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India surpasses United States to become No. 2 in smartphone market

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(Diya TV) — India is smartphone-obsessed, and is proving it. With over 150 brands of smartphones sold in the country, they took firm control of the No. 2 spot, with a user base of 220 million, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. China ranks No. 1 overall, boasting a smartphone user base well north of one billion.

India, Asia’s third-largest economy, oversaw a 15 percent shipment increase of smartphones during the Q4 period of 2015 (October-December). “The Indian smartphone demand grew strongly during the holiday season in the Q4 2015 quarter,” said Pavel Naiya, a research analyst at Counterpoint Research.

The bump up has been anticipated for some time, but happened sooner than analysts had expected—in August of last year, the American research firm IDC had predicted that India would overtake the United States in the smartphone market by 2017. In 2015 alone, over 100 million smartphones were shipped to the country, which is north of 23 percent more than the previous year, Counterpoint said.

“This speaks volumes for the scale Indian market provides for any player in the mobile connected ecosystem. Though India still has a long way to go as the smartphone penetration of the total potential population is still below 30%,” said Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

India’s domestic brands, such as Micromax, Intex, and Lava compete closely with larger global names like Samsung and Lenovo, research has revealed.

Even with the rapid growth, analysts are now expecting advancement will continue at an even greater speed. “Even broader and faster” in 2016 experts have said will be supported by domestic programs, such as the country’s “Make in India” campaign. The program fosters domestic manufacturing and promotion; there are already over 20 mobile brands being manufactured in the country.

“Almost half of the total mobile phones shipped in India during the quarter (Q4) were assembled in India driving the Make In India trend,” Counterpoint added.

The internet is helping to fuel the boom, the research found—out of all smartphone sales in 2015, almost one in three were purchased online.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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