India Ink Vol. 4: Airships, warships, and entrepreneurship

The top stories on India and beyond, every Friday afternoon.

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Read of the week

This week’s pick is an oddball, but it comes from our very own MIT News! “In the history of continental drift, India has been a mysterious record-holder.” New research sheds light on the unusual movements of the tectonic land mass that is modern day India.

+ Agriculture: Agriculture and food security is expected to be one of the most devastated sectors following the Nepal earthquake, according to the UN. “Farmers who miss the planting season that is expected to start late May onwards will be unable to harvest rice – the country’s staple food — again until late 2016.” (Via Times of India)

+ Culture: William Dalrymple writes about India’s history as a major cultural force in Asia, and reviews two new art shows on display in New York. “India was a large-scale and confident exporter of its own diverse civilization…and the rest of Asia was the willing and eager recipient…Out of India came…artists, sculptors, traders, scientists, astronomers, and the occasional fleets of warships…”

+ Energy: The solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 is on a round-the-world journey. It stopped in India last month, and is now prepping for its trans-Pacific crossing. Wired describes the preparations for this grueling 5-day flight.

Elsewhere, India has increased its renewable energy capacity by 13% in the last year, beating its target. (via Clean Technica)

+ Entrepreneurship: Our chat with Rajesh Nair, who says that India needs to create a stunning 1 million jobs per month to support its youth, and that entrepreneurship is the only way.

+ Health: A few weeks ago we asked whether India’s new Air Quality Assessment tool would lead to real change. This week CityMetric reports that the Indian government announced it will publish daily bulletins informing you exactly how bad your air is. More useful?

+ Housing: An interview with businessman PS Jayakumar, who is venturing into the world of affordable housing. “Apart from being a scalable business, affordable housing is a social requirement.” (Via Forbes India)

+ Water: “India was the cradle of civilization, a riverine world that had its proud foundation in the Indus Valley. Indian culture is thus interwoven with water.” (via Business Insider India)