TWO INDIAN-ORIGN MPS JOIN PRITI PATEL IN ‘VOTE LEAVE’ CAMPAIGN
Rishi Sunak and Suella Fernandes have joined Priti Patel, minister of state for employment in the David Cameron government, in the Vote Leave campaign advocating Britain to leave the European Union in the June 23 referendum. Both Sunak (Richmond) and Fernandes (Fareham) are first time Conservative MPs elected in May 2015. Sunak is the son in-law of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. They joined over 20 MPs of Commonwealth background to make a new appeal for UK to leave the EU.Signatories to a letter claim that Britain’s membership of the EU is a barrier to ties being strengthened with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, and that a vote to leave will allow Britain to adopt fairer trade and immigration policies. The claims are dismissed by the ‘Remain in EU’ camp, including by Foreign Office minister responsible for India and the Commonwealth, Hugo Swire. The cross-party ‘British Indians for IN’ group favouring continuing membership of the EU has the support of nearly 15 Indian-origin lawmakers. Priti Patel, who also has the role of ‘Indian diaspora champion,’ said: “India is a growing market with the fastest growing working age population of any other major economy – but it is a market that we are forbidden from striking a trade deal with because it is against EU rules.
US NOMINATES PIO AS ADB DIRECTOR
Indian-American politician Swati Dandekar has been nominated by the US Senate to the post of executive director to the Asian Development Bank which has ambassadorial rank.The first-ever Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2003, Dandekar would replace Robert Orr, who has held this position since 2010. Dandekar, 65, was also the first Indian born American citizen to win a state legislature seat in US.Obama had nominated Dandekar to the top US position in Asian Development Bank (ADB) in November last year. Dandekar was also member of the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011. Thereafter she served on the Iowa Utilities Board from 2011 to 2013. From 2000 to 2003, she was a member of the Vision Iowa Board of Directors.
PIO SECOND MOST POPULAR DOC IN US ON TWITTER
American neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta has emerged as the second most popular doctor in the US on Twitter, with over two million followers on the micro-blogging website, a study called the #DocsOnTwitter by researchers at Augustana University has found.Gupta, with 2,031,428 followers on Twitter, serves as associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and as assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine.
SIKHS IN CANADA WANT KOMAGATA IN SYLLABUS
Even as PM Justin Trudeau apologised to the Sikh community for the 1914 Komagata incident, Canadian Sikhs have demanded that the episode should be made part of school curricula. “It is important that we as Canadians teach our youngsters to confront issues like racism and xenophobia and learning about the Komagata Maru incident is an excellent opportunity to do so,“ World Sikh Organization president Mukhbir Singh said.In his apology in the House of Commons,Trudeau said: “Canada’s government was, without question, responsible for the laws that prevented these passengers from immigrating peacefully and securely.
OLDEST UK-INDIAN DIASPORA BODY SUPPORTS ‘LEXIT’
A Left-leaning political organisation of UK-based Indians has announced its support for a movement named “Lexit” or the “Left Leave Campaign”, which pushes for Britain’s exit from the European Union during the June 23 referendum, but not for the reasons cited by the better known “Vote Leave Campaign”.The Indian Workers Association (IWA), which was formed in 1938 and is the oldest grouping of members of UK Indians, announced its support for the Lexit campaign at an event in Southall on Saturday, which included tributes to leaders of the Indian Left such as HS Surjeet and AB Bardhan.TheLexit campaign argues Britain should vote to leave the EU because the EU has a “big business agenda”, that it is allegedly “unreformable and undemocratic”. And they say it is “a myth that the EU defends workers”.HarsevBains of the IWA echoed similar concerns while explaining the IWA’s support. He said though the European Economic Community (now the European Community) was formed 40 years ago with the aim of helping the movement of finance between its member states, it had yielded little benefit for ordinary working people in Britain, especially those from India.“For us the borders still exist today. People from India still require one visa for Europe and a separate visa for UK. We get the worst of all worlds. Even in trading terms, we recall last year’s embargo against the alphonso mangoes banned by Europe and applied to UK,” Bainssaid.TheLexit campaign has been critical of arguments made on both sides of the political divide, such as those by Conservative MP Boris Johnson and ministers of Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.
2 PIO GROUPS ALLEGE RACE BIAS BY YALE
A coalition of more than 130 Asian-American organisations, including two Indian-American groups, have sought an investigation into admission practices of the Yale University and two other Ivy League institutions, alleging that they discriminate against students from the community on racial grounds.Indian-American groups – the American Society of Engineers of National Capital Chapter and the Global Organisation of Los Angeles Chapter – have joined over 130 Asian-American groups and got the complaint filed on Monday by Asian-American Coalition for Education (AACE) group against Yale, Brown University and Dartmouth College with the US departments of education and justice.
PIOS SWEEP NATGEO BEE CONTEST
Rishi Nair, 12year-old Indian-American student, has won the $50,000 National Geographic Bee competition in which Indian origin contestants maintained their dominance by sweeping all the top three slots. Seven of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans. As National Geographic Bee champion in the 28th edition of the contest, Nair, a sixth grader from Florida, received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament. Last year Karan Menon had won the competition.Eighth-grader Saketh Jonnalagadda, 14, from Massachusetts was the runner up and recipient of the US$25,000 college scholarship. Third place and a $10,000 college scholarship was grabbed by Kapil Nathan, 12, a sixth-grader from Alabama. The final question, which clinched the win for Nair, was: “A new marine sanctuary will protect sharks and other wildlife around Isla Wolf in which archipelago in the Pacific Ocean?“.The answer was: “Galapagos Islands“. Nair, whose parents hail from Kerala, is the second Florida student to win the contest. In 2010, eighth grader Aadith Moorthy of Palm Harbor was the national champion. The contest ended with a nail-biting final round between Nair and Saketh.
OBAMA HONOURS INDIAN-AMERICAN TEACHER FOR WORK ON EDUCATION
An Indian-American woman elementary teacher from Texas for her excellent work in the field of education. Revathi Balakrishnan, a talented teacher at Patsy Sommer Elementary School, was also named 2016 `Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year’. 53-year-old Austin-based Balakrishnan says, “This is my passion, not work for me” who has taught in the district’s talented and gifted programmes for nine years. Currently teaching math at Sommer, Balakrishnan will now represent Texas in the `National Teacher of the Year’ competition. “I’m an Indian-American, so I think the Indian community is feeling a lot of pride and joy,“Balakrishnan said, adding that about 30% of the students at `Sommer Elementary’ are Asian or Indian.“I feel proud to represent those and I can convince a lot of younger generation Indian kids to turn to teaching for a career. Originally from Chennai, Balakrishnan was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutual, managing databases and programming for about 12 years before becoming a teacher.
PIOs TO BE PART OF PENTAGON IT VENTURE
Defence secretary Ashton Carter has appointed two Indian Americans -a former F-16 pilot and an Iraq war veteran -in leadership positions for the Pentagon’s centre in Silicon Valley aimed at innovation in IT solutions for the military. The four-member team of Raj Shah and Vishaal Hariprasad, along with Christopher Kirchhoff and Isaac Taylor, would report directly to Carter, as he announced to scale up his brainchild Defence Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) opened in Silicon Valley last year.
INDIAN ELECTED DEPUTY MAYOR OF LOUGHTON IN UK
An Indian journalist has been unanimously elected the deputy mayor of Loughton town in the UK, it was announced. “Councillor Philip Abraham has been elected unanimously as the deputy mayor of Loughton, “the announcement said. The deputy mayor usually goes on to become the mayor for the following year.
12YR OLD PIO WANTS TO BECOME DOCTOR BY 18
A 12-year-old Indian-American boy, who was congratulated by President Barack Obama after he became the youngest ever to graduate from a US college, is aiming to become a doctor by the time he turns 18 as he has been accepted to two prestigious university campuses. Tanishq Abraham, a native of Sacramento in California, has been accepted to University of California (UC) Davis and received a regent’s scholarship to UC Santa Cruz