India Ink Vol. 3: Aid for Nepal, elephant encounters, and reinventing the wheel(chair)

The best news on India from around the web, every Friday.

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Read of the week

Photos from the aftermath of Nepal’s 7.8 earthquake, with an epicenter not far from Kathmandu. (via The Atlantic)

To help the MIT community’s relief efforts, get more information here. And for other ways to help, see this list. (via NY Times)

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nepal as they recover from this catastrophe.

+ Agriculture: Himangshu Watts argues that India needs to make a decision about improving crop yields: Either embrace genetically modified crops, or ban them and “invest heavily in irrigation, yield improvement, cold storage and price support for farmers.” (via Economic Times)

+ Design: A new memorial to MIT Officer Sean Collier, slain by the Boston Marathon bombing perpetrators, was a labor of love for people across campus and the Boston community. (via MIT News)

+ Energy: India is set to build the world’s largest solar power station in Madhya Pradesh. (via Energy Business Review)

+ Environment: On the tea plantations of the Western Ghats, Dr. Ananda Kumar is preventing accidental encounters between elephants and humans, which apparently lead to 400 human and 100 pachyderm deaths each year. His text messaging alert system won the Whitley Award. (via The Guardian)

+ Entrepreneurship: Turns out entrepreneurs are literally crazy. And that’s okay. (via Matt McFarland/Washington Post)

+ Health: CNN reports on the Freedom Wheelchair, a low-cost, highly robust transport device for disabled people worldwide, designed by Tata Center faculty Amos Winter. “We had to reinvent the wheel…chair.”

+ Water: “More than 70% of India’s urban population is not connected to water-supplying government agencies. Among the rest, those who receive a daily two-hour water supply consider themselves lucky.” India’s urban water infrastructure is already creaking, and demands are expected to increase rapidly. (via Livemint)