Khaleej Times

AaDhaar – NRIs new fear! To or not to apply for Aadhaar?

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Mind Speaks - Aadhaar 26 July 2017ccTo news reports published in prominent newspapers Khaleej Times and Gulf News have created lot of confusion and fear among NRIs based in UAE.

On 24th July 2017, Khaleej Times came out with the news below:

NRIs urged to apply for Aadhaar Card

Filed on July 24, 2017 | Last updated on July 24, 2017 at 08.29 am

KT Aadhar

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are advised to apply for the Aaadhar card to avail of state benefits and for hassle-free transactions in future.

According to a manager of the NRI section of State Bank of India (SBI), the government has not exempted Indian expats from the Aadhaar card.

Jose GL, NRI section manager at SBI’s Varkala branch, Kerala, told Khaleej Times:

“My advice to NRIs is to apply for Aadhar Card, as there is a chance for the government to make it mandatory for expats as well. Without an announcement, the government has now asked everyone to link their Permanent Account Number (Pan) with Aadhaar, for income tax returns. There is no doubt that Aadhaar will become compulsory and beneficial for several transactions in the coming years.”


Today, 26th July 2017 Gulf News have come out with a totally contradictory version of it:

‘NRIs not eligible for Aadhaar ID card’

Published: 14:32 July 26, 2017

Binsal Abdul Kader, Senior Reporter

aadhar gn

If banks, or any Indian institutions, demand that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) produce Aadhaar for official transactions, simply inform them that NRIs are not eligible for the identity card issued to residents of India, a top Indian official told Gulf News on Tuesday.

“Just tell them that we [NRIs] are not eligible for Aadhaar, therefore, don’t force us to produce it,” Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said in a telephone interview from New Delhi.






Whether to apply for an Aadhaar, the thought has now become aa dar (upcoming fear) for expatriates here.

Who to follow and what to do is very important and appreciate responsible newspapers should do necessary homework before publishing such important formation of high importance.

Appreciate to have a clarification from the Indian Embassy authorities on which of these reports are to be followed by all.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

26th July 2017




Scholarship by Dubai Health Authority to boost medical education in Dubai

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The initiative by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to sponsor emirati medical students with  Dh6,500 monthly grant, if they do a major in medicine and Dh5,000 per month if they want to continue studies in the field of paramedics and nursing is great!. 130 students are set to benefit from “Sponsoring Emiratis in the Medical Sector Programme.”.

Recent study news that came out in the regional press stated that GCC students place less importance to STEM subjects and this scholarship will definitely attract more students to take up medical education.

Medical education, unlike other, takes a longer period for students to complete and settle in and be financially self-sufficient and thus create less interest among students. This is obvious from DHA’s Annual Health Statistical Report for 2015, showing a total of 1,612 Emiratis currently working in the medical sector in Dubai. Category-wise statistics says 276 physicians, 106 dentists, 50 nurses, 29 pharmacists are working in Dubai hospitals and primary health centres.

Mind Speaks on the news in Khaleej Times: Dh6,500 monthly grant, job for Emirati medical students

Of writing skills and technology – Khaleej Times – 7 July 2014

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Of writing skills and technology
/ 7 July 2014
This is in response to the write-up “Get it Write”. It gave an interesting reading and insight to a pressing problem. The advent of technology is already in its successful path of killing the art of writing using pen and pencil. It is, indeed, a dangerous situation.
Concurring with the observation of Nishad Sayyed, I really feel bad to see little children tagging along parents mending their ways either on the iPhone or iPad. To make children familiar with the technology from an early age is good. However, making them totally addicted and dependent on them is to be pondered.
The result of the lack of interest in promoting writing at an early age is seen by the reduction of children participating in activities related to writing poetry or short stories. Time and effort has to be devoted to change this situation. How many parents and teachers take an effort in this direction may bring about the intended improvement. How can it be done has to be the next step of this important focus.
How difficult is it now for an expert to analyse a person when the art of writing itself is dying. I have been interested in this field for a long time and have been learning and collecting the handwritten scripts of those whom I come across for my study and analysis.
 It is common these days that we get to see children not expressing their mind through pen and pencil and use abbreviated terminologies to communicate through mobile or social media. To read their mind is not so easy as they get them enclosed into a shell by themselves.
What can we do next to see a change? Parents should make it a point to create an interest among children from a young age to start reading and writing in full and complete. On the other hand teachers and academicians of all types have a bigger role to teach them the importance of reading and writing it right.
Community organisations too have an important role to come out with competitions to encourage the development of literary skills.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit Khaleej Times online.

A bench with no place to sit – Khaleej Times – Dt. 24 March 2014

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I believe and propagate through Passionate Photographers group on Facebook that every photo clicked is history. There will be a message or a story behind it. Some told, some untold. The above just an example of how some anti-social elements can damage public property that can be a danger to children and elderly. It is not an image wish to be seen around in a beautiful city. Hope, the authorities will repair and replace it soon as necessary requests have been made to highlight it to them.
Part of a Park, Ride and Click project. A Page 3 listing for an HSE effort.  Inspiring.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Dubai to introduce new app to report food violations – Letters to the editor Khaleej Times

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Dubai to introduce new app to report food violations – Letters to the editor Khaleej Times

This will be a very good move as consumers can easily report violations with photo evidence directly. Supermarket chains have to be extra cautious from now on. Many instance I have noticed the ready to use fresh vegetable items in mixed pack have old items concealed at the bottom with fresh products at the top. This will not work as also many other negligence or even over sights. Wish and hope that the new application is used well and prove to be beneficial for consumers to get quality products.

To read the original article, please visit Khaleej Times online

Reading and writing: Hundred, not out

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(Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi) / 29 December 2013

This is in response to the article, “One hundred not out” (KT, December 27).

It made an interesting reading and suddenly it brought out several motivational insights within me recapitulating the year 2013 that was.

Cricket is an interesting game with lot of statistics and game loving statisticians keeping track of players and the game happening all over.

In fact when we look at it, numbers fascinate us in many ways. We are all proudly looking forward to Expo 2020. We closely watched the digital clock when it passed to the next second on 11:12:13 at 14:15:16.

Just like any sports, a reader and writer has to have nice platforms to write regularly and read on. We all cry aloud and alert when children don’t get sufficient sports facilities around. The authorities in the UAE are very generous and listen to us appropriately and the results of it are wonderful cityscape with young generation given adequate play opportunities around.

The art of reading and writing also has to be approached in a similar manner. I congratulate the writer for scoring a century with Khaleej Times. That has inspired me to write more.

To read it in original, please visit Khaleej Times online

Well done!

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Well done!
(Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi) / 14 April 2013

Best wishes to Khaleej Times on its 35th birthday.
As a regular reader, I wish to congratulate the entire team for the excellent change brought in to the newspaper in print and online during the recent times.
The online edition is attractive and easy to read and save. Local and regional contents of importance are well covered in print. Sports coverage is one of the best with excellent tabulations and graphics whenever there is any prominent event happening.
To read it in original, please visit, Khaleej Times online.

Kerala Chief Minister turns a new page

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Kerala Chief Minister turns a new page

My letter to a interesting dialogue with Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy by Roopa Kurien for Khaleej Times.

To read it in full, please visit Khaleej Times online

My comments as below:

An interesting dialogue with Kerala Chief Minister covering majority of the talked about issues. Non Resident Keralities (NRK) are always keen on issues and developmental activities happening within the state. It can be visibly observed by the number of print, online and electronic media and associations in Malayalam within this region actively discussing day to day actions.
Air Kerala is looked up on by all malayalees to ease up the travel tensions. How and when it will materializes and how far it will resolve the cost of travel is to be seen as it happens.
We have been hearing of SmartCity and in reality still hearing about it other than the developments projected in press.
Voting rights, if given to NRKs may bring about a phenomenal change to the outlook towards their demands and actual requirements.
Abolishing strikes or stoppage of educational hours should be a solution thought about by all parties to bring in a smooth flow of classes and curriculum once a student is enrolled. Peaceful protests and expression of freedom of thoughts should be allowed without interruption of classes should be implemented by bringing out an all party consensus to the current situation.
A strict no-no to public damaging of properties by any protesters should be also enforced by a joint political consensus discussed and finalized within the legal and legislative framework.
A single window processing channel for NRK investments which monitors the entire life span of each project and assist them till it become a success and after should become a reality.
A major point which did not come in this discussion is the road, transport and infrastructure facilities, which are in pathetic conditions in several parts for a long time. Road conditions from Trichur to Coimbatore, which connects Kerala with Tamilnadu is a major example of ignoring time, safety and convenience of lakhs of commuters every day.
On the health sector, NRKs and general public look forward to availability of quality medical services to them as well as general public. 
Quota for NRK students in Kerala educational institutions is also another requirement.
Hygiene issues prevailing in several parts of the state is a major problem. The poor overall facilities provided to the devotees visiting Sabarimala temple is an open issue. As also, waste management problems in all major cities like Trivandrum, Cochin, Calicut etc.
Transportation facilities in quality and quantity available to connect nearby and far away states has always been another major concern.
Last but not the least, Kerala State government is promoting various lotteries for developing different projects. Why not a lottery specific for the welfare of NRKs. It could be sold at all Airports and regular distributors.
Taking on a lighter note on the statistics projected on Janasamparkam programme, we hope the Chief Minister is conducting this to not get himself an entry into the Guinness Book of Records.
Several instances of no reply to issues addressed are in plenty, even after repeated follow up.
We look forward and welcome him to organize a real Pravasi Kerala Dhinam (day) in the UAE to interact with normal working class NRKs to understand the real issues pertaining to all from the state.


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Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi / 8 October 2012

Abu Dhabi Mall is at the centre of the city and there is always heavy traffic movement. Although there exists a pedestrian over bridge, some people still prefer to cross the road, without using it. At times, they do it even if they see oncoming vehicles. More alarmingly, people continue to talk on phone while crossing the road.
Abu Dhabi authorities used to have staff on both sides fining those who violate and jaywalk at this particular point. But, I believe, after the long summer and Eid holidays, all have forgotten this golden rule of not to cross the road at any point they wish, and seems like authorities have also forgotten about this prominent point.

May I kindly request Abu Dhabi traffic authorities to restart the campaign against jaywalking at busy traffic points. I also believe more education is required to update those who are new and also tend to forget. It should be followed up with appropriate fines so that they do not endanger their lives.

To read it in original, please visit Khaleej Times online.