Natasha Perianayagam Featured Among Johns Hopkins’ World’s ‘Brightest’ Students

An Indian-American teenager has been named in the “world’s brightest” students list for a second year in a row by the US-based Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth (CTY), based on the results of above-grade-level tests of more than 15,000 students across 76 countries.

Natasha Perianayagam, 13, is a student of Florence M Gaudineer Middle School in New Jersey. She has been recognized for her exceptional performance on the SAT, ACT, School and College Ability Test, or similar assessment taken as part of the CTY Talent Search, a university press release said.

Natasha, whose parents hail from Chennai, also took the Johns Hopkins Talent Search test in Spring 2021 when she was in class 5. Her results in the verbal and quantitative sections levelled with the 90th percentile of advanced Grade 8 performance.

“This motivates me to do more,” she had then said, adding that doodling and reading JRR Tolkien’s novels may have worked for her.

Natasha scored the highest grades among all candidates In her latest attempt, the university statement said adding that she “was among the 15,300 students from 76 countries who joined CTY in the 2021-22 Talent Search year”.

“This is not just recognition of our students’ success on one test, but a salute to their love of discovery and learning, and all the knowledge they have accumulated in their young lives so far,” CTY’s executive director Dr Amy Shelton said.

“It is exciting to think about all the ways in which they will use that potential to discover their passions, engage in rewarding and enriching experiences, and achieve remarkable things — in their communities and in the world,” Shelton added.

CTY uses above-grade-level testing to identify advanced students from around the world and provide a clear picture of their true academic abilities.

The quantitative section of the Johns Hopkins CTY test measures the ability to see relationships between quantities expressed in mathematical terms, the verbal section measures understanding of the meaning of words and the relationships between them. (IANS)

Vikas Kumar Vikash And Pejavar Murari Named Among The 75 Pride Of India Awardees

Chicago, IL: February 11, 2023 The Global Strategic Alliance G.S.A. India @75 Expo USA announced the Pride of India awards being presented to 75 outstanding Indians from different walks of life for their impactful work to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. An initiative of  Indian diaspora from Chicago, U.S.A.


Vikash Kumar Vikash, IPS, Inspector General Of Police and Managing Director of Mysore Sales International Ltd, MSIL, Bangalore was named as one of the 75 Pride of India awardees for his dynamic leadership in MSIL’s outstanding growth postcovid particularly in promoting the use of renewable energy and aggressive marketing which made MSIL successfully venture into the tourism and hospitality sector which reaped profits.


Pejavar Murari, IAS (Retd), Adviser to the President of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries, FICCI, New Delhi, India was also awarded in recognition of his distinguished career in the Indian Administrative Service including being the former Secretary to President of India, R. Venkataraman. The citation recalled Murari’s entrepreneurial leadership including being the current Chairman of ABAN Offshore Ltd, Chairman, Advisory Board Lochan & Company and Chairman, Lepra India Trust, New Delhi. Murari also serves as the Director of Bajaj Auto, Xpro India, Idea Cellular and Fortis Mallar. Murari is also on the Governing Council of Loyola Institute of Business Administration, LIBA Chennai and the Business Advisory Council of Great Lakes Institute of Management.


Ms. Seeta Bala, G.S.A. Awards Jury Chair announced the other Pride of India awards including 17year old Aryan Lakshmanan, Grade 11 Student, L’école Chempaka School, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Praful Billore, CEO, MBA Chaiwala, Indore, India, Dr. Chitti R. Moorthy, Radiation Oncologist, Westchester, New York, Madhu Uppal, Community Activist, Naperville, Illinois, Dr. Paul Dhinakaran, Chancellor, Karunya University, Coimbatore, India, Cottalango Leon, 2016 Academy Award Winner, Scientific & Tech Achievement in Animation, Los Angeles, Rajkumar Rajappa, Chairman, President NHEL Small Scale Industries Association, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, Ms. Geeta Radhakrishnan, CPA, New York, Dr. Sambhu Banik, Eminent Clinical Psychologist & Former Member, Presidential Commission on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Washington D.C., USA, Sukhpal Singh Dhanoa, White House Correspondent & Bureau Chief PTC News, Washington, D.C., Ms. Rajeswari Rajagopal, Kids Education Counselor, Surakhsha Bhuja Foundation, Chennai, Tamil- Nadu, Ravi Karkara, Global Champion of Sustainability, New York, Tenkasi ‘s Ananthan Ayyasamy, State Vice President, Tamil Nadu BJP Party, Padmashri S.V. Rama Rao, eminent Artiste & Educationalist, Palos Hills, Illinois, Simarpreet Singh, CEO, Hartek Solar, New Delhi, Manav Subodh, Founder- Global Ambassador UC Berkeley & Founder 1M1B, New Delhi, Usha Boddapu, CEO/Founder, Esolvit, Austin, Texas, Padmanabhan Venkatesan, Treasurer, World Federation of Tamil Youth, Phoenix, Arizona, 25 year old Ulhas Satyanarayan, Member, India’s Basketball Team, New Delhi, & First Indian to play in European Professional Basketball League, Moldovia, Sushil Mitruka, Chairman and Managing Director of Kusum Udyog Ltd & Group of Industries, Siliguri, India, Shweta Baid, First Indian Alderwoman of Aurora City, IL, Thirumala Kumbum, CEO, Value Financial Services, Texas and Dr. Mohammed Jameel, Member Illinois Physician Disciplinary Board, Springfield, IL among others.


Dr. Vijay G Prabhakar, President, GSA India@75 Expo USA said that this epic one of kind Expo brought together ANCIENT INDIA and NEW INDIA on a single platform that included a vibrant tradeshow, meaningful daily workshops, informative plenary sessions on India’s growth, interactive sessions on Yoga, Meditation, & Ayurveda and a rich cultural extravaganza of India’s dance and music.


Dr. Ajit Pant, Chairman, GSA India@75 Expo USA said that the three day Expo held from December 15 to 17, 2022 at Lisle, Naperville was the most impactful event of 2022. Dr Pant added that the Expo Sequel will be held in six major cities including New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, San Francisco and Washington D.C. throughout 2023.


Shree Gurusamy, CEO GSA India@75 Expo USA that the theme is Made in India Made for the World and that the showcasing of India will continue through Amrit Kaal, the next 25 years.


26 year old Sailesh Singh, Founder of Youth 2047, Siliguri India declared that GSA India@100 Expo will be celebrated in 2047 in the U.S.A and India. Dr. Vasavi Chakka, Dean of the Global Eye International Institute of Leadership, New York announced that short term Leadership Training Programs to focus on U.S.A – India relationships in six sectors starting from June 2023 will be conducted to create tomorrow’s inclusive leaders today. This will be an excellent opportunity for both Indians and Indian diaspora throughout the world to interact with the U.S. Congressional leadership and network with experts in the different sectors, added Dr Chakka.


Seeta Bala, G.S.A. India Expo Awards Jury Chair said that the Pride of India Awardees will be given annually to outstanding Indians including the Indian diaspora under different categories in recognition of their inclusive leadership to empower our Community. Seeta Bala added that the impactful G.S.A. India @75 Expo is hosting Sequels across North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America and Australia Continents throughout Amrit Kaal.


Nominations for 2023 G.S.A Pride of India Awards can be emailed to [email protected] on or before April 22, 2023.

New Rules Will Reduce Wait For US Visa

US visa applications can be accepted outside India

With many travelers still years behind on getting their US visa appointment, the United States is making every effort to shorten this duration. In its latest initiative to cut the backlog, the US Embassy in India has announced that those planning a trip to the Americas can now apply for a business or tourist visa through the US embassy or consulate of another country.

Most people applying for US visas right now have over 500 days of wait time until their appointment. Citing the example of Thailand, the US embassy in India tweeted, “Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination.

For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months.” Meanwhile, the embassy has also announced that applications to renew US visas can be submitted via file-hosting service Dropbox now, while clarifying that renewal requests would not be accepted via e-mails.

 More than 1 lakh visa applications have been processed in the month of January alone this year, which is more than any month since July 2019, the mission noted.

The US embassy and its consulates in India are preparing to receive a fresh record number of visa applications from students, according to a PTI report. US embassy and consulates in India already broke their all-time record for the number of student visas issued in a single year in 2022, top US State department official Ned Price had earlier informed.

 The country is also expecting other visa applications to increase – to around 1.2 million this year – making India the second-largest country for US visa ops after China, as per the PTI report.

The US has announced a series of initiatives to cut the backlog in visa appointments. The US Embassy in India today announced that some visa applicants will now be able to seek appointments in other countries.

The move is aimed at reducing the backlog, with the waiting period for a US visa as high as 800 days at some centers in India.

  1. The US embassy today said that Indians applying for a business or tourist visa will be able to apply for an appointment at embassies or consulates outside India.
  2. “Do you have upcoming international travel? If so, you may be able to get a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your destination. For example, @USEmbassyBKK has opened B1/B2 appointment capacity for Indians who will be in Thailand in the coming months. (sic),” the US embassy India tweeted.
  3. The embassy cited Thailand as an example, saying that the country has the capacity for B1 and B2 visas.
  4. The US has also announced a series of other initiatives to cut the backlog in visa appointments, including increasing the strength of consular staff and organising special interviews for first-time applicants.
  5. During the Covid pandemic, a lot of the staff at the US embassies had been let go as the number of applications was low during that period. India was one of the very few countries where applications for US visas saw a major upswing after coronavirus-related travel restrictions were lifted.
  6. The US has announced that it will hire more staff by summer this year.
  7. People looking to renew their US visa can submit their application through a dropbox. Since their biometrics are already with the US government, they will not be asked to appear in person for another biometric evaluation.
  8. The US embassy and consulates are expecting to receive a record number of visas from Indian students this year and hence are working on a multi-pronged approach to cut backlog, according to John Ballard, the consular chief at the US Consulate General in Mumbai.
  9. The US embassy in Delhi and the consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad have also started conducting “special Saturday interview days” to aid first-time applicants.
  10. The US mission in India released more than 2,50,000 additional B1/B2 appointments two weeks ago.