Karnataka Congress Leader Warns of Southern Secession Over Alleged Central Fund Diversion

A Karnataka Congress leader, immediately following the unveiling of the interim budget today, accused the Central government of diverting developmental funds from south India to bolster the northern regions. DK Suresh Kumar, a Congress MP, warned that if this issue remains unaddressed, it might necessitate the southern states to seek autonomy, stating, “If we don’t condemn this in the upcoming days, we will have to place a demand for a separate country as a result of the situation the Hindi-speaking region has forced on us.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded by accusing the Congress of promoting divisive sentiments. Chaluvadi Narayanaswamy of the BJP criticized the Congress’s stance, suggesting that instead of fostering unity (“Bharat Jodo”), they seem to advocate for division (“Bharat Todo”). He condemned the Congress mindset, drawing parallels to the partition of India in 1947, and questioned the party’s commitment to upholding the nation’s unity despite Rahul Gandhi’s calls for integration.

This discontent echoes Mamata Banerjee’s grievances in West Bengal, where the Congress, newly in power in Karnataka, aligns itself with her narrative of inadequate central funding. DK Suresh Kumar emphasized the perceived injustice faced by southern states, asserting, “We want to receive our money. Whether it is the GST, Custom or Direct taxes, we want to receive our rightful share… our share of money for development is getting distributed to north India.”

Recently, the Karnataka Congress administration released a white paper highlighting the disparity between the state’s contributions to the national economy and the funds it receives from the Centre. M. Lakshmana, a spokesperson for the state Congress, cited figures indicating that Karnataka’s tax contributions far exceed the returns it receives. Despite contributing significantly to corporate and other taxes, as well as GST, Karnataka is reportedly receiving disproportionately low allocations from the Centre.

The grievances are not limited to Karnataka alone. Similar concerns have been raised by Kerala and the DMK-led government in Tamil Nadu. This discontent culminated in Karnataka’s Congress government contemplating the formation of a coalition to challenge what they perceive as biased tax devolution by the Central government. Officials noted a decrease in Karnataka’s share of taxes from 4.71% to 3.64% under the current Finance Commission, further exacerbating the perceived imbalance in resource allocation.

AAPI Confers Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chair of MAHE During GHS in Manipal

(Manipal, Karnataka — January 6, 2024) During the 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit 2024 by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) being held in Manipal, Karnataka, Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his visionary leadership and dedication to quality education in the nation.

His son Ranjan Pai, an educationist and healthcare baron, who manages the Manipal Group, along with his mother Mrs. Vasanthi Pai, received the award from Dr. Aarti Krishna, Deputy Chair of non-Residents Indian Forum, Karnataka, who was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the GHS – Manipal on January 5, 2024. AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2024 being held at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023.

AAPI 2024 Collage 7In her remarks, Mrs. Vasanthi Pai said, “Dr Ramdas M Pai has always set a high bar for the institutions he has set up. She shared with the audience the high regards and appreciation Dr. Pai has for AAPI and its valuable services in promoting healthcare and exchange of knowledge and advocacy of policy initiatives in the US.

Recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Pai was honored with the prestigious awards such as Padma Bhushan from the Government of India, ‘Datuk’ Award from the Government of Melaka, Malaysia and the Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution in the field of education and healthcare.

In her address, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) said, “I extend my warmest greetings to each and every one of you attending this prestigious 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi and Manipal. As the president of AAPI, I’m honored to welcome a diverse gathering of experts, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and advocates dedicate dedicated to advancing global health. I want to thank was speakers and sponsors for their contributions.”

GHS is being organized by AAPI in collaboration with AIIMS, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka and the Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS),

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “With the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, AAPI has rightly chosen to focus on the Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence during the GHS 2024, and is being organized in collaboration with AIIMs, and University of Manipal, which are in the league of the best academic centers. With the invention of Artificial Intelligence, we want to explore its impact on Medicine and Healthcare in the 21st century.”

In her keynote address, Dr. Aarti Krishna extended her felicitations to AAPI and all the participants at the Global Healthcare Summit in Manipal. She appreciated the special focus being given to the future of healthcare and artificial intelligence, as well as holding a special segment for women. She recalled her long association with AAPI and its leaders during her tenure in Washington DC where she had interacted with several AAPI leaders. She highlighted how “Karnataka has been in the forefront and now the is the foremost state of India in the healthcare sector and has taken numerous and tremendous strides to raise high quality health care to the people of the state. In fact, it has become the hub of healthcare for Indians all over India. I’m confident that initiatives taken up during the GHS 2924 will be mutually beneficial to all.”

AAPI 2024 Collage 8Dr. Krishna said, “AAPI has been a pioneering institution in the United States to support and nurture the Indian American physicians, the pursuit of excellence in professionalism patient care, teaching and research. They steadfastly pursue collective advocacy for furthering the costs of medicine, medical profession, and knowledge of ethics and legislative and regulatory changes in the profession. I’m delighted that AAPI has partnered with India to share the knowledge and progress in both our countries in the field as well as contributing to the health sector in India.”

In a message sent by the honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka Shree Siddaramaiah, he extended his heartfelt greetings to all the participants who are attending the GHS conference in Karnataka. “Karnataka takes immense pride in being at the forefront of health care, and hosting this conference is a testament to our commitment to advancing the field as we bring together minds that have dedicated themselves to the noble cost of healthcare, I am confident that this conference will serve as a dynamic platform for brainstorming and exchanging ideas.”

Lt. Gen. Dr. Venkatesh, Chair of GHS, India described the great achievements of Manipal Academy as one of the most pioneering institutes in the world, among the top six universities in the country, which effectively means that it is number one, multidisciplinary private university in the country. “I think this is a testament to our commitments, more importantly, as the world is grappling with environmental issues, and global warming, we focus on sustainability, targeting our commitment to unwavering support for environment. And today, we are ranked as the number one university in terms of environmental friendliness, and being a green campus,”

Dr. H S Ballal, MAHE Pro Vice Chancellor in his address said, “I’m very happy that AAPI is hosting a scientific conference here in Manipal, today and tomorrow. Congratulations to the more than 100 delegates with their families from the US, who are participating in this conference. Your presence contributes to the richness and diversity to our vibrant community and we are very delighted to have you here.”

The 2 days long sessions in Manipal is packed with top end CMEs delivered by several prominent physicians and academicians who are participating at the GHS and are leading and chairing various academic sessions that are being organized during the summit.

AAPI 2024 Collage 10The awesome hospitality and warmth of the local organizing committee, cultural extravaganza depicting the cultural traditions of southern India, delicious Karnataka special cusine, served on banana leaves and the visits to the local education centers, Temples and cultural sites are added attractions that made the Summit in Manipal unique.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 expressed his gratitude to all who have been instrum ental in organizing the highly successful GHS in Manipal, particularly Dr. Subra Bghat, Dr. Annapurna Bhat, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Dr. Ballal, Dr. Venkatesh, Dr. Rohit Singh, Dr, Sharat Kumar, Dr. Raj Alappan, Dr. Bantwal S. Baliga, Dr. Unnikrishnan, and Dr, Padmaraj Hegde.

India is making tremendous progress in the healthcare sector and is building modern medical facilities throughout the country. Physicians of Indian origin have earned a name for themselves in the medical field and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub. With a rise in population, there is an urgent need to create additional health infrastructure, which entails a higher level of investment in the Indian healthcare market in the coming years.

It’s in this context, the groundbreaking AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) from January 1-6th, 2024 in Delhi and Manipal, Karnataka, being organized with participation from some of the world’s most well known physicians, and industry leaders becomes very critical and significant. This international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007.

Providing a forum for innovative opportunities for learning, networking and giving back to our motherland that have now enabled us to plan ahead and prepare for an outstanding event with very prominent and talented physicians and surgeons from abroad, in addition to the hundreds of physicians from India, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, mother India. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/