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NRI Corner 3
[url="http://chronicle.com/article/Gopi-K-Podila-52-Biology/64200/"]Dr. Gopi Podila[/url]
Quote:Gopi K. Podila, 52, a professor and chairman of the biological-sciences department at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, was hired in 2001 from Michigan Technological University. The professor, who was shot and killed in a departmental faculty meeting on Friday, taught courses in molecular-biology systems, advanced molecular techniques, plant molecular biology, and biotechnology.

Mr. Podila "was a true servant who worked with incredible dedication and energy for the department and the graduate program in biotechnology at UA-Huntsville," John W. Shriver, a professor of biology and chemistry at the college wrote in an e-mail message. "He was one of the kindest and most altruistic people I have ever known. We will all miss him."

Bruce W. Stallsmith, an assistant professor of biological sciences and another colleague, concurred.

"Gopi Podila was very active with international efforts working to improve plants through improved biotechnologies," Mr. Stallsmith wrote in another e-mail message. "He worked steadily to improve the department's teaching and research capabilities in a climate of increasing financial stress. He was well aware of the increasing problems of large class size and inadequate support for graduate students."

Colleagues and students described him as warm and funny.

One of his students, Ross Kirk, a junior, posted a comment on a local newspaper Web site: "I only knew Dr. Podila for a few weeks, but he was so inspiring and just a wonderful person all around ... . His classes were so interesting, and he was a brilliant man."

Contacted by e-mail, Mr. Kirk said he would always remember a lighthearted moment on the first day of a course this semester that examined the intersections of biology, chemistry, and engineering. Mr. Podila told students that life is unpredictable. "Then he did a kind of crazy, jumping dance move and said, 'See! How could you have expected me to do that?'" He then went on to explain "how we adapt to whatever happens as it comes, learn from it, and are better prepared for the future."

Mr. Podila listed his research interests as "engineering tree biomass for bioenergy, functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions, and plant molecular biology and biotechnology."

He received a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Nagarjuna University, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and, in 1983, a master's degree in plant pathology from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. In 1987 he received a doctorate in molecular biology from Indiana State University.

He was an editorial-board member of the journals Symbiosis, New Phytologist, Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, and the Journal of Plant Interactions.

According to The Times of India, Mr. Podila was the youngest of four children and is survived by a wife and two teenage daughters. The newspaper reported that he had studied under his father, who was head of the biological-sciences department at Nagarjuna University.


[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Indian-prof-2-others-killed-by-colleague-on-US-campus/articleshow/5570940.cms"]Indian prof, 2 others, killed by colleague on US campus[/url]
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/...award.html In a media release the NSF said, a fundamental phenomenon in computer science is the existence of computational problems that cannot be quickly solved.

These "computationally intractable" problems, as they are called, present far-reaching consequences, it said.

"For instance, they limit our ability to use mathematics to tackle large-scale problems arising in science and engineering, such as the optimal design of protein folding.

Conversely, they make computer security possible as computational intractability thwarts hackers' attempts to access personal information stored in online databases," NSF said.

He has uncovered a problem about probabilistic games called "the Unique Games Problem."
50 Worst of the Worst (and Most Common) Job Interview Mistakes

Karen Burns, On Wednesday March 10, 2010, 11:56 am EST

You may have heard the horror stories--job hunters who take phone calls or text during an interview, or bring out a sandwich and start chomping, or brush their hair, or worse. You wouldn't do any of those things, would you? Of course not.

But there are tons of other job interview no-no's you may not have thought of. Or that you've forgotten. The job hunting trail is long and arduous, and a little refresher course can't hurt. So for your edification and enjoyment, here are 50 (yes, 50!) of the worst and most common job interview mistakes:

1. Arriving late.

2. Arriving too early.

3. Lighting up a cigarette, or smelling like a cigarette.

4. Bad-mouthing your last boss.

5. Lying about your skills/experience/knowledge.

6. Wearing the wrong (for this workplace!) clothes.

7. Forgetting the name of the person you're interviewing with.

8. Wearing a ton of perfume or aftershave.

9. Wearing sunglasses.

10. Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece.

11. Failing to research the employer in advance.

12. Failing to demonstrate enthusiasm.

13. Inquiring about benefits too soon.

14. Talking about salary requirements too soon.

15. Being unable to explain how your strengths and abilities apply to the job in question.

16. Failing to make a strong case for why you are the best person for this job.

17. Forgetting to bring a copy of your resume and/or portfolio.

18. Failing to remember what you wrote on your own resume.

19. Asking too many questions.

20. Asking no questions at all.

21. Being unprepared to answer the standard questions.

22. Failing to listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying.

23. Talking more than half the time.

24. Interrupting your interviewer.

25. Neglecting to match the communication style of your interviewer.

26. Yawning.

27. Slouching.

28. Bringing along a friend, or your mother.

29. Chewing gum, tobacco, your pen, your hair.

30. Laughing, giggling, whistling, humming, lip-smacking.

31. Saying "you know," "like," "I guess," and "um."

32. Name-dropping or bragging or sounding like a know-it-all.

33. Asking to use the bathroom.

34. Being falsely or exaggeratedly modest.

35. Shaking hands too weakly, or too firmly.

36. Failing to make eye contact (or making continuous eye contact).

37. Taking a seat before your interviewer does.

38. Becoming angry or defensive.

39. Complaining that you were kept waiting.

40. Complaining about anything!

41. Speaking rudely to the receptionist.

42. Letting your nervousness show.

43. Overexplaining why you lost your last job.

44. Being too familiar and jokey.

45. Sounding desperate.

46. Checking the time.

47. Oversharing.

48. Sounding rehearsed.

49. Leaving your cell phone on.

50. Failing to ask for the job.

Karen Burns is the author of the illustrated career advice book The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, recently released by Running Press. She blogs at www.karenburnsworkinggirl.com.
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Sad' /> Dr. Wang, who is a Chinese national from Beijing, stood with a Mandarin interpreter and two public defenders. He was charged with murder and illegal possession and discharge of weapons, but did not enter a plea. Judge Roland Fasano of the New Haven Superior Court set bail at $2 million and set a hearing for May 11.

Police found shell casings at the crime scene — that matched at least one of the guns they had recovered in the suspect’s maroon minivan. Mr. Toor’s wife, Parneeta Sidhu, who is pregnant, had rushed out to Dr. Toor upon hearing the shots; the suspect also fired at her but missed, the police said. The couple, according to news reports, had a 3-year-old child. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/nyregion/28yale.html
The row must have weighed down on the designer Naeem Khan, who was overjoyed to get this chance of being part of this historic occasion. He, however, refused to comment on the controversy that seems to be swirling around the dress he designed.

Fashion designers like Vijay Arora and Anjana Bhargav have rubbished such views and said that there's nothing politically incorrect nor racial about the description of the dress and that people should stop reading too much into such things. http://news.in.msn.com/international/art...441&page=3
A-Gupta and others a google book

Between the Lines:South Asians and Post Coloniality

A bit dated 1996 but very relevant.
[url="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100605/ap_on_re_us/us_spelling_bee"]Spelling bee winner part of Indian-American streak[/url]
Quote:WASHINGTON – Shantanu Srivatsa and Anamika Veeramani sat nervously, side by side on stage.

Once again, an Indian-American was going to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was just a matter of what word and what time on Friday.

Shantanu, 13, an eighth-grader from West Fargo, N.D., stepped to the microphone first and couldn't spell "ochidore."

Anamika — showing the cool demeanor she kept throughout — kept her hands behind her back and rattled off the correct letters for the medical term "stromuhr." She didn't crack a smile until the trophy was presented.

"It was too surreal," she said. "It was an amazing experience. I usually have a poker face, so that's what that was."

The 14-year-old girl from North Royalton, Ohio, won the 83rd bee, claiming the trophy and more than $40,000 in cash and prizes — some of which she says she intends to spend.

She also became the third consecutive Indian-American bee champion.

[color="#FF0000"]Indian-Americans comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population according to 2000 census data, but they have an impressive bee winning streak — taking the trophy in eight of the past 12 years.[/color]

"All of the past champions inspire me, they all have something different and they're all amazing people," Anamika said after the prime-time finals on Friday.

She survived the round by spelling "juvia" — a Brazil nut — and then had to sit through a tense 3 1/2-minute commercial before spelling the championship word.

"It was just really nerve-racking," Anamika said. "The commercial breaks didn't really help."

The finals were preceded by an unpopular move that had some spellers and parents claiming the bee was unfair and had kowtowed too much to television.

Concerned that there wouldn't be enough spellers left to fill the two-hour slot on ABC, organizers stopped the semifinals in the middle of a round Friday afternoon — and declared that the 10 spellers onstage would advance to the prime-time broadcast, including six who didn't have to spell a word in the interrupted round. Essentially, the alphabetical order of the U.S. states helped determine which spellers got to move on the marquee event.

It's one of the pitfalls of the growing popularity of the bee, which has to yield to the constraints of its television partners. There were 19 spellers left at the start of the round, which was too many for prime-time. But when the round turned out to be brutal — nine of the first 13 misspelled — ABC was on the verge of having too few.

"I don't feel bad at all for giving these children the opportunity," bee director Paige Kimble said. "Do I wish we could give it to 19? Yes, certainly, but that's not practical in a two-hour broadcast window. We know it's unpopular and we don't like to do it, but sometimes you can get into a position where that's exactly what you have to do."

The Indian-American winning streak began with Nupur Lala, a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan, who became famous for her 1999 win after the 2002 release of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Spellbound."

By then, George Abraham Thampy had won in 2000. Pratyush Buddiga took the title two years later. The streak continued through the decade: Sai Gunturi won in 2003, Anurag Kashyap in 2005, Sameer Mishra in 2008 and Kavya Shivashankar in 2009. Kavya, now 14, returned this year to watch her sister Vanya, 8, compete in her first national bee. She was eliminated before the televised semifinals.

After Kavya congratulated Anamika onstage, she said winning the bee has less to do with nationality and more to do with a passion for words.

"I can't really speak for other people, but, for me, it was just enjoying spelling," Kavya said.

Kavya's father, Mirle Shivashankar, was hesitant to draw any firm conclusions, but pointed out the chain of events can lead to one speller inspiring the next.

"Kavya's role model was Nupur Lala," Mirle Shivashankar said. "And now there are a lot of girls who look up to Kavya."

Anamika's father, Alagaiya Veeramani, a civil engineer, said he had no clue why Indian-Americans seem to do so well at the competition. He guessed it has something to do with a hard-work ethic.

"This has been her dream for a very, very long time. It's been a family dream, too," said Veeramani, explaining that his daughter studied as many as 16 hours on some days. "I think it has to do with an emphasis on education."

Anamika has yet to start high school, but already envisions attending Harvard University and becoming a cardiovascular surgeon. She also wants to spend more time golfing, dancing and writing.

All of which, she'll now have time to do. Spelling, at least competitively, is over for this eighth grader. Students are not eligible once they win the national competition.

"I've been doing spelling for such a long time. After eighth grade, there are no more spelling opportunities. It's kind of sad," she said.
[url="http://www.slate.com/id/2255622/"]Why Are Indian Kids So Good at Spelling?[/url]
The three 17-year-old assailants, whose names have been withheld because of their age, have been arrested and now charged with homicide, they said.


Divyendu Sinha, 49, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus and presently working as a consultant with Siemens, sustained injuries after he was attacked by three teenagers on Friday night when he was walking with his family near his home in Old Bridge in New Jersey.
[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/chunk-ht-ui-indiasectionpage-topstories/Time-says-sorry-to-Indian-Americans/568872/H1-Article1-568439.aspx"]Time says sorry to Indian-Americans[/url]
Quote:A humour column that appeared in the July 5 edition of Time magazine sparked outrage and allegations of racism among the Indian-American community, prompting the article’s author, Joel Stein, and the magazine to issue embarrassed public apologies. The article, titled “My Own Private India” was meant to be a funny description of how an influx of Indian immigrants has transformed Stein’s hometown of Edison, New Jersey.

Nearly a third of Edison’s population is of Indian descent.

But Stein’s jokes — which include riffs on the spiciness of Indian food, large Indian families, hate crimes that occurred in the 1980s against Indian-Americans, and India’s poverty — prompted furious petitions and letters from Indian-Americans. The magazine ran an apology on the same day, saying, “[The article] was in no way intended to cause offense.”

Stein wrote in the original article: “When I was a kid, a few engineers and doctors from Gujarat moved to Edison... For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses.... In the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins... In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.”

But his most controversial joke took aim at Dotbusters, thugs who perpetrated violent hate crimes against Indian Americans in Edison in the 1980’s.

Stein wrote, “My townsfolk started calling the new Edisonians’ dot heads.’... In retrospect, I question just how good our schools were if ‘dot heads’ was the best racist insult we could come up with for a group of people whose gods have multiple arms and an elephant nose.”

The advocacy group South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) launched an online petition asking the editors of Time to organise a panel discussing the article's impact and to dedicate a special space in the magazine’s upcoming edition to response from the Indian-American community.

Hollywood actor Kal Penn shot off a column in the online magazine The Huffington Post, in which he slammed Stein’s article for using cliche jokes.

Ishaan Tharoor, who works for Time international and is the son of India’s former junior foreign affairs minister Shashi Tharoor, tweeted, “just fyi, Time international did not run joel stein’s ‘my private india’.

In an addendum dated July 2, Stein wrote, “I was trying to explain how, as someone who believes immigration has enriched American life ... I was shocked I could feel a tiny bit uncomfortable with my changing town when I went to visit it.”

[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/US-should-protect-immigrants-from-white-nationalists-BJP/H1-Article1-568872.aspx"]US should protect immigrants from white nationalists: BJP[/url]
[url="http://www.telegraphindia.com//1100712/jsp/nation/story"]Drive to end feud and rein in passport police[/url]
Quote:K.P. NAYAR

New York, July 11: The ministry of overseas Indian affairs is to step up and apply balm on the wounds caused by fierce skirmishes across North and South blocks.

The turf war was being fought over visas and passports and bruised egos in the home ministry because of a protracted revolt in Indian missions abroad against draconian measures by self-appointed guardians of India’s security.

Vayalar Ravi, the minister for overseas Indian affairs who took a lot of heat in the last nine days from Indian Americans, Overseas Citizens of India and non-resident Indians across the US over the pervasive chaos caused by new restrictions on them, told The Telegraph that on his return to Delhi, he would bring together the ministries of home and external affairs in a bid to find creative solutions to these problems.

Indian Americans, who have stood by India through thick and thin, have been comprehensively alienated by recent restrictions from New Delhi has effectively banned overseas Indians from visiting their native country unless they surrendered their old passports that expired after they acquired US citizenship from the nearest Indian mission.

They were told that they will be denied visas to visit India unless they produced “renunciation certificates” of Indian citizenship issued by the missions along with their applications for visas.

The rule triggered a mass movement abroad in the form of a global petition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, signed by tens of thousands of Indians who had acquired foreign citizenship.

At one point, “the rate of signing the petition reached 200 every hour,” according to Thomas Abraham, founder president and chairman emeritus of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), which has the status of an NGO accredited to the UN on platforms such as the World Conference Against Racism.

The mass petition brought about a partial easing of the rules, but Indian Americans remained resentful about the home ministry’s high-handedness on one hand and the ham-handed implementation of the rules by Indian missions abroad.

“The single point issue wherever I went was surrender of old passports,” said Ravi, who addressed Indian American concerns at meetings attended by several thousand people in Albany, Long Island, Las Vegas, Chicago and Phoenix. “I faced a lot of anger and anguish.”

The week which includes July 4, America’s Independence Day, is traditionally the period when Indian Americans gather from coast to coast for their distinct ethnic conventions for people from different Indian states.

At a meeting in Phoenix, an octogenarian Sikh said he had treasured his Indian travel document all these years as a US citizen, unlike many others. But even though he had surrendered his passport as soon as the new rules were announced, he was yet to receive his renunciation certificate, making it impossible for him to travel to India.

Susmita Gongulee Thomas, India’s consul-general in San Francisco, who was present at the meeting, said she would look into this case immediately.

What is troubling Indians abroad is that this is not an isolated case. It is estimated that more than 7,000 applications for renunciation certificates are pending at the consulate in New York alone since the home ministry issued its diktat without giving any thought to its implementation.

In some smaller missions in Europe with fewer consular staff, the situation is said to be worse in proportion and percentage although the absolute numbers are smaller compared to the US.

Ravi was not populist and did not try to save himself from the ire of Indians abroad by promising them the moon as ministers often do when they are overseas. Instead, he made it clear that a balance between India’s security needs and the ease of travel to India had to be found.

“This is the mission of my ministry. The ministry of overseas Indian affairs was created six years ago to make things easier for all of you,” he said at meetings.

Ravi said that he would narrate the experiences during his stormy tour of the US to external affairs minister S.M. Krishna and home minister P. Chidambaram and seek a middle ground on genuine problems faced by overseas Indians as a result of the post 26/11 concerns about the need for greater vigilance with visitors from abroad.

The demand that Indians who have acquired other nationalities should surrender their passports with retrospective effect was among a rash of actions initiated by the home ministry in the light of India’s failure to prevent half-Pakistani US citizen David Coleman Headley from repeatedly travelling to India and scouting targets for the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008.

The mass petition to the Prime Minister said there are “millions of people who have obtained citizenship of other countries... since the passage of Indian Citizenship Act 1955, the law quoted in asking for surrender certificate…. Requiring persons of Indian origin to surrender their Indian passports after the lapse of many years of acquisition of such citizenship would cause undue hardship and delay in getting consular services.”

What angered overseas Indians was that they were also asked to cough up $175 per passport for getting the renunciation certificate and another $175 as penalty under the 1955 Act for having retained and presumed to have “used” the travel document even though Indian missions have themselves been violating this law by not asking for the surrender of Indian passports. when visas were issued to former Indian citizens.

“A large number of our people are retirees,” a GOPIO statement noted. “If a family of four travelled to India, the additional fee would have been as much $2000,” under the home ministry’s directive.

Following the mass petition, the fee for renunciation certificate was reduced to $20 for those who acquired another citizenship as of May 31, 2010, and the penalty of $175 was done away with.

But the anger among overseas Indians remained and Ravi’s visit was partly an attempt to assuage their feelings.

Idiots in South and North blocks think that NRIs are money printing machine.
WASHINGTON: Eminent Indian-American physician and philanthropist Dr Sudhir Parikh, who was awarded with the prestigious Padam Shri this year, has been recognized in the US Congress for his extraordinary contribution.

"I applaud Dr Parikh's achievements and dedication and recognize his work as it serves as an inspiration to us all," influential US Congressman Frank Pallone said in his remarks in the US House of Representatives. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world...239729.cms
Indian American Leadership Initiative President Kathy Kulkarni and IALI Vice President Anurag Varma, who had prepared for over three months to put together the organization's national convention, have reason to smile.

From former CNN Washington Bureau chief Frank Sesno — who described the conversations at the event as "amazing" — to longtime political operative Anil Mammen — who lauded the "superb caliber of panelists" — encomiums flowed freely about the convention. http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/sep/0...mazing.htm

"Our expectations," Kulkarni told India [ Images ] Abroad, "was to have engaging dialogue, an inquisitive audience, a really diverse mix of participants from across the country of all ages, of all backgrounds to support, connect and invest in our political process. We feel very happy that we were able to fulfill all three of these aspects to a great extent.
When the pupils were seven-years-old, all ethnic minority groups with the exception of Chinese pupils were behind white British youngsters in English and maths tests. http://education.in.msn.com/news/article...451&page=2

However, by the time compulsory schooling ended, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and black pupils from outside the Caribbean had caught up with their white British classmates, while Indian and Chinese pupils had overtaken them, the media report said.
A record half-dozen Indian Americans - all Democrats - mounted runs this year for the House of Representatives. Five of them lost Tuesday in districts in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The sixth, hedge fund lawyer Reshma Saujani lost in her primary challenge to nine-term Representative Carolyn Maloney in New York, but has vowed to run again in 2012. http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Six...Subscriber

Amerish "Ami" Bera, 45, a physician and medical school administrator was trailing to sitting Republican Congressman Dan Lungren in his California district despite raising more money than his rival.
[url="http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101121/jsp/nation/story_13202644.jsp"]NRI bribe charges[/url]
Quote:Washington, Nov. 20 (PTI): A couple of Indian origin have been arrested on charges of bribing US government officials. FBI investigators have also found an estimated $400,000 hidden inside their closet.

Authorities said Amrik and Ravinder Melhi, who owned a number of liquor shops in Maryland, would pay officials to ensure the transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol. The FBI has also arrested and charged three police officers with corruption.

Hello, this is not India's PM office, it is US, bribe is big big problem. People do report.

<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />
Punjabis who once travelled to London in search of ‘streets paved with gold’ are today among the most acutely deprived citizens of the British capital.They include Sikhs who queue for free food in local gurdwaras and spend the nights huddled in sleeping bags inside telephone boxes or in giant rubbish bins where they have oversize rats for company.

In British English parlance these men (and some women) are known as “rough sleepers, those who have no homes of their own and spend the cold London nights (last month was the coldest December since 1659) in empty garages, along the roads, inside dustbins and anywhere else they think will give them some minimum shelter. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110128/main4.htm
Quote:India protests as sham US varsity students radio-tagged

January 30, 2011 1:49:31 AM

Arun Kumar | Washington/New Delhi

After being duped by a 'sham' university in California, some of the affected Indian students have been forced to wear radio-trackers around their ankles to the chagrin of the Indian community. India said the use of monitors was "unwarranted" and raised the issue with the US deputy ambassador Saturday.

Some 1,555 students of Tri-Valley University, 90 percent of them from India, mostly Andhra Pradesh, face the prospect of deportation following the closure of the university in Pleasanton on charges of selling student visas.

Some of the students who approached Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to seek help were placed under ISAP (Intense Supervision and Appearance Programme) and put in removal proceedings.

A number of students have already been interviewed by ICE agents, most have been questioned and released but a few have been required to wear ankle bracelets, Jayaram Komati of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) told IANS.

Throughout Saturday, Indian television channels had displaying visuals of Indian students with radio trackers around one ankle, which was apparently done to monitor their movements.

India protested the measure.

"We have conveyed to the US authorities that the students, most of who are victims themselves, must be treated fairly and reasonably, and that the use of monitors on a group of students, who were detained and later released with monitors in accordance with US laws, is unwarranted and should be removed," said Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash in New Delhi.

US Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu was called to the external ministry and apprised of India's concerns over the measure.

Prakash said that MEA and Indian consulate general in San Francisco are in touch with the Indian students and US authorities, adding that "everything possible" will be done to safeguard the students' "legitimate interests".

"The students should be given ample opportunity to clarify their position and present their case; those who wish to return to India should be allowed to do so voluntarily; those students who have not violated any visa or immigration laws should be given opportunity to adjust their status; and, those who are eligible to seek transfer to other universities should be given adequate opportunity and time to do so," he said.

The Indian community in the US has expressed shock and anger over the measure.

"It is very unfortunate that the students of the Tri Valley are being treated like criminals for none of their fault," Ramesh Annamreddy another prominent community leader said.

"All these students came to United States of America to receive high quality education like many students who come to US," he said.

"Not only are their dreams shattered, but they are undergoing the worst treatment they could never imagine on the land which is very sensitive to human rights," Annamreddy said.

Meanwhile, Komati, whose organisation has some 35,000 members also advised students attending Tri-Valley University to seek immigration advice from an immigration attorney.

"Ultimately, we want to protect the kids within the boundaries of the law," he said. "They are not here to break the law. This is no fault of the students. It is the university not living up to the norms of society."

Expressing shock at the news of some students being detained by the federal authorities, North American Telugu Association (NATA) A.V.N. Reddy said his organisation is is determined to make every effort in helping students of Telugu community in their legal needs.

It has also organised a conference call for students at 12.00 p.m. Sunday with immigration attorney Rajiv S. Khanna of immigration.com to understand the students grievances and guide them on the immigration issues.

Students can contact NATA for the conference call details by sending email to natacommunityservice@gmail.com with subject line "conference".

NATA is also planning to arrange counselling through Patrick Papallia who is specialist on civil litigation and business law, a partner at Herten & Burstien.

Meanwhile, the US authorities have opened a helpline for the Indian students. "We have set up an email address and voicemail that Tri-Valley students can use to contact ICE Homeland Security Investigations directly with their questions," Lari K Haley, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson said.

Haley said any affected student can call the US number 415-844-5320 and leave the voice message. An ICE representative will return the call, she said. Students can also write to 'SFRHSIFraud@dhs.gov', seeking help.

India has also asked US authorities for provide full information about the students and keep it in the loop about investigations and prosecution against the Tri-Valley University.

Next week, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will issue a detailed advisory for all TVU students, which will provide guidance on the process to seek admission in other schools.

Besides, all TVU students have been asked to report to the nearest ICE office for instructions.

"Those students who are presently in India with TVU sponsored visas should not travel to the US with that visa. They can apply to other universities and, if admitted, could apply afresh for new visas," said Prakash.

Well, on Jan,20th, 3 ICE agents (2 male, one female, wearing jeans and sweat shirts) came to my neighborhood, only problem, in place of West they have East in address. After two days it was all over news about this case.
[url="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-border-indians-20110206,0,3295315.story"]Surge of immigrants from India baffles border officials in Texas[/url]
Quote:Reporting from Harlingen, Texas — Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations.

[color="#FF0000"]The immigrants, mostly young men from poor villages, say they are fleeing religious and political persecution.[/color] More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began here early last year, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have sneaked through undetected, according to U.S. border authorities.

Hundreds have been released on their own recognizance or after posting bond. They catch buses or go to local Indian-run motels before flying north for the final leg of their months-long journeys.

"It was long … dangerous, very dangerous," said one young man wearing a turban outside the bus station in the Rio Grande Valley town of Harlingen.

The Indian migration in some ways mirrors the journeys of previous waves of immigrants from far-flung places, such as China and Brazil, who have illegally crossed the U.S. border here. But the suddenness and still-undetermined cause of the Indian migration baffles many border authorities and judges.

The trend has caught the attention of anti-terrorism officials because of the pipeline's efficiency in delivering to America's doorstep large numbers of people from a troubled region. Authorities interview the immigrants, most of whom arrive with no documents, to ensure that people from neighboring Pakistan or Middle Eastern countries are not slipping through.

There is no evidence that terrorists are using the smuggling pipeline, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials said.

The influx shows signs of accelerating: About 650 Indians were arrested in southern Texas in the last three months of 2010 alone. Indians are now the largest group of immigrants other than Latin Americans being caught at the Southwest border.

The migration is the "most significant" human-smuggling trend being tracked by U.S. authorities, said Kumar Kibble, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. In 2009, the Border Patrol arrested only 99 Indians along the entire Southwest border.

"It's a dramatic increase," Kibble said. "We do want to monitor these pipelines and shut them down because it is a vulnerability. They could either knowingly or unknowingly smuggle people into the U.S. that pose a national security threat."

Most of the immigrants say they are from the Punjab or Gujarat states. They are largely Sikhs who say they face religious persecution, or [color="#FF0000"]members of the Bharatiya Janata Party who say they are targeted for beatings by members of the National Congress Party[/color]. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

But analysts and human rights monitors say political conditions in India don't explain the migration. There is no evidence of the kind of persecution that would prompt a mass exodus, they say, and Sikhs haven't been targets since the 1980s. The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, is a Sikh.

"There is no reason to believe these claims have any truth to them," said Sumit Ganguly, a political science professor and director of the India Studies Program at Indiana University.

Some authorities think the immigrants are simply seeking economic opportunities and are willing to pay $12,000 to $20,000 to groups that smuggle them to staging grounds in northern Mexico. Kibble said smugglers may have shifted to the Southwest after ICE dismantled visa fraud rings that brought Indians to the Northeast.

Many Indians begin their journey by flying from Mumbai to Dubai, then to South American countries such as Ecuador or Venezuela, according to authorities and immigration attorneys. Guatemala has emerged as the key transit hub into Mexico, they said. The roundabout journeys are necessary because Mexico requires visas for Indians.

They sneak across the dangerous Guatemala-Mexico border and take buses or private vehicles to the closest U.S.-Mexico border. Mexican organized crime groups are suspected of being involved either in running the operations or in charging groups tolls to pass through their territory.

The Indians usually wade across the Rio Grande, and then are shuttled from stash houses to transportation rings that take them north. David Aguilar, deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, said he believed a high percentage were caught as soon as they crossed the river.

"We very intensely interview, look at their backgrounds, check them against any watch list," Aguilar said, adding that although India is not considered a "special interest" source country for terrorists, the undocumented immigrants are scrutinized as if it were.

The detainees eventually claim asylum. [color="#FF0000"]In January, immigration court calendars at the area's two main detention facilities were full of the common Indian surnames Patel and Singh, and attorneys and judges struggled to keep up. Some attorneys had failed to file the necessary forms; interpreters were not always available.[/color] <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> Judge Keith Hunsucker said more immigration judges would soon be assigned to handle the increased workload.

Many detained immigrants clear the first hurdle toward a full asylum hearing by convincing asylum officers they have a "credible fear" of persecution if they return to India. They can then post a bond and move anywhere in the United States as long as they agree to appear for their next court date.

Not all show up, however. "That's why I won't take their cases anymore," said Cathy Potter, a local immigration attorney who helped about 20 Indians get freed on bond last year. "It undermines my credibility. I don't want anything to do with this."

It is not clear how many Indians have been granted asylum or deported; immigration officials did not fulfill requests for that information. Judges and attorneys appear to be toughening up, however. Bond amounts have risen sharply in recent months, and attorneys say asylum claims are increasingly being rejected.

Judge William Peterson raised doubts during a recent hearing when a 27-year-old Punjabi woman said she had been beaten and raped, her sari ripped off by several attackers. The petite woman, her long hair in a ponytail, said she was targeted because her husband was a driver for National Congress Party officials.

<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />

"I haven't heard you tell me anything that you did on behalf of the party that would irritate these people," Peterson said at the hearing held by video conference.

"We used to give help to the poor. They did not like that," she said. Peterson rejected her claim for a finding of "credible fear," deeming her story inconsistent with statements she had made to an asylum officer. "They're going to kill me. They're going to rape me," she pleaded, wiping away a tear.

But hundreds of immigrants have persuaded asylum officers and judges to grant credible-fear findings, clearing the way for bond hearings.

Hunsucker, an immigration judge at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Brownsville, set bond amounts ranging from $15,000 to $40,000 for 10 Indians one recent morning.

Most said they had relatives or friends in the U.S. willing to sponsor them, though the judge raised concerns about some. In one case, a young man said his sponsor was his cousin, a woman. But the faxed identification document of the cousin showed a picture of a man with a beard. The bond was set at $15,000.

Once released, the immigrants are transported to the Greyhound bus station in downtown Harlingen. One recent evening, 10 Indians crowded around pay telephones and the bus counter, struggling with limited English skills to arrange travel.

One young man paid for a $204, two-day bus ride to New York City. When the clerk asked his name, he handed over his detention center ID wristband.

A young man wearing a turban asked the clerk for information on the next bus to Indiana. He spoke broken English and later tried to provide details about his journey, but other immigrants nudged him to keep quiet. The trip was worth it, he said, adding, "I'm happy, because it's safe" in the U.S.

Outside, motel operators offered to shuttle the men to their nearby quarters. Shoving matches between motel operators have broken out in recent weeks as they compete to fill their $44-per-night rooms with immigrants.

The Indians are largely unseen in the towns along the Rio Grande Valley, where they disappear into detention centers, stash houses or motel rooms. Some Sikhs have been confronted by locals alarmed by the sight of people wearing turbans, motel workers say.

Federal agents investigating human-smuggling rings have visited at least one motel, America's Best Value Inn in Raymondville, workers said. General Manager Kevin Patel denied any wrongdoing.

He houses about 20 Indians per week, he said, shuttling them to and from the bus station and printing out airline boarding passes. He serves them meals in his motel apartment, often the first Indian food they've had in months, he said.

One recent guest, Bharat Panchal, 37, said he was released from detention in late January after friends posted his $20,000 bond. India had become dangerous, he said, because of political unrest in his home state of Gujarat. He was flying later that day to Los Angeles to live with a friend, he said.

Patel said the sudden appearance of Indian immigrants in southern Texas baffled him.

"When they first showed up, I scratched my head a little bit," Patel said. But he has opened his doors and makes the immigrants feel at home.

"They need a place to stay," he said. "They need food. They speak my language, so of course, as a human being, I can help them out."
Which was the swivel moment when the Indian-born British citizen shook off his psychological shackles and came into his own? There will probably be as many answers as there are success stories. My personal favourite is the year in which an enterprising Sikh businessman bought out a distillery producing the most sustained, and possibly sustaining, export of the British peoples, Scotch whisky. The breakthrough was not in the financial transaction. Money is the easy part. The revolutionary switch in the balance of power was made when this NRI entrepreneur renamed the Scotch and called it "Kuch Nahi". http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/...govt..html

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