Dubai-based prominent NRI Businessman and Philanthropist  Dr. Ronald Colaco was on Friday felicitated for being awarded the certificate of excellence by the World Book of Records, London.

He entered the World Book of Records, London for his social and charitable works by creating infrastructure support to the state government of Karnataka for the upliftment of society. The certificate was presented to him at the House of Commons, British Parliament in September 2022, during the Indo-UK Leadership Summit.The certificate was presented by Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament, London, United Kingdom.

A special felicitation programme was held on Friday at the Ocean Hall of Clarks Exotica at Swiss Town, Bengaluru. Many prominent personalities from Karnataka and also from other countries attended the event and lauded the exemplary services being rendered by Dr Colaco. 

Speaking at the event, Virendra Sharma, Senior Labour Member of Parliament, UK said the world was craving for love, peace and harmony and people like Ronald Colaco are spreading it. "Ronald Colaco stands in-line with former US President Barack Obama and other world leaders who are spreading love and harmony in the world. The world needs more people like them. Dr Colaco has distributed the fruits of his achievements to the entire state and the country. His family has also wholeheartedly supported him in this noble cause" Sharma said while thanking for the opportunity to sign the certificate of excellence given to Dr Colaco by the World Book of Records. 

MLA and BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi, who is the Chairman of the felicitation committee lauded Ronald Colaco and added that he stands for the proverb "A pure heart is real temple". He further added that Dr. Colaco never says no to anyone seeking help or his services. State Government has awarded the Rajyotsava Award to Dr Colaco. He deserves an award from the Central Government. But we are not able to recommend his name as our Central Government doesn't consider recommendations. It's only a matter of time that personalities like Dr Colaco get their due recognition. He has already made a place for himself in the hearts of every Indian by his charitable works, said CT Ravi.

MLC Bhojegowda also addressed the event and remembered how Ronald Colaco has been serving people for over 35 years despite facing several difficulties in his life. "His life has not been a cakewalk. He was born in a family of a farmer. Despite this and several other difficulties he continued serving people and carved a name for himself. He has been following the principles of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu throughout his life." He said.

Former Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said Ronald Colaco has worked all along with the true spirit of India and is an ideal Indian. He also congratulated Dr Colaco for his immense contribution to the development of Devanahalli, which has seen overall development after Dr Colaco's intervention. 

"People from all religions and faiths have benefited from his services, he has not discriminated between people of any religions and faiths. That's what true Indian spirit is and that's what India stands for." Dinesh Gundurao added.

Dr. Aarti Krishna, former Vice President of Karnataka Government NRI Forum, said NRIs across the world are proud of Ronald Colaco and his work is not just limited to Arab countries but is widely recognised across the world. She described him as a Proud Kannadiga and Proud Indian. 

Accepting the felicitation, a humbled Dr Ronald Colaco, reminded the audience that it was a pledge he and his wife Jean Colaco took during their marriage to share a certain percentage of his income for the welfare of the society that has always inspired him to do and continue his charity works. He also requested the audience to pledge that they will spare a portion of their income for the charity works. 

Vishwabhooshana, a book on the life and achievements of Dr Ronald Colaco was released during the event. The editors of the book S. Venkatesh Murthy, N. Narasimhamurthy and Me.Cha.Kotappa were honored.  

About Ronald Colaco:

Hailing from Moodbidri near Mangaluru, Colaso began his professional career in Oman in 1975 before working in eight other Arab and European countries as an accountant.

He was elevated as commercial CEO for a consortium of three multinational corporates like CCICL based in Athens, Greece, Mannesmann of Germany and Saipem of Milano, Italy. He was involved in turn-key projects such as the construction of world-class petro-refineries, gas processing and re-injection plants, townships and airports.

He put his rich experience in diverse capacities to good use and became an entrepreneur, and since then it has been a saga of success all the way. Through his business acumen, hard work, dedication and disciplined approach, Ronald Colaco has become a successful entrepreneur of great repute.

Apart from being a successful entrepreneur in his own right, Ronald Colaco has been very active in promoting socio-cultural, charitable and philanthropic activities in his endeavour to give back to the society that he has come from, in a big way. His has benefited the poor and the needy people and various institutions and organisations irrespective of caste, creed, race, religion and language. He has been a pioneer in providing infrastructure facilities for the benefit of the larger public and has set a precedent for others to follow. Many MNC’s and Corporates followed in his footsteps to carry out their corporate social responsibility, resulting in creating essential international standard infrastructure in the state. "Acts of caring and sharing have taught me to find so much of satisfaction, happiness and compassion within me and to stay attached to the values that are connected to the common good," Colaco asserts.

He has strictly adhered to the pledge he took at the time of his marriage in 1983 to share a certain percentage of his income and since then has extended a helping hand to individuals, institutions, organisations, the government and to the society in general. His wife Jean Colaco has been fully supportive of his philanthropic and charitable endeavours.

Colaco has been the recipient of several national and international awards in recognition of his charitable and philanthropic activities including the prestigious award from the office of The Prime Minister of Australia through CSIA which conferred the '2015 International Recognition Award for Leadership in Service Excellence' at the Australian Service Excellence award ceremony held in Melbourne in 2015. Colaco was the only person chosen for this prestigious award internationally from among 80 countries.

His charitable and philanthropic activities cover a wide array of fields which spread across Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and overseas countries under different categories and fields.

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New Delhi/Srinagar, Jul 13: The Centre has significantly strengthened the authority of the lieutenant governor in Jammu and Kashmir, empowering him to make decisions on crucial matters such as police and all-India services officers and granting sanctions for prosecution in various cases.

The opposition slammed the Union government's move and termed it a step towards "disempowering" the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Official sources, however, said the notification does not in any sense alter the balance of powers as enshrined in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

The Union home ministry gave more powers to the lieutenant governor on Friday by amending the transaction rules framed under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. This Act, passed alongside the abrogation of Article 370, bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The sources said that with the amendments to the transaction rules, the powers of the legislative assembly and the functions of the lieutenant governor have been clearly defined and delineated in the Act, and the same has been reflected in the transaction of business rules.

The Union home ministry notification, through which the amendment to the transaction rules of the Act were brought, has been issued to provide better clarity on the processes to enable the smooth administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a simple amendment to the transaction rules which were issued to avoid any ambiguity, the sources added.

In the past, proposals concerning police, public order, all-India services and the Anti-Corruption Bureau required approval from the finance department of Jammu and Kashmir before reaching the lieutenant governor.

Under the revised rules, such proposals must now be presented directly to the lieutenant governor through the chief secretary of the Union territory.

The lieutenant governor's authority extends further to the appointment of the advocate general and other law officers. These appointments, previously decided upon by the government, will now require the lieutenant governor's approval.

The Centre's decision has met with criticism from some political parties in Jammu and Kashmir who view it as an attempt to undermine the power of an elected government.

The Supreme Court has directed the restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir "at the earliest" and the holding of elections to the assembly by September 30, 2024.

On Saturday, various political parties expressed their disapproval of the Centre's move to grant additional powers to the lieutenant governor in matters concerning police and all-India service officers.

The National Conference (NC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) labelled the decision as a step towards "disempowering" the people of Jammu and Kashmir, while the Congress condemned the move as a "murder of democracy".

The Apni Party called for a unified protest against the decision.

Following the Centre's move, decisions regarding prosecution sanctions and filing appeals will also come under the lieutenant governor's purview. Additionally, matters related to prisons, the directorate of prosecution and the forensic science laboratory will be handled directly by the lieutenant governor.

"No proposal which requires previous concurrence of the Finance Department with regard to 'Police', 'Public Order', 'All India Service' and 'Anti Corruption Bureau' to exercise the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor under the Act shall be concurred or rejected unless it has been placed before the lieutenant governor through the chief secretary," the Union home ministry notification stated.

The lieutenant governor's role in bureaucratic matters has also been amplified. Proposals for postings and transfers of administrative secretaries, along with those concerning IAS and IPS officers, will be routed through his office.

Reacting to this order, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah raised concerns about the implications of having a "powerless and rubber stamp" chief minister, who would need the lieutenant governor's approval even for minor appointments.

Despite acknowledging the timing of the decision in relation to the upcoming elections, Abdullah emphasised the importance of a clear commitment towards restoring full statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

"This is why a firm commitment to laying out the timeline for restoration of full and undiluted statehood for Jammu and Kashmir is a prerequisite for these polls. The people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve better than a powerless and rubber stamp CM who will have to beg the L-G to get his/her peon appointed," he said.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the increased powers given to the Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor suggested a dim outlook for the restoration of a full-fledged statehood in the near future.

In a post on 'X', he said, "The only meaning that can be drawn from this notification is that full-fledged statehood for Jammu and Kashmir does not seem likely in the immediate future."

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti's daughter and media adviser Iltija Mufti highlighted the perceived agenda behind the decision, suggesting that it was aimed at limiting the powers of any future elected government in the region.

"The order seeks to disempower the powers of the next Jammu and Kashmir state government only because the BJP doesn't want to cede control or lose its iron grip over Kashmiris. Statehood is out of the question. An elected government in Jammu and Kashmir will be reduced to a municipality," she said.

Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Vikar Rasool Wani echoed the sentiment of democracy being under threat, describing the move as a "murder of democracy" that would hinder the path to true statehood restoration.

Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari called for unity among political parties in opposing the Centre's decision, warning against the creation of a "powerless assembly" that would diminish the effectiveness of elected representatives in serving the region's interests.

"We appeal to all parties to shun political differences and come together on this issue. If we cannot stand united today, then we will never be. We should ensure that the statehood that we get is not hollow and has all the powers to serve people. We have to be united to serve the interests of the people," Bukhari added.

The sources said the Act was passed by Parliament in August 2019 and the same was upheld by the Supreme Court.

As per section 32 of the Act, the legislative assembly may make laws concerning any of the matters enumerated in the State List except "Police" and "Public Order" or the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, they said.

As per section 53 of the Act, the lieutenant governor shall exercise his functions in his discretion in a matter which falls outside the purview of powers conferred on legislative assembly, related to all-India services and the Anti-Corruption Bureau and any other matter which he is required by or under any law to act in its discretion.

Senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said the amendments constitute "another brazen assault on the remaining nominal rights", virtually "downsizing" a historic state to the status of a bigger municipality. He said it is high time for all political parties to unitedly oppose the "autocratic order" and demand its revocation.