The Indian Community in Australia is ranked the most highly educated, a fact revealed by an analysis of their Department of Immigration and Border Protection – 54.6 % migrants from India have a Bachelor’s or a higher level of qualification.  This ratio is 3 times higher than the national Australian average which was noted at 17.2 % in the 2011 census. Americans come second with 52.2 % holding either a Bachelor’s or higher qualifications.  A further analysis by newspaper “Pehchan,” indicates that if one broke up the qualifications among the two major religious groups migrating to Australia from India, Hinduism stood at the top, with 88.1 % followers holding the qualification of Year 12 and above, while Sikhism is second in this list with 85.9% of it’s population  falling in this category. These facts also speak for themselves in the category of language, where again Hindi speakers were counted at 49.5 % holding a Bachelor’s and higher qualification, taking a lead from their Filipino speakers whose 47.5% population held the same qualifications in the same year.  It is interesting to note that Indian’s leads in the field of education consistently  from the 2006 census!


101-year-old-nihal-gill-of-richmond-british-columbiaONE HUNDRED YEARS OF FORTITUDE

Though 100-year old Man Kaur needed a minute-and-a-half for her 100-metre dash, she succeeded in taking the gold medal at the American Masters Games.  The World Masters Games take place every four years, with regional games in between. Average age of athletes is 49, and there’s one man who is even older than Kaur — 101-year old Nihal Gill of Richmond, British Columbia.  Gurdev Singh, 78, Man Kaur’s son, is also competing in the Games, and says that he first encouraged his mother to start running at the age of 93: “I asked her, ‘You have no problem, no knee problem, no heart problem, you should start running’,” he recalls.  Kaur has now won more than 20 medals in Masters Games across the globe.  “When she wins, she goes back to India, and she’s excited to tell others, ‘I have won so many medals from this country’.” As Kaur crossed the finish line in Vancouver, her competitors – many of them in their 70s and 80s – were there to cheer her on. Asked how she felt, she breathed heavily and clutched a bottle of water, unable to speak.  Earlier, she had won golds for javelin and shotput as well.



The U.S. Postal Service last week has said that it will issue a Diwali postage stamp, meeting one of the long-pending demands of the Indian-American community here. The Diwali stamp is being issued as a “Forever” stamp, the U.S. Postal Service said in a statement.  The stamp design, unveiled by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp lit in a sparkling gold background.  The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Indian Consulate in New York City on October 5, the USPS said. Hinduism was the only major world religion for which the USPS had not issued a postage stamp.  “This is a dream come true,” says New York-based Ranju Batra, the Chair of the Diwali Stamp Project, who had led a campaign to send thousands of letters to the U.S. Postal Service in the past, and had campaigned before the U.S. Congress for this.



Indian-origin philanthropist Shirley Rodrigues has been appointed as London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s deputy for environment and energy, and she will be responsible for setting up a not-for-profit company aimed at boosting recycling rates and producing low carbon energy.  Ms. Rodrigues becomes the second Deputy Mayor of Indian origin to join Mr. Khan’s team, after Indore-born Rajesh Agarwal, who is responsible for promoting business. Ms. Rodrigues was born in Nairobi and her family has roots in the villages of Siolim and Aldona in Goa.  The family migrated to Britain in 1967.  As deputy mayor, she will push forward Khan’s agenda for a cleaner and greener London. Before her appointment, Rodrigues was an acting executive director for climate change at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charity that works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries.  She oversaw a GB£ 155 million global strategy and portfolio.  The mayor’s office said Rodrigues will also oversee the delivery of the “Energy for Londoners” project, helping residents generate more low-carbon electricity and help boost recycling rates and cut landfill.  Khan said: “Shirley Rodrigues brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience and is the perfect person to deliver my agenda to make London a cleaner and greener city.”  Rodrigues added: “Sadiq has already proposed a radical and wide-ranging approach to clean up London’s dirty air and I feel privileged to be able to lead on this vital piece of work that will boost the quality of life and health for millions of Londoners.”



A 16-year-old Indian-origin boy from UK’s Surrey has claimed to have found a treatment for the most deadly form of breast cancer.  Krtin Nithiyanandam thinks he has devised a way to turn the triple negative breast cancer into a kind which responds to drugs.  Around 7,500 women each year are diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a type of disease which does not respond to today’s drugs.  Many breast cancers are driven by oestrogen, progesterone or growth chemicals, so drugs that can block those fuels such as tamoxifen make effective treatments. “Most cancers have receptors on their surface which bind to drugs, but triple negatives don’t have receptors so the drugs don’t work,“ Krtin said. Thus, as of now it can be only treated with a combination of surgery , radiation and chemotherapy which lowers chances of survival.  The teenager, who won last year’s Google Science Fair for creating an Alzheimer’s test which can spot the disease 10 years before diagnosis, said, “The goal is to turn the cancer back to a state where it can be treated.”



South Africa’s wealthy Gupta family has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for some time now.  After months of political intrigue over their links to Jacob Zuma, the South African president, the Gupta family has just a few days ago announced that they plan to sell shareholdings in all their businesses in Africa’s most industrialised nation by the end of the year.  This will sever the family’s ties to a multi billion Rand mining-to-media empire which critics say has benefited from a string of politically-connected deals.  Controversies about the Guptas’ relationship with Mr Zuma’s family and alleged political influence has added to criticism of the president’s leadership and fuelled mounting concerns about corruption and cronyism.  The Gupta family has been dogged by allegations — which apropos have never been proven — that they used their relationship with Mr Zuma and his relatives to obtain valuable state contracts for their businesses and even influence state appointments.  On their part, the Guptas have denied all accusations, while dropping the bombshell announcing their intention to quit South Africa in toto: “Since our decision to step down from all executive and non-executive positions in all our South African business in April 2016, the local management team has grown our businesses from strength to strength, with turnover and profits showing good growth and more jobs created.  As a family, we now believe that the time is right for us to exit our shareholding in our South African businesses, which we believe will benefit our existing employees and lead to further growth in the businesses …  we intend to sell all of our shareholding in South Africa by the end of the year …  we believe that this decision is in the best interests of our business, the country, and our colleagues.”  The Guptas, who moved to South Africa from the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s, say that they were “already in discussions with several prospective international buyers” for their stakes.

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