Citizens' Issues
Four Indian Americans selected to US National Academy of Engineering

Along with the new members, the total US membership goes up to 2,275

 

Four Indian American engineers are among 80 new members selected to the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for their valuable contributions to the society.
 
Anil K. Jain, Dr Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr K.R. Sridhar were formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, NAE president C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr announced in a statement. 
 
Jain, a distinguished professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the Michigan State University in East Lansing, was elected for his contributions to the engineering and practice of biometrics.
 
A B.Tech graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, his research interests include pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition. 
 
Jain has also been a consultant to the Indian government's Aadhaar programme that provides a 12-digit unique ID number to the residents of India based on their fingerprint and iris data.
 
Prabhakar, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Virginia, was chosen for national leadership to advance semiconductor and information technologies.
 
Beginning her career as a Congressional Fellow, Dr Prabhakar has served on the National Academies' Science Technology and Economic Policy Board. In addition, she chaired the Efficiency and Renewables Advisory Committee for the US Department of Energy. 
 
As the founding director of DARPA's Microelectronics Technology Office, she led a team of programme managers whose efforts spanned areas such as optoelectronics, infrared imaging and nanoelectronics.
 
Thakur, who is the president of Thakur Services Inc. in Houston, Texas, was named a member for leadership in the implementation of integrated reservoir management techniques.
 
Sridhar, the principal co-founder and chief executive officer of Bloom Energy Corporation in California, was selected for the "contributions to transport phenomena and thermal packaging of electrochemical systems and generation of clean, reliable and affordable power".
 
Prior to founding Bloom Energy, Sridhar was director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. 
 
Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and flight experiments to Mars. 
 
His work for the NASA Mars programme to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support was recognised by Fortune magazine which cited him as "one of the top five futurists inventing tomorrow, today." 
 
Along with the new members, the total US membership goes up to 2,275.
 
Election to the institution "is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer," the statement read. 
 
Founded in 1964, the NAE is a non-profit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. 
 
Its mission is to advance the well being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
 

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Shahrukh Khan pays penalty amounting to Rs1,93,784.00 to BMC
Shahrukh Khan who had constructed an illegal ramp outside his posh bungalow 'Mannat' had to pay the cost of demolition amounting to Rs1,93,784.00, revealed information provided by BMC to RTI activist, Anil Galgali
 
Actors who portray inspiring roles as heroes in films, generally play villainous roles in real life. Shahrukh Khan who had constructed an illegal ramp outside his posh bungalow 'Mannat' had to pay the cost of demolition amounting to Rs1,93,784.00, revealed information provided by BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) to RTI activist, Anil Galgali.
 
RTI activist Anil Galgali had sought information from the  Municipal administration about the action taken on the illegally constructed RCC ramp outside his bungalow by Shahrukh Khan. He sought information about the cost incurred and payment received, if any. In its reply, the BMC's The Assistant Engineer (Inspection) of Bandra H West ward informed Galgali that, after the order of the Municipal Commissioner a 7-day notice was issued on 6th February 2015 to Mannat. On termination of the notice period, the demolition of the RCC ramp was undertaken by the ward office of 14th and  15th February 2015. It was alleged that Shahrukh Khan, whose bungalow falls on the junction of HK Bhabha Road and Mount Mary Road (near the Bandra Bandstand) had occupied the portion of land belonging to setback, which was supposed to be handed over to municipal corporation by illegally constructing an RCC ramp. Further, the municipal corporation had issued an demand notice of Rs1,93,784.00 towards cost incurred on the demolition of the ramp, giving 7 days for making the payment or face due actions under the MMC Act. Shahrukh Khan made the payment vide a cheque issued on Citibank dated 11 March 2015 amounting to Rs1,93,784.00 to close the issue.
 
In a case similar to Shahrukh Khan, industrialist Mukesh Ambani too had occupied the land meant for setback, under the guise of security, in the past. Due to persistent follow up by Anil Galgali for four years, Mukesh Ambani himself had to remove the encroachment to avoid due action in the matter.

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COMMENTS

D S Ranga Rao

10 months ago

Thanks and congratulations to Mr. Galgali and MLF for making public the real life stories of reel lifers and business tycoons.

Sanjeev Dhabre

10 months ago

Full article for Shahrukh and just 4 lines for Mukesh Ambani, do you fear writing full article against Mukhesh Ambani?

Ritesh Bhanushali

10 months ago

play "villainous" roles in real life. just for illegal ramp ? Then what you call people who HIT and RUN & Kill a Black buck??

Arunkumar A Vijayan

10 months ago

Nice article.
Great work by Mr. Anil Galgali.

Bad loans exposing distress among Indian banks
Chennai : The distress in India's banking system is becoming evident by the day with more of these financing institutions reporting poor results in the third quarter of this fiscal, amid mounting bad loans. What is more, the stress is more pronounced in state-run banks.
 
"Such reporting of losses by the Indian banks is unprecedented. The trend is clear -- unfortunate that several public sector banks are posting negative results and wiping out the equity," Saswata Guha, director of financial institutions at Fitch Ratings, told IANS.
 
Technically called non-performing assets, or NPAs, with only some subtle differences, the finance ministry's own assessment is that these are growing -- even though they are equally feared to be grossly under-estimated.
 
Guha expects the Indian banking sector to close this fiscal with a NPA of around a whopping Rs.4 trillion and total stressed assets of around Rs.9 trillion.
 
On Thursday, the trend of state-run banks declaring low profits or losses and the ever-ballooning provisions and NPA continued. The index for state-run banks of the National Stock Exchange fell 3.17 percent and that of the Bombay Stock Exchange was down3.81 percent.
 
In the past year, BSE's banking index of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has taken a 67 percent hit. In the case of Punjab National Bank, for example, the stock is down 58 percent, while for State Bank, it is down 52 percent.
 
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan sought to assuage the feelings. "The decline in bank share prices caused investors to panic. Bank share prices are being hit by the global markets turmoil," Rajan said.
 
"We're looking at banks having clean and fully provisioned balance sheets by March 2017. Banks are using tools devised to clean up their balance sheets." Yet, Guha said government banks are aggressive on write-offs but not on recovery -- not even a fifth of the write-offs.
 
Fitch Ratings' Guha said the NPA levels do not seem to have plateued and may not go up sharply in the coming quarters. By 2017, it is expected that the balance sheets will become cleaner. The earnings outlook is also more daunting and the pain may continue during the next year.
 
"For government banks, the revenue is mainly from interest on loans whereas the private bank’s revenue stream is diversified,” Guha said, adding He said it is not that the private banks are immune to NPAs but their credit risk management is better than government owned banks.
 
Rajan said there was hope. “Change in attitude in the banking system takes time as banks try to unlock the value of their NPAs. But the end-game is in sight. We don't envisage a further set of AQRs (asset quality review) and new loans that require to be dealt with.”
 
Rajan said public sector banks' non-core credit grew at only 6.6 percent, while the same for the private sector was over 20 percent. The only reason for this is of managing stressed assets and some resulting risk aversion because of which public sector banks have curtailed lending.
 
“We have to clean up banks balance sheets to restore growth."
 
Going by the finance ministry, the NPA Ratio of banks -- net exposure versus bad loans -- rose from 3.42 percent as on March 2013 to 4.62 percent as on the same month of last year. And in absolute terms, the ministry pegs it at Rs.1,83,854 crore versus Rs.3,09,409 crore.
 
Take the case of Punjab National Bank. Announcing the third quarter results, it said NPAs stood at Rs.22,983.40 crore on December 31, 2015, against Rs.13,787.76 crore in the like period of the previous fiscal -- up a whopping 66 percent.
 
And State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender? The NPA at Rs.72,792 crore was 17 percent higher than Rs.61,991.45 crore at the end of December 2015, and 28 percent up from Rs.56,834 crore at the end of the quarter ended September 2014.
 
But the RBI’s Rajan has rubbished the suggestions that the NPA ratio could be at alarming levels.
 
"I think the 17 percent, 18 percent numbers maybe a little on the high side. But broadly speaking I think we should also be careful about treating any stressed asset as a total write-off," he had told reporters earlier this month.
 
According to Guha, the next issue for state-run banks is the capital infusion. The government has said fresh capital infusion from the government will be based on good performance. “Our estimate is that the government infusion is sufficient,” Rajan said.
 
In the final analysis, Guha feels the situation may be ripe for consolidation in Inia's e banking sector. "Let's see if the government bites the bullet."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Nanda Patel

10 months ago

The lender who is unable recover money, has no business of being in business. Sooner or later they all will be wiped out.

Here, The issue is the common man pays for governments mistakes in the way of TAX or inflation.

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