India in 2 minutes

Delhi's oldest voter dies

Mr Bachan Singh, who made news when he voted at a polling booth in Delhi's Sant Garh this year in the general elections, died on Monday at the age of 111.

He was felicitated as the oldest voter by Delhi's chief electoral officer.

Mr Singh, who used to work as a carpenter, was born in 1907 in pre-independent India - in Pind-Alawalpur in Gurdaspur, Punjab.

BBC to honour sportswomen

The BBC has announced a new sports award to celebrate and honour India's finest sportswomen - with the winner chosen by the fans.

The BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2019 will be chosen from a shortlist put together by a jury of sports journalists. Then the fans will vote for their favourite. The winner will be announced in March.

IMF calls for "urgent" action amid economic slowdown

India must take steps quickly to reverse the slowdown of an economy that has been one of the engines of global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday.

Declining consumption and investment and falling tax revenue have combined with other factors to put the brakes on one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the IMF said in its annual review.

After lifting millions out of poverty, "India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown," the IMF's Ranil Salgado said.

Mumbai girl survives acid attack led by former principal

A 16-year-old Mumbai college student was allegedly attacked with acid by the former principal and three others from her educational institution but managed to escape major injury.

The incident happened last Sunday morning when she was on her way from Mahim to her home in Kanjurmarg. The accused threw acid at her injuring her in the chest and leg. She was rushed to Sion Hospital and discharged after primary treatment.

Shringla to be new Foreign Secretary

India's ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary replacing Vijay Keshav Gokhale.

He will take over next month after the completion of Gokhale's two-year term.

Leander to quit in 2020

Veteran tennis player Leander Paes announced on Wednesday that 2020 will be his "farewell year" as a professional.

The 46-year-old, who started his professional career in 1991, has won 18 doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and a bronze in the singles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Big plan to tackle water shortage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a Rs60 billion (S$1.13 billion) plan to tackle water shortages in the country's seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.

India, the world's second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy.

Almost every sector of the US$2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India's 1.3 billion people.

IAF to decommission MiG-27

After a series of crashes, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to finally decommission its MiG-27s with the sole remaining squadron in Rajasthan's Jodhpur flying its last sortie today.

A senior IAF officer said the squadron of seven MiG-27 fighters will have its last sortie from Jodhpur Air Base. "It will be history as no other country operates the MiG-27 now," he said. The MiG-27 ground strike aircraft, named "Bahadur" in India, was procured in the 1980s from the then Soviet Union.

Delhi records longest cold day spell since 1997

Extreme cold conditions continued in the national capital on Wednesday with the mercury at 5.4 deg C. "Delhi has recorded the longest and extremely cold day spell in December since 1997," the India Meteorological Department said.

While Delhi witnessed 17 cold days in December 1997, this time it has recorded 10 cold days in a row. In December 2014, the capital saw severe cold for eight consecutive days.

Rohtang tunnel now Atal Tunnel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that the Rohtang tunnel, which connects Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and Manali with Leh will now be known as the "Atal Tunnel'".

He made the announcement on the occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying "this is a small gift from the government to the people of Himachal on Atalji's birthday."

Mr Vajpayee had laid the foundation stone of the tunnel in 2003.

Farmers' children win biggest hackathon

A group of youth, all hailing from farming backgrounds, have won India's biggest artificial intelligence and blockchain hackathon, grabbing an all-paid trip to Seattle in the United States along with the Rs5 lakh grand prize.

They won the Icertis-organised event, which attracted nearly 10,000 participants from all over the country, in Pune with the innovative solution called BlockchainMegaminds which can analyse crop distress and weather patterns.


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