India

Indian media: Brake on Formula 1?

The race start
Image caption The Grand Prix has given Indians a chance to watch the fast-paced motorsport event at home

Media feel the future of Indian motorsports looks bleak after Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion that the Indian Grand Prix will "probably not" happen in 2014.

The Hindu says the decision may put a "premature end to India's controversial foray into the world of high speed cars".

"The fate of the 2014 Formula One Indian Grand Prix, previous editions of which were held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, hangs in the balance," says the Hindustan Times.

The Telegraph feels "the future of motorsport in India suffered a jolt" with this move.

But Indian motorsport federation boss Vicky Chandok and organisers the Jaypee Group say this is not the end of the road for F1 in India.

"In 2015, F1 is looking to start earlier than the usual March. This means that the 2014 calendar will have to be wrapped up earlier than November. As such, some races like India (held towards October-end) may be dropped," the Hindustan Times quotes Chandhok as saying.

Staying with sports, Justice Mukul Mudgal, who headed the committee set up to draft the National Sports Development Bill 2013, says national sports federations, including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), will have to come under the Right to Information (RTI) law once the bill is passed in the parliament, or lose their right to represent India, The Times of India reports.

The new bill aims to make sports federations more accountable but the BCCI has been reluctant to come under the ambit of the RTI, which allows Indians to access information held by the government.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured business leaders that his government will bring in more reforms in the next few months to strengthen the economy, reports the Hindustan Times.

Mr Singh met some of the top industrialists on Monday and urged them to "remove the mood of pessimism" from India's business landscape, the paper adds.

Elsewhere, the government has received 106 complaints about tainted free Mid-Day meals being served in state-run schools across the country, The Indian Express reports.

The complaints, made between January 2011 and 19 July 2013, are mostly about contaminated meals served to children, mismanagement, misuse of funds and corruption, the paper adds.

The Mid-Day Meal scheme provides free food and reaches millions of students, but often suffers poor hygiene.

At least 23 children died and dozens more fell sick after eating contaminated school lunch in the eastern state of Bihar earlier this month.

The royal connection

In international news, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid will attend the inauguration ceremony of Iran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani on 4 August, the paper says in another report.

Meanwhile, the government has launched a new app to help people apply for passports from their mobile phones, the DNA newspaper reports.

The app will also help people abroad who may need consular access in emergencies, the paper adds.

Meanwhile, The Hindu has published the "fairytale" story of Badar Azim, who displayed the official announcement of the birth of the UK royal baby in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace last week.

Mr Badar was born in a slum in the eastern city of Calcutta and grew up in poverty. He was sent by Irish charity St Mary's Orphanage and Day School to International Institute of Hotel Management in Calcutta.

The charity then raised £10,000 for him to go to Scotland for higher studies and last year, he got a job as a junior footman at the palace, the paper adds.

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