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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
  • Amnesty Int’l Criticizes India for Intolerance of Dissent

    Saturday, February 27, 2016
    Amnesty International has joined a growing chorus accusing India of supporting a climate of intolerance by cracking down on dissent through arbitrary arrests, caste-based discrimination, extrajudicial killings and attacks on freedom of expression. Last week, a group of 133 university professors from around the world said the recent arrest of a student leader on sedition charges "is further evidence of the present government's deeply authoritarian nature, intolerant of any dissent."   read more
  • Teacher Truancy in Crosshairs of Hardline Education Officials

    Friday, February 26, 2016
    Teacher truancy is among the more prominent causes of poor student performance. Teaching jobs pay well and are sometimes obtained through political connections. But those who get them often do not want to travel to the remote areas where many schools are. Not showing up has become the norm, and people feel powerless to complain. In one subdistrict, 73 of its 245 teachers were absent. Some live nowhere near their schools. Many work other jobs. One had not been seen in school for six years.   read more
  • Government Blocks Facebook Program for Low-Income Users

    Sunday, February 21, 2016
    Facebook miscalculated in introducing the program in India. While Facebook expected to be welcomed with open arms, its message to the country focused on itself rather than the broad coalition of telecommunications firms supporting the effort, experts said. That fostered a climate of distrust about Facebook’s future intentions in the country. The program quickly became the target of critics, who said that Free Basics violated the concept of net neutrality.   read more
  • U.S. and India Trying to Settle Solar Power Trade Dispute, Avoiding Anticipated U.N. Ruling against India

    Saturday, February 20, 2016
    The U.S. trade complaint alleged that the JNN Solar Mission subsidies were available only if developers used equipment produced in India. The U.S. said the subsidies were a barrier to solar products made in America and elsewhere and effectively raised the cost of generating solar power in India and were extending the country's dependence on fossil fuels. An Indian official said New Delhi may compromise to allow subsidies for Indian manufacturers only for those projects built by state sectors.   read more
  • Police Charge Student Union President With Sedition

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    The police have arrested the president of a student union on a complaint of sedition, a news agency reported, the latest controversy to hit one of the country’s highly politicized universities. A group of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi organized a protest Tuesday on the third anniversary of the execution of Muhammad Afzal, also known as Afzal Guru, who was found guilty of involvement in an attack on Parliament in 2001 that left nine dead.   read more
  • Court Rules Gandhis Must Face Trial

    Sunday, February 14, 2016
    India’s Supreme Court said on Friday that opposition leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, will have to face trial in a case involving the alleged misuse of party funds, but exempted them from appearing in court. The two members of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty had approached the top court to throw out the case which their Congress party says is a vendetta carried out by a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling group.   read more
  • NASA Wary of Report of Man Killed by Meteorite in Tamil Nadu

    Friday, February 12, 2016
    The news reported by Indian newspapers and picked up by many outlets around the world was startling: A bus driver was killed and three people were injured after a meteorite hit a college campus Saturday. If true, it would have been the first scientifically confirmed report of someone being killed by a meteorite. But NASA scientists in the United States were more emphatic, saying that the photographs posted online were more consistent with “a land-based explosion” than with something from space.   read more
  • Joint Development of Aircraft Carrier could be Biggest Military Collaboration between India and U.S.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    The visiting chief of U.S. Naval Operations, John Richardson, said the two sides had held talks on a range of issues relating to the next generation Indian carrier, from design to construction. A high-level U.S.-India working group is due to meet in New Delhi later this month. Richardson said the electromagnetic launch technology that enabled a navy to fly heavier planes from a carrier was part of the discussions. "All of those things are on the table...it's very new technology for us," he said.   read more
  • Tata Motors Renames New Zica Auto in Face of Zika Virus Outbreak

    Tuesday, February 09, 2016
    Tata Motors said it would decide on a new name for the hatchback after a few weeks. The car is being showcased at the biennial New Delhi motor show. Tata Motors is seeking an image makeover with the curvaceous hatchback, which is being endorsed by world soccer player of the year Lionel Messi. The World Health Organization has said Zika is "spreading explosively" and could infect as many as 4 million people in the Americas.   read more
  • India's Supreme Court will Review Law Criminalizing Gay Sex

    Friday, February 05, 2016
    This was the last legal avenue for those seeking to use the courts to strike down the law. Otherwise, any future decisions will rest with the country's politicians who are largely conservative and oppose any changes. Although the law banning homosexuality is rarely enforced in India, it is used to intimidate, harass, blackmail and extort money from homosexuals. Most cases go unreported as victims are too scared to report crimes to the police, fearing they will be punished too, activists say.   read more
  • Pakistan Man Could Get 10 Years in Prison for Flying India Flag in Tribute to Indian Cricket Captain

    Thursday, February 04, 2016
    Police said that Draz, who had hoisted the Indian flag, went on the run but was caught. "It's illegal to hoist the flag of another country," police officer Ismail Khan said. "Yesterday he was presented before a local court and sent to jail" while he awaits trial. The detained man told the media that he is a fan of Kohli, who secured India's victory in the Twenty20 International against Australia this week. Police confirmed that Draz had photographs of the cricketer all over his house.   read more
  • Rights Group Seeks Probe into Indian Police Inaction over Rape Complaints

    Tuesday, February 02, 2016
    Thirteen women said they were raped by police and security forces during anti-Maoist raids in Nendra village between Jan. 11 and 14. "Two men caught hold of me and dragged me inside my house. They took off my clothes, tore my blouse and pressed my breasts," said one woman. "One policeman raped me and said, 'We will burn down your houses. If it wasn’t daytime, we' have killed you.'" Despite changes to India's anti-rape laws, it took a week for the first complaint to be recorded.   read more
  • Female Protesters Storm Hindu Temple that Bars Women

    Monday, February 01, 2016
    Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met women activists the day after hundreds of them tried to force their way into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar in western India, clashing with villagers. Police briefly detained the protesters. "Indian culture and the Hindu religion have always given women the right to worship," Fadnavis said in a tweet late on Tuesday. "A change in tradition in accordance with the times is our culture. Discrimination in worshipping is not our culture."   read more
  • Nepal's Crisis Drags on as Ethnic Minorities Reject Charter Amendment

    Saturday, January 30, 2016
    More than 50 people have died since the ethnic Madhesis, backed by some other smaller ethnic groups, launched protests in the landlocked, Himalayan country's southern plains against the amendment to the constitution. Protests at the border have prevented trucks from entering from neighboring India since September, causing fuel shortages and rationing in Nepal. Deliveries of relief supplies to communities hit by earthquakes in April and May last year have also been disrupted.   read more
  • India to Build Satellite Tracking Station in Vietnam that Offers Eye on China

    Friday, January 29, 2016
    Under Prime Minister Modi, India has shown a greater willingness to step up security ties with countries such as Vietnam, overriding concerns this would upset China, military officials said. "You want to engage Vietnam in every sphere. The reason is obvious - China," said retired Indian Air Force group captain Ajay Lele. Both India and Vietnam are also modernising their militaries in the face of Beijing's growing assertiveness, having separately fought wars with China in past decades.   read more
  • India, France Sign Rafale Fighter Plane Accord but Haggle over Price

    Thursday, January 28, 2016
    Hollande and Modi stepped into the Rafale deal last year, commencing talks after commercial negotiations with Dassault had collapsed. The leaders agreed to scale back the original plan for 126 Rafale planes to just 36 in flyaway condition, to meet the Indian Air Force's urgent needs, as it faces an assertive China and long-time foe Pakistan. The deal is part of a $150-billion military overhaul India has launched, drawing global arms makers into one of the world's biggest markets.   read more
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