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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
  • In Face of Supreme Court Inquiry, Government Defends Banning of Women from Famed Temple

    Friday, January 22, 2016
    Scores of women took to social media in a campaign launched as #happytobleed, after the head of the temple said he would consider allowing women to enter if there was a machine to check if they were menstruating. In India, menstruation is rarely discussed openly and menstrual blood is considered impure. In many communities, menstruating girls and women are not allowed to prepare food or enter a temple. This ban came under legal scrutiny last week, but government officials defended the ban.   read more
  • Coal India Plans Biggest Tech Overhaul to Check Rampant Theft

    Tuesday, January 19, 2016
    Coal India's productivity is estimated at just one-eighth of its technologically advanced rivals in the U.S., and as much as a fifth of its annual output is stolen, costing the company up to $1 billion each year. Local "coal mafias" have fought for years to control rackets that prey on the industry and feed a vast black market. Coal Secretary Swarup wants all seven of Coal India's producing units to use a GPS-based tracking system for their trucks to alert if a truck diverts from its route.   read more
  • Women’s Group Calls for Ban on Genital Mutilation Ritual

    Saturday, January 16, 2016
    Little is known about FGM in India where the ritual is carried out in great secrecy by the close-knit Dawoodi Bohra community, thought to number over 1 million. Masooma Ranalvi has launched an online petition in which she describes how she was cut as a seven-year-old in Mumbai. "The shock and trauma of that day are still with me," she said. "What makes me really angry is that this continues today... Why are we doing this to young girls even now? Someone has to speak up and we have to stop this."   read more
  • Online Sales of Cow Dung Patties Skyrocket, Fueled by Sense of Nostalgia

    Monday, January 11, 2016
    The patties — cow poop mixed with hay and dried in the sun, made mainly by women in rural areas and used to fuel fires — have long been available in India's villages. But online retailers including Amazon and eBay are now reaching out to the country's ever-increasing urban population, feeding into the desire of older city folks to harken back to their childhood in the village. Some retailers say they're offering discounts for large orders. Some customers are asking for gift wrapping.   read more
  • Name Game Erupts Over Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road

    Monday, August 31, 2015
    Lazy populism once again took centre stage with the renaming of Aurangzeb Road in the capital as APJ Abdul Kalam Marg, in memory of the 83-year-old former president who died in July. However, the choice of road has been objected to by Muslim groups and politicians who claim it to be the result of an anti-Muslim political agenda.   read more
  • 75,000 Apply for 30 Peon Jobs in Chhattisgarh

    Friday, August 28, 2015
    It is a sad commentary on the few opportunities available in Chhattisgarh when 75,000 people, including engineers and university graduates, apply for 30 vacancies as peons (office boys) in the state government. This large number shocked even officials, who were ill-prepared to conduct an examination test for so many. They were forced to cancel the examination scheduled this Sunday, August 30.   read more
  • Jains Reject High Court Order Against Ritual Fast Unto Death

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015
    A tradition of Jains starving themselves to death is an essential part of religious freedom, a petition told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, as the community protested its voluntary custom of ‘santhara’ being declared illegal by the Rajasthan High Court.   read more
  • New Payments Banks to Shake Up Indian Banking

    Thursday, August 20, 2015
    The RBI has provisionally cleared 11 entities to set up new 'payments banks'. These include India Post, private business groups such as Reliance Industries and the Aditya Birla Group, telecom giants like Airtel and Vodafone, and several tech and finance companies.   read more
  • Municipal Engineer Found With Rs. 20 Crore ($3 Million) Stashed at Home

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015
    Pranab Adhikari, a sub-assistant engineer in charge of approving building plans in Howrah, West Bengal, was caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs. 1 lakh ($1,500) last week. When officers of the anti-corruption branch searched his modest home at Bally, they found a staggering Rs. 20 crore ($3 million) in cash hidden under the floor tiles, in cupboards, inside mattresses, sofas, and even inside the commode in the bathroom.   read more
  • Mumbai Police Still Clueless Over Moral Policing Raids

    Friday, August 14, 2015
    The Mumbai police have not exactly covered themselves with glory with their recent moral policing raids. First they booked several couples for alleged indecent behaviour. Following a public outcry, the police decided to order an inquiry. But the officer leading the inquiry found himself transferred out of Mumbai on a ‘punishment posting’. Then, barely 24 hours later, the state government cancelled his transfer. Does anyone in charge know what they are doing?   read more
  • Another Indian CEO Takes Charge in Silicon Valley

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015
    Sundar Pichai’s elevation as CEO of Google is being seen as a logical extension of his rapid ascent at the search giant: a protégé of current CEO Larry Page who had been groomed for the job with increasing responsibilities in recent years. The 43-year-old IIT alumnus joins the growing list of Indian-born executives to reach the top ranks of tech companies in the U.S.   read more
  • Supreme Court Keeps Aadhaar Card Optional

    Tuesday, August 11, 2015
    The Supreme Court has prevented the government from making the Aadhaar card mandatory for availing social benefit schemes. The court also ruled on Tuesday that no personal information of the cardholders should be shared by any government authority.   read more
  • Govt Bans Porn Websites Despite Supreme Court's Support for Individual's Right to Access

    Monday, August 03, 2015
    The government has blocked over 850 adult websites to prevent pornography becoming “a social nuisance”, despite the Supreme Court not supporting an outright ban last month. India’s first big crackdown on internet porn has sparked an online debate about censorship and freedom in the world's largest democracy.   read more
  • Uber Aims to Conquer Indian Market

    Saturday, August 01, 2015
    Uber Technologies Inc plans to invest $1 billion in India in the next nine months, as the U.S. online taxi-hailing company looks to expand its services beyond the 18 Indian cities where it now operates. Its investment in India is now on a par with its investment in China, and signals an escalation of Uber’s rivalry with domestic rival Ola.   read more
  • Moody’s: New Financial Code Will Curb RBI Independence

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    The proposed changes in the Indian Financial Code (IFC) have been criticised by Moody’s, which believes that giving the government a veto over interest rates will curb the RBI’s independence and dent its performance in tackling inflation.   read more
  • Alvida A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam died as he lived: in the public eye and inspiring young students. The 83-year-old collapsed on Monday while giving a lecture on sustainable development at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). A rocket scientist who rose to become India’s 11th president, he will be remembered most for being the people’s President, an inspirational figure who revolutionised the top office by connecting with the youth and pushing for an innovative new India.   read more
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