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Indian American students headline Intel science talent search

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Maya Varma, right, with fellow first-place winners Amol Punjabi of Marlborough, Mass., and Paige Brown of Bangor, Maine (Intel Science Talent Search)

Maya Varma, right, with fellow first-place winners Amol Punjabi of Marlborough, Mass., and Paige Brown of Bangor, Maine (Intel Science Talent Search)

WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) — More than a handful of Indian-American students paced the table, including two of whom took home top spots in two separate categories, at the recent Intel Science Talent Search contest. A prestigious competition for young innovators, $1 million in prizes were handed out to the winners.

Indian-Americans Amol Punjabi and Maya Varma captured two of the three first-place awards — Punjabi for basic research and Varma for innovation. Paige Brown, of Maine, won the first place medal for the distinction of global good.

“They and the rest of the top winners of Intel STS 2016 are using science and technology to help address the problems they see in the world and will be at the forefront of creating the solutions we need for the future,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and alumna of the Science Talent Search.

Punjabi, 17, developed software that can assist drugmakers develop new therapies for cancer and disease. He also served as the lead author for a paper on nano particles published in ACS Nano, and co-authored another paper the related topic of nanoscale.

Varma, also just 17 years old, and from San Jose, turned $35 worth of miscellaneous electronics and free computer-aided design tools to create a low-cost, smartphone-based lung function analyzer that diagnoses lung disease as accurately as expensive devices currently used in medical laboratories. She was among 1,750 high school students who applied to be a part of the competition, which for the first time in its history saw female finalists outnumber the male finalists 21 to 19.

The field of second and third place of all three categories was dominated by Indian Americans as well.

Meena Jagadeesan, 17, took second place in the field of basic research, alongside Punjabi. Milind Jagota, 18, joined Varma in the innovation category, taking home the second place prize. Finally, Kunal Shroff, 17, rounded out the trifecta in the basic research category, taking home the third place medal.

First place paid prize money of $150,000; three second-place winners received $75,000 in prize money; and three third-place winners received $35,000. The winners were announced during a black-tie gala on Tuesday night at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

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Exclusive: Sanders, Bloomberg camps on Indian American outreach

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Sanders

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — We have more from Las Vegas in the aftermath of the latest Democratic debate. We spoke with both the Sanders and the Bloomberg campaigns about what they plan to do to reach the Indian American community and have more analysis on whether any of the candidates moved the needle to win new support.

A number of prominent Indian Americans in government will accompany President Trump and the first lady to India next week. The delegation will visit Delhi, Agra, and Ahmedabad and likely include Rita Barnwal of the U.S. Department of Energy, Bimal Patel of the U.S. Treasury Department, Manisha Singh of the State Department, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Seema Verma of Health and Human Services and Kash Patel in the National Security Council.

There is tragic news to report out of India, where we’ve learned Ayurvedic Master Healer Dr. Pankaj Naram has died. Dr. Naram has been a mainstay on Diya TV in the daytime for many years, sharing his wisdom on how to use everyday ingredients to heal challenging ailments. Dr. Naram literally touched the lives of millions of people and we will effort to pay homage to this man whose impact will live on forever.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India becomes 5th largest economy, overtakes UK, France

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Economy

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — India is now the world’s fifth largest economy, overtaking the UK and France in 2019, according to a report by American non-partisan think tank World Population Review. The report says India’s economic liberalization starting in the early 1990s was key to this growth. Though the report also indicates India’s real GDP growth is expected to weaken for the third straight year from 7.5 percent to 5 percent.

Billionaire entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on stage at the ninth Democratic Debate in Las Vegas, qualifying for the first time after polls indicate his star is rising amongst potential Democratic primary voters after spending more than $300 million in political advertising. Diya TV will be in Las Vegas with full coverage from what will certainly be an eventful night.

Lakshmi Sridaran, who has been the interim executive director for non-profit civil rights group, SAALT, South Asian Americans Leading Together, will take on that role moving forward. SAALT also announced Simran Noor will serve as their new Board Chair.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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150,000 people expected for ‘Namaste Trump’ in Gujarat

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Namaste Trump

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — President Trump & the first lady will get a massive welcome on his visit to Gujarat next week, where 150,000 people are expected to attend ‘Namaste Trump.’ It’s expected to be an even grander event than ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston, where 50,000 people greeted Prime Minister Modi. A delegation of business leaders from the U.S. are also headed to India for a series of events in New Delhi.

The 17th annual India Conference at Harvard brought more than 1000 people to the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard’s Business School including a long list of luminaries in business, politics and entertainment. And only on Diya TV, we have exclusive conversations with Indian unicorn CEOs Ankiti Bose of Zilingo and Ritesh Agarwal of OYO.

Roseville Police in California say a taxi driver, Rajbir Singh, saved an elderly passenger in his cab from giving a scammer $25,000. The 92 year old told Singh she was about to withdraw the money to settle a debt with the IRS. It sounded like a scam to Singh, who asked the woman to reconsider, even detouring to a police station to help convince her not to withdraw her money. Eventually, she decided not to proceed. Roseville Police say Singh should be honored with a “great citizen award.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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