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Legislative leader pushes to fight hunger with subsidized grain for 70 percent of India’s population

India’s ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday launched a landmark public food scheme for hundreds of millions of people, declaring it would banish hunger and be free of corruption. Gandhi told hundreds of cheering supporters that 800 million Indians would benefit from the scheme, aimed at fighting endemic…

Anti-superstition rationalist shot dead in India

A leading Indian rationalist, who was campaigning for a law to eradicate superstition in a country famed for its mystics and gurus, was shot dead on Tuesday, police said. Two gunmen on motorbikes fired at Narendra Dabholkar, a medical doctor who had faced accusations of being anti-religion, as he was…

Declassified intelligence report reveals U.S.-India Cold War era cooperation on U2 spy missions

A declassified American intelligence report on the use of U-2 spy planes has shed new light on cooperation between the United States and India during the Cold War. The document traced the role of the US in monitoring Chinese incursions into India, at the request of New Delhi, which enjoyed…

6 Indian men get life in prison for rape, robbery of Swiss tourist

Six men accused in the gang-rape and robbery of a 39-year-old Swiss woman cyclist holidaying in India were sentenced to life terms Saturday by a court in central India. “All the accused have been convicted and we are satisfied with the judgement,” said the public prosecutor in the case, Rajendra…

Workplace smoking bans and cigarette taxes could save 9 million lives in India

Banning smoking in the workplace and levying a tobacco tax could prevent more than nine million deaths from cardiovascular disease in India over the next decade, according to a US study. In India, smoking is blamed for the deaths of one in five men, and one in three people report…

Are telegrams dead?

ON JULY 15th India will become the latest country to shut down its official telegram service. The first message sent by telegraph in India was in 1850, and the direct descendant of that service is now in the hands of BSNL, a state-run telecoms operator…   [Antique Morse Key (c…

Indian economy slows after decade of growth

India announces growth figures for its full financial year on Friday which are expected to show the once-booming South Asian economy expanded at its slowest pace in a decade in 2012/13. Low business confidence, slumping investment, high inflation and weak export demand from Western countries are blamed for the bleak…

Four-year-old Indian girl dies after rape

A four-year-old Indian girl has died in hospital nearly two weeks after she was raped and found unconscious at a farm, hospital staff and reports said. The girl had been taken by air ambulance from central Madhya Pradesh state to the Care Hospital in Nagpur city on April 20, where…

Bollywood dynasties keep it in the family as India celebrates 100 years of cinema

As Indian cinema turns 100 years old, one powerful Bollywood dynasty can trace the roots of their stardom almost right back to the birth of the national film industry. “We have been there throughout. All the milestones of cinema, there has been some Kapoor or the other,” says 60-year-old Rishi…

Pervasive preference for baby boys over girls prevails among parents in India

Worries about the age-old bias favoring male children. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro updates a story he did a dozen years ago about the skewed sex ratio of children born in India. It’s another in our Agents of Change series. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: For some months…  …

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