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Jun 13, 2012
via India Insight

India’s North Korea envoy: experience preferred, but not essential

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Asking someone to represent India in North Korea is a little like belling the cat. Everybody knows they need to pick someone, but no Foreign Service officer wants to go to “godforsaken” Pyongyang.

Finding someone to take the job must have been hard, but was it so hard that they finally had to settle for a stenographer? India’s ministry of external affairs might be wondering the same thing. It is reviewing the appointment of Ajay K. Sharma after some officials raised questions about his qualifications to represent India in the isolated country.

Jun 13, 2012
via India Insight

Earning $1,613 per month and poor? Only if you are Parsi

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How poor do you have to be in India to get the government to say you’re poor? The Indian government used to say that 28.6 rupees (51 cents) a day or less for urban Indians — about 858 rupees or $15.30 a month was about right. Activists for the poor said that it was unrealistic to think that people who were making more than that amount a day were well off.

As a government-appointed commission works on defining a new poverty line, it might want to consult India’s Parsis, descendants of Zoroastrians who migrated to India from Persia (present-day Iran) several centuries ago.

May 13, 2012

Book Talk: Rupa Bajwa on ‘Tell Me a Story’

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Eight years after her acclaimed debut with ‘The Sari Shop’, Rupa Bajwa is back with a novel about the daily lives of India’s lower middle class.

Set partly in Amritsar and partly in New Delhi, Bajwa’s ‘Tell Me a Story’ focuses on Rani, a young woman who works in the local beauty parlour and is in love with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Rani’s dreams are shattered when her family is torn asunder in their struggle to make ends meet.

Apr 25, 2012
via India Insight

Who wants to be India’s next president?

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It’s probably easier for actor Amitabh Bachchan to become India’s president than your average politician.

The ruling Congress party coalition looks like it will at best limp its way to general elections in 2014, stung by a rash of corruption scandals that have tarnished Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s second term in office and led to a dismal performance in state assembly elections earlier this year.

Apr 19, 2012

“Vicky Donor” sheds inhibitions on sperm donation

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Talking about sex is still a cultural taboo in conservative India, but a Bollywood filmmaker is hoping to usher in change with a light-hearted take on infertility and sperm donation.

“Vicky Donor”, a romantic comedy about a sought-after sperm donor at a fertility clinic, is part of a wave of recent films tackling subjects rarely addressed in Indian cinema – gay relationships, biopics on sex symbols and now sperm donation.

Apr 18, 2012

Bollywood film sheds inhibitions on sperm donation

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Talking about sex is still a cultural taboo in conservative India, but a Bollywood filmmaker is hoping to usher in change with a light-hearted take on infertility and sperm donation.

“Vicky Donor”, a romantic comedy about a sought-after sperm donor at a fertility clinic, is part of a wave of recent films tackling subjects rarely addressed in Indian cinema – gay relationships, biopics on sex symbols and now sperm donation.

Feb 20, 2012
via India Insight

Parents to get top marks for voting in UP

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Students at a Lucknow college will earn extra credit if they can get their mom and dad to vote in the Uttar Pradesh state elections this month.

Getting those 10 extra marks is no easy task. A girl student at Christ Church college said she would have to work hard to push her “lazy” mother to go out on polling day but it would be worth it.

Feb 7, 2012
via India Insight

Falak saga latest in India’s battle for its missing girls

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A two-year-old girl battling for life in a New Delhi hospital has put the media spotlight on a sordid tale of child abuse and prostitution in the world’s biggest democracy.

Three weeks ago, a toddler with severe injuries was brought to the hospital by a teenager claiming to be her mother. The child, later named Falak (sky) by nurses, was in critical condition, with human bite marks on her body.

Sep 29, 2011

Tribal areas come alive in 80-year-old’s debut book

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – It took more than three decades for Pakistan’s Jamil Ahmad to get published. The first draft of his musings on life in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan was written in the 1970s — and then forgotten.

In “The Wandering Falcon”, published earlier this year in India and due out in the United States next month, Ahmad gives readers a rare insight into a highly traditional, honour-bound culture in the region long before the Taliban arrived, relying on what he observed as a member of Pakistan’s civil service serving in Balochistan and other provinces.

Sep 29, 2011

Book Talk: Tribal areas come alive in 80-year-old’s debut

NEW DELHI, Sept 29 (Reuters) – It took more than three
decades for Pakistan’s Jamil Ahmad to get published. The first
draft of his musings on life in the tribal areas of Pakistan and
Afghanistan was written in the 1970s — and then forgotten.

In “The Wandering Falcon”, published earlier this year in
India and due out in the United States next month, Ahmad gives
readers a rare insight into a highly traditional, honour-bound
culture in the region long before the Taliban arrived, relying
on what he observed as a member of Pakistan’s civil service
serving in Balochistan and other provinces.

    • About Tony

      "Tony Tharakan is Editor, India Online and looks after the Reuters India website, managing the desk's 24/7 operations in New Delhi. He has been with Reuters since September 2006 and has previously worked with The Times of India and Press Trust of India. He holds post-graduate degrees in journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and in English from Hindu College, Delhi University."
      Joined Reuters:
      September 2006
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