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India's 'Digital Divide' Worst Among BRICs

Most Indians are missing out on the "digital revolution" due to poor Internet access for the nation's poor, despite the economy boasting one of the world's strongest growth rates, a study found.

The study said India was at "extreme risk" from a lack of "digital inclusion" -- along with sub-Saharan Africa -- as a vast proportion of its 1.2 billion population were being left behind shut out of the so-called.

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India to Pay Iran for Oil Using Germany

India is set to pay Iran for billions of dollars worth of oil imports by channeling funds to Tehran via the German central bank, a German newspaper report said Monday.

Under pressure from the United States to break direct commercial links with the Islamic republic, India intends to place money for its Iranian oil imports in an account with the Bundesbank, the Handelsblatt business daily reported.

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Indian 'Fasting to Death' Custom Faces Court Test

When 80-year-old Indian widow Kanwri Devi Surana suffered a mild heart attack last year, she pledged to fast herself to death in a religious practice known as "santhara".

Her distraught family says she gave up food and then water, and passed away in Kolkata 62 days after making her vow.

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Tech-Savvy Indians Cry Out for Apple's Attention

Namrata, a Delhi University student, turned an iPad tablet computer round in her hands at an electronics store in the city. It is Apple's latest must-have item -- yet it is already out of date.

"No, I'll wait for the iPad 2," she said, putting it back on the shelf, aware that the improved version has already gone on sale in the United States. "Perhaps my aunt in Australia will be able to send me one soon," she said.

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India Captures 61 Somali Pirates After Clash

The Indian navy has captured 61 suspected Somali pirates and rescued 13 fishermen after a firefight with a pirate mother ship in the Arabian Sea, a navy spokesman said Monday.

"A total of 74 men have been apprehended of which 61 are suspected to be Somali pirates," Indian navy spokesman P.V.S Satish said, adding the incident happened on Saturday night within Indian waters.

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India Test Fires Nuclear-capable Missile

India has tested the naval version of a short-range missile capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, a defense ministry official said Friday.

The missile was test fired Friday from a navy warship in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of eastern Orissa state, said defense ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar.

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Dalai Lama to Resign Political Role

The Dalai Lama announced Thursday his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying the time had come for his replacement by a "freely elected" leader.

The Dalai Lama, whose more significant role is as the movement's spiritual leader, said he would seek an amendment allowing him to resign his political office when the exiled Tibetan parliament meets next week.

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Death Penalty for 11 in India Train Burning Case

An Indian court sentenced 11 Muslims to death Tuesday after finding them guilty of setting a train fire that killed 60 Hindu nationalists nine years ago and triggered one of India's worst outbursts of communal violence.

Judge P.R. Patel last week convicted 31 Muslims of being part of a criminal conspiracy that led to the deaths of 60 people when a Sabarmati Express train coach packed with Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in western Gujarat state in 2002.

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Big Fat Indian Weddings Could Face the Axe

The Indian government is considering proposals to limit the number of guests allowed at weddings to reduce food wastage, an official told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

Indian weddings are famous for their extravagance and a wave of new money in the country has led to ever more lavish marriage celebrations, often involving multi-cuisine buffets and hundreds, or even thousands, of guests.

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India, Pakistan to Begin Official Talks

India and Pakistan have agreed to begin talks on "all outstanding" bilateral issues, officials said Thursday, signaling a possible resumption of their suspended peace dialogue.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said officials from both sides would meet "in the coming weeks and months" to carry out "the necessary spadework" that would culminate in a meeting of the two rivals' foreign ministers -- possibly in June or July.

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