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India minister vows to eradicate deadly encephalitis NEW DELHI: India's new health minister on Tuesday ordered 'extraordinary steps' to end the deadly disease encephalitis, after it claimed the lives of 44 children in the country in the past fortnight.Hundreds of people across India die each year from the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes from pigs to humans, with malnourished children particularly vulnerable."I am extremely distressed at the runaway conquest of encephalitis and it is high time extraordinary steps were taken to stymie it," health minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement.Vardhan added that he ordered his ministry to go on "overdrive ... and have a total immunisation campaign for encephalitis in the affected districts" over June 22-23.He said that the virus, which normally affects children aged below 15, killed 44 children in Bihar state in the past two weeks and claimed 500-600 people each year in Uttar Pradesh alone.Harsh Vardhan, a doctor praised for his work ...

Indian power minister warns Delhi to brace for more blackouts NEW DELHI: Residents in India's capital city should brace for more power cuts amid scorching summer heat, the country's power minister said on Tuesday, warning that dilapidated power grids could not cope with the extra electricity needed to meet demand.North India has endured a heat wave in the last week, with temperatures in some parts of Delhi reaching a 62-year high.The surge in demand from residents cranking up their air conditioning, and damage to power ...
Five US troops killed in Afghan friendly-fire incident: police KABUL: Five US servicemen were killed in southern Afghanistan in a friendly-fire air strike during a security operation, Afghan police said on Tuesday, days before a run-off round in the country's presidential election.The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the casualties occurred on Monday when the unit came into contact with enemy forces. It did not give the nationality of the dead soldiers.Local police chief Ghulam Sakhi Roghlewanai said of the incident in Zabul province's ...
Female Afghan cabbie meters out election advice MAZAR-I-SHARIF: When Afghan taxi driver Sara Bahai has male passengers in her cab, she takes the chance to lobby them on female rights -- and she hopes the country's next president will also listen to her arguments.Bahai has been driving the streets of Mazar-i-Sharif city for 10 years, during which Afghanistan has experienced huge changes, including limited improvements in the lives of many women after the harsh years of Taliban rule."Sometimes I argue with male ...
India considering urea price hike to curb fertiliser subsidies MUMBAI: India is considering a proposal to raise the price of urea, the fertiliser most used by its farmers, by at least 10 percent in order to contain huge subsidy costs that are straining the budget, government and industry officials told Reuters.Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar has backed the measure, sources said, bolstering its chances of being implemented. Two options are under consideration; either the price hike could be included in the budget in July or ...
Indian government sets out investor-friendly reform agenda NEW DELHI: India's new government will pursue a broad economic reform agenda focused on job creation through public and private investment that makes containing inflation its top priority, President Pranab Mukherjee told parliament on Monday.The president told lawmakers elected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide victory last month that the government would introduce a general sales tax, encourage foreign investment and speed up approvals for major business projects. It would also tackle bottlenecks that make ...
Indian monsoon rains seen below average: minister NEW DELHI: India's monsoon is expected to bring below-average rainfall this year, with precipitation between June and September between 90 and 96 percent of the long-term average, Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said on Monday.The four-month-long monsoon season started on a weak note as the annual rains arrived over India's southern coast about five days behind the average date of June 1."The southwest monsoon this year may be less than normal," said Singh, adding that ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln