• Russia, US strike WTO deal?
    • Russia is not a member of the WTO. It has been discussing with the US about making a possible entry into the WTO. The WTO also needs to have Russia as a member as it is an economy worth $1 trillion and is the largest outside the WTO.
    • The agreement with US centers around Moscow’s unwillingness to grant access to US meat imports and Washington’s concerns about internet and video piracy in Russia.
    • Both the countries are reported to have reached an agreement on these issues.
  • Dr. Rajiv Kumar: Director, ICRIER (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
  • Opposition to the 4000 MW power project in Karnataka
    • The project proposed at Tadri in facing opposition on two counts:
      • Environmentalists say that it will cause damage to the Aghnashini Estuary in the region which is recognized as one of the world’s environmental hotspots.
      • The Navy has reservations with the proximity of the project site to its command base (Project Seabird) in Karwar.
  • What prompted the Maoists to join the ani-monarcy struggle in Nepal?
    • One argument is that they felt the republican movement has offered them a chance to articulate their politics of social change.
  • To build successful youth-friendly policies, governments need to focus on three policy areas:
    • Expanding opportunities
    • Enhancing capabilities
    • Providing second chances for young people
  • Shipbuilding capacity in India
    • India has four major shipbuilding yards at Mazagon, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata. The one at Kochi has the capacity to build ships of 1,00,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tonnage).
    • There are a total of 28 shipyards in the country.
    • The Centre is planning to construct two more shipyards with about Rs. 5,000 cr investment in each. They will have capacity to build ships of 3 lakh tonne capacities and will be located – one each on east and west coasts of India.
  • World’s first airline allowing smoking
    • Alexander Shoppmann has founded the Smoker’s International Airways – Smintair. Beginning October 2007, it is scheduled to commence its operations.
    • Smoking will be allowed in all the 138 seats aboard the flights.
    • The airways is based in Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • What is khirlanji incident?
    • Four members of a dalit family were killed in this village in Bhadara District of Maharashtra. The CPM has demanded a probe by CBI alleging that there were concerted attempts to hush up the incident.
  • Supreme Court deals a blow the rights of gay activists
    • Article 377 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) framed in 1860 punishes “those who indulge in intercourse voluntarily against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal”.
    • Gay activists have been campaigning for the scrapping of this article.
    • The Supreme Court held that the law is needed to deal with persons of perverse sexuality.
Today's topic for discussion: Should there be reservation on communal lines in priority sector lending? You might have read on this blog earlier that the Government of India's Ministry of minorities has come up with a proposal to reserve about 15% of the funds meant for priority sector lending to issue loans to people from the minority community i.e., Muslims. What are your views about such a proposal?

Key in your views by clicking on the comments link below.