Dal, Roti and Manmohan Singh: What Barack Obama Spoke About in Delhi

first_imgFormer U.S. President Barack Obama said he knows how to cook dal during his ongoing visit to New Delhi. He said he may be the first American president to have a recipe for the dish.Obama got his dal recipe from an Indian roommate when he was a student. “My keema is also good, and my chicken is ok,” Obama, who is in New Delhi for an event organized by the Obama Foundation, said at another gathering. When the interviewer, journalist Karan Thapar, asked him if he knew how to make chapati, the answer came in the negative. “Chapati is hard,” Obama said.He narrated an incident of the previous night when the wait staff began explaining the delicacy and its recipe to him, to which he responded saying that they need not explain what dal is because he knew how to make it and had his own recipe for it.Obama also talked about his friendship with former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he was “also great friends” with Singh, when asked about his friendship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Obama said that Singh was a great support in the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis.“I like him (Modi)…I think he has a vision for the country…he is making efforts to modernize some elements of bureaucracy. But I was also great friends with Dr. (Manmohan) Singh,” Obama, who also met Modi, said.During the event, he said, “I know PM Narendra Modi believes in unity of India. My goal here is not to disclose every private conversation I have. I think his (Modi’s) impulses are to recognize Indian unity. I think he firmly believes unity is necessary for the progress of the nation.”Obama spoke on various things, including bilateral relations between India and the United States. “India and U.S. have much in common. Our two constitutions begin with the same three words – We the people. We share the values of pluralism.”Talking about terrorism, he said, “After 26/11 Mumbai attacks, we were as obsessed as India with dismantling the terror network. Terrorism of any sort eventually affects everyone.” It was a pleasure to meet, once again, former President @BarackObama, and learn about the new initiatives being taken forward under his leadership at the @ObamaFoundation and his perspectives on further strengthening India-US strategic partnership. pic.twitter.com/fvoGgF6CZM— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 1, 2017 Related ItemsBarack ObamaIndiaUnited Stateslast_img read more

AirAsia CEO, Others Booked in India Over Alleged Corruption

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 29 named AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and other airline officials in an FIR for alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy with the previous government to amend rules in order to get overseas flying rights.The CBI has filed a case against AirAsia (India), the Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, and some top executives for allegedly being a part of the conspiracy where money was paid to middlemen for bribes to public servants. Ramachandran Venkataramanan, the managing trustee at Tata Trusts, has also been named in this FIR along with top AirAsia executive Tharumalingam Kanagalingam, and Bo Lingam, the former deputy group CEO of AirAsia Berhad, the Economic Times reported.Venkatramanan is also a director at AirAsia India and holds 1.5 per cent stake in the firm. The middlemen who have been named in the FIR are Travel Food owner Sunil Kapoor, aviation consultant Deepak Talwar, director of Singapore-based SNR Trading Rajendra Dubey and Venkataramanan.The CBI alleged that the conspiracy was hatched only a month before the Lok Sabha elections happened in 2014. The case is based on some internal emails exchanged between top executives of AirAsia and the Tata Group, along with other findings, the report added.In one of the emails, Venkataramanan is reportedly giving assurances to Kanagalingam, saying, “Met Mr Ajit Singh a short while ago. He said approvals should come soon and that our planning should be on the basis of the 5/20 rule getting scrapped,” as per ET.The case was registered after searches took place at five locations in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, CBI spokesperson RK Gaur was quoted as saying by PTI.According to the FIR, Fernandes allegedly wanted the company to fly internationally from the day the flying permit was granted, which was in May 2014. In order to fulfill the criteria for international operations, the company needed to have five years of experience and a fleet of 20 aircraft — as per the 5/20 Rule of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation. However, the company has not yet been granted international flying permit since it has only 18 aircraft, the PTI report said.AirAsia India has refuted the allegations, saying that it had registered a case against its first CEO Mittu Chandilya for similar irregularities. “The company had initiated criminal charges against its ex-CEO and has also commenced civil proceedings in Bengaluru for such irregularities,” said Mandal, director at AirAsia India, said, the Business Standard reported.The FIR also alleges that Fernandes, who is a Malaysian of Indian origin, and his local Indian partner Tata Sons via their nominee Venkatramanan would lobby with the United Progressive Alliance government, so they could get all approvals. They are also accused of lobbying to get clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)  — an inter-ministerial body in the finance ministry that processes foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals and recommends them for approval to the finance minister. The duo also lobbied for amending or removing the existing 5/20 rule for international operations, the FIR has alleged, the news agency reported.AirAsia India is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad. Related ItemsAirAsiaMalaysiaTony Fernandeslast_img read more


first_imgIndia now has the largest English-speaking population in the world, surpassing the United States. David Crystal, professor of linguistics and the author of The Stories of English, estimates that India’s English speaking population now exceeds 350 million. For most it is a second language.It should come as no surprise that Indians have given their own twist to the language of their colonizers. As early as 1886 Indian English terms, endearingly known as Hinglish, were compiled by Colonel Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell in Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Anglo-Indian Words, which is now available online ( http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/hobsonjobson )More recently, another Britisher living in Delhi since 1945, Nigel Hankin pulled together 2000 common Hinglish words, such as mistri (artisan), moolah (money) in Hanklyn-Janklin. The internet has spawned other attempts at documenting Indian English contributions, such as the Online Dictionary of Indian English ( http://www.vsubhash.com/desienglish.asp ). Hinglish terms are peculiarly Indian, their meaning and usage confined to India. However, Hinglish is increasingly being absorbed by English speakers outside India. Words such as chai, mantra, pundit, avatar, guru and karma, for example, have acquired widespread acceptance worldwide. Several other popular English words have Indian roots: banglefrom bangri an ornament worn by ladies on their wrists bandanafrom bandhni bungalowfrom banglacushyfrom Hindi khushjunglefrom jangal lootfrom Hindi lutnaa punch the drinkfrom paanch “five”shampoofrom champoverandahfrom baraamdaaCurryfrom the Tamil word KariMangofrom Tamil mankayJuggernautfrom JagannathSugarfrom sharkaraThe venerable Oxford English Dictionary, which professes to be “the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium” has adopted 600 Indian words.The Revised 2nd Edition, released last year, introduced the world to several new words, from those familiar to the tech savvy, like podcast and phishing, Hinglish terminology, like desi and kitty party. Among the Indian words, introduced by the Revised Oxford Dictionary of English, which “traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books”: Agitationnoun (Indian) a public demonstration.bindaasadjective Indian informal carefree, fashionable, and independent-minded: Bombay’s most bindaas babeDesinoun a person of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi birth or descentHinglishnoun [mass noun] informal a blend of Hindi and English, in particular a variety of English used by speakers of Hindi, characterized by frequent use of Hindi vocabulary or constructions.Kitty partynoun (chiefly Indian) a regular gathering of a group of women (usually over a meal) in which each member contributes money to a central pool ad lots are drawn to decide which member will get the entire sum as well as who will host the next gathering.Lehnganoun a full ankle-length skirt worn by Indian women, usually on formal or ceremonial occasionsMehndinoun 1. The art or practice of applying temoporary henna tattoos, especially as part of a bride or groom’s preparation for a wedding. 2. A temporary henna tattoo.Tamashanoun (Indian) a fuss or commotionVinyasanoun 1. Movement between poses in yoga, typically accompanied by regulated breathing. 2. A method of yoga in which these movements form a flowing sequence in coordination with the breath. Related Itemslast_img read more

India World’s 12th Largest Economy

first_imgIndia now ranks as the world’s 12th largest economy., according to the World Bank’s tabulation of 2005 gross domestic product. 1. UNITED STATES $12.46 trillion 2. JAPAN $4.51 trillion 3. GERMANY $ 2.78 trillion 4. CHINA $ 2.23 trillion 5. BRITAIN $ 2.19 trillion 6. FRANCE $2.11 trillion 7. ITALY $1.72 trillion 8. SPAIN $ 1.124 trillion 9. CANADA $ 1.115 trillion 10. BRAZIL $ 794.10 billion 11 SOUTH KOREA $ 787.62 billion 12. INDIA $ 785.47 billion 13. MEXICO $ 768.44 billion 14. RUSSIA $ 763.72 billion 15. AUSTRALIA $700.67 billion Related Itemslast_img read more

In India, Falling for Fake News Can Be Deadly

first_imgOne recent Wednesday afternoon, monsoon rains were lashing office windows in Mumbai. Inside, screens were lighting up with messages announcing the arrival of Cyclone Phyan.Employees of a start-up called Little Black Book, an online city guide, started panicking. Some went home early after receiving messages on their phones that roads were being closed. Others passed the message on to loved ones in Phyan’s path. Jayati Bhola, a 24-year-old writer at Little Black Book, was organizing a charity music show that evening and feared that the warning may put off her guests. She quickly checked the weather online and then sent around a message: “We’re still on guys! Rain or Shine.”As it turns out, Cyclone Phyan never came to Mumbai that evening, Sept. 20. In fact, it had already happened — eight years earlier, 1,400 miles away, in Sri Lanka. “That rumor about the cyclone has been going around for years,” said Pankaj Jain, founder of SMXHoaxSlayer.com, a website that fact-checks circulating rumors on social media in India.While fake news in the United States is said to have contributed to President Donald Trump’s election victory, in India, a nation with 355 million Internet users, false news stories have become a part of everyday life, exacerbating weather crises, increasing violence between castes and religions, and even affecting matters of public health.“Common sense is extinct,” Jain said. “People are ready to believe anything.”Last week, newspapers here carried full-page advertisements by Facebook that explained how to spot false news. Minister Rajnath Singh, who oversees home affairs, addressed members of the armed border forces in New Delhi, advising them not to believe everything on social media.Much of India’s false news is spread through WhatsApp, a popular messaging app. One message that made the rounds in November, just after the government announced an overhaul of the country’s cash, claimed that a newly released 2,000 rupee bank note would contain a GPS tracking nano-chip that could locate bank notes hidden as far as 390 feet underground. Another rumor, about salt shortages last November, prompted a rush on salt in four Indian states. In southern India, a rumor about a measles and rubella vaccine thwarted a government immunization drive.Many false stories have led to violence. In May, rumors about child abductors in a village triggered several lynchings and the deaths of seven people. In August, rumors about an occult gang chopping off women’s braids in northern India spread panic, and a low-caste woman was killed.Some stories exacerbate India’s rising religious and caste tensions. This week, for instance, images purportedly showing attacks against Hindus by “Rohingya Islamic terrorists” in Burma circulated on social media in India, stoking hatred in Hindu-majority India against Muslim Rohingya.“There was one video with two people being beheaded, and the text was saying these were Indian soldiers being killed in Pakistan. When I found the original video, it was actually taken from footage of a gang war in Brazil,” Jain said. “They’ll tell you this is fresh, these are images the media is not showing you, if you’re a true Indian patriot, you will forward this message.”The rumors have resulted in a small industry of fact-checkers who are setting up websites to debunk myths circulating online. Pratik Sinha is a former software engineer who started Altnews.in, a fact-checking website. “The number of fake news stories is so high that we can’t compete on the quantity of fact checks we do,” he said. “We focus on quality.”The fact-checkers come from various backgrounds – some are former journalists, others are software geeks, and some are just concerned citizens. Many fake news stories appear to support India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its right-wing Hindu nationalist agenda, said Jency Jacob, managing editor for boomlive.in, a fact-checking website. “If we don’t do something, it will be too late,” Jacob said. “Political parties would love to use this for their own benefit, and we need to intervene.”The scrutiny has led to some triumphs. Ministers have deleted misleading tweets and posts after being fact-checked online; in one instance, a government ministry launched an inquiry after Altnews pointed out that an image it had used in a report to show floodlights on India’s border was actually from the Spanish-Moroccan border.In September 2016, India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, launched an ultra-cheap mobile network service, Jio. The new network brought millions of Indians online for the first time. Jio’s cheap plans increased mobile data use more than sixfold between June 2016 and March 2017, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report.India’s first-time users are particularly susceptible to rumors doing the rounds on social-media websites, Jacob said. “The U.S.A. is a more mature market. In India, these forwards take on a life of their own,” he said, referring to chain messages on social media.Asavari Sharma, a Mumbai resident, was one of many who posted images of rainy streets on Facebook. She added a caption that read “CYCLONE PHYAN REACHING US: Hope all the good souls on my list are safe.”“Honestly, I never believe in weather news because every time they show, something never really occurs,” Sharma said. This time they had shown a “few horrible images projected straight from the satellite. So I had to upload to Facebook.”By noon, rumors about Phyan had reached authorities. Mumbai’s Disaster Management Unit tweeted, “As informed by IMD [India Meteorological Department] there is no cyclone warning for Mumbai. Citizens r requested not to spread & trust rumour.”Jain says the rise of false rumors worries him. “Basically, somebody’s making money out of all this,” he said, saying that clicks on fake news websites are supported by advertisements. “Ultimately, people are being conned.”— Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

UK Police Probe Online Abuse of Teacher Over Hijab Ban Decision

first_imgPolice is carrying out an investigation into the suspected online abuse of a school principal in the United Kingdom who tried to ban the hijab for students. The Indian-origin teacher, Neena Lall, was portrayed as German dictator Adolf Hitler for her decision.Lall, who is the head teacher of the St Stephens School in Newham, east London, had caused a stir when she decided to impose a ban on hijab for girls below the age of eight years. Lall had to later backtrack from her decision and faced widespread criticism. She was branded as “Hitler” on the social media.The local police said that they were evaluating a report of malicious communications after hateful and abusive e-mails were received in association with the case, the Sunday Times reported. A complaint has also been lodged with the Newham police about the e-mails, posts on social media like Facebook, and other messages on various media that were received by Lall as well as Arif Qawi, the former chairman of governors.A video of Lall was circulated on the social media in January, showing her as German dictator Adolf Hitler. The school’s former chairman of governors was portrayed as Russian dictator Stalin, while the members of the management team were shown as Hitler’s followers. This was the clip showing Hitler’s famous rant from the 2004 war film, Downfall, and the subtitles were edited to talk about the hijab ban at the school.Another poster gave out the personal e-mail address of Qawi, asking people to e-mail him as well as Lall. Some other messages called him an “imbecile” and an Islamophobic.A local imam, Yunus Dudhwala, shared Qawi’s Facebook post of media reports, urging people to comment on it.Qawi said that a slew of messages, some of which were abusive, were received over many days, and this forced the school to reverse its decision on the hijab ban. “I resigned because I did not agree with reversing the hijab ban and to protect the head-teacher. She was told that if I left, the campaign would stop,” Qawi said, according to reports.“No head teacher or governing body should be subject to the sorts of abuse we have heard reported in these recent incidents,” education secretary Damian Hinds said, the publication reported.Lord Theodore Agnew, Britain’s minister for schools systems, faith and counter-extremism in education, had supported Lall’s decision earlier, saying that bullying or intimidation of school staff is completely unacceptable. “I have seen the vitriolic abuse on social media after this decision and read of the intimidation of staff, resulting in the resignation of the chairman of governors,” he wrote in the Sunday Times.He added that teachers, school leaders and governors are within their right to make decisions on how to make their schools run in the best interests of their pupils “in line with the law and in discussion with parents, of course, and we back their right to do so.” Related ItemsBritainLondonUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

Bank Manager Detained over NRI’s Complaint of Rs 24.30 Lakh Fraud

first_imgA senior manager of a bank in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, was detained for questioning by the police over allegations of fraud worth Rs 24.30 lakh from the account of a Non-Resident Indian. The amount, it was alleged, was transferred through RTGS from the account of Sandeep Arora without his permission on August 13 by the nationalized bank’s SME branch.“We have detained the bank manager for questioning. The complainant had alleged that the manager is involved in the fraud,” Anil Kumar Shahi, the station house officer of Sector 20 police station, said, the Hindustan Times reported. A complaint was registered and an FIR has been lodged in the matter.The ComplaintThe publication quoted Sanjeet Arora, the account holder’s brother, as saying that Sandeep owns an automobile parts business in Dubai, and is on vacation in Singapore since August 9.“On August 13, my brother received an e-mail from the assistant general manager, which read ‘the bank has received a cheque number 000007 dated 10-08-2017 of amount Rs24,30,000/- for RTGS in favour of NS Enterprises. As we discussed with you over the phone we have processed the transaction. Kindly acknowledge the same via mail too’,” HT quoted Sanjeet as saying. He added that Sandeep replied to the email, informing the bank authorities that he had not authorized any such transaction, and that the amount should not be debited from his account. The cheque leaf, he said, is still with his brother.According to the complaint, the bank employees used fake PAN (permanent account number) and Aadhaar cards to change the registered phone number for the account.Sanjeet added that his presence at the bank on August 14 stopped another such fraudulent transfer from taking place, when an amount of Rs 16.20 lakh was attempted to be transferred through another cheque.“The manager should have complained to the police when he received the reply in an e-mail from my brother,” Sanjeet said. “Instead, he started consoling me and started assuring me that the amount would be returned to the account.”Past  CasesIt’s not rarely that cases of bank frauds involving NRIs come to light. In 2015,  a public sector bank was ordered by the department of information technology to pay Rs 40 lakh as compensation to two NRIs — Chander and Romi Kalani — for unauthorised transfer of funds from their account through email hacking.A few months before that, in November 2014, The Punjab Commission for Non-Resident Indians issued notice to HDFC Bank over allegations from a UK-based NRI that Rs.70 lakh was siphoned off from his account. Related ItemsLittle IndiaNRI bank fraudNRI bank fraud NoidaNRI bank unauthorised transferSandeep Arora NRI Dubai fraudlast_img read more

No Indian casualty has been reported so far: Sandeep Chakravorty, consul general, New York

first_imgAs the tropical storm Irma passed over Florida, it has already claimed four lives and left about 5.8 million people in the state powerless.Florida, home to 120,000 Indians, according to the 2010 US census, is currently being monitored closely not just in the US, but also across the globe and especially in India.To ensure that the Indian American community gets the support needed, Sandeep Chakravorty, the consul general, New York, has been appointed In-charge of hurricane Irma at the Consulate and is stationed in Atlanta these days.Little India spoke to Sandeep Chakravorty on what the ground situation looks like currently.There have been reports that a lot of Indian Americans decided to stay put in Florida despite US officials calling for a mandatory evacuation. Was it a wise decision not paying heed to the warnings? No, there has been a bit of confusion over this. There were people in two kinds of places — those who were in the flood zones and those who were on the high ground. Not everyone was expected to move out. All the Indians who were in flood zones did move out and those who stayed put were the ones in the high ground and had concrete houses that could weather the storm. Many people moved within the state too and shifted to shelters. The locals also responded fantastically to the local authorities. They cooperated and if there were evacuation orders they drove as much as 8-12 hours to be in the safe zones.The people in flood zones also moved out as far as New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and even West Coast, depending on their situation. The entire state of Florida was not expected to be evacuated.Have you been able to take stock of the losses incurred – monetary or otherwise, particularly amongst the Indian American community? What does the situation look like currently?We have been assessing the situation and have been trying to take a stock since morning today. As of now I am relieved to say that there has been no casualty reported from the Indian American community. There have been inconveniences, such as power outages, backflow of water in bathrooms etc., but there has been no very big damages reported. We are in touch with at least 100 Indian American families in Tampa, Jacksonville and other areas too and we have not got news of extensive damage. However, it is still early days and a lot of people who moved out of their homes are yet to go back and assess the situation. We are trying to keep a tab on information we can get from all quarters. I met an Indian American this morning in the hotel I am staying who had evacuated his house in Orlando. He shared that and has discovered that there is no major damage to his house, which is heartening. I hope we continue to get news of minimum damage.Were there a lot distress calls that you received especially from the families back in India concerned about the whereabouts of their kin in Florida?The good news is that the communication lines were up and running so people could talk to each other as well as to their relatives outside of USA. This apart the social media played an immensely important role. There are so many WhatsApp and Facebook groups that are operating and keeping a track on each other’s well being. It is difficult to follow all the groups, but we are doing our best. Of course there was some distress, as earlier the indication was that that the hurricane will move towards wes,t but it moved east instead. Some people from the east had moved west, but we were trying our best to relay the information and keep people safe. As of now we know that the situation is under control and we hope it stays the same.The Indian community came out in a big way to offer support in Houston and the same energy was displayed in Florida too with a lot of Indian American organizations gearing up to offer help. What have been your observations?The synergy with which the community offered to help each other has amazed me. Just now we received a call from another Gurudwara offering to help. About 400 homes of Indian Americans in Orlando were opened to offer shelter to people. The Indian community worked very closely together to deal with the situation. I met one person who had 40 people in his house and these were people from all states of India living and helping each other. There is another company from India that provides teachers in Florida and I got to know that there were about 125 teachers who were hosted by fellow teachers in Florida in their homes during the period. There are many such heart-warming stories emerging from the calamity.There was a lot of emphasis on how Indian community responded during the time of Harvey too. Do you feel the current socio-political atmosphere also shaped the response or things got noticed more because the minorities are under scanner in America lately? It’s difficult to say that socio-political situation conditioned the people’s response. I would however think that Indian American community has always been very active and have supported each other. It was also perhaps the first time the state had seen a warning of this extent, so a lot of people were proactive because of this if nothing else. Related Itemslast_img read more

Court Dismisses Indian Man’s Divorce Plea on ‘Desertion’ Grounds Against NRI Wife

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a divorce plea of a husband who had filed for dissolution of his marriage on grounds of “desertion,” saying his Non-Resident Indian wife returned to the United Kingdom soon after their marriage, the Times of India reported. He had appealed to the high court after a family court in Jalandhar rejected the divorce plea.As his wife is a British citizen, the high court observed that “such assertion seems highly improbable as a girl born and brought up in UK is unlikely to accept and agree to live in rural areas of India unless there is some special attraction or reason justifying such a decision.”The court found that the wife was very willing to take her husband to the United Kingdom with her, and even sent travel documents to him. She also wired him money from abroad. A resident of Jalandhar, the man told the court that he had made it clear before the marriage that she had to live in India. He further said that he wanted divorce as she had deserted him a month after their marriage. Their marriage took place on Oct. 31, 2012, and she left for the United Kingdom on Nov.27, 2012.The high court, while noting that she was much older than the appellant, said that the husband had contracted marriage with an understanding that he would live in Britain. “The stand of the husband that there was an understanding that his wife would stay in the village after marriage and that despite the said understanding she had chosen to return to UK does not sound probable at all in view of the aforesaid factual position,” the court said in its orders.Justice MMS Bedi and Justice GS Gill, who comprised the division bench, backed the decision of the Jalandhar family court in August 2016 in rejecting the appellant’s plea. “It rather transpires that it is the husband who has changed his decision to go abroad after having stayed with his wife for around a month. Husband’s conduct does not show that he had ever taken any step to bring her back or had filed any petition for restitution of conjugal rights,” the court observed.The bench said the marriage was solemnized and the wife, who is born and bred in England, had taken steps to do the needful for taking the appellant abroad. “It was husband who had chosen to keep away from his wife,” the court reiterated. Related ItemsMarriagePunjabUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

India Top Remittance Receiving Country in 2017: UN Report

first_imgIndia received the highest remittance in the world in 2017, according to a report from the United Nations’ specialized agency, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The report, released on May 7, stated that migrant workers sent $256 billion to their families in the Asia-Pacific region, with Indian receiving $69 billion in foreign remittances.China followed India, receiving $64 billion in remittances, while Philippines got 33 billion, constituting the three largest remittance-receiving nations in the world, according to the report, titled “RemitSCOPE-Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific.” Pakistan ($20 billion) and Vietnam ($14 billion) also figured in the top 10.About 70 per cent of remittances sent to Asia and the Pacific come from outside the region, in particular from the Gulf countries (32 per cent), North America (26 per cent) and Europe (12 per cent). In the Asia Pacific region, 400 million people, one out of every 10 people, are directly affected by remittances either as a sender or as a receiver, the report said.The cost of sending money to the Asia Pacific region has decreased by only 0.67 percent since 2015, reaching 6.86 per cent in 2017. Lower transfer costs mean more money is available to families.Cash-to-cash transactions remain by far the most common form of transfer, the report said, adding that it is only recently that technology is beginning to move markets towards account-to-account transfers through digital operations.There are now more than one million payment locations through the Asia Pacific region, reflecting a greater digitization of transactions, as per the report.”The promise of technological innovation in the remittance marketplace could bring about a fundamental transformation for hundreds of millions benefiting from these flows. But this transformative change has not yet happened,” Pedro De Vasconcelos, IFAD senior remittance expert, said in the report.An estimated 40 per cent of the total value of remittances goes to rural areas across the world. Remittances in Asia and Pacific region, however, go disproportionately to countries with a majority rural population such as Sri Lanka (82 per cent), Nepal (81 per cent), India (67 per cent) and Vietnam (66 per cent).Families generally spent about 70 per cent of remittances to meet basic needs, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education. The remaining 30 percent, amounting to $77 billion, could be saved and invested in asset-building or income-generating activities, helping families to build livelihoods and their future, De Vasconcelos added.“If you give people the opportunity to invest, they will invest, but for that, access to financial services is key, and still too many families, in particular in rural areas, cannot save, borrow and invest money through proper financial services,” said De Vasconcelos.India retained the top spot for the third time as the biggest recipient of expat remittances globally in 2017, with overseas Indians sending home $69 billion, the World Bank said earlier this year. Related ItemsEconomyRemittancelast_img read more

Tamil Nadu Govt to Set Up Tamil Learning Centers in 16 Countries

first_imgThe government of Tamil Nadu will help in promoting Tamil learning in 16 foreign nations and 10 Indian cities for people of Tamil descent, the state’s Minister for Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan said in the Assembly on June 13.The government will set up centers where the language can be learnt in countries like the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mauritius, Reunion Islands, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa and Australia, among others, PTI reported.These centers will also be set up in 10 Indian cities, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhopal and Port Blair.A course on Tamil culture will be conducted in Myanmar and South Africa via the Tamil University based in Thanjavur, at a cost of Rs 22 lakh. This is aimed at benefiting young Tamil students, Pandiarajan said.The minister added that these cities and countries have a large Tamil population, and the move aims to help them learn, read and write the language. Syllabus and books required for them to learn the language are ready, Pandiarajan said, as per the agency.A high-level committee will also be set up to change the names of various places in Tamil Nadu to the way they are written and pronounced in Tamil. A sum of Rs 5 lakh will be allocated for this. The minister, citing the example of Thiruvallikkeni, an area in Chennai, which is called Triplicane, explained that this step will address such localities.Pandiarajan added that the committee, with the help of the revenue department, will submit a report in three months. The names of places that need to be changed to Tamil would then be decided based on this report, the New Indian Express reported.Pandiarajan also announced the creation of a contemporary dictionary of Tamil. This dictionary will contain words which are used in day-to-day life. A dictionary containing literary terms will also be released, the minister announced. This will help students understand the different literary works in Tamil, including the Sangam literature.People hailing from Tamil Nadu have made the state’s culture get visibility all over the world.Singapore’s Cabinet minister S Iswaran said in an interview published in a book that was released in May that the Singapore government is resolute in its commitment to using Tamil as an official language. Iswaran also proposed a Tamil Language Festival in the country to engage the younger generation in celebrating the Tamil language and culture.The Tamil community in Canada, consisting of successful professionals and entrepreneurs, organized the Tamil street festival, said to be the largest street festival in the country, in Toronto in August last year. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the event, which saw participation from over 350,000 Tamil Canadians. Trudeau also celebrated Pongal with Canadian Tamils in Scarborough in January this year. Related Itemsculturelanguagetamillast_img read more

Woman Who Shouted Racial Slurs at Indian Man in Canada is Not Sorry

first_imgA woman who hurled racial slurs to an Indian-origin man in Canada last week, pointing at his skin color and telling him to go back to his country, has refused to apologize over her behavior .Edmonton resident Rahul Kumar, who works as a human resource executive, recorded the incident on his phone when the woman launched the tirade against him at a parking spot in a residential area in the city on Aug. 15.A week after the incident, the woman, who has identified herself as Angelique, told CTV News that she is not sorry about the incident. “I don’t care what appalls most Canadians,” she said. “I love myself. I have no problem with what happened.”In the video, that was shared by Kumar, the woman is seen uttering the ethnic slur “P**I” several times, besides commenting on his skin color, calling it “sh*t covered skin,” making fun of his accent, and finally telling him to “go back to your f*** country.”She told the publication that the incident stemmed from a parking dispute, and blamed Kumar for being verbally aggressive first.“I’m not a racist,” she said. “I have no problems with anybody. But in every race, there’s one bad bunch.”While recalling the incident, she said, “He went crazy and started banging on my window, telling me I’m f*cking stupid, move my f*cking car.”Kumar, who moved to Canada seven years back, said that the woman’s car was parked in the emergency lane, blocking the way, and that he recognized it as one belonging to a frequent visitor of his neighbor.“I’ve requested her a few times not to do that because it gives a hard time to me and my wife who’s a learner, to back up our cars from the designated spots,” Kumar told Global News. “I just called the rental office… and the office girl came out and she went and spoke to her to move the car. Otherwise they have to get it towed because it’s in the emergency lane.”Shortly after that, he said, when he was in his vehicle, he heard the woman shouting racial slurs, and had to stop as his two-year-old child was within earshot.“I had to stop,” Kumar said. “That’s a natural response any father would do…. because I was worried she might do something else or she might get physical.“My wife even came out… She’s pregnant and I didn’t want her to get involved with this,” Kumar told the publication.He reported the incident to the bylaw officers.“I’m here, I’m paying my taxes, I’m working… what else should I do to be part of the country”?, he told CTV. “I want people to know that these things exist… we need to get to know more about it.”The Hate Crimes Unit is reviewing the video, but it is not officially considered a hate crime at this time, it cited Edmonton Police as saying.A similar incident occurred in the country last month, following which a white man was arrested for allegedly making racist comments and threats at an Indian-origin couple. A video uploaded on YouTube showed the white man shouting at the couple outside a Walmart store after they inadvertently get in his way while backing into a parking lot.Earlier this year, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan said that he faced discrimination in the country’s military because he “looked different.” Related ItemsCanadahate crimelast_img read more

Singapore Arrests Two-Indian Origin Men for Lighting Illegal Fireworks on Diwali

first_imgThe Singapore police arrested two-Indian origin people on Nov. 6 for lighting fireworks in Singapore’s ‘Little India’ area on Diwali. They face up to two years in jail and will have pay fines between SG$2,000 and SG$10,000.The arrested are Thiagu Selvarajoo (29) and Siva Kumar Subramaniam (48). While Thiagu is accused of letting off dangerous firework, Siva has been charged with abetting him, The Straits Times reported Nov. 8.According to a report in Singapore news website channelnewsasia.com, it is illegal to set off fireworks in Singapore without obtaining permission from the authorities. A ban on the use of fireworks in Singapore was imposed in 1972 under the Dangerous Fireworks Act and exceptions are granted for certain events where appropriate safety precautions have been adopted. Citing court document, news agency PTI said Siva Kumar allegedly placed a box of fireworks on a road divider on Gloucester Road shortly before midnight on Monday and Thiagu reportedly lit them.Citing police release, the news portal said the suspects were caught after a police officer spotted the fireworks along Gloucester Road at about midnight on Tuesday. In a video that was posted on Facebook page SG Road Vigilante, the loud sound of fireworks could be heard, and the display went on for more than a minute, the news portal said adding police officers were seen running toward the fireworks. The video has since been taken down.PTI said the Facebook group posted the video on Tuesday afternoon along with a post which read, “Illegal fireworks being set off at Race Course Road. Singapore police officers can be seen rushing towards the scene.” The post ended by wishing people a happy Diwali.However, it’s not clear how the men procured the fireworks in Singapore. Newspaper Straits Times said in its website that the two Singaporeans are now in remand and will be back in court on Nov. 14. Two other men were arrested on Diwali after fireworks were set off in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 at Block 194B at 7.49pm on Tuesday, Straits Times said in its report. Related Itemslast_img read more

Lady Chiefs start title defense with drubbing of Lady Cardinals

first_img8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Mapua managed to salvage a few more points before their impending loss with Katrina Racelis scoring on a beautiful through the block kill that cut the Lady Cardinals’ deficit to 23-12.Princess Bello countered Racelis’ attack with an off-the-block kill to put the Lady Chiefs at match point and Arellano then savored Joanelivert Mercado’s miscue for the game’s decider.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderArellano head coach Obet Javier said he wanted his team to get off to a strong start in Season 93 and begin their momentum as early as possible as they defend the title.“Every time I meet with the players I always tell them that in Season 92 we were the champions, and that’s okay, but this year we have to defend this,” said Javier. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next MOST READ For Isaiah Thomas, no hard feelings in his return to Boston US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH PLAY LIST 01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH01:20US Defense chief Mark Esper visits Manila American Cemetery for wreath-laying ceremony02:57US Defense chief says alliance with Philippines remains strong01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “If we worked hard for Season 92, this Season 93 we have to push through even harder.”Mapua was at the mercy of Arellano’s constant attacks throughout the game with the Lady Chiefs unloading 46 scoring spikes and eight aces while the Lady Cardinals managed just 15 scoring spikes and four service aces.Regine Arocha led Arellano with 12 points while Andrea Marzan added nine.Dianne Latayan had six points for Mapua.ADVERTISEMENT Do not bring these items in SEA Games venuescenter_img BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Arellano University had a strong start to its title defense in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament after dismantling Mapua in straight sets, 25-10, 25-17, 25-13, Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Lady Chiefs built a huge 22-8 lead in the third to all but seal their first win after Jovielyn Prado and Glydel Liu exchanged spikes for the defending champions .ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View commentslast_img read more

Squat thrust: Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of ‘squat’ toilets

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed “As we aim to receive 40 million foreign visitors (a year), we want them to enjoy touring Japan with as little stress as possible,” he told AFP.Some foreign tourists simply do not know how to use old Japanese-style toilets while others complain they are unsanitary, he said.The number of foreign visitors to Japan has been hitting records in recent years. More than 26 million foreign tourists visited Japan in the 11 months of 2017, already exceeding the annual record of 24 million set in 2016.The government aims to boost the number to 40 million by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Games.The toilet conversion is mainly designed for foreign tourists but it could also help elderly Japanese who may have difficulty in squatting down, said Yamakoshi.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Bucks’ Antetokounmpo leads NBA All-Star balloting Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ View comments Japan has launched a campaign to convert unpopular Asian-style squat toilets into sit-on “western” models, as the nation prepares to welcome tens of millions of foreign tourists in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.The high-tech country is famous for its toilet technology that can bewilder foreign visitors, with features ranging from seat warming to bidet functions — with variable pressure.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES But to the surprise of some and the dismay of many caught short, several toilets in public places are traditional “squatting” facilities.About 40 percent of toilets at 4,000 locations in popular tourist spots are “squatters”, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderThe government is offering to shoulder one third of the costs to install sit-on types, complete with the bidet function expected of a Japanese toilet, officials said.A survey by major toilet maker TOTO has found more than eight out of 10 foreign tourists prefer sit-on types, said Akihiko Yamakoshi, an official at the government’s Japan Tourism Agency. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venueslast_img read more

All about effort, defense for Hotshots’ dela Rosa

first_imgBI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq “It’s just effort. Coach put me in there to play defense in the second half,” he said after posting a new career-high with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in the 105-94 victory.“They trusted me to do my job and I’m glad everything went well. The points came along. Defense first and offense will come eventually.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMore importantly, dela Rosa played his earnest to keep Road Warriors super rookie Kiefer Ravena in check for the majority of the fourth period.This kind of performance is just what the former San Beda Red Lion needs to stay on the floor and play a major role in coach Chito Victolero’s rotation. Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Read Next 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities MOST READ Stunner: Keenum-Diggs TD sends Vikings past Saints Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC ‘Bato’ says Robredo has to toughen up: ‘This is war…hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute cute dito’ PLAY LIST 02:21‘Bato’ says Robredo has to toughen up: ‘This is war…hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute cute dito’01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citycenter_img Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH But that’s the least of dela Rosa’s concerns as he just feels glad to see things coming together for the Hotshots with their injured players now coming back from recovery.“It’s nice to have everyone at full strength and hopefully, we can just continue to keep going,” he said. “I’m just gonna go out there and it’s all gonna start with effort, and hopefully, something big will happen for us.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netDefense has always been the main calling card of Magnolia.For Rome dela Rosa, it was also his ticket to see more hardcourt action, something he took full advantage of in the Hotshots’ duel against NLEX on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Chinas SAIC Motor to bring MG car brand in India by 2019

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) Chinese auto major SAIC Motor Corporation will enter Indian market for which it plans to have its fully-owned car manufacturing plant in the country.The company expects to commence operations in the country by 2019 and is in the process of finalising its manufacturing facility, SAIC Motor Corporation said in a statement.Besides, the company said, it is firming up product strategy for the market here, details of which will be announced later.It will operate in India through the fully-owned subsidiary, MG Motor India and has appointed ex-General Motors India head Rajeev Chaba as its President and MD.It has also roped in industry veteran P Balendran as Executive Director.As part of entry plans, the company would introduce environment-friendly mobility solutions under its iconic MG (Morris Garages) brand.”The introduction of the iconic British sports car brand MG in India is an important part of SAIC Motors global strategy,” the company said.The MG brand, which originated as an iconic British Racing Sports Brand in 1924, has evolved into a modern-day innovative brand through the last 93 years.MG products, designed and engineered at its European and global design centers, will be manufactured in India while conforming to global quality standards and aligning with the Indian regulations, emission norms and driving conditions, the company said. SAIC had earlier this year signed a term sheet to evaluate buying the Halol plant of General Motors in Gujarat after the American company decided to stop production as part of consolidation of manufacturing operations in India.advertisementThe Chinese company, however, did not enter into a formal agreement insisting that deal was subject to GMs submission of all government approvals, settlement of labour and all other pending issues.According to industry sources, the talks between the two players are ongoing despite delays.SAIC Motor said it expects to create sizeable employment opportunities under the Make in India and Skill India initiatives.In 2009, SAIC had bought 50 per cent stake in General Motors India during the bankruptcy crisis faced by the US auto major. Later, GM had bought back the stake. SAIC is ranked 46th in the Fortune Global 500 list with an annual revenue of over USD 100 billion. PTI MSS RKL ANUlast_img read more

IPL 2019 final, MI vs CSK: Jasprit Bumrah world’s best bowler, say Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh

first_imgSachin Tendulkar heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled brilliantly in the finals of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which Mumbai Indians won by one run against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).Chasing 150 in a thrilling summit clash on Sunday, Shane Watson’s brilliant 80 went in vain as CSK fell agonisingly short of winning their fourth IPL title.Bumrah bowled a clinical four-over giving away just 14 runs and picked up two crucial wickets as Mumbai clinched their fourth IPL trophy.In a candid interview with Mumbai Indians batsman Yuvraj Singh after the summit clash, Tendulkar said that Bumrah was ‘fantastic’. “Let me go on record and say that he (Jasprit Bumrah) is the best bowler in the world at this stage and the best is yet to come hopefully,” he added.’Bumrah, world’s best’ – Sachin and Yuvi@sachin_rt and @YUVSTRONG12 were unanimous in their opinion of @Jaspritbumrah93 , while weighing in on @mipaltan’s 3rd #VIVOIPL final win over their arch-rivals. #MIvCSK By @28anand & @RajalAroraWatch the – https://t.co/Z0yAur9KGk pic.twitter.com/RFwXrJR417IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 12, 2019The 25-year-old Bumrah, who was also adjudged the Player of the Match, said he kept his calm during the course of the game. “In the finals we know that it can get close and winning the title with MI is a special feeling. Today, surprisingly, I was very calm, I wasn’t panicking at all and very happy to contribute to the team’s success,” he said.”I only take one ball and one day at a time and if you think like that you don’t feel pressure at all,” he added.advertisementBumrah finished the IPL 2019 campaign with 16 wickets in 16 matches he played at a fantastic economy rate of 6.63.Also Read | Heartbreaking, unable to understand how we lost: Harbhajan Singhlast_img read more