India

Republic Day parade: Obama watches India’s military might, cultural heritage

Republic Day parade: Obama watches India’s military might, cultural heritage

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave to the crowd at the end of Indias annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.(Manish Swarup/AP)NEW DELHI: Multi-hued images of India’s rich cultural diversity and military might as well as achievements in diverse fields unfolded on Monday at the 66th Republic Day parade which had a US President — Barack Obama — as the chief guest for the first time. Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebrations was unlike any other event he has participated in during his overseas travel as president. He spent more than two hours on an outdoor viewing platform, an unusual amount of time given Secret Service security concerns. Obama nodded in approval as tanks and rocket launchers, some of them Russian-made, rolled down the parade route and helicopters ferrying Indian flags flew overhead. Obama was seated next to Modi, donning a multicoloured ‘bandhej safa'(turban), as the two leaders chatted and enjoyed the annual spectacle. A smiling US President was seen nodding in appreciation on several occasions. As the nearly two-hour-long parade, showcasing the country’s ‘unity in diversity’ marched down the Rajpath in drizzle and overcast skies, thousands of spectators gathered along the route and cheered in joy. The national capital was wrapped in unprecedented security blanket as thousands of security personnel kept a hawk’s vigil in and around the Rajpath area. In a departure from tradition for the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, Obama arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, ‘the Beast,’ at Rajpath. A highlight of this year’s parade was the display for the first time of the recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane. The synchronised military and police contingents led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi), Lt General Subroto Mitra marched proudly to the lilting tunes of bands through Rajpath where President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee took the salute from a specially erected dais. Alongside Obama, the first US President to attend the celebrations, the ceremonial parade was watched by his wife Michelle, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the country’s top political and military brass, besides the diplomatic community. A massive ground-to-air security apparatus was put in place in the national capital turning the city into virtually an impregnable fortress. Snipers of National Security Guard were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route. The arrangements were made to ensure an incident-free Republic Day celebrations and foolproof security to the American President, who arrived here on Sunday. As part of the seven-layered security, around 45,000 security personnel were deployed across the city while the commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Delhi Police kept a hawk-eye vigil at important locations. The unfurling of the tricolour by the President and playing of the national anthem were followed by a customary 21-gun salute. The parade began shortly after Mukherjee and Obama arrived at the saluting base separately at the ceremonial boulevard—Rajpath. Traditionally, the President accompanies the chief guest in his limousine. Before the commencement of the parade, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Major Mukund Varadarajan were posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra by the President. Major Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar laid down their lives while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir respectively. Among the main attractions of the ceremonial parade were 25 colourful tableaux representing India’s cultural and linguistic diversity as also signifying the vision of the future India as envisaged by the current dispensation. So, a massive mechanised lion made out of gear-tooth wheels, symbolic of the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy or a mock-up of a high-speed bullet train drew cheers from the crowd as they rolled down the majestic avenue. Besides, the tableaux for ‘Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana’ helmed by the department of financial services, the ministry of women and Child Development-led exhibit featuring live performances by women themed on ‘Beti Bachaho, Beti Padhao’ campaign also won many hearts. And, with “women’s empowerment” being the theme of this year’s Republic Day parade, another attraction at the annual extravaganza was the contingents of all-women officers of the three Services marching for the first time on the Rajpath. While 16 of the tableaux belonging to the states and the union territories represented the cultural and architectural wealth of the country, the remaining nine were from various central ministries and departments themed on ‘Ma Ganga’ to ‘Yoga’ among others. Colurful performances by schoolchildren delighted President Obama as much as the crowd in general. Another military attraction was the display of Army version of indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash medium range missile and Weapon Locating Radar, both by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Indian Army’s laser-guided missile capable T-90 Bheeshma tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II (Sarath) followed by T-72 with Trawl too proved to be a major draw in the mechanised columns. These were followed by ‘Pinaka’ multiple barrel launcher system. The Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BRAHMOS missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar, satellite on the move communication platform and rapidly deployable satellite terminal (RADSAT) followed next. An Indian Air Force tableau with the theme “50 years of 1965 War” was next in line at the majestic Rajpath, dazzling VIPs, VVIPs and spectators alike. In keeping with the Indian Navy’s theme “Ensuring Safe Seas for a Resurgent Nation” – the Naval Tableau displayed a few of its frontline assets in all four dimensions of maritime warfare. Navy’s march to self-reliance and indigenisation was showcased by the models of indigenously constructed destroyer INS Kolkata launching a BrahMos missile with the Advanced Light Helicopter “Dhruv” in the background. The second Naval tableau, titled “Bharatiya Nau Sena aur Nari Shakti”, represented the four Indian Navy women officers who braved vagaries of the seas and participated in an ocean voyage from Goa to Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil on board Indian Naval Sailing Vessel ‘Mhadei’. The marching contingents of paramilitary and other forces included those from BSF, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, CRPF, Indo -Tibetan Border Police, CISF, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The camel-mounted band of BSF and the ex-servicemen marching contingent too added to the attraction. Among the state’s tableau, Gujarat and Karnakaka had particular appeal. While the home state of Prime Minister Modi showcased the ambitious project of building the ‘Statue of Unity’ symbolically represented by that of Sardar Vallabhahi Patel and the Sardar Sarovar Yojana, the southern state charmed everyone especially the kids with its tableau, huge scale-model, fashioned on the famed wooden toys of Channapatna, located in the outskirts of Bengaluru. New-born state Telangana, making its Republic Day debut showcased its illustrious festival ‘Bonalu’, celebrated to worship Mahakali goddess in the month of Ashada. For Jammu and Kashmir, the dazzling beauty of the region was displayed through Rouff dance of Kashmir, flower dance of Ladakh and Kud dance of Jammu regions. Haryana made its presence through its Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, famous for hosting migratory birds coming from Europe, Siberia and central Asia. Besides, CPWD which made a special floral tableau last year showcasing the Rajpath from India Gate to Raisina Hill this year chose the theme of ‘Maa Ganga’, depicting her origin from Gaumukh. Ministry of law and justice brought out a huge replica of the Indian Constitution as part of its display while ministry of AYUSH, showcased Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and other traditional medicinal systems of India. Maharashtra presented the ‘Wari (pilgrimage) to Pandharpur’ as its theme while Goa showcased the industry of fishing. Assam presented incredible Majuli island, while Andhra Pradesh’s tableau was themed on Makar Sankranti festival. Madhya Pradesh presented Bhagoria, festival of love and matchmaking. Uttarakhand showcased the Kedarnath Temple, Jharkhand its terracotta temples in Maluti, Sikkim its cardamom cultivation and Arunachal Pradesh the Igu dance, dance of the Idu Mishmi tribe and Chhattisgarh the Dussehra festival of Bastar. Uttar Pradesh presented the culture of the Awadh region through its tableau themed around one of its most secular rulers Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Also, 20 young brave hearts who won the national bravery awards drove through the Rajpath in gypsies. A total of 13 Army bands, one band each of Air Force and Navy, eight band of paramilitary forces including Camel-mounted band of BSF and one band each of NCC boys and girls played martial music for the parade. Incidentally, the paramilitary force celebrated its golden jubilee. One of the most breathtaking event was the manoeuvres by air force jets and daredevil motorcycle performance ‘Jaanbaaz’ by BSF personnel. The rider perform ‘Border Men Salute’, ‘Side Riding’, ‘Ladder Balancing’, ‘Communal Harmony’, ‘Peacock Riding’, ‘Acrobat’, ‘Parallel Bar’, ‘Lotus’, ‘Seema Prahari’ and ‘Flag March’ formations among others. The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the IAF jets and aircraft. The flypast commenced with ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J super Hercules aircraft. Trailing them was a ‘Poseidon’ formation comprising one P-8I aircraft flanked by two MiG-29Ks and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s. Next five Jaguars flew in Arrowhead formation and the five MiG-29 fighters, called the ‘Tridents’, flew in ‘Fulcrum’ style. Three Sukhoi (Su-30 MkI) fighter jets then made the “Trishul” formation by flying over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the three aircraft split upwards, making a ‘Trishul’ in the sky. The flypast concluded with another Su-30 MkI carrying out a “Vertical Charlie” manoeuvre over the saluting dais. (With inputs from agencies.)
All-women contingent for the first time on Republic Day

All-women contingent for the first time on Republic Day

New Delhi, January 26: When Captain Divya Ajith leads the first all-women contingent of the Army this Republic Day, she will carry on her shoulders the hopes and aspirations of women officers to soon serve the nation in combat roles. “We believe we are equal and second to none. We have already marched for the first time on the Army Day and now another first would be the Republic Day parade. So, yes, we do wish to be in the combat force. “And I hope that this first for us will also come soon,” Ajith of the Corps of Army Air Defence told PTI. Currently, the army does not have women in combat role. The 25-year-old officer already has a first to her credit. She was the first woman cadet in the history of the Army to have been awarded the prestigious ‘Sword of Honour’ at the passing out parade of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai in 2010. A multi-faceted personality, she is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, percussionist and well-versed in sports like basketball and discus throw. India is set to showcase women empowerment in all three forces with contingents having 148 personnel each drawn from the Army, Air Force and the Navy to parade down the Rajpath. Divya Ajith said the entire contingent is excited, not to mention filled with immense pride to represent the country. “And, the fact that it is President Obama who will be present there himself, we are all doubly excited,” she said. The young officer, who hails from Chennai, said she always wanted to be in the Army and during her five years in service, she has never felt being discriminated against. “It’s a tough six hours training each day, from 6 am to 9 am in the morning hours and 3 pm to 6 pm all seven days. But, we want to give our best. It’s been a tough regimen but our training at the OTA is coming in handy.” – PTI

Government Announces Padma Awards for LK Advani, Amitabh Bachchan, Bill Gates

NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader LK Advani, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Amitabh Bachchan are among the recipients of the prestigious Padma Awards. Mr Advani and Mr Bachchan, along with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and veteran actor Dilip Kumar will receive the Padma Vibhushan. Microsoft founder and one of the world’s foremost philanthropists Bill Gates, along with his wife Melinda will receive the Padma Bhushan, for their social work. Manjul Bhargava, the Indian-origin academician who has won the Fields Trophy – known as the ‘Nobel Prize of Mathematics’ – will receive the Padma Bhushan for his contribution in the fields of science and engineering. Cricketer Mithali Raj, badminton player PV Sindhu, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lyricist Prasoon Joshi are among the recipients of the Padma Shri.
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    Gulf

    The whole nation is rallying behind King Salman

    The whole nation is rallying behind King Salman

    JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN Saudis recalled the late King Abdullah’s concern for the people in general and Saudis in particular, and his unique contribution in making their lives peaceful and comfortable. They expressed their full faith in his successor, King Salman. Omar Abdullah Nasseef, dean of the English language institute of King Abdulaziz University, said: “May Allah forgive and bless the soul of King Abdullah. He not only won the hearts of Saudis but Muslims all over the world. His great achievements in the form of development of the country and for the prosperity of Islam are unforgettable. The whole nation is with King Salman and we are fully confident that the transformation of the Kingdom will bring more development and progress. We hope to see a giant leap for King Abdullah’s project of interfaith dialogue for the peace and prosperity of the whole world.” Bakri Matwaq Assas, director of Umm Al-Qura University, told Arab News that he was shocked and felt very miserable when he got the news. “King Abdullah not only did good things for the country and Saudi people but also helped everyone in need around the world,” he added. He said King Abdullah developed the country in many areas; the administrative level of many state departments developed. He launched the dialogue project and always tried to bring Muslims and Arabs on one platform. Assas added that the whole nation has full faith in King Salman and there is a general belief that he will continue the work of King Abdullah. Like his predecessor, King Salman is full of mercy and kindness. May Allah protect him, help him in surmounting all the hardships in a bid to keep our country safe and secure.” Abdul Wahab Noorwali, adviser of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), said King Abdullah’s development works is unforgettable. He said King Abdullah was a great leader, a great man and a great visionary who promoted a number of universities and offered thousands of scholarships to Saudi students. He also helped labor and poor workers by giving them amnesty by fixing their problems forever. “We are confident that King Salman will continue his predecessor’s policy and work. We are hopeful that under his guidance the Kingdom will witness more development, many new projects and prosperity,” he added. Sobhi Batterjee, head of board of trustees of Batterjee Medical College, said King Abdullah is credited with a number of developments, including higher education for the Saudi youth, by opening universities both in government and private sectors to promote better education. “King Salman also has a very clear and great image, we are very hopeful and confident that he will carry on with the great work of the development not only in education but in all other sectors. With the smooth transfer of power, the country will see more progress. King Salman has great experience as he was always by the side of the King Abdullah, and we have full confidence in his leadership,” he said. Ali Mohamed Al-Khairi, representative of the Saudi Society of Ophthalmology in the Western Region, said the whole nation has faith and confidence that King Salman will follow the policy and wise leadership King Abdullah.
    King Salman’s vision: Stability, unity

    King Salman’s vision: Stability, unity

    NEW BEGINNING: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman addresses the nation outlining his plans and programs on Friday. (SPA)Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman took charge as the new ruler of Saudi Arabia on Friday in a smooth transition following the death of King Abdullah and pledged to continue the current government policies to ensure stability and unity in the country. Addressing the nation, King Salman also urged the citizens to pledge their allegiance to Crown Prince Muqrin and Deputy Crown Prince and Interior Minister Muhammad bin Naif. “We will continue by the grace of Allah and His strength to follow the right path … and will never deviate from it. Our constitution is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace be upon him,” the king said. King Salman said all existing ministers would continue in their positions without change. He appointed Prince Mohammed bin Salman as defense minister and head of the royal court and the king’s private secretary. Hamad Al-Suwailem was appointed head of the crown prince’s court with the rank of a minister while Gen. Hamad Al-Ouhali was named commander of the royal guards. He commended the services extended by King Abdullah for the nation, the wider Muslim community and the Arab world. He also asked Allah to help him to carry out his duties in the best manner. Quoting from the Qur’an to highlight the transience of life, the king said that everyone on earth would die and have to face their Creator. “With a heart filled with grief and sadness,” he extended condolences to the “loyal Saudi people and the Arab and Islamic nation” on King Abdullah’s death. He said King Abdullah had dedicated his entire life to strengthen his religion, his nation and people, defending the causes of the Arab and Islamic worlds. “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return,” he said stressing the reality of death. King Salman also urged Arabs and Muslims to seek solidarity in the face of challenges currently confronting them. He said this would be the policy of Saudi Arabia as it moves to tackle obstacles facing it. “We will continue in this country, which Allah has honored by choosing it as the platform for His message and the Qibla (direction to which Muslims turn while praying), to boost unity and defend our nation’s causes.” He said the Kingdom would be guided by the teachings of Islam, which is a religion of “peace, mercy and moderation.” The king added: “I ask Allah to guide me to serve our dear people, realize their hopes, preserve our country and nation’s security and stability, and to protect it from evil. He is able to do that and there is no strength except with the support of Allah.” Meanwhile, King Salman, Crown Prince Muqrin, deputy premier, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, interior minister and second deputy premier, received at Al-Hukm Palace on Friday a group of citizens including princes and the grand mufti, who came to take their oath of allegiance on the basis of Qur’an and Sunnah. In a statement on Friday, Prince Muqrin commended King Abdullah’s great services to the nation. He wished every success for King Salman to carry out his duties in the service of the nation and the Arab and Islamic Ummah, adding that the king’s wisdom and expertise are required to overcome the present challenges. – Arab News
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    World

    Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai Win Nobel Peace Prize for 2014

    Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai Win Nobel Peace Prize for 2014

    Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai will share the prestigious Nobel peace prize for 2014. The two have been named joint winners of the 1.1 million dollar prize for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” The Nobel jury said it was “an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.” Kailash Satyarthi had maintained Gandhi’s tradition and headed various forms of protests and demonstrations focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain, the committee said. The 60-year-old activist, whose “Bachpan Bachao Andolan” is believed to have rescued some 80,000 children forced to work in factories and mines, has never received any award from the Indian government. “The voice of crores of children has been heard,” Kailash Satyarthi told NDTV, dedicating his award to the nation. (Noble Peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi: 5 Facts About His Work) 17-year-old schoolgirl-activist Malala Yusoufzai won for what the Nobel Committee called her “heroic struggle” for girls’ right to education. The youngest ever Nobel laureate was reportedly pulled out of class in a Birmingham school to be informed about the big award. Malala Yusoufzai was shot in the head by the Taliban two years ago in Pakistan’s Swat Valley for defying a ban on girls going to school. She was airlifted to Britain, where she was treated for life-threatening injuries. The committee said Malala had shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situation. The Nobel Peace Prize usually acknowledges “work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” But over time, the jury has widened the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment. – NDTV
    Canada cracks down on Gulf passport seekers

    Canada cracks down on Gulf passport seekers

    Tom MacDonaldRiyadh: Ghazanfar Ali Khan A large number of workers and professionals who have applied for Canadian citizenship under a new law will face difficulty coming back to Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, to earn petro dollars after acquiring Canadian passports. The Canadian government has introduced the new law, which changes the rules for acquiring citizenship and invalidates the passports of terrorists. “Traditionally, Canada has welcomed immigrants of all nationalities, but now, the Bill C-24 is placing conditions on the issuance of Canadian passports,” said a report released by the Canadian government. The local Canadian mission justified the move, saying that new policy requirements on Canadian citizenship are in no way aimed at limiting options for individuals to work in the Gulf or any other part of the world. “The focus is on ensuring that those who become Canadian citizens have established a clear link with Canada by living there for a certain duration prior to being granted citizenship,” Canadian Ambassador Tom MacDonald told Arab News on Monday. “If someone wants to become a citizen of a country, it is only reasonable that they demonstrate a genuine link to that country,” he added. MacDonald said Canada takes great pride in being a multicultural country and remains open to new citizens of all backgrounds, “but our citizenship policy is aimed at welcoming those who truly want to become part of Canadian society,” said the envoy, adding that Canada is not there to accommodate individuals who are simply seeking passports of convenience. The Canadian administration is cracking down on the common practice of staying in the country for a short period of time just to get a Canadian passport and then returning to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to continue working on a GCC work permit. According to the new rule, those wishing to be permanent residents will have to stay in Canada for at least 1,460 days, including 183 days for tax purposes, and will have to pay Canadian tax. They will also have to stay in Canada for six years before applying for Canadian citizenship. The government meanwhile has begun invalidating the passports of Canadians who have left to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander revealed in an interview published recently. The minister told the National Post that his department had also revoked the passports of several Canadians who had not yet left the country, but who had intended to travel to the volatile region to enlist as foreign fighters. Furthermore, the Canadian government is insisting that applicants pass an English language test and another test assessing knowledge of the country. There are about 15,000 Canadian passport holders currently living and working in Saudi Arabia.  
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    NRI

    IEF Jeddah organizes seminar on  Risk Management

    IEF Jeddah organizes seminar on Risk Management - Jan 08 2015

    Jeddah: The Indian Engineers Forum (IEF) celebrated its annual event by holding a seminar on Risk Management at Indian consulate premises this Friday, Indian Consul General BS Mubarak attended the event as chief guest, while Dr. Faiz Abedeen and Fahad Ali Muttawa attended the event as Guests of honor. Mubarak addressing to gathering appreciated the activities performed by IEF to upgrade fellow engineers by conducting seminars lectures and workshops. He said Engineers can play very important role in the society as their need is in every walk of life and their services are utilized from pyramid to space he advised engineers to join the SIBN and play interface role in between India and Saudi Arabia for the development of both the countries. IEF President Engr. Mohammad Sayeeduddin welcomed the dignitaries and members to the event. In his speech he said the recent initiative by the Indian government such as make in India and clean India are great steps towards right directions and that make in India is an international marketing campaign slogan coined by the current Prime Minister of India to build best in class manufacturing infrastructure. Continuing with his speech he also said the cleanliness drive is long overdue in India while we are aiming to become the world power and that we lag basic amities such as clean water, electricity and sanitation. It is said 60% of rural population does not have latrines; in this regard Engineers need to come out with innovative ideas of public toilets and bathroom at accessible distances in village locality. We Engineers living in India and abroad can contribute immensely to the growth of our country in the above said tasks. While addressing Mr Fahad Al Muttawa said professionalism commitment and hard working capacity is high among Indian Engineers and we appreciate their services to the kingdom. Dr. Faiz Abedeen while speaking thanked Indian engineers for their tremendous support in developing the kingdom for about four decades he also shared his experiences about his visit to India. Engr. Farooq Quraishi while delivering presentation on theme of the event Risk Management an emerging profession said the failure rate of projects, across the globe, is quite substantial, causing an irreparable loss to the nations. Most of these businesses have at their disposal the physical and financial resources, in ample measure. However, despite the availability of these resources, they fail, and this failure is mainly an account of the fact that the projects are not implemented with Risk Management as an integral part of the project and hence end up in colossal waste of time and sky rocking prices, in some cases the project overshooting the budget by more than 200%. Nevertheless the top management of enterprises has now realized the importance of Risk Management and is supportive of Risk management as a main ingredient in planning and controlling the project. Annual Magazine was released by Chief Guest and this session was conducted by Engr. Muqtadir Adil vice chairman of the electrical committee. Momentous were presented to guests, speakers and sponsors, while achievement award was given to Engr. Ajaz Hussain for giving free services to train IEF engineers with primavera, this session was conducted by Engr. Anwar Pasha Chairman of the Electrical committee. Guests and Speakers were introduced by Engr. Razziuddin owais, Engr. Nayeem Qureshi, Engr. Abdul Rahim, Engr. Ubaid Quraishi, and Engr. Mustafa Khan. Mir Ateequr Rahman Executive Vice President said Engineers are constantly challenged with technical and philosophical concerns in this fast-paced society. To meet these challenges IEF is striving to help them by providing training courses which is need of the hour to refine professionalism, he requested nonmember engineers to join the IEF and get benefitted. Engr. Abdul Rahim conducted the Quiz session which was appreciated by audience as it was more interactive. Presentation on Supply Chain Management was delivered by Engr. Muazzam Sayeed IT Chairman, lecture on Strategy Management was delivered by Engr. Nadim Ahmed Ali while Engr. Mustafa Khan delivered presentation on Global Challenges, all these presentations were appreciated by guests and audience. Engr. Mujib Khalil, Engr. Syed Mansoor, Engr. Imdad Ali and Engr. Mohammed Shoebuddin welcomed the guests. Program started with recitation of Holy Quran by Engr. Mohammed Ahtesham IT Coordinator, while Engr. Syed Nasir Khursheed General Secretary of the forum anchored the program. Engr. Syed Fazal ul Haque proposed the vote of thanks. On behalf of Indian Engineers Forum thanked Chief Guest Consul General BS Mubarak and other dignitaries for gracing the function. He expressed deep sense of appreciation for team work performed by members for organizing this event; he thanked Jotun paints, Bahra Cables and Electric house for sponsoring the event. – Yahind.com
    Global Investment Management Group & Twin Cities Welfare Association Honored Indian Entrepreneur Iftekhar Shareef in Jeddah

    Global Investment Management Group & Twin Cities Welfare Association Honored Indian Entrepreneur Iftekhar Shareef in Jeddah - Jan 07 2015

    From L to R Nadeem Abdul Basith, Dr. Adnan, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Syed Khaja Viqaruddin, Dr.Syed Ali Mehmood, Iftekhar Shareef, Dr.Faiz Al Abideen, Abdullah Bin Mahfooz, Sultan Faiz, Yazeed Faiz, Syed Abdul Aziz & Mirza Qudrath Nawaz Baig By Syed Rafath Shah Jeddah: Global Investment Management Group (GIMG), a newly launched Jeddah-based business forum, organized a reception to honour the visiting Indian entrepreneur and the first recipient of India’s dual citizenship, Iftekhar Shareef who symbolizes the true spirit of India although being an American since many decades. Shareef, a down-to-earth person with lots of civility and wisdom, spoke of his long journey from a mere USD 20, to an ownership of 20 big industrial enterprising. Recollecting his past memories that have many ups and downs, Shareef said: “Yes it’s true that I began my career from a McDonald’s outlet on a meagre earning, but I carried my struggle for a decent living with self-determination and to resolve the daunting challenges of life on a positive note that has helped me to reach the top”. Encouraging the youngsters to venture into business fields, he said: “The first and foremost thing is that, one should seek and evoke the divine blessings from the Almighty and then enter the field on a strong belief and remain steadfast no matter come what may, it should not dampen our willpower and of course, materialistic issue counts the most and for this, I advise that one should have a reasonable cushion of at-least twelve months as backups to guard his day-to-day life without any obstructions”. Referring to philanthropic services, Shareef said, “I do understand that it’s not that easy to get away from the family life altogether, but still one can simultaneously balance his family obligations versus the community services on a shrewd methodical approach that should not hurt both sentiments”. Elaborating his philanthropic services he said: “I devote 80% of my life towards community services and still find sufficient time to take care of my business and meet the family requirements. It’s a lame excuse to blame ourselves that I do not have time; the busiest person is the one who accomplish all his commitments within the slated time and find success in it”. Dr. Syed Ali Mahmood the Executive Director of GIMG described the chief-guest Shareef, as a soft spoken community leader, social activist and further, an ambassador of Hyderabadi culture in the US. Mahmood said: “Shareef being a CEO, the founder and chairman of ICS group of companies based in the US, Canada and India and above all, he is from Hyderabad and by nature he is ‘Shareef’ or straightforward”. Highlighting his diversified community and social services, Dr. Mahmood said: “Shareef is the trustee of FIA – Federation of Indian Association that spearheads in the various parts of the US to celebrate Indian cultural and national festivities like Independence and Republic Day and a road-show parade on these occasions. Bearing this point in mind, that in the road-show parade this Hyderabadi icon holds India’s tricolor, defending the frontal position like an army commander which I believe is a real courageous thing to do so, on a foreign soil. With these bold and unique characters have made Shareef a popular figure among the current and the past US Presidents and as well as with the Governor of Illinois. I consider him as a true Indian who fought for dual citizenship and ultimately attained it”. The Chairman of GIMG, Dr. Faiz Zainul Abideen while sharing the dais reminded the audience the importance of the third month of Hijra calendar ‘Rabi-Al-Awwal’ in which he said, some 1400 years ago the greatest benefactor of all mankind Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) was born to guide the man the true purpose of our lives, with his kind wisdom and knowledge that he has attained through the revelation of the Holy Qur’an. Dr. Faiz suggested a novel idea to form a new social organization in Hyderabad to be named as ‘Exceptional Muslim Hyderabad’, wherein Shareef and himself will be the Chief Patrons to administer and oversee the investments through the legacy of GIMG for the development of various projects within the state of Telangana like; Social, Educational, Sports, Medical, and the Real Estate. These recommendations Dr Faiz said were discussed with the top hierarchies of Telangana state during his recent visit to the state capital Hyderabad and were considered as standard parameters for the all-round progress and development for the India’s newborn 29th state. Sadath Ali Khan, another dignitary of the US-based Indian of Hyderabadi origin shared his sentiments about the people of Hyderabad. He said: “Believe me Hyderabadis are like pearls scattered on the globe and so, I feel there is an urgent need to transform them into one. The former mayor of Hyderabad city Mir Zulfikhar Ali who came all the way from Medinah Munawarrah on a very short notice to grace the occasion due to his personal affectionate with the chief-guest echoed his views and said: “I know Iftekhar Shareef from his childhood. The other speaker who expressed his exceptional viewpoint was the Director of GIMG, Engr. Aijaz Ahmed Khan who is a well-known sports personality of Jeddah & Indian philanthropist who is living in the Kingdom since last 35 years had outline Iftekhar Shareef’s down to earth nature and his personal experiences with him during many years in India. During the function rich tributes were also paid to the legendary Late Sharief Aslam who passed away recently in Jeddah. Members lauded his services and prayed to the Almighty Allah to accept his good deeds and rest his soul in the highest place of paradise. Later as a customary honor to the visiting chief-guest, two copies of the Holy Qur’an were presented by the members of GIMG and furthermore, mementos, shawls and flower- bouquets were also presented to the other dignitaries on the dais. Moderator of the program was done by the GIMG official member, Syed Khaja Viqaruddin who received commendable applauses from the chief-guest for his excellent anchoring. Shareef said: “The young compare with a microphone in his hand is like torchlight that should guide the world through the darkness and by his name ‘Viqar’ which means ‘pride’ of the community and a role-model for the youngsters”. Vote-of-thanks was proposed by Mirza Qudrath Nawaz Baig who is one of the emerging young Indian in the community welfare had thank Iftekhar Shareef for taking out time for his reception and also thank Dr .Faiz Al Abideen, Mir Zulfiqar Ali, Sadath Khan and the preventatives of the Indian community who had given their time in a very short notice . Earlier the program commenced with the recitation of a few verses from the Holy Qur’an by Engr. Mohammed Sayeeduddin, followed by two melodious Naat or eulogy voiced by Yousufuddin Riyaz and Khalid Madani. – Yahind.com
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    Republic Day parade: Obama watches India’s military might, cultural heritage

    Republic Day parade: Obama watches India’s military might, cultural heritage

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wave to the crowd at the end of Indias annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.(Manish Swarup/AP)NEW DELHI: Multi-hued images of India’s rich cultural diversity and military might as well as achievements in diverse fields unfolded on Monday at the 66th Republic Day parade which had a US President — Barack Obama — as the chief guest for the first time. Obama’s attendance at the Republic Day celebrations was unlike any other event he has participated in during his overseas travel as president. He spent more than two hours on an outdoor viewing platform, an unusual amount of time given Secret Service security concerns. Obama nodded in approval as tanks and rocket launchers, some of them Russian-made, rolled down the parade route and helicopters ferrying Indian flags flew overhead. Obama was seated next to Modi, donning a multicoloured ‘bandhej safa'(turban), as the two leaders chatted and enjoyed the annual spectacle. A smiling US President was seen nodding in appreciation on several occasions. As the nearly two-hour-long parade, showcasing the country’s ‘unity in diversity’ marched down the Rajpath in drizzle and overcast skies, thousands of spectators gathered along the route and cheered in joy. The national capital was wrapped in unprecedented security blanket as thousands of security personnel kept a hawk’s vigil in and around the Rajpath area. In a departure from tradition for the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, Obama arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, ‘the Beast,’ at Rajpath. A highlight of this year’s parade was the display for the first time of the recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane. The synchronised military and police contingents led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi), Lt General Subroto Mitra marched proudly to the lilting tunes of bands through Rajpath where President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Pranab Mukherjee took the salute from a specially erected dais. Alongside Obama, the first US President to attend the celebrations, the ceremonial parade was watched by his wife Michelle, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the country’s top political and military brass, besides the diplomatic community. A massive ground-to-air security apparatus was put in place in the national capital turning the city into virtually an impregnable fortress. Snipers of National Security Guard were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route. The arrangements were made to ensure an incident-free Republic Day celebrations and foolproof security to the American President, who arrived here on Sunday. As part of the seven-layered security, around 45,000 security personnel were deployed across the city while the commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Delhi Police kept a hawk-eye vigil at important locations. The unfurling of the tricolour by the President and playing of the national anthem were followed by a customary 21-gun salute. The parade began shortly after Mukherjee and Obama arrived at the saluting base separately at the ceremonial boulevard—Rajpath. Traditionally, the President accompanies the chief guest in his limousine. Before the commencement of the parade, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Major Mukund Varadarajan were posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award Ashok Chakra by the President. Major Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar laid down their lives while battling groups of militants in separate operations in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir respectively. Among the main attractions of the ceremonial parade were 25 colourful tableaux representing India’s cultural and linguistic diversity as also signifying the vision of the future India as envisaged by the current dispensation. So, a massive mechanised lion made out of gear-tooth wheels, symbolic of the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy or a mock-up of a high-speed bullet train drew cheers from the crowd as they rolled down the majestic avenue. Besides, the tableaux for ‘Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana’ helmed by the department of financial services, the ministry of women and Child Development-led exhibit featuring live performances by women themed on ‘Beti Bachaho, Beti Padhao’ campaign also won many hearts. And, with “women’s empowerment” being the theme of this year’s Republic Day parade, another attraction at the annual extravaganza was the contingents of all-women officers of the three Services marching for the first time on the Rajpath. While 16 of the tableaux belonging to the states and the union territories represented the cultural and architectural wealth of the country, the remaining nine were from various central ministries and departments themed on ‘Ma Ganga’ to ‘Yoga’ among others. Colurful performances by schoolchildren delighted President Obama as much as the crowd in general. Another military attraction was the display of Army version of indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash medium range missile and Weapon Locating Radar, both by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Indian Army’s laser-guided missile capable T-90 Bheeshma tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II (Sarath) followed by T-72 with Trawl too proved to be a major draw in the mechanised columns. These were followed by ‘Pinaka’ multiple barrel launcher system. The Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BRAHMOS missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar, satellite on the move communication platform and rapidly deployable satellite terminal (RADSAT) followed next. An Indian Air Force tableau with the theme “50 years of 1965 War” was next in line at the majestic Rajpath, dazzling VIPs, VVIPs and spectators alike. In keeping with the Indian Navy’s theme “Ensuring Safe Seas for a Resurgent Nation” – the Naval Tableau displayed a few of its frontline assets in all four dimensions of maritime warfare. Navy’s march to self-reliance and indigenisation was showcased by the models of indigenously constructed destroyer INS Kolkata launching a BrahMos missile with the Advanced Light Helicopter “Dhruv” in the background. The second Naval tableau, titled “Bharatiya Nau Sena aur Nari Shakti”, represented the four Indian Navy women officers who braved vagaries of the seas and participated in an ocean voyage from Goa to Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil on board Indian Naval Sailing Vessel ‘Mhadei’. The marching contingents of paramilitary and other forces included those from BSF, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, CRPF, Indo -Tibetan Border Police, CISF, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The camel-mounted band of BSF and the ex-servicemen marching contingent too added to the attraction. Among the state’s tableau, Gujarat and Karnakaka had particular appeal. While the home state of Prime Minister Modi showcased the ambitious project of building the ‘Statue of Unity’ symbolically represented by that of Sardar Vallabhahi Patel and the Sardar Sarovar Yojana, the southern state charmed everyone especially the kids with its tableau, huge scale-model, fashioned on the famed wooden toys of Channapatna, located in the outskirts of Bengaluru. New-born state Telangana, making its Republic Day debut showcased its illustrious festival ‘Bonalu’, celebrated to worship Mahakali goddess in the month of Ashada. For Jammu and Kashmir, the dazzling beauty of the region was displayed through Rouff dance of Kashmir, flower dance of Ladakh and Kud dance of Jammu regions. Haryana made its presence through its Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, famous for hosting migratory birds coming from Europe, Siberia and central Asia. Besides, CPWD which made a special floral tableau last year showcasing the Rajpath from India Gate to Raisina Hill this year chose the theme of ‘Maa Ganga’, depicting her origin from Gaumukh. Ministry of law and justice brought out a huge replica of the Indian Constitution as part of its display while ministry of AYUSH, showcased Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and other traditional medicinal systems of India. Maharashtra presented the ‘Wari (pilgrimage) to Pandharpur’ as its theme while Goa showcased the industry of fishing. Assam presented incredible Majuli island, while Andhra Pradesh’s tableau was themed on Makar Sankranti festival. Madhya Pradesh presented Bhagoria, festival of love and matchmaking. Uttarakhand showcased the Kedarnath Temple, Jharkhand its terracotta temples in Maluti, Sikkim its cardamom cultivation and Arunachal Pradesh the Igu dance, dance of the Idu Mishmi tribe and Chhattisgarh the Dussehra festival of Bastar. Uttar Pradesh presented the culture of the Awadh region through its tableau themed around one of its most secular rulers Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Also, 20 young brave hearts who won the national bravery awards drove through the Rajpath in gypsies. A total of 13 Army bands, one band each of Air Force and Navy, eight band of paramilitary forces including Camel-mounted band of BSF and one band each of NCC boys and girls played martial music for the parade. Incidentally, the paramilitary force celebrated its golden jubilee. One of the most breathtaking event was the manoeuvres by air force jets and daredevil motorcycle performance ‘Jaanbaaz’ by BSF personnel. The rider perform ‘Border Men Salute’, ‘Side Riding’, ‘Ladder Balancing’, ‘Communal Harmony’, ‘Peacock Riding’, ‘Acrobat’, ‘Parallel Bar’, ‘Lotus’, ‘Seema Prahari’ and ‘Flag March’ formations among others. The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by the IAF jets and aircraft. The flypast commenced with ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J super Hercules aircraft. Trailing them was a ‘Poseidon’ formation comprising one P-8I aircraft flanked by two MiG-29Ks and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30s. Next five Jaguars flew in Arrowhead formation and the five MiG-29 fighters, called the ‘Tridents’, flew in ‘Fulcrum’ style. Three Sukhoi (Su-30 MkI) fighter jets then made the “Trishul” formation by flying over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the three aircraft split upwards, making a ‘Trishul’ in the sky. The flypast concluded with another Su-30 MkI carrying out a “Vertical Charlie” manoeuvre over the saluting dais. (With inputs from agencies.)
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