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home  > about india index > india news picks current

India news picks

India news picks is a selection of links and comments on interesting, topical or quirky India related news and current affairs stories that have caught our attention in the world's press and online media.

NOTE: Items appear in the order we have added them - not in order of the original publication date.

November 2007

Power to the e-spinners

Source: Article date: 25 Nov 2007

India will forever be associated with Mahatma Gandhi and his spinning wheel (known as "charkha"). Now Bangalore based engineer, R.S. Hiremath, has brought the "spark" to this device, that in essence has stayed the same over the centuries. The so-called "e-charkha", when operated, will charge a battery that is attached to a LED light. It can be used to light up homes, to play the radio and hopefully to brighten up the lives of the rural weavers', many of whom have either no or only very sporadic power supplies. It has already won the approval of Khadi (home spun) and Village Industries Commission.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Reinventing the spinning wheel -The Hindu
Posted: 26 November 2007

Talk, talk no Indian accent in New Delhi, please

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 23 Nov 2007

TalkTalk, a British phone and internet company, was found guilty of racial discrimination by an Employment Tribunal in Bedford. A Talk Talk employee from Northampton and of Indian origin, Chetankumar Meshram, was sent home to the UK after 3 weeks of his 8 week secondment to train staff for TalkTalk in New Delhi - because he didn't sound English enough.

Original story:
Posted: 26 November 2007

October 2007

Dangerous intruders

Source: The Independent Article date: 24 Oct 2007

The latest victim to Delhi's "monkey menace" is the deputy mayor of Delhi, Mr Bajwa, who died while trying to prevent a furry tailed simian from entering his premises. The politician fell from his balcony and later succumbed to his injuries and passed away. Deprived of their natural habitat increasing numbers of red bottomed rhesus monkeys roam the streets of India's cities. Various schemes and initiatives have been implemented by the Indian Government, which included putting long tailed langurs on the government's pay-roll (to be paid in bananas), employing professional monkey catchers, introducing a "monkey prison", transporting them to a monkey reserve etc. However, so far these measures have failed to curb the invasion; quite the contrary, the precocious little buggers get more and more cheeky and daring. Official estimates put the numbers of monkeys in the capital alone to between 5,000 and 20,000.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Too much monkey business -Economic Times
Monkey terror in the Indian capital -EarthTimes
Monkey hurts 25 in East Delhi -Times of India
Posted: 26 November 2007

Indian child workers

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 10 Oct 2007

Around a year ago India banned children under 14 years from working as domestic servants or in teashops and restaurants. Save the Children has now released a study that shows how ineffective this ban has proven to date. Unofficial estimates put the numbers of children working in food stalls or at homes as high as 20 million, of which, according to Save the Children, almost one million are employed in Delhi. Normally, these children end up working due to the devastating poverty of their parents. Therefore, it's hard to see, how putting a ban into place without the accompanying policies for alleviating the root causes, can have a major effect.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Child labour: Programme Highlights -Save the Children
Posted: 26 November 2007

August 2007

Millions stranded after monsoon floods

Source: The Hindu Article date: 04 Aug 2007

The effects of the current monsoon floods in South Asia has put recent flooding in the UK into perspective. Over 200 people have been killed and 19 million uprooted from their homes, mainly in Northern states from Assam to Uttar Pradesh. Several rhinos were also driven from their home at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam as about 70 percent of their habitat has been flooded. While the floods are now receding in Assam, they are still causing mayhem in UP and Bihar.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Battle for S Asia flood victims -BBC News
Floods claim 347 lives in Eastern India -TimesNow
About 20 mn hit due to floods in South Asia: UNICEF -Hindustan Times
Posted: 08 August 2007

July 2007

Tree planting record in UP

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 31 Jul 2007

India is always a keen contender for Guinness World Records; and the latest in a long line is for planting trees. More than 10 million trees were planted at almost 10,000 sites in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on a single day. The planting is part of a wider campaign run by the United Nations Environment Programme and its aim is to raise awareness on environmental protection.

Original story:
Posted: 08 August 2007

India's first woman president sworn in

Source: Times of India Article date: 25 Jul 2007

Pratibha Patil has been sworn in as India's new president, succeeding the popular and charismatic former rocket scientist APJ Kalam. Despite winning almost two thirds of the presidential election votes, the nomination of the new head of state is controversial for some, in part due to a remark she made about historical origin of the Muslim veil in India. The 72 year old former Governor of Rajasthan began her career in the Maharashtra state legislature.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
India gets first woman president -BBC News
Pratibha Patil -Widipedia
Posted: 08 August 2007

Surplus Granny left on tip

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 19 Jul 2007

In India, generally the elder generation is well respected by family members; however, there are (numerous) exceptions to the rule, and stories on how "superfluous" grandparents are abandoned during big festivals are plentiful. The loving relatives of Chinnammal Palaniappan took it even further by dumping their 75 year old grandmother on a rubbish tip in Tamil Nadu. Local people discovered her on the tip after hearing her moans. She is now being cared for by local officials, who are trying to trace her family.

Original story:
Posted: 08 August 2007

Murder in Parvati Valley

Source: The Tribune Article date: 16 Jul 2007

The body of 25 year old Israeli backpacker Dror Shek has been found near Khirganga in the Parvati Valley. Circumstances are suspect, and the police are assuming the tourist was murdered while trekking with some Israeli friends.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Israeli backpackers questioned over friend’s murder
Israeli's murder: No probe needed, says diplomat -The Tribune
India nightmare continues for friends of Israeli
Missing Israeli tourist located in northern India after 48 hours -Haaretz
Posted: 08 August 2007

May 2007

Bandit Queen II unleashed

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 04 May 2007

It seems India has gained a successor to Phoolan Devi, India's Bandit Queen who obtained world wide fame in the 90s, first as a dacoit (bandit) in the Chambal ravines of UP, and subsequently as an MP in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament). She was murdered in 2001 by an upper caste Hindu. Now Seema Parihar, a former bandit who surrendered in 2000 and was let out on bail, wants to continue Phoolan Devi's legacy of fighting for the poor by standing in the local elections in UP. Ms Parihar's lengthy rapsheet - she faces 29 charges - is hardly unusual in Uttar Pradesh, a state with one of the highest numbers of MPs with criminal records or charges pending.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Seema Parihar to contest from Phoolan's LS seat -DNA India
Seema Parihar: a woman of too many words -Hindustan Times
Posted: 07 May 2007

Wingless Wonder shows Mumbai's traffic is plane crazy

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 04 May 2007

Mumbai's famously nonchalant residents may have thought they'd seen everything life had to throw at them - until last week, when residents of the Chembur district awoke to find a commercial airliner abandoned by the side of the road.

While the more imaginative may have thought the X-Files had been outsourced, the explanation was more mundane. The ex-AirSahara Boeing 737, shorn of wings and engines and loaded onto a trailer, was on its way to Delhi to be used for crew training, when the driver came face to face with a flyover clearly not designed with aircraft in mind. Faced with an intractable problem, he employed the time honoured solution and did a runner, and has yet to be traced.

Local opinion was divided, with some shop owners complaining about access problems, while others were happy to enjoy a novel tourist attraction. Engineering student Vamsi Shastri told the BBC "I've been fascinated with planes and never seen one so closely. It's huge!". The fun was short lived however, and the aircraft had been moved by Friday.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
The Boeing 737 stuck in city road -BBC News
Posted: 07 May 2007

March 2007

Promotion a dead cert for Bihar's most inert civil servants

Source: Article date: 29 Mar 2007

Promotions within government offices are highly desired; whether these are performance based has always been somewhat open to debate. So it may come as little surprise to the corruption-hardened folks of Bihar that the Buxar district has been promoting officials that are not merely inanimate, but actually dead; as in "he is an ex civil servant, he has ceased to be". According to official sources, of 48 officials listed for promotion by the registration department, the majority were either dead or retired. It seems that in Buxar at least, death is not merely a tragedy, but a good career move.

Original story:
Posted: 06 April 2007

3 charged over serial killings in Noida

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 22 Mar 2007

Outrage ensued when skeletons and body parts were found in a sewer in the Delhi suburb of Noida in December 2006. Three people have now been charged in connection with the atrocities committed, including a police woman accused of negligence of duty. It is estimated that around 40 children and women were abducted, raped and killed within the past two years. As all victims came from a slum area, law enforcement and action on missing person reports by the authorities appear to have been almost non-existent. Moninder Singh Pandher, a businessman in the vicinity, is accused of using his house as a brothel while his servant, Surinder Koli, is charged with rape, abduction and murder.

Original story:
Other stories on this topic:
Nithari killings: CBI files chargesheet
Pandher did not kill, Koli is a cannibal
Posted: 06 April 2007

Wealth of UP politician in the spotlight

Source: BBC South Asia Article date: 01 Mar 2007

The ugly spectre of corruption by Indian politicians has hit the headlines again. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief Minister of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is to be investigated by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) on whether allegations that he and his sons amassed millions of illegitimate rupees within the last 3 decades are correct. No big surprise that his party, the Samajwadi Party, claims that the allegations are politically motivated.

Original story:
Posted: 06 April 2007
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