May 7 – India is all set to test its most ambitious missile Agni-III on Wednesday on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa in Eastern India.
The missile has a strike range of 3,500-km, is 16.7-metres tall, with a lift-off weight of 48 tons and a warhead of 1.5 tons.
The Agni-III launch on Wednesday becomes important since it is the third time that the rail-mobile missile will be tested.
May 6 – Late last evening, India's Union Cabinet cleared the contentious Women’s Reservation Bill in its original form for introduction in the Rajya Sabha (council for states). The women’s bill seeks to reserve one third seats for women in the Lok Sabha (people's council) and the state assemblies and is one of the last major commitments of the Congress-led UPA’s common minimum program, reported the Hindustan Times. Once introduced, the constitutional amendment bill would be routed to the standing committee to help hammer out a consensus on it.
May 4 – An Indian investment banker recently likened India to a cappuccino, aptly summerizing the workings of the south asian country. “There's coffee at the bottom and lots of froth at the top,'' he says. “It can take a while to get to the coffee. People want more coffee and less froth.'' Dilip Parameswaran, head of Asia credit research at Calyon, Credit Agricole SA's investment-banking unit, told Bloomberg. Parameswaran's analygy of the coffee as actual growth and the foam as the bureaucracy is apt to summerise India's growth, wherein its might take an especially long time to get to the bottom of things.
In a well written article on India, the pace of development and reasons for its slower growth as compared with China Bloomberg contemplates and contrasts, the advantages and disadvantage of the hare and tortoise and finds that the tortoise might just win this race too.
April 30 – Giving impetus to Indian software companies to continue steaming ahead, Finance Minister P Chidambaram threw an extra year of corporate tax exemption to software exporters.
The Hindustan Times reported that the scheme aided by which the country’s US$41 billion IT export grew to global heights, was set to expire in March 2009. STPI was introduced in 1999 to give a fillip to the then nascent Indian IT industry. Companies located in STPI are not taxed on revenues earned from exporting software (which includes writing codes or computers of US & UK companies).
“As things stand, the Budget for 2009-10 may not be presented in February 2009 but only after the elections. In order to avoid any uncertainty as we draw close to March 31, .2009, it has been decided the exemptions continued until March 31, 2010,” Chidambaram said while replying to the debate on Finance Bill 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha.
April 29 – India rocketed into space history on Monday by launching 10 statellites into their orbits some 600 km above earth. India became the second country in the world to achieve the difficult feat, after Russia which had put into orbit 13 satellites in April 2007.
The satellites which mainly belonged to Germany and Canada were carried into space by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle which blasted off from Sriharikota, a space centre off the country's eastern coast near the southern city of Chennai.
The Indian-made Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite, which is fitted with a high resolution camera for recording clear images from space was the main satellite launched, an ISRO spokesman said.
High resolution images and data from the satellite will be used to manage infrastructure and natural resources in the country.
Riding high on this successful mission, the ISRO said its all set to launch Chandrayaan 1, the moon mission, in the third quarter of this year.
April 28 – Indians are addicted to the idiot box. India's pay television industry is projected to grow at 16 percent annually to log revenues of US$11.3 billion by 2012 and emerge as a key driver of this business in Asia, says a new study by Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia, a leading think tank on media and communications industry.
The study says the total pay TV revenues in India will grow further to top US$18.5 billion by 2017, with subscription revenues of US$12.3 billion and advertising amounting to US$6.2 billion.
"Much of the region's digital growth will be driven by China and India, though India will have a more significant impact for pay TV distributors and content suppliers," reported Sify.
April 25 – India is a cricket crazy nation. Work slows down to a snails pace, random people stare into Tv shop windows and everybody stays tuned into the match of the day.
The latest commercial twist to cricket or the Indian Primiere league (IPL) is being played with much gusto in India. 8 Cities are pitted against each other with each city team owned by either a large industrialist or bollywood star. Created as a shorter more exciting way to play cricket and raise money like that of the English Premier League in footbal, the Board of Control for Cricket in India created the Indian Premier League. The eight teams are – 1. Kolkata Knight Riders 2. Chennai Super Kings 3. Mumbai Indians 4. Deccan Chargers 5. Rajasthan Royals 6. Bangalore Royal Challengers 7. Delhi Daredevils 8. Kings XI Punjab.
The teams were given to the highest bidder. While the base price for the auction was US$400 million, the auction fetched US$723.59 million. Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries also controlled by him bought the Mumbai Indians for US$111.9 million – the most expensive team.
April 24 – India's tea will soon be auctioned digitally. The Indian tea board, the government regulator on Tea, plans to replace the gravel with the mouse in order to prevent planters who have been hit hard by low tea prices in the last decade. Going digital is expected to regin in an era of fair prices and lower transaction costs.
The latest exchange is being designed by NSE-IT, a branch of India’s national stock exchange that specializes in designing trading platforms. The Tea Board plans to roll out the system in Calcutta, where the first Indian tea auctions began, by December, with the software being introduced to other auction centers over the following three months.