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6-8 Indians Imprisoned For Indulging In Immigration Fraud November 11, 2019 17:05

In January 2015, the ICE in Michigan set up Farmington University to partly monitor and bring out immigration frauds. They found out that there are International students who are illegally staying in the US by getting admission at Farmington University.As per the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 6-8 Indians from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been a part of this, 6 are in jail and 2 others will be put in jail as well.Khalid Walls, the Northeast regional communications director/spokesman of the ICE interacted with Times of India and quoted “ All eight of the defendants have pleaded guilty”. Additionally, he mentioned, “ They will be deported to India following their prison terms”.From Fermont, Santosh Sama has been sent to jail for 24 months. Barath Kakireddy and Suresh Kandala are going to be in prison for 18 months. Avinash Thakkallapally for 15 months, Aswanth Nune and Naveen Prathipati for 12 months.Besides, Prem Rapeesa will be put in jail on November 19th and Phanideep Karnati will be sentenced in January 2020. The defendants were aware that the school didn’t have classes and they kept their students a secret from the US immigration authorities, out of which they earned a little more of this scheme.This fraudulent practice had been going on from February 2017 to January 2019. They deceived the Immigration authorities and none of the participants came from their home country and took admission in the school. They were aware of the rules being non-immigrant students.By Neha Makhija

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Hindi Is The Most Spoken Indian Language In The United States October 31, 2019 13:00

With recent reports, Hindi is regarded as the most abundantly spoken Indian language followed by Gujarati and Telugu. If the exact numbers are to be suggested, it was said that there were around 8.74 lakh Hindi speakers in the US as of July 01st, 2018. The same is believed to have been increased by 1.3% from 2017.Over the decade, the numbers of speakers have increased by 2.65 lakhs which includes a rise of 43.5%. But, the report also suggested that in terms of the percentage increase, the same was quite outstripped by the Telugu speakers which rose from 79.5% between the years of 2010 and 2018. According to the American Community Survey data for 2018, it showed from the reports of the US Census Bureau that around 67.3 million residents in the United States, over the age of 5 speak a different language at home other than just English. Furthermore, it suggested that a portion of the population, around 21.9% of the population do speak a foreign language apart from English at home. The number of people speaking Bengali rose to 68% including around 3.75 lakh people which is a lot that increased over the eight year period. The same was followed by Tamil which included 67.5% and included around 3.01 lakh people in the United States. But, the notable fact in this was the fact that people aside from India also do speak some of these languages. Like, people from Bangladesh speak Bengali and even the people from Sri Lanka do speak Tamil.The immigration experts do suggest that the sudden spike in the Bengali speaking residents in the US could also be because of the increased flow of people into the country from Bangladesh. On the contrary, the people speaking Telugu and Gujarati have actually dipped a bit between the year of 2017 and 2018. The Gujarati speakers in the country amounted to around 4.19 lakh which has reduced by 3.5% over the year. In addition to that, the number of Telugu speakers was also around 4 lakh which further experienced quite a drop in comparison to the year before.But, when the figures from 2010 and 2018 are compared, there was a steep rise in the number of Telugu speakers in US from 2.23 lakh to 4 lakh mainly because of the fact that majority of the IT and tech employees come from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.The downside with the US Censor Board is that they don’t provide country specific statics. So, when it came round to the Urdu and Punjabi speaking provinces, the same was attributed to hail more from Pakistan instead of India. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, they suggest that the number of people speaking a different language other than English at home in US has doubled since 1990 and has tripled since 1980. It also suggests that around 48% of the people in America’s top 5 cities speak a different language at home other than English. When CIS further conducted a better insightful study around on the kind of languages that people speak at home aside from English, Hindi secured the fifth position with 2.65 lakh speakers. CIS has time and time suggested that immigrants learn English so as to ensure better assimilation with the culture and the crowd of the US.English isn’t a very problematic language for majority of the Indians around which further makes it a lot easier to tackle through the shortcomings better in a different nation. It suggests that 80% of the Indians who can speak their native language can speak English quite fluently as well.-Somapika Dutta

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Indian-Origin Environmentalists Launch Campaign In UAE October 11, 2019 14:43

The growing threat to the environment and climate is on the rise. With Greta Thunberg leading the way to mitigate the global climate crisis, men and women alike from across the world are joining hands to provide a better future for the coming generation. Addressing this, the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) which is an UAE based community welfare body has recently launched a year long campaign to contribute their part to protecting and preserving the environment. They are working on a series of initiatives. Some of them include the collection of the discarded papers, e-waste, cleaning of the beaches as well as afforestation.  The same is going to be held in Abu Dhabi.In one of the conducted interviews by the Gulf News, the President of ILA, Sunita Wagle said that they have collected over 500 kg of paper from the community. The same included the basic magazine papers to office papers, books, notebooks, paper bags and even the newspaper copies. The main objective of ILA is to fire through sustainable environment associated programs and campaigns and creates social awareness in the designated community every month. The same would go on to happen throughout the year while educating people about the importance of saving the environment and seeking their participation in making this an even greener place. Wagle further shared saying that they have the motto to launch their plantation program by the end of October which will focus on encouraging people to plant more of the ghaf as well as neem trees. Following the planting of the trees, the organization will also take care of the irrigation as well. ILA does provide a platform for the community to take the much needed step forward to bring forth changes and better impacts on the environment and reverse the negative impacts of climate change as well. Not just the elite class, the ILA is also focused around educating the labourers as well. They are going to visit many of the labour camps to give saplings as part of their campaign as well.By Somapika Dutta

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Over 4,700 Women Abandoned by NRI Husbands in Last 10 Years September 27, 2019 17:11

Despite sparing no effort to raise awareness, the Indian ministry is still receiving a slew of cases from women against their NRI husbands, who abandoned them quite soon after walking down the aisle. In the last 10 years, the National Commission for Women (NCW) received more than 4,700 complaints with the highest number of grievances from Indian states Punjab and Delhi, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said on Thursday. With regard to country-wise statistics, Sharma said the highest number of complaints have been received on Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands living in the United States, followed by Australia and Canada. As many as 1,105 complaints have been received on NRI husbands from the U.S., 378 on Australian and 326 on Canadian, she said. In the past 10 years, the highest number of complaints were received early this year at 750, followed by 582 this year. Altogether, a total of 4,779 complaints have been received in the last 10 years. Read: Marry and Abandon: Victims of NRI Tricksters Still Fighting for Justice Approximately 13.92 percent of complaints were received from New Delhi at 665, followed by 10 percent of complaints received from Punjab at 479. On that account, the National Commission for Women chairperson brought to the fore the need to increase awareness among families to carry out a thorough background research of the man they are looking for their daughter to get married. She said it is better to prevent such a marriage and for that, there must be awareness among people that they do a proper background search. Moreover, it is also important for a family to change a long-established perception in regard to marrying their daughter to an NRI. Sharma said women are increasingly coming forward to make a complaint against their perfidious NRI husbands with NRI cell of the commission. By Sowmya Sangam

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NRIs to Get Aadhaar on Arrival Without 182-Day Wait September 24, 2019 12:09

The Indian government issued a notification saying Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) with valid Indian passport can apply for Aadhaar on arrival, without the 182-day waiting period. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has released the circular stating that NRI after their arrival India, shall be entitled to obtain Aadhaar number. Stating that the modalities for application remain more or less unchanged, a UIDAI source said that non-resident Indians with Indian passport can now apply for biometric ID on arrival or by fixing a time for a prior appointment, thus getting rid of the requirement for a mandatory 182-day waiting period.As per circular released by UIDAI on Monday, a valid Indian passport will be accepted as proof of identity, proof of address (PoA) and date of the birth document. In case NRI's passport does not contain Indian address, they shall be allowed to submit any of the other UIDAI-approved PoA documents as proof of address.  Financial Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech on July 5 said she is considering issuing Aadhaar card for non-resident Indians with Indian passports after their arrival in India without the specified waiting period.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Diaspora Must Retort to False Propaganda on J&K: India's VP September 06, 2019 11:13

In the wake of Indian government scrapping Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday urged the Indian diaspora to effectively counter false propaganda negative narrative about India. "Overseas Indians must create awareness in the countries of their stay that the dilution of Article 370 was purely an internal administrative measure and aimed at accelerating the development of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh," he said while speaking after releasing a coffee table book titled ‘Glorious Diaspora- Pride of India' in New Delhi. The book contains brief profiles of the recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards from 2003 to 2019.                           (Image source from: evdiscourse)Clarifying that measures taken by the Jammu and Kashmir government after revoke of special status have nothing to do with religion, he stated any such propaganda should be negated strongly as a spread of a lot of disinformation would lead to the portrayal of the negative image about India in the western media. Read: Misinformation Being Spread on J&K: Kashmiri-American Body Naidu said: "A few isolated incidents are used to spin fictitious narratives that intolerance, religious and social disharmony is on the rise in India." He emphasized that Pravasi Bharatiyas must effectively counter such falsehoods and project the correct image of India, particularly on the harmonious co-existence of the people belonging to all religions and various social groups. Naidu lauded Indian diaspora’s contribution to the welfare of the nation through their philanthropic and charitable work and described them as an ambassadors of India’s great culture, heritage, and its intrinsic values of humanism. He called on Indian diaspora to be instrumental in India’s growth story through active participation in the fields of education, agriculture, and health since giving back to the society was a key element of Indian philosophy. He urged Indian diaspora to turn out as partners in programs such as Swachh Bharat mission, Clean Ganga, Make in India, and Skill India and strengthen them. Since the launch of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) in 2003, several commendable people of Indian origin across the world including political leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and economists have been honored, Naidu said. By Sowmya Sangam

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6 Things Every NRI Does When Visits India August 30, 2019 13:05

For every Indian who have settled abroad, returning back to the country is surely a wave of reminiscence. Spending time in the country where you have spent your early years is for sure an awesome feeling and is second to none. When an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) visit India they are bound to make certain things. Read: 11 Things Indians Miss About India When They Live AbroadBelow mentioned are 6 such things that most of the NRIs do when in India: 1. Food, Food, and Foood! What an Indian misses the most after moving to a foreign country is food. Their craving for home-made and traditional food is never-ending. The lack of Indian masala, spices, especially the taste in food available abroad makes an NRI eat roadside food greedily when in India 2. Reuniting with Family, Friends When an NRI returns to India, the happiness of reuniting with the family, friends and loved ones is exceptional. They can go any far to spend as much as time possible with their family, friends, and relatives. 3. Homely Feeling Taking a break from overbusy lives overseas and visiting India is so relieving. The homely feeling you get once you reach India and seeing everyone welcoming you is something that can’t put to words. There is always room for loved ones in India, a feeling NRIs desire for, abroad. 4. Festivals in India We can beyond a shadow of doubt say that nowhere in the world other than India you can get a feeling of Indian festival. As India is largely known as the land of festivals, NRIs love the aura and vibes around them in the festive season. 5. Spirituality If you are a bit religious person, then you will miss the places of worship the most abroad. The spiritual aura of India drives a lot of NRIs and even other foreign citizens to explore the country.6. Ayurveda for Peace of Mind India is known for Ayurveda advancement provided for relaxation and peace of mind. When an NRI comes to India, they try out Ayurveda treatments to let off all mental strains.By Sowmya Sangam

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Bahrain Pardons 250 Indian Prisoners on Modi’s Visit August 26, 2019 15:57

On account of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bahrain on Sunday, the Gulf nation government showed the humanitarian gesture by pardoning 250 Indian nationals serving sentences there. Expressing gratitude to the oil-rich nation, Prime Minister's Office tweeted: "In a kind and humanitarian gesture, the Government of Bahrain has pardoned 250 Indians serving sentences in Bahrain." In a kind and humanitarian gesture, the Government of Bahrain has pardoned 250 Indians serving sentences in Bahrain. PM @narendramodi thanks the Bahrain Government for the Royal Pardon. — PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 25, 2019 According to reports, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of Indians, 1,811 followed by the United Arab Emirates at 1,392, lodged in various prisons. However, it is not clear how many Indians are lodged in jails in the Gulf kingdom.By Sowmya Sangam

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Telangana Rashtra Samithi Membership Drive for NRIs Extended August 08, 2019 12:23

Expressing happiness over a good deal of NRIs registering themselves to join TRS NRI wing, party’s working president KT Rama Rao agreed to extend the membership drive for Non-resident Indians (NRIs) seeking to join the NRI wing of Telangana Rashtra Samithi till August 10. The drive was set in motion across 40 countries in June by the respective TRS NRI branches. TRS NRI wing coordinator Mahesh Bigala was put in charge of coordinating the drive. “Branch presidents and members will take the welfare and developmental programs of the government to the public through different media and encourage NRIs to join the party,” TRS said in an official statement. Bigala told the media that the TRS working president had agreed to propose an NRI Policy to Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrashekhar Rao.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Americans Urge Trump Administration to ‘Fully Support’ India’s Decision on Kashmir August 07, 2019 10:48

The Indian diaspora in the United States has called on Trump administration to “fully support” India’s decision to revoke Article 370, the constitutional provision that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. They also urged to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support to cross-border terrorism.Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and allowed it to have its flag and constitution, among other rights, was revoked on Monday by Indian government. The government also moved a separate bill to split the state into two union territories of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. “We urge the U.S. to fully support India's internal sovereign decisions on Kashmir and to continue to exert pressure on Pakistan to end its support of cross-border terrorism, so the Kashmir conflict can be resolved once and for all,” Samir Kalra, managing director of Hindu-American Foundation (HAF), said. Kalra said that the annulment of Articles 35A and 370, which were only intended as temporary provisions, is a crucial step in bringing about a solution to the Kashmir issue."It will help better integrate the residents of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into the rest of India and apply one set of equal laws across the country,” Kalra said.“Moreover, it will help create conditions for the full rehabilitation and resettlement of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley,” he added. The President of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Krishna Reddy, said that this is Narendra Modi government's best gift to the nation on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day of India.“It is a historic day as Modi government could deliver a long-awaited decision of scrapping article 370 and corrected the historic blunder made by the Nehru government,” Reddy said.Reddy announced that OFBJP and other Indian diaspora organizations are planning celebratory events in the coming next two weeks. The World Hindu Council of American hailed the decision of Indian government. It said that with the revoke of Article 370, the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will finally be fully unified with the rest of India, allowing sustainable and effective development in these regions.“We hope that people from all over India, will join the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in celebrating this momentous occasion,” it said. Ravi Batra, the New York-based attorney, said that this action must deliver enhanced peace and security to Jammu and Kashmir, as well as between India and Pakistan.“It's time for the Sub-Continent to celebrate freedom - not only from colonialism - but terror too. The United States, as a friend of the Sub-Continent, wants peace and prosperity to reign, not fear and terror,” Batra said.Indian American Puneet Ahluwalia said that it should not come as a surprise, as revocation of 35A and 370 has always been part of BJP's manifesto. “There are forces in Kashmir and neighbouring Pakistani establishment who would likely want this bold internal initiative to fail. This is a sensitive action which can either turn into a nightmare or paradise for the Kashmiri community,” he said.The Kashmiri Pandits community in the United States rejoiced the Indian government's move, saying that this paves the way for their return to the homeland soon. “The move by the Indian government will also improve the security situation with respect to cross border terrorism and bring peace, harmony and stability in Jammu-Kashmir, now a new Union Territory of India,” said Vijay Sazawal from the Indo-American Kashmir Forum.Indo-European Kashmir Forum (IEKF) based in London and Geneva, and the Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum (ICKF) based in Ottawa, supported the government's decision, saying that at last Kashmiri minorities, especially the Kashmiri Pandits, will get justice and be able to repossess their ancestral lands from where they were driven out in 1989-1990. Jeevan Zutshi from Kashmir Task Force said, "not only the Kashmir problem has been solved with this historic abrogation of article 370 but it also vindicates all Kashmiris, of all faiths, some of whom lost their lives due to turbulence and some, like Kashmiri Pandits, who had lost their roots completely."The community members anticipate that “these constitutional amendments will enable to get justice, reclaim ancestral homeland, and reverse ethnic cleansing.” the community members anticipate.By Sowmya Sangam

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272 Foreigners, NRIs, OCIs, PIOs Conferred Padma Awards Since 1954 July 24, 2019 14:11

On whole, about 272 foreigners, including Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), have been bestowed the Padma Awards since inception in 1954, MoS in Home Ministry Nityanand Rai said. "272 Foreigners, Non-resident Indians (NRIs), Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) have been conferred the Padma Awards since inception in 1954," Rai said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.Rai further added in the written reply, "The award is presented only to those who sacrifice and make efforts to do extraordinary works and establish themselves in the various streams to become an example for the society." He told the Lower House that any individual without distinction of occupation, race, position or sex is entitled for the Padma awards. Padmashree, the fourth highest civilian award, is conferred by the Centre every year on Republic Day.By Sowmya Sangam

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‘NRI Voting Is Very Much Focus for Us’: Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra July 24, 2019 11:32

Months after India had its general elections, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Tuesday called on all Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to register online to boost the numbers of such voters ahead of provisions being put in place for either proxy voting or voting through embassies and missions for them. Addressing a gathering of the Indian Professionals Forum (IPF) at the Indian High Commission on ‘Decoding Indian General Election 2019′, Chandra said the ease of NRI voting remains a focus for the Election Commission so that all Indians anywhere in the world can participate in its democracy. “I would call on NRIs to get themselves registered as a voter online. They are Indian and have a right to participate in the Indian democracy. It is very much a focus for us because their voice must be heard as it is their constitutional right to participate in the elections,” he said. Chandra, part of the three-member panel of election commissioners in India, said that only 1.15 lakh NRI voters had registered in time for the 2019 general election, which is not an entirely reflective figure for India’s NRI voter base. He indicated that besides proxy voting, the Election Commission is also looking at the option of using the electronic voting technique currently in use by diplomatic staff worldwide. “We are searching for options, the proxy voting bill had been cleared by the Lok Sabha but lapsed in the Rajya Sabha. But we want they should be able to vote. We want to be ahead of each and every country in the world,” said Chandra. As per present rules, registered NRI voters have to be physically present in their constituency in India to cast their ballots. The Election Commissioner also delved into the issue of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the success of the system of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPT) to ensure complete accuracy and transparency of the country’s seven-phase electoral process this year. “These elections were absolutely transparent with the use of technology. India has taken the lead through EVMs and VVPAT and every person could see what he or she had voted for. Not even a single error was found,” he said, adding that random checks conducted after some complaints had proved the reliability of the system. “Technology is always a big challenge and when someone loses, they want to blame the machines and not the people… It has been proved the most efficient and environmentally friendly system. Other countries have been sending queries about it,” the election official added. By Sowmya Sangam

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