New Jersey-India Commission Formed to Strengthen Bilateral Ties and Economic Collaboration

The relationship between New Jersey and India is deeply intertwined, with numerous connections and partnerships that underscore their significance. Approximately 5% of New Jersey’s population is South Asian, with significant clusters in dynamic locales like Edison/Iselin, Jersey City, and Robbinsville. Moreover, India stands as the state’s second-largest foreign direct investor, with New Jersey boasting the highest concentration of Indian businesses across the nation. This robust connection translates into substantial bilateral trade, amounting to over $10 billion annually.

Recognizing the importance of fostering and nurturing this relationship, New Jersey recently established the New Jersey-India Commission, marking the third commission of its kind in the state’s history. Notably, India is the sole nation boasting two Choose New Jersey offices, underscoring the depth of collaboration between the two entities. Governor Phil Murphy emphasized the significance of this move, stating, “This is a statement about the breadth, scale and size of not just the relationship as it is today — everything from the diaspora living here, to the jobs created, to the trade between India and New Jersey — but also a statement about the potential future growth of all of the above.”

The commission comprises 39 distinguished members hailing from diverse industries, with Wes Mathews, CEO of Choose New Jersey, appointed as its chairperson. Governor Murphy indicated that the appointment of an executive director would follow. Notable figures on the commission include state senators Vin Gopal and Raj Mukherji, along with representatives from prominent organizations such as RWJ Barnabas Health, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Princeton University.

Consul General Binaya Srikanta Prasad expressed his support for the establishment of the commission, highlighting the importance of further strengthening ties between New Jersey and India. Leading the commission is Wes Mathews, whose extensive experience in diplomacy and leadership roles uniquely positions him to guide the commission’s endeavors. With roots in Kerala, Wes has held diplomatic posts in several countries, including Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan.

The commission boasts a diverse lineup of members, representing a wide array of fields and expertise. Notable individuals include Vidya Kishore, who brings over 18 years of experience from Johnson & Johnson and is committed to fostering connections between New Jersey and India. Krishna Kishore, with over 25 years of global corporate experience, including stints at Bellcore, Deloitte, and PwC, is eager to contribute his expertise to bolster economic and cultural exchanges between New Jersey and India.

The commission’s formation underscores the deep-rooted connections and mutual benefits that exist between New Jersey and India. By leveraging the expertise and resources of its members, the commission aims to further enhance bilateral cooperation and capitalize on the vast potential for growth and collaboration between these two dynamic regions.

AAPI’s Share the Warmth Program Brings Comfort to the Needy

(Chicago, IL: February 20, 2023) “Continuing the tradition of providing comfort and warmth to the needy and the homeless in the United States during this winter season, with the overwhelming support from dozens of Chapters, we at the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) are happy to announce that thousands of people across the nation have benefitted from the generosity of AAPI members, ” Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said.

For several years, AAPI at the national level and various Chapters at the state level have been jointly leading efforts to bring warmth and comfort into the lives of the needy across the United States. Launched in 2019, this noble initiative has now become an annual tradition of giving by AAPI to local communities. AAPI’s “Share The Warmth” project has donated thousands of blankets to the poor and the needy in several homeless shelters across the nation every year.

“We are immensely happy to state that our AAPI’s ‘SHARE THE WARMTH’ program has been highly successful this year,” said Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Vice Chair of AAPI Board of Trustees and Chair, Share The Warmth program. “We had nearly 30 state Chapters of AAPI who participated in this program and helped about 3,000 homeless and other needy citizens, which is a commendable gesture.”

Dr. Lolabhattu pointed to the local Georgia Chapter, which jumped into action, distributing Blankets to those stranded and without power during this cold winter, in the aftermath of a devastating Tornado striking parts of Georgia state. “It was heartwarming to see how they greatly appreciated our timely help.” Praising the concerted efforts of several other AAPI Chapters, Dr. Lolabahhttu said, “We had the same feedback from several other state leaders that their donations have been very well received and greatly appreciated by the local communities. Thanks to our AAPI President Dr. Ravi Kolli for his leadership and we would say that this is another glorious feather on his cap.”

In a heart-warming gesture, led by Dr. Madhavi Gorusu, Director of Medical Oncology at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Hartford HealthCare, AAPI donated blankets to LifeStar, who in turn provided blankets to local EMS, the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department, and the Neighborhood Health team to hand out in the community.

“We at AAPI are extremely grateful for the opportunities we have been blessed with to serve the communities we live in and work in,” said Dr. V. Ranga, Chair of APPI BOT. “As a token of our appreciation and gratitude, we believe we are happy to be able to give back and serve the less fortunate in our society in times of their need.”

“This has been a one-of-a-kind experience for the teams of physicians and young volunteers alike who have generously volunteered their time and resources to bring joy to the less fortunate. I want to thank all the State Chapter leaders for their commitment and their enthusiastic participation,” said Dr. Anjana Samadder, President-Elect of AAPI.

“Realizing how this initiative benefits several needy in the community, gives us the motivation to organize many such events and give back to the local community. We are very happy to say that the purpose of the program has been accomplished by AAPI working with so many state Chapters and hope more things will happen in the future,” Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI said.

AAPI launched the “Share-A-Blanket” project during the holiday season in 2019 during the presidency of Dr. Suresh Reddy to bring warmth to the needy. Dr. Binod Sinha, founder President of NJ AAPI in New Jersey organized and conducted it successfully that year and since then it has been held annually by AAPI and local Chapters of AAPI.

“After experiencing the generosity of AAPI members, we strongly feel that we can accomplish much more with support and participation from all our AAPI physicians led by the local Chapters,” said Dr. Sumul Rawal, Treasurer of AAPI.

Dr. Kolli and Dr. Lolabhattu thanked ATG Tours for being the Grand sponsor of the program, and all the AAPI members for their generous contributions. Dr. Kolli, while expressing gratitude and appreciation to the AAPI Chapters for organizing the Drives around the nation, said, “Knowing that such measures benefit several needy in the community gives us the motivation to organize more such events and give back to the local communities where we live and serve. We strongly feel that we can make more such accomplishments with support and participation from all our generous AAPI physicians.”

American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), founded in 1982  is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States, representing the interests of over 120,000 physicians of Indian origin. In addition to several programs in India, AAPI has been in the forefront, advocating for the interests of the medical fraternity and organizing regular CME programs, health & wellness events,  and financial workshops for its members and outreach, public health education, and advocacy activities for the community both locally and internationally. For more details and to join the Share-A-Blanket Drive in your state/community, please visit:

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)

Navika Group Acquires 2 Stylish Hotels In New Jersey With Views Of NYC Skyline

Navika Group of Companies has acquired two stylish hotels with magnificent views of the New York City skyline from across the Hudson river. The premier commercial real estate company has added EnVue, Autograph Collection by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott, Port Imperial, Weehawken, NJ, to its stable that already boasts iconic hotels like Sheraton Mahwah, Marriott Long Island and Andaz Wall Street, rebranded as Hyatt Centric Wall Street.

EnVue, Autograph Collection

Rated Best of the Best Hotels in NYC, it has a great location, right on the Hudson River across the street from the NY Waterway ferries to NY terminal. Guests can revel in spectacular views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. In fact, as the name signifies, EnVue, Autograph Collection is New York City on exhibit.

Weehawken, NJ was once host to prominent ancestors, infamous neighbors, and the forefathers’ famous duel of 1804. Now, EnVue hotel rises from the revitalized Hudson River waterfront offering a clean slate for new generations to create their own history. You can gather with friends and family for intimate dinners or large, timeless events at Skyline, their 25,000 sq ft adaptable outdoor terrace encircled by NYC’s horizon. You can also host a meeting for about 800 attendees inside the WorldVue Ballroom, their most expansive venue. And showcase your vision with their state-of-art audiovisual equipment, available in every meeting room. At night sleep well in their well-appointed suites and guest rooms with a host of amenities.

Residence Inn Weehawken Port Imperial

The boutique hotel in Weehawken, NJ is located on the Hudson River with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. For those wishing to explore the city that never sleeps, the hotel is just an effortless ferry ride away from Central Park and Midtown Manhattan.

Spacious and innovative suites come with fully equipped kitchens. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you can enjoy local Jersey hotspots or utilize the hotel’s grocery-shopping services and enjoy a night in. Also avail complimentary breakfast buffet and work out at the onsite fitness center.

Headquartered in Uniondale, N.Y., Navika Group possesses a big portfolio of income-producing properties nationwide in the hospitality, leisure and corporate markets, including hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes, shopping centers and golf courses.  Its portfolio includes Limited and Full Service Hotels, which are flagged under global brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, Wyndham, and Best Western.