The figures of this election are mind-boggling. By the time that the election is over, as many as 815million votes could have been cast between six national parties - the main two being the Indian National Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party - and around 50 separate individual state parties with voting taking place at more than 925,000 voting stations.
My first stop was New Delhi where UNAIDS India and the Government of Victoria hosted a public seminar where I delivered a lecture detailing the progress on work towards an HIV cure. Prior to the seminar I met with journalists from some of the country's leading newspapers and it is my hope we will see some of those outlets reporting on AIDS 2014 from Melbourne.
MUMBAI -- Popular narratives about India typically divide the country into two neat halves. An aspirational urban middle class, whose command of English has seen the country surge as an IT superpower, and a wretched underclass, living in poverty, in remote rural expanses, cut-off from the very technologies that has India making the headlines from Bangalore to the Bay Area.
The First World War is not normally remembered for its epic battles outside the tranches of Europe, as there was nothing Ypres-like about, say, 'Edwardian' Southeast Asia. We just don't associate it to be as globally engulfing as World War Two. Yet, it would a mistake to think that there were geographical limits to the range in which this first (only if one discounts the Seven Years War) recognisable 'world war' was fought.
As India closes in on another general election, great stress is on international affairs and bilateral relationships which seem a bit stretched at this point of time. With the change in guard being seen rather imminent in New Delhi, it would be interesting to observe the government make some important decisions regarding the country's future with other nations.
Access to a mobile device can be life-changing, particularly for women. The Cherie Blair Foundation's research with the GSMA revealed that 9 out of 10 women in developing markets feel safer because of their mobile phones; 8 out of 10 feel more independent with access to mobile technology and more than half have used a mobile phone to earn additional income.
It was an everyday lunch and all classmates were sitting together to discuss an assignment. Suddenly I said something which made all the eyeballs roll towards me and one of my classmates remarked, "Jeez, are we in seventies"? I didn't comprehend the reaction very well. All I had asked was whether a woman being discussed was coloured.