Download our 2010 Year-End Report

Chicago’s Sister City Since 2001

Committee Chair: Smita Shah [ Bio ]
Committee Vice-Chair: Niranjan Shah
ABOUT DELHI – Fast Facts

Chief Minister of Delhi: Sheila Dikshit
Country Location:   Southern Asia  
Geography: Northern India.  It borders the Indian sate of Uttar Pradesh on the south and Haryana on the west.  Delhi can be divided into three major geographical regions: the Yamuna flood plain, the Delhi ridge and the Gangetic Plains.  Yamuna is the only main river flowing through Delhi.  Most of the city, including New Delhi lies west of the river.  East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara.
Demographics:  Delhi is a cosmopolitan city due to the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural presence of the Indian bureaucracy, political system and expanding economy.  There are more than 160 embassies and a every growing population.  In 2003 the National Capital Terrioty of Delhi had a population of 14.1 million people making Delhi the second largest metropolitan area in India after Mumbai. 
Climate:  Delhi has a semi-arid climate with a high variation between summer and winter temparatures.  Summers are long, from early April until October with the monsoon season in between.  Winter starts in November and peaks in January.  The city has a pleasant climate from February to April and from August to November. 
History: The area has been settled for 2,500 years. Since the 12th century, Delhi has seen the rise and fall of 7 major powers. In 1803, the British captured Delhi and made it the capital in 1911. Since Independence in 1947, Delhi has prospered as the capital of India. In the past decade, its population has increased by 50%, largely due to rapid economic expansion and increased job opportunities.
Language:  Hindi is the principal language that is spoken and written.  The secondary spoken language is English. India host a multitude of various dialects whereas most people commonly speak more than one language.
Did You Know?  The Chicago Art Institute happens to be the venue where the famous Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. On September 11, 1995, the Art Institute put up a bronze plaque to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s historic address. The plaque reads: “On this site between September 11 and 27, 1893, Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the first Hindu monk from India to teach Vedanta in America, addressed the World’s Parliament of Religions, held in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition. His unprecedented success opened the way for the dialogue between eastern and western religions ”.  On November 11, 1995, the stretch of Michigan Avenue that passes in front of the Art Institute was formally conferred the honorary name “Swami Vivekananda Way”.



September 20
Focus: Business
The Executives' Club of Chicago in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, held a one-day summit designed to bring together policy-makers and business leaders to discuss doing business in India and to strengthen relationships between India and the United States. Speakers included: Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari and three Ministers from the Indian Government: Minister of Commerce & Industry His Excellency Anand Sharma, Minister of Power His Excellency Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Minister of Renewable Energy His Excellency Farooq Abdullah.

September 15-18
Focus: Health
Dr. Deepak Kumar Jain from the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College & M.Y. Hospital Indore, participated in the 13th Annual Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium in Chicago as part of a grant from Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The grant sponsored one physician from each of Chicago's Sister Cities to attend the Symposium.

May 19
Focus: Education
The Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools, presented a private Education in India Roundtable presented by Mrs. Prema Rangachary, Director of Vidya Vanam School in rural India. Topics discussed included the education system in India; the creation of Vidya Vanam School, which serves indigenous children; the challenges of working within low resource communities and the adaptation of varied teaching methods.

Though a few thousand Indians congregated on the West Coast by the early part of the twentieth century, the first major influx of Indians into Chicago awaited the arrival of graduate students and professionals eligible under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. As with many other immigrant groups, the men arrived first, followed some years later by their families. The Indian population has grown steadily, though the increase owes less to the arrival of new professionals and more to the extended family system prevalent in India. By the end of the twentieth century, Chicago had the third-largest concentration of Indians in the United States. The 1980 census recorded 33,541 Indians in the Chicago metropolitan region; in 2000, the number had grown to 125,208. Many are professionals, particularly prominent in the sciences, medicine, the computer industry, and management. The number of Indian students at universities remains large, but a working-class population is also emerging. As in other large cities, Indians are visible as taxi drivers, shopkeepers, and gas station owners.


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