Congratulations, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

Sydney, 23 May, 2019

Hearty Congratulations, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the spectacular victory!

👌🇮🇳👌

PM Modi, Indians everywhere including NRIs have supported you & BJP actively and openly.

They want India to take a much higher position in the world.

It’s possible with you as India’s Prime Minister.

We remember your visit to Australia between 15th and 18th Nov, 2014 with fondness. Your speech at All Phones Arena, Olympic Park was superb and memorable for thousands of Indian Australians.

After your attendance at G20 summit in Brisbane on 15th and 16th November, you had started your state visit to Australia. Indian community was excited with this visit. This was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PM Rajiv Gandhi visited Australia in 1986.

I was in the venues where you interacted with the community in Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to your address of a Joint session of Australian Parliament.

With your image as a decisive and a “can do” leader, Indians, not just in India but around the world, are optimistic that things will change for the better and the Indian economy will grow even more rapidly.

When I wrote a post in June, 2014 (https://yadusingh.com/2014/06/13/what-indians-in-australia-expect-from-the-modi-govt/) I mentioned many things which people expected. Many of those things have either been delivered or getting delivered. Prime Ministerial visit to Australia was one of them. Nuclear trade deal has already been signed.

Based on my interactions with many Indians in Australia, there are a few more things that people expect the new government to deliver.

1. Genuine dual citizenship: This has been discussed and debated for long. There is an almost universal demand that overseas Indians be given a right to hold genuine dual citizenship with voting and property rights, if the country of their citizenship has no issue with this and if there are no security issues with granting dual citizenship to any particular overseas Indian. If USA, UK, Australia and most of developed and democratic countries as well as some countries in the region see no issues in granting dual citizenship to their citizens, then people argue that there is no rational basis for India to deny dual citizenship to Indians. PM Modi, you and your government have the political capital to deliver this long-standing demand.

2. With Lok Pal coming in effect, it’s vital that the anti-corruption body is strengthened and resources to do an effective job.

3. The PM’s global Overseas Indians Advisory body should be revamped. People in it should be those who have significant presence, influence and interactions among Indians in their countries. The practice of Indian diplomats recommending their sycophants to become members of this body should be done away with.

4. Country specific Overseas Indian Advisory body: Countries with significant overseas Indian populations (Australia is certainly one such country) should have an advisory body of not more than 10 people, which can be used for consultations and other advisory purposes, not only by the local GOI authorities/agencies, but also the relevant authorities/agencies in India. Its term should be for not more than 2 years.

5. Annual consultation between High Commission and Community: Previous High Commissioner of India in Australia, Smt Sujatha Singh, started a novel, and productive, mechanism to meet the community representatives in Canberra on a yearly basis. Representatives from Indian community from all over Australia would assemble on a weekend to discuss and suggest things to Indian diplomats. Later High Commissioners did not continue this practice. The communication from High Commission and community has been limited and confined to a small group of people, who are close to HCI and their hangers-on. Previous practice of community consultation needs to be reactivated.

6. Free Trade Agreement (FTA): The pace of the discussions and negotiations should be accelerated so that FTA can be concluded soon. This will accelerate bilateral trade which is about $16 billion. This is important as Australia already has FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.

7. Hindi teachings in Australian Universities: To increase India’s soft power and increase the numbers of India-literate Australians, India should consider seriously funding such teaching courses in at least one University each in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussions should be had between relevant authorities to explore equal sharing of cost between Australia and India.

8. Facilitations of Australian Universities and TAFE to have campuses in India: Many Australian institutions are ranked quite highly in various world Universities ranking systems. Collaborations in this field should be actively facilitated and encouraged, following a pragmatic and win-win module. Indian regulations to facilitate this should be considered.

9. Recognition of TAFE diploma in India: Many Indian students come to Australia to train in TAFE institutes. Many then move on to Universities to complete degrees. In addition to the diplomas not being recognised to the extent that the students wanting to pursue this study in Australia do not even get the education loans, Association of Indian Universities (the peak body responsible for recognising foreign degrees) does not recognise even Bachelor degrees that may have resulted from a credit transfer after a diploma resulting in the degree component being lesser than 3 year duration. (Diploma to Degree). This is a unique feature of Australian Qualification framework and so should be understood by Educational authorities. Quite a good numbers of Indians in Australia have earned their degrees through this pathway. TAFE institutes are a unique institution and it will be beneficial for India to consider recognizing diplomas from TAFE.

10. Bilateral Internship positions for Australians and Indians: Institutes and Universities of repute in both countries should be encouraged to develop mechanisms to have short term (3-6 months) placements for students and researchers to enhance collaboration in science and research.

11. Indian media’s bureau/representatives in Australia: During 2009-10, Indian media reported issues involving Indian students in an exaggerated way, erroneously attributing racism in literally every incident. They did not interact with local long-term Indians. It was harder for media to have a grasp of the ground realities. It will be helpful if key media outlets consider basing their representatives in Australia to cover Oceania. With increasing trade related activities between Australia and India and with increased number of Indians here, there could be sufficient justification for such decisions. Indian Govt can encourage media houses to take up this matter. A good beginning could be of a posting a full time Press Trust of India (PTI) reporter in Australia.

12. Indian Consulate in Brisbane: Queensland is an important state for Indian investment. Indian business houses like the Adani group have an important and a significant presence in this state. It is important to have an Indian Consulate in Brisbane.

13. India House in major capital cities: There are more than 750,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, with a big concentration in Sydney and Melbourne. People believe that there should be Indian cultural centers (India House) in Australia, at least in Sydney and Melbourne. While some funding will be raised locally, a significant part of the funds should come from Indian Govt. Govt of India (GOI) Funds, if any, allocated for something of this nature to be established in the Indian Consulate premises in Sydney CBD should be reviewed and re-allocated for a center of this nature in areas like Parramatta or Blacktown, where the Indian community has a substantial presence. Sydney CBD is not a practical or appropriate site for an Indian Cultural Centre.

14. Overseas Indians’ property in India: Many overseas Indians are seeing that their properties are illegally occupied and face threats to their safety when they visit India. Court cases go on for extended periods of time. Indian Penal Code and relevant laws should be amended to tackle this menace.

15. Interactions between GOI agencies and Indian Australian community: It is often felt that GOI authorities in Australia do not interact with people sufficiently and respectfully, thus leading to a communication gap. It is a common experience that there is a significant gap between what we expect and what is delivered. It is also felt that GOI officials often get embroiled in local community politics and play “favoritism” games depending on who they like or dislike. It is quite irrational and subjective. Steps should be implemented to improve the situation and GOI agencies instructed to be more helpful and to improve their networking with the community.

16. Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs visit to Australia: With approx. 750,000 people of Indian heritage in Australia, a biennial visit of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs or the Minister of State should be included in the official GOI travel calendar. This will help facilitate interactions with the community and facilitate linkage between the GOI and the community.

17. Streamlined grievance redressal mechanism for Overseas Indians: Overseas Indian Affairs ministry has often not been very helpful and help has often not come in a timely fashion due to excessive bureaucratic influences. This should be reviewed and streamlined.

18. Exchanges between Academicians and civil Society leaders: We need regular bilateral exchange visits of academics, journalists, leaders and civil society leaders. This will help improve relations between the two countries. The scope and numbers should be increased.

In summary, it will be of mutual benefit to the community in Australia and India if the Indian government is proactive in considering the interests and welfare of the Indian community down under.

 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/23 May, 2019

http://www.facebook.com/dryadusingh

previous posts:

1. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/yadusingh.com/2014/05/16/with-bjpnda-govt-led-by-narendra-modi-a-new-era-dawns-in-india/amp/

2. https://yadusingh.com/2014/06/13/what-indians-in-australia-expect-from-the-modi-govt/

POSTPONED: Community Education Seminar: Law & You, Sunday, 9 September 2018

INFORMATION: Due to the passing away of a family member of Mr Ajay Singh (Redline Legal), he has to fly overseas urgently. We are therefore postponing this seminar to a future date. This seminar “Law and You” will not take place on Sunday, 9 September. Inconvenience is regretted. More information to follow.

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Invitation

Community Education Seminar “Law & You”. Sunday, 9 September, 3-5pm. Free event. | RSVP | Share | Promote | Thank You 🙏🙏 |

Dr Yadu Singh

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Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Competition for NRIs/PIOs

Sydney, 18 June, 2018

The Department of Posts of India is organizing a “Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign” at international level for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Person of Indian Origin (PIOs). The theme of the letter writing campaign is “Letter to my motherland” inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s “Amar Desher Mati“.  The letter is to be written in English/Hindi or any of the official languages mentioned in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.

2. The campaign will have two categories viz. (i)  upto 18 years and (ii) above 18 years.  The letter is to be handwritten on plain A-4 size paper with a word limit not exceeding 1000 words.   The entries are to be sent to Assistant Director General (Philately), Department of Posts, Room No. 108, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001. 

3. The entries will be accepted from 01.07.2018 till 30.09.2018.  A scanned copy of the entry may be submitted on MyGov portal by 30.09.2018 but it is compulsory that a hard copy of the letter bearing dispatch postmark of not later than 30.09.2018 be sent by post.  All non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) living outside India can participate in the International Level Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign.  Details of the Campaign are attached. The top three letters in each category will be awarded prizes as mentioned in attached details of the campaign.

4. For details please log on to www.indiapost.gov.in

_____________________________

Received from

Consulate General of India

Sydney

Level 1, 265, Castlereagh Street,

Sydney, NSW 2000

http://cgisydney.org/

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Happy Indian Republic Day 2018

Sydney, NSW

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Tomorrow, on 26 January, India will be celebrating Republic Day.

It’s a national day, which commemorates adoption of India’s constitution on 26 January, 1950, and is celebrated in every village, town, city and state capital of India, besides a grand celebration and a spectacular parade in the national capital, New Delhi.

This year, Republic Day is very special because 10 ASEAN heads of States (nations) are going to be gracing the occasion as the chief guests in New Delhi.

In Austraila, there would be Republic Day celebrations in the High Commission of India in Canberra and Consulate General offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Honorary Consulates in other places will do the same.

In Sydney, my friends and I will be at the Consulate General of India to celebrate Indian Republic Day between 9.30-11am on 26 January, 2018.

Happy Indian Republic Day!

Jai Hind!!

Dr Yadu Singh

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SBS should not use an incorrect map of India

Sydney/ 14th Aug, 2027


Just a few hours before the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence (71st Independence Day) on 15th August, the multicultural broadcaster, SBS, has decided to use a distorted and incorrect Map of India in its site. Kashmir is inalienable part of India, but SBS is showing it to be otherwise. The reason, whether it is due to poor information, mischief, unintentional mistake or due to intended purpose to insult India and Indian Australians (which I doubt), remains to be determined.

Whether SBS took inputs from Executive Producers of various Indian language programmes is also not known.

The best approach SBS, our own broadcaster, should do is to liaise with Consulate General of India in Sydney or High Commission of India in Canberra in regards to a matter like this. It is worth consulting DFAT too, because they are very aware of matters like this.

DFAT link has a different Indian map. http://smartraveller.gov.au/Countries/asia/south/Pages/india.aspx


A few years ago, we dealt with a similar matter involving Department of Immigration of Australia.

https://yadusingh.com/2011/06/09/diac-australia-has-indias-incorrect-map-which-should-be-rectified-asap/
https://yadusingh.com/2011/06/13/a-wrong-has-been-righted-in-diac-india-map-matter-thank-you-australian-govt/
http://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/indians-in-australia-force-government-to-withdraw-incorrect-indian-map/

 

We have lodged our protest with SBS authorities and shared the info with GOI authorities in Australia.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Aadhaar number is not mandatory for filing an Income Tax return for many NRIs

7 April, 2017/Sydney

NRIsI have received an important communication from Government of India (GOI) officials, clarifying the issue of Aadhaar card for NRIs.

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It was recently announced in Parliament that it is mandatory to mention Aadhaar Card number in every Income Tax Return and for applying for Permanent Account Number (PAN) number effective from 1 July, 2017.

Several NRIs and Diaspora associations sent petitions to Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Missions requesting that since they file returns in India due to income from Indian sources and do not have Aadhaar Card, NRIs should be exempted from the above requirement. Many wrote to Prime Minister too.

The Ministry of External Affairs took up this issue with the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, which has advised as below:

“As per Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961, every person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number shall, on or after the 1st day of July, 2017, quote Aadhaar number— (i) in the application form for allotment of permanent account number; (ii) in the return of income.  The above provisions apply to persons who are eligible to get Aadhaar. Under section 3 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, only a resident is entitled to get Aadhaar. Therefore, the provisions of Section 139AA quoted above regarding linking of Aadhaar to PAN or the requirement of quoting the Aadhaar number in the return shall not apply to a non-resident, who is not eligible to get Aadhaar.”

Press Release on this issue dated issued  on 5 April by Ministry of Finance is here.

GOI Press-Release-Aadhaar-5-04-2017

Aadhaar card is available to only those people who have been residents in India, which is defined in the Act as the cumulative period of stay in India of at least 182 days in the preceding 12 months. Many NRIs will not fulfil this basic criterion, and are not eligible to have a Aadhaar Card. Consequently, as clarified above, such NRIs are not required to quote Aadhaar number while filing an Income Tax return or applying for a PAN number.

As of now, the requirement of Aadhaar Card number is not mandatory for obtaining Driving License or a SIM Card.  It is one of the several documents recognized for address proof of the applicant.


Dr Yadu Singh

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Maa Tuje Salaam: A Multimedia Tribute to India’s brave Hearts, Sydney, 2 April, 2017

Sydney, 16 March, 2017


Book your Tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?embed&eid=263648

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Maa Thuje Salaam R Final.jpg

Maa Tuje Salam – A Multimedia Performance (involving dance, song, music, film and animation), Sydney, 2 April, 2017.

 

This is a tribute to India’s brave hearts who sacrifice their lives to the nation.

This is a beautiful concoction of Indian classical and Bollywood dance styles by Kala Ratna Dr.Sanjay Shantaram and his team from Shivpriya Dance School, Bangalore, India. http://www.shivapriya.in/?page_id=32

Maa Tuje Salam is our contribution in our support for National Defence Fund, which works for the welfare of the members of the Indian Armed Forces (including Para Military Forces) and their dependents including assistance to Indian defence martyrs’ families. The National Defence Fund is administered by an Executive Committee, with PM as the Chairperson, and Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as Members. Finance Minister is the Treasurer of the Fund. Accounts of the Fund are kept with the Reserve Bank of India. http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/national-defence-fund/

Dr Sanjay Shantaram is a talented dancer and actor in Kannada and Telugu film industry. Sanjay was born to, ‘Dr. Shantaram’ and ‘Swarna’. He started to learn classical dance at the age of seven. Sankara bharanam was the inspirational film, which made Sanjay go deep into the classical dance. He started his training at the age of 7 under the coaching of Smt. G. S. Rajalakshmi. He was the first rank holder in the dance examination, which was organized and carried out by the ‘Karnataka Secondary Education Board’. He made his debut as a child actor in 1981 in the film Bhaktha Gnana Deva.

He started to act in Telugu and Kannada films. At the same time, his love for dance did not diminish. He was also a good student in academics too. He scored 80% marks in his tenth standard board exams and in the same year, he ranked first in the senior grade dance competition by the ‘Karnataka Secondary Education Board’. In fact, Sanjay is a dentist too. In the year 1992, he won gold medal in a dance competition conducted in Hyderabad by ‘Navya Nataka Samithi’. He has also learnt Kuchipudi from Smt. Sunanda Devi.

Sanjay is acting in television serials too.

His dance school named ‘Shivapriya School of Dance’ in Bangalore teaches. Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi and other folk dances to the students.

He is an internationally acclaimed dancer and his team has performed in many cities all over the world. His troupe is also in the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) panel.

It is a “Must Go” and “not-To-Be-Missed” event, with a noble purpose behind it in the support of National Defence Fund. A significant part of the money saved will go the National Defence Fund.

All tickets will be pre-booked through a booking system to make it easier for everyone.

LINK: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?embed&eid=263648

Dr Yadu Singh

Federation of Indian Associations of NSW

fianinc1@gmail.com

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