Indian-American community is an influential bridge-builder in US-India relations

Washington: The small but influential Indian-American community provides an important bridge between India and the United States, American lawmakers have said.

Indian American Community“We look forward to building the relationship between India and the United States and we thank the community here for the bridge that they help provide so that these two great democracies can work ever closer together for a common goal,”Congressman Ed Royce said.

Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, was speaking at a leadership reception organised by the Indo-American Community Services, a Chicago-based Indian community organisation.

The event was attended by a number of US lawmakers.

“What to me is so great about this event is raising new leaders in the Indo-American Community and this community as we can see is definitely expanding politically. I’ve always been impressed by this community that is always ready to fill new roles and responsibilities in our great country,” Senator Dan Sullivan said in his remarks.

“I am so please to be able to say how much we appreciate the Indo-American Community Service that is growing rapidly in its success and its influence in Illinois as well as in DC,” said Congressman Robin Kelly.

Congressman Danny Davis spoke about India being largest democracy in the world and Indians contributions here in US.

He pledged to continue to support Indian-American Interns at his office, a media release said.

Indian-American community comprise about 3.1 million people alone and are the second-largest self-reported single-race Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans.

Source:  Firstpost

Bobby Jindal set to announce US presidential bid becoming first Indian-American to run for White House

Washington: Ending months of speculation, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is likely to announce his 2016 presidential bid in New Orleans that will make him the first Indian-American to run for the White House even as he terms such categorization divisive.

Bobby JindalWhen he announces his presidential bid, 44-year-old Jindal would join 12 Republican contenders that include political heavyweights like Jeb Bush and Rick Perry.

His expected historic announcement late night Wednesday (US time), however, has failed to generate much enthusiasm among the Indian-Americans –- whose annual family income now crosses 100,000 per annum and is among the richest ethnic communities in the US — because of Jindal’s recent statements in which he sought to distance himself from being an Indian-American.

Repeating his views, Jindal featured on the Federalist Radio Hour on Wednesday, and gave his perspective on the state of the union.

He expressed frustration that President Barack Obama has “been trying to divide us…by gender, by race, by geography, and by religion.”

“We’re not hyphenated Americans anymore. We’re not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans or rich and poor Americans,” he asserted.

Pointing to his own melting-pot story, Jindal urged Republicans to call for an end to division.

Jindal, an Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, said the presidential contest remains “completely open”.

He trumpeted the unifying leadership of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott in the wake of the Charleston tragedy in which a white gunman claimed nine lives.

“What a contrast with our president going out last week trying to score cheap political points,” Jindal said, adding that Obama was “trying to turn this into a political rather than a healing moment.”

Once a rising star of the Republican Party, the two-term Governor of Louisiana lost most of his shine after his lacklustre performance responding to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address in 2009.

In the past two-years, he has worked on his public appearances and has since delivered some impressive speeches.

In his state of Louisiana where he has ruled for nearly seven years, Jindal is highly popular. Tickets for the venue of his announcement in New Orleans have all been taken.

Over the last one year, Jindal has been making trips across the country, giving speeches and meeting people, listening to their concerns. In fact, he has come out with his own independent policies on almost all major issues including the foreign policy. A vocal critic of Obama, Jindal told PTI earlier this year had sought to improve relationship with India.

Jindal is the vice chairman of the powerful Republican Governors Association.

In the radio show, Jindal slammed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, saying her presidency would “redefine the American Dream into the European nightmare.”

“If I decide to announce on June 24th that I will seek the Republican nomination for President, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction,” he had said in a statement earlier this month.

“We don’t need just small changes, we need a dramatically different path,” said Jindal, who as a child changed his first name to Bobby, after a character in the Brady Bunch.

Jindal converted from Hinduism to Christianity as a teen, and was later baptised a Catholic as a student at Brown University.

Jindal would join 12 other Republican contenders –former Florida governor Jeb Bush, pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas senator Ted Cruz, former CEO Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former New York state governor George Pataki, Kentucky senator Rand Paul.

The other Republicans in the fray are former Texas governor and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Perry, Florida senator Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum and billionaire real estate developer and television personality Donald Trump.

While 12 Republican candidates have thrown their hat in the ring, just four Democratic candidates have announced their presidential bids — former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Vermont independent senator (caucuses with Democrats) Bernie Sanders, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee.

Earlier this month Jindal signed his eighth consecutive balanced budget for Louisiana.

“And we did it without a tax increase,” he told his supporters, indicating that governance and taxation is going to be another major platform to run for elections.

“When I ran for Governor of Louisiana, I made a promise to the people of this state that I would not raise taxes. I kept my promise. If you think it’s time we had leaders in DC who keep their promises to the people that elected them, then stand with me,” Jindal said.

Among the Republican presidential candidates, he figures towards the low end of popularity ratings. But an undeterred Jindal says he would run for the president if he is convinced that this is the best way to serve his motherland.

Jindal, if he decides to go ahead with his 2016 presidential bid, is expected to run on the plank of opposing the foreign policy of Obama, which he claims has given rise to extremism in the Middle East and Africa and made the US more unsafe and insecure.


Source: Firstpost

Indian companies helping US economy recover and grow: Richard Verma

USINPAC-Richard VermaIndian companies are helping American economy to recover and grow with new investments and innovation which makes US very optimistic about bilateral ties with India, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said today.

“I am happy to report that Indian companies are helping to power America’s economic growth and recovery with new investments and innovation and that is why we are very optimistic about US-India relationship,” Verma said at the launch of a new survey of 2,000 buildings across India.

The survey, including parameters like security among others, was conducted by US-based solution provider company Honeywell and research firm IMRB International.

Elaborating on US’s keenness on the bilateral relationship, Verma said,”I was in Washington last week and had meetings with Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. They were really interested in what is happening here in India on bilateral relationship.”

Explaining about the progress on ties with India, he said that the US was working hard on bilateral investment treaty. and that the country has the first ever strategic and commercial dialogue with India.

“We are facing challenges like regional security, climate change, ensuring all our populations benefit from inclusive growth…mass urbanisation challenges that India will confront in coming days, ” he said.

Regarding urban development in India, he said, in coming years, India will be among the world leaders in growth of its cities at a pace not witnessed before and that is why Prime Minister’s initiative of smart cities is so important.

Citing the survey, Verma said that people spend 80-90 per cent of their lives in buildings and want these to be more dynamic, productive and more sustainable environmentally.

Regarding safety concern of buildings, he said, “Fire safety is an issue. I understand (from the survey) that more than 50 per cent of hospitals and 60 per cent of high rise building lack adequate safety measures. People want their building to be safe”

The US is working with India for developing three smart cities – Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad.

“Implementing smart building solutions can make facilities more connected and adaptive, reduce energy and operating costs, and improve the safety and quality of life for occupants and users,” President and CEO of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions Alex Ismali said.

Source: The Economic Times

USINPAC Supports Raja Krishnamoorthi Democrat Candidate for Congress from Illinois

Raja KrishnamoorthiRaja Krishnamoorthi, 41, has a unique understanding of the challenges facing the U.S. economy and their implications for families and future workers. With successful experience in both the public and private sectors, he will go to Congress with clear ideas to help more Americans find good jobs and economic security in a changing world.

Raja currently serves as President of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., small businesses that develop and sell products in the national security and renewable energy industries. He is a co-founder of InSPIRE, a non-profit organization that provides training to Illinois students and veterans in solar technology, and was formerly Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council, whose mission is to promote innovative technologies that support economic growth and job creation in Illinois.

Raja previously served as Illinois’s Deputy Treasurer, where he helped revamp the state’s unclaimed property system by using technology to increase the amount of property returned to taxpayers while cutting the program’s costs. He also helped run the state’s technology venture capital fund, assisting in the creation of hundreds of good-paying jobs in Illinois. In 2006, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General in her Public Integrity Unit. He also served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee.

The son of Indian immigrants to the U.S., Raja was raised in Peoria, Illinois, where he attended public schools and graduated as a valedictorian of his high school class. Raja earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. Following law school, Raja clerked for a federal judge in Chicago, served as issues director for Barack Obama’s successful United States Senate campaign in 2004, and became a partner at an Illinois law firm.

Raja is married to Priya, a doctor at a local hospital. They live in Schaumburg with their sons Vijay, 9, and Vikram, 5, who attend public schools in District 54.

Indian-Americans Should Contribute to India’s Progress: Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES:  Having excelled in America in their respective fields, there are tremendous opportunities for Indian-Americans to contribute to the development of India and its ties with the US, India’s envoy in Washington has said.

arun-k-singh_USINPAC“The relationship between India and the US is very strong across a whole range of sectors in the economic field, in technology and in the defence where we are making tremendous progress,” Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh told members of the Indian Diaspora at a reception in Washington.

“I believe, there is opportunity for all of you, who have excelled after coming to the United States to now also engage with the processes in India and make contribution not just to the US but also to the India-US relationship,” Mr Singh said at the reception hosted in his honour by the Indian American communities of the Greater Washington Area.

Addressing the gathering, Noble laureate Kailash Satyarthi hoped India-US relationship would strengthen further during Singh’s tenure as the Indian Ambassador in America.

Senior BJP leader Kiran Bedi, who is visiting the US to attend a family wedding, said about Mr Singh, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sent his best diplomat to the US.

It is time to strengthen hands of the Prime Minister.

Some 400 eminent Indian-Americans from Greater Washington Area were present at the reception for Mr Singh.

Source: NDTV