Health-conscious foreign tourists who visit India to experience yoga and ayurveda are also attending vegetarian cooking classes (Channelnewsasia.com, Singapore)
Government data showed the economy was 10.4 percent larger in the October-December quarter than a year earlier, accelerating from 8.4 percent growth in the year to the previous quarter.
Look for this data to be used in the election campaign.
Maria Wienstroeer, a 38-year-old doctor, who became the first woman to win the German version of the TV show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" has announced that she wants to donate part of her prize money to a Indian charity that works for leprosy patients.
First the cannabis grower, now this German doctor. What's with rich Europeans wanting to help Indians?
Amnesty International latest statement criticizes the use of excessive force against demonstrators
during a march in Srinagar on March 20, 2004.
The participants were charged with canes and women were reported to have been dragged by their hair, beaten and had their clothes ripped off.
The reader comments below the article are quite interesting.
British Telecom recently commissioned a report to assess if its outsourcing policies are socially responsible. The report titled Good Migrations? BT, Corporate Social Responsibility and the Geography of Jobs is available for download. The report finds that offshoring's benefits outweigh its negative impacts. But the report also concedes that outsourcing's local impact needs to be examined carefully.
(Link via SocialFunds.com
If the Multan pitch was so batting-friendly, why did the Pakistan batsmen fail? (Guardian, UK)
On this day (March 31), the Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959.
The BBC has a very comprehensive look at this event.
One of the witnesses in the ongoing trial for the bombing of an Air India planeAir admitted to contributing to the plot to kill Indira Gandhi (CBC, Canada). The witness is a Crown witness and cannot be named.
CBC also has a special section for the bombing, the investigation and the ongoing trial.
Wow! It is quite an eye-opener to read this view of Indo-Chinese relations from a Chinese point of view.
In the opinion titled Origin of Indian-Chinese friction (from ChinaDaily), the journalist paints a very different picture of the history of Indo-Chinese relationships than what is generally accepted.
He (?) traces the friction to Britain's strong influence on India's early leaders specifically Nehru. He also implies that the Indo-Chinese rivalry was exactly what the British wanted. There is no clarification on how this helped the British or why they would prefer the two nations to be enemies.
He claims that China had to arm Pakistan to make sure that India didn't 'swallow up' Pakistan. Almost all of his arguments are based on his unshakeable belief that India is a war-mongering nation. He uses India's help during the Bangladesh freedom struggle and India's reclaiming of Goa as examples. Interestingly, he compares this to the peaceful handover of Hongkong in 1997. Conveniently, there is no mention of Tibet or of other cases where the Chinese government has acted with ruthless abandon.
He warns China of cozying upto India. The same warning applies to India too.
This is a great example of how the same events can be reported very differently.
The 'comments' section seems to be heavily edited but you can read some feedback by clicking on the 'Comments' link in the right column. Another place for comments is here .
Bayer sues Dr. Reddy's Laboratories over the antibiotic Avelox. (GulfNews)
Bayer claims patent infringement and wants to block Dr. Reddy's Labs from selling a generic copy in the US. Bayer will fight very hard for this one because it's patent on Cipro is expiring and it has had to recall one of its other drugs. Avelox is one of the drugs it is hoping will be a big hit over the next few years.
The ongoing fighting in Kashmir has reduced the antlered deer (or hangul) population to less than 200. (Independent Online, South Africa)
The conservation areas are largely ignored and the deer is also hunted for its meat. Other species are rapidly dwindling too. Yet another reason for the current turmoil to end (as if we needed any more).
Manchester man grows cannabis to help Indian orphans (ManchesterOnline)
Every room [in his house] had been utilised for growing or harvesting the cannabis and extra equipment provided strong lighting and heat.
He wanted to build orphanages in India and all the money from his cannabis cultivation went to buy land.
He has been jailed for two years.
A very critical look on the 'India Shining' campaign. (Asia Times Online)
The report finds that while things have certainly improved in cities, the rural scene is very different. The article also has a list of recent scams and scandals that give a more realistic view of the 'feel good' feeling that the BJP is using during this election cycle.
Forbes announced their Forbes 2000 list which ranks the world's biggest companies. 27 Indian companies are on that list
Increasing salaries for IT workers in India could mean that India could price itself out of the offshore market. China and some Eastern European nations could pick up some of the business currently going to India.
But only if the Indian companies continue to use 'lower prices' as the reason for outsourcing. They need to have better reasons for US companies to continue to send work to India.
The news article quotes George Gilbert as saying "India's education system and culture foster risk-taking" which is complete opposite of what I think. I feel that the culture rewards stability and routine. I don't know where Gilbert gets his insight from.
We're ready for India: Gilchrist (ninemsn, Australia)
Following the 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka, vice-captain Adam Gilchrist now feels Australia - and a revitalised Shane Warne - is ready to conquer the final frontier: a series win in India.
Australia's triumph was its first in Sri Lanka since 1992 and India remains the only country yet to be mastered by the world champions in recent times.
Given the resurgent Indian team, the India-Australia series in September will be fun to watch.
The Tata group acquires Daewoo Commercial Vehicle unit (The Korea Herald)
The group's auto unit, Tata Motors Ltd., signed an agreement to buy a 100 percent stake in DWCV for about $102 million (118 billion won) last month. The deal marks the first acquisition in Korea by an Indian company.
During a meeting with the visiting Chinese Defense Minister, India reaffirms "One China" policy
Even if India believes otherwise, it is politically smart to talk about 'One China' for a couple of reasons - the recent improvement in bilateral relations with China and India's own experience with regions that want to break away.
BBC's feature asking people what they would do if they were the PM of India
All the factors that have made India an IT powerhouse (educated work-force, fluency in English etc.) also make it an attractive destination for clinical drug trials. This is a much more sensitive field than IT and the companies involved will have to have very strict policies on full disclosure and ethics.
Wine consumption is increasing in general but more among women who find that wine is a great way to have a good time.
They all appear in Adidas ads. Adidas recently signed up 92 year old Fauja Singh for an ad campaign. Fauja Singh, a UK-based marathoner, is the oldest person Adidas has ever used in an ad.
Monsanto-backed survey sees India GMO cotton bonus (Reuters via Forbes.com)
The article says: India, which has the world's largest area under cotton but ranks third in output behind China and the United States, opened the door to GMO technology in 2002 after years of trials.
Net profit of those farmers who grew GMO cotton was 78 percent more than people with non-GMO varieties, said the study
But the study was commissioned by Monsanto and given their track record ('Terminator' seeds anyone?), it is best to be wary before jumping headfirst onto the GMO bandwagon.
A surprising verdict in the case of the Swiss couple of who was convicted of paedophilia in March 2003.
The couple had been challenging the conviction but offered to pay 100,000 rupees to each of their six child victims in return for early release.
And the judge agreed! The NGOs will definitely appeal this one.
Swiss couple sent to Bombay prison for child pornography - Feb 2001
Paedophile couple produced in court - Nov 2002
Rice import deal irks Pakistani dealers (Jang, Pakistan)
A 25-member delegation of Rice Exporters’ Association of Pakistan ... visited India last week.
During the visit, the delegation announced procurement of 500,000 tonnes rice from India this year. (Emphasis mine)
Defeated politician to meditate in India (New Straits Times -Malaysia News Online)
India's neighbors unhappy with the river-linking plan (Asia Times Online)
Both Nepal and Bangladesh are worried that the project to link all the major rivers in India will affect them adversely.
An interesting tidbit from the article:
Bhutan's worries are several, but a 1949 friendship pact prevents it from publicly airing its grievances against New Delhi. That seems to be a pretty restrictive 'friendship' pact.
Apparently some Wipro employees made offers to customers that they weren't authorized to make.
One of my colleagues mentioned that he always gets an Indian call center when he calls Amex customer service and is able to get his deadline extended when he starts talking in Hindi!
India sentences Pakistanis to death (News Herald, Australia)
Four Pakistanis were sentenced to death for 'waging war' against India after they were caught smuggling RDX into India in 1999.
The news report is a bit sketchy on details but the verdict is interesting because they never actually carried out any attacks and India is not officially at war.
India's public health spending is among the lowest in the world — $4 a person per year, less than 1 percent of its gross domestic product, the United Nations Development Program says.
But the real problem is the lack of doctors willing to work in villages. In the absence of qualified doctors, the villagers turn to 'private' doctors aka quacks. The article quotes one such 'doctor' saying "By and large, whoever comes to me, I give them an injection," he said. "Often, tablets are better, but they want injections. If I don't give them one, they'll go to someone else. I'll lose my customer."
This needs to be big issue in the upcoming election. But not much will happen till a large number of people are trained in basic medical care and taught how to treat simple problems. These would have to be local people (not outside doctors who can't stay in rural areas). That's the only way to solve this problem.
The theft from the museum in Shantiniketan includes a wristwatch and several rare paintings.
Legal outsourcing going to India (from the Houston Chronicle)
"Bollywood has a record of releasing at least two films per week, but in the last 15 days not a single film has been released in the industry," said Nahata. And this will continue till the entire series is over.
Also talks about how the very popular 200 ml 'chhota' bottle may prove to be problem as the cola-makers try to wean people away from this and on to bigger bottles.
NYT article on the wide variety of vegetarian Indian food. The slide-show accompanying the article has photos of mouth-watering dishes as well as decor from various Indian restaurants in NYC.
I should keep a printout and give it to people who ask 'You are vegetarian? Isn't it limiting?'
BTW, I didn't understand the title of the piece. What the author mean by 'After Centuries, the Vegetarian Feast of India Finally Arrives'?
Bombay Dreams, Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical closes for revamp
The composer wants Bombay Dreams to take on the changes made to the storyline, score and set in New York, where the Bollywood musical opens next month. Bombay Dreams opens at New York’s Broadway Theatre on April 29.
Foreign priests are reportedly shipping out "Mass intentions" -- requests for services such as thanksgiving and forgiveness of sins -- to congregations in India, with each earning a priest about five euros or six dollars.
BTW, it seems that this is not a new thing. It has been talked about because of all the other outsourcing discussions.
VoA article on how BJP is using SMS and calls to cell phones for campaigning. Congress is planning this too.
Interesting to know that cell-phones are not off-limits for telemarketers like they are in the US. Also, I hope the next steps is not email spam from these political parties.
BusinessWeek article on the risk that India will become a 'closed economy' if the US tries to legislate outsourcing.
I doubt that India will ever go back to its old economic model. The middle class has seen the benefits of an open market and they won't ever go back. Still, it is an interesting argument to make to US lawmakers.
BBC report on how the Indian Postal Service uses a combination of email and snail mail to provide postal service to far-flung hilly areas in Himachal Pradesh. The work these posties do is pretty amazing.
News report from Reuters UK on the risks of chemicals added to Indian food in the UK to make them look colourful.
Apparently Chicken Tikka Masala has iconic status in [British] popular culture, vying with fish and chips in the nation's affections.
This story reminded me of Tandoori Nights, Saeed Jaffrey's TV serial about an family-run Indian restaurant in London.
[A Wipro] manager told the New York Times that the clients are so nervous in recent months about outsourcing that they had asked Wipro to take their names off its website.
The report also has some remarks from Axim Premji (Wipro Chairman) on how Americans need not be worried about offshoring.
Australian report on the impact that the Indo-Pak cricket series has had on people. Politicians are referring to it in their speeches already.
India's political honchos are taking English language classes and calling public relations consultants on what to wear and how to look better on TV.