Parbinder Kaur Shergill – Judge in Canada Supreme Court

Indian-origin Sikh woman first turbaned judge in Canada Supreme Court

Last week, Palbinder Kaur Shergill was appointed to the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, becoming the first turbaned judge in Canada.

She was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada with her family when she was four years old. She grew up in Williams Lake, B.C.

Image source: huffingtonpost.ca

Ms Shergill’s extended family in Jalandhar, India run a non-profit computer and stitching centre for the poor, reported The Indian Express.

Her appointment was announced along with two other judges by Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, under the new judicial application process. The new process emphasises transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Known as a prominent human rights lawyer in Canada, Shergill was instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her pro bono work as General Legal Counsel for the World Sikh Organisation of Canada. “Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill practised as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill and Company, Trial Lawyers. She has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Shergill was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service,” said the introduction released by the minister.

In the media:

Indian Prime Minister Modi goes to Washington

Trump meets Modi: Indian Prime Minister to meet America leaders and President Trump. This is Mr. Modi’s first trip since Mr. Trump took charge.

ModiTrump

The agenda for the Prime Minister’s visit to USA (June 25-26, 2017) was published in Indian Embassy’s website:

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Washington DC on June 25-26, 2017, at the invitation of the President of the United States of America, The Honorable Donald J. Trump.

Prime Minister will hold official talks with President Trump on June 26. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. Their discussions will provide a new direction for deeper bilateral engagement on issues of mutual interest and consolidation of multi-dimensional strategic partnership between India and the U.S.”

President Trump took to Twitter:

Modi Ji is equally excited on Twitter

Media reports include

Worldwide Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation Receives 2017 MDRT Foundation Worldwide Grant

Carrollton Native Kamal Daya and Worldwide Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation Receive $5,000 Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

Carrollton-native and New York Life insurance agent, Kamal N. Daya, CLU, ChFC, of Dallas, Texas secured a USD $5,000 grant from the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation on behalf of The Worldwide Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation. This grant comes through MDRT’s Worldwide Grant Program. Through its global grants, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award nearly $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.

Kamal Daya with a Group of Students in India

Daya, a 38-year MDRT member and the 2011 recipient of the Top Quality of Life Award from the MDRT, is the co-founder of WEF along with his wife, Connie.  Previously, India Education Fund of The Dallas Foundation, the organization has expanded over the last year into supporting projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and here in Dallas. The organization’s sole purpose remains to help improve the quality and scope of education for underprivileged and marginalized children in some of the poorest areas of the world. To achieve this goal, WEF focuses on five key initiatives: quality English language skills training, technology skills training, coaching and mentoring programs, empowering students to reach their maximum potential and educational and vocational scholarships. With the grant, WEF will expand its programmatic scope into three new programs, impacting over 500 kids and an additional 2000 kids in the years to come. For more information about WEF and its work, visit wef.world.

Beneficiraies of WEF project ( Advance English Course) in Tajikistan

About the MDRT Foundation:

The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $30 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visit mdrtfoundation.org.

About MDRT:

Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 49,500 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 70 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.  For more information, visit mdrt.org.

About The Dallas Foundation:

The Dallas Foundation is the oldest community foundation in the state of Texas, and serves donors and nonprofit agencies through North Texas. The Foundation serves as a keystone – a link between donors and the community issues that the donors care about. For more information, please visit www.dallasfoundation.org.

2017 UK-India Year of Culture

Prime Minister announces 2017 UK-India Year of Culture

Sushma Swaraj: Even if you are stuck on the Mars, Indian Embassy there will help you.

Last week, NBC’s Megyn Kelly asked Indian PM Modi if he is on Twitter

Indian digirati quickly took to social media asking Ms. Kelly to do her homework before interviewing world leaders. At last count, beloved NaMo had over 30 million followers!

NaMo

With 8 million plus followers, Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj continues to make waves. In the past, we have blogged “NRIs wonder: How do I bring my issue to the attention of Sushma Swaraj?”

Her latest tweet is a bit Tongue-in-cheek, but may not be too far fetched.

 

CNN Anchor Mocks Indian-American Spelling Bee Champ And Thinks Sanskrit Is Still Widely Spoken In India

When 12-year-old Ananya Vinay won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US, she made Indians around the world very proud.

Ananya and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland. Ananya won on the word “marocain”, a fabric.

Naturally, television channels started interviewing her. But when international news channel CNN decided to interview the 12-year-old, you didn’t have to think twice before knowing that this reeks of racism.

“…It is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit which is probably what you’re used to…”

‘Covfefe’ is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit — which is probably what you’re used to.Alisyn Camerota

Erm…what?

There are so many things wrong with the statement above that we’ll need a minute to organise our thoughts.

(read the rest on huffingtonpost)


 

Update: US lawmakers flay CNN anchor over remarks on Indian-American spelling bee champion

Two US lawmakers have criticised a CNN anchor for allegedly “otherising” Indian-American national spelling champion+ Ananya Vinay by assuming that the 12-year-old is “used to using” Sanskrit due to her heritage, saying the US needs to get educated about Hinduism and India.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Hindu Congressman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at the anchors for playing into stereotypes. “It’s disappointing that a segment which should have honoured the accomplishments of Vinay instead other-ised her and the Indian-American community by playing into stereotypes,” Indian-American Congressman from Illinois Krishnamoorthi said.

This is “Further evidence of the need for America in general, and CNN in particular, to get educated about Hinduism & India,” said Tulsi Gabbard, the Hindu Congresswoman from Hawaii.

CNN should be embarrassed: Anchor assumes American spelling bee champ must be “used to using” Sanskrit. Do Italian-Americans use Latin?” wrote eminent journalist Indira Lakshmanan.
The sixth-grader had correctly spelled the word ‘marocain’ and became the 13th consecutive winner from the Indian-American community at the annual spelling bee championship.

Opportunity for Visiting NRI scientists to work in Indian institutes

India’s Central Government is all set to launch a first-of-its-kind programme next month wherein foreign and Non Resident Indian (NRI) scientists can work in the country’s scientific institutions for a period of one to three months.

Those of us (including GaramChai.com editor) who attended the “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in 2017” recall the announcement on Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA)

Hon’ble Prime Minister during the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention at Bengaluru on 8th January 2017 has announced the launching of VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme by the Department of Science and Technology which enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department will implement the Scheme.

VAJRA faculty will undertake research in S&T priority areas of nation wherein the capability and capacity are needed to be developed. The VAJRA faculty will engage in collaborative research in public funded institutions.

The residency period of the VAJRA Faculty in India would be for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months a year.

The VAJRA Faculty is provided a lump-sum amount of US$ 15000 in the first month of residency in a year and US$ 10000 p.m. in the other two months to cover their travel and honorarium. While no separate support is provided for e.g. accommodation, medical / personal insurance etc. the host institute may consider providing additional support.

A few key points about the program

  • VAJRA initiative has been welcomed by leading Indian institutes
  • Foreign researchers see the VAJRA initiative as a gateway to meaningful research in an environment full of opportunity
  • The scientists under the VAJRA programme would draw a salary of USD 15,000 in the first month and USD 10,000 each in the remaining months.
  • The number of scientists under the programme has been capped at 1,000.
  • The government currently runs a programme under ‘Ramanujan Fellowship’. However, it is aimed at attracting Indian students and doctors working abroad. The period of the fellowship is for five years.

Link to the Department of Science and Technology announcement 

For more details, log on to http://www.vajra-india.in/