India launches index to measure air quality

NEW DELHI (AP) — The country's top environment official unveiled a government program Friday that will eventually measure air quality across India, home to some of the most polluted cities in the world.

Over the next five years, the government will begin measuring eight major pollutants that affect respiratory health in cities with populations above 1 million, and then gradually expand the air quality index to the rest of the country, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. The index will warn residents when pollution levels rise past dangerous levels.

Few signs of progress as Obama meets India's Modi

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama showered praise on India's new prime minister in an Oval Office meeting Tuesday that sought to infuse new energy into the two countries' sluggish relationship. Yet for all the pomp and pageantry, there were few signs that Obama and Narendra Modi had resolved vexing issues that have often kept the two democracies at arm's length.

Following their first formal meeting, Obama hailed Modi for his energetic approach to addressing India's challenges since taking office. The president singled out the prime minister's focus on addressing "the needs of the poorest of the poor," as well as making India a source of peace and stability in the region.

5th US-India Energy Partnership Summit Day 1

Washington, September 30, 2014, 9:00 am

5th US-India Energy Partnership Summit Day 1. Speakers include Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman, Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg, State Department Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein. Through Wednesday.

5th US-India Energy Partnership Summit Day 2

Washington, October 1, 2014, 9:00 am

5th US-India Energy Partnership Summit concludes. Speakers include Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, Energy Department Acting Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation Robert Ichord, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. 

Indian leader Modi heads for White House visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Barack Obama for the first time at the White House, the welcome will be very different from the response Modi got nearly a decade ago when he wanted to visit the U.S. His visa request was denied.

But his election in May as the new leader of the world's largest democracy has transformed Modi into a welcome visitor. The two leaders will first break the ice over dinner Monday as they seek to reinvigorate soured relations between their countries.

The Global Panorama Photo

Obama, Modi to act on energy and climate: WH

Meetings between India's recently elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama next week will likely yield agreements on clean energy and climate change, senior administration officials said Friday.

The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, held back details of what they called the expected "deliverables" from the two-day bilateral summit, but said energy and security are among the main topics they will seek to advance.

India's top court cancels coal allocations

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court says private companies will have to return most of the coal blocks allocated to them by the government since 1993.

Wednesday's order comes a month after the court said that government allocations of coal reserves to private companies from 1993 to 2010 were illegal.

China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred chiefly by China, the United States and India, the world spewed far more carbon pollution into the air last year than ever before, scientists announced Sunday as world leaders gather to discuss how to reduce heat-trapping gases.

The world pumped an estimated 39.8 billion tons (36.1 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air last year by burning coal, oil and gas. That is 778 million tons (706 metric tons) or 2.3 percent more than the previous year.

Nepal clears Indian firm to build power plant

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal's government has endorsed plans for Indian company GMR to build the Himalayan nation's largest hydro power plant in a small step toward easing chronic power shortages, officials said Friday.

Govinda Pokhrel of Nepal's national planning commission said a Cabinet meeting endorsed a draft agreement late Thursday to allow the company to build the $1.15 billion power plant with a 900 megawatt capacity.

GMR executives are expected to fly to Nepal Friday and sign the final agreement with Nepalese officials.

Water shortages lead to 'tanker mafia' in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Every summer, when Minoo Phakey's water runs out, she does what most people do in her middle-class neighborhood: She calls the mafia.

Within an hour, a man in a tanker arrives, carrying a load of dubious water drawn illegally from the city's groundwater. With India's capital gripped by its annual hot season water shortage, the city's so-called tanker mafia is doing a roaring trade. An estimated 2,000 illegal tankers ply New Delhi's roads every day, lifelines to millions whose taps have run dry, and symptoms of a much bigger problem — the city's desperately dysfunctional water system.


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