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NRI Corner 2
Gujarat celebrates perfect launch of Sunita in space
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sunita Williams, second Indian woman to go into space, has become a media celebrity in Gujarat as she belongs to Gujarat. <b>For the last more than a week newspapers here are full of news about her and interviews of her relatives here.</b>

Sunita belongs to Jurhason village of Mehsana district. The news of successful launch of space shuttle Discover dominated the front page of almost all newspapers of Gujarat on Monday. While mentioning that Sunita was second Indian woman to go in space after Kalpana Chawla, newspapers have also pointed out that Kalpana’s shuttle met with accident soon after reaching into the space and so Sunita wasthe first to settle in the space.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sandesh has an article about celebrations in her village and family. How her cousin sent her three kilos of ladoos and special cards <b>her father Deepak Pandya got printed in Ahmedabad with auspicious symbols of Aum, Swastik and Ganpati. These cards were for a party he had thrown in US on this occasion.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

ayi-ya-yoooooo... what will Gujarat bashers baiters do now? Focus on Valentine card burning news?
I am waiting when morons will call this as RSS and Hindutava conspiracy. Twisted Wendy must be shocked, as Sunita is taking Lord Ganpathy idol with her, and she will keep Idol in Space station.
<b>Williams to call Indian PM from space</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Williams, cousin of late BJP leader and State Minister Haren Pandya, is one of the crew on board NASA space shuttle Discovery.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Told you <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We are proud, but at the same time anxious for her safety. We are keeping our fingers crossed,’’ said Williams’s paternal cousin Dinesh Raval. Soon after Discovery’s successful launch, Sunita’s father Deepak Pandya called up the Pandya family in Ahmedabad. ‘‘He told us that Sunita will be speaking to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a month’s time, i.e., once the telephone connection is established with the space station,’’ said Raval.

Meanwhile, a rally was organised at Sunita’s ancestral village, Jurhason, Mehsana district, said Raval. ‘‘The entire village has been ceaselessly praying for her safety,” said Raval.

There has been an adventurous streak in Sunita since childhood. We know that with the kind of inner strength Sunita possesses, her mission will definitely be a success. I still remember the day she triumphantly came home in Boston after finishing a 26-mile marathon. She was barely 12 or 13 years old at the time,” he said.

Raval recounted the time when Williams and her family had come down to Gujarat in the mid-seventies. ‘‘She created quite a stir in Jurhason when after a camel ride she insisted on taking a camel back home with her. The villagers talk of the incident even now,’’ he said.

‘‘Soon after the visit, Sunita was selected to join NASA. She was so excited... That was in 1998. But now that she is on her journey to outer space, we can’t help but feel a little anxious,’’ said Raval. Sunita’s parents, who are in Florida currently, will be moving to Hawaii in a couple of days.

Vitthal Pandya, <b>Sunita’s paternal uncle, said that special pujas are being offered at his place as well. “We have complete faith in the Almighty and we are sure he would bring our Sunita back safely,”</b> he added.
airtel service is here.. 8c a min .. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

PIO question folks. My daughter has renewed US passport. Does it mean new PIO card? Or do I have to endorse PIO card with new passport details? Can it be done in person or mail? I can't find info on cgisf.org or google. It seems it can be endorsed but no info on cgisf.org site.

Dev, contact local Indian consulate. Ask them to fax procedures to you. On telephone they give wrong information, either they are clueless or just idiots.
Good luck. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
email from US-India Friendship :
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dear Friends:

On December 12, I had sent you an email titled, "Missile sale to Pakistan: Implication for US national security interests."

That email triggered a lot of feedback. Many wanted template letters for use to write to their lawmakers to delay the deal and to hold a hearing on the subject.

Please visit http://www.usindiafriendship. net/congress1/ missilesale. htm for four template sample letters.

To get the coordinates of your lawmakers:

Click: http://congress.org

Type your zip code on given space on the left side. Click

You get the pictures of the President, your two Senators and your House Representative (as also elected officials of your State).

Click each of the photographs of your TWO Senators and your House Representative and you get their contact details (phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address).

You are welcome to copy and paste the letter of your choice, make whatever changes you wish, and send it to your two Senators and your House Representative.

You may also want to shorten them for use as a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

<b>Time is short. Your lawmakers need to act IMMEDIATELY. </b>

So, send letters to your two Senators and your House Representative TODAY.

If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact me


US-India Friendship

http://www.usindiafriendship. net/<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>"Macaca" named most politically incorrect word </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The word "macaca," used by outgoing Republican Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia to describe a Democratic activist of Indian descent who was trailing his campaign, was named the most politically incorrect word of the year on Friday by Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that studies word usage.

"The word might have changed the political balance of the U.S. Senate, since Allen's utterance (an offensive slang term for Indians from the Sub-continent) surely impacted his election bid," said the group's head, Paul JJ Payack.

Allen narrowly lost to Democrat James Webb in November, helping make it possible for the Democrats to capture control of the Senate.
Indian political novices created history
Mumbai immigration deports children!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mumbai Airport immigration officials deported <b>seven-year-old Viraj Shriwardhankar and his three-and-a- half-year- old brother Vrishabh two hours after they landed in India</b> last week. Their parents' plea for a transit or temporary visa was summarily denied.

The officials granted a two-day transit visa to a French national at the same time, their father Vijay Shriwardhankar wrote in an e-mail. 'The French national has white skin while Viraj and Vrishabh have brown skin.'

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->No one was bothered that the children had already traveled for about 24 hours. 'There was absolutely no humanity shown by the ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) Immigration or Air France officials,' Vijay said. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'I requested my friend in Boston to go to my house and fax the visa papers immediately. She was already on her way to get those papers. I was begging the Immigration ACP and Air France officials to allow us to wait at the airport until officials received the fax but they didn't want to do anything about it and forced us to take the flight at 2:40,' Vijay said.

The officials received the fax 10 minutes after the flight departed, the couple discovered later.
When idiots are running country and jokers with no IQ are working in MEA/Immigration/COnsulate, you can expect anything. I had cuple of very hiliarious experience with jokers at Airport and Indian Embassy.
They try to follow rules but low IQ overrule everything. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
For those in cgisf.org jurisdiction with kids with PIO card with renewed US passports...this is what I got from the consulate (email)...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sicne you are renewing the US passport you
need to add the new US passport number in the PIO. For this you will
Miscellenous. SERVICE FORM
$10 FEE
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Indian American to fight for 'Hindu cause'</b>
Shakti Bhatt in New York | April 04, 2003 09:36 IST

Nishkam Gupta, 21, is not like others of his age, his parents will tell you. He is currently at Camp Lejeune, serving as a marine reserve. In a few days he will leave to serve in the war, something that he has wanted to do since he was 17.

"Since he was very young," said his mother Renu Gupta who runs the Mailboxes Etc franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio, <b>"he would read the history of India and Hinduism</b>.

"To us he was a walking-talking encyclopaedia on Indian and US politics."

Three years ago, Nishkam approached his parents, asking them to sign a paper that would allow him to attend a boot camp that summer.

"When we said no, he threatened us," Renu said. "He told us 'If you don't do it now, I will do it anyway when I am 18.'"

Nishkam attended the camp and made a 6-year commitment with the US military as a marine reserve<b>. He would dedicate most of his free time working for Hindu causes, his father, Arun, said. "He is a staunch believer in the cause</b>," said Arun, a biochemist who runs a DNA testing lab. "He thinks something should be done to unite and protect them."

<b>Nishkam's mother said her son refused to go with other soldiers to the Sunday services. "He demanded to be given his own place so he could follow his own religion," said Renu, who, at his request, sent him pictures of Indian gods and goddesses. "So every Sunday, when other marines would go to the church, he and 2 or 3 other Indians would pray at this special location given to them</b>.

<b>"He made sure that Indians kept their identity even in the US military," she added.</b>

It was on January 22 that Nishkam was activated for the war. At the time he was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. <b>While in college, Nishkam founded the local chapter of Hindu Students Council.</b>

When the call came, Nishkam quickly prepared himself.

<b>When packing his bags, he took only 4 books with him -- the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, The Hindu Mind by Bansi Pandit, and The Collected Works of Swami Vivekananda.</b>

"Every time he calls me from the base," said his mother, "he tells me, 'I want to fight and I will be unhappy if I am not sent.'"

The parents, who had expressed reluctance at their son's decision, have now adjusted.

"Nobody likes their son to go to war," said Arun. "But we have no choice but to support him because this is what he really wants."

"How I rationalise it," said Renu, "is to think of the parents of the 300,000 soldiers that are already fighting. Then I feel selfish if I think about myself.

"But I know that once he leaves, my heart will be beating all the time."

For Nishkam, it is more than a war to 'liberate the Iraqis', as stated by the Bush administration. According to his parents, it is part of his desire to fight the larger war against terrorism, a war that would directly benefit Hinduism and its cause.

<b>"Even though he was born here, he has a special place for India," said the mother. "He strongly believes that the war will also serve India.</b>

"He said that is the beginning for a much bigger, much more important war."

<b>Ahmedabad girl is US Army specialist, keen to go to Iraq</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->AHMEDABAD: Driving Humvees, shooting targets and training with chemical elements for warfare are not the usual tasks for a 20-year-old girl, but Neha, who recently immigrated from Ahmedabad and joined the US Army, is doing all of the above.

Born in a family of doctors, Neha moved to the US two years ago after getting a green card and joined the Army school to take her career ahead as a `nuclear, biological, chemical specialist.'

“Joining the US Army is like a dream come true. I just knew that I wanted to do something that normally people would not do. The US Army is a special place to work as it tests your skills and it is a well paying job," Neha Hotchandani, who is visiting her parents in Ahmedabad as part of her Christmas vacation, said

Her grit and determination has earned her the position of a company leader (Bravo company) of the 82nd Chemical battalion (Fort Leonard Wood) in Missiori state where 250 people work under her, the immigrant-turned-Army woman said.

"Strangely I have not met a single Indian during my entire six month stint with the US army,", she said, adding, "my opinion is that every citizen of Indian should undergo Army training, even if it is in India itself as it teaches so much and prepares you well in many areas" .

"Actually I was fed up of living under too much peer pressure in my home town and saw that youth are not allowed to make their own independent choice till a long time. That is why I decided to move to the US for studies and when the Army opportunity came my way I grabbed it", she said.

She was a Commerce student in Ahmedabad and after moving base to the US she took up finance and banking investment and eventually ended up working with the US Army in an area of no prior experience.

<b>"I joined the San Diego University when I reached here and will be a graduate by December 2007. I hope to finish that degree so that I can apply to be an Army officer else I will remain a private. In the Army school I have completed 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT) and am presently doing my Advanced Individual Training (AIT) which is a 14 week course",</b> she said.

Neha is taking her fitness training, that included walking, exercising and running sessions, seriously and is keen to gear up to go to Iraq if and when the call of duty arises.

<b>"Ofcource I am all keen to go to Iraq if I am sent. It would be an amazing experience for someone like me to have made it to that level",</b> she said.

Regarding her opinion of the Indian Army and why she never thought of joining the services her, Neha blames the `Indian system' and adds that it would be tough for her to work under the `terms, conditions and constraints' here.

A few weeks off at home for Christmas vacation as a civilian and then its time for Neha to head back to base where the Army fatigues await her.
<img src='http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l233/hinduunity/donation.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
NRIs proud of Indian Culture
INDIAN Immigrant Entrepreneurs' Contribution to American Economy

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The results released on January 4, 2007, show a significant contribution by immigrants of Indian origin:

**Indian immigrants have founded more engineering and technology companies in the US in the past decade (1995-2005) than immigrants from the U.K., China, Taiwan and Japan combined. Of all immigrant-founded companies, 26% have Indian founders.

**Chinese (Mainland- and Taiwan-born) entrepreneurs are heavily concentrated in California, with 49% of Mainland Chinese and 81% of Taiwanese companies located there. Indian and U.K. entrepreneurs tend to be dispersed around the country, with Indians having sizable concentrations in California, Texas and New Jersey and the British in California and Georgia.

** While in New Jersey, the share of Indian start-ups was a whopping 47 per cent, in Texas, it stood at 25 per cent. This was followed by California with 20 per cent, Florida with 18 per cent, New York with 14 per cent and Massachusetts with 10 per cent.

**Almost 80% of immigrant-founded companies in the US were within just two industry fields: software (33%) and innovation/manufact uring-related services (46%). The software field contains computer programming services, prepackaged software, integrated system design, processing services and information retrieval companies. The innovation/manufact uring-related services field includes a variety of electronics, computer and hardware design and service companies in addition to engineering services, research and testing.

** Immigrant groups from India, UK, Mainland China and Taiwan founded innovation/manufact uring related service companies in similar proportions over the past decade (accounting for 42% to 46% of all engineering and technology companies founded by each group). Entrepreneurs from India and the U.K. gravitated as well toward the software industry, which accounted for 46% and 43%, respectively, of their startups; but they were minimally represented in hardware-oriented sectors such as semiconductors and computers/communica tions. Immigrant founders from China and Taiwan started companies in a broader range of industries, and were more likely to start computers/communica tions (with 25% and 27% respectively) and software companies (19% and 17%). In addition, they were more likely to be founders of semiconductor companies (8% and 7%) than their Indian or UK counterparts.

**Indian immigrants are the primary founders of immigrant companies in the innovation/manufact uring-related services fields. Just under a quarter of the immigrants who founded companies in this field are from India, followed at a considerable distance by Taiwan and China at 6% each. The Indian immigrant group contributes as well to the biosciences and computers/communica tions fields but is not a dominant force. In biosciences, India and Germany each contribute 10% of the companies founded by immigrants; the UK, France, Israel and Korea trail at 6%. In the computers/communica tions field, India-, Taiwan-, and China-born founders together accounted for just over 50% of all the immigrant start-ups from 1995 to 2005. India- and China-born immigrant entrepreneurs each founded 15% of the immigrant founded semiconductors companies from 1995 to 2005. These contributions were trailed by those of immigrant founders from the Philippines (10%) and Taiwan (10%). Finally, within the software field, Indian immigrants established 34% of the immigrant founded software companies from 1995 to 2005.

**Based on an analysis of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent databases, the largest group of immigrant non-citizen inventors were Chinese (Mainland and Taiwan-born) . Indians were second, followed by the Canadians and British.

**A comparison with Saxenian's 1999 findings shows that the percentage of firms with Indian or Chinese founders in the Silicon Valley had increased from 24% to 28%. Indian immigrants outpaced their Chinese counterparts as founders of engineering and technology companies in Silicon Valley. Saxenian reported that 17% of Silicon Valley startups from 1980-1998 had a Chinese founder and 7% had an Indian founder. The new study found that from 1995 to 2005, Indians were key founders of 15.5% of all Silicon Valley startups, and immigrants from China and Taiwan were key founders in 12.8%.

** In Research Triangle Park, 18.7% of startups had an immigrant as a key founder, compared with the North Carolina average of 13.9. Indians constitute the largest immigrant founding group, with 25% of startups, followed by immigrants from Germany and the U.K., each with 15%.

**Between 1990 and 2000, the population of Indian scientists and engineers (S&E) in Silicon Valley grew by 646% (while the total foreign-born S&E workforce grew by 246% and the region's total population of S&E, both native and foreign-born, grew by only 103%). In short, the growth of Indian entrepreneurship reflected the influx of Indian scientists and engineers to the region.

**Silicon Valley's immigrant entrepreneurs led the nation in the 1990s by starting dynamic technology businesses that generate substantial wealth and employment in the US. Today they are contributing to the creation of new centers of technology and skill in their home countries. As these entrepreneurs collaborate with former classmates and colleagues in once peripheral economies like India and China, they are providing access to the markets and know-how that are critical to success in today's global economy.

**There was at least one immigrant key founder in 25.3% of all engineering and technology companies established in the U.S. between 1995 and 2005 inclusive. Together, this pool of immigrant-founded companies was responsible for generating more than $52 billion in 2005 sales and creating just under 450,000 jobs as of 2005. These immigrants come to the U.S. from all over the world to take advantage of the business, technology and economic opportunities in the country. Almost 26% of all immigrant-founded companies in the last ten years were founded by Indian immigrants. Immigrants from the U.K., China, and Taiwan contributed to 7.1%, 6.9% and 5.8% of all immigrant-founded businesses, respectively. These immigrant-founded businesses are unevenly located across the country. California and New Jersey represented hot spots for immigrant-founded engineering and technology business; Washington and Ohio possessed relatively low percentages of immigrant founded businesses. Some immigrant groups displayed tendencies to start businesses in a particular state. For example, 81% of businesses founded by Taiwanese immigrants were located in California.

**This research shows that immigrants have become a significant driving force in the creation of new businesses and intellectual property in the U.S. - and that their contributions have increased over the past decade.

**The key to maintaining US competitiveness in a global economy is to understand America's strengths and to effectively leverage these. Skilled immigrants are one of America's greatest advantages.
Whats about the smell ? Any jingoes from NYC ?

It was New Jersey <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Sunita Williams' space view</b>
HAIR'S TO GRAVITY: The astronaut gave an interview from the International Space Station.
New Delhi: India looks beautiful from space, Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams, part of the crew aboard International Space Station (ISS), said Wednesday in a chat.

Speaking to about 60 students, teachers and media persons and Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to walk in space, Williams was all praise for India.

<b>"I have the opportunity to look at India a number of times from the spacecraft and it looks beautiful," </b>she said during a 10-odd-minute chat over satellite phone connected to the American Center in Delhi.

<b>"It's a colourful country. Greenery and red mountains were great,"</b> a seemingly anxious Williams added.

Thrilled at the Indian space scientists' "textbook" launch Wednesday of four satellites from an indigenous launch vehicle for the first time, she said: "Congratulations. It's a great achievement."

Williams, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, is one of the only six women NASA has put in space since 1965. Her father is an Indian-born doctor and her mother a homemaker of the Yugoslav descent.

Williams, for her space trip, has taken along with her a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a small idol of Lord Ganesh and a letter written in Hindi by her father Deepak Pandya besides some samosas in a special container. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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