USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American Vivek Murthy for becoming USA’s youngest Surgeon General

Vivek MurthyUSINPAC Congratulates 37-year-old Indian-American Vivek Murthy who was sworn-in as the US Surgeon General by Vice President Joe Biden at ceremony at Fort Myer on Thursday, becoming the youngest-ever in-charge of the country’s public health.

Murthy, who took the oath on the Gita, is now the highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration.

“To have the opportunity to serve as Surgeon General is an extraordinary honour and a profound responsibility, and I want to thank President Obama for entrusting me with the stewardship of this office,” he said in his address on the occasion at Fort Myer military base.

Murthy is the country’s 19th Surgeon General. According to the surgeon general’s website, Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard. From there, he earned his medical degree and master’s in business adminisration at Yale University.

In addition to practicing internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he in 2009 started a nonprofit, Doctors for America, composed of thousands of doctors supporting President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiatives.

As the US Surgeon General, Murthy carries the rank of Vice Admiral. The Health Secretary Sylvia Burwell also participated in the event.

“He is eminently qualified for the job,” Biden said on the occasion and described his family as an “incredible” in particular his grandmother who was also present.

“I am who I am because of my grandmother’s faith, my father’s strength, my mother’s love, my sister’s support and my fiancée’s unyielding belief in me. I am blessed to have all of them here with me today. I will always be grateful to them for the sacrifices they have made,” he said, with his parents and family members seated in the audience.

“My family was never supposed to have left our ancestral village. My father is the son of a farmer in rural India. He was supposed to have been a farmer, as was I. But for my grandfather’s insistence that his son get an education – even if that meant going into debt – we might have never left that village to go out in the world and – as my grandfather also insisted – start fixing what needed fixing,” he said.

“We were not supposed to have become Americans. My parents stopped in three other countries – including a brutal dictatorship – on their journey to get here. They saved up money and scrounged for information about job opportunities, always knowing that America was the destination,” Murthy said.

In his first major policy speech, Murthy vowed to improve the public health of the country. ”Public health does not exist in a vacuum. It is intrinsically linked to education, employment, the environment and our economy. There is a whole world beyond hospital corridors and clinic waiting rooms where people are struggling with issues of transportation, housing and development,” he said.

Source:  First Post

International Visitor Leadership Program

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 A Project for India

These visitors are invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Their program is arranged by Meridian International Center.

Program Contacts: Mr. Henry Collins and Ms. Giuliana DeAngelis, Meridian International Center, 1624 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone (202) 939‑5896 or (202) 939‑5878; toll‑free (800) 424‑2974; fax (202) 319‑1306; email or

Department of State Program Contacts: Ms. Reva Gupta and Ms. Rachel Warga, Office of International Visitors; telephone (202) 632‑3311 or (202) 632‑9402; fax (202) 632-9350; email or

Accompanied By: Mr. Virgil Cioflec, International Visitor Liaison

April 20 ‑ May 8, 2015



The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

•     Examine the structure and operations of state and local government in providing services to citizens;

•     Gain insight into the nature of political engagement by citizens, advocacy groups, and elected officials;

•     Explore examples of youth-focused political organizations; and

•     Expose participants to the range of actors that contribute to the political process.


Mr. Jayanta Malla BARUAH

Member, Assam Legislative Assembly (Indian National Congress Party)


Member, Gujarat Legislative Assembly (Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP])

Mr. Ganesh YADAV

President, Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress


Name:                                     Mr. Jayanta Malla BARUAH

Present Position:                Member, Assam Legislative Assembly (Indian National Congress Party)

Previous Positions:              Chief State Coordinator, Aam Aadmi Ka Sipahi campaign, 2008-2011,

Vice President, Assam State Youth Congress, 2006

General Secretary, Assam State Youth Congress, 2003-2005

General Secretary, B. Borooah College Students’ Union, 1991-1992

Education/Training:          B.A., Political Science, B. Borooah College, Guwahati, 1993

Address:                                  Assam Legislative Assembly, Dispur, Guwahati 781006, India


Languages:                              Assamese (primary), English

U.S. Travel:                             No previous U.S. travel

Other Travel:                          Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 2012)

Professional Background:       Mr. Jayanta Malla Baruah is one of 126 legislators in the Assam state assembly and represents the Indian National Congress Party, which has a majority of the seats in the single-chamber body. In his previous work as General Secretary and Vice President of the Assam State Youth Congress, and throughout his service with the Aam Aadmi Ka Sipahi youth brigade, Mr. Baruah demonstrated a strong commitment to the engagement of youth in civic and political affairs. As Chief State Coordinator of Aam Aadmi Ka Sipahi, a campaign initiated by Congress Party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi in 2009, Mr. Baruah helped popularize the United Progressive Alliance’s youth programs. Since his election, Mr. Baruah has worked to improve higher education in his district, began construction on a polytechnic college and planned for construction of another engineering college. He has also been working on an Industrial Training Institute, exclusively for women.

Name:                                     Mr. Harsh SANGHVI


Present Position:                     Member, Gujarat Legislative Assembly (Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP])

Concurrent Positions:             National General Secretary, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJP youth wing), 2013-present

Education/Training:                Certificate course on export/import of diamonds and jewelry, South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Surat, 2003

Memberships:                          Assurance Committee, Gujarat State Legislative Assembly, 2012-present
Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Senate, Surat, 2011-present

Committee Member, Athwalines Jain Sangh and Umra Jain Sangh, Surat, 2010-present

Committee Member, Uttar Gujarat Jain Sangh (Jain community organization), 2009-present
Committee Member, Banaskata Swetamber Murtipujak Sangh, 2009-present


Address:             Gujarat Legislature Secretariat Viththalbhai Patel Bhavan, Sector-10 Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382010, India


Languages:              Gujarati (primary), English

Professional Background:       At 27, Mr. Harsh Sanghvi was the youngest member of the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat when he won his seat, one of 182 in the unicameral assembly, in 2012. A year later, then-Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi appointed Mr. Sanghvi as the National General Secretary of the BJP Youth Wing, the BJYM. Mr. Sanghvi remains a key advisor on youth issues to Mr. Modi, who is now Prime Minister; he also oversees the operation of over 4,000 (and growing) “Modi Cafés” and “NaMo Tea Centers” across the country—a BJP initiative to engage youth on college campuses, promote Modi’s ideas and developmental model, and build a “youth vote-bank” for the upcoming parliamentary elections in India. As the national head of BJP’s youth wing, Mr. Sanghvi formulates, monitors, and executes BJP’s policies and programs that impact over 20 million youth members of BJYM across India.

Name:                                     Mr. Ganesh YADAV

Present Position:                President, Mumbai Youth Congress

Concurrent Positions:             General Secretary, Jayalakshmi Foundation (non-profit)

Youth President, Yadav Mahasabha (community organization)

Previous Positions:            Member, National Pool Team, All-India Youth Congress (IYC), 2011

State General Secretary, Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress, 2010-2012

Education/Training:        M.M.S., Management Studies, University of Mumbai, 2010

B.M.S., Management Studies, University of Mumbai, 2007

Address:                               11/462, Shriram Bhavan, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Matunga, Mumbai 400 019, India


Languages:                             English

U. S. Travel:                            No previous U.S. travel

Professional Background:       Mr. Ganesh YADAV was elected a General Secretary of the Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress in 2010 and became president of the organization within two years. Since then, Mr. Yadav has helped young Indians participate in local economic and political affairs in a variety of ways. For example, he generated nearly 7,000 jobs for Mumbai’s underprivileged youth by engaging 92 companies in a job fair. Through 50 health camps in the last two years, he arranged free medical aid (including 200 heart surgeries) to thousands of patients, and he formed 45 self-help groups that continue to empower over 1,000 slum-dwelling women of Mumbai. He is forming a labor union of auto-rickshaw drivers as a means of mobilizing youth and offering various youth-development programs to them.  Mr. Yadav advises the leadership of the IYC (a wing of the Indian National Congress Party) on youth issues, represents IYC at the national and international youth conventions, and articulates IYC policy and programs at various forums.

US, India May Sign $2.5 Billion Helicopter Deal Next Month

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is likely to visit India next month when the two sides are expected to ink the nearly $2.5 billion deal for 22 Apache and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
US India Defense dealThough the final dates for Carter’s visit have not been announced, defence sources said the visit will take place in May during which the two sides will discuss ways to enhance defence ties, especially in context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative.
The Apache and Chinook helicopters deal is likely to be among the pacts that will be inked during the visit, the sources said.
The deal would be presented before the Cabinet Committee on Security for approval soon, the sources added.
American defence major Boeing, along with the US government, has extended the validity of the price quoted by them for another three months hoping to wrap up the deal soon.
The Indian Defence Ministry had last month sought extension of the validity period on its expiry on March 31.
The US firm had in February this year warned of a price hike if India does not finalise the contract soon.
“They (Defence Ministry) kept asking for extensions and we did provide them as and when appropriate. It is not always possible to keep extending because we live in a world where we feel inflationary pressure,” Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar had said in a press conference.
Boeing has extended the price validity for the deal at least twice since cost negotiations concluded in 2013, with the last extension for a period of six months granted in October 2014.
Incidentally, the present Defence Procurement Policy does not allow room for increase in price once a bid has been shortlisted. In the event of the original manufacturer seeking a higher price than the one agreed upon, the tender can be terminated and a fresh one issued, as per defence officials.
The deal for the Apache is a “a hybrid one”, with one contract to be signed with Boeing for the helicopter and the other with the US government for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.
The US has been pushing for this contract as it will further bolster American presence in the burgeoning defence market of India.
American companies have over the last decade bagged defence contracts from India worth around $10 billion, including for aircraft like P-8I, C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ and C-17 Globemaster-III.
Foreign fighter jet makers see a multi-billion dollar opportunity in India’s decision to scale back purchases of high-end aircraft from France, which may free up cash in the world’s largest arms importer to buy a new fleet of mid-range planes.
India would buy 36 French Rafale jets for an estimated $4.3 billion, in effect ending talks on a larger deal for 126 planes that would have sucked up some $20 billion and locked rivals out of the market for a generation.
Sweden’s Saab and US Lockheed Martin are set to re-pitch their Gripen and F-16 planes, eliminated in the Rafale tender, as the kind of lighter, single-engine aircraft that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the air force needed to rebuild its fleet.

USINPAC Congratulates Raja Rajeswari for becoming New York’s first Indian-American judge

USINPAC heartily congratulates Raja Rajeswari for becoming the first person of Indian descent to be named as a criminal court judge in New York City.

Raja RajeshwariRajeswari, 43, an assistant district attorney at the Richmond County District Attorney’s office, who was nominated to the bench by Mayor Bill de Blasio, formally assumed her new office Tuesday.

“It’s like a dream. It’s way beyond what I imagined,” she was quoted as saying by, a Staten Island news website.

“For someone like me, an immigrant who comes from India, I’m beyond grateful,” she said. “I told the mayor this is not only my American Dream, but it shows another girl from a far away country that this is possible.”

Rajeswari, who has worked at the district attorney’s office for 16 years, has been the deputy chief of the Special Victims Unit for more than four years.

She hopes to use her new position to improve the judicial system by encouraging interpreters to have more access to aid immigrants, the news site said.

Rajeswari told ethnic Desi Talk she had observed gender inequality even before coming to the US when some of her “brilliant” girlfriends in India were married off at the age of 14 and 15. “That has always stayed with me.”

As a prosecuting attorney in New York, she has come across numerous cases of spousal and child abuse within the South Asian community in New York, Rajeswari said. “Many of the domestic violence victims have been South Asians, Sri Lankans.”

Currently, there are two male judges of Indian descent in civil court settings – Jaya Madhavan on the New York City Housing Court in Bronx County, and Anil C. Singh of New York County Supreme Court, 1st District, according to ethnic New India Times.

Besides her legal acumen Rajeswari is an accomplished Bharat Natyam and Kucchipudi dancer who continues to perform at Indian events and temples with her troupe from the Padmalaya Dance Academy, named after her mother, Padma Ramanathan.

Source: Business Standard

Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid 2016:

As President Obama completes his second term at office as President of the United States of America, the curtains are up for presidential bids for the office in 2016. The campaign is now open to the aspirants to try and register in the minds of Americans their eligibility and clinch the most coveted office in the world.

sanjay-with-hilaryOne of the top contenders for the post is a lady who aspires to be the first ever women president of the arguably most powerful nation on earth. Hillary Clinton, a known name in every household of America, has over the years donned many a hat right from being the first lady as former President Bill Clinton’s wife, to being one of the America’s most elite socialites; a partner to husband Bill Clinton’s charity; US Secretary of State in President Obama’s first term; and now, the most haloed bid as the first woman to be at the helm of White House.

India-US relationship saw a new phase of growth and increased understanding during President Clinton’s second term and Ms Clinton witnessed it as the first lady. The two nations reached a deeper understanding of mutual cooperation in trade, anti terrorism crusades and nuclear partnerships during President Obama’s tenure. USINPAC has witnessed and led the bi lateral exchange of ideas and agreements during the entire period under the leadership of its Chairman Sanjay Puri, an authority on US-India relations.

Mr Sanjay Puri, an eminent speaker on US-India issues and an evangelist for greater exchange across education, immigration, technology and global strategic partnership between two countries spoke on Headlines Today on Ms Clinton’s candidature and what he expects from it to bolster the ties between two countries.

Mr Puri feels that that Hillary Clinton has an advantage as she will have no primary opposition so she does not have to move too far to the left unlike her Republican opponents who will have to move very far to the right and then move to the center for the general election. She can attack her presumptive Republican opponents while her Republican opponents are attacking each other, he added.

Mr Puri also shed light on the fact that she can start basically raising money for the General election while her Republican opponents are spending money for the primary and will need to raise money again for the General election after the primary election, adding to her list of advantages.

He also feels that Ms Clinton will utilize her knowledge of the shifting demographics of the US  by building a coalition of women + minorities to her benefit.  She is running a different campaign this time unlike last time with a more low key grass roots approach, he concluded.