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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
  • Supreme Court Declares 1993-2010 Coal Allocations ‘Illegal’

    Monday, August 25, 2014
    In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has declared illegal all coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2010, ruling that this was done in an unfair, arbitrary and non-transparent manner. Most of the illegal allocations were made by the previous UPA administration, but the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether these licenses should be cancelled.   read more
  • U.S. Judge Rules Former Prime Minister of India does not have Immunity for Killings of Sikhs while he was Finance Minister

    Sunday, August 24, 2014
    India’s former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is immune from an allegation that he supported an alleged genocide of Sikhs during his 10-year rule, a U.S. judge ruled this week. But U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in the District of Columbia said that Singh, who resigned in May, did not have "head-of-state immunity" from allegations concerning his time as India's finance minister in the 1990s.   read more
  • Fearing Public Booing, Congress Chief Ministers Avoid Public Engagements With Modi

    Saturday, August 23, 2014
    Three chief ministers of states ruled by opposition parties have found to their discomfiture just what the people think of their administration. It began with Haryana’s Bhupinder Hooda ,who was booed by the crowd when Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a power plant last week. The Congress has now told all its chief ministers to avoid public engagements with Modi, but the party is being seen as hyper-sensitive instead of taking public heckling in its stride.   read more
  • Kerala Chooses Prohibition Instead of Reducing Alcohol Consumption Sensibly

    Friday, August 22, 2014
    The state with the highest per capita consumption of alcohol, Kerala, has announced a clampdown on the availability of liquor and will usher in full prohibition within 10 years. Religious groups have supported the move, but prohibition could impact tourism and reduce the revenues of the state.   read more
  • Six Brides Leave Husbands’ Homes for Lack of Toilets

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    In a stinging reminder of the lack of toilets in north India, six newly-wed women in Khesiya village in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh have returned to their parents in the past two months as their husbands’ houses did not have any toilet. Open defecation is an acute problem in India, with nearly half of the 1.2 billion population having no toilet at home.   read more
  • Govt Fails to Support Institutions by Denying Congress the Leader of Opposition

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    The Modi administration seems to be following the letter (and not the spirit) of the rulebook when it comes to the appointment of a Leader of the Opposition. The Congress has a mere 44 seats in the Lok Sabha – less than the 55 seats required – so Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected on Tuesday the party's demand for the post of Leader of Opposition. Yet the NDA should be magnanimous to its defeated rival, and not 'defang' it so much that the institutions of democracy are damaged.   read more
  • India Calls Off Foreign Secy Talks With Pakistan Over Separatist Meeting

    Monday, August 18, 2014
    The Indian government has called off Foreign Secretary talks with Pakistan scheduled in Islamabad next week, after the Pakistan High Commissioner met a Kashmiri separatist leader in New Delhi. The unusually strong response came after High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Sabir Shah, a leader of the Hurriyat Conference, on Monday, despite a blunt warning from India's Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh that Pakistan had to choose between “India or separatists” for talks.   read more
  • In Bihar Even a Minister Pays a Bribe

    Saturday, August 16, 2014
    One has to feel sorry for Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. It turns out that he had earlier paid a bribe to settle an inflated electricity bill, despite being a minister in Nitish Kumar's state administration at the time. After his bribe disclosure set off a political storm in Bihar this week, Manjhi quickly backtracked, claiming that the incident actually took place in 1994, well before Kumar’s tenure.   read more
  • Bank Accounts, Gender Injustice and Toilets: Modi Wants India to Step Up

    Friday, August 15, 2014
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the occasion of Independence Day to make a powerful speech, calling on fellow Indians to help him fight a war on poverty, on gender injustice and on unsanitary conditions. These may not have been the ‘big bang’ economic reforms some analysts were expecting, but the social objectives he outlined are important nonetheless.   read more
  • Sahara Chief Gets Another 15 Days to Sell Iconic Hotels From Jail

    Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Selling trophy assets at fancy prices takes time and the right image, both of which business tycoon Subrata Roy does not have at the moment. Lodged in South Asia’s largest jail for the past 5 months, he needs to raise Rs. 10,000 crore ($1.6 billion) to get bail. He has now reportedly signed a preliminary accord for selling his three luxury hotels – including the Grosvenor House in London and the New York Plaza.   read more
  • Is 35 Too Old for a Radio Jockey?

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    All India Radio (AIR) fired 100 radio jockeys in Kolkata last week simply because it felt they were too 'old' – over 35 years of age. AIR has now been forced to back down because these ‘old’ RJs protested, but not before the absurdity of what passes as management at the state-owned broadcaster was made abundantly clear.   read more
  • MPs Squabble Over Room in Parliament

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    Parliament building was witness to unruly scenes as MPs of two regional parties – Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Telugu Desam (TDP) – squabbled over a room that has been allotted to TMC but has been in the possession of TDP for 30 years. This political game of musical chairs has affected several regional parties following the recent election, as parties with reduced parliamentary seats are often finding their room allotted to another party.   read more
  • Changes Proposed in Judges’ Appointment System

    Monday, August 11, 2014
    India is currently the only country in the world where judges appoint judges. This opaque collegium system is set to be modified after recent allegations of corruption by retired Justice Markandey Katju. The Judicial Appointments Commission Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, with the proposed JAC to include the executive in the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Yet it's not clear if this will provide a balance between transparency and judicial independence.   read more
  • HRD Minister Flaunts 6-Day Program as Yale “Degree”

    Sunday, August 10, 2014
    The controversy in May over the educational qualifications of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani was reignited on Saturday after she claimed she has a degree from Yale University. Irani did not provide any details of her “degree”, but media reports indicate that she was one of the 11 Indian members of Parliament who went to Yale in June last year for a six-day leadership program.   read more
  • India and US to Boost Military Ties

    Friday, August 08, 2014
    Joint production of military hardware and increasing arms sales are the key areas being discussed in the ongoing visit to New Delhi by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. India and the U.S. have rapidly expanded military and business ties in recent years, despite disagreements over issues such as intellectual property rights and market access.   read more
  • Reform 01: Cabinet Decides to Raise FDI in Defence and Railways, But Reforms Face Political Resistance

    Thursday, August 07, 2014
    The cabinet has approved a plan to raise the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) allowed in India’s defence and railways industries. This is the first key reform in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to attract more FDI and revive the sluggish economy that is growing at its slowest rate in over two decades. Yet the government’s gradual pace of reforms is already attracting resistance from both the left and the right of the Indian political spectrum.   read more
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