Pravasi Bharat 

nri - pio section

Hindus in Canada want to use Niagara for disposal
The Hindu community in Canada’s Ontario province wants to designate four rivers in the region, including Niagara, for disposal of cremated remains.
The Niagara river could be ideal for scattering of ashes because of its fast-flowing water and proximity to the Greater Toronto Area, President of the United Hindu Federation of Canada Roopnauth Sharma said.
However, the community is also looking at other locations. “We are still looking at locations. Once we have done that, we have to go to the different conservation authorities and get their support,” he said.
Sharma, who is working on the initiative with Ontario’s Government Services Ministry which regulates cemeteries and burials, said there are no laws against scattering cremated remains into public bodies of water in Ontario.
The Hindu community is hoping to bring more order to the practise by identifying rivers where people could hold brief ceremonies. “We do not want to have people just go dumping ashes here, there, and everywhere,” Sharma said.
Set locations would also help clarify rules about the disposing of ashes in waterways,” he said. The Ministry is considering the Hindu federation’s request as part of a larger review.
Indian-born mathematician accepts Abel Prize
India-born Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan has accepted the Norwegian Abel Prize, known as the 'Nobel Prize for mathematics'. King Harald presented the award worth 6 million kroner ($920,000) at a ceremony in Oslo. Before the ceremony, Varadhan met King Harald and Queen Sonja at the palace.Varadhan was cited for his, "fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for a unified theory of large deviations", the jury said.
In mathematics, probability theory is the tool used to analyse situations governed by chance, while his theory of large deviations was said to have provided explanations applicable in 'fields as diverse as quantum field theory, statistical physics, population dynamics, econometrics and finance, and traffic engineering'.
Varadhan, born 1940 in Chennai, has since 1963 worked at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York, where he is professor of mathematics and Frank J. Gould Professor of Science.
The Abel Prize was created in 2002 to commemorate the 200th centenary of the birth of Niels Henrik Abel. The Norwegian is acknowledged as one of the great names in mathematics although he died aged just 26.
Indian women win British award
Radio presenter Lucky Dhillon, who has worked in the Asian media in Britain for the last 20 years, and entrepreneur Sharon Kaur have been selected for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards this year.
The awards were presented by model-actress Elizabeth Hurley and Cherie Blair, wife of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Both Hurley and Blair looked resplendent in saris at the event.
Dhillon moved to London from India at the age of 13. She went on to produce and present a daily talk show on Sina Radio, which later became Sunrise Radio in 1989. She left in 1996 to start her own company and produced two original programmes including Amrit Vela for Spectrum Radio, which transmits daily from the Golden Temple, Amritsar.
Kaur founded Sahara Homes Ltd in Forest Gate, East London, in 1998, to provide residential care for women with learning difficulties. The company now has three homes across London. 
Blair told the ceremony she was "delighted" to be a patron of the awards, and said all women should be "extremely proud of their achievements”.
The yearly event was launched by Pinky Lilani and Munir Samji to recognise all levels of achievement made by Asian women in the UK.
Visiting parents of NRIs feel like misfits in America
They go West to visit the children they educated and sent on their way into the world. The visits disorientate them and leave them confounded by the busy lifestyles of their children, who have little time to spend with them, as they, in turn, make their way forward in their careers and futures of their own children
Recognised by an NRI Sundeep Chauhan as a phenomenon that can be dealt with, he has decided support groups to cater to visiting NRI parents would be a help during their US visits by providing meetings and interests and group outings with like minded people.
Most parents on visits look for as much time with their family as possible but their children are busy and the reality is that the mindset of the older generation does not fit with the world of today that belongs to the young.
In the words of one such visiting parent, if feels as if life is being played out in slow motion when they go on holiday to visit their children and grandchildren.
NRI pathologist insists Pakistan cricket coach Woolmer was murdered
Dr Ere Seshaiah, whose autopsy report was part of the murder probe in the death of Bob Woolmer, is standing by his original findings, saying again that the man was murdered.
The Jamaican police have closed the case, saying Woolmer’s death was a result of natural causes, after a three month investigation along with three foreign pathologists and toxicology tests ruled out foul play.
Pakistani cricket coach Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in March, a day after his team unexpectedly lost to Ireland and exited the World Cup.
First Indian to receive Award for Robotics in USA
Bala Krishnamurthy is the first person of Indian origin to be awarded the prestigious Engelberger Robots Award for Technology Development in 2007, presented at a symposium in Chicago.
Krishnamurthy is the founder and CEO of Aeolean Inc and is credited with developing robotic systems ranging from hydraulic manipulators to mobile sensate robots.
The awardee is a postgrad in applied mathematics and computer science and has published several papers on robotics. Aeolean Inc provides for the design and development of safety and mission critical systems relying on robotic automation.
The award is recognised worldwide as the Olympic gold medal for industrial robotics and is presented by the Robotic Industries Association for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry.
NRIs may face 3-year pre-IPO realty lock-in
The government is planning to plug another potential source of foreign funds for the real estate sector. Non-resident Indians planning to invest in real estate projects ahead of initial public offers could face a three-year lock-in along with foreign institutional investors (FIIs). The government is planning to introduce a lock-in for pre-IPO FII investors in realty companies in bid to prevent a possible real estate bubble. The restrictions are also aimed at checking sudden flight of capital.
By putting a lock-in period for NRIs, the government could also effectively discourage the promoters’ own funds coming into the company through the NRI route. Indian promoters are generally known to use NRIs as fronts to get their own money abroad invested in their companies. A lock-in period might act as a deterrent for promoters bringing such funds through the NRI route.
The government is likely to amend the Foreign Exchange Management Act to make all pre-IPO investments face a three-year lock-in, a government source said. However, the other conditions such as minimum capitalisation and area of development will be limited to foreign direct investments.
NRI kids learn Indian languages
The desire to speak to grandparents and relatives in India who cannot speak English has prompted many second generation Indian Canadian children to learn Indian languages. An increasing desire to learn Hindi among Indo-Canadian children has prompted a Hindu temple in Hamilton to start a language and culture course.
“It’s a language, culture and history lesson,” said Santosh Sharma, the Hindi language instructor at the temple. Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali classes are also being offered at local schools in Hamilton, which has approximately 24,000 South Asians.
“The first generation is busy adjusting to a new place, the second generation gets interested in identity,” explained Darnell, professor of anthropology at the University of Western Ontario.
For many, it is the only way to interact with relatives in India. “Grandparents help kids stay in touch with their roots,” said Nisha Taneja, whose two daughters have been learning Hindi for two years. “Since they’ve started learning Hindi, my daughters have fallen head over heels in love with Bollywood movies,” Nisha said.
Giving an economic twist to the social trend, Darnell said, “Language classes also mean more opportunities. Being bilingual is marvellous. There are definitely more opportunities.”

Majority of turbaned Sikhs in US harassed
Over 40 percent of turbaned Sikh students in New York have been victims of physical harassment and their complaints continue to be ignored by school authorities.
A document was released by the US-based Sikh Coalition, that recorded various violent actions such as hitting and punching and found that three out of four Sikh school boys have been harassed because of their religious identity. Of 200 Sikh students who were surveyed, almost a third said the authorities ignored their complaints, a move they believe is tacit approval of the harassment.
Two students of Pakistani origin recently attacked a Sikh student in Queens, New York, and cut off his hair.
Regrettably, Sikhs in the US are sometimes confused with Muslims and are victims of violent attacks after the 9/11 tragedy.