Will Modi’s Nepal visit see an upswing in ‘do-able’ issues?

modiNEPAL-INDIACOMMENT NEW DELHI: Although India and Nepal have shared cordial and friendly ties without much tensions, there was a perception in Kathmandu that New Delhi no longer took the Himalayan country seriously.

According to many observers in Nepal, this was evident from the one-way, high-level political visits from the Nepalese side during the last decade, which mostly went unreciprocated from the Indian side. Continue reading

Biotech, GM crops: India agriculture’s delimma?

biotechCOMMENT, NEW DELHI: A quirky anthropologist once exclaimed: “Biotechnology is sheer drama.” He explained his cryptic headline by saying all great contemporary philosophical and ethical debates intersect around it.

He added that the city might be the basis for the 21st century imagination but it is the fate of Indian agriculture that would trigger some of the great dilemmas of the century. Continue reading

PG students, house surgeons strike for better wages in Tamil Nadu

pgstudentsstrikeCHENNAI: Service in government hospitals were affected as hundreds of postgraduate medical students and house-surgeons across the State launched an indefinite strike on Monday demanding a hike in their stipend.

The non-service postgraduate students and students on compulsory rotatory residential internship are striking under the banner Interns and Postgraduate Association of Tamil Nadu. Continue reading

Kerala leads with costliest labour

labourersKOCHI: Kerala is fast emerging as a lucrative market for unskilled labourers across the country as wages in the State have galloped over 50 per cent in a span of 19 months.

The wages for non-agriculture workers have risen from `10,050 per month to `15,100 per month, the fastest growth anywhere in the country, indicating further inflow of unskilled workers into the state. Continue reading

India accuses Google of ‘spying’

google-HQNEW DELHI: CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Internet giant Google over Mapathon 2013, an event organised by the US company, for allegedly violating laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations, prohibited by law.

The CBI registered the PE based on a complaint filed by Surveyor General of India’s office to the Union Home Ministry in which Google was accused of had been indulging in activities of mapping several areas which were not included in the maps of the country, official sources said here.     Continue reading

Jaylalitha asks Modi to up Haj quota

jayalaithaCHENNAI: Seeking enhancement of Tamil Nadu’s quota of seats for Haj pilgrims, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter and to have the External Affairs Ministry advised to release an additional quota for the State.

In her letter sent to Modi, the Chief Minister referred to receipt of 13,159 applications by the Tamil Nadu State Haj Committee for Haj 2014. Based on the Muslim population, the Haj Committee of India in Mumbai allotted a quota of 2,672 seats to the State. Continue reading

India -Nepal to strengthen ties

KATHMANDU: External Affairs Minister sushmaswaraj on Saturday met Nepal’s key leaders, conveyed India’s goodwill for the neighbour and pledged engagement at the highest level, officials said.

“The message is that the new government in India is ready to impart renewed momentum to the multifaceted relations between the two countries,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told a press conference at the venue of the meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission (JC), where officials were negotiating on a range of bilateral issues. Continue reading