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  • J&K: Pakistan Army violates ceasefire in Sunderbani sector


Top Indian-American cancer scientist facing misconduct allegations

25 Apr 2018 | 12:21 PM

WASHINGTON: An Indian-American cancer and gene therapy scientist in the US has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of “inappropriate conduct”.

[ + read story ]

Washington, April 25

A prominent Indian-American cancer and gene therapy scientist in the US has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of “inappropriate conduct” against him.

Inder Verma, a cancer and gene therapy scientist at the prestigious Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations against him.

The institute did not give any reason for suspending 70-year-old Verma, who is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on gene therapy and cancer.

The institute has hired The Rose Group, a San Diego-based international employment law and consulting firm, to investigate allegations, not yet made public, that were reported to the institute in February.

“Recently, the institute became aware of allegations concerning Inder Verma. Consistent with Salk’s policies governing workplace conduct, the institute has undertaken a formal investigation that is being led by an independent outside party,” Dan Lewis, chairman of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said in a statement.

“Verma has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. He will not be performing scientific or administrative roles on behalf of the institute during this period,” he said, without referring to the nature of the investigation.

The action against Verma comes nearly four months after he was placed on temporary leave as editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious scientific journal.

The allegations of inappropriate conduct against Verma were first reported by Science magazine, according to which last summer, three female Salk senior scientists sued the institute for gender discrimination calling it an “old boys club” that had systematically impeded their careers because they were women. The lawsuits are set to go to trial next December.

Verma told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the leave had stemmed from the lawsuits that Salk professors filed against the Institute in July. Verma, 70, who is also on the boards of several Indian scientific institutes, has denied the allegations.

“I have never used my position at the Salk Institute to take advantage of others. I have also never engaged in any sort of intimate relationship with anyone affiliated with the Salk Institute,” he said in a statement to Science through his attorney.

“I have never inappropriately touched, nor have I made any sexually charged comments, to anyone affiliated with the Salk Institute. I have never allowed any offensive or sexually charged conversations, jokes, material, etc, to occur at the Salk Institute,” said Verma who earned his MSc in Biochemistry from Lucknow University.

Denying misconduct allegations to the Union-Tribune, Verma said, “I believe that it is inappropriate for an individual in a position of authority to engage in any intimate relationship with a direct report or to use that position of authority to take advantage of others.”    In 2005, he was appointed as foreign fellow by the Indian National Science Academy. PTI

H1B approvals for Indian IT companies by 43% between 2015-17

H1B approvals for Indian IT companies by 43% between 2015-17

25 Apr 2018 | 12:14 PM

WASHINGTON: Top seven Indian IT companies experienced a whopping 43 per cent in their H-1B visa approvals between 2015 and 2017, a US think-tank said.

British MP, Indian community groups demand action over Indian flag desecration in UK

British MP, Indian community groups demand action over Indian flag desecration in UK

23 Apr 2018 | 7:58 PM

LONDON: The British government is under growing pressure to take action against protesters behind the desecration of the Indian flag at Parliament Square in London during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's UK visit last week.

Singapore PM Lee leads 40,000 devotees in Hindu temple reconsecration ceremony

23 Apr 2018 | 9:25 AM

SINGAPORE: For the first time since assuming office in 2004, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong led some 40,000 devotees and four ministers at a 164-year-old Hindu temple's reconsecration ceremony here, following the completion of its SGD 4.5 million restoration work.

20 Indian-Americans running for US Congress raise more than $15.5 mn

20 Indian-Americans running for US Congress raise more than $15.5 mn

22 Apr 2018 | 11:42 AM

WASHINGTON: A record number of 20 Indian-Americans are running for US Congressional elections this year.

Indian-American teen wins $100,000 in Jeopardy college quiz contest

Indian-American teen wins $100,000 in Jeopardy college quiz contest

21 Apr 2018 | 2:48 PM

NEW YORK: Indian-American teenager, Dhruv Gaur, has won the $100,000 Jeopardy college quiz championship.

Indian-Americans protest against Kathua, Unnao rapes

19 Apr 2018 | 1:37 PM

WASHINGTON: Indian-Americans, including women and children, raising slogans like "Hate murder, hate crime: no more. no more" held peaceful protests in front of the Indian Embassy against the gang rape and murder of young girls in Kathua and Unnao, demanding swift justice.

Trump admn plans to end work permits for H-1B visa spouses

Trump admn plans to end work permits for H-1B visa spouses

25 Apr 2018 | 2:08 AM

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is planning to end allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a top federal agency official said.

Indian-American teen shot dead for firing on police in US

Indian-American teen shot dead for firing on police in US

22 Apr 2018 | 2:27 AM

WASHINGTON: An Indian-American teenager, wanted on a felony firearms possession warrant, was shot dead by a California police after he opened fire on them, officials said.

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  • Giving back — a diaspora success story

    A Canadian immigrant of Indian origin donated $10 million to the University of Lethbridge, the largest gift that the university had ever received.

  • Putting agri-waste to agri-use

    A biomass power plant is similar to a thermal power plant, but instead of coal, it uses green fuel. Agriculture waste — such as paddy and wheat straw, cotton stalks and leaves, which are left over after harvesting of the crop — comprise the natural fuel.

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