India turned 65 on Wednesday, and amid the great pomp and ceremony of National Day celebrations, the prime minister announced plans for a mission to Mars. India plans to send a research satellite to the Red Planet in November next year — at a cost of $82 million. Critics say the money would be better spent on the nation's creaky infrastructure, and connecting the 400 million Indians who are not on the national electricity grid.
A man pastes the posters of Bollywood film "Jism 2" outside a cinema hall in Bangalore, India.
Credit Aijaz Rahi / AP
The prolific and pervasive film industry of India, often called Bollywood, is pushing the country's decency envelope with its latest summer release, which features a real-life porn star. The film, awkwardly titled Jism 2, is a sequel to a 2002 blockbuster and stars Indian-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone in the leading role. (The title means 'body' in Hindi.)
Now, as we cover the Olympics, some of you have asked for spoiler alerts, but for this next report that is probably not necessary. NPR's Mike Pesca is taking us inside the world of India's men's field hockey team. We're not too worried about spoilers. Not just because most Americans don't care much about field hockey, but because the Indian squad has done a pretty good job itself of spoiling things. As Mike reports, the team's record tracks with the overall state of the Indian Olympic effort.
Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.