From the Editor's Desk

July 2009

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Best Regards

Sayantan Chakravarty


Australia has refused to exit from the front pages of Indian newspapers for close to two months now, for reasons that are not quite exciting. In the last issue we carried an article on the mounting attacks on the Indian students in that country and the frenzy of fear and distress that they had whipped up. Since the embers of those horrifying incidents are yet to die out, and the fallouts have international ramifications, we are following up on our last article with a cover story in this edition of INDIA EMPIRE. The matter blew up in Indian Parliament recently after Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi mentioned that 81 attacks had taken place against Indians in less than 40 days. The whole of India quite expectedly is appalled while large segments of the population in Australia are truly embarrassed. Australia has the tough ask of having to do all the hard work to correct a declining global image. The article encapsulates the goings on, the political and diplomatic initiatives on both sides, and what it could entail for Australia’s robust education industry that rakes in over USD 12 billion each year by way of fees and costs from foreign students.

Also in this issue we feature an article on the launch of GOPIO’s 20th anniversary celebration efforts. Over time, the GOPIO movement, launched in 1989, has turned out to be a significant driver of changes in India’s relationship with its 25 million diaspora. This umbrella body has fought for just causes on behalf of Indian communities worldwide, especially in those parts where people of Indian origin have been marginalized and found themselves victimized by unfriendly regimes. Through concerted efforts, the GOPIO also helps the relatively new Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs shape policies that can forge stronger links with the Indian diaspora in over a 100 countries.

We have an item on former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam’s interactions at a GOPIO-FICCI conference in London. The conference aimed to engage a select community of business and political leaders to strategize both about the economic vitality of Indian commerce and its long-term potential to enhance global income and eradicate national poverty.

Also find a news item on a significant three-year agreement finalized between the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and the University of Alberta in Edmonton for working together on health and energy issues. The agreement comes at the initiative of Professor Pradipta Banerji of IIT Mumbai and UA president Indira Samarasekara. Banerji, a former dean of international relations at the IIT, says that “there’s the possibility of our positioning this relationship as one important cog in the wheel of India-Canada relations, both in industry and Government.”

There are several other segments on books, painting, mind and body, travel and investments which add value to the coverage.

Happy reading.

Sayantan Chakravarty

Consulting Editor
Rakesh Krishnan

Contributing Editors
Vatsala Kaul, Dinesh Raheja, Indrani Talukdar (all India), Srikanth Beldona, Dharminder Diwan, Arnelle Hartenstein (all US), Monica Kapoor (New Zealand), Ramesh Mathew (Qatar)

Correspondent: Ummul Saba

Art & Design
Jaydev Bisht (Head - Design and Layout)
Debashish Dutta (Consultant - Design)

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