India’s Affinity with Africa – A Question of Self Interest?

According to the International Energy Agency, India’s energy needs – fueled by 8% annual economic growth – are projected to double by the year 2030.  Moreover, India is expected to become the biggest net importer of oil by the year 2025, after the United States and China.   

In an attempt to secure energy resources for its buxom economy, India is courting resource-rich Africa with the long-term intent of ousting China’s influence in the region.  In fact, this upcoming April 8th and 9th, New Delhi will be hosting its first ever India-Africa heads of state meeting in the hopes of strengtening ties and heightening trade.  There is also, however, another prospect on the horizon:

But Africa offers more than just oil. Chalking up close to 6 percent economic growth in 2007, the continent could provide a ready-made market for Indian products, like Tata Motors’ ultra-cheap $2,500 Nano cars due to be launched in October.

In the words of Manmohan Singh, India’s interest in Africa extends beyond these factors as well (read more after the jump): Continue reading

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2nd is the best … India to move to #2 in mobile phone users

According to TRAI, India is positioned to have the second largest number of wireless phone users in the world behind China. Even more relevant, is the fact that India is estimated to have the fastest growth rate in this market — including China — which means that other sectors that rely on mobile phones, like banking, are likely to grow substantially as well. Much of this push can be credited to the downward pressures on pricing that have occurred over the last twelve months, and the increasingly affordable state of mobile technologies.

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Headlines of interest:

A budgetary allocation for the welfare of minorities in the union budget for the financial year 2008-09 is far short of expectations, say Muslim organisations, who recently held a demonstration in the Indian capital to demand a better deal from the government.

Communalism as an ideology in India is surging forward despite the presence of an avowedly secular government at the centre. There may not have been spectacular occurrences of violence since the new government came to power in 2004, but minorities continue to live in an atmosphere of insecurity.

India lags behind China in spending on research and development work as well as number of scientific researchers, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal informed the RS.

Legally, a Hindu bridegroom should be aged 21 and a bride 18. However, several girls over 15 but under 18 elope to marry men of their choice. In many cases, the boy is subsequently arrested and charged with rape and kidnapping. What does the court do in such circumstances?

Third is the one with the hairy chest

A new documentary made on the precarious situation of the American education system places a large amount of emphasis on how the quality of Indian and Chinese students far surpass those of America and that this situation will pose a serious threat to US economic and technological prominence.

High school often is measured by years or events, but across many nations, there is a common factor: Every student has 2 million minutes from the time he or she leaves eighth grade until high school graduation.

What happens — and doesn’t happen — in that span of time in the U.S., China, and India is the subject of the documentary Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination, conceived by Robert A. Compton, who also was the executive director.

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