Author Archives: yazdi

Shortage of science grads vexes Japanese companies

Businesses plan recruiting uptick in 2020 as more industries pursue tech talent

TOKYO — Companies recruiting technology majors from Japanese universities are bracing for another year of missed targets as the supply of graduates fails to keep pace with broad demand for such skills as AI engineering and data analysis.

Businesses aim to hire 11.7% more science and technology college students graduating in spring 2020, marking a sixth straight year of double-digit increases, according to a Nikkei survey released Friday. This is 7.5 percentage points higher than the increase for humanities majors. In addition to talent in cutting-edge fields, mechanical engineers and pharmacists are also seeing brisk demand.

But for new hires joining companies this spring, employers have failed to fill more than 5% of their quota for job offers to science graduates, representing an increase in a supply-demand gap that has persisted since data collection began in 2008. By contrast, businesses have hired more humanities majors than planned every year since 2017. If the shortfall continues, Japanese businesses will lack the talent they need to compete effectively.

In overall hiring, major companies plan to recruit 7.9% more fresh university graduates next spring — a smaller increase than in 2019, but still a 10th straight year of growth. Hiring by nonmanufacturers is set to grow 9.6%, up 2 points from a year earlier amid a labor shortage in industries such as ground transportation. But the rise among manufacturers comes to just 4.5%, a 5.7-point slowdown.

Sony aims to hire 320 new science and technology graduates in 2020, around the same number as this year. About 40% will go to its semiconductor business, particularly its highly competitive image sensor division. The company is scrambling to secure engineers so it can expand new businesses such as artificial intelligence and automotive equipment.

Tiremaker Bridgestone is focusing on data scientists. The company plans to recruit 100 by mid-2019, up 35% from last year, to work on projects such as a planned service using sensor data from tires to make maintenance more efficient.

Technologies such as AI are driving a “transformation in industry, and the range of industries that need science graduates is broadening,” said Hisashi Yamada of the Japan Research Institute.

The Japanese government projects a shortage of 50,000 engineers in advanced technology fields next year. 
(news source: Nikkei Asian Review 23/Mar)

Courtesy: Armene Modi

Framroze Virjee Named President of California State University, Fullerton

Framroze Virjee has been named the president of California State University at Fullerton. The CSU board of trustees appointed Virjee on March 20.
“We can build the best labs, we can get a great reputation, but more importantly, I want the students to have a transformative experience here,” Framroze Virjee told India-West.

Indian American lawyer Framroze Virjee has been appointed as president of California State University at Fullerton, the university’s board of trustees announced March 20.

Virjee, the son of an Indian father and Swedish mother, has served as campus president under a term appointment since December 2017 and will assume the permanent presidency immediately, the university said in a news release.

“Joining the Titan family has been the most rewarding professional experience of my career,” Virjee said in a statement.

Virjee will oversee a campus that enrolls almost 40,000 students and boasts of more than 274,500 alumni. Cal State Fullerton is among the top three percent of universities in the nation helping low-income students reach financial success, according to the Social Mobility Index developed by PayScale and CollegeNet, the university said.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue working alongside the tremendously talented faculty, staff and administrators to further the great work enabling student achievement and degree completion that we’ve started, and to chart the path forward for CSUF,” he said.

Virjee succeeds Mildred García, who was appointed president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in November 2017.

Virjee was subsequently appointed by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White to serve as president of CSUF until the next president was appointed by the board of trustees, and he has served in that capacity since García’s departure, the release said.

“We conducted a national search that included many exemplary candidates, and it became apparent that the best person to be the next president of CSUF was already serving the campus,” said CSU Trustee Silas Abrego, chair of the CSUF search committee.

“In his time leading CSUF, Fram has demonstrated unbridled energy and passion for the campus and students, and under his leadership CSUF will reach even greater heights,” the search committee chair added.

“It’s an amazing place here. Students make it so amazing,” Virjee told India-West in a phone interview. “If I ever lose sight of what I came here for, I just walk on campus and see transformative nature the education is giving students.”

Some accomplishments the university has achieved in 15 months under Virjee’s leadership include: Washington Monthly reporting in August 2018 that the campus was sixth in the nation for lowest net cost; admitting the first freshmen class that is more than 50 percent Hispanic and rising to No. 4 in the nation for bachelor’s degrees awarded to underrepresented students; achieving a significant focus on opening or renovating centers grounded in student wellness, diversity, and/or academic excellence; initiating and leading the creation and opening of Club 57, an on-campus faculty and staff lounge, which has since become a significant harbinger of campus collaboration and improved morale; witnessing funding for student and faculty research, curriculum development, scholarships and fellowships, and public service activities hit a 10-year high of $27,248,395 in fiscal year 2018 – a more than a $1 million increase over the previous year; and achieving record-breaking numbers in every measurable category, including the highest dollars raised in one year, along with the highest number of alumni donors, the highest number of individual donors, the highest number of parent donors, the highest number of faculty/staff donors, and the highest number of senior gift donors, CSUF said.

Virjee noted in his interview with India-West that he has several goals – some concrete and others esoteric.

Among the concrete goals is to upgrade the campus with renovations to currently standing buildings while erecting new buildings as well. Meanwhile, with those plans in the conceptual phase, there are more immediate plans to build pathways linking different academic buildings to one another.

As for his esoteric plans, he said the hope is to boost the profile of CSUF, which some in the community are calling the best-kept secret.

“We are determined to boost profile in our community,” Virjee stressed. “CSUF is the only CSU in Orange County – the largest populated area in state. “We have the best spot to raise students and their families up,” he asserted to India-West.

Virjee spent the first six years of his life traveling around the world on a ship captained by his father.

“My parents read the international papers. As a result of who my parents were, I grew up believing very strongly in social justice, social mobility and civil rights. We knew about the world,” he said in an email to India-West.

He became the first person in his family to earn a college degree, graduating summa cum laude, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from U.C. Santa Barbara. He earned his law degree cum laude from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Virjee and his wife, Julie, have three sons and one grandson. Julie is very active on campus as a volunteer dedicated to student success. He and Julie are founders of Yambi Rwanda, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Rwanda through empowerment and collaboration in areas of education, financial sustainability and creating vibrant life experiences, the university bio said. More information about the nonprofit can be found by visiting

Between his new permanent role as president and his nonprofit, Virjee says he is extremely blessed with both opportunities that are extremely rewarding.

He explained how he described to a lawyer who asked him how she would know if she was doing the right thing with her life.

“I love music. I love harmony. It puts me in my happy place. I also love pizza. And a good slice of pizza is amazing. My favorite thing to do is hold my grandson,” he told India-West of his conversation with the corporate lawyer. “For me this job is all three at the same time,” Virjee told her, adding that this position allows him to make a difference.

“It’s selfish. I love helping (the students through their education), but it makes me feel good (to help),” he noted.

Virjee said his advice to his students includes delivering a message to help them pave the way for their future.

“Find something you’re passionate about. Find the thing that makes you tick, that fulfills you,” he said. “If you can find that, you’re going to be successful.”

More than anything – making appropriate infrastructure upgrades; or building up the public profile he believes the university deserves – he believes that message is the most important thing to take away.

“We can build the best labs, we can get a great reputation, but more importantly, I want the students to have a transformative experience here,” Virjee said. “I want them to feel that, when they leave here, they are lifelong learners and engaged human beings in their communities and making a difference.”

From January 2014 through December 2017, Virjee served as executive vice chancellor, general counsel and secretary to the CSU Board of Trustees.

In that capacity, he led a staff of attorneys, paralegals and support personnel, and oversaw all legal services for the 23-campus CSU.

Virjee also served as chief legal officer to the board of trustees, advising them on all legal issues including open meeting laws, board rules and procedures and education code compliance, his bio noted.

Virjee said that the only thing missing in his general counsel role was that he missed interactions with students; he only felt an energy when he would walk on one of the 23 CSU campuses.

Prior to joining CSU, Virjee was a partner in private practice for almost 30 years at O’Melveny & Myers, one of the oldest law firms in Los Angeles and one of the largest in the nation.

At the firm, Virjee specialized in labor and employment law with an emphasis in representing educational institutions in the areas of collective bargaining, education code compliance and discrimination and employment litigation.

Virjee’s practice included representing employers in employment litigation, providing preventative advice through client counseling, policy and procedure review and drafting, and extensive in-house training and education on important labor and employment issues.

He also served in several leadership positions at O’Melveny, including secretary to the Management Committee, chair of the Employment Committee and the partner-in-charge of both Lateral Hiring and Diversity.

“I am a deep believer with deep commitment in public institutions. I had amazing career at the law firm. I loved the work I did. The courtroom is a wonderful place to be. I loved the competition,” he told India-West.

“I went to law school with grand thoughts to make world a better place – I believe in equity and social justice – and when I went to large corporate law firm, I lost that vision,” he added. “I wouldn’t trade the time with the law firm for the world, but I needed a change.”

Amplify Austin Texas 4000 Bike Ride for Cancer by Ervad Burzin Balsara

Hello friends:

Planet Mobed Burzin Balsara:

Ervad Burzin Balsara, Austin, Texas, is an amazing young Zoroastrian from Dallas, TX.

His parents Pearl and Prof. Mobed Poras Balsara have been very active in our Dallas, TX, Zoroastrian Association.

I was honored to be with them for their Dallas Atash Kadeh Inauguration, performing Vendidad Sadeh and a Baj and participating in their Inauguration Jashan and First Boi ceremony in 2011!

Burzin has been a very bright student and got first place in his Science Project.

He with his friend investigated and developed an affordable system that is capable of controlling an electric wheelchair using a person’s eye movement. Such a system can be of significant help in providing mobility to quadriplegics and people with other immobilizing disabilities. The project was awarded a major prize by the organizers.

One more thing: In recognition of Burzin’s achievements at the 2018 Intel ISEF, a minor planet (34599) discovered by the LINEAR program at the MIT Lincoln Labs is now named after him! WOW! What an honor!!

We do not have a STAR amongst us Mobeds!

We have a Planet, Mobed Burzin Poras Balsara!

In summary, Burzin is going to ride a bike for 4000 miles from Austin, TX to Anchorage, Alaska to raise funds in the name of his Science Teacher who has cancer.

They need all the help they can get and we in the name of “Parsi Thy name is Charity” should donate to this worthy cause.

Jo Ann and I have already donated.

Please make a dream of our young Mobed come true by donating to this worthy cause.

You can donate here:

Good luck to you, Planet Mobed Burzin!

Love and Tandoorasti, Soli

From: Burzin Balsara <
Sent: February 28, 2019 2:47 AM
Subject: Texas 4000 for Cancer


I am thrilled and honored to be biking from Austin to Alaska as a part of the longest annual charity bike ride, Texas 4000.. Please help me by supporting Texas 4000 for Cancer by helping them fundraise for our campaign: Amplify Austin.

This cause means a lot to me because: Fulfilling my dreams began a long time ago with my childhood experiences in my family. Today, it continues to grow as I start this journey riding for my high school science teacher and science fair sponsor, who suffers from an advanced form of lung cancer that has spread to other organs. My passion for science began in my childhood with simple robotics, but now I know one day I want to push the boundaries of human capabilities by integrating robots into the lives of those who have suffered great losses through cancer and many other immobilizing diseases. I can only strive for these goals with the support of family, friends, and most importantly, my teachers along the way.

My science teacher’s battle with cancer began in 2017 with her diagnosis of Stage IV Leiomyosarcoma right around Thanksgiving. After one round of failed chemo, she had surgery and was free of the tumor in February 2018. Unfortunately, with the reoccurring fight against cancer, the tumor returned in May 2018 along with more failed chemo regimen. After a second major surgery in August, she has been placed in a clinical trial for a new drug. Her battle continues as you read this today.

I owe it to her and each cancer victim, past and present, to ride.

So first and foremost, I ride for CHARITY that funds cutting-edge cancer research to give individuals a fighting chance against this debilitating disease. Second, I ride for HOPE because I love meeting new people and ensuring those affected by cancer that I will ride for a cancer-free world. Lastly, I ride for KNOWLEDGE by advocating for the dissemination of life-saving cancer prevention information to communities along the way from Austin to Alaska.

I hope you can consider supporting me in this endeavor by donating. Every little bit counts.

Thank you, 
Burzin Balsara

You can view the fundraiser here:


” I ask you to  judge me by the enemies I have made” FDR.

It seems some Scholars

As well Religious leaders

Have become “Lion tamers

Holding Zoroastrian women

In cages by not treating

Them with respect

As well dignity

As though they are

Circus animals

I can almost hear

Asho Zarathushtra say:

“I am not impressed by your

Money position  or titles

But I am impressed by

 how one treats others`

The attitude towards women

Has to change

By wearing priestly robes

Performing ceremonies

Praying near the Holy Fire

Is sheer mere Sacrilege.

Rise Up Ye Women folk

Take destiny in your own hands

And stop acting like meek little lambs.

Great Leaders do not

Set out to be a leader

They set out to make

A make difference

Its never about the role

Always about the goal

(Lisa Haisha)

PS Heed the message

Choicest Happiness


Call for Participants: 68th DPI NGO Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from August 26-28, 2019

The FEZANA UN-NGO Committee is looking for participants to attend the 68th DPI NGO Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from August 26-28, 2019. Individuals interested in attending the conference, are requested to send their resume and letter of intent by May 24, 2019.  Please send the e-mail to both individuals below:
Behram Pastakia (bpastakia@
Afreed Mistry (mistry.afreed@

While FEZANA, as an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC]  and the  Department of Public Information (DPI), will facilitate registration to the Conference, the selected participants are expected to make their own financial arrangements regarding visas, tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation in the city.  Details about the vision, mission and activities of the United Nations can be accessed at

Afreed Mistry
Behram Pastakia
Co-Chairs, FEZANA UN-NGO Committee

Dotivala Bakery completes 158 years

Dotivala Bakery completes 158 years — one of the longest surviving businesses in India.
Considering India just celebrated its independence of 70 years from the British Raj, this makes the bakery one of the longest surviving and thriving business in modern day India.
During their reign in India, the Dutch established in Surat a warehouse on Dutch Road, in which five Parsi gentlemen were employed as bakers. When the Dutch left India at the end of their rule they handed over their ovens to one of them, Mr. Faramji Pestonji Dotivala whose descendants over time developed and perfected the Surat biscuit recipes. The Dotivala bakery in Surat continues to this day, making it one of the longest surviving businesses in India.

Click Here for the full story –

Mr. Darayas Kavina’s talk on Firdausi & Shahnama

Darayas Kavina, hails from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the youngest of five brothers and one sister. Darayas is an arts graduate, an ex-banker, a father of two, a Mohammed Rafi aficionado, a classical tabla player and a former body builder.
Ask him about what led to his passion of the ancient Persian texts and that’s when the details start emerging. Like all young children, Darayas and his five siblings often begged their father, Hoshangji, for a late night story after dinner. What emerged, day after day, year after year, were a series of tales & epics from all faiths & religions, involving saints & sadhus, maharajas & mahatmas, peers & fakirs; and above all, the magnificent Persian epics – all narrated by the master raconteur, Hoshangji, in the ancient narrative tradition of oral story-tellers (now sadly extinct) and imbibed and absorbed by young Darayas, from the age of nine onwards.
Like many of his kind, all of Darayas’s talks are delivered purely from the heart without any written script. And like many artists he believes that it is often not the individual himself who is writing or painting or performing, but a higher power doing it for him. Often times, while compiling his father’s narratives in form of a book that he published some years ago, he would not recognize the next morning, what he had written the night before.
Having lost all their family wealth and possessions due to an unscrupulous business partner in early childhood, Darayas attributes all that he has today to his mild-mannered, deeply religious father, as well as his caring mother, Veera, who sold away her jewellery to educate her children. Shortly before he passed away, Darayas’s father handed him six volumes containing excerpts of scribblings that he was in the habit of jotting down, and said: “this is all I have to leave you. It is not money but far more precious, which no one will be able to steal from you.”
Interestingly – and rather unfortunately, Darayas says – while most religious texts have been written by people from their respective faiths; in this case, the Shahnama was written by a Muslim.
And that is what he is here to share with us.

A few words about Firdausi and the Shahnama itself: Firdausi or Ferdowsi, who lived from the year 940 – 1020, was a Persian poet and the author of the Shahnama. Except for his family name, Firdausi, which means ‘Paradisic,’ nothing is known for sure about his full name. He was also given the title of ‘Philosopher.’ He is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature itself. Little is known about Firdausi’s early life. He was born into a family of Iranian landowners and aristocrats, who flourished under the Sassanid dynasty, the last pre-Islamic dynasty to rule Iran. They saw it as their task to preserve the pre-Islamic cultural traditions, including tales of legendary kings. The Shahnama or Shahnameh, which means “Book of Kings,” is the world’s longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran. Consisting of some 50,000 couplets or two-line verses, it mainly tells of the mythical, and to some extent, historical past of the Persian empire; from the creation of the world until the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century. Modern Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and the greater region influenced by Persian culture (such as Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and Dagestan) celebrate this national epic. The work is of central importance in Persian culture and Persian language; regarded as a literary masterpiece, and definitive of the ethno-national cultural identity of Iran. It is also important to the contemporary followers of Zoroastrianism, in tracing the historical links between the beginnings of the religion and the death of the last Sassanid ruler of Persia during the Muslim conquest, which brought an end to the Zoroastrian influence in Iran. An interesting little snippet here: the early Persians were known for the equal rights they bestowed upon their women. Firdausi supposedly completed writing the Shahnamah on 8th of March 1010 which is celebrated today as – Women’s Day. Co-incidence?? You decide!

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