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Indian-American hotelier converting church into $30M project

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A file photo of Embassy Suites by Hilton Indianapolis North, a Sun Development & Management Corporation property. Credit: www.sun-companies.com

A file photo of Embassy Suites by Hilton Indianapolis North, a Sun Development & Management Corporation property. Credit: www.sun-companies.com

INDIANAPOLIS (Diya TV) — Bharat Patel’s Sun Development & Management Corp. will soon begin construction of two new Indianapolis-area hotels, one of which will be built on the site of the city’s oldest African American church. Overall, the cost of the two hotels will cost approximately $30 million.

The project will add more than 200 new rooms to the downtown district’s lodging inventory, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. 

The church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is located in the downtown’s west side, and was built in 1869. It has served the black community at its current location for nearly 150 years, but dwindling membership and an aging building coupled with the rising cost of repairs are forcing the congregation to sell the historic property.

Patel’s plans, as submitted, called for two hotels to be built on the site — one of the hotels will be installed in a refurbished version of the already existing structure of the church, the other to be built next door. The second hotel would include three levels of parking and roughly 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Bharat Patel

Bharat Patel

“I think it will be a dynamite development along the canal,” said Patel. “That quadrant (of downtown) doesn’t have enough hotels.”

The closest hotels in the downtown district are the Marriott’s Courtyard at the Capital and its Residence Inn, both across the canal from Bethel. Patel expects the two hotels will total 200 rooms and serve visitors to IUPUI, the hospitals on the campus, and the NCAA headquarters along the canal to the south, according to the Journal’s report.

As an incentive, Patel has offered an additional $50,000 per year over the next 10 years to the Bethel congregation to help aid their efforts in the construction of a new church.

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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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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