Jason Overdorf

The $100 Un-PC

In a humble residential neighborhood in the south Indian city of Chennai, Hema Malini--a quiet 13-year-old girl whose hair was braided with jasmine flowers--switched on the family television and a curious new device called Nova NetTV that was connected to the TV and a keyboard.

Do-It-Yourself Education

In India, education is supposed to be free and universal through age 14. In fact, it often doesn't work out that way. Consider Dhiraj Sharma, the 10-year-old son of a bicycle rickshaw driver in Dehli, who was forced to stay home last year after the local state denied him admission because he didn't have the right papers—a common problem.

Mosquito Trajectory

Mosquitoes like warm air, and they breed in water—that much we know. It stands to reason that the bugs would flourish in a world that is getting warmer and wetter. "We're seeing changes in the Himalayas, the highlands of Africa, in the Andes and up into Mexico and in other places in Asia, too," says Paul Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University. "We're seeing a very consistent pattern in highland regions throughout the globe." Is...

Can India Make a Blockbuster Drug?

India used to be big pharma's worst nightmare. Loose patent laws and a glut of talented scientists made that country the world capital for generics. As quickly as companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novatis, Pfizer and others could develop innovative new drugs, nimble Indian companies could copy them—and sell them for a fraction of the price.

Without A Trace

Half an hour from the heart of New Delhi, in the mushrooming grid of houses, cottage industries and tech companies that make up Noida, one of India's fastest-growing cities, a small crowd of protesters are calling for the head of their state's chief minister. "Mulayam Singh," the leader chants. "Murdabad!" the crowd shouts in response. "Noida police," the leader calls. "Hai!

India's Secret Weapon

In a way, the story of India and its diaspora reads like a Bollywood script about two brothers, the younger one rich and successful, the older one poor but closer to the family.

The Green Devolution

The furnace Australia sailed into Chennai last month carrying a load of wheat and, some warned, ill tidings. India's first wheat imports in six years marked a reversal in the march toward "food independence" that the country began in the 1970s.

Periscope

Periscope Slobodan Milosevic's funeral last week was but a prelude. The dominoes he sent toppling will continue to fall over the coming months, likely culminating in the territorial breakup of his own nation.

CONFLICTED COMMIES

As its name implies, the Communist Party of India-Marxist still employs the dated rhetoric of the left, down to calling its ruling body the Politburo, in old Soviet style.

Ahead Of The Pack

In one whopping megadeal, South Korea has become the largest foreign investor in Asia's second emerging giant, India. On Aug. 31, Korean steelmaker Posco established a local subsidiary in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, paving the way for a controversial mill and mining complex that will cost the world's fifth largest steelmaker $12 billion and employ some 40,000 workers once it's fully operational in 2010.

'The Death Of Reform'

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's yearlong reign has been a balancing act, as he endeavors to live up to his reputation as the father of India's economic reforms without alienating the left-wing parties that his coalition government needs to survive.

Snap Judgment: Books

The Whale Caller by Zakes MdaMda's fifth novel tells the story of the growing love between the whale caller, an old man whose kelp horn calls the migrating whales that bring tourists to South Africa's Western Cape, and Saluni, an aging woman who cadges drinks at the town taverns.

UNCLOGGING THE COURTS

Sunila Awasthi, a 36-year-old New Delhi woman, isn't a big fan of India's justice system. It's easy to see why: when Awasthi was 10, her father died. Her uncles then legally forced Awasthi's mother out of the family home.

SNAP JUDGMENT: BOOKS

The Icarus Girl by Helen OyeyemiThis chilling first novel by a 20-year-old Nigerian-born British author explores the mind of a bright but unstable 8-year-old.

PREPARING FOR TAKEOFF

This summer, say experts, the Indian airline business will explode, in ways both good and bad. There will be more airlines, more flights and, thanks to more robust competition, lower fares.

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL

Natarajan Viswanathan wanted a place to get away from it all. "Madras was getting too strangulating," says the 74-year-old retired leather exporter. But instead of looking to the southern hill station of Ootacamund--"Ooty" to the generations of British colonists and upper-class Indians who have repaired there to escape the heat of the plains--he chose to build a vacation home in the small, undeveloped town of Kotagiri, an hour's drive from the Raj-era hill station.

Future Factories

At a factory in greater Noida, an industrial suburb of Delhi, workers step through a series of "air showers" that blast the grime of one of the world's most polluted cities off their clothes.

Snap Judgment: Books

Delhi's latest literary sensation, Swarup is a diplomat who earned a whopping six-figure advance for his first novel. Titled "Q&A," the book recounts the picaresque adventures of Ram Mohammad Thomas, an ignorant orphan who makes off with the jackpot on a quiz show called "Who Wants to Win a Billion?" To explain how he knew the answers, Thomas must tell the story of his life, starting with the Roman Catholic priest who took him in and named him for each of India's major religions.

THE CURSE OF RED INK

Arun Shourie, who has captained a half-dozen different ministries, knows what ails India's government. But reading his latest book, "Governance, and the Sclerosis That Has Set In" (262 pages.

SNAP JUDGMENT: BOOKS

The Warlord's Son by Dan FespermanIn this thinking man's thriller, Fesperman, a war correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, turns his sharp eye to Afghanistan.

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