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Kolkata-Born Scientist Rahul Mandal Wins UK's Popular Baking Show November 01, 2018 12:34

A Kolkata-born research scientist, who is currently living in the United Kingdom has crowned the winner of a popular baking show on British television after winning over the judges with his elaborately-designed pastries and cakes. The 30-year-old Rahul Mandal was declared the winner of Channel 4's 'Great British Bake Off' on Tuesday night after impressing the judges with his "East meets West" style of baking. As the winning name was revealed, he said: "I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. I just feel I need to talk with my mum." Mandal was born in Kolkata and moved to the United Kingdom as a student, where he started elevating curiosity for cooking and baking. Mandal from Rotherham in northern England struggled with disasters during the show's finale when his icing bag exploded during a doughnut challenge. Shortly after, his mixing bowl smashed while he was creating his rock garden, motivated by Victorian explorers bringing back exciting plants from around the globe, for the "Edible Landscape" show-stopper challenge. Despite the mischances, the taste and quality of Mandal's baking saw him win over the judges as he beat fellow British Indian contestant Ruby Bhogal and Kim-Joy Hewlett in the grand finale of the long-running television show. "He is one of those characters that you will miss when you are not with him. I don't think he realizes still how good he actually is and I think that's what's magic about Rahul," said celebrity chef Paul Hollywood, one of the judges. "I never baked when I was in India. My baking journey began in the UK about five years ago when I was feeling lonely, and needed to do something along with my studies," he said. "At that time, it was limited to making bread and biscuits. The first cake I made was about two years ago when my parents visited the UK for the first time," he added. The winner is bestowed with a coveted cake stand trophy and the publicity from the show can outcome in a huge career boost for galore contestants. Every year, amateur baking enthusiasts vie to get a spot among 12 bake-off contestants and spend nine weeks in a large tent to compete in a series of elimination rounds. "Cooking programs always interested me. Even as a child, rather than watching sports, I enjoyed watching cookery shows. I started cooking and experimenting with food from the age of 15, however, proper everyday cooking started since I moved to the UK," Mandal said. "I like the simple classics, sometimes with a little twist in it. My colleagues love my Lemon drizzle cake and its cousins like Lemon and cardamom drizzle cake, or lemon and elderflower drizzle cake - they like them a lot," he said. While baking is a hobby, he sees a connect with his day job as a scientist as he believes precise planning and attention to detail come in handy for both. "If it is something big, I develop and design it over the week and then execute it over the weekend," he said. The final three contestants in the 2018 series were evenly matched for this year's finale, which attracted a lot of social media attention.    ImageSource: The Telegraph Fans were split over Mandal being given an extra 15 minutes after he smashed his mixing bowl while creating his showstopper but the majority were rooting for the diffident and humble scientist-baker. The recent series evidenced a rating success for Channel 4, which took over the show earlier this year following its move from its original home on the BBC. -Sowmya Sangam

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Former NRI Fills Drinking Water Pots Each Morning to Serve People October 25, 2018 17:48

There are not a lot of souls around in our country who have a heart of compassion, nevertheless, 69-year-old Alag Natarajan is one from the noble minority.The former Non-Resident Indian (NRI) who lived in London for about three decades intended to do a bit for the people on his comeback. One thing that caught his eyes is that people who spend most of their time on the roads do not get the minimum necessity of water to slake their thirst.According to a report in Inuth.com, Natarajan, a resident of South Delhi, started setting up water coolers around his locality to meet people's needs. He installed 10 coolers at different locations, starting from his own residence in Panchsheel Park. But immediately, he grasped that no one was keen to fill water in those coolers. There was as well the difficulty of getting an electric connection to run the devices."It has been four years now including the cooler maybe five years. When I started, I installed 10 coolers in different parts of Delhi but half of them I have to bring back because people had no respect for it. Each cooler cost me Rs 25,000," he was quoted as saying by Inuth.The man did not lose trust, however. He switched to a low-priced substitute - earthern pots of 'matkas'. He placed around 80 of them in different areas and on a daily basis, at around 4 a.m., he takes out his water van to fill them.Natarajan, however, does not charge money for his social service. Now and then, people donate money for his hard work, but his financial support comes mostly from his pension in London. His family too supports him. One 'matka' costs him Rs 350, he said.In addition to serving water, the veteran as well provides breakfast to security guards, laborers, and drivers and at the present, he has started making the foodstuff (idli) besides serving cucumbers and bananas. He has as well put up self-help cycle pumps in different areas to promote cycling.-Sowmya Sangam

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Indian-Origin Man Jailed in UK Over Handling Stolen Vehicles October 17, 2018 10:54

An Indian-origin man has been sentenced to eight years in jail by the United Kingdom court for the handling of 19 stolen high-value vehicles worth over 7,00,000 pounds. Chirag Patel, 39, was found guilty of conspiracy to handle stolen goods and ownership of the criminal property at the extremity of a five-week trial at Croydon Crown Court last Friday. "Patel played the leading role in a sophisticated operation to handle high-value, stolen vehicles, motivated only by sheer greed," said Acting Detective Sergeant Billy Clough, who led the investigation for the Metropolitan Police. "He even attempted to convince the jury that he was a legitimate businessman, who had simply been unlucky in obtaining such a vast quantity of stolen items, but the jury saw through this and convicted him of being the key player in a significant criminal enterprise," he said. Patel was imprisoned for conspiracy to handle stolen goods in relation to the cars and keys, for which he received eight years' in jail. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for owning criminal property and in relation to over 440,000 pounds of unexplained cash deposits which had been identified from two personal bank accounts in his name. Both the judgments will run simultaneously. "I hope this sentence sends a message that those involved in this type of organized criminality will be pursued robustly," the Met Police said. The tribunal was told that in February 2015, Patel reported to police force that his Porsche had been purloined. Initially, Patel resisted giving his residence address, rather providing details of his parent's address. When he eventually gave his own address, officers attended the property as part of their probe into the stolen car. Here they discovered a number of high-value vehicles in the basement car park. Officers identified that one of the cars had a personalized number plate identical to one seen earlier on a vehicle outside Patel's parent's address. Further inquiries by officers established that the five vehicles in the car park had fake number plates and each was later confirmed to have been purloined. Shortly, Patel was arrested at his address. During a hunt of his possessions, Met Police officers recovered 26 sets of car keys, likewise lists of registrations and vehicles, devices for accessing onboard computers in vehicles, programming keys and a number of tablets, mobile phones, and laptops. Following a detailed investigation, led by officers from Croydon's Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit, a total of 19 stolen vehicles with an estimated value of 728,000 pounds were linked to Patel and later seized, also nine sets of keys which had been stolen from Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Solihull, West Midlands, and a laptop purloined in Streatham area of south London during a burglary. During the trial, judge H H J Gower commended the work of the Scotland Yard officer, Police Constable Andy Garland, whose work identified the first stolen vehicle. The police subsequently discovered that Patel had been using the vehicles in the running of an "off-the-books" vehicle rental enterprises, where vehicles were rented out to his connections and associates. The vehicles had been purloined by unknown individuals during burglaries and keyless thefts across London between October 2012 and January 2015 and were stored at or near addresses owned by Patel and his kin, or with links who looked after the vehicles for him or rented them from him. The identities of the cars were hidden using legitimate insurance details of vehicles which had been written off on official records. By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian-Origin Man with Eye-Condition to Get Guide Horse in UK October 15, 2018 10:44

An Indian-origin man based in north-west England, who suffers from a degenerative eye condition, is set to become the first person in the United Kingdom to acquire a guide horse to assist him with day-to-day tasks once he loses his imagination completely. Mohammed Salim Patel, 24, a journalist based in Blackburn at Lancashire, suffers from a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, due to which he is left with a very little amount of vision in his right eye and will sooner or later turn totally blind. The thought of a miniature guide horse came to his attention as he suffers from a deep-seated fear of dogs since a scary childhood encounter and could not rely on the more usually used guide dogs for the unsighted. "Digby (guide horse) is still a baby and will be two years old in May 2019. His training will take around two more years," Patel said. "Digby will be able to work into his 40s, whereas a guide dog has to retire at the age of eight," he said. After spending some time with his companion-to-be, Patel believes a guide horse has numerous added benefits over guide dogs, even a much longer working life, 350-degree vision and ability to see in the dark. "Even if his training takes longer than two years, it doesn't matter too much as once he's trained, I will have decades with him as my assistant animal," Patel explained. The tale of Digby caught the attention of the annual Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons, where the horse is amongst the finalists in the Hero Pet category - intended at honoring animals who have transformed the lives of their owners. "It's very nice to have Digby recognized for his great work, despite still being in training. He is a star," said Patel, in reference to the awards. The journalist works with the BBC North West Tonight Television after completing a Journalism Trainee Scheme. By Sowmya Sangam

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Africa's Indian-Origin Billionaire Abducted in Tanzania October 12, 2018 16:21

An India-origin youngest billionaire of Africa was kidnapped by gunmen on Thursday morning in Dar es Salaam, when he was getting into his gym. According to an ABC News report, the 43-year-old Mohammed Dewji, owner and president of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd. (METL) and a former member of Tanzania's Parliament, was entering a gym for his day-to-day morning workout, when he was pushed into the car, and it sped away.Firing their guns into the air, two masked men took Dewji with them. Police have 12 suspects in this case, including the hotel's manager. Dewji served in Parliament from 2005 to 2015.According to Forbes magazine, he has a net worth of $1.5 billion.The motive behind the kidnapping is unknown, yet police suspect that it can be a case of 'ransom kidnapping'.-Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Student Becomes UK High Commissioner for a Day October 09, 2018 13:01

A student of political science in a Noida university, Esha Bhala, has become British High Commissioner to India for 24 hours.To observe the International Day of the Girl Child, which is celebrated on October 11, the British High Commission organized a competition for women aged between 18 and 23 to become the British High Commissioner to India for a day.To enter, the competitors submitted a short video presentation on the theme "What does gender equality mean to you?"A total of 58 students from across the country submitted their videos.The successful entry was from Bahal, who plans to become a social entrepreneur after completing her higher studies in public policy and law.Expressing delight over the achievement, acting British High Commissioner for a day, Bahal said: "Acting as British High Commissioner for a day has been a great and really unique experience. I've learned about the breadth and depth of United Kingdom-India relations - and had the opportunity to highlight the importance of gender equality and inclusivity, issues which are of great importance to me."-Sowmya Sangam

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NCW Appeals MEA to Foil Ex Parte NRI Divorces October 04, 2018 11:21

The National Commission for Women on Wednesday asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to consider the practicability of entering into agreements with countries having ample India diaspora to prevent dissolution of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) marriages through ex parte divorce decree passed by foreign courts.In a letter to Swaraj, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma emphasized the plight of Indian women in NRI marriages.The commission said that in many cases, despite the marriage having been solemnized in accordance with the personal laws of the country (of the husband) and India, foreign courts decide the cases and dissolve marriages.The commission proposed that the ministry explores the feasibility of entering into treaties with countries having sizable Indian diaspora so that cases accompanying dissolution of marriages performed in India may not be adjudicated by the courts of other countries - expect if parties unequivocally and voluntarily submit to their jurisdiction.The NCW pointed out that it has received a big number of complaints from NRI brides regarding ex parte divorce decree passed by the abroad courts.In many cases, such decisions are taken on the grounds currently not available for obtaining a decree of divorce in India, it said."It has been observed by the commission that NRI husbands are misusing such provisions," it said.The commission is of the perspective that the dissolution of marriage in such cases should occur in accordance with the laws of the country where the marriage was solemnized and within that nation as Indian women in NRI marriages are peculiarly vulnerable in foreign countries, oftentimes without any financial support, Sharma said in the letter.By Sowmya Sangam

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Selling Lunch Boxes, Indian Women in Swiss Raises ₹1.8L for Kerala September 19, 2018 15:32

For galore Indians living abroad, watching what was on in their home country during the Kerala floods was difficult. For a group of women who lived in Switzerland, it was no different. When Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to people to donate to the CM's Disaster Relief Fund, they too desired to do their bit.The group of 16 women, all living in the Swiss city of Baden, came together and worked for three days to raise Rs 1.8 lakh for Kerala flood relief. All this, by selling lunch boxes with Indian food to locals and other Indians living in the city."The idea was good, but we realized that it would require a larger investment than we could afford, and also formalities and permissions to set it up. We needed something that would allow us to help quicker," tells one of the women Bandana Maheshwari to TNM.After checking with their networks, Linija and Bandana were able to find 14 other women who were curious in the initiative. Related content: Kerala Authorities: Rebuilding After Flood Will Cost $3.7bnCollectively, they decided it would be best to set up and deliver meal boxes with Indian food for all three meals.Everyone got on board speedily, and after readying and popularizing the idea through social media and flyers for just two days, the women decided it was time to swing into action."It was challenging because everything was happening so quickly. Till the midnight of August 21 we were still getting orders," Bandana narrates.On August 22, the plan was set into motion. Two locations were decided where some women would cook the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food respectively. There were some women who were packing lunch boxes, and three women who had cars were accountable for delivery. The responsibilities would rotate over the three days, depending on who was free when."We used what we were going to donate individually as the capital for this project," Bandana says. "While the first day was a bit chaotic, we had gotten into the groove by the second day and then things went smoothly."By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Billionaire's Daughter Named UK's 'Posesh' Student September 12, 2018 12:46

An unnamed Indian billionaire's daughter has been named the "poshest" student in the United Kingdom after it was claimed that her family is hiring 12 staff members to assist her during her studies at a Scottish university.The first-year student at the University of St Andrew on the east coast of Scotland will have a house manager, a gardener, three housekeepers, a lady's maid and a butler on hand to help her, along with three footmen, chauffeur, and a private chef, The Sun newspaper reported.They will be employed at the family's new luxurious mansion, bought so that the daughter won't have to stay in general student accommodation throughout the four years she spends studying at the leading Scottish university.A few months ago, an advertisement was placed looking for "an outgoing, cheerful" maid with an energetic personality to work inside the household.According to the advert, the maid would be in charge of "waking principal up, liaising with other staff regarding routine and schedule (and) assisting with grooming."The staff will also be responsible for wardrobe management and personal shopping, the job requirement posted by recruitment agency Silver Swan said.The butler will be in charge of the student's staff, who will be expected to open doors for her whenever possible, and footmen will serve meals, clean and lay the table.The Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) family are delineated as very formal who want experienced staff, the advert notes in reference to the various roles on offer, which are said to pay about 30,000 pounds a year.By Sowmya Sangam

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UK NRI Wife Killer to be repatriated to India August 28, 2018 09:46

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) serving a jail term in a United Kingdom jailhouse for killing his wife more than eight years ago is to be deported to India to serve the remainder of his slaying sentence in Punjab.The 40-year-old Harpreet Aulakh was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in London in December 2010 for secretly planning the murder of his wife, Geeta Aulakh, after she asked for a divorce. According to a report by BBC, Harpreet Aulakh will be deported under the India-UK Repatriation of Prisoners Act."All arrangements are in place. According to the plan, the UK authorities will bring him to Delhi from where a team of Punjab police officers will bring him to Amritsar," IPS (Indian Police Service) Sahota, a top prison official in Punjab, was quoted as saying.Inspector general of prisons Roop Kumar said Harpreet Aulakh, who is from Punjab, had told UK authorities that he wanted to serve his remaining term in India.The 28-year-old Geeta Aulakh was viciously attacked with a machete during the attack in Greenford, west London, in November 2009. She was employed for Sunrise Radio, a local Indian community radio station, as a receptionist and at the time of the attack, her murder had hit headlines around the world.In November 2009, the victim, who was the mother of Harpreet Aulakh's two sons, was hacked to death with a sword, which her spouse of 10 years had selected from a choice of swords at a shop days before the slaying.The attack happened when Geeta Aulakh went to pick up her sons after leaving work at the radio station.She died a few hours later in hospital, after suffering from head injuries and her right hand severed.Harpreet Aulakh aka Sunny, and two others, 19-year-old Sher Singh, and 30-year-old Jaswant Dhillon were as well found guilty of Geeta Aulakh's murder in 2010. Sher Singh, who in reality wielded the sword, and Jaswant Dhillon, who acted as the lookout for the group, were sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment.During the proceeding, the tribunal was told that British-born Indian-origin Geeta Aulakh wanted to divorce her husband over his participation in ferocious crimes, leading him to plot her murder.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Gets Dh4.4 Million Compensation for Fake News Articles August 24, 2018 17:44

An Indo-Canadian businessman, who is originally from Bhuj, Gujarat, has been granted $1.2 million in amends after he was defamed in a series of fake news articles instigated by a prominent American blockchain investor. It is one of the sizable compensations of its kind in Canada.Vancouver-based Altaf Nazerali had sued Patrick Byrne, Chief Executive officer (CEO) of online retailer Overstock.com, for a campaign of lies aimed to tarnish the reputation of the Non-Resident Indian businessman.  Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Byrne's appeal against $1.2 million granted to the NRI businessman by the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2016. The immense recompense for Nazerali comes after a seven-year legal conflict to unsubtle his name after a series of articles published in 2011, on an American website DeepCapture.com tried to picture the NRI man of affairs as a drug seller, weaponry dealer and mobster and a financial supporter of al-Qaida. The articles tried to show that he had links to Russian and Italian mafias. The articles were written by Mark Mitchell and published on the website - owned and published by Byrne- which reports on criminal financial conspiracies. In its 2016 judgment in favor of the NRI business, Justice Kenneth Affleck of Vancouver-based British Columbia Supreme Court had said: "Mitchell, Byrne and Deep Capture LLC engaged in a calculated and ruthless campaign to inflict as much damage on Nazerali's reputation as they could achieve. "It is clear on the evidence that their intention was to conduct a vendetta in which the truth about Nazerali himself was of no consequence."  The American blockchain investor challenged the judgment in the Supreme Court of Canada which earlier this week threw it out.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Dies From Beating After Asking for Directions in Gurugram August 17, 2018 17:48

A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) died on Wednesday, 15 August, after he was allegedly thrashed by a security guard and a young man over seeking directions in DLF Phase-II in Gurugram, the police said on Thursday, 16 August. Both accused have been arrested on murder charges. Somou Balaya had returned from the United States with his wife Geeta and their teenage son two months ago. He had gone to a private school on Wednesday evening in his car when the incident took place. Somou got into an altercation with security guard 46-year-old Pradeep Singh and 25-year-old local resident Manik Khosla over seeking directions while walking down to a place in Block "P" of DLF Phase-II around 4.30 p.m. The argument turned ferocious and the two accused started thrashing Somou. He passed out on the road after the beating. He was declared dead on reaching the hospital. Deepak Mathur, who conducted the post-mortem, said preliminary findings suggest Somou died due to cardiac arrest. He said the body bore superficial injuries but they were not serious enough to cause death. By Sowmya Sangam

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