By Lavika Bhagat Singh
The author is President, Washington DC Chapter, Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA
WASHINGTON, DC, January 23, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio) IT Minister of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, impressed Presidents, CEO’s of IT Companies and senior US Government representatives at the Roundtable discussion organized by the Washington DC Chapter of the Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
Among those present was Mark Brunner, Director, Senate India Caucus. He warmly welcomed the opportunity to interact with the Minister and all present, reiterating Senator Mark Warner’s views regarding the strong relationship between US and India. He also mentioned his trip along with Senator Warner to Hyderabad just 11 months back.
Mohammed Reda, Incoming Chair, Northern Virginia Technology Council, International Affairs Committee stated his pleasure in being a part of the Roundtable and complemented the Washington DC Chapter of the Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA for taking the initiative in organizing it and welcomed collaborations in Technology with the government of Andhra Pradesh under the aegis of Minister Lakshmaiah.
Christine Warnke, Senior Governmental Affairs Advisor at Hogan Lovells and a Board Member of UDC Foundation, a co-sponsor of the event, while welcoming all present informed every one of the significance of the Fulbright Center at Hogan Lovells.
Minister Lakshmaiah who had attended the Inauguration Ceremony of President Obama the previous day said, “The best day of my life was yesterday, hailing form the largest democracy of the World at the Inauguration of the President of the oldest democracy of the world and the second best day is today when I am amongst all of you at this élite venue-The Fulbright Center.” He captivated the audience with his knowledge and humility.
Professor Paul Nehru Tennassee who teaches “Global Security and International Institutions” at UDC and is Chair of the Research and Policy Committee of the INOCDC moderated the discussion. He highlighted the creation of more opportunities for Indian students to come to the USA to study.
“Honorable Minister is a seasoned politician, an extremely important Member of the Congress Party, a very worldly wise individual, extremely knowledgeable and very savvy with his interactions, having studied in the US, setting an example for us by going back to India to convert all his knowledge to benefit our home nation, India,” said Lavika Bhagat Singh.
She updated the audience about the Washington Chapter’s key role in the nation’s capital—the informal “ political capital” of the world—in upholding the ideology of the Indian National Congress and as promoted by the Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA. While lauding the leadership of Senior Leader Honorable Ponnala Lakshmaiah, she also expressed enthusiasm and solidarity at Rahul Gandhi being made Vice President of the Indian National Congress.
The participants also included dignitaries, Deans, professors and students from University of District Columbia and the University of North America.
Head of the Eco sustainability Division of Tata Consultancy Services and Member of the INOCDC Executive Committee, Samir Menon, conveyed the Formal Vote of Thanks. He highlighted the role of the DC Chapter, saying "We would like to become a facilitator for enhanced communication and interchange between establishments in India and US."
Hon. Ponnala Lakshmaiah is a veteran politician hailing from TELANGANA with strong technical and academic background. He is currently a Cabinet rank minister in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India. He held key portfolios in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet including Information Technology & Communications, Endowments, Major & Medium Irrigation, Aqua Culture and Fisheries. He has been in politics since late 70’s and has contributed his share as a Cabinet member to the growth of AP state. He has helped pave way for irrigating hundreds of thousands of acres of under-cultivated lands into today’s bountiful crop-yielding arable lands as minister for Major Irrigation. He has contributed in the areas of policy formulation for hardware, animal husbandry, dairy development, poultry, and allied industries in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Lakshmaiah’s political career that spanned over 3 decades was focused on service to the socially and economically challenged sections in the state of Andhra Pradesh.