Pravasi Bharat 


India shining: Now in Harvard too 

America’s oldest institution of higher learning, Harvard University, will soon have India as a subject. And teachers will include visiting faculty members like Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Gardiner professor of history at Harvard Sugata Bose and Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna. Harvard University’s outgoing president, Lawrence Summers, says, “Like people study political science, culture, public health, economics, law and medicine, students in Harvard will now study India as a subject. We are working hard towards building a programme especially on India, the subcontinent and South Asia studies. We want to strengthen and increase our knowledge of the country, which is fast becoming a super-power.’’ 
“I want to start programmes whereby students from Harvard can study in Indian universities and vice versa. I also want to start exchange programmes between business and public health experts in US and India,’’ he added. Summers is a renowned economist who was the 
treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. In Delhi after having travelled to Rajasthan and Agra, Summers who delivered the Golden Jubilee celebration lecture at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences recently said he would discuss with his peers about India’s tremendous emergence as an economic power. Summers will also seek ways to deepen the connection between Harvard and Indian universities.



“Like people study political science, culture, public health, economics, law and medicine, students in Harvard will now study India as a subject”
Lawrence Summers
President, Harvard University

Siva may pick up 15% stake in Sahara One
Sahara One Media & Entertainment is believed to be in talks with NRI businessman C Sivasankaran for selling 15 per cent stake in the company. While sources close to the developments said the deal may be closed soon, the Sahara group spokesperson said, “We can not confirm or deny anything on the issue.” The sources said if the deal matures, Sivasankaran might scale it up to 26 per cent at a later stage. Apart from the fund requirement to meet the company’s growth needs, the Sahara group, the company’s promoter, is required to bring down its stake in Sahara Mass Communication from 96 per cent to at least 75 per cent, in accordance with the proposed guidelines of the Securities & Exchange Board of India, which call for at least 25 per cent free float in a company.
AAHOA gets Indian American chief 
Indian American Ash Patel, the new secretary of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, says the organisation is looking to further expand its membership and to gain political clout. The hoteliers’ body, Patel said, was breaking new ground with revenue sharing and record dollars spent on educational events. Representing more than 8,300 members, AAHOA is one of the leading forces in the hospitality industry and one of the most powerful Asian American advocacy groups. “And we are reaching a new stage. We have alliances with AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) and the Taiwanese Hotel Owners Association of Southern California. We want to make alliances,” Patel said. “We have had a banner year,” he added. “We bridged a lot of relationships,” he said in the context of differences with sponsors and vendors last year when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was invited as chief guest, but the State Department declined him a visa on grounds of alleged human rights abuses. “Ours was not a political decision,” Patel said, noting that there had been considerable unhappiness with the State Department’s decision.
NRI scientist wins Stockholm Water Prize
India-born scientist Asit Biswas was on Wednesday awarded the US$ 150,000 Stockholm Water Prize for his ‘oustanding and multifaceted’ contribution to the issue of global water resources. The 67-year-old Canadian citizen is president of the Mexico city-based third world centre for water management. Biswas helped foster a critical re-think among United Nations agencies, national Governments, professional associations and others about how to improve delivery of water and sanitation services and management of the planet’s water resources, The Stockholm International Water Institute, which administers the annual award, said. Biswas, a tireless water proponent who constantly challenges the “status quo”, has, through his multi-faceted roles as a scientist and educator, acted as an advisor and confidant to policymakers in water and environmental management in 17 countries, to six heads of the United Nations agencies and to other intergovernmental and international organisations, SIWI said.