Indian company to outsource its outsourcing. Outsourcing in Ghana, where the government takes English very seriously indeed. Finally, Native American outsourcing.
Astronaut Sunita Williams (more links to pictures on the bottom right hand corner) returns to her ancestral hometown of Ahmedabad, India, after breaking multiple records in Space, where she stayed for a duration of 194 days, ran the Boston Marathon, and Space Walked for 22 hours and 27 minutes.
Twin blasts rocked the city of Hyderabad late on Saturday evening killing at least 41 people, and wounding dozens others, while 19 other unexploded devices were found a day after. The hand of a Bangladeshi Terror group, perhaps the same one that was responsible for the Mecca Masjid blasts, may be behind the killings.
Where the Engineers Are - "To guide education policy and maintain its innovation leadership, the United States must acquire an accurate understanding of the quantity and quality of engineering graduates in India and China."
The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
The largest democracy in the world celebrates its 60th anniversary, in a year which saw horrendous floods, the election of its first woman president (previously mentioned here), the signing of the 123 Nuclear Agreement, and the recent victory over England after a span of 21 years.
Taslima Nasrin, the Bangladeshi writer who was manhandled on Thursday, has been threatened with an issue of a Fatwa today, by the followers of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party, while other muslims have come to her defence.
Life beneath Antarctic ice, The Fascinating, Frightening World of Insects, Ingmar Bergman, Turning Points-A timeline of the conflicts, trends and transformations that helped shape modern India, Heatwave in Europe and other photo essays from Time/CNN.
Bonalu (or Bonam in short, which means Meal in Telegu, the official language of Andhra Pradesh), is the festival celebrated in honour of the Goddess Mahankali, in the month of July/August, by women who carry a series of pots on their heads, filled with offerings of rice and milk, led by the Potharaju (image).
As of yesterday, Dr. Mohammed Haneef was released from jail, amidst speculation that his incarceration had been unjust, and is on his way back home. It is believed that once he is ready, there will be a lucrative deal waiting for him if he wishes to tell his story (pdf of his transcript of detention), but for now, his wife, Firdaus Ashriya, is happy to have her husband back home.
India elects the first woman President. Pratibha Patil, most recently Governer of of the western desert state of Rajasthan has just been elected The President of the Republic of India. While outgoing President APJ Abdul Kalam retains popularity he was unwilling to continue for a second term, political considerations led to a considerable struggle for who would be India's next President. Primarily a figurehead, the new head of state, Ms Patil does not have her country's unanimous support or approval diluting the landmark achievement for women in India.
The conservative city of Rajkot (Gujarat, India) received something of a shock this week when Pooja Chauhan, 22, stripped to her "inner-wear" and walked through town, brandishing a baseball bat. She was protesting against the mental and physical harassment she's had to endure at the hands of her husband and in-laws for dowry, and for having borne a daughter, and also to denounce the local police's inactivity despite her repeated complaints. Controversy, video, her side, follow-up.
After Kwai Chung Caine and the Phantom - The Sadhu - the story of one man's choice between his spiritual oath and his human instincts. Brought to you by Virgin Comics. PDF of first issue.
Not cringing enough? This gallery of photos of street dentists in India should solve that problem for you.
Ryan Lobo is a photographer and writer who's work shows you an unique glimpse of India and other places.
The Wagah border, that separates the countries of Pakistan and India, is the scene of some very eccentric pomp and ceremony during the lowering of the flags on either side, and the opening and closing of the gates of the opposing forces.
Being a huge fan of the late, great Mr Harrison, I was hunting around youtube and found this video of a sitar lesson... which led me to this stunning performance by Ravi Shankar on Dick Cavett's show. [Previously]
Bombs exploded outside the Mecca Masjid today as people were offering their Friday Prayers. Out of the more than 8,000 worshippers present, a total of 12 have been reported dead, and 50 injured. Also, this comes in the wake of the violence that has been taking place in the State of Punjab.
The Daily Dump [video] is an open source design for a terracotta home composting unit that aims to provide manifold benefits - for potters, for homemakers, and also for civil society, particularly in a country where waste removal isn't as regular or reliable a service. How to's here.
The Idol Thief "Vaman Ghiya operated one of the most extensive and sophisticated clandestine antiquities rings in history, and he had grown rich in the past three decades by smuggling thousands of Indian antiques to auction houses and private collectors in the West."
Unusual ways of getting high: deliberately being bitten on the tongue by a cobra; injecting spider venom.
Proceedings against MF Husain have been stayed in India's Supreme Court. A painting by the celebrated Muslim artist, apparently depicting Mother India as a nude, led Hindus to bring an obscenity case and proceedings to seize his Mumbai property were initiated. However his lawyers moved swiftly to frustrate the action, transferring the property into his son's name and then seeking the High Court ruling. Hindus have taken offense at previous paintings by Husain, depicting Hindu deities in allegedly obscene ways. Others disagree.
Shaadi mubarak! The most beautiful woman in the world was married today. Aishwarya Rai and Abshishek Bachchan, two of India's most popular actors, tied the knot in Mumbai, amid tight security. While a comparatively modest affair, it was not without drama. Oh, you weren't invited? Well, you can still watch the bride and groom dance -- with the father-in-law, too.
Introduced to Western culture by the Beatles in their single Norwegian Wood, the sitar has featured prominently in North Indian classical music for centuries. Princeton-based computer scientist Ajay Kapur updates the instrument with his ESitar, an audio and video controller that uses gesture input (PDF) and machine learning algorithms to facilitate joining the computer with Ajay in his sitar performance. Undergraduate engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania work from the other direction, building RAVI-bot, an award-winning, self-playing robotic sitar (YouTube) programmed to generate music from classical Raga scales and melodies all on its own. For those in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out a live performance of RAVI-bot at the local Klein Art Gallery.
Three million long-haul truckers traverse India's 8,000-kilometer highway network for months at a time. According to studies, more than two-thirds of those men are having frequent unprotected sex, and it's a big problem. Seena Taan Ke is a campaign that's underway to create AIDS/HIV awareness among the truckers, featuring Bollywood celebrities as well as Hollywood celebrity Richard Gere. It's a good thing for a good cause. Well, up until Richard got a little frisky onstage and planted some kisses on Big Brother winner/Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. Crowds of Indians are now burning effigies of both Gere and Shetty in protest. "Such a public display is not part of Indian tradition." said the spokesman for Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata. Well, so much for AIDS awareness for truckers.
FabIndia becomes a Harvard Business Case study It's a brand that does not advertise. It, in fact, celebrates the success of its copycats. And now Fabindia, the craft-conscious enterprise, is a Harvard Business School (HBS) case study. "Founded in 1960, Fabindia makes the cut for being an example of a corporation that does not just aim to do well, but does good too. "A strong mission can be both an opportunity and a constraint on the growth of a firm," points out Dr Khaire. However, the private retailer's unique value proposition has not come in the way of it being recognised as big brand today. And this in spite of the fact that Fabindia has never advertised, points out Dr Khaire."
The Problem of the Rupee. Starting off as a silver-based unit of currency by the 15th century ruler, Sher Shah Suri, the Rupee (wiki) has had a long and chequered history encompassing most of Asian and East-African colonial history. Issued by the British, the French, the Dutch, the Japanese, the Portuguese, the Germans and even the Danish, the rupee as a brand-name existed far beyond India, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka Seychelles or the Mauritius. (more inside)
Vande Matram, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, and not Rabindranath Tagore (as is sometimes believed), is the National Song of India, and not the National Anthem (which is another misconception).
The Traffic Police of Mumbai (formerly Bombay, India), one of the most densely populated and traffic-ridden cities in the world, are becoming media savvy. They post billboards, answer traffic complaints sent via sms and have even started a scare campaign against drunk driving that places bloody drink coasters in bars. They are definitely taking their jobs seriously. And so far, some Mumbaikars seem pretty happy with their work.
It is spring here in India, and Ugadi (the Spring Festival) is being celebrated with much pomp and ceremony throughout the southern part of the country. In Maharashtra, the same festival is referred to as Gudi Padwa.
Indian police smell pretty. Police in an Indian province are airing a new strategy for crime fighting and community relations: "Police in India’s Western state of Gujarat are to wear new uniforms impregnated with the fragrance of flowers and citrus to help improve their image."
Super Indian: Superhero comics from the culture that invented the genre. Check out Nagraj (and Nagrani?), Tiranga, and Shakti. The somewhat less muscular Chacha Chaudhary. And... whatever is happening here. Meanwhile fun British rich guy Richard Branson brings you Indian-themed comics Ramayan 3392 A.D., Snake Woman (another Naga), Devi and The Sadhu. previously. Dishoom!
When will Indians and Pakistanis release such a video on YouTube?
Fantastic dancing and singing.
It seems apropos today to post about Bollywood and its style of romance and love. Songs are often the equivalent of a bedroom scene, a fact I didn't believe until it was pointed out to me that there were numerous instances of extremely suggestive songs followed by pregnancy. Bollywood also uses songs to arouse patriotic fervour, a trait that master music director A.R. Rahman takes to new heights with his release of the classics Vande Mataram [Motherland, I salute thee] and Jana Gana Mana [India's national anthem]. But even before him, there were classics of public service advertising such as "Mile sur tera hamara..." a fuzzy video but inspiring nonetheless of the myriads of voices and languages spoken in India. Other loves that hindi cinema celebrates through its songs is that of a mother for a child, god, love across cultural boundaries and what is politely termed as "conjugal love".
Kumbh Mela. Currently under way in Allahabad, India, the three-yearly Kumbh Mela festival is the largest gathering of people on the planet, as up to 70 million Hindus converge to wash away their sins where droplets of the nectar of immortality are said to have been spilt when the gods & demons struggled over it. Of perennial interest to foreigners are the hordes of sadhus (often naked, ascetic holy men) who attend, not always without incident. Recently, however, an Australian historian has cast doubt on the supposedly ancient nature of the mass gathering, suggesting that it was largely invented as a way of circumventing British control following the unsuccessful Indian Mutiny of 1857. [reg for final link: mefi / mefi]
Everyone’s got one. From the boys and girls who go to school, to the working women and men of India, who depend on the Dabba Wallahs to bring them their meals. The margin of error for these tiffin carriers has been clocked at an astonishing 99.9999999%, which has earned them the Sigma 6 rating, and has made them popular in other parts of the world.