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Indian American Akshay Desai Appointed to Key Republican Post In Florida

Indian-American Akshay Desai has been appointed to a key Republican post in Florida, making him responsible for the party's finances in this election year.

"In this election year we need the resources for victory, and Dr Desai's long history of work for the state and our party make him a proven leader," Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) chairman Lenny Curry said in a statement.

Desai has been appointed to serve as the chairman of Finance Committee of the Republican Party of Florida. Desai is currently the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Universal Health Care Group, Inc and serves the health care community through several associations.

A member of the Florida State Board of Education since 2007, Desai previously served as a Member of Florida State Board of Governors from 2005-2007 and as Commissioner and Chairman of the Health Committee on the White House Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders from 2005-2008.


Indian American Doctors Win Racial Discrimination Case in the US

Three Indian American doctors, who were derogatorily called "the Indians" and treated as "second-class citizens" by the CEO of a medical center in the US, have won a racial discrimination case in a Texas court.

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Citizens Medical Center in Victoria had violated the equal protection rights of the doctors. The court ruled in favor of Ajay Gaalla, Harish Chandna and Dakshesh Parikh.

In February 2010, the medical center filed a resolution that would allow only cardiologists with contracts at the hospital to exercise clinical privileges in the cardiology department or part of the hospital's heart program.

The cardiologists fought back with a lawsuit stating they were being barred from practicing not based on their merit and expertise, but because of economical and racial reasons. This not only affected them, but their patients who were denied the right to see the physician of their choice, according to the court documents.

The hospital claimed the resolution was based on the doctors' disruptive behavior and issues with Dr Yusuke Yahagi, a cardiovascular surgeon at the hospital. Court documents also showed that the three cardiologists were derogatorily referred to as "the Indians."

The cardiologists also cited a comment from David Brown, the hospital chief executive officer, as saying the hospital was working on a plan for "getting the Indians off the reservation." The cardiologists said the resolution hospital placed violated their equal protection rights - and now the Fifth Circuit has voted in their favor.

The three doctors said they were consistently treated like second-class citizens, removed from committees and pushed out of laboratory posts arbitrarily, or overlooked in favor of "less-qualified" cardiologists CMC hired.

For now, the case is in stay, or on hold, according to Monte James, the lead attorney for the cardiologists. He expects the federal court will take it off hold, and it will proceed to trial. 


 Indian Companies Employ Over 100,000 People in the Us

Indian companies have invested more than $26 billion in the US in the last five years and the IT companies employ more than 100,000 people in the country as per Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao. "As per our estimates, Indian IT industry supports over 280,000 jobs indirectly out of which about 200,000 are with US residents. Two-way trade in goods and services continues to grow steadily reaching over $100 billion last year. The US businesses are becoming strong partners in India's economic growth story; and Indian businesses are creating value, wealth and jobs in the United States," she said.

US trade mission to explore business, lure Indian investment: WASHINGTON March 20: US Commerce Secretary John Bryson will lead a three-city trade mission to India next week aimed at exploring business potential of India's "rising infrastructure sector" and encouraging Indian investment into the US. During the March 25-30 mission with stops in New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, Bryson will also address concerns on market access, trade investment and removing barriers to level the playing field for American businesses and workers, the Commerce Department announced. The department also announced the names of 16 companies that will join Bryson on his mission for building stronger US-India commercial relations, his first as Commerce Secretary. [Source: The Economic Times]

Long-Planned Visit Lands Panetta in Tense Afghanistan: CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta landed here on March 14 morning on an unannounced and tense trip, the first by a senior member of the Obama administration since an American soldier reportedly killed 16 Afghan civilians, mostly children and women. The two-day visit, which was planned months ago, has taken on a new urgency since an American staff sergeant slipped out of military base in the southern province of Kandahar on Sunday and, according to villagers and senior defense officials, went door to door in a nearby village, shooting civilians. [Source: The New York Times

US relations on the agenda for Pakistan's new spy chief: Islamabad March 14: Pakistan's new spymaster faces a tough task fixing ever-worsening ties with the United States, but analysts say he is unlikely to reform an institution accused of helping militants in Afghanistan. Yusuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, on Friday appointed Lieutenant Gen Zaheer ul-Islam as the new chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the main spy arm of the Pakistani military, ending weeks of speculation he would extend the term of Lieutenant Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, due to retire on March 18. [Source: The National]

Indian-Americans cross the 3 million milestone: Washington D.C. March 13:  Indian-Americans crossed the milestone of 3 million in the US. A survey conducted by an NGO group the Indian-American population in the U.S grew 68 per cent over the 2000-2010 decade from 1.9 million to 3.19 million.

Indian Americans were the third largest Asian-American group in the U.S after Chinese-Americans (3.79 million) and Filipino-Americans (3.42 million) while growing at a faster rate than the others.

Commenting on this development, USINPAC's Chairman Sanjay Puri said, "Indian-Americans continue to be attracted to the United States not only for economic opportunities but also for the ability to innovate and participate in the largest multi-ethnic democratic arena that is the United States of America. Indian Americans are playing leading roles in business, education, health care, hospitality, arts, entertainment and other fields." [Source: USINPAC]  

U.S. told by Pakistan to stop drone hits: Washington D.C. March 13: Pakistan told the United States that it will no longer permits using its airspace to attack militants and collect intelligence on Qaeda and other militant groups, a media report said. Pakistan Ambassador to Washington Sherry Rehman met Vice President, Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser, Antony Blinken on March 9. She told him Pakistan’s political parties had agreed that the drone flights over Pakistan must end, the Bloomberg news service said, citing unnamed US officials. [Source: The Nation]

USA 2nd leading destination for Hindu migrants: United States of America (USA) is the world’s second-leading destination for Hindu migrants, after India; according to a new study by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, headquartered in Washington D.C. 

Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents.

The report, titled “The Religious Affiliation of International Migrants”, points out that Hindu migrants come mostly from India and Bangladesh and a much smaller numbers have come from the Pacific region known as Oceania (particularly Fiji) and the Caribbean (particularly Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana). USA has an estimated 1.3 million first-generation (foreign-born) Hindu immigrants, most of whom have arrived in recent decades.

Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, pointed out to Hindu migrants the importance of passing on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst immigration struggles and many distractions in the consumerist society, and hoped that immigrant families would focus in this direction.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

According to this report, top ten countries of origin for Hindu migrants are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, Kenya, and United Kingdom. Top ten destination countries are India, United States, Bangladesh, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, and Sri Lanka. There are about 214 million international migrants, including about 11 million Hindus.

India, Mexico and Russia are the leading sources of international migrants. India is also among the top ten destinations for migrants. Besides being the number one source of Hindu migrants, India is also among the top four countries of origin for Muslim migrants, the report adds.

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