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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: 075 - (30/04/10)

The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan are meeting at the upcoming SAARC summit. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh met last month at the nuclear security summit in Washington. At the SAARC summit, the leaders plan to discuss issues related to food security, poverty alleviation, energy and water conservation, rural and agricultural development. However, besides these issues, it will be important to see whether both leaders discuss the Mumbai terror attacks as Pakistan has been flip-flopping on the issue. Pakistan contends that evidence showing LeT’s leader Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in the Mumbai terror attack is not admissible under the laws for prosecution. In a dossier given to India in which it asked for handing over of Ajmal Amir Kasab, Islamabad has also asked New Delhi to give all additional evidence related to 26/11 to it by the middle of next month. Pakistan said Indian evidence against Saeed and others, accused in the involvement of Mumbai attack, was mainly based on the statement of Kasab, the lone gunman arrested terrorist in 26/11, and it was not admissible under Pakistani law. Pakistan has termed India’s claims about involvement of a Pakistan Army Major and dreaded terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri as nothing but “figment of imagination.” The Pakistani response was handed over by Foreign Office officials to Indian Deputy High Commissioner Rahul Kulshreshth in Islamabad. Pakistan is also demanding the extradition of Kasab. It has asked India to hand over Kasab to facilitate the trial of LeT's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court. It appears that Pakistan has withdrawn its earlier admission of Kasab’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks by arguing that some of India’s accusations have no solid grounds.

Maoist Attacks on the Rise
In the deadliest leftist attack on India’s security establishment, on April 19, rebels killed 76 Central Paramilitary Force troops who were involved in flushing-out operations in the region. The strike took place in the state of Chhattisgarh, a Naxalite stronghold within the thick forests of Dantewada, near a remote village. According to reports, the attacks were carried out by approximately 1000-1500 armed rebels which also included women. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it a “horrific” incident. The Naxals, or Naxalites, take their name from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal where the movement originated after the 1967 fracturing of the Communist Party of India into two wings, the CPI (Marxist) and the CPI (Marxist-Leninist). Originating in West Bengal, the Maoist movement has spread into less-developed areas of rural central and eastern India. The movement has gained further momentum in recent years despite efforts by New Delhi to contain it. The causes cited for frequent violence are: the absence of land reform, the dispossession of the poor from mineral-rich lands, and the persistence of extreme poverty. Given the assault on the paramilitary forces, there is little hope that New Delhi will be able to negotiate any kind of truce or surrender from the emboldened cadres, who have published a voluminous and wide-ranging set of demands. The demands include: “widespread land reform in rural areas, releasing all political prisoners, lifting the ban on the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and other organizations, waiving all private loans to farmers, scrapping corporate agriculture, withdrawing from “all World Bank projects and schemes supported by imperialists”, protecting small- and medium-scale industries from competition by multinationals and reviving cooperatives, scrapping all agreements with the World Bank, MNCs and other countries and many more. “ The Maoists have exploited the alienation felt by the tribals and dalits in such areas and the tribal people’s indifference to state governments.

Shashi Tharoor’s Exit
India’s Junior Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, resigned from the Union ministry after his claims of mentoring and sharing close ties with the Kochi IPL group. Tharoor indicated his desire to quit as he did not want to be seen as an “embarrassment”. However, he also holds that his “conscience his clear, “ as he has done nothing wrong. He met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress was quick to accept his resignation, followed by the President. The Prime Minister’s call to Tharoor to put in his papers followed a two-hour meeting of the Congress's core committee and, more crucially, a one-on-one between the PM and Sonia Gandhi. Shashi Tharoor's fate was sealed on Sunday at the core committee meeting, when finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister A K Antony, the two-member probe team on Tharoor's conduct, submitted a damning report. Contrary to the junior minister's claim of "arm's-length mentoring" of Kochi group, the findings said he actively negotiated the "sweat equity" for Pushkar. He had, in fact, asked for 10% for Pushkar while the deal was finally settled at 5%. The action against Tharoor also sets the stage for a thorough enquiry into IPL led by Lalit Modi, who started the controversy by revealing the shareholders in Rendezvous Sports World which won the bid for Kochi. Now, tax authorities are probing the three-year-old Indian Premier League (IPL), the game’s most lucrative tournament, after Tharoor’s departure. While Lalit Modi has not been formally charged and denies any wrongdoing, newspapers have said authorities were investigating reports of improprieties in bidding for teams and in negotiating television broadcast rights for the matches. 


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