India Ink Vol. 7: Heatwave Edition

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

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Read of the week

Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most powerful women includes 4 Indians, led by Arundhati Bhattarchaya, the first female director of the State Bank of India.

+ Agriculture: Several weeks back we told you it was coming, and now it’s here: DD Kisan, a TV channel for farmers reporting on “weather, farmer issues, commodities markets, new farming techniques among others every day.” It will be interesting to see whether this really does serve a need. Will farmers tune in, and will it help them improve their lot? PM Modi says: “We need to make agriculture viable and dynamic so that we can attract the youth that is running away from becoming farmers.” (via Economic Times)

+ Energy: Parts of India have been hit by a severe heatwave in recent days, killing more than 1,300 people. For many, including autorickshaw drivers and construction workers in need of their daily income, staying out of the sun is not an option. Now there’s a concern that a rise in air conditioner use will cause power blackouts, adding to the difficulty of delivering water, shade, and places to cool off to people in need. (via International Business Times)

+ Entrepreneurship: The cops are probably about the last people you’d expect to make an entrepreneurial breakthrough, but the Kerala Police’s iSafety app has won an award for its innovative use of mobile technology to “considerably reduce our response time to emergencies and establish a stronger communication channel between the citizens and the police department.” Not too shabby. (via NDTV)

+ Environment: Great reporting from The Guardian on India’s development dilemma: “India’s leaders are determined to restore economic growth and lift the country’s 1.3 billion citizens out of poverty. But rapid development will require India to double or triple its production of coal – and make it the world’s second largest carbon emitter. Is there any alternative?”

+ Health: More on India’s “worst extreme heat event recorded in a decade,” and why it’s so dangerous to human health. (via The Conversation)

+ Housing: Journalist Smruti Koppikar argues that Mumbai’s housing market is institutionally biased against Muslims, while also exploring the fact that “Mumbai’s truth is complex, to put it mildly.” (via Scroll.in)

+ Water: India Real Time tells the story of the heatwave in pictures, from Delhi’s melting, psychedelic zebra crossings to train passengers dumping water over their heads in Allahabad.

India Ink will be on hiatus next week due to MIT graduation, but will return June 12!