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Will Modi discuss ‘non-taffic barriers’ at SAARC?

narendra-modi-COMMENT, NEW DELHI: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on a trip infused with the neighbourhood spirit this week to attend the 18th Saarc summit in Kathmandu, he may reflect on a certain irony — that while the Indian subcontinent was one of the economically most active regions of the world despite the fact that its GDP remained somewhat stagnant in the last four decades of colonial rule, the collection of countries of the South Asia region is economically among the most sluggish in our own day. Continue reading

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Saving newborns: Nepal women volunteers brave terrain, taboos

NEPAL-HEALTH-INFANTS-WOMENBADALAMJI (NEPAL): On a wet and windy morning, Nepalese housewife Bhumisara Upadhyay (photo) is out visiting pregnant women, on a mission to slash newborn deaths in the Himalayan nation with a simple tube of gel.

Upadhyay is among thousands of volunteers at the front line of a campaign that has dramatically cut neonatal mortality in a country where nearly two-thirds of babies are born at home. Continue reading

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Modi wowed by Abbot’s ‘truly generous hospitality’

modikidscricketMELBOURNE: Cricket diplomacy was in abundance at a rare reception given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground with the PM saying a “new journey” in India-Australia relationship has begun.

Addressing the select gathering at the reception hosted by Australian PM Tony Abbott and attended by cricket greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Allan Border and Dean Jones among others, Modi heaped effusive praise on Australia’s sporting culture and thanked his Australian counterpart his “truly generous hospitality”. Continue reading

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Modi govt playing into hands of US drug companies?

medicationCOMMENT, NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be patting himself on the back because President Barack Obama has agreed to India’s position on food stockholding norms in World Trade Organisation (WTO).

However, New Delhi seems to be bending over backwards to accommodate the American government and giant multinational corporations (MNCs) in the pharmaceutical industry, which will work to the detriment of our country’s interests. Continue reading

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Superstar Rajnikanth hints at politics, excites BJP

rajnikanthmodiCHENNAI: Skeptics may want to dismiss it as movie release publicity, but Rajnikanth’s hint on Sunday night that he may enter politics has sent Tamil Nadu into a tizzy.

“I am not afraid of politics, but hesitant… I have been moving in the direction shown by God. If he desires that I should come to politics, I will serve the people,” the 63-year-old actor said at the launch of the audio and trailer of his new movie ‘Lingaa’. Continue reading

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Shrink in Japan’s economy worries FDI-dependent India

modiabeNEW DELHI: Indian policymakers will be keenly watching the developments as Japan’s economy shrank for the second quarter in a row.

With the US fully tapering its asset purchase programme, emerging countries such as India have been receiving large slices of cheap money that Japan had been injecting into the system to make world’s third-largest economy grow and reverse decades of contraction. Continue reading

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‘Sky-scraper’ Lord Krishna temple for Vrindavan soon

vrindavanVRINDAVAN (UTAR PRADESH): Five years from now, the holy land of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh will boast of the world’s largest and the first “skyscraper” temple for Lord Krishna, who is believed to have born and raised in Mathura and Vrindavan, with a height of 700 feet in a sprawling campus that will also resemble the verdant forests of some 5,000 years ago. Continue reading

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Nehru, a consummate worker and just leader

nehruNEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru’s two speeches “A tryst with destiny” and “The light has gone out” are famous.

What is not known is the statement Nehru made at his trial in Gorakhpur on November 4, 1940: “It is not me that you are seeking to judge and condemn, but rather hundreds of millions of the people of India and that is a large task even for a proud empire. Continue reading