India News Clips
figures for India’s 2014 general election
By Shashank Chouhan | March 5, 2014
Voting for the 2014 general election will begin
on April 7, the Election Commission said on
More than 814 million people — a number larger
than the population of Europe — will be eligible
to vote in the world’s biggest democratic
Voting will be held in nine stages, which will
be staggered until May 12, and results are due
to be announced on May 16. Elections to state
assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim
will be held simultaneously.
Around 930,000 polling stations will be set up
for the month-long election using electronic
voting machines, first introduced in 2004.
About 23 million eligible voters have been
enrolled in the 18 to 19 age group, nearly 3
percent of India’s voters.
Of India’s 814.5 million eligible voters, 28,314
identify themselves as transgender and their
gender is listed as “other”. There are 11,844
non-resident Indians registered to vote in the
election this year.
Since introducing photo voter ID cards and
electoral rolls in 2009, 98 percent of India’s
eligible voters have the former, 96 percent have
Electronic voting machine security includes:
transported under armed escort and stored in
strong rooms, with a double lock system and
guarded 24×7 by armed police, and CCTV coverage.
Also, parties/candidates allowed to keep a watch
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Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan calls Narendra
Modi a 'dictator'
By PTI | 25 Mar, 2014,
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
today slammed BJP's Prime Ministerial aspirant
Narendra Modi and dubbed him as a "dictator".
The BJP has nominated Modi as its candidate for
Prime Minister's post, but the Gujarat CM has so
far behaved as a "hukumshah" (dictator), he
Chavan was addressing a joint Congress-NCP
campaign rally here in southern Maharashtra.
The Congress leader said Modi coming to power at
the Centre would be "harmful" for the ...
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weather: how a bad monsoon could be good for
By Reuters Staff | March 7, 2014 | By Mayank
Bhardwaj and Jo Winterbottom
A bad monsoon in India is the one that fails to
deliver enough rain … most of the time. This
year, a lack of rainclouds could be the silver
lining that the government needs. India has no
place left to store more grain, and can ill
afford a hefty payout to farmers for the
truckloads of produce that another monsoon could
The annual four-month monsoon rains begin around
June 1. More than half of the country’s arable
land relies on the monsoon to grow the crops
that help feed the world’s second-biggest
country by population and put India’s rice and
sugar on the global market.
But India’s last drought was five years ago.
Food stocks have swelled so much since then that
government warehouses, which house the grain
sold at very low prices to the poor, are
overflowing. Much is wasted, rotting or eaten by
rats. The last thing that the government needs
is another big crop yield.
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economies grow up, 10 upstarts emerge: Report
By AFP | 25 Mar, 2014,
Indonesia, Bangladesh and Ethiopia are among 10
countries set to take over as emerging economies
from the powerful BRICS nations as they struggle
with growing pains, a French credit body said on
"After 10 years of
frenetic growth" the big five emerging economies
of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
-- the BRICS -- "are slowing down sharply," the
French trade credit and insurance group Coface
In a report entitled "Coface identifies 10
emerging countries hot on the heels of the BRICS,"
the organisation said that average economic
growth by the BRICS this year would be 3.2
percentage points less than the average in the
last 10 years.
But "at the same time, other emerging countries
are accelerating their development," it said.
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Tony Fernandes: Entire
Indian aviation industry has tried to block
By ET Now | 25 Mar, 2014, 02.38AM IST | From
a flying licence in India has been tough:
"In any country that we have gone, we have never
experienced an industry that has ganged up
against us," AirAsia's Tony Fernandes said.
By: Uttkarsh Chaturvedi
AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes said Indian
carriers have ganged up to try and block his
India venture and that he's shocked by the
intensity of their antagonism. "I have never
experienced this in my life, where the entire
aviation industry has tried to block us. We have
been sued and taken to court by every person I
know," Fernandes told ET NOW on the sidelines of
a Credit Suisse conference in Hong Kong. The
time taken to obtain a flying licence also seems
to have unsettled Fernandes, who had been
looking to start operations in India by the end
of December last year. For that reason, he
doesn't want to put a date on when the airline
will start flying.
"Right now, the key is to get the licence and
until I get a licence I can't say when we are
going to really start," Fernandes said. True to
form, he couldn't resist the occasion to get in
a few plugs for AirAsia India, his joint venture
with the Tata Group. "It's been incredibly tough
and I think it will be exciting for the Indian
consumer as it is very clear that many players
don't want us to start, which means we must be
quite good," said Fernandes, an inveterate
Twitter user who celebrated the delivery of
AirAsia India's first plane in India on Saturday
in typically exuberant fashion.
IndiGo, India's largest carrier by market share,
and other airlines had written to the aviation
regulator opposing AirAsia's application.
IndiGo's primary objection was that AirAsia was
getting into India by using foreign direct
investment rules that were primarily aimed at
giving a lifeline to debt-laden domestic
carriers, rather than establishing new ventures.
The Federation of Indian Airlines also opposed
the move, saying AirAsia's entry would disturb
the industry's equilibrium. The Directorate
General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA), the
regulator, rejected both objections in February.
The AirAsia chief admitted that there could be
some heartburn due to the Tatas having entered
into two aviation joint ventures, a low-fare
operation with AirAsia and a full-service one
with Singapore Airlines. "I think there will be
some cannibalisation and it is really for the
Tatas to decide. They have to define their model
(with SIA) clearly, otherwise there will be
cannibalisation," he said.
However, AirAsia India will make a mark once it
starts operations as the country doesn't have
any truly low-fare carriers, he said. "I don't
think there is any low-cost carrier in India;
look at the fares charged by IndiGo and
Spice-Jet," he said. "Their average fares are
very high, and I don't think the common man has
benefited from the revolution. There is no
low-cost carrier here in India. Air Deccan was
the last one, but it had an unsustainable
He added, referring to the arrival of the
carrier's first Airbus A320 in Chennai, "I am
proud to see the aircraft on Indian soil. I
think it will be exciting for the Indian
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