crime
Indian Police Say Conmen Used Fake Space Age Technology to Scam Investor Out of £157,000

A father-son duo in India were arrested after allegedly convincing a businessman to spend 14.3 million rupees (about £156,600) on their phoney Space Age tech. Authorities say the pair was previously arrested for allegedly selling “naagmani,” a mystical medicine that comes from snakes—making them literal snake oil salesmen. Read More >>

science
An Indian State Is Building a Massive, Blockchain-Based DNA Database

India’s eighth largest state is seeking to build a blockchain-based DNA database of all 50 million of its citizens. Read More >>

education
India’s Education Minister Slammed After Claiming That Evolution Is ‘Scientifically Wrong’

India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development—a position that oversees university education—wants the theory of evolution to be removed from school curricula. Needless to say, this stance isn’t going over very well with the country’s scientists, many of whom are asking the junior minister to retract his comments. Read More >>

security
Full Access to India’s National Biometric Database Reportedly Sold Over WhatsApp for About £6

Aadhaar, India’s massive biometric database, is facing new allegations of compromise after local journalists reported paying the equivalent of £6 in Indian rupees for full administrative access. Read More >>

technology
Alphabet Swaps Project Loon Balloons for ‘Boxes’ to Bring Light Beam Internet to India

One of Alphabet’s crazier attempts to bring the internet to more rural and isolated areas was Project Loon. Using what is called Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC), Alphabet has sought to prove it’s possible to reliably send data wirelessly between balloons floating thousands of feet in the sky. However, the task of keeping balloons aloft indefinitely is tricky business, so for its next venture, Alphabet’s X team is taking the tech behind Project Loon and putting it in FSOC boxes that will be mounted all over the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Read More >>

ai
Woman With Leprosy Denied Pension Because She Doesn’t Have Fingers for India’s Biometric Database

Blind, disabled, and estranged from her family, 65-year-old Sajidha Begum has survived on a monthly pension cheque of 1,000 rupees (£11.53) in Bangalore, India. In August, however, the Indian government sent a letter to the leprosy hospital where she’s lived for over 10 years saying her pension was being taken away unless it was linked to a card from Aadhaar, the country’s controversial biometric database. But since leprosy has taken Begum’s sight and fingers, she has no way of submitting the necessary fingerprints and iris scans—and no prospective solution as she awaits help. Read More >>

censorship
The Wayback Machine Was Quietly Blocked in India

On Tuesday evening, citizens of India were appalled to find that the Internet Archive had been blocked by a growing number of local ISPs. Instead of finding the Wayback Machine, users saw a message that is routinely used when the government restricts access to an online organisation. Read More >>

crime
If You Ordered a Rare Indian Root Online, It’s Probably Just a Dried Lizard Penis

The Hatha Jodi root is believed to bring good luck, allegedly because it looks like two praying hands. You know what also looks like two praying hands? Dried lizard penis. And poachers have noticed. Read More >>

space
India Just Launched Its Giant ‘Monster’ Rocket

It’s a big day for India and its very, very large rocket: Today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its 640 ton GSLV-Mk III rocket, carrying the GSAT-19 communications satellite on it. The GSLV-Mk III’s maiden voyage brought its satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit above Earth’s equator—a high Earth orbit that allows a satellite to sync up with Earth’s rotation. Needless to say, not to shabby for a first launch. Read More >>

space
Watch 104 Satellites Fire Out of a Rocket In Record-Setting Space Mission

Today, India blew away all previous records for launching multiple satellites at one time. Watching each of these little guys with their own individual purposes flood the sky and kick the country’s space programme into overdrive is just as cool as it sounds. Read More >>

space
India Is Poised to Set a New Space Record Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will blast off from India’s southern spaceport with 104 satellites on board. Should all go well, the Indian Space Research Organization will establish a new satellite delivery record for a single mission—and by a long shot. Read More >>

science
Mysterious Brain Disease In Children Tied to a Popular Fruit

Since 1995, hundreds or poor children in Muzaffarpur, India have mysteriously suffered seizures and feelings of brain fogginess, usually in the morning. Many would soon die. This happened every year between May and July: In 2014, for example, Muzaffarpur hospitals admitted 390 kids with the symptoms, resulting in 122 deaths. Read More >>

pollution
Disturbing Images Show the Extent of Delhi’s Extreme Pollution Emergency

Delhi, the capital city of India and home to 25 million residents, is in the midst of an “extreme pollution event”. In other words, the city has been overrun with smog – tons of it. Recent photographs show the extent of the problem, which is being blamed on everything from vehicle emissions and crop burning through to smoking and fireworks. Read More >>

language
Hear2Read Promises Machine-learned Audio Translations for India

Text to speech tools are nothing new, but the one offered by Hear2Read -- for free -- is a little bit different from the rest. It uses machine learning to populate a database and compare the commonalities of Indian languages, offering translation on the fly without a massive bespoke list of words. Read More >>

space
This Launch of 20 Satellites at Once Is All the Space Porn You Need Today

India just sent twenty satellites into space at once, the most the country has ever launched in a single go. The record is certainly impressive. The photo documentation of the satellites blasting off to the heavens is simply incredible. Read More >>