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A joint production: Harvard combines forces with IIT Delhi

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (DIYA TV) — Harvard’s South Asia Institute (SAI) has joined forces with one of India’s most prestigious institutions, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Tata Trusts, in a concerted effort to mentor 25 social entrepreneurship startups in science and technology.

The announcement comes on the heels of Harvard’s annual India conference — this year’s edition of the conference was held at the school’s Kennedy School of Government and led by a star-studded cast which included the likes of Kamal Hassan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Karan Johar, Anita Dongre and many others.

The new project, led by Harvard South Asia Institute director Tarun Khanna, hopes the mentoring provided to the startup companies will be proactive in the creation of more jobs. Companies selected to participate in the project will additionally be provided with spending grants and workshops for extra guidance. Harvard’s institute requested and was granted funding from Tata Trusts to experiment with ways to translate knowledge that was generated in the university setting into livelihood creation.

“India needs 100 million net new jobs in the next decade to absorb the demographic dividend,” Khanna said. “I don’t know of any system in the world that has generated that many jobs in a short period of time without a significant dose of new enterprise creation and entrepreneurship,” he added. Some of Khanna’s previous work includes chairing the Government of India Niti Aayog Commission on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

R. Venkataramanan, an executive of Tata Trusts, concurs. He opined how paramount the need for collaboration is for further development and growth.

“Under this collaboration with Harvard University’s South Asia Institute, we will develop entrepreneurship opportunities that will help provide sustainable prosperity to the local communities. “

The Tata grant will last 18 months, and Khanna recognizes that might be a bit of a tight window to make true progress. But he’s prepared to face the challenge. The program’s greatest obstacle is likely one few consider, he added: the life and work of an entrepreneur can be a very lonely one.

“The challenge and plan is to demonstrate using research and knowledge assets to work with these social enterprises to point them in the right direction and create a system of peer support. This will be done through workshops, on an ongoing basis,” he said.

The learning will happen on both sides, Khanna said — this is a new program for IIT as well, and the participants of the program will not be limited to IIT’s student body. Some of them will have already been graduated for as much as a year, professor Ambuj Sagar said.

“There is an explosion in learning, including social entrepreneurship. We can take some of these experiences to our workshops,” Sagar said. “Many of these people were students about a year ago. These are young startups and not all are IITians. They are people from Delhi, Kanpur, Utkal University, small colleges in Punjab.”

Fostering what’s learned and developed during the program is of the utmost importance — sustaining that growth after the expiration of the 18-month grant, and continuing the program with the involvement of other institutions is the ultimate goal, Khanna said.

“One of the tasks that we have is to think of ways to continue with this programme, with our partners, the Trusts, IIT-D and other institutions, including the government machinery. The more people talk about it, the better,” he said.

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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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