India has cut this year’s monsoon forecast to 88 percent of the long-term average, prompted by the El Nino climate phenomenon and raising fears of the country’s first drought in six years. This makes India’s agriculture sector vulnerable with nearly half of farmland lacking irrigation.
A guilty verdict for Salman Khan on Wednesday in a 13-year-old hit-and-run could derail some of Bollywood’s most prized projects if India’s most bankable actor is put behind bars.
By Mayank Bhardwaj and Ratnajyoti Dutta
A 7.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Nepal and parts of northern India on Saturday, killing more than 4,300 people and injuring thousands more. It is the most destructive earthquake that Nepal has suffered since 1934. Several countries have offered relief, most notably China and India. The rival nations, which together surround Nepal, have made an effort to woo the stricken nation even as they eye each other from their own borders.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Chaitanya Tamhane‘s “Court” is a chronicle of the mundane – a housewife cooks dinner, a lawyer reads something in a monotone, another character shops for groceries. Yet, it is through the mundane that Tamhane weaves magic. “Court” is a rare film that creates drama out of the humdrum lives of ordinary people, whose limited world view and biases affect the lives of others in more ways than they can imagine.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to build 100 “smart cities” by 2022 to decongest existing urban centres probably will take longer to achieve. Reuters visited the foundations of one of these cities in Gujarat, a finance centre called Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
India has ordered 36 “ready-to-fly” French-made Rafale fighter jets to modernise the country’s ageing warplane fleet. But Bharat Karnad, a research professor at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) in New Delhi, said the deal with French manufacturer Dassault Aviation is a disaster that will not meet the immediate needs of India’s air force.
The Reserve Bank of India kept interest rates unchanged in its bi-monthly review on Tuesday, waiting to assess inflationary pressures and giving banks time to reflect on the central bank’s previous cuts in lending rates.
Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs to highlight emerging economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China, said India’s budget lacked a “wow” factor but was good enough to push the country on a path of 8 percent growth or more “for a long time”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has the tough task of balancing the need to boost spending and maintaining fiscal discipline when he presents the annual budget on Feb. 28. Former Infosys CFO V. Balakrishnan says the government’s main priority should be to revive the economy by loosening up its purse strings and the country could live with a “slightly higher fiscal deficit.”