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Indian-American couple pledges $3.5M for Sanskrit studies

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As a direct result from an Indian-American couples $3.5 million donation, the University of Chicago has established a professorship in Sanskrit studies to foster its study of the Indian subcontinent.

Guru Ramakrishnan, photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Guru Ramakrishnan, photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Guru Ramakrishnan, founder and CEO of Meru Capital, and his wife, Anupama Ramakrishnan, made the pledge to the university to establish the professorship. The program will bear their namesake—Anupama and Guru Ramakrishnan Professorship in Sanskrit—and will help to facilitate a faculty member whose work focuses on the ancient classical language, a statement from the university said.

“The University of Chicago is world renowned for its excellence in the scholarship of South Asia,” Humanities Dean Martha T Roth said in a statement. “Guru and Anupama Ramakrishnan’s generosity allows us to sustain that tradition and makes possible continued rigorous study of the cultural heritage of South Asia through its literary, religious and philosophical texts.”

Gary Tubb, the university’s director of faculty at their New Delhi center, and current professor in South Asian languages and civilizations, will be the inaugural scholar of the new program’s studies, the statement further said. Sanskrit is the oldest of literary South Asian languages, and is also the longest-tenured language taught at the university, having been offered on campus since 1892. Tubb described why he felt Sanskrit has singled itself out from other South Asian languages for so long.

“Sanskrit really stands out among the world’s languages — alongside other classical languages — as being a single language that provides access to an extraordinarily broad range of texts and histories,” Tubb said. He added the origins of his interest of the language was because it provided “access to a long and rich history of human thought.” Tubb received his Ph.D. from Harvard

Gary Tubb, Faculty Director, University of Chicago Center in Delhi. Photo courtesy of the University of Chicago

Gary Tubb, Faculty Director, University of Chicago Center in Delhi. Photo courtesy of the University of Chicago

University in 1979, according to the university’s faculty page.

The Ramakrishnans, in a statement, expressed their delight in having the opportunity to fund the study.

“We are delighted to fund this chair in Sanskrit – one of the oldest languages that has given the world the Vedas, Upanishads and other exceptional works of spirituality, poetry, music and dance,” the Ramakrishnans’ statement said. “The University of Chicago’s long-term commitment to scholarship in Sanskrit made it our institution of choice to partner with on this important initiative.”

It isn’t the Ramakrishnans’ first collaboration with the university—the couple additionally funds a scholarship program for Indian students at the university’s Booth School of Business.

The Ramakrishnans’ gift is part of a much larger internal University of Chicago alumni initiative, one named “Inquiry and Impact,” which seeks to fundraise $4.5 billion through a network of 125,000 alumnus by the year 2019. The program has had a positive response, already generating $2.82 billion from 59,000 alumni to date.

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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