IBSA - India

Evolving HIV Strains Worry Indian Scientists

While India has drastically reduced the spread of HIV over the past decade, new strains of the virus that cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are troubling medical scientists in this country.

Badi sex workers await rehabilitation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Caste Blocks Revamp of Nepal’s Sex Workers

Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.

Refugees Dream of Return, Come Home to Nightmare

Krishnaveni Nakkeeran has fled the country of her birth twice and returned twice in the last two decades. The 36-year-old mother of four from the northern Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka first fled the bloody civil war to India when she was just 16 years old in 1990.

Smugglers Devastate Gulf of Mannar Marine Reserve

Forest officials of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve abutting the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka have reported a decline in marine wildlife, as smugglers exploiting lax conservation laws in the region tank up on protected species used in traditional Chinese medicines and fine dining.

India Serves Up Costly Cocktail of Vaccines

Ignoring widespread concern over the safety, efficacy and cost of pentavalent vaccines, India’s central health ministry has, this month, approved inclusion of the prophylactic cocktail in the universal immunisation programme in seven of its provinces.

Tribal Farming Beats Climate Change

Tribal farmer Harish Saraka has rediscovered the key to sustainable farming in this rain-dependent hinterland of eastern Odisha state – mixed cropping.

Cloning – Lifeline for Cashmere Shawl Industry

After scientists in Kashmir successfully cloned the pashmina goat, that produces the famous ‘cashmere’ wool, hopes are running high for the revival of the traditional shawl-making industry in this Indian state.

Indian Communists Lose Marx, and Hope

While India’s largest left outfit, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), was licking its electoral wounds, a newly-elected regime in West Bengal was busy chopping chapters on Marxism and the Bolshevik Revolution out of high school syllabi, in celebration of breaking CPI-M’s 34-year stronghold over the state.

Rising Inequality Could be Asia’s Undoing

While developing Asian countries have experienced robust growth – lifting living standards and reducing poverty – increasing wealth is fuelling income disparities and inequality, posing a major threat to the region’s stability, warns the Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s flagship report released Wednesday.

Cash-for-work schemes are greening arid areas. Credit: Keya Acharya/IPS

India’s Job Guarantee Scheme Under Strain

Standing on a patch of arid, degraded land, 100 km from southern Bangalore city, Ramapal, member of the ‘gram panchayat’ (local village administration), points to a roughly-dug canal feeding a narrow belt of green cultivation.

India’s IIT Elite Could Shape New ‘Asian Capitalism’

The rapid currents moving the centre of economic influence towards an emerging global order headquartered in Asia were evident at the PanIIT’s 2012 annual conference of alumni of the highly prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which took place in Singapore over the Easter weekend.

Trading Their Way Out of Trouble

Azhar Karimjee (52), an exporter based in Karachi, is eyeing the "huge market", comprised of the Indian middle class, for his Bermuda and cargo shorts and chino pants once trade links open between Pakistan and India.

‘Slum Cities’ Need Better Planning

Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo, the vibrant economic and administrative heart of the bustling island nation, is rapidly turning into a city of slums. Home to over 30 percent of the country’s population, one in every two people living in the Greater Colombo Area is a slum dweller.

The G20 is not representative of the WTO because the poorest countries have no say in setting the trade agenda. Credit: Kim Cloete/IPS

BRICS Ministers Say New Trade Narrative Sinks Development

Trade ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – say that at the G20 trade ministerial summit later this month in Mexico they will try to ensure that attempts by industrialised countries to frame a new trade agenda do not drown development-led trade liberalisation and the World Trade Organization talks.

China’s trade minister Chen Deming opposed sanctions against Iran when rising oil prices were hitting BRICS. Credit: World Economic Forum/CC-BY-SA-2.0

BRICS Tighten United Front

At their summit in the Indian capital on Thursday, leaders of the coalition known as BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – made several noteworthy decisions that experts say hint at the converging of economic and political interests of a disparate regional bloc.

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