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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 598,966 515,000  481,400 12
GNI per capita
 US $ 530 480 470 160
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on India

Update No: 074 - (26/03/10)

India Seeks Headley’s Extradition
The Indian government is writing to the U.S. Department of Justice arguing for extradition of David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-origin American citizen, who pleaded guilty to planning the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Headley was trained in Lashkar camps. The Indian government is urging for extradition to gain direct access to Headley. The Indian government will supposedly wait for a response from the Justice Department before sending a group of people including legal experts, police officials, and detectives to question Headley who is currently in federal custody in Chicago. According to the plea agreement, Headley has agreed, according to the regulations set by the U.S. Attorney’s office to testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held in the U.S. by way of deposition or video-conferencing.

In other updates on India’s policy to deal with militancy, the government has stopped a pullout of soldiers from Jammu and Kashmir following a rapid increase there of militants from Pakistan in recent months. In the last few months, India has been trying to reduce the number of security personnel in Kashmir, many of whom were transferred out of the state. But there is growing fear that further withdrawals would harm the security of the state.

Women’s Reservation Bill
The upper house of India's parliament has approved a bill to reserve a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women. This is a huge and long-overdue development to provide adequate representation to women in India’s legislature. The bill was approved with 186 members of the 245-seat house voting in its favour. While one voted against it, a number of small parties boycotted the vote. The bill was first proposed in 1996 but is only now receiving the support from India’s mainstream parties. At present women make up just 10% of the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha), and significantly fewer in state assemblies. Congress Party President, Sonia Gandhi has said she attaches the “highest importance” to the proposals and their passage would be a "gift to the women of India". The passage of the bill carries with it the hope of representing the interests of a large number of women and improving the general status of women in India.

India Invents Chili Grenade!
The Indian military has invented a new weapons against terrorism -- the world's hottest chili, the "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," found in the north-eastern states of India. The chili will be used to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects. Colonel R. Kalia, a defense spokesman from the state of Assam said that, the chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defense laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defense Research and Development Organization.”

China-India Trade
India is China's second largest trade partner in South Asia and the two countries together account for 40 per cent of the world's population. An India-China business luncheon meeting was organized in FICCI, where visiting Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu drew attention to the large reserves of economic potential between the two countries that could help further economic and business ties between them. China and India’s bilateral trade volume was placed at $260 million in 1990, and noted a spiralling increase to $52 billion in 2008. In the light of such giant leaps in trade, the 2010 target of $60 billion does not seem impossible. However, both countries need to deal with the two things: the knowledge gap and the trust deficit. There is a need for both the countries to diversify India’s trading potential and cooperate in sourcing hydrocarbons that could help both countries attain energy security at a reasonable price.

Reserve Bank of India Releases Financial Stability Report
India’s Reserve Bank of India, in its first financial stability report has noted that signs of recovery in growth are evident. The report has tried to make financial stability an intrinsic part of the policy framework. However, the RBI report also said that several factors including problems with inflation, capital flows and managing the government’s borrowing program could heavily influence financial stability. 

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