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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: 078 - (28/07/10)

UK Agrees to Export Civil-Nuclear Technology
Britain’s Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government plans to allow the export of U.K.’s civil nuclear technology and expertise to India for the first time. Following a meeting India's Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Srikumar Banerjee, Cable said the two countries were looking to strengthen their “civil nuclear partnership.” Cable also stated that the U.K. was a global leader in the civil nuclear industry and British companies such as Serco Group PLC (SRP.LN) and Rolls-Royce Group (RR.LN) could do a large amount of business in India. Cable is in India as part of the U.K. government’s delegation to promote trade-ties between the two countries. Both sides have agreed to hold annual meetings between their nuclear scientists to discuss their research programs and begin working closely with each other’s respective industries.

India-Pakistan Rift Over Hydroelectric Dam
Indian workers are hard at work in Bandipore, Kashmir to build an expensive hydroelectric dam to provide some relief to its power-deprived economy. But in neighboring Pakistan, the project could mean India’s leadership in deciding the water flowing to its agriculture industry, which takes care of a quarter of its economy. To prevent India from exercising any control over it, the Pakistani government filed a case with the international arbitration court to stop it in May. While American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is presently in Pakistan urging the country to work together with India in eradicating terrorism, this new development could place a huge strain on India-Pakistan peace talks in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Militant groups in Pakistan are already trying to use this issue to create a further wedge between the two countries. The Jamaat-u-Dawa, a subsidiary wing of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, is already using this issue to incite fresh hatreds. New Delhi needs to find a way to assure the Pakistanis that the demands of this project would make it an asset for both countries in the near future. In fact, collaborating with Pakistan on the project later could ease tensions between the two countries over Kashmir and help work more conclusively on the terrorism issue. However, the management of this water problem depends on how much India is willing to work with Pakistan or include its legitimate concerns in the future.

India-Latin America
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has released a report, titled, “India: Latin America's Next Big Thing?” which examines recent developments and economic trends in India and their possible impact for Latin America and the Caribbean. The study states that India has the potential to mirror the recent economic performance of China, which has become a major market for Latin American and Caribbean exports but also poses a challenge for the region’s manufacturing sector. The report suggests that India has the potential to be a large buyer of agricultural and mineral goods, which constitute Latin America’s main exports. Currently, India represents just 0.8 percent of this region's overall trade, compared with China's 7.7 percent share.

Ushering in an Era of Solar Powered Mobile Phones
Vodafone Essar Ltd., one of India’s leading mobile service providers has launched its latest generation eco-friendly solar charging handset, VF 247 Solar Powered mobile phone, in India. The company’s goal is to increase the accessibility of mobile technology to millions in India. The VF 247 solar powered phone will be commercially available from next month at the price of 1,500 Indian rupees. The biggest contribution of this phone is its ability to deal with the problem of unstable electric supply in many rural areas. The phone charges by itself, by exposure to ambient light. Sun Boost, the special inbuilt hardware and software ensures that the phone charges also in a room, under normal daylight. The phone is primarily designed for people living in rural areas and Vodafone’s rural network coverage of 65 percent is the second highest in India. It also has the second largest rural subscriber base in the country.

Indian Microfinance Company Raises Criticisms
SKS Microfinance, an Indian company that makes tiny loans to villagers, is trying to raise up to $354 million in an initial public offering. SKS Microfinance’s share sale, has already drawn criticism because its job is not to make money for its shareholders. Rather, it should be working to pull people out of poverty. While some say that those two objectives don’t match, others believe it is possible to work both avenues. Even Muhammad Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work at the established microfinance lender Grameen Bank, told The Associated Press that “this is pushing microfinance in the loan-sharking direction. It’s not mission drift. It’s endangering the whole mission.” He also said that microfinance should help the poor retain their money instead of redirecting it to rich people.

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