2 CRPF jawans injured in blast triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh

first_imgTwo Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were on Friday injured in an IED blast triggered by Naxals at a forest in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said.The incident took place this morning when a team of CRPF’s second battalion was out on an anti-Maoist operation in a forest area under Kerlapal police station limits, Deputy Inspector General (Dantewada range) Sundarraj P. said.While they were cordoning-off a forested patch near Pariya village, the Naxals triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) in which two CRPF jawans suffered injuries, he said.Reinforcements were rushed to the spot soon after, he said.The injured jawans were admitted in a local hospital in Sukma. They were stated to be out of danger, the DIG said.Meanwhile, a combing operation was underway in the region, he said.On April 24, as many as 25 CRPF personnel were killed and seven others injured when Naxals attacked a patrol party of the paramilitary troops while they were ensuring security to road construction work near Burkapal village in Sukma district.last_img read more

Read More
WB Governor sends report to Centre

first_imgWest Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has sent a report to the Centre on Friday on the ongoing violence in Darjeeling over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland State. “In the report, the Governor said all the stakeholders involved in the Gorkhaland issue should try to resolve the matter through discussion and restore peace in the Darjeeling hills,” sources in the Raj Bhavan told The Hindu.Earlier on Friday, a delegation of three Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) MLAs — Amar Singh Rai, Rohit Sharma and Sarita Rai — met the Governor and apprised him of the situation in Darjeeling. “The GJM delegation also stated that the State government is yet to issue any formal order stating that Bengali will not be made compulsory in the schools in the hills,” sources in the Raj Bhavan said. ‘Outsiders’ work’Addressing the media after the meeting, Mr. Sharma claimed that “those who are indulging in arson in Darjeeling are not GJM members but outsiders.” He also said the delegation had urged the Governor to “inform the Centre about the situation in Darjeeling and the suffering of the locals due to the State government’s stand over the Gorkhaland issue.”The GJM delegation also accused the State Government of “using force to disrupt the peaceful movement for the separate State.” (With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Read More
Lucknow Metro delay unavoidable, says E. Sreedharan

first_imgThe delay in starting the Lucknow Metro for public use cannot be attributed to the change in political power at the helm of Uttar Pradesh, said noted civil engineer E. Sreedharan, popularly known as the ‘Metro Man’, here on Thursday.Mr. Sreedharan said the transition in power from the Samajwadi Party (SP) to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in U.P. had no impact on the “planning or schedule” of the Lucknow Metro’s construction. The postponement of the deadline was due to “unavoidable reasons” such as the delay in receiving coaches and timely Railway clearances, he said. He expressed confidence that the Metro rail would be running in the U.P. capital by the third or fourth week of July.Mr. Sreedharan said Metro projects across India were awaiting government clearances as the Centre was finalising a new Metro policy. Work for the Lucknow Metro began in September 2014 and the trial run on its priority corridor was conducted on December 1, 2016. The previous SP government had announced the services would begin on March 26. The target, however, could not be met, with the BJP government criticising the previous Akhikesh Yadav regime for doing things “hastily”. Despite the repeated extension of the deadline, Mr. Sreedharan said the Lucknow Metro could boast of having the fastest first section of any metro be be completed anywhere in the country.last_img read more

Read More
Girl burnt alive for resisting molestation bid in U.P.

first_imgAn eighteen-year-old girl was allegedly burnt alive in Ganeshpur area of Bareilly town in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The victim succumbed to her injuries at a district hospital on Monday night.According to the girl’s father Noniram, his neighbour Hariom had allegedly eve-teased his daughter on Sunday. His daughter had complained about the eve-teasing to Mr. Hariom’s sister Lakshmi.Mr. Hariom barged into the house on Monday during his absence and tried to rape his daughter, Mr. Noniram said. When his daughter resisted it, Mr. Hariom allegedly poured kerosene, set her on fire and fled from the scene. The victim was immediately rushed to a local hospital. As she suffered from over 90% burns, she succumbed to her injuries late Monday night. The local police had filed a case on the basis of Mr. Noniram’s complaint.last_img read more

Read More
I-T dept officials raid house, offices of Gupta brothers

first_imgIncome Tax officials raided the offices in Saharanpur and Dehradun belonging to the South Africa-based industrialists Gupta brothers. Searches were also conducted at the Guptas’ ancestral house in Ranibazar where the brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, grew up and lived till they left the country to become industrial tycoons in South Africa and close allies of the country’s former President Jacob Zuma. Mr. Zuma’s reported dealings with the brothers had rocked South African politics, leading to his resignation as President in mid-February. The Gupta brothers, however, have consistently denied any wrongdoing. “There was suspicion that the brothers were trying to bring illegal money into the country through various means. We intend to investigate if there is some basis for the suspicion,” said a senior IT department official involved with the raid. “Raids were conducted at the old Ranibazar house in Saharanpur, as well as their houses in Dehradun. We are also looking for bank accounts associated with them and properties they own,” the official said.Premise of a temple where the Gupta brothers were in the process of building a grand structure worth several crores were also raided, said the official.last_img read more

Read More
Amit Shah meets RSS leaders in Nagpur

first_imgBJP president Amit Shah visited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters here on Wednesday and held a closed-door meeting with the outfit’s top brass and senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders.“Mr. Shah arrived at the Nagpur airport around noon, along with the RSS Sah-Sarkaryawaha [deputy general secretary] Krishnagopal. He directly went to the RSS headquarters in Mahal and met Mohan Bhagwat [RSS chief] and Bhaiyyaji Joshi [RSS general secretary],” said Chandan Goswami, in-charge of the BJP’s publicity wing in the city.According to sources, the newly appointed president of the VHP, Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, some other VHP leaders, and Union Minister Uma Bharati were present at the meeting.It was not clear what discussions the BJP president had with the top RSS and VHP leaders, However, RSS sources said the Karnataka Assembly elections and outbursts of former VHP working president Pravin Togadia could have been discussed.“The Karnataka election is crucial for everyone. The outcome of this election will decide if the Lok Sabha election will take place as scheduled or earlier. Also, it is a difficult election for the BJP. The BJP president may have briefed the RSS bosses about the situation there,” an RSS member from Nagpur said on condition of anonymity.Mr. Shah came out of the RSS headquarters around 4.30 p.m. and left by an evening flight. Ms. Bharati had, however, left the meeting at 1 p.m.last_img read more

Read More
Policeman killed, another injured in militant attack in Anantnag

first_imgOne policeman was killed and another injured in a militant attack in South Kashmir’s Anantnag on Tuesday afternoon.“Militants fired upon a police vehicle in Anantnag’s Bijbehara. The police retaliated the fire. One injured policeman succumbed to injuries in the hospital and another is undergoing a treatment,” said a police spokesman.Deceased policeman was identified as Bilal Ahmed. The injured policeman was identified as Abdul Rashid. The security forces later cordoned off the area and started a combing operation to nab the attackers.BSF jawan killed in JammuIn Jammu, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed as Pakistani troops opened fire on the International Border (IB) in Samba Sector.”Pakistan rangers violated ceasefire agreement at 1:30 a.m. and resorted to unprovoked firing at the BSF positions. The exchange of fire was on for three hours,” said an official.Deceased BSF constable was identified as Devinder Singh. “Singh suffered injuries in the firing and later succumbed,” the official added.Meanwhile, Inspector General Frontier, BSF, Srinagar, Abhinav Kumar met Governor N.N. Vohra and briefed him about the BSF’s operations in Kashmir and “about the likely pattern of the emerging security scenario”.last_img read more

Read More
Contract limit for jobless engineers raised in Maharashtra

first_imgWith an eye on next year’s elections, the Maharashtra government has announced fresh sops and financial assistance for jobless engineers and defunct power looms across the State. The government on Friday increased contract limits for jobless engineers from the existing ₹75 lakh to ₹1.50 crore, increasing empanelment limits to 20 years from the existing 10 and five in various categories, officials confirmed. “Some departments have been individually giving works worth up to ₹75 lakh to unemployed engineers. This has been extended to all departments, with an increased limit of ₹1.5 crore in several categories. For these departments, too, we have set up an empanelment limit of five and ten years which has now been increased to 20 years,” said Sachin Chivate, under secretary, Maharashtra Government. Earlier this year, at a convocation ceremony at IIT- Bombay, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged engineering institutions to focus more on quality rather than quantity of students for research in cutting-edge science and technology, with focus on national priorities. Mr. Modi had said the country is producing over seven lakh engineers every year but not all of them are graduating with the right set of skills. For the small scale industries and cooperatives working in the textile sector, the State has announced an interest on loan subsidy for struggling power looms. The scheme was formally announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Smriti Irani while inaugurating the PowerTex India Schemes in 43 cities earlier this year. “We have opened a new budget head for providing funds for the scheme this year,” said a textile department official.last_img read more

Read More
Odisha asks banks to improve cash availability in cyclone affected areas

first_imgOdisha government has asked banks to improve cash availability to enable people in cyclone-affected districts to buy essential items.“Mobile ATMs have been sent to Puri by the State Cooperative Bank and SBI. Now seven mobile ATMs are functioning in Puri,” said Chief Secretary A. P. Padhi, after chairing a Special State Level Bankers Committee meeting here on Friday. “SBI will send 10 more ATMs. Cash availability is not a problem in the State.” Digital payment and cash withdrawal from ATMs were affected as power had not been restored in many areas ever since cyclone Fani hit Odisha on May 3. People were seen standing in long queues in front of the rare functional ATM counters in Bhubaneswar. Unavailability of cash had forced students to go back to their villages. Wage payment to daily labourers was affected.The Odisha government’s decision to hand out ₹2000 in cash as part of the Chief Minister’s package has proved to be of great help.The special State Level Banker’s Committee discussed the measures banks and insurance companies must take in cyclone affected areas. The SLBC resolved that existing loans would be rescheduled and fresh loans would be extended.“The loans may be rescheduled keeping in view the lower cash flow to SHGs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Bankers would provide all assistance to bail out the tourism industry in Puri. Insurance companies would also relax the document requirements, simplify the process and expedite payment of claims,” it was resolved in the SLBC. The Chief Secretary urged the banks to operationalise all their branches in Puri by Monday. Banking has been largely unaffected in all affected districts except Puri.last_img read more

Read More
BJP fights a tough battle in Panaji by-poll to retain the seat after 25 years

first_imgAfter 25 years of continous dominance over the Panaji assembly constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party sans Manohar Parrikar is fighting a tough battle on Sunday to retain its winning streak. One of the highlights of the Panaji by-poll is that Goa election authorities have tried to make the polling infrastructure 100% accessible, by getting the stakeholders into confidence over accessibility audit and a tie-up with EazyMov taxi operators to help persons with disability(PswD) voters to cast their votes smoothly. One of the 19 booths of the constituency would be entirely managed by PswD. Panaji has 115 such voters.The stakes are high for the BJP as far as the by-election to four assembly seats, including Panaji, holds the key to the survival of the BJP-led coalition government headed by Pramod Sawant ho succeeded Parrikar after his death on March 17. At present, the government has a thin majority of 20 in the truncated House of 36.In addition to this, BJP has been facing internal bickerings after it denied ticket to Parrikar’s elder son Utpal after allowing him to be projected as a front-runner for the Panaji ticket. The chances of a win for BJP candidate Siddarth Kuncaliekar, a former aide of Parrikar and two-time MLA (while Parrikar was away in Delhi in 2014-17 as Defence Minister) in Panaji hinge on the vote-splitting ability of former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, who is in the fray on Goa Suraksha Manch ticket. The regional outfit was floated and mentored by Mr. Velingkar after he was sacked as RSS chief in Goa following his fallout with Parrikar over the issue of medium of instruction at the primary school level. As the election campaign came to an end on Friday evening, both Congress and BJP said that they are confident of winning. CM Sawant dismissed claims made by the Congress about ousting his government soon.“Congress should not dream of forming a government. The dream will never be fulfilled. Our alliance and independent MLAs are all together. There is no question of the government falling,” Mr. Sawant said on Friday. Three assembly by-polls for the constituencies of Shiroda, Mapusa and Mandrem had been held on April 23.Both BJP and the Congress are currently tied with 14 MLAs each in the State legislative assembly.Meanwhile, Congress said that BJP would lose the by-polls 4-0, leading to the ouster of Mr. Sawant’s government. “The BJP will have to bid goodbye to its government after results are declared. The people are tired of their lies and misgovernance,” State Congress president Girish Chodankar said. The others in the fray include Aam Aadmi Party’s Valmiki Naik, who can play spoilsport for the Congress. Knowing the importance of the Panaji by-poll for his government, Mr. Sawant has virtually camped there for last several days and tried to undo the damage done to the party over the Utpal Parrikar-ticket issue. Mr. Utpal and his younger brother Mr. Abhijat too had joined the campaign. The month-long campaign was also marked with controversies which included a rape victim (who had accused Atanasio Monserrate, now the Congress candidate for the Panaji by-poll in 2016 when she was a minor) going missing and a mysterious assault on the BJP candidate Kuncalienkar. The campaign also saw the Congress attack Mr. Kuncalienkar, accusing of him of alleged scams in creating infrastructure for the Smart City project in Panaji, a charge which the BJP candidate has denied. Panaji has total voters of 22,485 — 10,698 male and 11,787 female. The constituency has seen a voting average of 60-70%, except during 2012 Assembly election. In 2012, Parrikar, who won the seat for six terms, won with a record victory margin of 6,000. The voting was a record of 78.85%.In the 2017 by-poll, Parrikar had defeated his Congress rival Girish Chodankar by 4,803 votes. Parrikar had won 63.47% of the total votes polled, while his opponent polled 32.56%.last_img read more

Read More
Slideshow: World’s worst parasitic worms

first_img Eye of Science/Science Source Ascaris lumbricoides. The female Ascaris lumbricoides lays up to 200,000 eggs per day. CDC estimates 807 to 1221 million people are infected with Ascaris worldwide. Slideshow: World’s worst parasitic worms By Hassan DuRantJul. 31, 2014 , 3:00 PM Tapeworms. Tapeworms use hooks and suckers at the tip of the head to anchor themselves to a host’s intestinal lining. Necator americanus. Often called the “New World” hookworm, Necator americanus attaches itself to the villi of the small intestine to feast on a host’s blood, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Taenia solium. The pork tapeworm. Though intestinal infection is generally asymptomatic, T. solium larvae can cause cysticercosis in the brain, muscles, and other body tissue. T. solium is a major cause of adult seizures in dev David Scharf/Science Source Dirofilaria immitis. The “heartworm” is a type of roundworm that spreads through mosquito bites. Heartworms primarily infect dogs, but can also parasitize other animals such as cats and ferrets. Heartworms rarely infect humans. Schistosoma mansoni. The “blood fluke” causes schistosomiasis, the world’s second most devastating parasitic disease. Schistosomiasis does not exist in the United States, but is common in children in developing nations. Eye of Science/Science Source Eye of Science/Science Source center_img Ron Boardman/Life Science Image/FLPA/ Science Source Eye of Science/Science Source Ascaris lumbricoides. The female Ascaris lumbricoides lays up to 200,000 eggs per day. CDC estimates 807 to 1221 million people are infected with Ascaris worldwide. David Mack/Science Source Necator americanus. Often called the “New World” hookworm, Necator americanus attaches itself to the villi of the small intestine to feast on a host’s blood, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Toxocara canis. Called the “dog roundworm,” Toxocara canis primarily infects dogs and other canids. Fully grown, these worms measure anywhere from 9 to 18 cm. ‹› David Scharf/Science Source David Scharf/Science Source Hookworms, roundworms, and other species of parasitic worms known as helminths have thrived in mammals for millions of years. Despite modern strides in sanitation, helminth infections still have a devastating impact on human health and well-being, especially in developing regions. This week, Science features two research papers that explore how parasitic infections can compromise the immune system by reawakening latent viruses and impeding antiviral defenses.The worms in this slideshow are responsible for some of the nastiest helminth infections in the world and cause a global burden of disease that outweighs better-known infections such as malaria and tuberculosis. For more, see this week’s issue of Science.*Correction, 1 August, 11:58 a.m.: Due to a mislabeled image from the photo’s source, Taenia solium was originally misidentified as Taenia saginata. Additionally, the photo of a cat tapeworm misidentified as Ancylostoma braziliense has been removed.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Read More
SBI Partners with Transfast to help NRIs transfer money

first_imgThere is good news for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) residing in the United States as they can easily send funds into their banks accounts in India. In this connection, State Bank of India (SBI) has tied up with US-based Transfast Remittance LLC to help Indian diaspora in remitting their funds back to India.SBI has tied up with Transfast to help NRIs living in US to transfer their funds back to India.Giving information about the partnership, Siddhartha Sengupta, DMD & Group Executive – International Banking, SBI, said, “We are happy to announce this mutually beneficial association with Transfast Remittance LLC. Now the Indian diaspora in the United States will be able to conveniently send funds directly into their account across various banks in India in the shortest possible time using SBI’s technology platform.”The partnership will enable the US-based NRIs to remit their funds to their bank account with any bank in India using the SBI’s network.Read it at CTI Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More
This African Tribe Is Living In India For Centuries But Is Still Considered As An Outsider

first_imgVery few Indians might be aware of the fact that Africans and Indians share a large history. With more than 20,000 members of an African-origin ethnic tribal community living in total anonymity in India for over 500 years, there are definite proofs that Indians and Africans are no strangers to each other.Read it at Top Yaps Related Itemslast_img

Read More
International Students May be Deportable on the First Day After Graduation: New USCIS Draft Policy

first_imgInternational students may become deportable on the first day after they finish their course of study, in a new draft policy unveiled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services May 11.“USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. F, J, and M nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another, lawful immigration status,” said USCIS director L. Francis Cissna in a press statement unveiling the draft policy.Read it at Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More
Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri Equals Lionel Messi’s Tally Of 64 International Goals

first_imgIndia’s football captain Sunil Chhetri Sunday joined Argentine star Lionel Messi as the second highest international goal scorer among active players with his 64th strike for the country.Read it at The National Related Itemslast_img

Read More
Grass-Fed Ghee Oil Horrifies Indians On Twitter

first_imgGood old ghee needs no introduction. The clarified butter, which originated in India, is used liberally around the country in everything from food to traditional medicines. So when a Los Angeles-based company discovered this “superfood” and repackaged it into “grass-fed ghee oil”, outrage against them wasn’t all that surprising. A tweet going viral, which shows a pic of Fourth & Heart’s ghee oil bottle, has gone viral online and collected a lot of backlash.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More
Letter From the Publisher

first_imgThe print edition of Little India this month has undergone a major facelift. You noticed, right? We have switched to an all-glossy format from newsprint and added color, graphics, visuals and section heads to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the magazine. Coast to Coast ReachOne Nation Under Little IndiaPublished from California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, D.C.But we have undergone more than just cosmetic surgery. We have also bolstered our editorial, added more of our signature indepth stories, created new sections and columns, as well as revamped some of our earlier content.Since its founding 14 years ago as one of the first general interest Indian American feature magazine, Little India has sought to reflect the lives and experiences of Indian Americans as they navigate their new terrain. Little India was the first Indian publication to begin exploring issues of individual and community identity, both within its pages and with its path-breaking conferences at Montclair State University and Rutgers University in 1995 and 1997, which featured, among others, Harvard economist Amartya Sen, well before he won the Nobel Prize. He returns this month in the magazine with an exclusive excerpt of his provocative new book The Argumentative Indian, scheduled for U.S. release this month.We will continue the tradition of penetrating reporting and trenchant commentaries that capture the fullness and diversity of Indian American life. We report India through the prism of an overseas Indian and we serve as a bridge between the Indian community and the mainstream in arts and entertainment, business, politics, education, the professions, etc.Little India Penetration Little India: 21% (Indian households) Reader’s Digest: 9% (U.S.households) Time: 4% (U.S. Households) Ebony: 11% (Black households) Latina: 3% (Hispanic Households)Little India is the most prominent media voice of overseas Indians. In the past two years alone, it won four Ippie Awards from the Independent Press Association of New York and garnered nominations for the Utne IPA Award for Ethnic Issues Coverage as well as the GLAAD Media Award, with such publications as the New York Times Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Teen People and Nation.From its beginnings as a regional publication in New Jersey in 1991, Little India has taken giant strides, especially in the past three years during which has tripled its circulation and quadrupled its advertising. It is now the largest circulated Indian publication in the United States, published in 9 editions from coast to coast from California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, D.C., making it the only genuinely national Indian print publication in the United States.Little India’s single copy circulation of 143,000 in June 2005* is more than three times the circulation of the next largest Indian publication. Indeed, Little India is now the largest circulated Asian publication in the United States and among the largest minority publications in the country. We are arguably the largest circulated Indian publication outside India. Not bad, hey, for an upstart? Well it’s kind of like the community.Largest Circulated Indian Publication in USA Largest Circulated Indian Publication Outside India Largest Circulated Asian Publication in USA Among Largest 15 Minority Publications in USA Three Times Larger Than Next Largest Circulated Indian PublicationDefying industry trends at the time, Little India decided during its initial launch 14 years ago, to be a free, controlled distribution publication to ensure the widest possible dissemination within the community. We have established an enviable distribution network for the magazine from coast to coast and we often hear from readers on the efficiency of being able to procure the magazine locally.Little India penetrates a remarkable 21% of the 700,000 Indian households in the United States. In our major circulation areas, such as New Jersey, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, our reach is even higher. To comprehend the significance of Little India’s circulation penetration, consider this: even a magazine like Time is received in fewer than 4 percent of U.S. households; Ebony reaches some 11 percent of African American households and Latina just 3 percent of Hispanic households.Two years ago, Little India took steps to enhance its circulation model by getting itself audited by BPA Worldwide, the premier magazine audit agency. The independent and rigorous annual audits by BPA not only validate our claimed circulation figures, the process has also served to significantly improve the quality of our distribution model.In recent months, Little India initiated a process to shift its circulation model to mail. The magazine will continue to remain free, but we encourage you to sign up for your free mail subscription by completing forms in the magazine or available online at www.littleindia.com.Award Winning Editorial Four Ippie Awards 2004 (Independent Press Association, New York) Nominee GLAAD Magazine Award 2002 (with New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Teen People) Nominee Utne-IPA Award 2002 Ethnic Issues CoverageWe hope that our glossy conversion and circulation and editorial enhancements make us worthy ambassadors of the community we seek to represent. We count on you, our readers, to aid us in that effort.We often hear from some of you, touched frequently, miffed occasionally, by a story or a commentary we have published. Several of you ask how you can support the publication. You help us most with your comments, criticisms and advice. So please keep those coming. We view ourselves as an unending work in progress and even as we are proud of where we have arrived on our boat, the other bank is still quite far. We will consider ourselves as having “arrived” when we are at the half way mark! So keep us rowing!There are tangible ways you can help. Spread the word about the magazine both within the community and in the mainstream. Prod those friends and colleagues borrowing your copy to take out their own free subscriptions.The resources for our growth and improvements come from advertising in the magazine. Encourage potential advertisers to try out Little India; hundreds of our current advertisers are testament to its marketing merits already. If you are a consumer of the products or services advertised in the magazine, make it a point to let the businesses know that you saw their ad in Little India. Your word of mouth support means a lot.But above all, celebrate with us the success of the Indian community, which is economically the most successful ethnic group in the United States with a household income that is nearly 1.5 times the national average. As we have reported over the years, Indians are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States, increasing almost 8 percent annually. India is now the second largest immigration source after Mexico. This year, Indians became the second largest Asian group, and they could potentially become the largest Asian group by 2010.Indians own 45 percent of all hotels and motels in the country and constitute 15 percent of all foreign medical graduates in the United States. Indeed, 5 percent of all U.S. physicians are of Indian origin. They constitute almost 20 percent of the high tech workforce and in recent years almost 50 percent of all H1 visas have been issued to Indians. Indians are the largest and fastest growing foreign student group in the country, overtaking the Chinese, who have traditionally held that spot. Indians also have the highest educational attainment of any group: 67 percent hold a bachelor’s degree (against 28 percent nationally) and almost 40 percent have a masters or other professional degree, which is five times the national average of 8 percent. There are an estimated 8,000 Indian faculty members in U.S. universities.Asian Indians Fastest Growing Ethnic Group: 133% in Decade; 8% Annual Second Largest Immigration Source after Mexico Second Largest Asian Group Potentially Largest Asian Group by 2010During the past 14 years, Little India has celebrated and reported these glittering individual and community accomplishments. But we recognize also that we have a journalistic responsibility to reveal the community’s warts. The community has its share of rascals and scoundrels and they will not get a free pass here.Whatever the community median might say, not every Indian is affluent. New immigrants are not quite as well heeled as long time Indian American residents. Nine percent of the community subsists below the poverty line. There is a marked absence of shared community responsibilities. Take just one illustrative example, and it’s only an example, because the criticism could just as easily be applicable to other successful Indian professional groups. Even though there are 10 times as many Indian American physicians proportionally nationwide, they have not made any collective effort to address the health cares needs of the almost 40 percent of Indians without health insurance. That is both shameful and unforgivable. We propose to keep the community leadership accountable for failures.Most of the time though, Little India is revealing the community to itself. This month we break the extraordinary story of a small community in Millbourne, Penn., which has the unique distinction this year of becoming the only majority Indian place in the United States. Who else but Little India could have ferreted out that information? We might have had to wait until 2012, when the 2010 U.S. Census data is compiled, to know. We hope we can always stay that far ahead.Indian Americans, both first generation immigrants and the U.S. born new generation, are navigating unchartered territory without the aid of a compass – all right, GPS. That makes it simultaneously exciting and nerve racking. Thank you for taking us onboard, fellow traveler riding the rapids.Achal Mehra Publisher Most Affluent Group Median Household Income: $69,000 (1.5 Times National) Own 45% of all hotels/motels in country 15% of Foreign Medical Graduates 5% of Physicians in USA 20% of High Tech Workforce 50% of All H1 Visas Largest & Fastest Growth of Foreign Students — Ahead of China 67% Bachelors (28% National) 40% Masters+ (8% National) 50% Managerial / Professional 33% Technical / Sales 8,000 Indian Faculty Members*Little India total circulation June 2005, 143,206. Publisher’s Statement, subject to audit. BPA audited circulation Dec 2004 was 136,541. BPA Worldwide is referenced here only for the circulation of Little India and for no other information.  Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More
Indian Real Estate

first_imgCommercial high rises, residential townships,industrial parks and shopping malls are exploding all over India, fueled by both long-term andspeculative investors. But astute industry watcherscaution that actual investments are relatively small and expectations of returns are sharplyreduced.   A Little India Knowledge@Wharton SpecialDrive through any of India’s major cities and it will be impossible to go a mile without running into brightly colored cranes, construction rubble and men in yellow helmets scurrying up and down skyscrapers. Commercial high rises, residential townships, industrial parks and shopping malls are exploding into existence, encouraged by both long-term and speculative investors. Oversized private equity commitments by a growing number of foreign investors and home-grown financial institutions are helping to feed the frenzy.But several astute industry watchers have begun poking big holes in that picture. For one, they say that many foreign investors have actually brought in only a small portion of their promised investments. Second, soaring land prices and price resistance from buyers are narrowing investors’ margins significantly. Finally, they note that concerns continue to run high about the regulatory opaqueness for real estate ventures, bureaucratic red tape and the absence of title insurance, in addition to a host of other issues. All of these factors are tempering investors’ appetites for Indian real estate.With yields between 30% and 40% during the past two years, India’s real estate industry has been the toast of global investment funds. But expectations for future returns have been sharply reduced to between 12% and 20% over the next few years. For many foreign investors, this means having to weigh Indian real estate opportunities against deals that offer comparable returns in other emerging markets like Eastern Europe or Latin America.Fears of a real estate bubble and an overheated economy have led India’s central bank to require a lender cutback on real estate loans. That move has pushed up interest rates, lowering consumers’ appetites for home financing and simultaneously raising rents for apartments and offices. Most Indian real estate companies are privately held and their financial information is not readily available. The absence of comprehensive market data across product types like office, retail, industrial and residential properties further hurts the ability of investors to read the right signals, and the occasional rumor of a large deal going bust or a property developer resorting to a distress sale can damage investment sentiments far more than warranted. More Hype than Actual InvestmentsClearly, local investors understand the terrain far better than foreign investors. Much of the foreign capital committed to Indian real estate ventures has yet to be invested, says Aashish Kalra, co-founder and managing director of Trikona Capital, a private equity firm with offices in New York City, London and Mumbai. “Last year, less than $1 billion [was actually invested in] Indian real estate. That’s less than the value of half a building in Times Square,” he says. That compares with market estimates of between $15 billion and $20 billion in foreign capital headed for Indian real estate.Kalra cited these figures during a panel discussion on real estate investing at a recent New York City event organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a network of entrepreneurs founded 15 years ago in Silicon Valley. “A negligible amount of foreign capital will get invested in Indian real estate in the next 24 months,” he told the panel.Sameer Nayar, managing director and head of real estate finance-Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, offers a similar assessment. “There is a lot of hype about capital going into Indian real estate … [but] not a lot of money is actually going in,” he says. Extracting good returns from those investments calls for significant local market expertise in dealing with regulatory and other obstacles. “You make money because you can deal with the problems, and that’s why your returns could be 50%,” he adds. “If it were an easy market to work in, you would make only 15%.”Short-term DisenchantmentIn April 2006, Trikona Capital group firm Trinity Capital raised 250 million pounds ($500 million) for Indian real estate investment in a public offering through London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Kalra says his company has deployed about $400 million in Indian real estate projects over the past year.Including Trinity, about a dozen real estate funds targeting India have raised a combined $2 billion in the past year through listings on the AIM. Most of them are currently trading at levels significantly below their offer prices, revealing investor disenchantment. Trinity’s share made its debut in April 2006 at one pound; it now trades at about 86 pence. Hirco, an Isle of Man-domiciled company promoted by the Mumbai-based Hiranandani Constructions group, raised about 382 million pounds ($755 million) from its IPO last December; since then, its shares have lost considerable sheen, down from 5 pounds to about 390 pence in the second week of May. Exceptions include Unitech Corporate Parks, which listed on the AIM last December at 93 pence and now trades at 96.25 pence.“We see the opportunity [in Indian real estate], but we also see the risks and challenges involved,” says Chanakya Chakravarti, managing director of real estate at Actis, a London-based private equity fund that manages assets of about $3.4 billion. Actis plans to set up a $300 million India real estate fund. It already has two other existing funds with an estimated equity of $475 million that have invested in Indian real estate, auto ancillaries and other industries. “Each fund has a unique risk-return profile, and we work with these. For us, India is a long-term story,” he adds.Chakravarti lists three main risks or challenges that real estate investors in India will be up against in the short term. The first, he says, is an oversupply of office space in the major and second-tier cities. A hazy regulatory framework fostering indecision and delayed investments is another concern. Finally, he notes, opaque deal-making processes that narrow the exit routes will deter serious investors.“The property market today is rife with uncertainties. Prices as well as interest rates have been rising,” says Anuj Puri, managing director of real estate services firm Trammell Crow Meghraj, the Indian joint venture of Dallas, Tex.-based real estate services firm Trammell Crow and the Meghraj Group, a financial services firm in London. “It is not advisable to expect any short-term gains; but of course, for long-term investors, India’s strong fundamentals are still intact. A long-term investor can expect average returns of 15% to 20% per year.” Vikas Oberoi, managing director of Oberoi Constructions in Mumbai, says the risk-return profile for real estate investments is far brighter for those who have accumulated land inventory at prices much lower than prevailing levels. “The average net margin in today’s market is 20% to 25%; we can easily do 15% better than the market,” he says. Oberoi claims his company can achieve those higher returns because, among other reasons, “most of the land has been bought earlier.” Oberoi Constructions has an inventory of 15 million square feet of mostly prime land in Mumbai. At today’s prices, Oberoi expects it to generate gross revenues of $2.2 billion. The company is focused mostly on for-sale residential apartments, although it dabbles in shopping malls, hotels and other commercial property lines. Oberoi expects his company to post $200 million in revenue this year, rising to $300 million in 2008.This past January, Morgan Stanley’s Special Situations Fund invested $152 million for a 10.75% stake in Oberoi Constructions, effectively valuing the company at about $1.4 billion. Oberoi says the untapped upside in his company’s land bank was a major attraction for the institutional suitors it attracted. For instance, five years ago it bought a land lot with 8 million square feet in Mumbai’s northwestern suburb of Goregaon for Rs. 100 crore ($24 million). Oberoi says the property would be worth 20 times more today.“Where is the supply? There is only demand,” says Oberoi. “In fact, I want the market to stabilize or [prices to] come down because then we would get land at cheaper prices. It is absolutely a seller’s market.”Second-tier MigrationThe most visible changes in the Indian real estate sector include the emergence of well defined product categories, the division of the market into tiered cities and a widening of financing options.In the past, real estate was sold either as residential or as commercial property. With the maturing of the market and globalization of the investor base, the categories have been sharpened and new ones established. “Investors in the residential market are very different from the office and retail space investor,” says Sanjeev Dasgupta, CFO and head of investments at Kshitij Investment Advisory Services, part of the Future Group, a large Mumbai-based owner of shopping malls across the country. In the residential sector, investors are in for high returns and are willing to take high risks, he says. This also allows for easy exit, although the risk of a mismatch between potential and real returns is high, he adds.According to Poonam Mahtani, a national director of retail services firm Colliers International in India, “The investment risk is lower in the metros, but prices there are much higher than those in tier II cities.” Several equity funds have consciously focused on tier II cities, because they believe that this offers the most potential. “Land prices are skyrocketing. Buying to sell is a very risky strategy. Land prices are way beyond levels that will generate a decent return. It doesn’t make sense to invest any more unless you go to second- or third-tier markets.”Kalra, too, sees the markets outside of India’s major cities as the most attractive, simply because they are not the low-hanging fruit sought by the early crop of investors with relatively lower risk appetites. “There are lots of opportunities outside the main metros. India has 30 cities with a population of a million people each,” he says. Adds Dasgupta, “The returns are huge in tier II cities, where there is a large untapped potential.” He believes that this sector will see a rental yield of 12% to 14% in the next few years. In office space, experts see a migration towards second-tier cities. A recent report by Deutsche Bank on real estate trends notes, “As the demand for modern space has continually increased, new office locations have had to be developed in the south and east of the urban area (Mumbai and Delhi).” In Mumbai, secondary business districts have emerged in recent years, including the Bandra-Kurla complex in the central suburbs, 25 miles from the old commercial hubs in the southern end of the city.Much-needed TransparencyFor foreign investors, one troubling fact is a pan-India phenomenon: inadequate transparency in land valuations they use to price their investments. In an interview last month, M. Damodaran, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, discussed the lack of clarity in real estate companies’ disclosures, especially with respect to their land banks. “We sought clarity … on matters like, ‘What does your land bank comprise, [and] what are the valuation aspects you have indicated?’” he told an Indian news wire service. “Where there is only an agreement to develop land, there must be complete disclosure. All such agreements are to be made available for inspection,” he said, adding that he preferred land valuations to be made at current prices and not on the basis of future projections.Trammell Crow Meghraj’s Puri agrees. “There is a marked lack of transparency, corporate governance and accountability among India’s real estate developers. There also continues to be a serious lack of quality infrastructure. In addition, India scores low in terms of congenial political environment in terms of the real estate sector. This means that there is a lack of clarity in pertinent policies.”But Puri also believes those issues will soon fade away as India’s real estate markets mature. “Although real estate is a regional and highly location-specific industry, India will replicate the events that occurred in emerging markets like Mexico and Central Eastern Europe [including Russia, Bulgaria and Poland],” he says. “In these countries, too, foreign investments were the primary drivers for transparency, accountability and higher capital appreciation in the real estate sector.”knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu  Related Itemslast_img read more

Read More
India Beats UK, China, Japan in Having Most Evolved Digital Payments System: Report

first_imgIndia beat countries like the United Kingdom, China and Japan to gain the tag of having the most evolved digital payments system. India’s immediate payment service (IMPS) has been rated 5 by a United States-based financial services technology and outsourcing services company Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) in its global report.The report, titled Flavors of Fast, 2017, gives India the highest rating on a scale of 1 to 5 on its faster payment innovation index (FPII). While 1 reflects “meets base required features only,” 5 indicates that most features are met, maximizing customer value.This is the fourth edition of the Flavors of Fast report, according to which the higher the FPII score, the stronger the possibilities for innovation. A total of 25 countries were assessed for FPII, including Bahrain, Turkey, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden and South Africa.“Out of the countries assessed, India’s IMPS was the only system across the world performing at level 5. Taiwan was at level 1, Mexico, Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, Iceland, China, Korea & Sri Lanka were assessed at level 2,” Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, regional managing director — India and South Asia, FIS, said, reported livemint.com.Level 3 was occupied by Chile, Sweden, South Africa, Bahrain, Japan. Level 4 countries were Spain, Kenya, Poland, Finland, UK, Singapore, Denmark Switzerland and Thailand.The Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) in India is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service available through mobile phones and internet banking applications that was launched in 2010.Originally designed as an instant “mobileonly” remittance solution, IMPS now offers an instant payment service for online and mobile devices, available 24/7, that provides a safe and economical service for consumers and merchants to make and request (pull as well as push) payments.The report also highlighted the popularity of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It added that India has made great steps by offering innovative solutions on top of IMPS with the use of the UPI. Launched by the National Payments corporation India (NPCI), UPI is an overlay on IMPS, giving an API interface to enable applications to initiate and collect payments from smartphones.“Real-time payments are not only about speed. They’re about creating frictionless trade, and a financial world in which the entire payment process occurs easily and immediately,” Venkatachalam added.The FIS report further said that a primary example of the importance of innovation is the impressive rollout of India’s Universal Payments Interface UPI. It opens up access to real-time by allowing payments to be directly integrated into external business applications.“UPI is proving that open access central to innovation and is also a strong driver of adoption. The introduction of UPI in August 2016 led to the creation of a wealth of new innovative payment solutions,” the report elaborated.It also highlighted that the adoption rates of UPI payments are “truly spectacular: Transactions using UPI increased 100 times from a modest 92,000 to 9.2 million transactions in the first nine months of operation.” Related ItemsBankingEconomylast_img read more

Read More
9 Countries Seek CBI Help to Apprehend 21 Indians Accused of Crimes

first_imgLaw enforcement agencies of at least nine countries have approached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) through the Interpol to seek help in apprehending 21 Indians wanted for different crimes. All of them carry red notices issued by the Interpol against them.Meanwhile, India seeks to apprehend 630 Indian and foreign nationals, including Dawood Ibrahim, who live abroad. India has approached Interpol to issue red corner notices against the people.“We would not like to comment on the status of any of these cases as the Interpol Red Notices have been issued on the request of foreign agencies. The CBI being nodal agency for Interpol in India, coordinates efforts to nab these accused with other law enforcement agencies in the country,” said a CBI spokesperson, according to Hindustan Times.On the list are Krishnan Ambi and Akshat Bhatnagar, who are wanted in Afghanistan for fraud. Krishnan Ambi has been wanted since 2015. Bhatnagar belongs to Parmanandpur village in India, according to Interpol.Six people — Chetanbhai Patel, Harinarin Vijayampa, Jasbir Riar, Dipesh Kumar S Shah, Prakashandand Saraswati and Akbar Rana — are wanted in the United States while five — Somasundram Kathamuthu, Jasrath Singh Mogia, Rajapandi Ramalingam, Sharmeela Shahjahan, Rajeswari Thiyagrajan — are wanted by Malaysia for theft.Patel is wanted for murdering his wife in 2015; Harinarin is accused of possessing child pornography; Riar faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, disobeying domestic relations court order, possession of smoking device, corporal injury to spouse and cruelty to a child; and Saraswati is wanted for indecency with a child by sexual contact (10 counts).Malawi, Singapore, Russia and South Africa are looking for one person each. Malawi seeks custody of 20-year-old Sadiq Adam Patel, who is wanted there on the charge of murder.Canada and Cyprus are seeking two Indians each. Canada is looking for Sawaran Singh Sekhon, on charges of second degree murder, and Parthasarthie Kapoor, on charges of sexual contact, inciting to sexual contact, sex abuse and child pornography with regard to four children.Cyprus seeks Sarbjit Singh and Sandeep on the charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, premeditated murder, attempt to commit murder and possession of aggressive instruments. Related ItemsCBIInterpollast_img read more

Read More