent Xavier, tweeted on Thursday pictures of the flags India, South Korea, and Iran at the protest. The Iranian flag was from the pre-Islamic revolution era.
His tweet said: “American patriots – Vietnamese, Indian, Korean & Iranian origins, & from so many other nations & races, who believe massive voter fraud has happened joined rally yesterday in solidarity with Trump. Peaceful protestors who were exercising our rights.”
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On his Facebook page, Xavier posted a video of a person at the protest with an Indian flag. Many people who commented on the post criticized him for associating India and Indians with a protest that turned violent. One of the posts said: “It is your right to protest at Trump Rallies, You have no right to carry an Indian flag at Stop the Steal Trump rally which ended in Storming the US Capitol.”
Another picture from a Twitter user showed six people standing in front of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters as if posing for a picture with one of them holding what appeared to be a furled Indian flag on a pole. Another person in the group held a sign that said “Indian Voices for Trump”, and others had an American and a red Trump flag and signs that said “Asian Pacific Americans for Trump” and “Stop the Steal” — a reference to the President’s claims about election fraud.
The people seemed like they could be of Indian descent and some appeared to be in their 20s or 30s. They could not be identified nor could it be ascertained if they even participated in the protest. There was no indication on the website of Indian Voices for Trump that it backed the protests. The organization had campaigned for Trump in the run-up to the election.
An Indian-origin journalist who works for a public radio station tweeted about the protest participation: “Lest you think this was an all-white mob, there are Indian-American supporters of the president who took part like my source Hemant, a businessman from Iselin, New Jersey. He sounded ecstatic about today’s events.”
The journalist also posted a screenshot of an exchange with the person identified only as Hemant in which he said: “I am here. Thousands and thousands of people are here. They stormed the Capitol building. I witnessed…”
The Indian flag first surfaced in a video posted by Alejandro Alvarez, the digital editor of the Washington news radio station WTOP and was only seen among the crowd standing back from the Capitol on the street while much further ahead some people were climbing on the building’s steps.
The person holding the flag could not be seen in the video. An Indian-American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) poll published in October 2020 showed that 22 percent of registered voters from the community planned to vote for Trump, while 72 percent were for Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden. Going by the IAAS poll, the backing for Trump had increased by 6 percent compared to his support level shown in the 2016 Post-Election National Asian American Survey. (IANS)