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    India plans 43 IT cities in next decade

    June 16 – In order to stop India's Information Technology and Outsourcing companies from losing their global cost advantage to Vietnam or the Philippines, and to develop Indias rural areas, the Indian government has decided to build 43 IT cities in India's rural areas the Times of India reported.

    The initiative will curb high inflation and attrition rates in urban areas while creating infrastructure and jobs in the rural areas.

    According to the plan, each IT city will be set up in an area of more than 500 hectare. The cities will altogether generate employment for around 3.5 million people by 2018.

    The proposal is to create self-contained satellite townships with commercial space for renting and a commensurate increase in residential accommodation, education, healthcare, retail and recreational facilities.

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    Japanese Pharma Firm Acquires India’s Ranbaxy

    June 13 – At a time when Indian compnaies are snapping up international conglomerates worldwide, India's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy was sold to Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co for an estimated US$4.6billion, the largest buy out of an Indian company till date.

    The agreement allows Daiichi Sankyo to buy at least 50.1 percent of the Indian generic drug maker's voting rights through March 2009, the Japanese company said in a statement.

    Adding Ranbaxy's network, Daiichi Sankyo can more than double its global reach from the current 21 countries to 56, the Japanese company said.

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    Obama or McCain – Who Will Be Better For India?

    June 12 – With the Barack Obama winning the democratic seat, and John McCain being his only rival, its time India decided which candidate its going to root for. The next five years are crucial to India-US relations as the world gets smaller and the economies more inter dependant. The Sunday Times of India ran an interesting piece on which potential U.S. president would be best for India. Exercpts –

    While Conventional wisdom in Indian circles is that a McCain win will result in a broad continuation of Bush administration policies, including a possible revival of the US-India nuclear deal in the event of a favourable political alignment and atmosphere after the general elections. Beyond that, US-India ties, at least from Washington's perspective, would continue to be largely security driven, subject to conservative impulses arising from fears of an extremist Islamist agenda to India's west and an expanding Chinese influence everywhere. Obama on the other hand promises to be different, he will bring in fresh informed change to the region.

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    The Monsoons Wash Up on India

    June 10 – The much awaited monsoon washed up on India's south western coast earlier this month. Providing a much needed respite from the dreaded heat that can reach 45 degrees celcius, the Indian monsoom brings with it joy and disease. While low lying areas drown in a downpour, cities become a swirl of traffic and diseases, nonetheless Indians all look forward to the frenzy of the monsoon.

    In India the monsoon is not just a season, it has social, political and economical connotations to the Indian. The rainy season brings with it a reason to enjoy India's verdant hill stations and throw rain dance parties, it is also integral to the economy.

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    Investment gets hotter in India

    June 6 – Following China, Central Europe and Western Europe, India has been ranked the fourth most attractive investment destination in a survey of 834 respondents across the world. The survey conducted by Ernst and Young found the South Asian country being preferred in terms of prospects of alternative business locations, according to the Economic Times.

    While China received 47 per cent votes, Central Europe and Western Europe got 42 per cent and 33 per cent votes respectively. With 30 per cent votes, India emerged ahead of the US and Russia, which received 21 per cent votes each.

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    Fuel prices rise by 10 percent

    June 5 – India's government on Wednesday boosted fuel prices for the second time in a year to stem huge losses at state-run oil firms, stirring widespread political anger and worries about higher inflation.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the hike in a nationally televised address, saying Indian oil companies were under huge stress as a result of record high global oil prices, reported the AFP.

    India, which imports 70 percent of its oil needs to feed its fast-growing economy, raised petrol prices by five rupees (12 cents) a litre and diesel by three rupees — or 11 and 9.4 percent respectively based on pump prices in the capital.

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    Exports Rise 32 percent to US$14 billion in April

    June 3 – India's export growth accelerated in April as companies shipped more gems, jewelry, oil and other manufactured products to overseas markets, reported Bloomberg.

    Shipments jumped 31.5 percent to US$14.4 billion from a year earlier, faster than March's 26.6 percent gain, the government said in a statement in New Delhi today. Imports in April rose 36.6 percent to US$24.3 billion, widening the trade deficit to an all-time high of US$9.87 billion.

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    ArcelorMittal Plan US$20Billion India Foray

    June 2 – Global steel giant ArcelorMittal will spend at least $20 billion setting up two new integrated steel plants in India from 2009 onwards, company executives told CNN.

    The two projects, based in the eastern states of Orissa and Jharkhand, will be the largest foreign direct investments yet seen in India and will add 24 million tonnes of annual steel production capacity.

    Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is the world's biggest steel maker, with annual capacity of 120 million tonnes, but has no presence yet in the fast-growing Indian market.