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Indian-American Rupa Iyer to receive highest teaching award

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HOUSTON (Diya TV) — An Indian-American biotechnologist has received the highest teaching award available from the University of Houston for her sustained and significant contributions to education.

Rupa Iyer, associate dean of the technology university’s research and graduate studies programs, has been presented with the Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award — it is the highest award attainable in teaching and the only one distributed at Iyer’s level.

“My journey from being an international graduate teaching assistant to having the privilege and honour to lead the biotech programme at UH has been extremely humbling and rewarding,” Iyer said.

“My students continue to inspire me and motivate me to seek new ideas and strategies to develop and foster their academic success,” she added.

In order to qualify for the honor, Iyer was first required to be a previous recipient of the school’s Teaching Excellence Award, an honor presented to faculty who have ten or more years of teaching experience and have made sustained and significant contributions to education.

The founding member of the school’s biotechnology program, Iyer has been widely regarded for her relentless commitment toward empowering her students, and incorporating a hands-on teaching experience with problem-based learning and lectures. Her students receive lecture format training on diverse biotechnology systems and develop presentation skills, enabling them to thrive in the workplace.

Iyer has been with the university since 2005 as a credentialed associate professor, and was named associate dean of research and graduate studies in 2014. Her research is in the area of environmental biotechnology with applications in bioremediation.

She was previously recommended for the Fulbright Specialist Roster in 2015 after receiving a ringing endorsement from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

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Nikki Haley wont run, if Trump runs in 2024

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If Trump Runs In 2024, Haley Says She Will Not | Diya TV News

SOUTH CAROLINA (Diya TV) — Former US Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says she will not make a run for the White House in 2024. But that’s only if Donald Trump decides to enter the Presidential race. Haley continues to be mentioned as a potential candidate for the Oval Office, but the Indian American’s public comments are being interpreted as an early endorsement for former President if Trump chooses to run again.

And more positive news for India’s economy. The International Monetary Fund says it’s projecting a 12 and half percent growth rate for the South Asian nation in 2021. That’s even stronger than what’s expected for China and America’s economy this year.

India is going through a historic tech boom for unicorn start ups. These are the companies valued at more than a billion dollars. In a span of four days, the country saw 6 tech unicorns emerge onto the scene. Startups like Groww, Gutshup, API Holdings, Mohalla Tech, Meesho, and Cred all reached valuations of a billion dollars or more. And that’s attracting some of the world’s largest investors like Softbank and Tiger Global.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian American couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

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Indian American Couple Dead In Apparent Murder-suicide | Diya TV News

 North Arlington, NEW JERSEY (Diya TV) — Authorities in New Jersey are investigating a possible murder-suicide, saying Balaji Rudrawar stabbed his wife Aarti to death. Both were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds. Their young daughter was found unharmed inside. The motive remains unclear. The man’s father told an India-based media outlet his daughter in law was 7 months pregnant.

In Indian waters, a US war ship sailed through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone without asking for permission, a violation of that country’s law. Both countries remain partners in the region. Sources with the Indian Navy say the move was more about sending a message to China.

As Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry wraps up his India trip,  he’s taking to social media and personally thanking some of the leaders of that region including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and now Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, saying all the countries involved are committed to address global warming and climate change. Kerry is raising awareness about this issue heading into a climate conference with world leaders later this month. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Muslim advocates sue Facebook over not removing anti-Muslim hate speech

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Muslim Advocates Sue Facebook | Diya TV News

MENLO PARK, Calif. (Diya TV) — Frustrated with what it sees as a lack of progress, a group called Muslim advocates, along with law firm Gupta Wessler, is suing Facebook, claiming the social media giant does not consistently remove all hate speech, especially language that targets followers of Islam.  The group is calling out top executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, demanding the social network start taking anti-Muslim activity more seriously. A Facebook spokesperson says it regularly uses artificial intelligence to remove posts that violate its policies.

“Hugs are back.” That’s what US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is saying after seeing an increase in Covid-19 vaccinations all across the nation. Murthy says more and more Americans are becoming comfortable getting vaccinated. And by April 19th, all adults will be eligible for the vaccine. The Indian American doctor says this trend is encouraging, but also says there is still lots of work that needs to be done about battling disinformation.

And a big blow to Indian filmmakers.  The Federal government is cutting the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, which allowed filmmakers to appeal decisions made by the censors, which has the power and authority to ban certain movies for inappropriate content.  Instead, they will now have to go to lawyer up and go straight to court and fight if they disagree.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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