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Indian Teacher Found Guilty In Teacher Employement Scheme January 23, 2017 11:43

According to the federal officials an Indian teacher was found guilty of a scheme to defraud his fellow Indian teachers by using an employment scheme. Eastern Texas Federal Prosecutor Richard L. Durbin announced on 20th January (Friday) that George Mariadas Kurusu appeared before Federal Magistrate Judge David B. Fannin and admitted that he was guilty to foreign labor contract, fraud, tampering with a witness or victim and making false statements on visa applications. According to the prosecutors, Kurusu admitted that from the year 2012 December to 2016 May, he had defrauded several teachers out of $50,000 for a visa package to get jobs and H-1B visas in Texas. Several schools across the United States hire teachers from other countries for the subjects in which there are no enough qualified American teachers and bring them on H-1B visas which are meant for the professionals. Kurusu was on an H1-B visa and was teaching classes at  Fort Stockton Independent School District in Texas. According to statements released by the prosecutor’s office, Kurusu had set up a company named ‘Samaritan Educational Services’ and then he advertised jobs in Fort Stockton Independent School District in local newspapers of Hyderabad. When people started applying for jobs, he made it appear as if they had to apply for the jobs via him. Kurusu charged a huge amount of fees and gave the people an impression that they were paying for the paper works. Then Kurusu used personal information of those people to create a buffer so that all communications to and from the Fort Stockton Independent School visa application process went through him. When the teachers arrived in the United States, Kurusu sets them with bank accounts which electronically transfer funds provisions that sent him 15 percent of their salary to the account of SES claiming it was for the consolation and for what he claimed ensuring that they had their jobs and visa. When investigations started to begin, Kurusu warned his victims if they cooperated with officials then they would lose their jobs. Indian origin convicted for harassing US officials AMandeep

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Indian origin Entrepreneur May Lead FDA January 19, 2017 07:08

Balaji S Srinivasan an Indian origin American, who is a successful Silicon Valley based entrepreneur and CEO of a bitcoin startup. Srinivasan is being considered for Donald Trump administration’s pick to lead the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) after he met Donald Trump. Srinivasan met Donald Trump at the Trump towers in New York on the 12th of January, but no official announcement has been made yet. Sean Spicer, who is the incoming White House Press Secretary has confirmed that Srinivasan is being considered for the position of head FDA. FDA is the important federal agency for drug and pharma industry. Spicer also said that Jim O’Neil, who is the managing director of Mithril Capital Management is also being considered for the position in the FDA. Balaji Srinivasan is currently serving as the CEO and co-founder of 21.Co and is also a partner in the Andreessen Horowitz. Srinivasan had also won the FDA approval as a genomics entrepreneurial. According to Srinivasan’s Linkedin profile “ He is broadly interested in new technology, which a particular focus on ‘real world’ application’s digital bits interface with physical atoms and substantive problems, such as quantified self (healthcare), MOOCs/edtech (education), Bitcoin (finance), drones, and 3D printing." Srinivasan has also served as a lecturer in the Departments of Statistics and Computer Science at the Stanford University. Srinivasan described himself as a computer scientist, investor, entrepreneur and academic on his website. He was the CTO and Co-founder of Counsyl, which is a genomics startup that began in a Stanford dorm room, which now tests 4 % of all American births. Srinivasan stepped back from an executive role in November 2012 after working for ten years in genomics and five years at Counsyl to work on other areas of technology. According to the media reports Srinivasan is closely associated with Peter Thiel, who is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal. AMandeep

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Five Year Sikh not allowed in to School for Wearing Turban January 18, 2017 05:34

A 5 year old Sikh boy was denied from school enrollment in Australia for wearing a turban, as it does not align with school’s uniform policy. Sagardeep Singh Arora father of the child has quoted by saying to a local news that “It was disappointing that his son was forced to abandon his religious practices ad identity to access to an education in Melbourne’s Melton Christian College. Arora had lodged a claim with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. Arora also said that he believes in having a common school uniform is very important in promoting the identity of the school and integration. But the students must be allowed to wear their significant religious faith symbols and articles of faith. It is immoral for a school which do not allow its students to practice their beliefs. Arora said that they are in talks with different organizations like schools, police and army, regarding the importance of hair and turban in Sikhism in Australia and other countries. But still the Melbourne’s Melton Christian College has refused to review their uniform policy. It is so disappointing that Sikh community are still struggling with issues like this, even after having a long history of the Sikh community in Australia. "While practicing our religious beliefs, we wish to show an expression of solidarity with the wider Australian community," he added. According to the reports, Melbourne Christian College has provided a written response to the VEOHRC in which the school has refused to include any additional items amid the existing permitted uniform protocol. In the written response College said, that the history of their college represents more than 30 years of inclusive religious tolerance. Children of the school have been in classrooms and grounds together, playing and learning wonderfully oblivious to their religion. They are proud of that heritage of inclusiveness. MCC said that they acknowledge the disappointment which Sagardeep and his family have felt. They respectfully recognize Aurora’s disappointment that the uniform protocol of the school means that non prescribed items are not permitted to be worn in addition to the school uniform. The result is that they have agreed that college uniform will be maintained as it is, without permitting additional items." Sikhism is a small religion, but it is a growing minority in Australia. Sikh community can trace its origin in the nation to the 1830s. At present Australia is home to more than 72,000 Sikhs, and it is expected that in this year’s census the population of Sikh’s is going to increase. In a landmark case in September 2008, a Brisbane private school was forced to back down on a strict uniform policy that would have forced a Sikh boy to cut his hair and remove his turban. AMandeep

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Punjabi NRIs to Visit India to Support AAP election Campaign January 17, 2017 09:47

Around ninety Punjabi people of Indian Origin from Canada are going to fly to Punjab for Aam Admi Party (AAP) campaign, In 16 of the largest constituencies in Punjab for the upcoming assembly elections. They all will be arriving on 19th January. Surinder Mavi a 31 year old from Brampton said that he wants to be the part of a real change, Mavi has also helped in organizing the plane to India loaded with APP ‘election volunteers”, and was quoted as Toronto Star. He also said that volunteers from Toronto are part of a campaign and they will see thousands of Indian expatriates who will be arriving in Delhi and also in Punjab to help AAP in the upcoming elections. Mavi’s interest in politics began 8 years ago, when he realized that bribes were unnecessary and basic rules must be respected such as, stopping when the traffic signal is red. In the upcoming elections, Mavi will be riding an AAP  campaign bus that will support a rally in 16 largest constituencies of Punjab. Mavi joined the Canadian branch of AAP, which had a tremendous burst  into the political scene in India two years ago with a platform which ensured to end the culture of bribe taking. The key issues which will be addressed in the campaign are, AAP’s proposals to fight drug abuse among youth in Punjab and programs which will give more support and money to farmers to cultivate more crops. Azad Kaushik, Canadian president of the Overseas Friends of BJP, admitted to "an anti-incumbency factor" in Punjab. But he told the Star over the phone from Delhi, where he was visiting, that the BJP's economic record would keep its coalition with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in power in Punjab. Kaushik had also accused AAP for ‘failing miserably’ in Delhi which it governs. Polls which were conducted in the recent months showed a widely different results. But now AAP is also having a quite significant impact in the Punjab. The Punjab state election is likely going to witness a three way fight between SAD-BJP, Congress and AAP for 117 seats. AMandeep

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NRIs and PIOs Face Heat of Demonitization January 16, 2017 10:58

After local residents in the country stood hours in long lines for the exchange of their old 500 and 1000 currency notes, now NRIs and People of India Origin (PIO) are waiting in the long queues to exchange their old notes at 5 designated RBI branches in the country but because of severe strict conditions several of them have had to return disappointed. Tempers ran high outside the central bank branches as people coming from long distances were denied entry by the guards on the grounds that they were not carrying the requisite documents. Many NRIs complained that they were not allowed to speak to officials who could at least listen to their grievances. Ritu Diwan an agitated US national said, though she had a foreign passport, her family still visits India every year. She still had few Indian currency notes and she wants to exchange them, but most of the NRIs and PIOs were not allowed inside the RBI. Mr. Prime Minister are we supposed to burn Indian currency that we still have? She said. Diwan also said “This unnecessary harassment simply indicates that PIOs are no more welcome to the country. Dharamveer, another US national, said PIOs generally keep some amount of Indian currency as they frequently visit India. And there is no point in paying commission on the exchange of currency for each visit. He also said that any PIO who keeps visiting the country easily have 50,000 to 1,00,000 worth of Indian currency and Dharamveer has challenged the government to prove their currency as black money and forfeit that from them. We do not spend that money in the country where we live now, but the country of our origin. He said that by chance, he was there at this time and wanted to exchange a few of his currency notes, but they were not allowed to do so. It was very frustrating. Many PIOs were turned away from RBI, protested that they do not have millions of rupees, but they only had few thousands which the administration must exchange. People were frustrated towards the policy of the government and according to the reports. As a mark of protest NRIs threw defunct currency  notes at the gate of RBI. Besides NRIs, many Indian citizens who failed to deposit their old currency notes during the 50 day limitation period, were also turned away from RBI after standing in the queue for hours. Prime Minister said that the currency could be still exchanged till March 31st 2017 at RBI, said Ram Kumar. Some people were still coming to RBI to exchange their notes hoping that security guards would allow them to enter and exchange their scrapped currency notes. AMan Deep

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Indian origin Doctor Fined January 11, 2017 12:44

An Indian-origin dentist in America is among the five other physicians who have been fined to pay $250,000 for not rendering paediatric dental services and making wrong claims in a government funded program to help poor children Akhil Reddy and the other four physicians Christopher Steven Villanueva, Trung Minh Tang, Mauricio Dardano, Gabriel Shahwan have agreed to pay $250,000 each to resolve the governments' claims against them individually, as a part of the agreement. The American Justice Department said that all the five physicians are owners or part owners of MB2 and the dental practices were included in this settlement, and practice dentistry in Texas. Frank Villanueva, MB2's head of marketing, also will pay a sum of $100,000 to resolve his alleged personal liability. Attorney Parker said that the settlement demonstrates their unwavering commitment to protect the Medicaid program and the patients, it serves from unscrupulous providers." Parker also stated that "Providers who waste taxpayer’s money by billing for services that they did not provide, or were improper, will be held accountable." As the part of this settlement, MB2 has now entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. This settlement will resolve all the allegations that were charged between January 2009 to December 2014, MB2 and affiliated dental practices submitted claims to the Texas Medicaid Fee for Service Program for single-surface fillings in children which were not provided. The states and the federal government jointly fund the Medicaid. The Texas state paid for part of the Medicaid claims at issue and the state will receive approximately half of the settlement amount. This settlement illustrates the government's emphasis on combating health care fraud and marks another achievement for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced in May 2009 by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department said. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act, it said. Since January 2009, the American Justice Department has recovered a total of $31.8 billion through the False Claims Act cases, with more than $19.3 billion of that amount were recovered in  the cases which involved fraud against federal health care programs. Obama Chose four Indian Americans for the Highest Honour AMandeep

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American National inspired with Sikhism December 31, 2016 06:45

American national James S Ericsson III, was so inspired by the teaching of Sikh gurus that he chose to embrace Sikhism and got converted into Sikh. In an interview with the Times of India, Ericsson III shared his views upon what is to be a Sikh means. James Ericsson said that he did not get convert to Sikh but it is a ‘natural evolution’. What I learnt from Jesus is practiced in Sikhism, there is nothing in Christianity that I have missed. When he was asked, “what is the Sikh way of life for him”. Ericsson replied, from not cutting hair to living a simple life and serving others, regardless of their religion or who they are. I have been learning the teachings of Sikh guru from at the of 21 when I became a Sikh. Now I am 67years old and my children and grandchildren are also Sikhs. In a question about the post 9/11 incident, when Sikhs were the target of hate crime. Ericsson said “I was in New York to see a Sikh doctor when the incident took place, and I was struck there till 15 September and when I went back to my home”. I realized that this is my mission, to bring people together and in 2006 I became the first Sikh to wear a turban and work in Transportation Security Administration, which is an agency of the US department of homeland security which has authority over the security of the traveling public which gave me a chance to teach others about Sikhism. “I also worked with a Sikh organization in Washington, trained FBI there, state police of Oregon and other TSA officers, so that they would respect Sikhs and understand why they wear a Kirpan before they ask Sikhs to remove their turbans. I am a happy Sikh Ericsson said, if I was not a happy person then i would not be present here. I cannot speak fluent Punjabi but that does not make me less of a Sikh. A Sikh is one who understands the teachings of his guru. Ericsson also added that he tries to be compassionate, always ready to serve and unafraid. This ‘bana’ a Sikh robe of Guru Gobind Singh teaches us not to be afraid as he always stands with us. This Turban is not mine, but the Guru’s he said.

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Sikh community head shot dead in Afghanistan! December 30, 2016 06:52

The Sikh community's head in Afghanistan’s restive Kunduz city was fatally shot by an unidentified man, triggering fear among the minority group members in the country. The Tolo News reported, Lala Del Souz, a naturopath, was shot dead in the Haji Gulistan Kochi Haman area of the city at around  9 AM. When the incident took place, he was reportedly on his way to his shop. He died from his injuries while being taken to hospital. The relatives of the victim said that, he had been shot five years ago but survived the attack. The incident was confirmed by the Kunduz security chief Masoum Stanikzai and police have arrested three suspects. He said that, “Investigations will however continue.” Del Souz apparently moved his family to India after the collapse of Kunduz city last year. He stayed on in Kunduz and lived with his uncle. Nearly 99 per cent of Sikh and  in Afghanistan have left the country over the past three decades. The report said that, Sikh and Hindu population numbered 220,000 in the 1980’s. It is now estimated that only 1,350 Hindus and Sikhs remain in the war-torn country. Indian student murdered in New Zealand! Nandini

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Indian student murdered in New Zealand! December 30, 2016 04:39

An Indian student in New Zealand was died after being stabbed by a girl. Hardeep Singh from Sirsa in Punjab was pursuing a hotel management course in New Zealand. According to the New Zealand media, 26-year-old Singh suffered serious injuries during an assault on Christmas at Cashmere house in Christchurch. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The police said that, a 22-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, adding the charge was likely to be replaced with a murder charge. The inquiry has been upgraded to a homicide investigation, police said. The victim's family reached out to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter to help them get his body back to India. Swaraj directed the Indian High Commission in New Zealand to help the family. The External Affairs Minister tweeted, "Deol family - Rania (Sirsa), I have seen news report and given instructions to our High Commissioner in New Zealand." Sushma Swaraj seeks report in NRI Child custody in Norway Nandini

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Sikh-American doctor files religious discrimination lawsuit! December 28, 2016 07:02

A Sikh-American doctor has filed a lawsuit against a medical organization in the United States, alleging he was denied a neurology job for his religious appearance. Jaswinder Pal Singh,who migrated to the US from India in 2008, is a licensed and board certified physician practising in the area of neurology. The Sikh Coalition, a Sikh advocacy group, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Singh in the US District Court for the Middle district of Tennessee. According to the lawsuit, Singh, an observant Sikh physician who keeps a religiously mandated turban and beard, was denied a neurology job after the employer and recruiter inquired into his religious appearance. However, the recruiter praised Singh's credentials in phone interviews, Singh was allegedly abruptly denied further interviews after he submitted photographs of himself, along with additional information on Sikhs and Sikhism. The job then remained vacant, it said. Singh said in a statement released by the coalition, that, "It was very clear to me that I was denied employment because of my ethnic background and religious appearance." "No Sikh in any job or profession should ever be denied employment because of their religion. By speaking out and taking action, I know that we will continue to hold employers directly accountable," said Singh. "Defendants failed and refused to hire (Singh) for the available neurologist position at Premier Medical Group because of his race (South Asian/Punjabi), colour, religion (Sikh) and/or national origin (Indian)," the lawsuit alleges. Punjab launched Punjabi learning website for NRIs! Nandini

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Punjab launched Punjabi learning website for NRIs! December 27, 2016 06:51

Now, learning Punjabi has became easy for the NRIs, as Punjab School Education Board launched a Punjabi learning website to teach and promote the language across the world. The website has been developed in collaboration with Punjab University, said the state's Education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema after inaugurating the website. The Minister said that, people must take full advantage of new technologies in the modern era of globalization, to promote their mother tongue worldwide. With this website, anyone can learn Punjabi sitting in any part of India or abroad. The initiative will also be very useful for NRI Punjabis to now teach their children their mother tongue without travelling anywhere, he emphasized. The move was taken by the Education department under a number of projects launched to promote Punjabi language and dedicated to 50 years celebrations of Punjabi Suba, the minister added. The website also consists the advanced technology, like audio-video assistance for the better learning. The website will also provide the online examination facility soon, so that appearing candidates can evaluate their performance. Indian-origin surgeon receives prestigious UK professorship award! Nandini

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Sushma Swaraj seeks report in NRI Child custody in Norway December 24, 2016 09:22

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought a report from India's envoy to Norway on the allegations made by an NRI couple that the Norwegian authorities have taken custody of their five-year-old child alleging abuse. Swaraj tweeted, "I have asked Indian Ambassador in Norway to send me a report." The Indian couple sought the help of BJP leader Vijay Jolly in getting back the custody of their child. Following the incident, he had written to Sushma Swaraj and the Indian Ambassador in Norway. Jolly had raised concern on "forcible custody" of the NRI boy Aryan by Child Welfare Department of Norway on "baseless and fabricated complaint" in Oslo in his letter to Indian Ambassador Debraj Pradhan. Sharma is a member of 'Overseas Friends of BJP'.MEA officials said that, "Our Embassy officials in Oslo have spoken to the boy's father Anil Kumar Sharma and extended full support. However, Sharma informed the mission that he has hired a lawyer to represent him in the case." Norwegian Embassy spokesperson said that, "The Embassy became aware of this case yesterday evening. We have asked relevant authorities in Norway to provide us with further information, and are awaiting their response." Norway takes custody of child, NRI parents protest Nandini

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