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India airforce on standby over missing Malaysia plane

India's airforce was on standby Wednesday to search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared five days ago, as the president said the country was ready to provide any help needed. Indian Air Force spokesman Gerard Galway said planes were ready to deploy to scour the waters west of Malaysia for the passenger plane MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew. "We have not received any task (as of now) but in case there is a requirement, our aircraft will be deployed to assist in the search operations," Galway told AFP.

India airforce on standby over missing Malaysia plane

India's airforce was on standby Wednesday to search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared five days ago, as the president said the country was ready to provide any help needed. Indian Air Force spokesman Gerard Galway said planes were ready to deploy to scour the waters west of Malaysia for the passenger plane MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew. "We have not received any task (as of now) but in case there is a requirement, our aircraft will be deployed to assist in the search operations," Galway told AFP.

India infrastructure splurge too late for this - or next - government

By Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's drive to break an infrastructure investment logjam has come too late to revive the economy before the forthcoming general election - and it could be years before it pays growth dividends for the next government. Although a cabinet task force set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has fast-tracked approvals for projects worth 5 percent of gross domestic product, severe bottlenecks will limit the scope for his successor to achieve a turnaround.

U.S. energy secretary to visit India from March 10-12

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit India from March 10 to 12 to participate in talks canceled last month during a diplomatic dispute between the two countries, the Energy Department said on Wednesday. Moniz, who will meet with Indian energy officials, had planned to visit India in January, but the trip was canceled amid a dispute over the arrest in New York of Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul.

Indian PM Singh says will step down after 2014 elections

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday he will step down after elections due this year even if his Congress party defies predictions and sweeps to power for a third consecutive term. "In a few months' time after the general elections, I will hand over the baton to a new prime minister," he said in opening remarks at his first full press conference in three years. adp-pmc/jw

Indian PM stresses need for developing electronics, telecommunications

Indian PM stresses need for developing electronics, telecommunications NEW DELHI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday stressed that the country needed to develop a strong domestic manufacturing base in electronics and telecommunications so as "to avoid difficulties in financing these imports".

Japan emperor, empress attend welcoming ceremony in India

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended a welcoming ceremony on their official visit to India at President Pranab Mukherjee's official residence in New Delhi on Monday. After being greeted by Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the imperial couple met with Singh at Hyderabad House, where the Indian government holds banquets and meetings with foreign dignitaries.

India opens first state-owned bank for women

India's prime minister on Tuesday inaugurated the country's first state-owned bank for women, aimed at strengthening their financial security after a string of sex crimes highlighted gender inequality. Premier Manmohan Singh opened the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (Indian Women's Bank) in the south of financial capital Mumbai, home to one of seven nationwide branches that are now operational. The bank was announced in February when India was still reeling from the fatal gang-rape of a student in the capital, which sparked anger and soul-searching over the treatment of women.

India finance minister pledges to meet deficit goals after tough week in markets

By Himank Sharma and Rafael Nam MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's finance minister pledged on Thursday to meet the country's fiscal and current account deficit targets, as fears of the U.S. Federal Reserve reducing its stimulus fuel concern over India's vulnerability to foreign sell-offs. P. Chidambaram's comments follow those of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, who on Wednesday highlighted a fall in core consumer inflation and announced an 80 billion rupee ($1.26 billion) bond purchase.

China, India sign border defence agreement

China and India signed an agreement Wednesday on border defence cooperation after a stand-off along their disputed frontier in April fuelled fears of conflict between the Asian giants. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, visiting Beijing to seek a breakthrough in the territorial row that has soured relations for decades, witnessed the signing of the pact alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The agreement will "help to maintain peace, tranquillity and stability in our border areas", Li said following the ceremony.
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