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Akshaya Patra Foundation receives $1M pledge from Vista Equity Partners; raises $500K at annual event

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Akshaya Patra Foundation
Akshaya Patra Foundation

Robert F. Smith (center), Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners alongside Hardeep Gulati (left), CEO of PowerSchool, and Shridhar Venkat (right), CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

 

SAN FRANCISO (Diya TV) — Vista Equity Partners, the world’s leading private equity firm pledged $1 million to Akshaya Patra over five years to aid in the Foundation’s mid-day meal plan. Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners announced the collaboration alongside Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool, and Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

The pledge was announced during the opening of the new offices of the education-technology firm, PowerSchool.  PowerSchool provides software solutions to schools in over 70 countries, it will continue to hire talent, and expand its presence in Bengaluru, joining eight other Vista portfolio companies with operations in India.

The initial investment will be used to purchase trucks to transport meals to schools in various areas of the country. With $200,000 granted each year, contributions will aid the delivery of meals to 80,000 students per day, and over 18 million meals per year.

“Our culture at Vista emphasizes the importance of positively impacting and engaging with the communities in which we live and work,” said Smith. “At Vista, we invest in the future. And Akshaya Patra’s work does that.  By ensuring that students across India have the nourishment they need to be able to learn, the foundation plays an integral role in the education of Indian youth, and we are honored to help them execute on their mission.”

“We are honored to partner with Vista Equity Partners and companies to continue to ensure that our children are well-nourished, and able to learn,” said Venkat. “This commitment will immensely expand our ability to deliver meals to schools and students across India, and will help us in furthering the mission of serving five million children by 2020”

Akshaya Patra Bay Area Benefit Event Raises $500,000

Over 300 business philanthropic community leaders attended the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 2017 Bay Area Benefit Galaraising $500,000 for the organization’s school meal program.

Dheeraj Pandey, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Nutanix  was the event’s keynote speaker. Nutanix India employees have volunteered in Akshaya Patra’s Bangalore kitchen and schools.

The event also featured Diane Greene, Google’s Senior Vice President of Google Cloud Business, who accepted an award on behalf of Google. The award recognizes Google as Akshaya Patra’s “Corporate Partner of the Year”.

The annual fundraiser event is organized by Akshaya Patra’s Bay Area Volunteer Chapter led by Advisory Board members.

Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Bengaluru, India.  The organization established its school meal program in 2000. Akshaya Patra Foundation serves wholesome food to over 1.6 million children from 13,839 schools across 12 states in India.

Vista Equity Partners is a U.S.-based investment firm with more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments.

PowerSchool is a K-12 education technology provider of solutions that improve the education experience for 100 million students, teachers, and parents in over 70 countries around the world.

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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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