HSS HINDU YOUTH CONFERENCE 2014: A 2 -day Hindu Youth Conference was held on April 5th-6th at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania in US, in which 29 working professionals and students from various universities like Pennsylvania State and Massachusetts, Universities at Drexel, Rutgers, Boston, Columbia etc. participated.

Activities like Scavenger Hunt, “Minute to win it” challenges, khel sessions, and a very energetic Holi celebration were highlights of the conference. Overall, the varg was filled with laughter, enthusiasm, and a feeling of togetherness. It ended on a high note with concluding remarks by Yellojirao Mirajkar, highlighting the universal and all-inclusive principals of Hinduism.

BHARAT BECAME 3RD-LARGEST ECONOMY IN 2011 FROM 10TH IN 2005: In a matter of six years, Bharat emerged as the world’s third-largest economy in 2011 from being the 10th largest in 2005, moving ahead of Japan, while the US remained the largest economy closely followed by China, latest figures have revealed.

Asia and the Pacific, including China and Bharat, account for 30 per cent of world GDP.

China and Bharat make up two-thirds of the Asia and the Pacific economy, excluding Japan and South Korea, which are part of the OECD comparison. Russia accounts for more than 70 per cent of the CIS, and Brazil for 56 per cent of Latin America. South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria account for about half of the African economy,” said the report.

“At 27 per cent, China now has the largest share of the world’s expenditure for investment (gross fixed capital formation) followed by the US at 13 per cent. Bharat, Japan and Indonesia follow with 7 per cent, 4 per cent, and 3 per cent, respectively,” the report said.

China and Bharat account for about 80 per cent of investment expenditure in the Asia and the Pacific region.

NOKIA NAMES RAJEEV SURI AS CEO: Nokia named the man who led a turnaround at its main telecoms network business as its new chief executive on April 29, boosting investors’ confidence in the future of the company following the sale of its once-dominant handset arm.

“Mr. Suri has done a very commendable job in turning around NSN, in our view. Thus, we see the market being positive about his appointment,” JP Morgan Cazenove analysts said.

Suri, a 46-year-old Bharatiya national, was widely expected to lead the company after the sale of the handset business.

GOOGLE LAUNCHES VIRTUAL TOUR OF CAMBODIA’S ANGKOR WAT: Located in remote, northwestern Cambodia, the ancient Angkor Wat temples have been a wonder from afar for many who had neither the time nor money to pay a visit.  Now, a tour is just a free click away, thanks to Google Street View.

On 3rd April, The company announced the launch of its new ground-level view of the complex in Siem Reap province, where the temples are located.  “It has significance beyond Cambodia. …It’s the biggest Hindu temple in the world, so for the billions of people who believe in Hinduism in the world, this is very important for them.  This is a part of the world of information that we want to bring to everyone in the world,” said Senior Google staffer Divon Lan.

Google Street View users can now visit 100 temples and sculptures around Angkor Wat, via a 360-degree perspective.  The new initiative adds to existing virtual tours of the Taj Mahal in Bharat and Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority, which administers Angkor Wat on behalf of the government, said he hopes the project will help attract even more tourists to the temples.Cambodia welcomed 4.2 million tourists last year, many of whom visited Angkor Wat.

OBAMA CONGRATULATES MODI; INVITES HIM TO VISIT US: U.S. President Barack Obama on 16th May congratulated prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the BJP’s historic victory and invited him to visit the US. “The President invited Narendra Modi to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to further strengthen our bilateral relationship,” the White House said following the maiden telephonic conversation between the two leaders. During the call, Mr. Obama felicitated Mr. Modi on the BJP’s success in Bharat’s historic election. Many other world leaders including Heads of states viz Pak PM Nawaz Sharif, Bangladesh PM Shiekh Hasina and Jamaat – e – Islami ameer Makbul Ahamad also congratulated him.

3RD AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL HINDU CONFERENCE: This was held on 26-27 April at Parramatta, New South Wales. The conference attendees included Hindu organizations, temples Hindu associations and other community organisations. In addition, representatives from the Buddhist and Sikh community also attended the conference. The chief guest of the conference was Hon. Phillip Ruddock MP, the chief Government Whip of the Australian Government while several other local govt dignitaries, Bhupinder Chhibber representing the Shadow minister for citizenship and Multiculturalism and Swami Vigyananand, International Co- ordinator and Joint Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Bharat also participated in the conference. The theme of the conference was ‘Serving Australia Serving Community’. The conference began with the welcome to the land by Respected Aborginal Elder Mr Brian Freeman, Wiradjuri Tradition and lighting of the lamp. Various sessions included discussions on topics like “Australian Hindus serving at the forefront of serving the community”, ‘temples serving the community’, ‘Role played by Hindu organisations and associations in serving society’, ‘Youth development and shaping future leaders’.

5th ITGF at SINGAPORE: Vivekanand Seva Sangh (VSS) Singapore is a registered non profit organization to practice and promote ‘Universal Brotherhood’. Indian traditional Games Festival ITGF is one of the various activities of VSS with an aim to preserve traditional Bharatiya games by re introducing them to new generation of Bharatiya youth. This is usually celebrated around New Year day – Baisakhi day. ITGF provides opportunities to create integration and harmony by bringing people together, provides opportunities for families to come together and play outdoor games like Kabaddi, kho kho etc, and generate interest among non Bharatiya people from Singapore in Bharatiya ganes and culture. This year, ITGF was inaugurated on 27th April by Shri Bajranglal ji – Secretary VSS while Shri Inder jit Singh was the guest of honour. Various individual and group games like Gilli danda, lemon spoon, kabaddi, kho kho, lagori, skipping rope were demonstrated and played by various players and teams. In all, over 500 players took part in about 50 matches. The festival has become an annula feature now after it was started in 2010.

GBE: RATAN TATA RECEIVES ONE OF UK’S TOP CIVILIAN HONOURS: Tata group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has become the first Bharatiya since independence to receive the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), one of the highest civilian honours of the UK. Tata was presented the GBE by British High Commissioner to Bharat Sir James Bevan on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. “Mr Tata has been awarded an honorary GBE, one of the highest civilian honours conferred by the UK, in recognition of his services to UK-Bharat relations, inward investment to the UK and philanthropy,” the British High Commission said in a statement. Commenting on the honour, Bevan said: “Ratan Tata’s leadership, vision and integrity will remain the gold standard for generations of aspirational British and Indian business people.” Queen Elizabeth II had conferred on Tata the honorary award of Knight Commander of the Order of British Empire (KBE) in 2009. Under his leadership the UK benefited from significant inward investment from Tata companies. Tata are now the largest manufacturing employer in the UK.

COMTRUST EYE CAMP AT PULPALLY: Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission ay Wynad in the remote hilly areas of North Keral has been in the field of eye care for the last 10 years in collaboration with the Comtrust Eye care Society, Kozhikode. On 2nd June 2013, the refurbished Eye Clinic was formally opened in a new form by the Hon. Minister Kum.PK Jayalakshmi. The funding agency is Sewa International, USA. On 1st May 2014, Comtrust Eye Care Hospital in cooperation with the Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Muttil and SNDP Youth Movement conducted an eye camp at Sree Narayana Balavihar, Pulpally. The Camp was inaugurated by SNDP Youth Movement President Shri Jaijulal Sthuthikkat after a welcome speech by Secretary Shri Saji Kodikkulath. 264 patients attended the camp in which 37 referred for cataract surgery. Spectacles prescribed for 128 persons and 10 were given other treatments.

BHARAT TO DIGITIZE SCRIPTS: Thousands of significant Sanskrit and Hindi manuscripts including ancient Bharatiya erotic literature written on palm leaves kept in University of the Punjab in Lahore and University of Dhaka will soon be digitized by Bharat. Director of National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) Prafulla Mishra said NMM will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iran Culture House (ICH), New Delhi, for the digitization work. ICH has already been digitizing Persian and Arabian manuscripts in Lahore and Dhaka. “After the MoU with NMM, it will also start scanning Sanskrit and Hindi texts on our behalf. We have already completed preliminary discussions with the cultural body,” Mishra said. Mishra said there were around 9,500 Sanskrit and Hindi scripts in Punjab University, the largest and oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan established in 1882. The collection includes around 2,000 palm leaf writings. Besides Hindi and Sanskrit, the stock includes texts in Prakrit, Telugu, Sharada, Tamil, and Nandinagari languages. The over 90-year-old Dhaka University too has over 10,000 such texts. Some of these scripts are over 1,000-year-old while many others are of preindependence era, Mishra said. The NMM director said the repository of knowledge in the two varsities will be of great help to researchers. “Once scanned these texts can be made available online so that research scholars can access them,” he said. The CD forms of the texts would be preserved at the National Archives of Bharat. From various parts of the country and abroad, NMM has so far digitized 35 lakh manuscripts of over 1.50 crore pages.

YOGA BENDS THE TRENDS IN KENYA: Yoga has grown increasingly popular among the poorest neighbourhoods in the capital city of Nairobi thanks to Paige Elenson and her partner Baron Baptiste, two American yoga teachers who established the not-for-profit organisation Africa Yoga Project in 2007. Their goal was to create job opportunities and empower youth in impoverished areas of Nairobi. The two teachers raised $10,000 to found the organisation and train 40 Kenyan yoga instructors. Today, 72 instructors are working in poor areas of Kenya, including at schools and prisons. Margaret Njeri is one of the teachers. She was an acrobat before starting the yoga-training programme. The young mother says earning a living as an acrobat was not easy. She sometimes even had to turn to petty crime to survive. She is now paid $100 a month to teach five classes a week in prisons, schools and other parts of the city. The rest of the time, Njeri teaches private classes to round up her salary. Thanks to yoga, she is now able to support herself and her one-year-old daughter. Instructor Samson Muhalia, 53, says yoga has a positive impact on people. “What I really like in yoga is that it brings people together and teaches them how live together. It makes people share and discuss.”

BHARATIYA UNIVERSITIES AMONG ASIA’S TOP 300: Seventeen Bharatiya universities have made it to the Asia Pacific rankings of ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) this year compared to 11 last year. Ranking agency QS released the rankings, which include Asia’s top 300 universities, in association with non-profit organisation The Indian Centre for Assessment & Accreditation (ICAA) in New Delhi on May 8th. Six Bharatiya institutes have made an entry to the list. Banaras Hindu University, Panjab University, Manipal University, Amity University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and the Indian Institute of Information Technology made it to the Asia rankings for the first time this year. As in the previous editions of the rankings, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) led the way. IIT Delhi held on to its 38th position like last year, ahead of IIT Bombay which was placed at 41. Five other IITs featured in the top 100, led by Kanpur and Madras just outside the top 50 at 52 and 53, respectively.

HINDUS OPEN GRAND BHARATIYASTYLE TEMPLE IN GUYANA: The Hindu Society of Berbice opened the multi-million-dollar Shri Krishna Mandir with a grand ceremony on 16th April at Gay Park, Greater New Amsterdam, Berbice in Guyana. The temple The edifice, which models the rare designs of Hindu places of worship in Southern Bharat, is a rarity among architectural designs in these parts of the world. President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar were present as were thousands of Hindus from across Guyana. President Ramotar congratulated the Hindu Society for erecting the new structure. He said that he had to come “because of my deep appreciation of this religion and for its contributions made to the country in many, many ways.” Others spoke at the occasion were Hindu activist Mrs. Chandrowtie Maraj and Swami Aksharanandji. .

WORLD’S FIRST KABADDI LEAGUE LAUNCHED IN BHARAT: Kabaddi got a major facelift on 6th May with the launch of the World Kabaddi League, a personal venture headed by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The league is all set for inauguration in mid-June at Thyagaraj Sports Complex at New Delhi. The league follows the Formula 1 touring sports format and will be played across four continents starting from August to December. The official website of the World Kabaddi League (www.worldkabaddileague.net) was launched by Badal and Pargat Singh, sports administrator and Olympian. “In the northern region of the Indian sub-continent, kabaddi is an extremely popular sport and the last four kabaddi World Cups held in India bear testimony to this,” Badal said. “In its current form, the league will be played across four continents with access to nearly 200 kabaddi clubs across the world. For kabaddi, I believe this is just the beginning,” he said.