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Local Tech Expert-turned MP Visits Bay Area, Meets Crowd
$250,000 Grant
Valari Food Fest

Local Tech Expert-turned MP Visits Bay Area, Meets Crowd


(Above): Consul General Susmita G. Thomas, Member of Parliament (India) Janardhana Swamy, and Consul Ashok Singh at the meeting in Sunnyvale. [Siliconeer photo]

The Consul General of India organized a community meeting and interaction with Member of Parliament Janardhana Swamy at Madhuban Indian Cuisine, in Sunnyvale, Calif., Jun. 29.

Janardhana Swamy is a politician in India but he also has ties to Silicon Valley, he was a software engineer here prior to his current position as the Member of Parliament in India.

The meeting was well attended, and people from all walks greeted the MP with zest, honor and a lot of questions.

It was interesting to see that the MP actually held on to the meeting fairly well, however he was non-committal. He agreed to the concerns of the audience as one of his own, however, when asked for solutions, he was not sure what he could present that would actually go through.

Possibly, this was either because he was not part of the ruling party, or because he was not going to agree to things he did not have control on.

It can be aptly said that this politician was not one that does not stand behind his words, or that makes false promises.

The people who came to the meeting had their own agendas and ideas, some that did make sense, while others that just made noise.

Among those that made sense, was an idea for moving the Consulate from San Francisco to the South Bay, with better facilities, or the fact that the Consulate cannot make decisions, it can only work on guidelines by the ministry of external affairs in India, therefore, if changes are expected, they should be made at the level of the ministry and not that of the Consulate.

The meeting also saw the usual furore from various groups of protestors who somehow show up at every such event.

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$250,000 Grant

According to a press release, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited announced Pratham USA is the recipient of a $250,000 grant as part of the Deloitte21 Challenge. Deloitte21 is a Deloitte organization-wide global initiative aimed at helping underserved young people acquire the education and skills needed to thrive in the 21st-century economy. Punit Renjen, Chairman of Deloitte LLP in the United States, and Sangita Karra, VP of Development of Pratham USA, accepted a certificate representing the $250,000 grant at the 2011 Deloitte World Meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC.

Presiding at the ceremony, Ainar Aijala, chief corporate development officer of DTTL commented, “It is said that if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation” quoting Ghanaian scholar Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey.

Pratham USA’s new achievement centers will enable hundreds of underprivileged young women to acquire secondary school certifications and develop vocational skills to help them be self-sufficient and gain employment when they return to their local villages.

The first residential centers will open in July 2011. The students will receive training that emphasizes technology, leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, and problem solving. They will also receive assistance in looking for jobs and will be encouraged to start their own enterprises. Finally, in addition to learning new skills, the students will also learn how to impart their skills to others so they can help improve the livelihoods of those in their local villages.

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Valari Food Fest

An estimated 800 people attended the first ever Varli Food Festival, an Indian Culinary & Chef Showcase in New York City. The culinary event was held on April 7 at Altman Building in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan.

The who’s who of the Indian culinary world including, chefs, restaurant owners and other celebrities walked the red carpet. Inside the venue were multiple representations of the unique flavors of India. Over 35 restaurants featured unique samplers such as Tandoori Chicken Sushi Rolls, Paneer Kati Roll, Coconut Shrimp, and even Masala Crab Cake with Lotus Root Crisp.

Award-winning celebrity chefs participated in various activities including cook book signing, food demonstrations and a silent auction.

The evening also including wine parings, full bar, cooking demonstrations and a live performance of tabla and dance by Tina Sugandh.

Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor indulged guests with a live cooking show. Guests were also given a chance to take pictures and get autographs with all participating chefs, including master chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Other unique things included a gift certificate book worth over $500 in discounts from participating restaurants, ‘V’ card membership and a large spice market offering everything from spices and rice to cookies and snacks.

Among the chefs that participated are Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna, Jehangir Mehta (former, runner up on “the Next Iron Chef’) Hemant Mathur, Floyd Cardoz, Suvir Saran, Prasad Chirnomula, Hari Nayak, Maneet Chauhan (former, contestant on ‘The Next Iron Chef’), Walter D’Rozario, Mel Oza, and Peter Beck. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of Master Chef India and Radhicka Agarwaal, runner up of Master Chef India both flew in from India to be a part of the Varli Food Festival.

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Click here to read the Current Issue in PDF Format

COVER STORY
Innovation:
A Golden Opportunity?

Prof. Vivek Wadhwa reviews some of the ‘constraints’ that are part of the package to innovation. The debate has been on for a while, the U.S. Supreme Court has given its decision, the institutions might feel differently.


OPINION
Political Alienation:
India’s New Middle Class

India’s middle class has been alien to the political system of the country, but in recent times one man has changed that, writes Patrick French.


REMEMBRANCE
A Lifetime of Painting:
M.F. Husain (1915-2011)

He may be loved or hated, but whatever the taste, M.F. Husain was arguably a charismatic painter, writes Priyanka Bhardwaj.


OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: Innovation: A Golden Opportunity?
NEWS DIARY: June
POLITICS: Siachen Glacier Dispute
SUBCONTINENT: Terror Threat at Nuke Plant
COMMUNITY: Gov’t of India Eases Rules
BUSINESS: News in Brief
EVENT: Incredible India
SUBCONTINENT: Quest for Indonesian Coal
RECIPE: Bhuna Vegetables
TRAVEL: Walt Disney Museum
AUTO REVIEW: 2011 Honda Odyssey
BOLLYWOOD: Film Review: Ready
BOLLYWOOD: IIFA Weekend in Toronto
BOLLYWOOD: Hrithik Roshan Talks to Siliconeer
TAMIL FILM: Nootrenbadhu (‘180’)
COMMUNITY: News in Brief
INFOTECH INDIA: News in Brief
HOROSCOPE: July

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