When Baldev Singh arrived to open his car parts showroom last September he found not customers but officials from Delhi's municipal council at his doorstep. Part of a drive to clean up Delhi in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Singh was forced to close his business -- sacking 12 of his staff. Officials told him that zoning laws, previously ignored, were now to be zealously enforced.
Sonia Gandhi, rejecting fresh appeals to become prime minister of India, named Manmohan Singh, a 71-year-old Oxford-educated economist, for the post this week, giving the country its first non-Hindu prime minister since it gained independence. Gandhi decided not to take the post after she came under fire from Hindu nationalist rivals because she is Italian by birth.
India's capital made tracks into the future on Sunday when its first underground trains began to run. Designed to cut pollution and improve life for 14-million people crowded into the traffic-choked capital, the Delhi metro has been running an 18-stop overground service since March.
In the same way as commentators refer to the 1900s as the "American century", the 21st century is forecast to be Asian. If the scale and speed of growth can be maintained on both sides of the Himalayas, by 2050 Beijing and Delhi will be the capitals of the world's two richest nations.