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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: 080 - (27/09/10)

India’s International Image Loses Glow Over Commonwealth Games
India is hosting the Commonwealth Games for 2010, scheduled to begin on October 3. However, for the last two weeks, world media have been reporting growing concerns about corruption, unhealthy living quarters, the collapse of a footbridge that injured 23 workers, the violation of child labor laws, and numerous other problems which have tarnished India’s image as an international power. One of the biggest complaints regarding the Games concerns India’s lack of preparation, as accommodations for the athletes are or were incomplete. Obviously there has been a massive late effort to try to overcome these problems and the results will soon be manifest.

Moreover to add to concerns, two Taiwanese tourists were shot dead outside the Jama Masjid which has heightened security concerns amongst participating nations who fear that the lives of their athletes may be in danger. As a consequence of these problems, many teams have delayed their arrivals, and some athletes have even cancelled their trips, while India is desperately trying to salvage its image as well as the event. Sadly, many of the criticisms hold true as India won the bid for hosting the Commonwealth Games back in 2003 and 7 years have elapsed since the approval to go ahead with construction. Only one stadium was completed by April of this year while work on most other stadiums began only in August! While the living accommodations for athletes are high-tech, the laborers working on the sites had left the buildings unclean.

The larger question concerns the use of the Indian taxpayer’s money. Indian Sports Minister Suresh Kalmadi and many others have spent crores of Indian rupees on this project which ultimately is intended to enhance the host nation’s image, but the manner in which the money was spent is now questionable. There are hopes that the CWG Organizing Committee will recover in time from all the criticisms to pull off a great Opening Ceremony on October 3. Yet, even if the event is a success, questions about the planning and execution of this event including various matters related to expenditure will be the subject of further debate and investigation for the next few months.

India Gets Observer Status at ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly
India has been approved for observer status at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) at its 31st General Assembly held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Harsha Kumar G.V., Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) made his acceptance speech “reaffirming the commitment of the Indian Parliament to further deepen and strengthen relations with ASEAN countries and Parliaments," according to a Ministry of External Affairs release. India is the eighth observer to ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. The other seven observers are Australia, Canada, European Union, Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.

India-Argentina Cooperate on Nuclear Energy
India and Argentina have signed an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The agreement was signed at Vienna by Dr. S. Banerjee, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, and Dr. Norma Boero, President of the Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 54th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They are planning to exchange information on operation and maintenance of reactors. In addition, there could be scope for service assistance to Argentina with the Indian expertise on en-masse coolant replacement of nuclear power reactors, Mr. Banerjee said adding, “We are also looking forward for cooperation in Research and Development (R&D) in various peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

India Reacts to China-Pakistan Nuclear Collaboration
China recently entered into talks with Pakistan on nuclear energy cooperation with the aim to build a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant in Pakistan. While this step could make the international community uncomfortable, it has certainly caused a lot of concern in New Delhi. Pakistan's atomic activities have sparked concern in the United States and India, which fear that nuclear material could fall into the hands of Taliban extremists operating near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan. India said it has taken "note" of the move by China to go ahead with supply of two additional nuclear reactors to Pakistan. "We have seen those statements and we have noted those statements. Let's see how it evolves. We are not members of NSG," according to unidentified sources. Earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry said Beijing has informed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about its plans to build two more nuclear power plants at Chashma in Pakistan in addition to the earlier two units. China has already helped Pakistan build its main civilian nuclear reactor at Chashma in Punjab province, is also finishing a second one there and has agreed contracts to build two others. The United States has conveyed its concerns to Pakistan over the contracts for the third and fourth reactors, saying such plans required special approval from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The NSG

group brings together nuclear energy states that prohibit exports to nations lacking strict International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. China joined the NSG in 2004. Pakistan has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

India-Japan Bilateral Trade Pact
India has signed a bilateral trade pact with Japan on opening government purchases to foreign companies and agreeing to tighter intellectual property rules. The final agreement will be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Tokyo next month and will encourage greater trade opportunities for India. The agreement will open up Japanese markets for Indian manufacturers in most product categories, as Japan will keep maintaining high tariffs on only farm products. 

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