December 19, 2010 |
Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables have sparked a political battle in India, putting the ruling party on the defensive with their disclosures on alleged human rights violations and religious extremism. Most damaging to the Congress Party was a cable reporting that Rahul Gandhi, scion of India's first political family and pegged by many as the nation's next prime minister, told the U.S. ambassador last year that hard-line Hindu groups in India could be a bigger threat to the country than Pakistan-based Islamic militants.
November 24, 2010 |
International medical tourism in India tends to garner the headlines -- it's a $2-billion industry that’s growing by 30% annually -- but the Indian government estimates that it's dwarfed by its domestic cousin. A recent tourism survey found that Indians make an estimated 126 million trips annually to meet health and medical needs within their own country, spending $5.2 billion on such trips. Foreigners may come to India to save money on medical treatment, but trips for locals are expensive, with health and medical traveling reportedly costing four times as much for Indians as social or recreational trips.
October 21, 2010
NEW DELHI -- India may have banned smoking in public, but it's not exactly making smokers an endangered species. According to India's first survey on adult tobacco use, nearly 35% of adults consume tobacco in some form, as do 10% of 15- to 17-year-olds. In addition to cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookahs, Indians, particularly in poor communities, frequently smoke bidis, a sort of rolled up leaf tobacco that sells for a few cents for a pack of 30. While 35% isn't particularly high for a developing country, its use is rising with disposable income.
August 18, 2010 |
India's BlackBerry users breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday as word spread that their beloved smart-phone devices would keep beeping after Aug. 31, the deadline New Delhi had set for the company to either open up its technology or shut down its service. BlackBerry's Canadian parent company reportedly agreed to copy Indian security agencies on client e-mails and short messages, local news reports said Tuesday, citing government sources. The agencies initially must make a specific request but after November reportedly will receive automatic data feeds.
April 19, 2010 |
Combine two of India's favorite pastimes, cricket and politics. Add allegations of corruption, greed, and tax evasion. Throw in the implosion of a highflying political career and it's not difficult to understand why India's hyperactive broadcast media are on a tear. On Monday, India's finance minister announced an investigation of the funding and sources behind the nation's top cricket teams, suggesting that more bombshells are to come. The scandal underscores the cost of operating a business on steroids without creating adequate safeguards, analysts said.
January 21, 2010 |
Stepping up pressure on Pakistan to help thwart further terrorist attacks on India, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that the Indian government probably would not show the same level of restraint that it did in 2008 if struck again. Gates said at a news conference that Al Qaeda and other Islamic militant organizations are hoping to ignite a regional clash between Pakistan and India, a confrontation he said must be averted. Gates has praised India's "statesmanship" in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, which left at least 166 people dead and has been attributed to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based extremist group aligned with Al Qaeda.