• Interesting developments in infrastructure sharing
    • Reliance communications (RCOM) has established a subsidiary company called TowerCo which will hold all the wireless towers and other related telecom infrastructure.
    • Reliance has about 15,000 cell sites (towers) and plans to add another 10,000 in the near future.
    • The global leader in this business is ATC (American Tower Corporation) with about 30,000 towers across North and Latin America.
    • Globally the emerging business model is that cell sites and other related infrastructure are being increasingly owned by third parties that lease out the same to multiple service providers (telecom companies).
    • This business model ideally is what should be finding its way into other infrastructure sectors like electricity, water, roads etc. That is the content should be different from the carrier. What this means is that transmission and distribution of electricity should be different from the actual business of sale of electricity to end consumers.
  • Press Note 4 of 2006
    • It lays down that there is no need for FIPB approval in the case of foreign investment which is subject to clearances by RBI or SEBI. In other words, such investments are on the automatic route for FDI.
  • India-China border dispute on Arunachal Pradesh
    • China cites the Tawang Monastery, one of the last vestiges of the Mahayana Buddhism as evidence that the mountainous district of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh once belonged to Tibet and that India should hand it back to help settle the row.
    • Arunachal Pradesh was administered as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) until 1972 when it became a union territory. It was given full statehood in November 1986 after taking into consideration the security situation in the east and Sino-Indian tensions.
  • Radio industry in India
    • The number of FM radio stations in the country is likely to go up to 270 by the end of this year.
    • The FM radio industry has already coughed up about Rs. 2,300 cr as license fees to the GoI.
    • The radio sector is slated to grow to a Rs. 12,000 mln industry by 2010.
  • WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) spectrum allocation issues in India
    • The WiMAX Forum has cautioned that unless the country allocates spectrum in the 2.5 – 2.69 GHz band, India could well miss the wirelss broadband revolution.
    • The 2.5 GHz band is used worldwide for WiMAX. But TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has recommended 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.3 – 3.4 GHz.
    • TRAI further recommended that each of the players in the WiMAX space be allotted 15 MHz. This is stated to be not adequate as globally WiMAX equipment is configured to work on 20 MHz channels.
    • A WiMAX tower typically covers an area of about 3,000 sq miles or 8,000 sq km.
    • WiMAX refers to broadband wireless networks that are based on the IEEE 802.16 standard.
  • Annual outlay on education may get a big boost
    • HRD ministry is of the view that in accordance with the commitments made in the NCMP (National Common Minimum Program) of the UPA government, public expenditure on education should be raised to 6% of the GDP by 2009-10.
    • Public spend on education accounted for only 3.5% of the GDP currently.
    • It wants the 11th Plan outlay to be at least Rs. 2.27 lk crore for this purpose.
  • Some Navaratnas may lose their status
    • Barring ONGC and SAIL none of the navaratnas figure in the list of top 10 PSUs.
    • Based on this the GoI is thinking of removing the navaratnas status on some of the companies which are not performing well.
    • In terms of profit, ONGC stands at the first position. BSNL and SAIL follow ONGC.
    • In terms of sales, it is IOC, HPCL and BPCL which are leaders.
  • Priority sector lending and problems of foreign banks
    • As per RBI guidelines they have to lend 32% of their net bank credit to priority sector (SSIs and export credit). There is no requirement of agriculture credit for them.
    • Under the new guidelines issued by RBI, the target will now be calculated on the adjusted net bank credit (net bank credit + investments made by banks in non-SLR bonds) or credit equivalent to the ‘off-balance sheet’ exposures whichever is higher as on 31st March of the previous year.
    • The off balance sheet exposure includes guarantees, letters of credit, derivative and forex exposures.
    • Further there are sub-targets stipulated:
      • Of the 40% funds earmarked for SSI advances, 10% should go towards units having investments in P&M (plant and machinery) up to Rs. 5 lk and 20% to units with P&M investments between Rs. 5 – 20 lk.
    • If banks fail to meet the targets laid down, they will have to contribute to the SEDF (Small Enterprises Development Fund) being set up by SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India).
  • The hottest gaming consoles from world leading players
    • Play Station from Sony, Xbox 360 from Microsoft and Wii from Nintendo
  • Jews in North East of India
    • Bnei Menashe community in Mizoram settled in India about 2,700 years ago on exile from their homeland. They were exiled by ancient Israel in 730 BC by the Assyrian empire.
    • This community is recognized as Jews by Israel last year and is allowed to settle in Israel.
Today's topic for discussion: Should India allow foreign universities to set up shop in India? To get a grip of the issues involved please read this article on Discover-It before posting your comments below. I would appreciate if you can clearly spell out the benefits that will accrue to us and the downside, if any, because of their entry.

1 Comment:

Ramakrishna said...

WiMAX speeds:
WiMAX supports peak data rates of up to 23 Mbps