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Obama names first US Chief Technology Officer

US President Barack Obama on Saturday named a Harvard-educated Indian-American to the newly created post of Chief Technology Officer in an appointment much-awaited by Silicon Valley.

As the country’s first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, 36, will use technology to “improve security, ensure transparency, and lower costs,” Obama said in his weekly address to the nation.

Read the article: AFP: Obama names first US Chief Technology Officer

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Why India Has Escaped the Downturn

India has multiplied its per capita income levels many times over since 1950, and has done so far faster in recent years than Britain or the United States did during and after the industrial revolution. In the last 15 years, India has pulled more people out of poverty than in the previous 45 – 10 million people a year on average in the last decade. The country has visibly prospered, and, despite population growth, per capita income has grown faster than ever before. The current financial crisis is unlikely to change the basic success story.

Read the article: Resilient India

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Indian Americans: The New Model Minority?

Indian Americans are in fact a new “model minority.” Despite constituting less than 1% of the U.S. population, Indian-Americans are 3% of the nation’s engineers, 7% of its IT workers and 8% of its physicians and surgeons. The overrepresentation of Indians in these fields is striking–in practical terms, your doctor is nine times more likely to be an Indian-American than is a random passerby on the street. So why do Indian Americans perform so well? A natural answer is self-selection. Someone willing to pull up roots and move halfway around the world will tend to be more ambitious and hardworking than the average person.

Read the article: Indian Americans: The New Model Minority

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An idea whose time has come

Entrepreneurialism has become cool. Victor Hugo once remarked: “You can resist an invading army; you cannot resist an idea whose time has come.” Today entrepreneurship is such an idea. The triumph of entrepreneurship is driven by profound technological change. A trio of inventions—the personal computer, the mobile phone and the internet—is democratising entrepreneurship at a cracking pace. Today even cash-strapped innovators can reach markets that were once the prerogative of giant organisations. An activity that was once regarded as peripheral, perhaps even reprehensible, has become cool, celebrated by politicians and embraced by the rising generation.

Read the article: A special report on entrepreneurship: An idea whose time has come

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India’s shrinking national parties

It is open to question whether India is really governable from the centre – New Delhi. It is already inaccurate to call the two main contenders – the governing Congress party and the Hindu revivalist Bharatiya Janata party – national parties. The species no longer exists. India’s political spectrum is so fragmented that this Congress government heads a coalition of 13 parties – until last year with external Communist support. It replaced a BJP that bounced around inside a 23-party coalition.

Read the article: India’s shrinking national parties

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Fifty Years in Tibet

A half-century after the Lhasa uprising, it’s time for China to learn from its past mistakes. China has little to lose and much to gain from engaging in serious talks. The Dalai Lama alone is capable of uniting Tibetans behind an agreement with the Chinese government, and at 73, may not be around much longer to seal a deal. China may think that it can hold on until he passes. But the Dalai Lama is the voice of moderation, while the younger generation is pushing for independence and a more radical approach.

Read the article: Fifty Years in Tibet

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Could China and India go to war over Tibet?

Contrary to Chinese propaganda, Tibet was not traditionally a part of China. Over the centuries, relations between China and Tibet were characterized by varying degrees of association spanning the spectrum from sovereignty to suzerainty to independence. The People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet in the middle of the last century precisely because Tibetans did not consent to Beijing’s rule.

Read the article: Could China and India go to war over Tibet?

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‘Slumdog’ Oscar success divides India

The film has been sharply criticised as “poverty porn”. Well-respected local filmmakers have described the film as titillating western audiences with its portrayal of slum life. “It’s nothing but a mediocre Bollywood film, which has used references from several Hindi films very smartly,” …

Read the article: ‘Slumdog’ Oscar success divides India

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China invests US$41 billion in one month

China is taking advantage of the economic downturn to go on a major shopping spree, investing in energy and other natural resources that could give it an economic advantage it has never had before.

Read the article: China invests US$41 billion in one month

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Smart ways to prepare for a world beyond recession

Governments around the world are grappling with some of the toughest decisions faced in generations. In severe recession, they are collectively considering as much as $4,500bn (€3,600bn, £3,200bn) in stimulus investments.

Read the article: Smart ways to prepare for a world beyond recession