She will be graduating from Rutgers University with a Bachelor's in Biology and also releasing her debut album soon. Plus she has appeared in a Stuff magazine feature.
Beauty, brains and musical talent? Explosive!
Unethical practices by Hutch collection agents (Manish Jethani's Journal)
Manish was late in paying his cellphone bill. So his company, Hutch India, called numbers from the 'recently called' list and asked for his whereabouts adding that he hadn't paid his bill.
The terror in Indian cell phones (Asia Times Online)
Due to a perceived security threat, cell phones cannot be used or carried by any civilian in the presence of President Abdul Kalam Azad, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. They are also not allowed inside parliament house, the Race Course Road where the premier resides and the Home Ministry, where Home Minister Shivraj Patil attends office.
The authorities have no solid reason for the ban but are continuing it 'just in case'.
Tata Indicom has commercially launched Wi-Fi at both Domestic and International Airports in New Delhi and air travelers can now access these services while they are in transit.
The article makes no mention of charges so I assume that the service is free. Cool!
Separatists in india intimidate filmgoers (World Movie Magazine)
ULFA and other separatist groups in Assam have bombed theatres showing Bollywood films. They have not opposed Western films.
Young Israelis are flocking to Kashmir as tourists and are the top foreign tourists who have visited Kashmir this year.
Gartner says that other countries with English-speaking people will take a big chunk of India's BPO business in the next few years. The problem will be worsened by the lack of a long-term plan for improving infrastructure and increasing the supply of quality employees for the BPO industry.
India's medical tourism injection (Asia Times Online)
Pretty good article on the increasing hype about attracting medical tourists to India. The Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) are both involved in boosting awareness about this potentially lucrative segment.
There are interesting initiatives - the govt of Maharashtra has formed a council to promote medical tourism and advertises hospitals next to hill stations while Indian Airlines has teamed up with leading city hospitals in Kolkata to give air passengers a 30% discount on diagnostic and therapeutic services in city hospitals.
Questions for Mira Nair: All's Fair (The New York Times' Magazine) (subscription required)
Q & A with Mira Nair on her soon-to-open film 'Vanity Fair'.
Part of the interview when Ms. Nair answers a question about Americans' knowledge of African affairs (she lives part of the time in Uganda):
Do you find Americans to be well informed about events in Africa?
Once when I was working in Hollywood and making a big movie, every time I said I was living in Uganda, they would look at me and say, ''Is that upstate?''
BBC's analysis of Manmohan Singh's first 100 days as PM and the challenges facing him.
It quotes analysts as saying that his biggest problems are the culture of the Congress party and the fact that he is not a regular politician.
Op-Ed on Al-Jazeerah complaining about India's exclusionary protest to France regarding France's new law banning religious head-gear in schools and colleges. According to the author, India's protest is limited to allowing Sikhs wear their turbans and ignores the Muslim community's issues with the same law.
Can India represent all the Muslims in France? No. Can it represent all the Sikhs there? Yes. Case closed.
Spirit of Gandhi reincarnated in little city of Winnipeg (Taipei Times)
A Museum for Human Rights is under construction in Winnipeg, Canada installed a life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi as it first exhibit. The statue will be on display at a downtown Winnipeg park, where it will remain until the museum opens nearby in four years.
The 500kg bronze statue created by Ram Vanji Sutar.
India tops medal tally in Asian powerlifting (Hindustan Times)
Of the Indian medalists, two men and nine women gold winners were the only participants in their categories. If we could only do something like this in the Olympics!
About 150 participants from India, Japan, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Khazakhstan and Sri Lanka are participating in the meet, organised by the Indian Powerlifting Federation.
The rat catchers (BBC) (Thanks to Sanjeev)
BBC's photo profile of Bombay's Night Rat Killers (NRK) squad.
Gremlins, bloody hearts, big changes (CNN.com)
The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) introduced the PG-13 rating 20 years ago in response to parental demand for a rating that was between an R and a PG.
The demand was sparked off by parents who found a scene in 'Temple of Doom' (rated PG) too offensive for kids.
The desi connection: The scene in question is where Amrish Puri (Mola Ram) rips beating heart out of someone's chest.
Hooters sets its eyes on India (MSNBC)
Hoo boy! Just wait till the fundies hear of this.
The Hooters guys are saying that the menu may change but the outfits won't. It will be interesting to see how long this policy lasts.
The Ganesh temple in Queens, New York is in the news because it is fighting a state supreme court order to conduct elections and have proper audits. The trustees of the temple are asking for an injuction on the order citing the principle of the separation of religion and state.
The article is sketchy on the details but the argument of the trustees sounds suspicious. They say that that "elections [are] improper under Hindu religion" which is misleading at best and a lie at worst. I doubt that the religion has anything to say about elections at all. But they probably won't need a better defense as 'prohibited by my religion' has worked in several other cases before.
BBC profile of Laxmibai Bagade, one of the few women in the tiffin wallah profession.
Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is visiting Palestinian territories and is urging the Palestinians to use peaceful means to resist the Israeli occupation.
He will also observe a one-day fast in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian detainees on Friday.
Aside: The BBC article switches between Gandhi and Ghandi when talking about Arun Gandhi. The BBC making this mistake? Gah!
Irish promise helped Indian woman's $1bn biotech plan (The Irish Independent)
One of India's biotech giants, Biocon, got its start in a garage with funding from an Irish company. Biocon's founder, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, is quite active in Indo-Irish affairs and has even started St. Patrick's Daya celebrations in Bangalore.
Outsource firm sues in India (MercuryNews.com)
A US-based company has sued the Bombay police for failing to investigate its claims of IP theft. Interestingly, the US company was founded by an Indian and he is now warning about the lax IP protection laws in India.
NASSCOM had better intervene fast or this will raise suspicions on the entire outsourcing sector.
When Indian transcriptions head awry (ZDNet UK)
Eight London hospitals found out recently that
medical terms + tape recorders + foreign transcribers = loads of hilarity
For example, below knee amputation became "baloney amputation" and phlebitis (vein inflammation) left leg was changed to "flea bite his left leg".
Not really an India-specific issue but it will certainly be used as such.
Indian whisky launched in the land of Scotch (The Hindu Business Line)
The `Amrut' single-malt export whisky, made from barley grown in the Himalayan foothills and distilled and matured in the tropical climate of Bangalore, was unveiled on Tuesday at Glasgow. It is targeted at the UK's thriving Indian restaurant market.
Good marketing angle.
A cycle rickshaw carrying a wirelessly-connected computer is bringing about social change in India's heartland. IIT Kanpur's "Infothela" project aims to use technology to improve education, health care and access to agricultural information in India's villages.
This is a great project but the article is short on technical details (somewhat expected).
'Suffering' Prisoner Seeks Bail to Have Sex (Reuters.com)
The prisoner is charged with participating in the Godhra train torching and wants to be allowed out of jail for 30 days to satisfy his physical needs. Talk about balls!
I think the reporter is generalising a stray incident to make it look like a trend but it is an interesting story nonetheless.
A Swiss couple visited Rajasthan to get married in a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. And according to a couple of travel agents, they are seeing increased interest in such 'wedding tours'.
One more thing that the Tourism Ministry can use to market the country!
Part of the upcoming move 'The Rising' is being shot in Tajikistan and the locals are excited to be a part of Bollywood.
The film tells the story of Indian independence fighter Mangal Pandey. What I didn't know is that the movie is the first of a historical trilogy based around the independence movement.