When you think about it for a second, it's not all that far-fetched, because India has made its economic name on technology in recent times, and they've sent up all sorts of satellites, but you probably weren't aware of India's mission to the moon in 2008- much less the fact that the probe they sent worked, or that it of all the lunar missions was the one to find water on the moon. The fact that India scored that scientific coup got them here, to the point of aiming for a Martian orbit. (Although if you were thinking of the whole squalor-and-poverty imagery, don't feel bad, because some local politicians are thinking of the same thing in an effort to get India's budget focused more on domestic concerns instead.)
Here's the Wikipedia page about India's space program.
Assuming the money's not diverted, they're planning for late next year, on the grounds that there's a 26-month orbiting cycle to work around, and they want to hit the point in the cycle when Mars is closest to Earth. Late 2013 is the next such point in time; the next points are in 2016 and 2018.
Obviously, best of luck to them.