Modi holds first public event in Kashmir since clampdown

Modi holds first public event in Kashmir since clampdown

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday promised peace and development for Jammu and Kashmir during his first public event in the territory since its sweeping security clampdown nearly three years ago.

Tight security was in place for his appearance at Palli village in Jammu. As he inaugurated new road and hydropower projects, Mr Modi told the gathered crowd of thousands that his government had put the restive region on the path to prosperity.

Finance minister says India needs Russian help

India wants to be strong friends with the "liberal world" but it needs Russia's assistance to defend its borders, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Bloomberg in an interview in Washington.

India procures most of its military hardware from Russia and in recent weeks has rejected appeals from Western nations to limit bilateral relations with Moscow in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Covid vaccines for children get emergency use authorisation

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Tuesday granted emergency use authorisation to local Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin (for children between ages six and 12) and Corbevax (for those aged between five and 12).

The approval came amid an uptick in Covid-19 cases in schools.

World's largest vaccine maker halts AstraZeneca jab production

The world's largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, has halted production of the locally made version of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to falling demand.

The Serum Institute has produced more than one billion doses of Covishield - its version of the AstraZeneca jab - and is a major supplier to the Covax global inoculation programme for poorer countries.

There is now a global glut of coronavirus vaccines.

India again tells Tesla to make electric cars locally

India has once again called upon billionaire Elon Musk to manufacture Tesla cars locally instead of selling China-made electric vehicles (EVs) in the world's fourth-largest autos market as demand for clean transport surges.

"If Elon Musk is ready to manufacture Tesla in India, there is no problem," Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. But manufacturing cars in China and selling them in India is not a "good proposition."

Discussions between Tesla and the Indian government have come to a standstill over import taxes and a local factory.

CBI arrests three in Hanskhali gang-rape and murder case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday arrested three men on charges of destroying evidence and threatening the family of the 14-year-old girl who died on April 5 after an alleged gang rape at Hanskhali in Bengal's Nadia district.

Surajit Roy, Akash Garai and Dipto Gayali, were brought before a court in Ranaghat on Sunday and remanded in CBI custody.

Lawyers representing the central probe agency told the court that after the gang rape, the three threatened the girl's parents with dire consequences if they took her to a doctor and destroyed evidence after her body was forcefully cremated at a village crematorium on April 5.

Brothers die after accidental contact with electric cables

Two farmers died in Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit on Monday after an iron bar they were using to open a canal inlet came into contact with a high-voltage power line.

Police said Mr Rajendra Prasad, 55, and Mr Rameshwar Dayal, 50, were electrocuted to death on the spot in Lalor Gujranpur village.

Ambani scraps US$4.4 billion deal that set up clash with Bezos

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani has abandoned a plan to buy a teetering Indian retailer amid protracted legal challenges from, potentially ending one episode of the broader clash between the two titans to control the India's billion-people-plus market.

In a filing on Saturday, Reliance Industries said its proposal to acquire certain assets of Mumbai-based Future Group - which ran the nation's biggest retail grocery chain before the pandemic struck - "cannot be implemented" after its flagship firm Future Retail failed to win the approval of its secured creditors for the deal.

Punjab man's prized horse turns out to have been dyed

A man in Punjab was duped of Rs22.65 lakh ($41,000) by traders who sold him a horse that later turned out to be dyed black.

Cloth merchant Ramesh Kumar from Sunam town in Sangrur district complained to the police that he was duped by horse traders Jatinder Pal Singh Sekhon, Lakhwinder Singh and Lachra Khan who sold him a "Marwari breed" stallion - a rare breed of horse from the Marwar (or Jodhpur) region of Rajasthan.

When he gave the horse a bath, the dye disappeared and revealed its true red coat. Mr Kumar had bought the "black horse" to start a stud farm.

Police registered a case against the traders, who allegedly cheated eight other people in the same manner.

Jamtara becomes India's first district with library in every village

Jamtara in Jharkhand has become the first district in India where all villages have community libraries.

The district has a population of about 800,000 and 118 villages. The libraries are open from 9am to 5pm and their details, GPS location, photographs and contact numbers are provided on the district's website.

Heatwave threatens residents and crucial wheat harvest

A record-breaking heatwave in India exposing hundreds of millions to dangerous temperatures is damaging the country's wheat harvest, which experts say could hit countries seeking to make up imports of the food staple from conflict-riven Ukraine.

With some states in India's breadbasket northern and central regions seeing forecasts with highs of 48 deg C this week, observers fear a range of lasting impacts, both local and international, from the hot spell.

Air India proposes to buy over AirAsia India

Tata Group-owned Air India has proposed to buy the entire equity share capital of low-cost carrier AirAsia India, in which Tata has a majority stake, to merge into a single airline, according to an application with India's competition commission.

Tata bought state-run carrier Air India in a US$2.4 billion equity-and-debt deal, regaining ownership of what used to be India's flagship carrier after nearly 70 years. Tata Sons has an 83.67% stake in AirAsia India.

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