NRIs, PIOs, OCIs all over the world are making waves by their sheer intelligence, smartness & hard work. This is the reason that their sucess stories are emerging everyday from every nook & corner of the world. From running businesses to helming multinational corporations, from forming the very backbone of the much acclaimed NHS to political participation, indiaspora have been earning a well deserved place for themselves.NRI Achievers in this issue puting some light on few of them
A groundbreaking research by an Indian-origin scientist at the University of Rhode Island (URI) has revealed that clothes and other wearable items could possibly sense illness and transmit data to a doctor in a distant clinic for monitoring health and prescribing drugs.
The Indian-origin scientist is researching on smart textiles — wearable items embedded with sensors, electronics and software, capable enough for collecting data from patients, even though they are at home, and deliver it to doctors. According to Kunal Mankodiya, Director of the university’s Wearable Biosensing Laboratory, “We are in the era of game-changing technology, especially in health care”. Thus, transforming gloves, socks, clothing and even shoes into high-tech items that will make people healthier — and improve their lives.
These newly developed smart gloves are embedded with sensors on the fingers and thumb that measure tremors and rigidity — common symptoms of Parkinson disease. According to the Indian-origin researcher, “The glove will give patients the option of receiving health care while remaining at home, and it also reduces the risk of falls and other accidents”.
Mankodiya is also working on high-tech socks for people who have suffered strokes. Speaking on his research he reveals, “The socks examine the walking stride. They can quantify movements of the knee and ankle joints to find subtle irregularities that require therapy. The socks also monitor a patient’s progress”. In addition, Mankodiya is partnering with the US-based Lifespan Hospitals to create smart watch technologies for patients with psychiatric illnesses and autism.
The Indian-origin scientist and his team of students have been working on “smart wearables” for years as part of their research on the “Internet of Things,” a framework to automate human interactions with Cloud computing. Other projects of his team focus on developing tools to image, sense and record brain function to treat Parkinson’s, as well as other neurological diseases, such as epilepsy.
Born in India, Mankodiya received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Saurashtra University and his doctorate in computer science from the University of Luebeck in Germany. He did post-doctorate research at Carnegie Mellon University and joined URI in 2014.
Recently, an Indian-origin ‘Chai Walli’ or tea seller, Ms. Uppma Virdi, 26, was hailed as Australia’s 2016 Businesswoman of the Year”. Her relentless passion for tea was recently celebrated at the Indian Australian Business and Community Awards (IABCA) in a grand Sydney ceremony with her getting Australia’s Businesswoman of the Year award.
This happy-looking business woman is an Indian-Australian lawyer by profession, but more than practicing her career as a lawyer, she is happy with the “Chai”, which is making her reach out to people. She started her tea business 2 years back; and then extended the business with an online store for retail purchase worldwide, wholesaling to local speciality stores and even teaching ‘The Art of Chai’ classes. She runs “The art of Chai” workshops to teach people how to brew the perfect tea.
Uppma’s love for tea goes all the way back to her childhood since her grandfather, a doctor who specialised in herbs and spices, taught her the art of Ayurvedic tea. She’s now built her business around the idea of sharing the fascinating Indian culture of tea with the world. “My grandfather is an Ayurvedic doctor and he used to make this Ayurvedic tea at his medical dispensary. He taught me the art of Ayurvedic tea”, says the business woman, adding that in the Indian culture people come together through tea. Uppma said because the tea has a huge significance in the Indian culture, she wants to share it with the people everywhere. That’s when the business idea was born!
Ms. Virdi special blends have become so well-liked that they’d be sold out back when she was bringing wire racks of full tea cups to offices and selling teas at the market herself. More interest in coffee that tea in Australia was never an impediment for Uppma. “Interest in tea is growing in Australia as more and more people are seeking alternatives to coffee. It was coincidently the right time for me”, says the business woman.
No wonder, her passion, endurance and commitment for the tea took Indian tea, in all its glory, to Australia and have absolutely nailed it. From successful lawyer to Chai Walli, and now Businesswoman of the Year – Uppma Virdi’s story is an ultimate reverse-Slumdog-Millionaire!
Indian-born researcher Dinesh Bharadia, 28, has won the prestigious 2016 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award for his contribution to radio waves. The young Indian-origin researcher hails from Ichalkarnji in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Presently, he is a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A doctorate from Stanford University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
He was chosen for the award for his contribution to send and receive radio (wireless) signals, including mobile telephony and data on the same channel (wave). As per the statement released by the society, “Bharadia has been chosen for the 2016 Paul Baran Young Scholar Award for his contribution to send and receive radio (wireless) signals, including mobile telephony and data on the same channel (wave)”. His duplex radio technology has debunked a longstanding notion that it is not possible for a radio to transmit and receive on the same frequency band because of the interference. His work culminated in making full-duplex radios a reality through the development of effective self-interference cancellation technology.
The new technology developed will permit guidance and control of driverless automobiles even in harsh weathers and will also be beneficial for the visually challenged. The use of this technology will also allow doubling the data service, in the telecom. It will also allow better coverage of radio signal without heavy investment for increasing number of towers.
Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award is named after Nobel laureate Guglielmo Marconi who had invented radio. It was instituted by his daughter Gioia Marconi Braga through an endowment in 1974. The award, considered an equivalent of the Nobel Prize in science and technology domain, carries prize money of $4,000. It is bestowed annually outstanding individuals whose scope of work and influence emulate the principle of ‘creativity in service to humanity’ that inspired Marconi.The Indian-American researcher will receive the award at a ceremony at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, on 2nd November, 2016.
The World Genius Directory-2016 was recently honoured by an Indian Entry after Aishwarya Trivedi has secured a place among the top brains in the world. The 23-year-old Indian entry is included in the World Genius Directory – 2016 (WGD) from Asia region with an IQ recorded at 150. The eldest child of an architect mother and ex-naval father, she is among the Who’s Who of the high IQ world and falls in the range of just 2% of the global population with very high intelligence.
Aishwarya Trivedi, who graduated in architecture from a college in Vadodara, Gujarat is currently pursuing further studies on Construction Project Management at the New York University in the US.
According to the achiever, she would like to help build better sustainable cities to aid in solving the climate change conundrum and find answers to the question of livability in future cities. Accepting the award, she said, “The platform given to me as the WGD Asian Ambassador Genius of the Year 2016 is a glorious opportunity! Although, it is a matter of pride and joy at the moment, I do not want to get complacent. As a profound ambassador of genius, I would like to start my own foundation of IQ geniuses around the world with responsibilities to propagate this gift to those under privileged ones. I will help make the society of geniuses comfortable in their own community where they can share their ideas and knowledge and bring about prolific results in their respective field of expertise”.
She first joined the hi-IQ community Mensa India, then went a step ahead and was included in the WGD. The WGD was created by Dr Jason Betts, and his famed for rigorous IQ tests.
A UK based NRI woman Bharulata Kamble, has covered approximately 32,000 km in 75 Days, travelling across 32 countries transcontinental from UK to India, to spread the message of ‘BetiBachao, BetiPadhao’ an initiative run by Indian Government for the betterment of girl child. She also wants to support the cause of ‘saving the girl child’, and ‘women empowerment and education’ in India through her drive.
She has even covered around 2,800 km in just 4 days to drive solo in the Arctic Circle. This makes her the first woman to cover such large distance in the Arctic Circle. She moved in to Arctic Circle region at Rovaneimi in Finland on September 23rd, she managed to drive approximately 700 km per day for the next 4 days and established the record drive of 2,792 km in the region facing cold and barren land. She also got special approval to travel up to the 307-metre cliff of Nordkapp where she unfurled the Indian flag alongside the Union Jack. She began her expedition from Luton in UK at the end of August, 2016.
She has now resumed her drive to India, where she is expected to reach in early November, scheduled to end her journey in her husband’s hometown Mahad, about 140 km (road distance) from Pune. She will enter India from the Imphal border, and will drive towards Delhi and other states, reaching Maharashtra via Gujarat and Rajasthan. If successful, she will become the first woman driver in the world to complete a transcontinental car journey alone, covering 32 countries and 32,000 km. This will include 5,500 km of mountains reaching the altitude of 3,700 metres above sea level, and driving 2,500 km through desert areas.
The expedition is entirely sponsored by her surgeon husband and the donations she collects along the drive, which would be distributed to two UK-based charities and two in India, respectively. Her passion for driving has fuelled her latest project. According to Ms. Kamble, “I have always loved driving but to undertake such a long journey is also a big responsibility. Moreover, as we began planning the journey, I came to realize that if I do set the record, I would be representing two nations the UK where I am a citizen, and India, my native country”.
Bharulata, mother of two sons aged 8 and 11 years, holds dual citizenship of England and Australia. Her journey is observed by the authorities at Guinness World Records as well.
ANIL KUMAR JAIN
An Indian-origin US researcher and his team have recently created life-size 3D hand models, complete with fingerprints, deploying a high-resolution 3D printer, which is capable of producing the same ridges and valleys as a real finger.
Like any optical device, fingerprint and hand scanners are required to be calibrated, but currently there is no standard method for doing so. “This is the first time a whole hand 3D target has been created to calibrate fingerprint scanners,” said professor Anil Kumar Jain from Michigan State University (MSU).
Speaking on the research, “We wanted to answer the question that has plagued law enforcement and forensic science for decades: Is fingerprint pattern persistent over time?” said the professor, adding that “we have now determined, with multilevel statistical modeling, that fingerprint recognition accuracy remains stable over time”. Importantly, Prof. Jain and his biometrics team were investigating the methods to test and calibrate fingerprint scanners commonly used across the globe at police departments, airport immigration counters, banks and even amusement parks.
However, the Professor discovered this may not be as far-fetched as once thought and requires the security companies and the public to be aware. The FBI, CIA, military and manufacturers will all be interested in this project, he added.
“As a byproduct of this research, we realized a fake 3D hand, essentially a spoof, with someone’s fingerprints, could potentially allow a crook to steal the person’s identity to break into a vault, contaminate a crime scene or enter the country illegally,” Jain cautioned, adding “Another application of this technology will be to evaluate the spoof-resistance of commercial fingerprint scanners. We have highlighted a security loophole and the limitations of existing fingerprint scanning technology, now it’s up to the scanner manufacturers to design a scanner that is spoof-resistant”.
Along with Jain and Paulter, the study was co-authored by another Indian-origin US researcher Sunpreet Arora, MSU doctoral student.
Anil Jain is the Distinguished Professor, computer science and engineering, at Michigan State University. He is widely known for his contributions in the fields of pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition. Born in India, he has received his Bachelor of Technology in electrical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1969. He received his MS and PhD from the Ohio State University in 1970 and 1973, respectively. He has earlier served as a member of the U.S. National Academies panels on Information Technology, Whither Biometrics and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). He also served as a member of the Defense Science Board. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “for contributions to the engineering and practice of biometrics”.
PALPREET SINGH BRAR
Palpreet Singh Brar, 22, winner of the National Finals of ACG-NBA Jump, India’s first national basketball talent search programme, was selected 12th in the fourth Round of the NBA-D-League Draft held in New York, the US. With his selection, he became the first Indian in the NBA D-league to be trained in India
The towering 6ft 9in hoopster was drafted by the Long Island Nets, an affiliate team of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. He was one of the 80s, who were shortlisted to proceed to the draft phase of NBA.
“I am really excited and very eager to play for my new team and showcase my talent in front of the best in the world. Before the draft, I was a bit nervous but had the intuition that some of the team will surely pick me. I had a sleepless night on Saturday but I am still wide awake”, said Palpreet on his selection.
Palpreet was discovered as part of an NBA talent search in India as the NBA is devoted to identifying and developing talent abroad both on and off the floor.
Palpreet Singh Brar is now on the cusp of becoming only the second Indian basketballer to play in the NBA’s minor division, D-League. Earlier, Satnam Singh became the first Indian to be drafted into the NBA, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2015 NBA Draft. He presently represents the Texas Legends, the minor league affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
So, congratulations to the Indian hoopster, on the selection. It’s true that when preparation meets opportunity success happens!
KNOW THE 5 INDIAN-ORIGIN CANDIDATES CLINCHED VICTORY IN THE US ELECTIONS
Five Indian-Origin Candidates Sail to Victory in the recently concluded US elections. Interestingly, several Democratic Indian-origin candidates have clinched victory in US elections, as Republican candidate Donald Trump swept to power in the presidential poll. Here are the Indian-origin candidates who have clinched victory in the recently concluded US elections.
Indian-born Democrat Pramila Jayapal, who moved to the US to study at the age of 16, was elected to the House of Representatives. She is the only Indian-born candidate to have emerged victorious.
The other four of them includes those whose parents emigrated from India, such as the California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose mother was born in India, won a Senate seat to replace retiring Democratic Sen. She created history by becoming the first Indian-American Senator in the US Congress by defeating Loretta Sanchez. The democrat politician and lawyer were elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother who emigrated from Chennai in 1960 and a Jamaican American father, is the first female, the first African-American, and the first Indian-American attorney general in California.
The other includes Ro Khanna, a Democrat and former US Commerce Department official whose parents emigrated from India, also won a Congressional seat in California. The Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, also the son of Indian immigrants to the US won a Congressional seat in Illinois. Krishnamoorthi won the Congressional election defeating Republican former Elmhurst Mayor Peter DiCianni. The fifth Indian-origin winner is Amerish Babulal “Ami” Bera is an American physician who has been the US Representative for California’s 7th congressional district since 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Bera’s father immigrated to the United States from Rajkot during late 50’s.
Indian Americans or Indo-Americans are Americans whose ancestry belongs to any of the many ethnic groups belonging to India. Importantly, Indians form the third-largest group among Asians in the US with a massive population of approximately 4 million (representing around 1.25% of the total population) and out of which a huge number of citizens (including most of them in the higher earnings bracket) is a significant chunk of polling migrants, whose votes can’t be ignored. The newly elected US President Donald Trump successfully sought to court this huge Indian-American vote during his campaign, adapting even the Hindi election slogan of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At a fundraiser held for Indian-Americans in New Jersey, Mr. Trump even said he was a “big fan” of Hindus and that India and the US would become “best friends” if he was elected president.