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USIBC hosts FCC Chairman Pai to discuss US India trade, tech and innovation

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Ajit Pai
Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the U.S.-India Business Council.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – One day after a controversial vote from the House to kill a landmark bill regarding broadband privacy regulations, FCC chairman Ajit Pai spoke at a meeting of the U.S.-India Business Council, he said the two nations are natural allies in more ways than one, including communication regulation.

Speaking to the Council, which is made up of more than 300 companies, Pai said the U.S. and India share more than $100 billion in bilateral trade, a figure that has more than tripled since a decade ago.

“As the country that invented the Internet and that’s home to the world’s most powerful and popular technology companies, the United States is an indispensable driver and beneficiary of the digital revolution,” he told the Council. “And it is worth nothing that many Indians and Indian-Americans are playing a prominent role in our high-tech success story. Multiple American technology companies now feature Indian or Indian-American CEOs, and nearly one in four Silicon Valley startups is founded by an Indian or Indian-American.”

Pai also paid his respects to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Digital India” initiative, saying the country’s leadership has begun to embrace the nation’s digital revolution. He said the FCC’s philosophies and policies are very much similar to those of “Digital India.” Because of the initiative, India has launched efforts to deploy fiber backbone to 600,000 villages, to dramatically expand public Wi-Fi hotspots in urban areas, and to connect every school and college with broadband. It’s great that India is trying to innovate the country more. As they have a leading broadband supplier in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, it makes sense that they would try and give more people access to their services. As BSNL broadband is believed to be quite affordable, people looking for the cheapest broadband only should be content with the pricing. As this broadband is so affordable, it isn’t necessarily the quickest. However, there are articles (click here) that have some useful tips for increasing the speed of the broadband. Perhaps that could be useful for any residents using BSNL’s broadband.

“Like Prime Minister Modi, we don’t see the state of our digital infrastructure as a simple telecommunications issue,” said Pai. “It is an economic issue, a jobs issue, a competitiveness issues, an education issue, and a healthcare issue.”

His remarks came less than 24 hours after Congress voted to eliminate the consumer protections, a result that was very likely celebrated by Pai. The rules would have required home Internet and mobile broadband providers to get consumers’ opt-in consent before selling or sharing web browsing history, app usage history, and other private information with advertisers and other companies.

Pai has gone on record, more than once, as an ardent supporter of ISPs facing less strict regulations, similar to those of website operators like Google and Facebook.

“Last year, the Federal Communications Commission pushed through, on a party-line vote, privacy regulations designed to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies,” Pai said after yesterday’s vote. “Appropriately, Congress has passed a resolution to reject this approach of picking winners and losers before it takes effect.”

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Nearly 200,000 ‘Documented Dreamers’ appeal to Congress for help

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Nearly 200,000 'Documented Dreamers' appeal to Congress for help | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — With no clear path to citizenship and facing deportation, younger Indian Americans who have aged out of their parents’ visas are now appealing to lawmakers for help. The Migration Policy Institute says about 190,000 kids and young adults will be in this situation once they turn 21 years old. Some of them have now formed a coalition saying it’s time to address this ongoing issue.

Electronic signature platform DocuSign appointed Indian American Shanthi Iyer as its new Chief Information Officer. Iyer spent more than 20 years at Cisco and will lead Docusign’s efforts to improve employee productivity and the customer experience.

And Indian start-up SimSim has been acquired by Youtube. The company helps small businesses connect with social media influencers and customers. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed but insiders say the company was valued at more than $70 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan | Diya TV News

KANDAHAR (Diya TV) — Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The 38 year old Indian national was Reuters news agency’s chief photographer in India. Siddiqui was credited for capturing some of the most powerful images during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17-year-old Indian-American Samir Banerjee clinched the junior Wimbledon singles tennis title. Celebrating Samir’s achievement, many Indians took to social media to congratulate the youngster.

Jeff Bezos blasted off into space Tuesday on his Blue Origin rocket ship. It was the company’s first flight with people on board.  Bezos is now the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft. The Amazon founder was accompanied by his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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