NEW DELHI - Eminent Indian missile scientist A Sivathanu Pillai has been given the highest Russian award by President Vladimir Putin for his contribution towards strengthening the ties between the two countries through the successful BrahMos supersonic cruise missile program. Along with Pillai, senior BJP leader and Public Accounts Committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has also been bestowed upon the Russian award ‘Order of Friendship’, which is the highest award given by that country to foreign citizens. “You have been awarded with Order of Merit in your special merit in developing joint venture, strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations,” a communication from the Russian Government to Pillai said.
LONDON - Four World War-II veterans from the Sikh regiment have been presented with the ‘Jewel of Punjab’ (Punjab Ratan) award at the World Punjabi Organization’s annual event at the Park Lane Hotel here. Britain’s Secretary of State for Community Welfare Eric Pickles presented the coveted awards to 100-year-old Samitter Singh, 93-year-old Gulzara Singh, 92-year-old Rajinder Singh Dutt and 89-year-old Mukhtiar Singh Rai on Oct. 17 night for their patriotism and dedicated service during the World War II.
A Charitable services award was presented to APS Chawla, founder chairman of the Roko Cancer, for raising awareness of Breast Cancer.
By SNEHESH ALEX PHILIP
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Dec 19 appointed career diplomat Abdul Basit as its new High Commissioner to India. Basit, 55, was earlier tipped to take over as Foreign Secretary but the government recently made several changes in proposed appointments. (PTI)
FROM NATASHA CHAKU
MELBOURNE - A 22-year-old Indian student has won a global online contest of designing a digital postcard explaining how studying in Australia could help them realise their future dream.
IIT-Delhi student Uttam Kumar, who hails from a small village in Harayana, has been declared winner of the ‘Win your Future Unlimited’ contest that attracted around 37,000 entries from 190 countries across the globe. The contest ran for seven weeks starting from Oct 1. Kumar was chosen from the seven finalists who were drawn from each week’s entries and included youngsters from the US, the Philippines, Vietnam, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.
As the first prize, Kumar would receive one year of study in Australia in 2014, including...
By ADITI KHANNA
LONDON - An Indian-origin husband and wife, both over 100 years old, became Britain’s oldest married couple as they celebrated their 88th wedding anniversary on Dec 11. Karam Chand, 108, and his 101-year-old wife Katari were married in an India still under British rule back in 1925.
They moved to Bradford in northern England in 1965 and count their long marriage as a “real blessing” which has led to eight children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. “It’s important to have no secrets, and not to argue,” the husband told the Daily Express newspaper when asked about the secret of their long and happy marriage.
LONDON - Ranjan Mathai, former Foreign Secretary of India, has taken over as the country’s next High Commissioner to the UK. Mathai took the office on Nov 9. He succeeds Jaimini Bhagwati, who retired recently. He served in Indian Missions in Vienna, Colombo, Washington, Tehran and Brussels. (PTI)
SINGAPORE - India on Dec 13 assured support to its nationals that law-abiding people have nothing to fear after authorities arrested 31 Indians for alleged rioting in Singapore’s worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years. The assurance by the High Commissioner Vijay Thakur Singh came in the wake of Dec 8 riot in Little India, triggered by an Indian national’s death in a bus accident. (PTI)
LONDON - One of the earliest accounts of Sikh warrior king Maharaja Ranjit Singh forms the centrepiece of an auction of rare historical documents in Britain next month.
The account by Marquis of Wellesley, which dates back to 1805, is expected to fetch between 600 and 800 pounds when it goes under the hammer as part of a sale organized by Mullock’s specialist auction house at Ludlow Racecourse in the West Midlands region on Nov 5.
“This is one of earliest accounts of Ranjit Singh, he would have been at the tender age of 25, a young ambitious man who was set to rule a vast empire. He was clearly an obstacle to the British expanding their territory in India,” said historical documents specialist Richard Westwood-Brookes. Among some of the other rare collections coming up for sale include a report of the meeting between Ranjit Singh and Lord William Bentick, Governor General of India, published in 1832.
An early edition of the “History of the Sikhs” by Joseph Davy Cunningham, published in 1853 and considered the first extensive work on the Sikhs by a European, has a guide price of 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.
JOHANNESBURG - While most Indian-South African students shy away from Afrikaans, 13-year-old Angad Sena’s mastery over the language has won him national accolades in just two years since he arrived from India.
When Angad arrived in Pretoria in 2011 with his father Tejinder and teacher mother Amarjeet, he opted for Afrikaans, rather than Zulu, as a second compulsory language at Theresa Park Primary School.
His father was on a three-year contract, working as an engineer for a Tata company. “With Zulu, I was quite confused when we were shown the options I had, so the same day I told my Dad that I would do Afrikaans and make a success of it, even though I only first learnt it in my last year at primary school,” Sena said. “I did a lot of reading after learning the basics, which helped me a lot,” he said. Afrikaans came easily to Angad, who speaks English, Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi. In 2012, after having studied the language for just two years, he came first in a national contest for public speaking titled “Radikale Redenaars” (Radical Debaters). This year, he entered again and came second nationally after speaking about his own success in mastering Afrikaans.
MELBOURNE - India has emerged as the second largest supplier of higher education students for Australian universities. Indian students to undertake higher education in Australia have witnessed growth this year with total enrolments reaching over 15,800 during the period of January-October as compared to 12,062 last year.
The data indicated that even if the total enrolments dropped, India emerged as the second top supplier of international students for Australia. Vocational Education and Training (VET) was the sector that saw an overall drop in total enrolments from India as well China, the topmost supplier of overseas students for Australia. From India, while the total enrolments in VET fell to 27,581 as compared to 37,922 recorded last year, the commencements dropped to 13,262 from 17,451 last period. From China, VET enrolments fell to 13,709 this year from 15,378 last January-October period. The top five source countries for students studying in Australia are China (29.7 per cent), India (9.2), Korea (5.3), Vietnam (4.8) and Malaysia (4.7). (PTI)