Indian Diaspora Current Affairs - 2020

US President honours Indian-American elementary teacher Revathi Balakrishnan

US President Barack Obama has honoured an Indian-American elementary teacher Revathi Balakrishnan from Texas at the White House.

She was honoured for her excellent work in the field of education as part of the ‘National Teacher of the Year Programme.

About Revathi Balakrishnan

  • Currently, Ms. Balakrishnan teaches math classes in third through fifth grade at Patsy Sommer Elementary School, Texas.
  • Originally she is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu and had earned her economics degree from University of Madras.
  • Prior to becoming teacher she was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutual for about 12 years.
  • Balakrishnan has taught at ‘Sommer Elementary’ for six years before teaching at Forest North Elementary for three years.
  • Earlier, she was also named as 2016 ‘Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year’.

National Teacher of the Year Programme identifies exceptional teachers across the US by recognising their effective work in the classroom. It engages them in a year of professional learning and empowers them to participate in education policy discussions at the state and national levels.

Indian-origin Murali Pillai elected to Singapore Parliament

An Indian-origin lawyer Murali Pillai from Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has been elected member of the parliament.

He got elected by garnering 61.21 per cent of the votes in the by-election held at suburban Bukit Batok constituency. His opponent Chee Soon Juan from Singapore Democratic Party got 38.79 per cent of votes.

With this victory, Mr Murali became the first PAP candidate to win a by-election in a single member constituency in more than three decades.

Background

The Bukit Batok single seat was vacated when previous PAP MP David Ong had resigned in March 2016. PAP is led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has absolute majority in the Parliament.

In the by election, total of 24,192 votes were cast in the by election including 622 rejected votes, which made up 94.03 per cent of the 25,727 registered electors.

About Murali Pillai

  • Murali Pillai is a former police officer who had worked in the Singapore Police Force before his admission to practice law in 1996.
  • In his legal career, Pillai is currently the head for commercial litigation in Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
  • In his political career, he joined the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 2001.