Tuesday March 19, 2019
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US Kerala centre to honour six Indian American Malayalees


Washington: The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Centre will honour six Indian American Malayalees for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization or for their service to the society.

The honourees are: Dr Navin Manjooran, Dr Sasi K Pillay, Dr Prem Soman, Dr George M Kakkanatt, Leela Maret and Captain Jophiel Philips.

They will be honoured at the Kerala Centre’s 23rd annual awards banquet on Saturday at World’s Fair Marina in Flushing, New York. Consul General of India in New York, Dnyaneshwar Mulay, will be the chief guest.

“Every year we invite nominations and the committee has to make a unanimous choice for a candidate in a category to be selected to receive the award and this year is no different from previous years in terms of their achievements,” said Dr Thomas Abraham, head of the selection committee.

“For the last 23 years, the Kerala Centre has recognized the most outstanding achievers among the Indian American Kerala Community and they are role models for our community,” said Kerala Centre’s Thambi Thalappillil.

This year’s celebration also includes an Indian American entrepreneurs meet and technology summit for Kerala.

The awards:

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution in Engineering: Dr Navin Manjooran the Global Director (Energy) for Siemens AG and is responsible for the entire Siemens energy portfolio. He also serves as an engineering professor at Virginia Tech.

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution in Information Technology: Dr. Sasi K. Pillay, CIO of the University of Wisconsin System comprising 26 campuses where he has started several initiatives such as the Innovation Programme and Business Intelligence, while managing a portfolio of shared services totalling $45million.

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution in Medicine: Dr. Prem Soman, Director of Nuclear Cardiology, and Associate Professor of Medicine, and Clinical and Translation Science at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre.

Recognition for Community Service: Leela Maret has been working as a volunteer in many community organizations for the last three decades.

Working as a scientist for last 29 years at New York City’s Environmental Protection, Maret is also adjunct lecturer in Bronx Community College. She is the recipient of various Community awards such as NYC Comptroller’s Community Service award, and two Pravasi awards.

Recognition for Service to the Nation: Captain Jophiel Philips is a Judge Advocate General in the US Air Force. During his recent deployment, he was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as the Bronze Star, for his actions in protecting service members from harm, after an insurgent attack- where eight of his comrades died.

( Arun Kumar, IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: www.naturopathicstudent.org)

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Freedom to express: Supreme Court calls Section 66A of the IT Act unconstitutional



By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a remarkable judgement, Supreme Court has called Section 66A of the Information Technology act unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act holding it as a violation of Article 19(1)a of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

“Section 66A of the IT Act is struck down in its entirety…,” said the apex court bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.

“Our Constitution provides for liberty of thought, expression and belief. In a democracy, these values have to be provided within constitutional scheme. The law (Section 66A) is vague in its entirety,” said Justice Nariman pronouncing the judgment.

“There is no nexus between public order and discussion or causing annoyance by dissemination of information. Curbs under Section 66A of the IT Act infringes on the public right to know.”

While some petitions have contended that the words, ‘offensive’  and ‘menacing’ in the Section are vague and can be misused to undermine the very foundation of democracy. On the other hand, the Government had claimed that the Section with its guidelines is a ‘ reasonable restriction’ the right to speech and expression.

Earlier, under Section 66A, any person sending ‘offensive’ messages from a computer or any other communication device like phone, tablet, laptop could be jailed up to a period of three years.