Indian-American couple pledges $200 m for health care in India

With a $200 million commitment, an Indian American doctor couple has teamed up with a Florida university to bring world class medical education to India and potentially transform healthcare in the country.

With Zambia-born India-educated cardiologist Kiran Patel and his paediatrician wife Pallavi Patel’s gift, the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) located in picturesque Fort Lauderdale, near Miami, will open a new campus in Tampa, 400 km away.

In addition to the donation, Patel said that he was committed to spend $200 million by 2019 to set up a 40 hectare campus near Vadodara in Gujarat with Nova willing to expand their operations to India.

Lectures will be beamed to classes in Tampa with live interaction with professors from here. Later the same concept will be used for the proposed college in India, the Patels told IANS in an interview.

American professors would be positioned in India and Indian professors brought here to sort of train the trainers to academically produce students of the same calibre as those graduating in the US.

Going a step further the college will be accredited with American bodies to start residency in India, Kiran Patel said.

Indian students coming to the US will know how a world class institution works and Indian doctors will get an exposure to modern healthcare.

“By that you’ll be solving the crisis of paucity of healthcare in India,” he said, noting that students, residents and post-graduates will start providing services when the college opens.

As under US law, a medical college must wait for five years to expand, the medical college in India will open in 2024.

Meanwhile, Kiram Patel said he was negotiating with an Indian partner to start a private university in India offering courses in arts, sciences and medicine.

To be named Kiran and Pallavi Patel University, it will start offering Indian degrees, while the American college operating from the same campus in India will offer American degrees possibly from 2020.

With the renamed Nova institutions in the US producing 500 graduates and India providing another 300, Kiran Patel said he looked forward to the idea of thousands of doctors coming out from the university to serve in an increasingly borderless world.

In India, a medical college is required to set up a 12.5 hectare campus with a 700 bed hospital.

Kiran Patel said he was also trying to sell a new concept where places of education just hold classes and instead of patients coming to a hospital doctors would be sent to various locations where needed like they do in the US.

He visualised a system where an american school in India will provide American degrees, while the indian school will offer indian degrees.

While there would be two types of degrees and two types of fees, the two institutions operating from one campus will offer same quality of education. In the next stage the concept could possibly expanded to Africa Kiran Patel said his gift to Nova was the first step to realise his dream of enhancing healthcare in India. —IANS

When Microsoft CEO Nadella surrendered his Green Card for love

With his permanent residency coming in the way of his newlywed wife joining him in the US, Satya Nadella surrendered his Green Card and applied for a H1-B visa, a move which gave him instant notoriety around the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, the Indian-born CEO has revealed.

In fact, at one point of time, early in his career, even with a Green Card in his hand, Nadella seriously contemplated leaving his job at the Microsoft and returning to India.

This was because his wife Anu was not able to join him in Seattle, due to the existing US law that a Green Card holder if he marries, his/her spouse visa is rejected.

The law continues even today.

So why would I give up the coveted green card for temporary status?” Nadella writes in his book ‘Hit Refresh’, which officially releases in the US on Tuesday.

He married Anu in 1993. Following the wedding, Nadella intended to bring his wife over to the US to live with him.

“Well, the H1-B enables spouses to come to the US while their husbands and wives are working here. Such is the perverse logic of this immigration law. There was nothing I could do about it. Anu was my priority. And that made my decision a simple one,” Nadella explains in his book.

Nadella says he went back to the US embassy in Delhi in June of 1994 and told a clerk that he wanted to give back his green card and apply for an H-1B visa.

“‘Why?’ the dumbfounded clerk asked. I said something about the crazy immigration policy and he shook his head and pushed a new form to me,” Nadella writes.

“The next morning, I returned to apply for a H1-B application. Miraculously, it all worked. Anu joined me (for good) in Seattle, where we would start a family and build a life together,” he says.

“What I didn’t expect was the instant notoriety around campus,” writes Nadella. “‘Hey, there goes the guy who gave up his green card.’”

He says every other day someone would call him and ask for advice.

Nadella says much later, one of his colleagues, Kunal Bahl, did quit Microsoft when his H1-B ran out and his green card had not yet arrived.

“He returned to India and then founded Snapdeal, which today is worth more than USD 1 billion and employs five thousand people. Ironically, online, cloud-based companies like Snapdeal would play an important role in my future and that of Microsoft. And the lessons I learned in my former country continue to shape my present,” he says.

Giving an insight into his childhood, Nadella says by 12th grade his dream was to play cricket for Hyderabad and eventually work for a bank.

Nadella was a student of Hyderabad Public School (HPS).

“By 12th grade if you had asked me about my dream it was to attend a small college, play cricket for Hyderabad, and eventually work for a bank. That was it. Being an engineer and going to the West never occurred to me,” he says.

Nadella says his mother was happy with those plans but dad advised him to get out of Hyderabad.

He writes that the list of alumni from the Hyderabad Public School speaks for itself.

“Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe; Ajay Singh Banga, the CEO of MasterCard; Syed B Ali, head of Cavium Networks; Prem Watsa, founder of Fairfax Financial Holdings in Toronto; parliament leaders, film stars, athletes, academics, and writers–all came from this small, out-of-the-way school,” he adds. PTI

Gujarat govt ‘remote-controlled’ from Delhi: Rahul Gandhi

Continuing his campaign in the election-bound Gujarat, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government, saying that it is “remote-controlled” from Delhi.

These days the Gujarat government is remote-controlled from Delhi. Time has come that the government of Gujarat runs from Gujarat and on the basis of the voices of people,” he said.

He also targeted the government for working for the top officials, rather than working for the common men.

He said, “The small traders, fishermen, etc, have made Gujarat what it is. They only work for the top four-five udyogpati. He doesn’t fulfil the promises made to the poor farmers, etc. The real Gujarat Model belongs to them.”

The Congress vice-president also reiterated that the Congress government would bring about the required changes in the state.

Rahul kick-started his three-day campaign in Saurashtra on Monday.

After the road show, Rahul proceeded for Jamnagar town where he made a night halt. On Tuesday, he will cover towns such as Dhrol and Tankara by road before reaching Rajkot.

He will interact with traders and industrialists after reaching Rajkot in the afternoon.

After covering Saurashtra, Rahul will campaign in north, central and south Gujarat at later dates as part of the party’s poll campaign ahead of the assembly elections slated to be held later this year.

The much-awaited assembly elections in Gujarat will be held towards the end of 2017 or January, 2018. The dates will be announced officially by the Election Commission few months prior to it. —ANI

Get set to zip from Delhi to Chandigarh on board Tejas Express high-speed coaches soon

Train passengers on the Delhi-Chandigarh section will soon enjoy a comfortable ride at a speed of 160 kmph as the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala is set to roll out the first rake of 19 coaches in a couple of days.

The newly designed coaches are capable of running at a speed of 200 kmph but due to constraints related to rail tracks these coaches will run at a speed of 160 kmph, RCF general manager RP Nibaria said on Thursday.

Nibaria said he expects that the Tejas Express, in which some of these coaches will be fitted, will run by the end of May though a decision will be taken by the railway board.

FIRST RAKE READY BUT AWAITS SECURITY

He said that the first rake, comprising 19 coaches including 16 non-executive and two executive chair cars besides one power coach, will be handed over to the Northern Railway by May 15.

The first rake is ready for rollout but the RCF has demanded security guards from Northern Railway as costly gadgets have been fitted in the new coaches. Their arrival is expected in three days.

Initially, the Railway Board had decided to run the first high speed train Tejas Express on the Mumbai-Goa section but now the allotment has been made to Northern Railway, the general manager said.

FIRST RAKE READY BUT AWAITS SECURITY

He said that the first rake, comprising 19 coaches including 16 non-executive and two executive chair cars besides one power coach, will be handed over to the Northern Railway by May 15.

The first rake is ready for rollout but the RCF has demanded security guards from Northern Railway as costly gadgets have been fitted in the new coaches. Their arrival is expected in three days.

Initially, the Railway Board had decided to run the first high speed train Tejas Express on the Mumbai-Goa section but now the allotment has been made to Northern Railway, the general manager said.

AUTOMATIC PLUG DOOR, LCDs AND USB CHARGING

He said that it is for the first time in the history of Indian railways that an automatic entrance plug door has been introduced which provides better sound and heat insulation. Doors installed in the entire rake will be controlled by a guard panel.

He said that the luxury chair car is fitted with nine-inch LCD screen with touch screen control on the back of every seat and a personalised infotainment system besides USB charging facility is fitted on every seat.

The other features include highly comfortable and adjustable e-leather upholstery, redesigned arm rest and adequate leg support.

NEW BRAKING SYSTEM, WI-FI AND BIO TOILETS

The new coach is fitted with improved couplers that will provide jerk-free comfortable ride even at high speeds and coaches are fitted with new braking system.

Facilities like wi-fi and a mechanism where passengers can call attendants by using the bell attached to a panel will be provided.

Tejas coaches also have improved lavatory and bio toilets with airlines such as vacuum evacuation besides sensor taps and soap dispenser.

Suspicious men sighted in Pathankot, search operation underway

The Punjab Police along with other security agencies began a massive search operation in some areas of Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts on Wednesday after four to six suspicious men were sighted in the area.

Chandigarh: The Punjab Police along with other security agencies began a massive search operation in some areas of Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts on Wednesday after four to six suspicious men were sighted in the area.

The joint search operation is still underway.

The search operation was launched hours after some unidentified men travelling in a Scorpio SUV broke a police barrier in the Gurdaspur district on Tuesday.

A Punjab Police officer was quoted as saying by IANS that there were at least six persons inside the vehicle when it jumped the barrier.

The SUV was later found abandoned, the report said.

The SUV also carried a fake registration number plate and, after primary investigation, it was found that the car was stolen at knife-point from a person in Vijaynagar area of Jammu.

Security agencies remained on high alert in border districts of Gurdaspur and Pathankot following the terrorist attacks on the Pathankot Air Force base in January 2016 and in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district in July 2015.

Both districts share an international border with Pakistan. Both districts are close to the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

Navjot Singh Sidhu to pay Rs 24 lakh from personal fund to Amritsar farmers who suffered crop damage by fire

Navjot Singh Sidhu made the announcement on Sunday following his visit to the Othian village where wheat crop spread over 300 acres was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Amritsar: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is now a minister in the Punjab government, has announced a compensation of Rs 24 lakh from his own pocket to the some farmers who have suffered heavy losses after their crop was damaged by devastating fire.

Sidhu made this announcement on Sunday after he visited the Othian village where wheat crop spread over 300 acres was destroyed in a devastating fire.

The fire occurred after a high-tension wire snapped during a storm, leading to a short circuit.

Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, Kamaldeep Singh Sanga said, “The crop spread over 300 acres was damaged after a high tension wire fell in a field due to a storm.”

The MLA from Amritsar East said the farmers will be compensated at a rate of Rs 8,000 per acre.

“I understand this is not enough, and this is the reason I have come here today. To further compensate the farmers as I feel their pain, I will give the same amount out of my own pocket,” said the minister, adding that it was his duty to held the people of Rajasansi segment who had always supported him.

“I do television. I earn money. So there is no harm in compensating the farmers,” he said.

“It adds up to Rs 24 lakh and I will pay from my personal funds. I do not want to put burden on the state exchequer,” he said.

In the past, too, Sidhu had given Rs 1 crore for the ‘Go Green, Go Clean’ campaign in Amritsar. He was the Amritsar MP at that time.

Murder convict uploads selfie on Facebook from Ludhiana jail, booked

Gurpreet Singh, who is serving a life sentence for murder, uploaded a selfie on May 4 on Facebook using a smartphone. Two days later, he posted another selfie along with the two inmates with the caption, “Yaar jail vich (Together in jail)”.

A murder convict in the Ludhiana Central Jail clicked a selfie with two inmates and uploaded it on Facebook from his smartphone, showing the easy access prisoners have to phones and internet despite recent incidents of security breach in Punjab’s prisons.

When jail officials learnt about Gurpreet Singh uploading the FB post, they booked him and the two other inmates Raghwinder Singh and Govardhan under the Prison Act on Wednesday.

Gurpreet Singh, who is serving a life sentence for murder, uploaded a selfie on May 4 on Facebook using a smartphone. Two days later, he posted another selfie along with the two inmates with the caption, “Yaar jail vich (Together in jail)”.

The convict even tagged his friends and the picture got likes and comments.

It was then that the Khanna superintendent of police and the jail staff swung into action and raided the prison barracks. They recovered the smartphone and found that Gurpreet had uploaded a post three hours before being caught.

Assistant sub inspector Harbhajan Singh, the in-charge at Tajpur Road police post, said the jail authorities lodged a complaint and the police will bring the three prisoners on production warrant for questioning.

NOT A FIRST

The Ludhiana jail authorities have recovered five mobile phones from the prison in the past week. A month ago, members of a gang assaulted their rival in the jail and videotaped the incident on a phone before circulating it on WhatsApp groups.

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