US House approves measure to expand US-India defence cooperation

Reflecting the solid bipartisan support for building US-India relationship, the US House of Representatives Friday passed a key measure calling for expansion of US-India defence cooperation.

USINPAC-US House approves measure to expand US-India defence cooperationIn addition to urging an overall expansion in defence ties, an amendment to the FY2016 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) specifically calls for the US to welcome the role India plays in providing security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

The amendment was offered by Ed Royce, Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, its top Democratic member Eliot Engel, Democrat Ami Bera and George Holding, co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and Democrat Joe Crowley, vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.

The measure also wants the US to work cooperatively with India on matters relating to common defence, vigorously support the implementation of the US-India Defence Framework Agreement, as well as support the India Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI).

This was the first vote held by the House on US-India relations since the 2014 Indian elections, and comes on the heels of the defence framework advanced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January.

“As the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy, the United States and India are natural allies,” said Bera, the lone Indian-American member of US Congress.

“Continued cooperation in defence benefits both our countries as we draw down in Afghanistan and deal with terrorism around the world.”

“This amendment demonstrates our strong support for growing the defence partnership between the US and India,” he added

“One of the most important decisions the US has made in recent years is to strengthen our relationship with India, including cooperation and coordination on defence matters,” said Crowley, former co-chair of the House India Caucus.

“The US-India partnership will define the South Asia region and beyond for years to come. Front and centre in this critical partnership is our increasing defence cooperation,” said Royce, former co-chair of the House India Caucus.

“With the emerging challenges the United States and India both face in the Indo-Pacific region and across the globe, it is essential we strengthen the defence partnership and cooperation between our two nations,” said Holding.

Source: Business Standard

USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri for being sworn in as the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri has been sworn in as the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, becoming the first Indian-American to occupy this top position in the US.

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri- USINPACChaudhuri was sworn in yesterday by the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, as Chairman of the NIGC.

He will lead a team responsible for regulating and ensuring the integrity of over 450 Indian gaming facilities, associated with nearly 242 tribes across 28 states.

“I would like to thank President (Barack) Obama, the Senate, Secretary Jewell and those in Indian country who have supported my nomination,” Chaudhuri said after the swearing in.

“I will continue the important work ahead of us at the National Indian Gaming Commission and I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioner and the NIGC staff to continue our ongoing and collaborative efforts among tribes and tribal regulators to achieve compliance and protect the Indian gaming industry, which has become a vital economic development tool for so many tribes,” he said.

Chaudhuri has been serving as the Acting Chairman since October 2013.

Under his leadership, the Commission has maintained stability in operations and services and actively worked to strengthen the regulatory structure of the Indian gaming industry.

Chaudhuri has also taken active steps to ensure that the NIGC stays ahead of technological developments in Indian gaming and general operations management.

In early March, the Commission announced its intent to develop a technology division that furthers these efforts.

Prior to his appointment to the NIGC, Chaudhuri served as Senior Counsellor to the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, where he provided guidance and assistance on a wide range of national policy issues, including Indian gaming, economic development, energy, Alaska affairs and tribal recognition.

Source:  Business Standard

Top U.S. Official Arun Kumar says India Can Be Key Contributor to U.S. Growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — India can be an important contributor to U.S. growth and its own development directly benefits American businesses, an Indian American top Obama administration trade official has said.

Arun Kumar USINPAC.image“India can be an important contributor to continued U.S. economic growth. Our trade with India correlates nicely with India’s own GDP growth rate. India’s growth thus directly benefits U.S. exporters and creates jobs in the U.S.,” said Arun Kumar, assistant secretary of commerce for Global Markets and director general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

“If the United States and India get the economic relationship right, the result can be the ultimate win-win. We can help each other grow our economies, create well-paying jobs and bring our governments and our peoples still closer together,” Kumar said in his address to a conference on “Deepening the U.S.-India Commercial Partnership.”

He said India was the fourth fastest growing source of foreign direct investment into the U.S.

“Just three weeks ago, over 80 Indian companies were right here in Washington to hear the president speak at the Select USA investment summit and explore investment opportunities in the United States,” he said.

A strong Indian delegation at the summit reflected shared economic interest in heightening the two countries’ commercial engagement, Kumar said.

“In terms of growth potential, IMF estimates of India’s growth at 7.2 percent this year and 7.5 percent next year suggest that India will soon become the fastest growing large economy in the world,” he said.

Source: India West

Meera Komarraju named as dean at Liberal Arts College in Illinois

USINPAC Congratulates Meera Komarraju, the Indian American chair of the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Psychology Department, for being named the new dean of the university’s College of Liberal Arts on July 1 pending approval of the board of trustees.

Meera Komarraju- USINPACThe appointment of the Indian American academic’s new post, announced by Acting Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Ford, follows a national search to replace former dean Kimberly Leonard, who left for a position at another institution.

Komarraju came to SIU as a lecturer in 1986 after completing her graduate training in psychology at Osmania University in India and the University of Cincinnati. At SIU she taught in the departments of psychology and management until her appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in 2005. She became an associate professor in 2009 and a professor in 2014.

She has held administrative roles as director of the psychology department’s undergraduate program, chair of the department, and associate dean for student and curricular affairs in the college.

Her research interests include cognitive, non-cognitive and socio-cultural factors related to motivation and performance, teaching self-efficacy, and the influence of ethnicity and gender on perceptions of leadership effectiveness.

She is widely published in her field and has earned Fellow status from the American Psychological Association, Division 2, and MPA fellow status, the organization’s highest honor, from the Midwestern Psychological Association.

In addition, she has earned SIU’s university-wide Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and has twice been its nominee for U.S. Professor of the Year. She is currently serving as co-chair of the advisory committee leading the search for a new SIU chancellor.

Komarraju holds a doctoral degree in applied social psychology from the University of Cincinnati and doctoral and master’s degrees in industrial-organizational psychology from Osmania University in India.

She also earned a master’s degree in psychology from Osmania University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, philosophy and English Literature from Nizam College in India.

Source: India West