USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American Rupesh Srivastava for getting appointed to the board of trustees of the Ferris State University

USINPAC  congratulates Rupesh Srivastava for getting appointed to the board of trustees of the Ferris State University in the US state of Michigan.

Rupesh SrivastavaSrivastava,  who graduated from Ranchi University in Jharkhand, will serve an eight-year term on the university’s governing body, the daily India West reported citing a university release Wednesday.

Srivastava is president, chief executive officer, and founder of Youngsoft Inc. and H2H Solutions. The Indian-American entrepreneur also serves on the board of Lawerence Tech University, ESSPL and Car4nurses . He was a TIE Detroit president from 2010 to 2014 and a charter member for the organisation. Srivastava is a founding member of Ynotlearn, Car4Nurses, Youngtronics, and ESPPL.

The businessman was awarded the Pride of India Gold Award in 2006, and received the Salute to Excellence Award from the Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce in 2007.

Source: Business Standard

Indian-American Kamala Harris to run for US senate

Washington, January 14 California’s Indian-American Attorney General Kamala Harris, a “good friend” of President Barack Obama, has thrown her hat into the ring for the 2016 race to replace fellow Democrat veteran Barbara Boxer in the US Senate.

Kamala Harris“I will be a fighter for the next generation on the critical issues facing our country,” pledged Oakland, California-born Harris, 50, the state’s first Indian-American and first African American top law officer announcing her run on her website on Tuesday.

“I will be a fighter for middle class families who are feeling the pinch of stagnant wages and diminishing opportunity,” added the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican-American father.

“I will be a fighter for our children who deserve a world-class education, and for students burdened by predatory lenders and skyrocketing tuition. And I will fight relentlessly to protect our coast, our immigrant communities and our seniors,” Harris said.

Harrison’s mother Dr Shyamala Gopalan is a breast cancer specialist who emigrated from Chennai in the 1960s while her father Donald Harris is an economics professor at Stanford University.

Hours after Harris announced her run, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer said he would decide soon whether to take on the follow Democrat in the November 2016 election.

Steyer and Harris would be among the most formidable contenders for Boxer’s seat, along with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has said he is “seriously considering” a run, according to CNN.

Harris, the former district attorney of San Francisco who was just re-elected to her second term as attorney general, was the first to formally declare her candidacy since Boxer announced last week that she would not run for re-election in 2016.

Harris’ position was strengthened on Monday when Lt Gov Gavin Newsom bowed out of contention. Newsom, 47, is reported to be interested in running for governor when Jerry Brown faces term limits in 2018.

If Harris wins, she would be the first ever Indian-American in the 100-member US Senate.

Three Indian-Americans have been elected to the US House of Representatives: Dalip Singh Saund, Bobby Jindal and Ami Bera, who was re-elected for his second term last November.

There are also currently two US governors of Indian origin – Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley – both Republicans are said to be mulling presidential runs in 2016.

Obama last year caused a bit of a stir when he called Harris “by far the best-looking attorney general.” He later called long time friend Harris to apologise for saying: “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough. She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general … It’s true! C’mon.” Harris graciously accepted the President’s apology.

Source: The Tribune

Vibrant Gujarat Summit: Firms commit Rs 2-lakh-cr investment

Modi wants to make India ‘easiest’ place for business, promises stable tax regime

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday claimed his government was committed to creating a policy and tax environment that was “predictable, transparent and fair”, global and Indian companies committed themselves to investing a total of about Rs 2 lakh crore and creating more than 50,000 jobs.
Vibrant Gujarat SummitAt the inaugural session of the seventh edition of Vibrant Gujarat Summit - the first time as India’s prime minister – Modi said: “Ease of doing business is a major concern for the government and it is seriously working on these issues… We want to make India the ‘easiest’ place – and not easier than earlier – to do business in.”

Investment commitments
Business leaders lined up huge investment commitments, signing 31 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) at Vibrant Gujarat Summit on Sunday. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore across businesses in Gujarat over 12-18 months, while Aditya Birla Group chief Kumar Mangalam Birla promised to put in Rs 20,000 crore over a period to ramp up capacities across the group’s various existing facilities.

The Adani group, which at the summit signed an MoU with Australian energy major Woodside for sourcing of liquefied natural gas and cooperation in oil & gas exploration and production, later said in a statement it, along with US-based SunEdison, would invest about Rs 25,000 crore to set up a solar energy park in Gujarat and create 20,000 new jobs.

Kalyani Group said it would invest Rs 600 crore in setting up a defence manufacturing facility at Dholera in Gujarat, creating employment for 2,500 people. Consumer durables major Videocon said it was planning to set up a 60,000-tonne-per-annum fibreglass plant in Gujarat at an investment of Rs 2,000 crore.

While Hong Kong-based China Light & Power Holdings said it was planning a 2,000-Mw coal-based power plant in the state at an estimated project cost of $2 billion (Rs 12,400 crore), Welspun Renewables announced setting up 1,000-Mw solar & wind energy capacities in Gujarat for Rs 8,300 crore. Wind turbine maker Suzlon had a day earlier committed itself to investing Rs 24,000 crore over five years to generate 3,000 Mw in the state.

Firms commit…
Countries like Bhutan, with a gross domestic product of $1.7 billion, pitched for attracting investments using the Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS) platform. Dressed in traditional attire, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay delivered one of the most engaging speeches during the inauguration ceremony. Highlighting his country’s focus on ‘Gross National Happiness’ more than ‘Gross Domestic Product’, Tobgay said not only were healthcare and education free in Bhutan but the country was even working to achieve economic progress without destroying environmental balance.

Investment summit or global forum?
This year, VGS appeared to have turned into an event for networking among global thought leaders – a platform where issues of importance to the world as a whole were discussed. On a day when the event was attended by the likes of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, besides prime ministers of several countries like Bhutan and Macedonia, the winning topics of discussion were poverty eradication and clean-energy initiatives. Earlier in the day, PM Narendra Modi had set the tone by referring to the event as the biggest gathering on earth where a budding entrepreneur had the opportunity to see the president of the World Bank, and a young farmer could listen to the UN secretary-general’s views on food security. “We are here as a family, not only in terms of space but because we recognise someone’s dream depends on someone’s direction. The objective is welfare of all,” Modi said.

No impromptu speech this time
Modi was on Sunday speaking with help from a speech prompter, a technology he used at Vibrant Gujarat Summit for the first time. He carefully chose the language to address a global audience. “All of us want the planet earth to become a better place to live in,” the PM said, adding he, having travelled across India and parts of the world, had noticed fluctuations in the global economy were the biggest concern today. Visibly not at his best in terms of oratory, Modi, who spoke in English, followed Kerry in expressing solidarity with the victims of last week’s shooting at the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. During his speech, Modi spoke about the issue of inclusive growth by saying we would have to change the way we approached problems. “Recession is often seen only in the context of business and industry. Have we ever thought of recession as being the result of low per-capita income in countries where a majority of global population lives. Have we ever thought of its solution in terms of enhancing the common man’s employability, income and purchasing power,” asked the PM.

Praises galore
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who referred to Modi as a “visionary prime minister”, said he had made Gujarat’s name synonymous to “possibilities, change and energy”. Hinting at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit platform’s growing significance, the US secretary of state said it was indeed an “amazing opportunity” for him to speak before an audience that comprised 95 per cent of the people responsible for 95 per cent of India’s gross domestic product. Inviting India to work together with the US, Kerry on Sunday said: “If we work united, I am sure the world’s oldest (democracy) and the largest democracy can help forge a new era of shared prosperity and security, not only across Asia but across the world. We can end extreme poverty in our lifetime.” The sentiment was echoed by Jim Yong Kim, who said while the World Bank group had a deep interest in promoting policies and projects to maximise sustainable and inclusive economic growth, it would not be able to “turn that dream into reality until India, a country of 1.25 billion people, follows a path of rapid economic growth that benefits all Indians”. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who paid tribute to Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram, said: “I sincerely hope all leaders and people around the world will be inspired by Gandhi’s visions and teachings.” He said 2015 must be a year for global action. Commending Modi’s initiative for smart cities and the vision on use of renewable energy efficiency, he said: “We should not only build industrial strength but sustainable inclusive solutions.”

Vibrant Gujarat or Vibrant India?
In contrast to earlier editions, where Gujarat’s chief minister would be the centre of attraction, this year’s event emerged as a national one, where audio-visuals highlighting the Centre’s several initiatives and achievements were shown in between the speeches. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s role on Sunday was reduced to only reading out the welcome address to delegates. Apart from speeches by some like Simon Smits, the Netherlands’ vice-minister of foreign trade – who wore a saffron scarf and also spoke in Gujarati – the summit this year was definitely distinct from the previous editions in that most of the speeches were not reserved for praising the Gujarat model.

Source: Business Standard

USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American Amit Priyavadan Mehta for getting confirmed as a federal judge in the District of Columbia

Amit-Priyavadan-Mehta__185407988Indian-American Amit Priyavadan Mehta has been confirmed by the US Senate as a federal judge in the District of Columbia, becoming the first Asian Pacific American to occupy this important position.

His nomination was cleared late in the night by a voice vote along with over a dozen pending judicial nominations.

Nominated by President Barack Obama in July this year, Mehta has been a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder since 2010, where he represents clients in civil and criminal matters before state and federal courts.

Mehta is a graduate of Georgetown University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and the University of Virginia School of Law, Order of the Coif.

He clerked for Judge Susan Graber, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

After clerking, Mehta worked at Zuckerman Spaeder as an associate for three years, and then worked for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia for five years.

He represented indigent criminal defendants in trials, appeals and administrative proceedings.

He later rejoined Zuckerman Spaeder, where he has represented companies and individuals in a broad range of federal criminal matters, including bribery, political corruption, mail and wire fraud, export control and sanctions violations, and environmental crimes.

Mehta also has represented plaintiffs and defendants in federal civil matters, including antitrust and a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action.

In a pro bono capacity, he has devoted more than 450 hours since 2010 to post-conviction proceedings for an individual convicted of murder.

He is also vice president of the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.

Mehta was born in India and moved with his family to the US at the age of one.

Source: The Tribune

USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American physician Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy for getting confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General of America

Vivek Murthy37-year-old Indian-American physician Vivek Hallegere Murthy has been confirmed as the 19th Surgeon General of America by US Senate.

He is youngest person and first person of Indian-origin to hold the post.

The upper house of US Congress confirmed Murthy’s nomination by 51 votes to 43 more than year after President Barack Obama had nominated him to this top administration post on public health issues in November 2013 which saw a strong opposition from the powerful pro-gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA).

The final voting came yesterday soon after the Senate invoked cloture — a procedural hurdle — by same numbers (51 to 43 votes)

Pitching strongly for Murthy’s confirmation, Senator Dick Durbin praised Murthy for his dedication to fighting obesity, tobacco related diseases and other chronic diseases that account for seven out of the top 10 causes for death in America and make up for 84 per cent of America’s health care costs.

“I believe Dr Murthy understands the importance of the national crises before him, and feel confident that his experiences, his training, and his tenacity have provided him the qualifications he needs to tackle these issues, and the many more he’s sure to face, head-on,” Durbin said.

“Not only is Dr Murthy an outstanding doctor and public health expert, but he also remains closely connected to his community and family,” he said.   ”

There is no question about the qualification of Dr Murthy to do his job,” said another Senator Chris Murphy, adding that Murthy has a really impressive history of commitment to international public health, building two international organisations, one that empowers hundreds of youths in the US and India to educate over 45,000 students on HIV prevention.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said Murthy has addressed some of the nation’s most pressing health problems over the times. “Dr Murthy’s credentials are without question. They are impeccable, unquestionable and indisputable”.

Coming out in support of Murthy, Senator Daniel Markey said he has developed a skill set which is much needed for the 21st century and in an era where disease cross international boundaries.

“It is an opportunity to put a real leader in this position,” he said.

Senator Mazie Hirono said Murthy would make an effective surgeon general.

On the one hand, when several Senators have lauded Murthy’s nomination there were others who continued to oppose his confirmation.

“The American people deserve a Surgeon General who has proven, throughout his or her career that their main focus is a commitment to patients, not a commitment to politics.

“This is just another example of President Obama giving someone an important job based solely upon their support of the President’s political career,” said Senator John Barrasso, Chairman Senate Republican Policy Committee.

“Now is not the right time for this nomination, and it is not the right job for Dr Murthy,” the Senator said majority of Murthy’s career has been “as an activist focused on gun control and political campaigns.”

In the last few weeks, Indian-Americans had been campaigning among Senators in favour of Murthy’s nomination

Murthy’s nomination was supported by over 100 public health and medical organisations including the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association.

Co-founder and president of Doctors for America, a position he has held since 2009, Murthy is a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 2006.

In 2011, he was appointed to serve as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

Murthy has been the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007.

He co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as president from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003.

He received a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.

He was born to parents who are originally from South India. He came to the United States when he was three years old and grew up in Miami, Florida.

The powerful pro-gun lobbying group, National Rifle Association made a last ditch effort against Dr Murthy. It wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell.

Source: The Economic Times