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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
  • UPSC Protests Continue Despite Govt Caving in Over English Proficiency

    Wednesday, August 06, 2014
    The NDA government’s piecemeal attempt to cool the protests over the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination has backfired, with students still unhappy that the government has merely excluded the marks earned in English from being counted in the civil services aptitude test (CSAT), and not actually scrapped the test itself. They claim that the examination format is loaded against non-English-speaking applicants.   read more
  • Banking Regulators Caught Napping With Arrest of Syndicate Bank CMD

    Tuesday, August 05, 2014
    The shock arrest of Sudhir Kumar Jain, the chairman and managing director of Syndicate Bank, by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has exposed the rot in public sector banks. The number of bad loans at Syndicate Bank had quadrupled in the five years since 2008-09, yet regulatory authorities took no notice. It is only with Jain’s arrest on bribery charges that the spotlight has finally turned to a CMD's wide-ranging power to sanction loans.   read more
  • Modi Wows Nepal

    Monday, August 04, 2014
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than made up for the 17 years that Nepal had not seen an Indian prime minister on a bilateral visit. He has re-energised ties with his landmark two-day visit – addressing the country’s Constituent Assembly, providing Rs. 10,000 crore ($1.67 billion) in concessional loans to help build power plants and roads, and offering his Nepali counterpart a free hand to renegotiate the 1950 partnership treaty between the two neighbours.   read more
  • Govt Hires Monkey Impersonators to Protect Parliament

    Sunday, August 03, 2014
    The final line of defence in Parliament against the monkey menace in New Delhi is a bunch of men impersonating a different monkey species to scare them away. Forty men have reportedly been hired to make screeching noises similar to those of black-faced langur monkeys, to frighten red-faced macaque monkeys away from government buildings.   read more
  • WTO, NSA Snooping Overshadow Kerry Visit

    Friday, August 01, 2014
    Both India and the U.S. are keen on boosting business and defence ties, but trade and spying tensions overshadowed the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to New Delhi this week. The occasion was the annual India-US Strategic Dialogue - the first high-level interaction between the Modi administration and the U.S.   read more
  • Natwar’s Revelations Dent Sonia’s ‘Inner Voice’ Halo

    Thursday, July 31, 2014
    It may well be that the defining moment of Sonia Gandhi’s leadership of the Congress party – her refusal to accept the prime minister’s position after the UPA’s 2004 election victory – was not due to any moral ‘inner voice’, as she had claimed at the time, but rather a prosaic ultimatum by her son Rahul. An autobiography by estranged Gandhi family confidant Kunwar Natwar Singh has several revelations that will make uncomfortable reading for the previous UPA administration.   read more
  • Batra’s Textbooks Criticized as an Attempt to Saffronise Education

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Hindu activist Dinanath Batra, who was responsible in February for forcing Penguin India to pulp Wendy Doniger’s book on Hinduism, now finds himself at the centre of a controversy surrounding his own textbooks that have been supplied to schools in Gujarat. These have been criticized as “fantasy” books for preaching about ancient India, using anecdotes such as a royal couple being blessed with children only after cow-worship, and for redrawing the map of India to include its neighbours.   read more
  • U.S. Faces Uphill Task in Connecting With Modi Govt

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Delhi this week as Washington tries to reset ties with India following the NDA's dramatic election victory. But immediate results are unlikely as the U.S. has some catching up to do with the other countries vying for the new administration’s attention.   read more
  • Former Ministers Face Eviction From Official Bungalows

    Sunday, July 27, 2014
    The general election was held in mid-May, yet several former ministers of the previous UPA administration have still not vacated their official bungalows in New Delhi. The extended deadline to do so expired on Saturday and the Urban Development Ministry has finally begun eviction proceedings against the 20 former ministers and 120 former members of Parliament who are still clinging to their houses.   read more
  • India Holds Up WTO Deal Over Food Subsidies

    Friday, July 25, 2014
    India is talking tough over food subsidies as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) deal heads to the wire. Diplomats from 160 member countries are meeting in Geneva to confirm the WTO’s first-ever global trade agreement that was agreed in Bali last December, which could add $1 trillion to the world economy and create 21 million jobs. But India is threatening to use its veto unless it receives assurances on food subsidies, Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday.   read more
  • Delhi Police to Offer a Rose to Traffic Offenders

    Thursday, July 24, 2014
    The Delhi Police has come up with a novel way of convincing habitual traffic offenders to mend their ways – showing up at their doorstep with a traffic violation notice…and a rose. The notice will inform the offenders whether their licenses would be suspended or cancelled, while the rose is presumably meant to soften the blow.   read more
  • Shiv Sena Continues to Bluster Over MP's Ramadan Bullying

    Thursday, July 24, 2014
    First a Shiv Sena MP forces a fasting Muslim to eat at a state guesthouse; when it reaches the news, the MP initially denies this incident took place; then when a video surfaces the MP apologises, but claims that he had no idea the staffer was a Muslim; a day later, his party’s mouthpiece declares that the food in the guesthouse was an insult to ‘Marathi people’ and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra should be force-fed this food. Can the Shiv Sena not give up its thuggish mentality?   read more
  • TV Sting Exposes Corruption in Healthcare

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    The Health Ministry has ordered an investigation into doctors and laboratories allegedly offering commissions to doctors for referring patients for medical tests. This follows a sting operation by a Hindi news channel News Nation TV.   read more
  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act: Time for a Review

    Monday, July 21, 2014
    The Modi administration has made it clear that it will not modify the infamous Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Yet a decade after the alleged rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama Devi in Manipur by the Assam Rifles, no one has been convicted for a crime that shocked the nation. On the 10th anniversary of her death, the time has come for a review of the law that gives blanket immunity from prosecution to paramilitary forces for all crimes, including rape.   read more
  • Coal Stocks Hit Rock Bottom

    Friday, July 18, 2014
    Coal is used to generate more than half of India’s electricity, yet the country's largest power producer NTPC has warned that six coal-fired power plants have just enough stocks to last up to two days. India is struggling to provide enough power to meet rising demand, with millions going without power and blackouts common.   read more
  • Karnataka Govt Pays Minister’s Rs 1.2 Crore ($193,333) Medical Bill

    Thursday, July 17, 2014
    The Karnataka state administration has triggered a controversy over its decision to reimburse a hefty medical bill incurred by Housing Minister M H Ambareesh for his treatment in Singapore, including airfare for his family and his doctors. The Medical Attendance Rule of 1958 stipulates that ministers have to get medical treatment in India if the required facilities are available, yet the state administration is adamant that Ambareesh's case is special.   read more
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