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Indiana Court of Appeals to hear Purvi Patel’s appeal to reverse her 2015 neglect & feticide convictions

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About 30 people, most arriving on a bus from Chicago, formed a circle Monday, May 23, 2016, outside the Indiana Statehouse before sitting in on an appeal by Purvi Patel, a Mishawaka woman sentenced to 20 years for feticide. (Photo: Robert Scheer/IndyStar)

About 30 people, most arriving on a bus from Chicago, formed a circle Monday, May 23, 2016, outside the Indiana Statehouse before sitting in on an appeal by Purvi Patel, a Mishawaka woman sentenced to 20 years for feticide. (Photo: Robert Scheer/IndyStar)

INDIANAPOLIS (Diya TV) — Purvi Patel, an Indian American woman who last year was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison in connection with the ending of her own pregnancy, will appeal her case and sentence to the state’s highest court.

Patel’s attorneys sought Monday to overturn the conviction of feticide and neglect of a dependent. The state’s interpretation of its feticide law has drawn national interest of the case, and Monday’s hearing focused heavily on the evidence used to secure the conviction, including whether or not the prosecution had sufficiently proven Patel knew her child had been born alive.

On the night in question, Patel sought medical attention at St. Joseph Hospital after delivering her child at home, according to court documents. When doctors questioned her about her condition, Patel told them she had delivered a stillborn child in her home and discarded the body into a dumpster.

However, prosecutors further alleged that Patel had ordered abortifacients online, and that her child had been born alive.

On Monday, attorney Lawrence Marshall shared the outline of the appeal.

“The evidence in this case was not there whatsoever,” Marshall said. “Not a single expert ever said — in any sort of declarative way — that yes, this infant would have survived had Ms. Patel done differently.”

Opponents of Patel’s conviction have argued that the charge of feticide was never created for the use of criminal prosecution against pregnant women, but instead was meant to serve as an instrument to target providers of illegal abortions. Patel became the first Indiana woman to be convicted of feticide in a case like this in state history.

Marshal berated the state for its use of the feticide statute, and said Indiana’s laws do not criminalize this type of abortion and should have never played a role in his client’s case. Additionally, he scrutinized the state’s case on the charge of neglect, which he said was not proven during Patel’s trial. The state never asked its expert witness whether Patel’s child would have made any noise or shown any visible signs of life that would signal to Patel that the baby was not stillborn, he said.

Prosecutors also never presented any evidence that the child, who was born several weeks premature, would have benefited from medical care received at the hospital, Marshall said.

The three-judge panel questioned Marshall about the importance of the child’s survival as a factor in the case.

Judge Nancy Vaidik said: “Someone is about ready to die of cancer, and someone shoots them. That person is guilty of murder. I mean, we don’t say, ‘Oh, they only had another five hours to live.’ And that’s what I’m struggling with.”

The state maintained evidence provided at Patel’s 2015 criminal trial was enough to support her convictions. Her actions fell within the scope of Indiana’s feticide law, Deputy Attorney General Ellen Meilaender said.

“It’s the defendant’s failure to seek medical treatment, to provide that care for the baby, that led to all of the things that resulted in the baby’s death,” Meilaender said. “The jury could reasonably infer that somebody who was holding a live baby in her hands would be aware that it was alive.”

The judges pressed Meilaender on multiple occasions about what specific evidence had proven Patel was aware of the child’s condition, an issue of the utmost importance to the appeal, the judges said.

Vaidik weighed in again, saying: “This is what the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt: that she knew that this baby was breathing and alive.”

When the panel will deliver its ruling remains unclear, but legal experts and advocates of women’s rights nationwide are keeping a close eye on the case.

“It’s hard to tell which way the case is going to go,” said Lisa Sangoi, an attorney with the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. “But what we do know is that the people of Indiana, and the Indiana state legislature, have not permitted the punishment … of women for having or attempting abortions under the feticide law. So we are certainly hopeful this court will take the lower court to task.”

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Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

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Tez

Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.
Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Diya TV) — Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.

Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India. The app allow users to link their smartphones with their bank accounts and pay for goods and services online and at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Users can also make person-to-person instant money transfers, similar to PayPal.

With Tez, users pay directly from their bank account, using a Unified Payments Interface. Currently, the app works with all major banks, including Google partners Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI and State Bank of India.

Tez is not a mobile wallet like PayTM and MobiKwik. Rather, instead of users storing money, it works more like Apple Wallet, linking the bank account, allowing payments to be deducted from the account.

According to Tez, it’s Tez Shield built-in security “helps to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify your identity.” Each transaction is secured with the user’s UPI PIN. Additionally, the app is secured with a Google PIN or a screen lock method such as fingerprint.

Tez says the app has partnered with a myriad of apps and vendors, including RedBus, PVR, Domino’s, Dish TV and Jet Airways. The app supports multiple languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Business owners can use the Tez with their current account to start accepting digital payments. Payments will go directly to their bank accounts “without any additional cost incurred for the transaction.”

During a launch event in Delhi, Caesar Sengupta, the head of Google’s Next Billion program said the app “works with the vast majority of Android smartphones in the country.”

The app launch took place on Sept. 18 with India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying, “Tez by Google is perhaps the simplest form of monetary transactions.”

Since launching on Google Play and iTunes store, the app has received positive reviews by users. On the Android platform, of nearly 15,000 reviews and over 100,000 users, the app has a 3.8 star rating, with over half of the reviews being 5-star. On the Apple platform, Tez has a 4.5-star rating with 15 reviews.

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Mahindra and Ford Announce Strategic Cooperation

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Ford Mahindra

Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

DEARBORN, Mich. (Diya TV) — Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford and Mahindra’s strengths, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

A Sept. 18 announcement by Ford says the “agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry.”

Areas of cooperation include:mobility programs; connected vehicle projects; electrification; product development; sourcing and commercial efficiencies; distribution within India; improving Ford’s reach within India; and improving Mahindra’s reach beyond India.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” stated Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets.

Ford and Mahindra will work together for a period of up to three years. Following that the period may be extended.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities …,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra.

Mahindra is one of the leading utility vehicle manufacturers in India for over 70 years.

Mahindra owns a majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea and is developing products like the GenZe – the world’s first electric connected scooter.

Ford is one of the largest exporters of cars from the U.S., manufacturing and exporting vehicles and engines from its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 people working across the Ford India and Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai, and Coimbatore.

The Mahindra Group is a $19 billion federation of companies focused on “innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities.”

It is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and motorcycles. Mahindra employs over 200,000 people across 100 countries.

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide.

The two companies had a brief 1995 partnership for manufacturing the Ford Escort. However, after three years, the partnership ceased.

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Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

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Duke University India

North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

DURHAM, N.C. (Diya TV) — North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

Duke University India “aims to expand the existing Duke-India partnerships, which include academic exchange programs and research collaborations,” Duke Today reported.

https://youtu.be/SLGE2vf-hTo

According to the report, the University’s current partners in India include NITI-Aayog, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, Narayana Health City, IIM – Udaipur, IIM – Ahmedabad, and IIT- Gandhinagar.

Duke hosted a launch event on Sept. 18, celebrating the commencement of operations, featuring a conversation between Dr. Michael Merson, vice president and vice provost for global affairs at Duke and Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health.

“I think we cannot think of education if we don’t think of global education,” Namrata Jha, executive director of Duke University India said in a video posted by Duke Global. “Duke University has opened a new office in India, based in Bangalore to create more partnerships – research collaborations, university partnerships, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, learning from the community, giving back to the community. And my team at Duke University’s office in India will be working with faculty at Duke to make that happen.”

“India is unique. While it has lots of challenges, it is also a hub of intellect, of forward-looking thinking, young minds. It’s a fertile ground for doing something groundbreaking in this world. If the technological innovation and great minds of Duke University could tap into the young minds of India, I think we can create wonders,” she added.

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina.  More than 430 Indian students are currently enrolled there and nearly 700 Duke Alumni live in India.

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