Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trade Promotion between India & Israel

Ms. Orna Sagiv Consulate General of Israel at the NRG Centre at VCCI on 07th November, 2010 for Trade Promotion between India & Israel.

In Photo No. 1 from left side first Mr. Hemant Vadalia, Hon. Secretary of VCCI next to him Mr. Nilesh Shukla, Chairman of Vadodara NRG Centre, in middle Ms. Avi Sabavala, President of VCCI next to her Ms. Orna Sagiv, Consulate General of Israel then her colleague.

In Photo No. 2 Committee Member of Vadodara NRG Centre discussed and to share their views about Trade Promotion between India &Israel.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NRG with Kutchi origins directs Hollywood film

NRG with Kutchi origins directs Hollywood film
AHMEDABAD: He could well be the first Gujarati director to make it to Hollywood. Nayan Padrai who has his origins in Kutch, having settled in the US since he was nine, will be making his debut into films with English romantic comedy When Harry Tries To Marry' which is shot in Mandvi and Bhuj in Kutch and New York. The film is due for release soon.

Although it sounds like an American romantic comedy of the 60s When Harry Met Sally', this film is about Harry or Harish, who belongs to a royal family in Gujarat. The 22-year-old rich handsome boy is about to graduate from a college in New York and is determined not to get involved in a love marriage that will leave him bitterly divorced like his parents.

Against everyone's advice, he decides to opt for an arranged marriage with an eligible young woman from India and eventually finds the perfect Indian girl, a Gujarati, who loves children and animals.

But, just as he reaches India for the wedding he realises his friendship with an American girl has become something deeper. The lead roles are played by Rahul Rai and Freisha Bomanbehram, a television and film actor.

Proud of his Kutchi origins, Padrai told TOI over the phone, "We decided to look for locations in Gujarat and found Mandvi to be the best because of its exotic locales. The shooting took place at Vijay Vilas Palace and Mandvi beach."

Padrai thinks it was dancing to Amitabh Bachchan's songs as a kid that led him to films. In high school, he enrolled for drama classes and eventually went to School of Visual Arts in New York. "Back then, there were no real meaty roles for young south Asians, so I thought of writing a script and almost 10 years later, I am directing that film," he said. The script has already won awards in many competitions.

Padrai started writing it in 1998 with Ralph Stein. "I was taking a lot of acting workshops so the script was shaped with performances in mind, witty dialogue and hopefully a genuine take on love," he added.

The project made rounds in Hollywood, but they had one caveat the script would not be sold. "It was something I wanted to make," he said. Last year on his birthday on January 8, he quit his job and began work on the film. The team comprises Sheetal Vyas from Vadodara, Ritu Ahuja, Bhushan Thakkar also from Kutch, Mike Sledd and several other key advisors, besides assistant director Mehul Mittra who also has his roots in Gujarat.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

NRIs may getto invest in domestic VC funds

A important news item that is appeared in the "Economic Times" of Date.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Location: Vadodara District
Distance: 112 km from Ahmedabad
Tourist Attractions: Laxmi Vilas Palace, Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Pratap Vilas Palace, etc
Best Time to Visit: October to March

Laxmi Vilas Palace VadodaraVadodara city is the administrative headquarter of the Vadodara district in Gujarat. It is often termed as Baroda and is the industrial capital of the state. The city stands on the bank of River Vishwamitri, flanked by a number of graceful buildings like palaces, parks, temples and museums. This has greatly boosted tourism in Vadodara. The cultural galore of Vadodara impels visitors to travel to this historic city. In the ancient time, it served as the capital city of Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara.

The archaeological expeditions in the region indicate that there was human habitation here since the pre historic times. But the present day glory of the city is due to Maharaja Sayajirao, a great patron of art, architecture and music. Vadodara was originally called Vadapadraka, meaning 'a village amidst the banyan trees'. The city houses a number of historical monuments which are worth watching. The unforgettable tale of its past is narrated by the exquisite structures erect in the city.

Tourist Attractions

Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace is an architectural marvel, designed in Indo-Saracenic style and built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1890. It still serves as the residence of the Royal family. The palace contains several splendid chambers, which are examples of skilled craftsmanship. The Darbar Hall is embellished with Italian mosaic floor and walls with mosaic decorations. The palace even houses a remarkable collection of old armory and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta.

Kirti Mandir
Kirti Mandir is another must visit place in Vadodara. It literally means the, 'Hall of Fame' and is a memorial for the Gaekwad rulers. It is a stone building, designed in Hindu style, with domes, terraces, balconies and a central shikhara. The building is decorated with murals, done by the famous Indian artist, Nandlal Bose.

Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, the ruler of Baroda. The university is also known as MSU and is over a hundred years old. It is known for its Faculty of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Performing Arts.

Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bharuch district of Gujarat. It stretches over an area of 608 sq km and boasts of a rich flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses Leopards, Sloth Bears, Sambar, Wild Dogs, Hyena, Barking Deer and a variety of birds.

Nazarbagh Palace
Nazarbagh Palace is an example of Victorian classical style of architecture. It now houses the royal family heirlooms.

Makarpura Palace
Makarpura Palace is another magnificent palace in the city. It is also built in Italianate style and is now used as an Indian Air Force training school.

Pratap Vilas Palace
Pratap Vilas Palace once served as the residence of the royal family. It is a flamboyant building, designed in Indo-Sarcenic style. It now houses the Railway Staff College.

The only existing Mughal monument in Vadodara, Hajira was built in the memory of Qutub-ud-din, the general of Akbar's army. One can also see a step well in the vicinity.

Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum
Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum houses the royal collection of the art of masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo. It also displays Western and Indian paintings, Greco-Roman exhibits, Chinese and Japanese art and a large collection of contemporary Indian art.

How to Reach Vadodara

By Air: Vadodara houses a domestic airport, which connects it to Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Daman, and Pune.

By Train: Vadodara is a major railway junction located on the Western Railway, which connects it with Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.

By Road: State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Vadodara to various towns and cities of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Swarnim Gujarat, Vaishwik Gujarat: NRG meet & Cultural Event - 06

History of Gujarat

Gujarat is a State in northwestern India, on the border with Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west.

Gujarat : The State took it’s name from the Gujara, the land of the Gujjars, who ruled the area during the 700’s and 800’s.

Ancient Roots
The first settlers in the State of Gujarat were Gujjars who happened to be an ethnic group of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although their originis remain uncertain, the clan appeared in northern India and in Saurashtra about the time of the Huna invasion. The name of the tribe was ‘sanskritized’ to ‘Gurjara’ who followed the main religions of Hinduism, Islam, Sikkism and Christianity.

However, the earliest Archeological traces indicate the Indus Valley Civilization as historical relics with the stone age settlements are found in Gujarat around Sabarmati and Mahi rivers. Its roots are also in the Harappan traces found at Lothal, Rampur, Amri and other places.

Ancient Gujarat was ruled by the Maurya Dynasty. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya conquered a number of states in Gujarat while his grandson, King Ashoka extended his domain in Gujarat. The reigns of the first three Mauryas were significant but with Ashoka’s death in 232 B C the Mauryan empire began to crumble,leading to political defragmentation. The Shungas who succeeded the Mauryas tried, unsuccessfully, to uphold the semblance of political unity.

After the fall of the Maurya Empire, the Sakas or Scynthians controlled the region from A.D. 130 to 390. Under Rudra-daman, their empire contained Malwa (in Madhya Pradesh), Saurashtra, Kutchh and Rajasthan. During the 300s and 400s, the area formed a part of the Gupta Empire which in turn was succeeded by the Maitraka Dynasty. It was during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that the great Chinese traveler and philosopher Huien Tsang visited India in 640AD.

Between the decline of the Mauryan power and the coming of Saurashtra under the sway of the Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was a Greek incursion into Gujarat led by Demetrius.

Three royal races of Hindus successively ruled over, namely, the Chawura, Solanki', and Baghilah races. The total number of individuals belonging to the tribes who held power amounted to twenty-three, and they retained possession of the country for five hundred and seventy-five years - previous to the period when Gujarat became subject to the Mohammedans. The Chawura tribe ruled one hundred and ninety-six years after which the power passed into the hands of the Solankhi tribe in the manner described.

It was during the 900s that the Solanki Dynasty came to power. Under the Solanki Dynasty, Gujarat reached to its greatest extent. It is believed that the Gujjars belonged to this Solanki Dynasty because Pratiharas, the Paramaras and the Solankis were imperial Gujjars. Ancient Gujarat’s last Hindu rulers were the Solanki clan of Rajputs from 960 AD to 1243 AD. It is also learnt, Karandev of the Vaghela dynasty was the last Hindu ruler of Gujarat and he was overthrown by the superior forces of Allauddin Khilji from Delhi in 1297.

Medieval Invasions

The Muslim rule continued for 400 years. Gujarat's Muslim governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar asserted his independence, and established the first Muslim sultanate in Gujarat. He took advantage of the weak rulers of Delhi prevailing at the time. He declared independence and assumed the title of Muzaffar Shah. His successor, Ahmed I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat, found Ahmedabad in 1411 on the banks of the Sabarmati river.

Prior to this, Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Gujarat, A.D. 1026. He had vowed to invade India in order to destroy idolatry, kill the kafirs, capture prisoners of war and plunder the vast wealth for which Gujarat was known. Later, Allaudin Khilji invaded Gujarat in 1298 A.D.

Sultanate of Gujarat remained independent until 1576 when the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered it and annexed it to the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered Malwa and Gujarat in 1570s. The Mughals ruled for about 2 centuries till the streak was terminated by the Marathas in the mid 18th century. Chhatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler conquered Gujarat with his military skill.

Influencing Modernity
In 1600’s, the Dutch, French, English and Portuguese – all established bases along the coast of the region acquiring several enclaves along the Gujarati coast, including Daman and Diu as well as Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The British East India Company established a factory in Surat in 1614, which formed their first base in India, but it was eclipsed by Bombay after the British acquired it from Portugal in 1668. The Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Many local rulers, notably the Maratha Gaekwads of Baroda (Vadodara), made a separate peace treaty with the British, and acknowledged British sovereignty in return for retaining local self-rule.

Gujarat was placed under the political authority of the Bombay Presidency, with the exception of Baroda state, which had a direct relationship with the Governor-General of India. From 1818 to 1947, most of present-day Gujarat, including Kathiawar, Kutch, and northern and eastern Gujarat were divided into dozens of princely states, but several districts in central and southern Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Broach (Bharuch), Kaira, Panch Mahals, and Surat, were ruled directly by British officials.

A new era began with the Independence movement started by leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, K.M. Munshi, Narhari Parikh, Mahadev Desai, Mohanlal Pandya, Bhulabhai Desai and Ravi Shankar Vyas all who hailed from Gujarat. Gujarat became a place for some of the most popular revolts, including the Satyagrahas in Kheda, Bardoli, Borsad and the Salt Satyagraha.

Mahagujarat Movement
After the Independence, in 1948, a Mahagujarat conference took place to integrate the entire Gujarati speaking population under one administrative body and on May 1, 1960, the Bombay State split into the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The term ‘Mahagujarat’ encompassed the whole Gujarati speaking area including Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutchh. For the first time after the Sultanate, Gujarat was once again autonomous.

Post Independence and Politics
After gaining independence in 1947, the Indian National Congress party (INC) ruled the Bombay state (which included present-day Gujarat and Maharashtra). Congress continued to govern Gujarat after the state's creation in 1960. During and after India's State of Emergency of 1975-1977, public support for the Congress Party eroded, but COngress continued to hold government until 1995.

Gujarat has had 14 different Chief Ministers since its formation in 1960. Dr. Jivraj Narayan Mehta 1 May 1960 - 19 September 1963 of Indian National Congress was the first Chief Minister. In the 1995 Assembly Polls, the Congress lost to the BJP and Keshubhai Patel came to power.

In 2001, following the loss of 2 assembly seats in by-elections, Keshubhai Patel resigned and yielded power to the present Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP retained a majority in the 2002 election, and Narendra Modi has since served as Chief Minister of the state since 7 October 2001 upto present. On 1st June, 2007, Narendra Modi became the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat.