20 August 2017

Train derails in northern India, killing at least 23

Indian police watch as rescue work is in progress near the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express after an accident near Khatauli, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Several coaches of the passenger train derailed, causing fatalities and injuries in northern India on Saturday, officials said.
Rescuers using cutting torchers and cranes worked through the night to pull apart 14 coaches of a crowded train that went off the tracks in northern India, killing 23 people and injuring more than 80 others, officials said Sunday.

Two of the coaches piled on top of one another, while 12 others toppled off the tracks, said Arvind Kumar, a top official in Uttar Pradesh state, where the train derailed overnight.

Railway police and local volunteers helped pull passengers out of the upturned coaches of the Kalinga-Utkal Express, which was travelling to the Hindu holy city of Haridwar from the temple town of Puri, in the eastern state of Orissa.

18 August 2017

Indian IT company Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigns

The CEO of India-based outsourcing and information technology company Infosys, Vishal Sikka, has resigned following differences with some founders of the company, including N.R. Narayana Murthy.

The Infosys board of directors accepted Sikka’s resignation and appointed U.B. Pravin Rao as interim CEO and managing director, a company statement said Friday.

In his notice to the board, Sikka said he was leaving because of “a continuous stream of distractions and disruptions” that were hindering management of the company.

17 August 2017

Flooding maroons people in Indian states, eases in Nepal

Flood affected villagers wait for relief material on a broken road washed away by floodwaters in Morigaon district, east of Gauhati, northeastern state of Assam, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Deadly landslides and flooding are common across South Asia during the summer monsoon season that stretches from June to September.
Monsoon flooding is easing in Nepal, but the water flowing downriver has worsened floods in northern India and marooned thousands of villagers across the border, officials said Thursday.

The existing flood situation was aggravated in Uttar Pradesh state after three rivers became swelled with the waters from Nepal, said disaster relief official Mohammad Zameer Ahmad. At least six deaths have occurred since Wednesday.

Ahmad said Thursday that over 300 villages were marooned in no time and thousands of people were forced to move to higher ground.

China, India soldiers hurl stones at each other in Kashmir

In this Sunday, June 17, 2016, photo, an Indian tourist rides on a horse back at the Pangong lake high up in Ladahak region of India. The Chinese soldiers hurled stones while attempting to enter Ladakh region near Pangong Lake on Tuesday but were confronted by Indian soldiers, said a top police officer. The officer said Indian soldiers retaliated but neither side used guns. There was immediately no comment from China.
Indian and Chinese soldiers yelled and hurled stones at one another high in the Himalayas in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Indian officials said Wednesday, potentially escalating tensions between two nations already engaged in a lengthy border standoff elsewhere.

The Chinese soldiers hurled stones while attempting to enter Ladakh region near Pangong Lake on Tuesday but were confronted by Indian soldiers, said a top police officer. The officer said Indian soldiers retaliated but neither side used guns.

11 August 2017

Key events in India-Pakistan relations since Partition

In this Feb. 20, 1999, file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, left, and his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee wave upon Vajpayee’s arrival in Wagha border, 28 kilometers (17 miles) from Lahore, Pakistan. Vajpayee rode a bus to the Pakistani city of Lahore to meet with Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, and sign a major peace accord.
India and Pakistan have had testy relations at best since independence. Some key dates that helped define the South Asian nations:

August 1947 - Britain ends its colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent, which becomes two independent nations — Hindu-majority, but secularly governed India and the Islamic republic of Pakistan. The division, widely known as Partition, sparks massive rioting that kills up to 1 million, while another 15 million flee their homes in one of the world’s largest human migrations.

10 August 2017

AP Explains: 70 years of India-Pakistan tensions unresolved

In this June 10, 1947 file photo, Viceroy of India Lord Louis Mountbatten, right, speaks with Muslim League leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah during conferences on India’s division in New Delhi. Jinnah appealed to Indians to carry out peacefully the British plan for dividing the country. The Muslim League formally adopted the plan on the night of June 9. As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.
When the British ended two centuries of colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, they left a jigsaw legacy — the vast country of India flanked on either side by a newly created Pakistan split in two parts. Excitement over independence was quickly overshadowed by some of the worst bloodletting the world has ever seen, leaving up to 1 million people dead as gangs of Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other.

As the 70th anniversary of India-Pakistan Partition comes up next week, relations between the two nations are as broken as ever. In some ways, their violent birth pangs dictated their future course through suspicion and animosity.

Here’s a look at the troubled legacy of Partition:

Remembering Partition: 70 years since India-Pakistan divide

Survivors from both India and Pakistan, from left to right: Sohinder Nath Chopra in New Delhi; Mohammad Ishaq in Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Shamsul Nisa, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir; Krishen Khanna, in New Delhi; Shamim Uddin, in Karachi, Pakistan; Hira Gulrajani in New Delhi; Akhtari Begum in Lahore, Pakistan. It’s been 70 years since India and Pakistan were carved from the former British Empire as independent nations. Overnight, Hindu and Muslim neighbors became fearful of one another. Here, survivors from both India and Pakistan recall living through that uneasy time, and consider what it meant to the future of the two countries.
It’s been 70 years since India and Pakistan were carved from the former British Empire as independent nations, a process that triggered one of the largest human migrations in history. Overnight, Hindu and Muslim neighbors became fearful of one another. Mob violence broke out, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. Some 12 million people fled their homes — including Hindus afraid they would not be welcome in the newly declared Islamic state of Pakistan, and Muslims worried they’d suffer at the hands of India’s Hindu majority.

Here, survivors from both India and Pakistan recall living through that uneasy time, and consider what it meant to the future of the two countries.

8 August 2017

7 decades into Indian democracy, a royal palace thrives

This March 6, 2007 photo, shows a general view of the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. The 347-room palace, considered one of the world’s fanciest residences, was used as the primary location for “Viceroy House,” a film by director Gurinder Chadha. The movie details the last days of the British Empire in India and the bloody partition with what became Pakistan in 1947.
In the summer of 1944, hundreds of royals gathered for the opening of Umaid Bhawan Palace, a magnificent sandstone edifice that dominates the skyline in India’s northwestern city of Jodhpur. It was the last of its kind.

Three years later, India was free from British colonial rule, and more than 500 princely states — the semi-sovereign principalities ruled by royal clans — faced an uncertain future. Most have faded into obscurity, but the family that built this palace continues to thrive — in part by converting a section of it into a hotel.

2 August 2017

India’s central bank cuts key lending rate to 6 percent

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, looks on during a press conference in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. India’s central bank Wednesday cuts its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, raising hopes of lower borrowing costs for households as inflation ebbs.
India’s central bank cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, raising hopes of lower borrowing costs for households as inflation ebbs.

The announcement by the Reserve Bank of India reduced to 6 percent its repo rate, the interest rate it charges on lending to commercial banks.

India’s inflation rate declined to a record low of 1.54 percent in June, while the annual rate of growth in factory output fell to 1.7 percent in May from 8 percent in the same month a year earlier.