India in 2 minutes

Broke tourists rescued from cave

Officials have rescued six tourists who were living in a cave in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, after they were stranded in India with very little money following the coronavirus lockdown.

The four men and two women - from Ukraine, the United States, Turkey, France and Nepal - had been living in small hotels and a private lodge before they moved to the cave and lived in it for 25 days.

Local people spotted them and informed the police. The six have tested negative for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine.

Assamese man walks 1,500km to reach home

Amid the nationwide lockdown, a 45-year-old migrant worker reached his house in Assam last Sunday after 24 days and a 2,890km trip during which he had to walk about 1,500km.

Mr Jadav Gogoi, who was working as a security guard in Rajkot, a city in Gujarat, is now in quarantine at the civil hospital in Nagaon.

UP cop donates blood for woman's delivery

Constable Harendra Kumar, a policeman in Uttar Pradesh, is being hailed as a hero on Twitter after he stepped up to donate blood to a woman during childbirth.

None of her relatives, including her husband, could reach a hospital in Noida on April 20, due to the nationwide lockdown

20 held for stopping doctor's funeral in Chennai

At least 20 people have been arrested in Chennai for violently preventing the burial of a prominent doctor who died of Covid-19.

Dr Simon Hercules' friends and family members were attacked on Sunday when they took his body to a burial ground in the city.

One of his friends had to quietly bury him in the early hours of Monday without any family members present.

According to the police, people in the burial ground's vicinity were worried that burying Covid-19 patients there would spread the virus.

Mallya loses UK appeal over extradition

Former billionaire Vijay Mallya lost a bid at a London appeal court to block his extradition to India, putting him one step closer to facing fraud and money-laundering charges in his home country.

The court upheld a 2018 ruling to send him back to India over allegations that Mallya made a number of misrepresentations leading to the 2012 collapse of his company, Kingfisher Airlines.

Top cinema chain PVR may run into issues

If the Covid-19 outbreak is not under control within the next three months, one of the largest cinema operators in India, PVR, is likely to run into problems without government assistance, according to its chairman and managing director.

"Our fixed costs are controllable and non-controllable," PVR's Ajay Bijli told CNBC on Wednesday. PVR says it operates 821 screens in 70 cities across India and Sri Lanka.

Monkey appears to fly kite

A video going viral in India shows a monkey on a rooftop seemingly controlling and then reeling in a kite with expertise to whoops from onlookers below.

"Evolution happening fast due to lockdown," joked Indian Forest Service officer Susanta Nanda with a laughing emoji while sharing the video. "Yes it's a monkey for sure."

Mr Shumanyu Goel, 24, filmed the clip from the window of his home in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, recently.

"It was an unbelievable act," he said of the clever primate.

Kerala CM denies daughter's links with US firm

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said he had nothing to hide on the transfer of coronavirus data to Sprinklr, a United States-based PR and marketing company.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala moved the Kerala High Court demanding cancellation of the Sprinklr contract.

The party claimed that Mr Vijayan's daughter Veena Thayikkandiyil, who runs an IT company in Bengaluru, had close links with Sprinklr and she had met Sprinklr CEO Ragi Thomas six times in the US.

After Goa, Manipur claims to be coronavirus free

Manipur became the second state after Goa to be coronavirus-free after its last patient was discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

According to Manipur Health and Family Welfare Department's Additional Director Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang, the state had two confirmed Covid-19 cases, but both have recovered and returned home. Goa reported being coronavirus-free on Monday.

Electric vehicle sales jump

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in India have risen sharply over the year, with two-wheeled modes of transport accounting for the vast majority of sales in the world's second-most-populous country.

Sales of EVs in the country hit 156,000 in the 2019-20 financial year, figures from the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles showed on Monday, up from 130,000 the previous year.

Researchers name snake after Harry Potter character

Researchers in India have named a new species of green pit viper after Salazar Slytherin, co-founder of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

In the Harry Potter books, Slytherin was known for his ability to talk to snakes.

Facebook spending US$5.7 billion to capitalise on Internet boom

Facebook is spending billions of dollars for a stake in India's largest mobile operator and teaming up with the country's richest man to tap into an Internet boom.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, will see the United States company invest US$5.7 billion for a 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, the digital technology arm of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Karnataka minister adopts elephant

Karnataka Minister for Cooperation S.T. Somashekar Gowda has adopted an elephant at the Mysuru zoo for a year.

"Mr Gowda visited the zoo (at the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens) to see the preparedness to protect the animals from coronavirus and he went on to adopt five-year-old Chamundi," zoo official Ajit Kulkarni said.

Costing Rs1.75 lakh, the adoption will last till April 21, 2021.

Mr Gowda also donated Rs 25,000 to feed 16 tigers for a day.

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