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  • India College Chain’s Expansion into U.S. Draws Opposition from Massachusetts Officials over Quality of Education

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016
    Its founder president, Ashok Chauhan, was charged with fraud in the 1990s by authorities in Germany, where he ran a network of companies. He returned to India and was never extradited. A plastics company in the U.S. also sued Chauhan in 1995 for failing to pay $20 million in debts. "They are a subsidiary of a conglomerate of companies," said Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of State College and Universities. "This is by no means reassuring, if you ask me."   read more
  • Milk Shortages in India Tied to Release of New Movies Featuring Nation’s Favorite Stars

    Friday, August 19, 2016
    With every new film Rajinikanth releases, milk becomes so in demand in some parts of the country that it is stolen from markets, resulting in shortages that potentially endanger malnourished children. Die-hard fans can pour about 11,000 to 16,000 gallons of milk a day over billboards of Rajinikanth in the weeks after a new release. Some fans resort to stealing milk before daybreak when dairy workers drop it off outside shops. “We don’t treat him as an actor, but as a god,” said Rajini Santosh.   read more
  • Confusion Swirls around Kashmir Newspaper Ban in Wake of Violent Street Protests

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016
    Authorities lifted a three-day publication ban in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, but newspapers delayed print runs Tuesday due to uncertainties during massive anti-India protests that left dozens of people dead. The government called the ban a "mistake," but then authorities "resorted to a propaganda blitzkrieg insisting that there was no ban," said Masood Hussain. Reports said the ban was made without the knowledge of the state's top elected official, Mehbooba Mufti.   read more
  • Polio-Free for 5 Years, India Launches Vaccine Drive after Polio Strain Discovery

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016
    Health authorities have issued a high alert in Hyderabad, the state capital. The polio virus was found in 14 sewage samples from different parts of the country from January 2015 to May of this year, the Ministry of Health said. The strains came from the excretions of vaccinated children and were therefore much less infectious than other forms, experts say. The new effort in Hyderabad will inoculate for all strains of the polio virus as a precautionary measure.   read more
  • New Aviation Policy Could Increase Service, Lower Ticket Prices

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016
    India’s government on Wednesday approved a new civil aviation policy aimed at increasing regional connectivity, boosting cargo operations and making it easier — and possibly cheaper — for passengers to fly. The aviation policy caps airfares at rupees 2,500 for a one-hour flight between small towns and cities, and offers incentives to airlines to fly those routes. The government would refund 80% of the losses incurred by airlines due to the fare caps.   read more
  • Scientists to Study Link Between Ocean Conditions, Monsoon With Robots

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016
    To better understand and predict South Asia’s seasonal monsoon, scientists are getting ready to release robots in the Bay of Bengal in a study of how ocean conditions might affect rainfall patterns. The monsoon, which hits between June and September, delivers more than 70% of India’s annual rainfall.Yet, the rains are hard to predict and depend on the complex interplay between global atmospheric and oceanic movements in ways not yet fully understood.   read more
  • Censors Order Cuts in Movie Dealing With Punjab Drug Problem

    Sunday, June 12, 2016
    On the whole, India’s censor board was fine with the gritty film “Udta Punjab,” or “Flying Punjab,” about the wave of heroin addiction washing over that north Indian state. There were just a few things to address — such as removing every reference to Punjab, including the word in the movie’s title and a signpost shown in an opening sequence, so that viewers left the theater believing they had seen a movie set in a fictitious land.   read more
  • India, Nepal in Dispute About Birthplace of Buddha

    Thursday, June 09, 2016
    Buddhist history is an ever-more-serious business. China and India have identified Buddhism as an instrument of soft power. In an area where, for centuries, Buddhism all but disappeared, a range of global stakeholders are investing in infrastructure to accommodate throngs of future pilgrims. India’s prize attraction is Bodh Gaya, the site where, it is believed, the Buddha attained enlightenment. Nepal jealously guards its claim to the Buddha’s birth and early life.   read more
  • India’s Human Rights Record among Concerns Expressed by U.S. Lawmakers in Advance of Prime Minister’s Visit

    Monday, June 06, 2016
    There is strong support among U.S. lawmakers for deeper relations with India, but plenty of grumbles about New Delhi's reluctance to accept U.S. scrutiny of its human rights record. On slavery, the U.S. ambassador on combating human trafficking had been allowed to visit the country for the first time. Biswal said some human trafficking rings have been broken up, but India needs to "advance the rule of law across all aspects of its society to insure that these kinds of conditions don't exist."   read more
  • India’s Plan to Fight Global Warming: Reduce Cow Belching

    Monday, May 16, 2016
    Let no one say that India is not doing its bit to fight global climate change: Government scientists are working hard to reduce carbon emissions by making cows less flatulent. India has more than 280 million cows, and 200 million more animals. Those digestive tracts send 13 tons of methane into the atmosphere every year, which traps more heat than carbon dioxide does. So the plan might do some good — especially in India, where there's little chance of cutting back on fossil fuels anytime soon.   read more
  • Sri Lanka President Sirisena Begins Another State Visit to India

    Saturday, May 14, 2016
    Sri Lanka’s leader began his second state visit to India in 17 months Friday in a trip that underscores his island nation’s delicate efforts to balance relations with regional superpowers India and China. President Maithripala Sirisena was slated to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi for dinner after arriving during the day from Britain. On Saturday, the two men plan to participate in Kumbh Mela, a Hindu religious ritual of plunging into a river believed to wash away sins.   read more
  • India to Fire Foreign Health Consultants in Bid to Curb outside Influence

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    Under the new rules, consultants who have worked within India’s health system for foreign aid agencies for more than three years, a total of around 100 people, will be terminated. Experts warned that if vacancies went unfilled, major health initiatives, like those aimed at fighting the spread of AIDS, could suffer serious setbacks. Prime Minister Modi’s government has taken a wary view of nongovernmental organizations, in some cases accusing them of acting against the national interest.   read more
  • World Bank Can’t Be Sued, Rules U.S. Judge in Denying Gujarati Villagers’ Lawsuit

    Friday, April 08, 2016
    From the start, IFC recognized that Tata could have “significant” and potentially “irreversible” adverse impacts on local communities and their environment. Construction of the plant resulted in displacement of local communities and contributed to saltwater intrusion into the groundwater, destroying vital sources for drinking and irrigation. Coal ash contaminated crops and led to an increase in respiratory problems. The plant destroyed local marine environment and fish populations.   read more
  • India Has the Most People in the World without Clean Water

    Monday, March 28, 2016
    About 5% of India's population, 75.8 million Indians, are forced to either buy water at high rates or use supplies that are contaminated with sewage or chemicals. That accounts for more than a tenth of the 650 million people worldwide without clean water access — more than any single country in Africa or China, where 63 million have no access. Using dirty water sickens countless people. About 315,000 children die from diarrheal diseases each year, with 140,000 those deaths happening in India.   read more
  • Pfizer Application for Indian Patent on Pneumonia Vaccine Challenged by Medical Group

    Monday, March 14, 2016
    "Last year alone, Pfizer brought in more than $6 billion in sales just for this product," said MSF's Dr. Balasegaram. "Meanwhile, many developing countries, where millions of children risk getting pneumonia, simply can't afford it. Other companies need to enter the market...for a much lower price than what Pfizer charges." MSF said its decision comes after "years of fruitless negotiations" to get Pfizer to reduce the price of the drug for use in humanitarian projects.   read more
  • Fashionable Air-Filtration Masks Gain Cultural Acceptability against Worsening Air Pollution in New Delhi

    Friday, March 11, 2016
    With health-conscious Indians leading the way, residents of the Delhi metropolitan area of 25 million people are finally taking steps to protect themselves from the health-threatening atmosphere, as people in Beijing and other heavily polluted Asian cities have done. New Delhi's American Embassy School does not require students to wear air filtration masks against the polluted air here, the worst in the world. But it has created “a culture of acceptance” around wearing them.   read more
  • Monsanto Threatens to Pull GMO Technology Out of India

    Tuesday, March 08, 2016
    The company said it was "shocked and disappointed" that the government plans to reduce the fees that seed companies pay Mahyco Monsanto by 70%. Over the last two decades, millions of small farmers have adopted genetically modified cotton seeds, making India one of the world's biggest producers of cotton and a major exporter of raw cotton. But farm activists say that the pest-resistance of the seeds has gone down and that farmers have to use more insecticide on their cotton crops.   read more
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