Nokia names India-born Rajeev Suri as new CEO

“The Nokia that I grew up in, and that many of you grew up in, is no more,” declared Rajeev Suri as he prepared to take over the new Nokia, now without the handset business that made it such a global brand. India-born Suri will make an official start to his job as chief executive and president of the telecom gear maker on May 1, the company announced, with Nokia having completed the sale of its handset and services business to Microsoft Corp for $7.5 billion.
This isn’t the first time that Nokia has changed its business profile, having begun as a wood pulp mill 148 years ago, becoming a maker of rubber boots in 1898 and emerging as the world leader in mobile phones a century later.
Suri, 46, has been given the responsibility for making sure that this latest makeover is a successful one for the Espoo, Helsinkibased firm. He was entrusted with the job after turning around the group’s ailing networks business that he began heading in 2009. That was achieved through a restructuring of the business that saw it shedding loss-making units. The electronics and telecom engineer will run a company that has three main focus areas — networks, navigation and patents.
is elevation comes close on the heels of another India-born engineer, Satya Nadella, being recently appointed as CEO of Microsoft Corp. Both are alumni of the Mani0pal Institute of Technology (MIT) in Karnataka, where friends remember Suri as a sharp, focused and instinctive student who used to work hard and enjoy life in equal measure. “He is one of the Crabs, our group of eight friends, who used to pull up each other in college and still do, even today,” said Vishal Swara, who was Suri’s classmate and hostel roommate and is now managing director at Gurgaon’s SLV Security Services.

Canberra gallery gives up claim on stolen idol-The Attorney General’s Department is now expected to make a decision on returning both idols to India.

Return of Chola-era idol to Tamil Nadu village in sight

The National Gallery of Australia has surrendered to the Indian claim that a Chola-era Nataraja that it acquired for (A) $5.6 million had indeed been stolen from a village temple in Tamil Nadu, paving the way for an early return of the idol to India.

The NGA, Australia’s foremost art institution located in the national capital of Canberra, had 30 days to claim its ownership of the imposing bronze Nataraja after receiving a notice from the Australian Attorney General’s Department under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986. That deadline expired on April 26.

The Attorney General’s Department said on Tuesday the NGA had not contested the March 26 notice, thus forfeiting the idol to the Australian government.

The legal notice to the NGA was sent after India pressed the Australian government for the return of the idol following sustained coverage by the media in India, led by The Hindu.

The 1,000-year-old Dancing Shiva is central to the investigations against antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor who was arrested in 2012 and is being tried in Tamil Nadu for conspiring to smuggle the idol and several others out of India. The return of the idol is expected to strengthen the case against him.

The NGA initially defended its purchase of the idol from Kapoor, but with its reputation scorched by the international controversy that erupted over the provenance of the Nataraja, the Gallery seems to have decided not to pursue any claim over the idol. Similarly, Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales has not contested the notice it received at the same time as the NGA on an Ardhanareeshwara it bought from Kapoor, who was operating principally out of the United States.

This idol too is a subject of Tamil Nadu police investigations against the dealer, and the Indian government had demanded its return along with the Nataraja.

Both the NGA and the Sydney gallery removed the idols from public display immediately after receiving the notices. The idols were later seized by the Australian authorities from the galleries.

After the expiry of the 30-day deadline, “the objects have both automatically forfeited to the Australian government, and a final decision will be made in due course, in line with the requirements” of the law, an official said.

The Attorney General’s Department is now expected to make a decision on returning both idols to India. “A final decision will be made in due course,” the official said.

The Idol Wing unravelled the role of an international network in the theft of 18 ancient bronze sculptures from two temples in Suthamali and Sripuranthan. Their investigations led to Kapoor’s arrest in Germany and subsequent extradition to India in July 2012.

The police, which found a visual match between the stolen Nataraja and the one displayed in the NGA, sent a letter rogatory in early-2013, seeking information.

However, the NGA initially denied even receiving it. When The Hindu then got in touch with the Australian Attorney General’s Department, it refused to either confirm or deny the receipt of a letter rogatory.

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards 2014 Tickets on sale now

Join Amitabh Bachchan at the inaugural Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2014 Awards, where we’ll celebrate the best of Indian cinema!

The best films, the most talented filmmakers and you, coming together at Melbourne’s iconic Princess Theatre on 2nd May 7pm, to recognise the most exciting emerging and established cinematic talent from India and the sub-continent.

Join us as we award the Best Performance, Best Film, Best Independent Film, Western Union Best Director, and Telstra People’s Choice Award!

Get in early to avoid missing out!

Indian physician arrested in US on health care fraud charges

NEW YORK: A 61-year-old Indian physician has been arrested on health care fraud charges and faces life imprisonment for illegally distributing opioid pain medication that resulted in the deaths of two patients in the US.

Pawan Kumar Jain of New Mexico was arrested on Friday by the officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI and was produced in federal court.

A federal grand jury returned an 111-count indictment charging Jain with the unlawful dispensing of opioid pain medication and health care fraud charges, Acting US Attorney Damon Martinez said.

The indictment charges Jain with 61 counts of unlawfully dispensing controlled substances and 50 counts of health care fraud.

According to the indictment, Jain allegedly committed the offenses between April 2009 and June 2010 when he was a licensed physician with a neurology subspecialty who operated a pain management medical practice.

Jain?s medical license was suspended in June 2012 and subsequently revoked in December 2012 by the New Mexico Medical Board.

Each of the 61 dispensing charges alleges that Jain unlawfully dispensed prescription painkillers, primarily oxycodone and methadone, to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the 61 charges is 20 years in prison and a million dollar fine.

The health care fraud charges allege that Jain engaged in a scheme to defraud two health care benefit programme Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting claims for payment for prescription medications he had given to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without any legal medical purpose.

The indictment further alleges that Jain’s unlawful dispensing of prescription painkillers and fraudulent conduct resulted in the death of a patient.

Jain dispensed 540 tablets of oxycodone and 405 tablets of methadone to the patient between April and September 2009.

Another patient died because of Jain’s unlawful dispensing of prescription painkillers and fraudulent conduct.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison due to these charges.

“By engaging in this illegal and irresponsible behavior, a medical practitioner violates the trust of those he has a duty to serve, and, most sadly, his actions can result in their death,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph Arabit said.

I have come to India to show my children their roots, NRI industrialist Swraj Paul says

JALANDHAR: It was an emotional homecoming for leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul to his childhood schools and his birthplace in the city here.

Overwhelmed with nostalgia, Lord Paul, a prominent peer in Britain, visited his alma maters Doaba Primary School and Doaba Secondary School and thanked his parents for having admitted him into these institutions which shaped his life ahead.

“I feel marvelous. It is a wonderful and a memorable moment for me. I am feeling highly emotional. And, I believe you students are very lucky to study here,” Lord Paul said on Saturday.

During his close to two hours visit, in which he also took his family to his house where he was born, now converted to a school too, Lord Paul was visibly moved to “return to his roots” and termed the moment as “priceless”.

Accompanied by his family, the 83-year-old business magnate and philanthropist said he brought his children and grandchildren along to “show them their roots”.

Talking to PTI on the sidelines he said, “I am getting old and I don’t know when would I be able to come here next. I don’t know if I would be able to come here next at all. Therefore I wanted my children and especially my grandchildren to show them their roots, so that they can understand where they come from.”

“I showed them the schools I went to as a child and yesterday I also showed them the college I had attended,” he said.

The noted industrialist, accompanied by his son Angad, daughter Anjali, daughter-in-law Michelle and three grandchildren took a tour of the three places and offered floral tributes on the statues of his parents.

During his time spent at his alma maters, Lord Paul visited the classrooms, interacted with students, got pictures taken with them and and also introduced his grandchildren to them.

Talking about Indian elections, Lord Paul, the founder chairman of UK-based Caparo Group, asked the youth to exercise their franchise.

“It doesn’t matter which party you vote for. One must come out and just vote because today there is so much potential and lack of opportunity. So, vote for those in whom you really trust,” he said.

The veteran industrialist earlier also planted a sapling at his primary school.

Lord Paul, yesterday also attended a convocation at the Doaba College here and relived his days there as a student between 1947 and 1949.

Stepping into the college, he reminisced his student days and how the teachers at the prestigious institute shaped his mind and inspired him to become successful in life.

“I will always be grateful to the dedicated teachers who guided and inspired me to do my best while I was here and who made me look to the future. Let me pay tribute to all those teachers and convey my heartfelt thanks,” he said in his brief but inspiring convocation speech.

Registered NRI voters overseas will have to wait for future elections. Can not vote for 2014 elections

NRIs who are registered voters in India will not be able to vote from their foreign locations as the Supreme Court on Friday accepted that the Election Commission faced statutory and logistic impediments in extending overseas voting facilities to them.

Noting that election for some phases has already been completed, a bench of Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Vikramajit Sen said that permitting the NRIs to vote in the remaining six phases would open a “Pandora box” that in some cases, some NRIs have been allowed and not the others.

Taking note of the practical problems that confronted the poll panel even though it was in the favour of extending voting facilities to NRIs from their overseas locations, Justice Radhakrishnsan told petitioner Shamsheer VP that the “point you have raised is favoured by them (Election Commission) but they have some practical difficulties”.

Shamsheer VP has sought the reading down of Section 20A of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2010 that mandates the presence of the listed voter at the polling station to cast his vote.

He had contended that any distinction between those physically present at polling booth and those overseas would be violative of article 19(1) as well as article 21 of the constitution.

The court noted that the Election Commission has already decided to constitute a committee to examine the feasibility of different options that can be considered for facilitating voting by overseas NRI electors as it adjourned the hearing till August end for the committee to complete its work and report to the court.

Allowing the application by Shamsheer to amend his petition, the court in its order said: “The respondents (Union of India and the Election Commission) are permitted to file a comprehensive counter affidavit within a period of two months.”

“Report of the Committee be also filed before the court,” the order said.

Pointing to the paucity of time in putting in place arrangements for facilitating the NRIs to exercise their votes from their overseas locations, the Election Commission said even for permitting that amendment will have be made to electoral laws to expand the special category voters.

Under the acts, defence personnel, central government staff and staff at the diplomatic missions abroad come under special category of voters.

Senior counsel Meenakshi Arora who appeared for the Election Commission said that under the circumstances it would not be possible for the Commission to make any “interim/time gap arrangements to enable the NRI voters to vote through proxy or through ballot papers, more particularly when the election process is already ongoing” and some phases of the election are already over.

Seeking recognition of the right to external voting, the PIL says that existing provisions creates distinct two categories of haves and have nots amongst 1,00,37,761 NRIs (as on May, 2012 as per the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs) residing abroad as only 11,000 have enrolled themselves as voters in the electoral rolls.

Waiting for the Nataraja -The Australian government may take a decision as early as next week on returning to India

National Gallery of Australia has until April 26 to press claim for ownership

The Australian government may take a decision as early as next week on returning to India a bronze Nataraja stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu controversially acquired by the country’s premier art institution from the antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor who is now on trial for idol theft and smuggling.

The National Gallery of Australia bought the 11 century bronze from Kapoor for $5.6 million as the centrepiece of its collection of Indian art in 2007, four years before his dramatic arrest and extradition to India. Kapoor is being tried by a court in Tamil Nadu.

The gallery, which has defended its purchase, has 30 days from the time it received a notice under the Australian Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act to press an ownership claim for the idol.

The notice was served on the gallery on March 26, the same day the Australian Attorney General’s department announced it had received a request from the Indian government for the return of the idol.

The Attorney-General’s office is processing that request. Unless the NGA makes a claim of ownership by April 26, the idol will be forfeited by the government. The decision on returning it can be expected soon after.

Exhibit removed

The idol, removed by the NGA from public display on the day it received the notice, has been seized by the authorities.

Should the NGA decide to press a claim, it will get four more months to provide supporting evidence, and a decision can be taken only after the expiry of this period.

But all indications are that the NGA has stepped back from its once most-prized possession. The government has seemed eager to draw a line under the controversy that has burnt the image of the prestigious gallery, and earned it unfavourable international attention.

Last month the Attorney General, George Brandis, who is also the Arts Minister, said that the “due diligence standards of the NGA, which are very high, in fact are world’s best practice, were in my view not sufficiently complied with on this particular occasion.”

Though no government or NGA official has directly conceded that the gallery bought a stolen item, Mr. Brandis’s remark, made to the state-funded television channel ABC last month and the swift removal of the idol thereafter, were seen as a tacit admission, and the strongest indication yet that the government was preparing to return the item to India.

At the NGA’s Indian subcontinent section, the spot where the Shiva stood is empty. It has not been replaced with any other exhibit. A stone Nandi, also from the Chola era, which the Gallery placed in front of the Nataraja, remains in its spot.

The section has on display other items bought from the fallen dealer. In all, the NGA, housed in a sweeping modernist building of raw concrete, bought 22 items from Kapoor. The total cost of the acquisitions was $11 million over 10 years. They include a pair of Vijayanagara dynasty dwarapalas from Tamil Nadu about which the state police’s idol wing is now seeking information from the public in order to get a fix on which temple it came from and when it went missing.

Another Kapoor-provenance item is an exquisite 18th ivory carving of Christ from Goa, about 2.4 ft, and apparently a crucifix. In a collection otherwise heavy on Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, the crucifix is meant to show the spread of Christianity in the subcontinent.

The NGA sold another smaller Nataraja from its collection, this one without a ring of fire around it, to the Louvre to raise part of the funds it needed to buy the Dancing Shiva.

The Gallery has maintained it did all the due diligence that was possible before the controversial acquisition, and that until his arrest, there was no whiff of scandal around Kapoor. Ron Radford, the director of the museum who is stepping off in September this year, said that if the bronze was indeed stolen, the NGA was “a victim of an audacious fraud”. His resignation is said to be unrelated to the controversy.