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Selling Lunch Boxes, Indian Women in Swiss Raises ₹1.8L for Kerala September 19, 2018 10:02

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 07:16

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 04:16

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 12:14

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 12:18

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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Government: NRIs Cannot File RTI Applications August 09, 2018 05:46

The government proclaimed on Wednesday that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) cannot file applications to Right to Information (RTI) in order to seek governance-related information from the Central government departments. "Only citizens of India have the right to seek information under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005. Non-Resident Indians are not eligible to file RTI applications," Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply.He said subject to the provisions of the Act, the citizens of India could file an online application under the Right to Information Act, 2005."Currently, systems of 2,200 public authorities have been aligned to receive, process and reply to online RTIs from the applicants," the Minister said.The RTI's official website - www.rtionline.gov.in could be accessed by applicants and choose the desired Ministry or department under the Central government and file an RTI application. An elaborated user manual and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) were accessible on the website to assist in filing the application."Applicant can pay the requisite fee through online payment in this portal and submit the RTI application," the Minister said.By Sowmya Sangam

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TAUK Hosts Bonalu Celebrations in London July 19, 2018 09:54

Telangana Association of United Kingdom (TAUK) celebrated Bonalu fete in London in an expansive manner.Regional Members of Parliament Seema Malhotra, Virendra Sharma, and the initial secretary of Indian High Commission Anima Bharadwaj dignified the celebrations as the chief guests while more than 800 Non-Resident Indian (NRI) family members from all the corners of United Kingdom took part in the event.Umpteen locals likewise took part in the celebrations which were held in unalloyed conventional ways.The chief guests, as enthralled with the grand celebrations, acclaimed the endeavor of TAUK for their social service programs without bounds. They likewise offered their assistance in all possible manners to the approaching TAUK programs. TAUK founder Anil Koormachalam, President Pavitra Reddy Kandi, Vice-president Swathi Budagam, and Secretary Ravi Rethineni uttered their felicity on the success of the Bonalu event.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Sisters Sell Nuts to Aid Cancer Patients in Mumbai July 19, 2018 06:51

Dubai-settled teenage sisters have been selling packaged nuts for a year now in order to raise money to aid children suffering from cancer and assist them with finer care at Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital.Till date, their endeavor has provided 1500+ nights of shelter to children and their families, who would otherwise be staying roadside.The duo, under the Helping Hands Foundation's Accommodation Project, sells nuts to raise funds at local events and exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates.Mehr Bhatia, 16, says, "We don't take donations; instead, we sell organic nuts for a certain price, the proceeds of which all go to the project. A packet of nuts priced Dh40 can fund a night’s stay of a child at the hospital."Earlier this week, sisters Mehr Bhatia and Shenaya Bhatia, visited Mumbai to meet the children, along with their parents, who are second-generation businesspersons in Dubai. Shenaya, 12, says on their trip, "The experience was an eye-opener, we knew it would be hard for those kids and their families but seeing it ourselves made us aware of how much more we need to do."It was the first time they met the affected children. Mehr says, "Communicating with the children in the hospital wasn't very successful as they were quite young and shy to speak to visitors. Later when we visited the Dharamshala where the kids and their families were staying during treatment, we spoke to a 17-year-old girl who told us about how she was treated in the Tata Memorial Hospital but her Leukemia then relapsed and her whole family had to travel back to Mumbai from her village for the treatment, she has spent seven years of her life in and out of hospitals."She adds, "We also had the chance to speak to some of the parents who told us about the struggles they go through and how their entire family is affected throughout the period of treatment. Both parents are required for the duration of the child’s stay in the hospital as usually the mother stays with the child and provides emotional support whereas the father then goes out to collect funds to support the rest of his family."Currently, they plan on taking the awareness one step farther by giving more negotiations across Dubai and in schools.The duo says they would like to keep the literal sum of funds raised unveiled.By Sowmya Sangam

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Two Indian-origin Children Killed in Mishap in Australia July 11, 2018 05:51

Two Indian-origin children were killed in a road mishap while their parents endured earnest injuries when their car met with an accident in this Australian city, according to a media report. The mishap occurred on Sunday when a vehicle trying to catch up with another car clashed with their car on Hopkins Road in Truganina in Melbourne. The victims, who hailed from Kerala, were reverting home from a birthday celebration. The 10-year-old Ruana was killed at the incident while her brother Immanuel died at the Royal Children's Hospital last night, the report said. The parents have been admitted to the infirmary with the health of the mother, Manju Varughese, being critical, it said. The vicar of St Mary's Indian Orthodox Cathedral in Melbourne, Reverend Father Pradeep Ponnachan, said that the victims were long-familiar members of the church. "They were a devoted, pious family," he said. "The church community is terribly disturbed, there are no words to explain." By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian-American Named to Key Federal Aviation Advisory Committee July 02, 2018 07:50

Indian-American Vivek Lall has been named after a primal federal aviation advisory committee which renders counsel to the government on the future of airspace system.A current vice-president at Lockheed Martin, Lall would be representing the viewpoints of defense technology organizations in the NextGen Advisory Committee of the Department of Transportation.The committee advises on the regime on topics including, NextGen investment priorities, capability deployment timing, equipage incentives, specific technologies, and deployments such as DataComm, National Airspace System performance metrics, and airspace design initiatives.Lall, a worldwide famed aerospace scientist, has been nominated for a term of two-year on the committee that provides guidance on wide-ranging topics affecting the United States and the global aviation community.He has been a top authoritative at Boeing and General Atomics in the past and with success led over USD12 billion of U.S.-India trade.By Sowmya Sangam

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MEA Website to Display Summons to Swindle NRI Husbands June 14, 2018 06:35

The Ministry of External Affairs will now display the summons to Non-Resident Indian men who abandon their wives on their official website, an official said on Wednesday. The decision was taken in order to create a stronger deterrent for swindle NRIs. It was taken under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and among other legal solutions for redressing the issues faced by women in NRI marriages at a meeting of the Group of Ministers, The meet was attended by officials from the External Affairs, Law and Justice and Women and Child Development Ministry. "We (Women and Child Development Ministry) are grateful to Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for enumerating fine details on ways to resolve the issue of NRI marriages," said the Women and Child Development Ministry in a tweet."We are working towards putting in place an efficient mechanism that will provide immediate relief to women in troubled NRI marriages," it added.According to sources, the Law Ministry previously did not sanction of displaying the summons of NRI marriages on the MEA website and besides clashed with the Women and Child Development Ministry over impounding passports and arrogation of the property of those NRI husbands who have been found guilty of deserting their wives and failed to appear in the court.Earlier this month, the External Affairs Ministry revoked passports of five NRIs and as well issuing Look-out-Circulars by Integrated Nodal Agency, an Inter-ministerial body headed by women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava, with an aim to deal with matrimonial disputes. The Women and Child Development Ministry had earlier said that it has received 40 cases accompanying to matrimonial conflicts relating to NRIs, of which six were found to be earnest and LoC issued.The Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi inclined for issuing orders for registering NRI marriages within 48 hours, else the passport or visa of NRI husbands will not be issued. According to the ministry, in vicious matters involving NRIs, the LoC can be issued by the investigating agency in cognizable offenses when an abroad husband is intentionally evading apprehension or not appearing in the trial court contempt non-bailable warrants and other powerful measures, or there is a likeliness that he will leave the country to evade legal proceeding or arrest.By Sowmya Sangam

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RBI may raise $30-35 Billion through NRI Bonds to Support Rupee: Report June 12, 2018 08:43

The Reserve Bank of India through Non-Resident Indian bonds expects to hike USD 30-35 billion to aid the rupee and commence the slowdown in Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) flows amid emerging oil prices, says a report.The FPI inflows to India will be impacted by Chinese firms listing in global benchmark indices like MSCI, it said.According to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), the listing in benchmark indices will shift up to USD 100 billion to China market by 2019."Our China strategists estimate that possible entry into benchmark indices could push up to USD 100 billion into the China markets by end-2019. FPI equity flows to India may slow amid political uncertainty in the run-up to the general elections, given rich valuations," Bank of America Merill Lynch (BofAML) said in a research note.It further said that "We grow more confident that the RBI will issue the fourth tranche of NRI bonds to raise, say, USD 30-35 billion, to offset a slowdown in FPI flows on the listing of China paper in various benchmark indices at a time of higher oil prices," the report noted.NRI bonds are forex deposits with some lock-in and an implicit RBI guarantee elevated from NRIs at attractive rates for 3-5 years.RBI will issue NRI bonds if the global oil prices prevail at USD 70/bbl. BofAML oil strategists forecast USD 71.8/bbl for 2018-19 and USD 75.3/bbl for 2019-20 and accordingly the actual account deficit will increase to 2.4 percent of GDP this fiscal from 0.7 percent in 2016-17, the report noted."We think that there is a rising case for issuing NRI bonds. Every NRI bond issuance has been effective in curbing Indian Rupee volatility," the report noted.The report further noted that the RBI is hoped-for to follow an asymmetrical policy of purchasing forex when the USD weakens and defending Rs66/USD when it strengthens. On the rupee, which has been falling against the US dollar, BofAML said its strategists see the Indian currency at Rs 69.75/USD by December. The rupee is currently hovering around Rs 67/USD.By Sowmya Sangam

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