Indian media: Focus on economic recovery

Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram Finance Minister P Chidambaram says India will manage to come out of the economic crisis

Media in India are giving front-page coverage to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement that the government is trying to stem a sharp plunge in the value of the rupee and restore confidence in the economy.

"There is no cause for panic that seems to have gripped the currency market and that is feeding into other markets. We are confident that stability will return to these markets and we can get on with the task of promoting investment and growth," the Hindustan Times quotes him as saying.

"Defending the government in the face of the pessimism prevailing in the markets, especially on the rupee front, with some brokerages forecasting that it would further plummet to 70 [against the dollar], Mr Chidambaram said the phenomenon is being witnessed across emerging markets," The Economics Times reports.

In another report, the paper quoted the Reserve Bank of India Governor, D Subbarao, as saying that India had "adequate" forex reserves at present and recent steps taken to curb the "volatility" of the rupee would continue until stability was restored.

Promises aside, newspapers are urging the government to take firm actions to ease the situation.

"With this uncertainty likely to continue for some more time, the Indian government should, instead of leaving the country hostage to this uncertainty, factor in the 'tapering' and act accordingly to cushion the economy," The Asian Age says in an editorial.

The Indian Express says the country "must stop sending out conflicting signals on growth" since the fate of the rupee depends on how India "attracts forex flows".

In domestic news, Defence Minister AK Antony says the possibility of sabotage cannot be ruled out in the fire which destroyed the INS Sindhurakshak submarine on 14 August, The Hindu reports.

Giving details in the parliament, Mr Antony said "nothing is ruled out" and "all likely" causes would be examined, the paper added.

The minister was responding to questions by opposition MPs as to whether sabotage was one of the reasons behind the accident.

Moving on to international affairs, the British High Commissioner to India, James Bevan, says any "engagement" with controversial politician Narendra Modi should not be taken as "endorsement", The Times of India reports.

Mr Modi, 62, has been chief minister of Gujarat since 2001 and is seen as a rising star in the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and a possible candidate to become the country's next prime minister.

He is credited with making Gujarat one of India's most prosperous states, but his critics also accuse him of doing little to stop the anti-Muslim riots in 2002 which left more than 1,000 dead.

He, however, has always denied the charge of being lax in controlling the riots.

Rising cancer cases

In health news, new government data estimates a possible 21% rise in cancer cases in India in the next seven years, reports The Indian Express.

The National Cancer Registry's research shows that new cases are likely to rise to 1.14 million in 2015 and to 1.32 million in 2020, the paper adds.

Meanwhile, a new Unicef report says the number of child rape cases in India has risen by a whopping 336% between 2001 and 2011, the Deccan Herald reports.

The data shows that sexual violence against children occurs in homes, schools, child-care centres, at work places and in the community, the paper adds.

And finally, in some good news for music lovers, noted composer Zubin Mehta is likely to perform at the picturesque Shalimar Gardens in Indian-administered Kashmir on 7 September, reports the Zee News website.

The event, being organised by the German embassy along with the state government, comes in the wake of a fatwa issued against music in the Kashmir Valley by senior cleric Mufti Azam Bashiruddin, the website adds.

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