Sydney, the 5th best city of the world and Hong Kong, the best city in 2012 survey!

Economist Intelligence Unit/BuzzData competition  has declared the 2012 ranking of world cities recently [3rd July 2012].

http://buzzdata.com/content/blog/best-city-contest-winner-press-release/

The survey used a new, “spatial characteristics” category, which is comprised of seven new indicators: green space, sprawl, natural assets, cultural assets, connectivity, isolation, and pollution. This was given 25% of the Vote.

Using  this new criterion and compiling the composite score, Hong Kong is now the number “one” city and Sydney, the 5th best city. Sydney is the only Australian city in the list. Hong Kong’s compact nature, network of green spaces and cultural assets helped it get the top spot.

Looking and comparing the list this year with previous years, Sydney has slipped from 2nd to 5th spot.

Toronto in Canada [8th rank] is the only North American city in the top ten in a new best city ranking. Washington DC  is 14th.

No surprise there that 5 out of 10 best cities are European cities.

Sydney was noted to have low pollution and high greenery, but urban sprawl dragged its score down. In the years to come, Sydney’s rank could go down further as it is growing in the outskirts which is going to have a negative impact on its ranking.

Vancouver has gone down massively in the score.

Here is the list of top 20 best cities.

1. Hong Kong

2. Amsterdam

3. Osaka

4. Paris

5. Sydney

6. Stockholm

7. Berlin

8. Toronto

9. Munich

10. Tokyo

11. Rome

12. London

13. Madrid

14. Washington DC

15. Chicago

16. New York

17. LA

18. San Francisco

19. Boston

20. Seoul

Singapore was 22nd, Beijing 30th, Shanghai 33rd, KL 37th, New Delhi 46th, Bangkok 49th and Mumbai was 52nd out of 70  cities. Karachi was 65th and Dhaka, Lagos and Harare were at the bottom of the list.

I and Sydneysiders  wouldn’t have any doubt  anyway that we live in one of the best cities of the world. No city can match Sydney’s Opera House, Darling Harbour and its pristine beaches. Sydney is indeed a happening city and we love it!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/5th July, 2012

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Census 2011:My comments in Australian Financial Review story!

 

Yadu Singh

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Australian Financial Review

21st June, 2012

India tops migrant mix

By PIP FREEBAIRN

First they were British and Irish, then Greeks, Italian and Vietnamese, but now the fastest growing wave of migrants to Australia are Indians.

The 2011 census showed yesterday that the number of Indian migrants in Australia has doubled since five years earlier with around 150,000 new migrants arriving here.

The proportion of Australian residents born in India rose from0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.4 per cent in 2011 as their number increased from 147,106 to 295,362.

Their growing contingent joins longer-standing migrants such as Yadu Singh, the president of Indian Australian Association of NSW. He came to Australia in 1991 to train as a cardiologist and enjoys the quality of life. He denies that Australia is perceived as racist and dangerous.

“Despite all the nonsense, Australia is a welcoming country and Indians know that. It was the Indian media that overreacted to the events a few years ago.

“Indian migrants know while there are a few [racists], the rules and regulation of this country are not in anyway racist.”

Dr Singh is referring to a series of incidents in Melbourne in which robberies and assaults on trains and in public places were perceived as being racially motivated.

Most Indians live in NSW, followed by Victoria, and most are located in capital cities. Melbourne had the highest proportion of Indian-born residents, at 2.7 per cent. But a regional bonus in the points test for permanent migration status means some Indian migrants are now branching out to Newcastle, Wollongong, and Bathurst.

Indian-born Australians are most likely to speak English at home, followed by Hindi and Punjabi, a language spoken in Northern India and regions of Pakistan.

The census reveals that the number of Punjabi speakers grew the fastest of any language in Australia – by 207 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The growth of Hinduism has also matched the growth of Indian migration. While only 1.3 per cent of residents identify as Hindus, its numbers of adherents have almost doubled from 148,000 in 2006 to 275,534 in 2011.

Census director Andrew Henderson said the growth of Indian migration meant the Indian-born had overtaken Italian-born as those migrants moved into their second generation. “It is fundamentally shifting the cultural mix in Australia,” he said.

Australia and India share a number of cultural touchstones, not least widespread English usage in both nations and a legacy of common colonial histories. Cricket also binds the two nations, with Test matches that involve India in Sydney and Melbourne attracting large vocal crowds in support of the visiting team.

Indian permanent migration to Australia hit a monthly peak of almost 1800 in early 2008, before dipping to 680 in 2010 but has recovered to 1350 arrivals a month in early 2012.

Many Indians come to Australia not just for economic opportunity but to take advantage of the education system. Dr Singh said Indians who came to Australia tended to be young and highly educated and were often seeking further training in accounting, medical degrees, or nursing.

Indian-born Australians tend to be younger than the median age of the total population, 36 compared to 47.

Hass Dellal, the head of Australian Multicultural Foundation,which advises government, said the new wave of migration indicated that Australia was engaging more in the region.

“But we are not taking advantage of the opportunities it brings, economically or culturally. We need things such as languages in schools so that we can make the most of the advantages of our multicultural society.”

Participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today was fun and a pleasure!

Clean Up Australia logo

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pic.twitter.com/ZTPekVAP

I enjoyed participating in “Clean Up Australia Day” today. It was a fun too.

In the morning, I joined up with my friends from Basava Samithi of Australia [an Indian group] in Collimore Park, Liverpool, NSW, where we, as a team, collected a lot of things. It was a pleasure to see the Council Truck coming and picking up things which we had collected. Dayanand Mogale [President of Basava Samithi], Panchaksaraiah Palya [Secretary of Basava Samithi] and Chidanand Puttarevanna were the key people in this group.

In the afternoon, I met up with friends from Australia Tamil Association [another Indian group] to participate in the activity at Best Road Reserve, Seven Hills, NSW.

We collected rubbish, broken TV, cups, bags, shopping trolleys, clothes, damaged fans and many more things. I was pleasantly surprised to know that Clean Up Australia organisation and local Councils provided gloves, and collection bags for the volunteers. Qantas also supported these events by donating Tea shirts and even small grants.

The prediction about weather was that it would rain but it turned out to be a bright and sunny morning, which, unfortunately, left an unwanted side effect. I had sun burn on my face, for which I was teased by my children. This also disproved my theory [without any basis] that brown-skinned people do not suffer sun burn. From now on, I will be better prepared!

Based on what we found there, I was sad to see the abuse of our environment by people. Obviously, we need to look after our environment and this Planet. This is a job for everyone and every day, not just for Clean Up Australia Day.

Basava Samithi and Australia Tamil Association [ATA] volunteers turned the events into “fun” events. At ATA event, Thiru Arumugam [President of ATA] and Susai Benjamin were also present. I was requested to give away certificates to the volunteers, which was a real honour and a matter of great pleasure.

I am more convinced now than before that there is a need for all of us to look after the nature and this planet.

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/4th March, 2012

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IIFA in Sydney: How, when and by whom?

Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan with wife/actre...

Image via Wikipedia

IIFA Awards [The International Indian Film Academy Awards] are the most prestigious awards from Bollywood, the premier movie industry in India, and are presented every year by the International Indian Film Academy to recognise professionals and artists from Bollywood.

The first IIFA event was held in 2000. So far, they have been held in different countries around the world, details of which are as follows.

2000: Millennium Dome London, United Kingdom,

2001: Super Bowl Arena, Sun City, South Africa,

2002: Arena of Stars Genting, Highlands, Malaysia,

2003: Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa,

2004: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore,

2005: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

2006: Dubai International Convention Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

2007: Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom,

2008: Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand,

2009: The Venetian Macao, Macau, Macau,

2010: Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka,

2011: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Social and economic benefits of hosting IIFA Awards are many. No wonders, there is a fierce competition among cities to host the event.  IIFA reaches out to millions of viewers and fans across the world providing them with an opportunity to see legends of Bollywood together on one stage. Toronto IIFA event was reportedly watched by >600million viewers. The Academy’s main objective has been to develop and promote relationships between film industries and organizations across the world. The focus is on foreign exchange and interaction, creating a common forum and meeting ground for enhancing business opportunities, apart from showcasing Bollywood cinema.

To prove that the hosting city benefits greatly, here is the latest evidence. Government of Ontario invested US$ 12 million to host 2011 edition of IIFA at Toronto and believed to have gained direct economic impact of over US$ 100 million in tourism. The organisers felt the returns of holding IIFA far exceeded the expectations estimated by the Government of Ontario.

IIFA have never been held in Australia, but Melbourne is trying to host them. They have already started the process.

Sydney is truly a world city with plenty of attractions for the Bollywood artists and fans. After all, who can beat Opera House, pristine beaches like Bondi Beach, and Blue Mountain, along with Hunter Valley which is only a short distance away? NSW can rope in our cricketers too, knowing that some of them have a huge fan following in India. Sydney will beat any city, if it decided to bid for IIFA. NSW should definitely bid for it, as it is indeed going to bring heaps of tourists around the time of the event, and thereafter too, which should generate more than $200 million for the NSW economy. With the flow-on effect on the inward tourism from India, and with the improved image of Australia as a travel destination for Indians, this benefit may well cross 500 millions easily over the short to medium term. I know, I am not a NSW treasury official and can’t predict what the monetary outcome of this event would be for NSW, but one thing is certain that it would be beneficial to the economy.

If IIFA is held in Sydney, they will be the best ever (to match the best ever Olympics) and will help strengthen ties between India and Australia. Basically, there are many positives, and no negative.

Organisations of Indian Australians, and Indian Australians in NSW generally, can play a vital role by helping the NSW Govt in the bidding process. There are >150000 people of Indian heritage in Sydney [more if you add the fans of Bollywood from Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds], who would be a potent force on behalf of NSW in attracting the event for Sydney.

My discussions with many prominent people have given me a clear impression that they would love to have IIFA in Sydney in the near future. To succeed in this however, the work has to start soon. It might be a bit late to bid for 2012, but we can start the process now for 2013 event or thereafter.

NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell is visiting India with a trade delegation next month. I think, it would be a perfect opportunity to initiate the process before the visit and follow it up during the visit.

I, for one, can’t wait to see IIFA event in our beautiful city, Sydney!

PS: I am not in favor of frauds and fake people, with no integrity and value system, getting anywhere near events like IIFA, because they will destroy the whole concept and the brand image. We all know that there are people who can con people to make money, and are very keen to promote themselves as event organizers. They operate with no principle and have no ethics.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/25th October, 2011

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OZ Uranium to India:my article in Mining & Technology Australia Journal.

Mining and Technology Australia asked me to write an article on OZ Uranium to India. This magazine is an Industry journal. It has now been published.

Link is here>> http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1sqpz/MiningampTechnologyA/resources/index.htm Page 40-41.

I am keen to hear from you about your views, points and counterpoints. I enclose this Radio interview about Uranium mining in Australia. http://radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/in-focus-uranium-mining-business-and-trade-2/

Yadu Singh/Sydney/12th July, 2011

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Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Peter Varghese’s Op-ed in an Indian newspaper:It makes a lot of sense!

Article by High Commissioner Peter Varghese- 1 February 2010 [Sent by DFAT with thanks. Also available on the website of Australian High Commission, New Delhi, India]

http://www.india.highcommission.gov.au/ndli/article1feb.html

 “What is happening in Australia? The widespread media coverage of attacks on Indians in Australia has raised several understandable questions. Are Indian students safe in Australia? Are Indians being singled out? Why are these attacks happening? Are they racially motivated and what is being done to address the problem? Crime is never easy to dissect and crime statistics even more so. We know that Australia is a relatively safe place with homicide and assault rates well below the global average. But we cannot prove with existing data, one way or another, whether Indian students are more likely to be assaulted than students from other countries. Also, with the number of Indian students growing by nearly 400 percent in the space of a few years the number of Indians affected by street crime has also increased in absolute numbers. The overwhelming majority of the half million foreign students in Australia, including the vast majority of Indian students, have a safe and positive experience. That may be cold comfort for Indian victims of assault and their families back home, but it is nevertheless an important point to make. Many of the Indian students in Australia are under financial pressure. Their visa requires them to have enough money in the bank to cover their costs before they come to Australia. But in many cases this does not happen. And when the pressure is on you to earn money quickly you do two things. First, you seek out night shift work because that is easier to get and may pay more. This means that you are more likely to be in a higher risk job such as driving taxis late at night. Second, you look for cheap accommodation which may put you in a higher crime neighbourhood and commuting to it at an hour when attacks are more likely. None of this excuses attacks. And no one should ever blame the victim. But it might help explain why some of these attacks are occurring. Are the attacks racist? For the most part they are the ugly face of urban crime committed by criminals from a wide variety of racial backgrounds. Many of the assailants have been juveniles or young adults acting in an aggressive and predatory way. But in some cases the attacks have been accompanied by racial abuse: something for which the Australian government has zero tolerance and the great majority of Australians condemn as completely unacceptable. If race is the motive, it will come out in the course of investigation and trial. We need to allow those processes to run their course and not make instant judgements based on initial media reports which may turn out to be wrong. This applies as much to the media as it does to those investigating these crimes. So what is being done? A lot. We have increased police resources. In Melbourne, where many of these attacks have occurred, we have put in place special action to target crime hotspots and to run a “safe stations” program. We have given police wider powers to search for weapons without a warrant and to move unruly people on. We have introduced legislation to allow our courts to impose tougher sentences for hate crime. We have set up special consultative arrangements for the police to liaise with Indian and other international students, including a hotline for students who need advice or help. And we are going after the perpetrators. Already in Victoria alone some 45 people have been arrested for crimes against Indian students or nationals. The courts are dealing with the culprits, including in one case a sentence of 18 years for a vicious attack against a person of Indian origin. In one recent assault case, the assailant was given a three month prison sentence within twenty four hours of the attack. The Victorian police are giving a very high priority to finding the killer of Nitin Garg. And our Prime Minister has set up a special task force to deal with these attacks, chaired by the National Security Adviser and involving all the state governments. As a government and a community we take these attacks seriously. We cannot promise to stop urban crime — no government can credibly do that. But we are determined to address the problem, deal with the perpetrators and provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all our foreign students. It is neither fair nor accurate to paint these attacks as the actions of a racist country. Australia has travelled a long way on race. We have gone, in the space of single generation, from White Australia to one of the most culturally and racially diverse societies in the world. Rapid social change has not been without its tensions but, overall, the record is one of impressive harmony. And that is not a journey which can be made by a racist nation.”

Peter N Varghese Australian High Commissioner

Who is racist-Australia or Indian media?

Look, I agree, the title of this write-up is dramatic and provocative but this is the question which lots of people are asking. A segment of Indian media is calling every crime involving Indians in Australia as racist crime. They don’t even wait for full facts. It is grossly unfair, inappropriate, immature and ,I argue, racist. Everything in Australia is racist and the very same crimes in India are not. Indian media is doing it intentionally with one agenda only. This agenda is to harm Australia’s reputation. They are selectively blind to some crimes but hysterical about certain crimes.

Let me put some examples to illustrate my point of view.

1. Late Nitin Garg’s fatal stabbing: This was the most shocking loss of life in Melbourne. A 21 years old Indian permanent resident was fatally stabbed at 10 PM when he was walking through a park for his work. This was in the Western Suburb of Melbourne which is known for increased crime against people of all types. There was no witness and the park was dimly lit. Full facts have not come out yet. Vic police is investigating. One Indian minister demanded faster speed in the investigation just 2 days after the crime, while ignoring the fact that it took 19 years for the Indian system to deal with SPS Rathore, Ex DGP of Haryana, who had molested a young lady [Ruchika] and  had also harassed her family which led to the suicide of Ruchika. It is a bit rich to hear that statement from this minister. Indian media of course took up the job of branding Australia a racist country. Do they have any evidence to claim that Nitin was murdered due to his race? Do they have any evidence to say who killed Nitin? This is ridiculous and an indicator of the lack of fairness, accountability and responsibility to their profession. Make no mistake, we are all very sad and angry with what has happened. A young man has lost his life in this manner. Our hearts go out to his mother, brother and other family members. We owe it to Nitin that we put sufficient pressure on Vic Police to catch the criminal and prosecute him vigorously.

2. Ku Klux Klan cartoon: This cartoon by a newspaper in India was an outrageous sensationalisation by the Indian media. What evidence they have to claim what they claimed? It is not fair to brand the whole Vic police to be Ku Klux Klan! We are not surprised that Acting PM, Julia Gillard, Acting Premier of Vic, Mr Hull and Vic police reacted angrily and called this cartoon to be offensive. Rather than going on Ku Klux Klan direction, they could have highlighted the failure of Vic police in controlling the crime situation there.

3. Murder of an Indian lady in Westmead, NSW by her husband: It is alleged that Chaman Jot Singh had killed his wife and then ran away to Melbourne from where he was arrested. He is in prison now and awaiting his trial. We did not see much coverage of this murder! Indian media is treating one murder differently from the another. Is this an example of journalism?

4. Murder/burning of Ranjodh Singh in Griffiths: This murder was shocking too. Newspaper reports are claiming that he was a contractor who was employing other Indians. It is alleged that a dispute involving the payment of wages was responsible for the fight and murder/burning. Killers are alleged to be Indians. We did not see much coverage of this in the Indian media. Why?

5. Alleged burning of an Indian in Melbourne: This story is quite unusual and the newspapers are raising doubts on some aspects of this crime. Full facts are yet to be disclosed but police are saying that aspects of the story don’t stack up.

6.  IndianTaxi driver molesting a young lady in Brisbane: A taxi driver was sentenced to 15 months prison term in Brisbane but not much has been reporeted in Indian media. Why?

7. Puneet, an Indian student, drove drunk and killed an 19 years old Gold Coast man last year. He was tried and was convicted. While waiting for the sentencing, he jumped bail and ran away from Australia, using a false passport. He lives in India now. Should he not be arrested there and sent back to an Australian jail? Where is Indian police and Indian media? Why did Indian media not cover this topic? Is it OK for an Indian to kill someone else?

http://www.theage.com.au/world/india-urges-restraint-in-reporting-of-attacks-20100110-m0iz.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/fire-attack-on-indian-deepens-race-tensions-20100109-m00j.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-mean-streets-where-the-locals-fear-to-tread-20100109-m00l.html

http://www.smh.com.au/national/two-questioned-over-burnt-body-of-indian-worker-in-griffith-20100109-m03q.html

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/taxi-driver-pleads-guilty-to-schoolgirl-assault/story-fn3dxity-1225817388943

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/indian-tvs-unsound-fury-20100106-lu8y.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/10/2789026.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/09/2788802.htm

 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indians-in-oz-fear-backlash-over-ku-klux-klan-cartoon/565039/

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/6660657/indian-govt-angry-after-attack-on-man/4/$

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indians-in-oz-feel-race-angle-being-forcefully-fed-by-media/565571/

http://www.theage.com.au/national/southbank-crash-driver-drunk-and-speeding-20081001-4rcz.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/killer-driver-fled-australia-on-false-passport-police-20090820-erzp.html

It does not matter to them that most Indian Australians do not believe Australia to be a racist country. Australia’s rules/regulations and laws are not racist. They are not discriminatory to any one on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion. It is a known fact that every country has some racists. Australia and India are no exceptions. Ask North Indians what they feel in Mumbai. Ask North Eastern Indians what they get called in New Delhi. Ask any one what Indians call Africans. Why is Indian media not taking this up? It is a known fact that every country has a crime problem. Australia also has it and India also has it. India in fact may have worse crime problem.  No country is totally crime free. What has Indian media done against crime/criminals in India? Some politicians there have extensive criminal background? Any thing being done by Indian media about that?

By the way, my comments here should not mean that I am happy with the policing by Vic Police. They are definitely not able to have an effective control on the crime situation in Vic. They need to do a review about the ways they do crime control. They should do random and unannounced searches for knives etc without giving the notice of 7 days before such searches. You read it right. They actually do give a 7 days notice about their searches in any particular suburb.Things seems to be better in NSW in this regards. May be, they should talk with their NSW counterparts.

Some “leaders” in Melbourne don’t waste any time to claim every crime being a racist crime. There is one whose comments are outrageous. He does not wait for any evidence.  His understanding of the situation is very deficient. I believe he is  harming Indian Australian community  due to his stupid statements.  His statements are irrational. He seems to have some sorts of connection with some in Indian media. His hypocrisy is objectionable as he has taken Australian citizenship and is bringing his parents to live in Australia. Why is this the case if Australia is nothing but a racist country? He is not even a student. As far as I know, he is not even working in the field of his training these days. He claims to speak for all of us. I want to tell him that we do not agree with his irrational views. We also know that he has hardly any support in Melbourne and Indian Australians in Melbourne dislike him intensely & with passion.

I ask Indian media to become rational and objective in its coverage of the problems in Australia. They should wait for the full facts to come out before jumping to any conclusion. They need to cover all crimes even when Indians are involved in committing those crime. They must stop hysterical and selective reporting. Some students also commit crime and the behaviour of some of them is below standard. They don’t know how to conduct themselves. Indian Gov’s advisory is a right thing but did we really need it? Should it not be a component of common sense and should we not know what to do and what not to do? These students are not children, after all.

The irrational reporting by Indian media is making them a laughing stalk and this is making the situation more difficult for Indian Australians. There is a risk that a backlash may happen against Indian Australians if Indian media continues its hysterical and unfair reporting.

The behaviour of a segment of Indian media begs the question. Is indian media racist towards Australia?

I know where I stand on this matter. I am going to let you make up your own mind. Do let me know what you think!

Yadu Singh/Sydney/10th Jan, 2010