Why is Twitter's Jack Dorsey wanted in India?

  • 13 February 2019
  • From the section India
Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey (C) poses with students after an interaction session at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi on 12 November 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Indian MPs want Jack Dorsey to appear before them on 25 February

Jack Dorsey is no stranger to controversies.

On his last trip to India in November, the chief executive of Twitter posed for what he thought was an innocuous picture and ended up enraging Hindu nationalists. The picture had a placard reading "Smash Brahminical patriarchy", alluding to oppression by upper-caste Hindus.

The backlash on his own social media network was fierce: Mr Dorsey was promptly accused of "hate-mongering". (The following month, in an unrelated controversy, he was criticised for promoting Myanmar as a tourist destination in a series of tweets despite widespread allegations of human rights abuses in the country.)

Now Mr Dorsey has been summoned by MPs in India, one of the fastest growing markets for his network, which claims 126 million daily users worldwide. By one estimate, more than a sixth of its users come from here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most followed leaders on the network. "It's quite an exciting time for us in India," says Maya Hari, the network's vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific.

A 31-member panel of MPs wants Mr Dorsey to appear before it on 25 February to get his views on "safeguarding citizens' rights on social/online news media platforms". The panel is led by Anurag Thakur, a MP belonging to Mr Modi's governing BJP. Twitter appears to have been singled out for this unusual meeting.

Read full article Why is Twitter's Jack Dorsey wanted in India?

How India's single time zone is hurting its people

  • 12 February 2019
  • From the section India
An Indian woman carries haystack on her head during sunset in Kushiyani village in Morigaon district of Assam on December 28, 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The sun rises nearly two hours earlier in the east of India than in the far west

India's single time zone is a legacy of British rule, and is thought of as a symbol of unity. But not everyone thinks the Indian Standard Time (IST) is a good idea.

Here's why.

Read full article How India's single time zone is hurting its people

Why 'India's FBI' agents are clashing with police

  • 4 February 2019
  • From the section India
Mamata Banerjee Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mamata Banerjee is a rare firebrand woman leader who commands mass support

Imagine state policemen in the US detaining FBI agents investigating a case on state territory.

Then imagine the governor of the state starting a public protest against the FBI and the president for carrying out what she calls an act of vendetta against her government.

Read full article Why 'India's FBI' agents are clashing with police

India election: Why Rahul Gandhi's minimum income plan is a gamble

  • 29 January 2019
  • From the section India
India's poor Image copyright AFP
Image caption Millions of Indians remain vulnerable to income shocks

India's opposition Congress Party has promised to guarantee a minimum income for the country's poor if it wins the general elections this summer.

So will the scheme be a game-changer and bolster Congress fortunes? (There are rumours the governing BJP is poised to announce a similar scheme soon.) Or does it risk becoming a handout, fuelled by populism, mired in confusion and blighted by misallocation?

Read full article India election: Why Rahul Gandhi's minimum income plan is a gamble

Indian election 2019: Are fears of a mass hack credible?

  • 25 January 2019
  • From the section India
EVMs Image copyright AFP
Image caption More than 1.5 million e-voting machines will be used in the summer elections

With 800 million voters and nearly 2,000 political parties taking part, India's elections are a staggeringly challenging exercise. And at the heart of the credibility of these complex elections is the robustness and integrity of the vote count.

For decades voting was blighted by the capture of polling stations and stuffing of ballot boxes by mobs hired by political parties.

Read full article Indian election 2019: Are fears of a mass hack credible?

Is affirmative action in India becoming a gimmick?

  • 10 January 2019
  • From the section India
Members of the Patel community display placards as they attend a protest rally in Ahmedabad, India, August 25, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There has been a clamour for quotas among the economically weak upper castes

India's affirmative action programme is one of most comprehensive in the world.

It is built into the country's 68-year-old constitution, and reserves seats in parliament and state assemblies for the country's most socially disadvantaged groups, as well as government jobs and places in educational institutions.

Read full article Is affirmative action in India becoming a gimmick?

Harappa grave of ancient 'couple' reveals secrets

  • 9 January 2019
  • From the section India
The skeleton of the couple Image copyright Vasant Shinde
Image caption The couple are believed to have died at the same time

About 4,500 years ago, a man and a woman were buried in a grave together in a sprawling cemetery on the outskirts of a thriving settlement of one of the world's earliest urban civilisations.

In 2016, archaeologists and scientists from India and South Korea found these two "very rare" skeletons in a Harappan (or Indus Valley) city - what is now Rakhigarhi village in the northern Indian state of Haryana. For two years, they researched the "chronology" and possible reasons behind the deaths; and the findings have now been published in a peer-reviewed international journal.

Read full article Harappa grave of ancient 'couple' reveals secrets

The Indian journalist jailed for a year for Facebook posts

  • 22 December 2018
  • From the section India
Kishorechandra Wangkhem Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Kishorechandra Wangkhem works for an Imphal-based cable network

On the afternoon of 27 November, half-a-dozen plainclothes policemen in a couple of vehicles arrived at the two-storey home of a journalist with a cable news network in Manipur, a hilly north-eastern state on the border with Myanmar (Burma).

The policemen told Kishorechandra Wangkhem, 39, that the city's police chief wanted to have a word with him.

Read full article The Indian journalist jailed for a year for Facebook posts

PewDiePie v T-Series: The battle to be king of YouTube

  • 20 December 2018
  • From the section India
Bollywood movie Husn Image copyright T-Series
Image caption T-Series is one of Bollywood's biggest film producers

Bhushan Kumar says he hadn't heard of PewDiePie until a couple of months ago.

That was when the 28-year-old Swede - real name Felix Kjellberg - mounted a challenge to Kumar's Bollywood music label T-Series, to retain his status as the YouTuber with the most subscribers.

Read full article PewDiePie v T-Series: The battle to be king of YouTube

India elections: Should Narendra Modi be worried?

  • 12 December 2018
  • From the section India
A Congress party supporter holds placards in support of Rahul Gandhi for the country"s next prime minister outside the party headquarters in New Delhi on December 11, 2018, as Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Congress's robust performance is a shot in the arm for the party

India's ruling Hindu nationalist BJP has accepted defeat in key state elections. So is Congress, India's Grand Old Party, finally back in the reckoning?

The Congress has won in the states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and fell just short of an outright majority in Madhya Pradesh in a neck-and-neck finish. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the opposition "for their victories", saying his party accepts "the people's mandate with humility".

Read full article India elections: Should Narendra Modi be worried?