Featured Story

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
Latest News

Top Stories

  • 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
  • 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

Controversies

  • 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
  • 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
  • Maharashtra to Derecognize Madrasas Not Teaching English, Maths, Science

    Saturday, July 04, 2015
    The Maharashtra government has sparked a controversy by declaring that madrasas, or Islamic seminaries, that do not teach primary subjects such as English and mathematics would be considered "non-schools" and their students "out-of-school" children. Muslim leaders and opposition parties have criticised the move as discriminatory and unconstitutional.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 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
  • U.S. Firm Admits to Bribing Officials to Win Contracts in Goa and Guwahati

    Saturday, July 18, 2015
    A U.S. construction management company, Louis Berger, has agreed to pay $17.1 million in criminal fines to resolve charges that it bribed officials in 4 countries, including India where it won two water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati. The firm paid bribes of $976,630 for its Goa project, including to a minister whose name has not been disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice.   read more
  • Cricket’s Day of Reckoning

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Reality caught up with Indian cricket on Tuesday with the Justice RM Lodha committee announcing a two-year ban on former champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Two prominent club officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, also got life bans for betting on IPL games or being in contact with illegal gamblers. But will this verdict succeed in cleaning up Indian cricket?   read more

India and the World

  • 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
  • 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
  • Japan to Participate in India’s Naval Exercises With U.S.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Japan is expected to take part in the 2015 edition of India’s joint naval exercises with the United States that are scheduled in October. This is being seen as a sign of stronger military and diplomatic ties between India and Japan, and an attempt by India to recover its position as the dominant maritime power in the Indian Ocean that has recently seen inroads by China.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • 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
  • Pachauri Replaced at TERI Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Friday, July 24, 2015
    The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi. The move came days after a court allowed Pachauri to return to his office while facing sexual harassment allegations.   read more
  • DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan Gets Cabinet Minister Perks, But Not Official Status

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015
    Poor Ashish Khetan. The AAP leader first announced that he had got the status of a cabinet minister as the vice-chairman of the newly instituted Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). But once the political implications of this largesse became evident, the AAP government quickly denied that he had ministerial status. But it nevertheless let him keep all the goodies entitled to a state cabinet minister.   read more

Unusual News

  • 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
  • 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
  • SBI Error Turns Domestic Help Into Billionaire

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    This is a rags to riches story – and back again – courtesy the State Bank of India (SBI). Urmila Yadav, who works as a domestic help in Kanpur, recently found she was one of India's richest women when the Rs 2,000 ($32) in her bank account suddenly turned into Rs 95,71,16,98,647 ($1.5 billion).   read more

Featured Story

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
Latest News

Top Stories

  • 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
  • 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

Controversies

  • 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
  • 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
  • Maharashtra to Derecognize Madrasas Not Teaching English, Maths, Science

    Saturday, July 04, 2015
    The Maharashtra government has sparked a controversy by declaring that madrasas, or Islamic seminaries, that do not teach primary subjects such as English and mathematics would be considered "non-schools" and their students "out-of-school" children. Muslim leaders and opposition parties have criticised the move as discriminatory and unconstitutional.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • 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
  • U.S. Firm Admits to Bribing Officials to Win Contracts in Goa and Guwahati

    Saturday, July 18, 2015
    A U.S. construction management company, Louis Berger, has agreed to pay $17.1 million in criminal fines to resolve charges that it bribed officials in 4 countries, including India where it won two water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati. The firm paid bribes of $976,630 for its Goa project, including to a minister whose name has not been disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice.   read more
  • Cricket’s Day of Reckoning

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Reality caught up with Indian cricket on Tuesday with the Justice RM Lodha committee announcing a two-year ban on former champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Two prominent club officials, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, also got life bans for betting on IPL games or being in contact with illegal gamblers. But will this verdict succeed in cleaning up Indian cricket?   read more

India and the World

  • 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
  • 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
  • Japan to Participate in India’s Naval Exercises With U.S.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Japan is expected to take part in the 2015 edition of India’s joint naval exercises with the United States that are scheduled in October. This is being seen as a sign of stronger military and diplomatic ties between India and Japan, and an attempt by India to recover its position as the dominant maritime power in the Indian Ocean that has recently seen inroads by China.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • 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
  • Pachauri Replaced at TERI Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Friday, July 24, 2015
    The former UN climate change panel (IPCC) chief, Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, has been removed from his post as head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi. The move came days after a court allowed Pachauri to return to his office while facing sexual harassment allegations.   read more
  • DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan Gets Cabinet Minister Perks, But Not Official Status

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015
    Poor Ashish Khetan. The AAP leader first announced that he had got the status of a cabinet minister as the vice-chairman of the newly instituted Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC). But once the political implications of this largesse became evident, the AAP government quickly denied that he had ministerial status. But it nevertheless let him keep all the goodies entitled to a state cabinet minister.   read more

Unusual News

  • 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
  • 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
  • SBI Error Turns Domestic Help Into Billionaire

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    This is a rags to riches story – and back again – courtesy the State Bank of India (SBI). Urmila Yadav, who works as a domestic help in Kanpur, recently found she was one of India's richest women when the Rs 2,000 ($32) in her bank account suddenly turned into Rs 95,71,16,98,647 ($1.5 billion).   read more