24 Sep 2002 24 Sep '02
A Google search on "do the needful" suggests that the phrase is indeed popular on the subcontinent: associated with top hits are names like Ibrahim Hunkunti, Lord Sri Krishna, India's National Newspaper, an astrology site run by Mr. Harsh Nigram, Pakistan, Nepal, ... You get the picture.
I'm fine if Vinay leaves it in! It definitely sounded funny to me, but it's not broken English -- it's cultural diversity.
--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)