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Indian-origin Priest stabbed in Melbourne Church March 20, 2017 12:28

An Indian-origin Catholic priest in Melbourne was stabbed in the neck at a church in what seems to be an apparent racist attack. The suspect called him unqualified to say mass as he was an Indian. 48-year-old Tomy Kalathoor Mathew, a native of Anakkampoyil in Kozhikode district, Kerala, was stabbed at around 11 a.m. Australian time at St. Matthew’s Church in Fawkner. The attack took place when, Mathew was about to begin the Italian mass. According to local media reports, it is believed that the offender told the priest that because Mathew was an Indian, he must be a Hindu or Muslim and therefore he was not qualified to say mass. Melina, one of the parishioners said that "There was some shouting and a lot of movement at the back of the church and then I saw Father Tommy coming to approach me. He waved me over and asked me if I could look at his neck because he said 'I've just been stabbed'.” Mathew was immediately taken to Northern Hospital and treated for a wound to his neck. Police on Sunday night arrested a 72-year-old Fawkner man, believed to be of Italian-origin. And he was charged with intentionally and recklessly causing injury. He was bailed to appear in Broad meadows Magistrates' Court on June 13. Rhiannon Norton a Detective Seniors Constable said that at this stage, he believes that the incident was isolated. There is nothing to suggest he is a danger to anyone else. "People should never be treated like this. This fellow is doing wonderful work for his parishioners and this is really blight on the great work that many, many Catholic priests are doing," Shane Healy a spokesperson for Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne said. Thamarassery diocese authorities said that Mathew will continue his role as priest at the church. He has been parish priest of the church since 2014.Mathew is from a Kalathoor family of Karuimbu in Anakkampoyil. He had served as a vicar at churches in Adakkakundu, Vettilappara, Kallurutti and Chundathumpoyil. NRI writes Exquisite poem dedicated to his parents AMandeep

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Punjab Withdraws NRI Quota from AYUSH Colleges March 03, 2017 12:19

Punjab has withdrawn management and NRI quota for U.G. courses in private Ayush colleges (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) after the directions from the Union government. Now, all the 800 seats in private and government colleges will be selected through the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET). Before the admissions were based upon the statewide entrance test, which was conducted by Hoshiarpur-based Guru Ravidas Ayurved University. Dr. Sujata Sharma the Director of research and medical education said that these changes have been made after the decision of Center to bring AYUSH system medicine under NEET that would make education more affordable. “The new fee structure is being worked out after withdrawal of management and NRI quota seats that had higher fee than government seats,” she said. There is only one government ‘Ayurvedic’ college in Punjab, and 15 private colleges where the 50 percent of seats add to management quota for at Rs 1.20 lakh per annum and Rs 80,00 if in case for a government quota seat. While the 15 percent seats were allotted to NRIs at Rs 2.4 lakh per year. The state also has 4 private homeopathic colleges and a unani college. Dr. YN Sharma the Principal of Ludhiana-based Guru Nanak Ayurvedic Medical College and Research Institute, said that the decision would hit the colleges financially. Since the management and NRI quota was only the source of funds for better facilities. “The state should take a call on deciding our fee structure since it will directly affect our working and facilities to students,” he said. Other colleges complain that the fees for AYUSH courses have not been revised by the state government for last 5 years, whereas the fee for MBBS and MD courses have been revised twice during that period. “The state government has sought our opinion on the new fee structure. We will respond by Monday, the registrar of Guru Ravidas Ayurved University Jatinder Garg said. Seven Indian-American students nominated for Turman Scholarship AMandeep

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Indian-origin cartoonist asked to shut his design school March 02, 2017 14:00

South Africa based Indian-origin cartoonist’s design school has been asked to shut down by the South African government. Nanda Sooben often caricatures leading political figures, his work were greatly lauded by the former president Nelson Mandela and forms part of the late elder statesman's collection established the Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design in 1994 as democracy dawned in South Africa. The Education Department had informed Sooben that his accreditation to operate as a private higher education institution had been suspended for the second time within weeks. He has appealed against the decision and has refused to stop tutoring his 20 students-half of whom are studying for free. He said that his first accreditation was suspended, he failed to provide the department details of the students. Sooben quoted by saying I was robbed four times and forced to move premises. The department suspended our accreditation, because we didn't have our students' database' which had been stolen in the robberies' with all our computers. We then set up a new database' appealed and were reinstated," When Sooben failed to provide the Education department with a health and safety report the school’s accreditation was suspended again. Sooben said "We moved in a hurry because of the crime situation. But we got the report done and sent it within the specified time. They say the appeal is pending, but we are still suspended. His supporters have started an online petition against the Education Department, few sclaims that Sooben is being victimized because he often caricatures figures of leading politicians and speaks against government’s corruption. In his youth the Durban University of Technology denied Sooben’s registration as a student. In 2010 the University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his significant contributions to society. Donald Trump breaks his silence on Kansas shooting AMandeep

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NRI Couple quits job to teach Gujarati to daughter February 21, 2017 18:28

Leaving a high-profile job with the one of the world's biggest investment bank is not an easy decision. But the Indian couple Gaurav Pandit and his wife Sheetal had no qualms when they resigned together from Goldman Sachs in New York City. But the reason for this tough decision could leave many surprised. The Gujarati couple left the job, only because they wanted their 18-month-old daughter to stay in their native Bhanagar and learn their mother tongue. February 21 is observed as the 'International Mother Language Day.' The couple filled with pride that their daughter Taashi now 3-year-old, speaks fluent Gujarati. After working in the United States for 15years, the couple returned to Bhavnagar in 2015 and lived there for 18 months till their daughter started speaking Gujarati effortlessly. "The idea was to connect with our roots and stay with families with Taashi. She received immense love from family and friends and we could see she enjoyed a lot and she started learning Gujarati along with eating traditional rotlis. We took her to important places and forests of country including Gir. She experienced the first rain of the monsoon and drew Rangoli in Diwali. She enjoyed Holi with Keshuda's natural colour and eat Rotlas. Our journey to India will sow seeds in her which will connect to our roots in her lifetime'' "They wanted Taashi to grow up in an environment where their mother tongue is spoken. What could have been a better place than our own native? Moreover, they decided to return when she was just learning to talk. She picked up Gujarati very well and speaks fluently now," Gaurav's father Nalin Pandit.Gaurav completed his chemical engineering from Nadiad-based Dharamsinh Desai Institute of Technology (DDIT) where as Sheetal completed her graduation from the same institute. Sheetal then went to Boston for further studies. They were family friends and ultimately got married after a brief courtship. Amul celebrates ISRO’s success in its own way AMandeep

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Indian-origin sculptor joins Hands Off Our Revolution movement February 20, 2017 11:24

Renowned Indian-origin British sculptor is among two hundred artists, musicians and writers, who have joined a worldwide coalition against the rise of right-wing populism around the world. 62-year-old Anish Kapoor and other members of the creative arts have signed up to “Hands Off Our Revolution movement” which began its own website on Thursday (16th Feb). The aim of the group is to stage exhibitions and events that counter far right narratives. Kapoor said that their art affirms humanity and they insist on inclusion of all and for all. The group calls for an action by people of good conscience to stand against the hateful policies of the governments that claims to represent everyone. Adam Broomberg who is one of the driving forces in the project, said that the group aims to channel anger and explore “the possibility of envisaging a future they want to be in”. The mission statement of the group said that they want to affirm the radical nature of art. "The group believes that art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism around the world, fascism and the increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and unapologetic intolerance." According to the group’s statement, it said that they know that freedom is never granted but is won. Justice is never given, but is exacted. Both freedom and justice must be fought to be protected. Yet their assurances have rarely been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, at the moment.      It also stated that as artists, it was their job and duty to re-imaging and reinvents social relations threatened by right-wing populist rule. It is their responsibility to stand in solidarity. It said that they will not go quietly. It was their role and opportunity using their own particular forms, private and public spaces, engaging people together in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience. Narendra Modi to meet Donald Trump in May AMandeep

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Indian-origin Chancellor rejected Chinese student groups call not to call Dalai Lama February 18, 2017 09:59

A University in California headed by an Indian-origin academician has turn downed a call by Chinese students to withdraw an invitation to exiled leader of Tibet ‘Dalai Lama’, but assured them that his speech would have nothing to do with politics. Pradeep K Khosla the Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) met with three Chinese overseas student groups: The Chinese Union, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and the Chinese Business Society. In the meeting the University declined the Chinese overseas students to withdraw the invitation of the spiritual leader for a graduation speech in June this year, but assured them that his speech would not have anything to do with politics. Fan Da member of Chinese Union said that the University would not disinvite Dalai Lama, but they will stop describing him as ‘freedom fighter’ and spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people. K Khosla promised that the Dalai Lama would not include any political content in his speech and the university would soon publish a notice about the issue. Fan said that when they asked the Chancellor if he knew that the invitation to the Dalai Lama hurt the Chinese student’s feelings, the Chancellor said that he only knew that he was only a ‘religious activist’ but Chancellor had no idea what he did. It is not clear what actions Chinese groups would take to continue their protest, he said. An article in the paper said "By calling the Dalai Lama "the exiled spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people" and "a man of peace," the University has shown admiration for the Dalai Lama. Earlier this month the University announced that it has invited the 14th Dalai Lama to give a keynote the All Campus Commencement on 17th June, and a speech on 16th June at a public event. UCSD described the Dalai Lama, as "the exiled spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people" in the announcement. Narendra Modi to meet Donald Trump in May AMandeep

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Indian-origin Convicted in H1-B Visa Fraud February 17, 2017 10:58

An Indian-origin woman has become the third person involved in two outsourcing companies to be convicted of H1-B visa fraud in a scheme that also ripped off tech employees, the federal prosecutor for New Jersey Paul Fishman said. 32-year-old Hiral Patel worker for SCM Data and MMC System as an HR Manager, she pleaded guilty of obstructing justice in connection with the scheme in front of federal judge Kevnin McNulty in Newark, New Jersey. Patel was arrested in May last year. In October last year Sunila Dutt, a Virginia-based lawyer was convicted of involvement in the fraud. Hari Karne the immigration manager for an Indian-based company was found guilty in same fraud scheme in December 2016. According to prosecutors Karne was from Hyderabad, India and worked for SCM Pvt Ltd. That had an agreement with SCM Data and MNC System to provide staff. The New York based owner of the two companies Swrabh Sharma was arrested in September 2016 and 31-year-old Shika Mohta of Jersey City the head of finance for both the companies was arrested in May 2016. Both the accused were charged with fraud in the scheme. According to the prosecution, the companies recruited student visa holders or recent passed out graduates as consultants obtained, obtained H1-B visas, which is meant for professionals with specialized skills and placed them with companies requiring IT support. The prosecution also said under the terms of the H1-B, the consultants had to be given full-time positions and paid an agreed minimum salary. But they were paid only when they were working at the 3rd party companies that contracted them. To the show the U.S officials that they were paid as full-time workers, those employees were asked to give SCM and MMC cash equal to salaries for the periods they were not at the 3rd party companies and their employer, the two outsourcing companies, did not pay them. Both the companies then issued them checks for those amounts, which they were made to show to the officials of immigration as a proof that they were working full time and receiving the salary that they were supposed to for the H1-B visas, the prosecution said. December last year that there were six co-conspirators in the scheme, the prosecution said. But they did not identify them. SCM Data is based in New Jersey and MMC System is headquartered in Virginia. Private bill to introduce on wedding extravaganza AMandeep

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NRI and Daughter killed in road accident February 17, 2017 10:48

In road accident a US-based NRI and his daughter in law were killed while his wife and son were critically injured, when their vehicle fell into a dry canal after being hit by a truck. The family was travelling from Begowal in Bholath subdivision to Chandigarh. The incident occurred on Thursday early morning 4:30 a.m. at Adampur. 64-year-old Mela Singh and his wife Jasvir Kaur were going for a medical examination to get her visa application work done with their son 32-year-old Lakhwinder Singh. Lakhwinder Singh married 28-year-old Amandeep Kaur around six months ago. Both Mela Singh and Amandeep died on the spot. The family was taking a turn at Adampur near the canal when the Lakhwinder who was driving the car failed to notice the truck and took the hit. The car filled and fell into the canal. The oil tanker truck was heading towards the Indian Oil Depot at Suchi Pind. The driver of the truck Santosh Kumar of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh fled the spot. A case under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving or driving on a public way), 337 (causing damage by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing damage by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) has been registered against him. NRI Couple charged in murder conspiracy of adopted son AMandeep

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Indian-origin NASA employee detained at Airport February 13, 2017 17:31

An Indian-origin was stopped at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas. Sidd Bikkannavar is an American citizen of Indian-origin and an employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After spending two weeks in South America, he was flying back home to the United States on January 30th. When he arrived at the airport, he was welcomed with an unexpected gesture that Sidd would never have thought as he was an American. According to the reports, he was stopped at the airport and was questioned for over four hours and also had to divulge his phone’s PIN to be let of finally. Sidd left to South America on January 15th, while Obama was still the President, when he returned on January 30th, it was little over a week into the Trump’s presidency. Sidd posted an on his Facebook wall stating that he was “detained by the Homeland Security and held with others stranded due to the immigration ban.” Though he initially refused to share his PIN, as his one of the phone was the property of his office with confidential information on it, he was forced to give his PIN and was detained till they finished copying data from the phone. His entry should not have raised such problems as he is an American by birth with a US passport. He is also enrolled in Global Entry, a program through CBP that allows individuals who have undergone background checks to have expedited entry into the country. Sidd did not visit any of the listed country listed in Trump’s immigration ban. His office where he has been working since 10 years, JPL, is a US federal agency. His passport was scanned by the CBP, when he entered the country and was taken to a room to wait along with five other people, who seemed to be affected by the ban. Sidd asked why Homeland security officers that why he was being questioned, but they did not provide him any answer.Sidd was also presented with a document titled “Inspection of Electronic Devices” and he was explained that the CBP can search his phone. He showed them the phone which had a JPL pin code protection, making the device a property of NASA. US may ask social media passwords from Visa Applicants AMandeep

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Shawna Pandya clarifies: Not listed for NASA February 10, 2017 18:26

News were circulated about an Indian-origin woman, Shawna Pandya stating that she was shortlisted for NASA. But she denied all the reports that stated being shortlisted for NASA. In a Facebook post she clarified that "The Canadian Space Agencyastronaut selection is ongoing and will be finalized by the end of this year; Pandya said that she was not a part of the selection". She also clarified that she was not a neurosurgeon or an opera singer. Shawna Pandya on her Facebook Post she wrote: Thank you all for your recent well-wishes and support; it is really fantastic to see such enthusiasm for space and exploration. I am many messages behind, but will get to them all in the coming days. In light of the many many media reports and interviews over the past 24 hours, I would just like to make a few clarifications about my work and qualifications, as I have noticed more than a few misstatements. “There has been no new announcement, flight assignment or selection of missions with respect to my work as a citizen-scientist astronaut with Project Possum or The PHEnOM Project”. “I am no more or less likely to fly than any other member of than these projects than I was 24 hours ago”. “I remain, however, a steadfast, committed and dedicated teammate and crew member to the work of both projects”. My work is separate from the work of the Canadian Space Agency and that of NASA, and should not be represented as such. The Canadian Space Agency astronaut selection is ongoing and will be finalized this year; I am not a part of the selection. While I have previously interned at NASA-Johnson Space Center, I have no current affiliation with either organization, and would like to clarify that any reports or articles claiming as such are mistaken. Any articles stating that I am a neurosurgeon are mistaken. I previously trained in neurosurgery for a short period; however, my medical license is in general practice. I am not an opera singer; I have sung opera on stage once. It went well and I would do it again; however, just as boxing once does not a boxer make, neither does that one event makes me an opera singer. I look forward to continuing my work as a physician, speaker and citizen-scientist astronaut and aquanaut, and just as importantly, look forward to continuing my work with outreach and education about these projects.Dr Shawna Pandya is working as a citizen-scientist, astronaut with Project Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere and physiological, health, and environmental observations in Microgravity. Indian-origin doctor performs operation to save woman’s life AMandeep

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Missing Hyderabad NRI found dead in Falaknuma February 10, 2017 17:24

Syed Imran a 35-year-old NRI, who was working with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi had gone missing from Falaknuma, Hyderabad last week was found dead and his body buried at an under-construction house, police said today (February 10). Police on Friday got exhumed the body of Imran, who was employed as the Customer service Officer at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Police said that he was murdered for having extra marital affair with a city-based woman. Imran’s mother lodged a missing complaint with Falaknuma police on February 4th. She said that her son had gone missing following which police registered a missing case. DCP of south zone V Satyanarayana said during the investigation, police found that Imran had met a lady at Rythu Bazzar (Vegetable Market) in Falaknuma and he left with her on a two-wheeler on 4th February. During the investigation, Saif Bin Sabeth Barabood said to police that the missing person was having an extra-marital affair with the wife of his elder brother Sayeed Bin Sabeth Barabood and also his elder sister. Sayeed Bin Sabeth Barabood was working as a servant in Qatar Army, when came back to Hyderabad. DCP explained that when Sayeed met his younger brother, he was informed about the extra-marital affair of Syed Imran with his wife and sister. Then Sayeed plotted a plan along with his brother Said Bin and his wife, they lured Imran through his wife to Rythu Bazaar from where they went to Jamalbanda, DCP said. "They later murdered Imran by cutting his throat with a knife after sprinkling chili powder in his eyes and caused his instantaneous death and buried his body," the senior police officer said. He further added that the investigation was in progress to bring-out the total facts and to unravel a conspiracy hatched by the accused persons. Indian-origin ordered to pay alimony to ex-wife AMandeep

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Indian origin led startup launched overseas transaction platform February 09, 2017 17:16

A financial technology startup based in Singapore by an NRI today launched an online platform by which people can transfer funds to India cheaply. SingX Pte Ltd is planning to expand its services from Singapore to allow online money transfer to Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia, where it holds licenses along with other countries. The app was launched in mid January 2017, using the service Singapore based consumers can transfer money to Indian consumers at fraction of charges. They claimed that it would be a fraction of what consumers typically pay money transfer through regular banking charges. SingX is backed by some of the country’s most experienced bankers, the foreign exchange platform can help consumers and small/medium sized enterprises save up to 90% of remittance charges. Atul Gard the SingX’s Principal Founder and CEO said that the company wants to create the Airbnb of global payments with the Country’s first peer-to-peer foreign exchange platform. Garg said that they their targets are consumers and SMEs, the segments they believe are undeserved and consumers are paying higher rates of remittance. SingX’s technology will provide them with a smarter way of moving their funds, swiftly, smoothly and cheaply. Consumers no longer have to stand in bank queue’s or fill up the forms. Sid is of Indian-origin in Singapore with over 25 years of baking and payment experience. According to a report in 2016 by the Boston Consulting Group commissioned by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, estimates cross border payments at USD 30 trillion and growing at 10 per cent. The estimated revenues from cross border payments are USD 300 billion. Indian-origin awarded UK’s top honour in Mathematics AMandeep

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