• India-China signed about 13 agreements for cooperation in various fields
    • Agreed to increase the bilateral trade to $40 bn by the year 2010.
    • More consulates to be setup in Kokata and Guangzhou.
    • India refrains from seeking Chinese backing on the Indo-US nuclear deal for the moment.
    • No concessions on the east, India tells China
      • While India claims that China has illegally occupied 43,180 sqkm of J&K, including 5,180 sqkm illegally ceded to Beijing by Pakistan, China accuses India of possessing some 90,000 sqkm of its territory, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • China’s lead in retail
    • While we have our Left comrades crying foul at every attempt at liberalization and reform, China coolly is making rapid strides in some of the very key sectors for which our Left has strong opposition.
    • While in India the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limit for retail is 51% for single brand retail from January this year, in China foreigners are allowed hold up to 65% in their local retail ventures. This was the position from December 2004.
    • Organized retail now accounts for about 20% of the total retail trade in China while in India it is only about 2 to 3%. Our Left raises the bogey of the loss of employment and business for the so called mom and pop (local neighbourhood) stores.
    • China continues its liberalization with Direct selling permitted and removal of restrictions on franchising.
  • SEBI passes the first disgorgement order in the annals of Indian stock market regulatory history
    • The SEBI (Securities & Exchange Board of India) has directed the major depositories and 8 other depository participants to pay up around Rs. 116 cr as compensation to retail investors who sufferred an opportunity loss in the IPO (Initial Public Offering) share allotment scam that came to light last year.
    • This is the first time that a regulatory body in India passed a ‘disgorgement’ oder. Disgorgement entails recovering money from perpetrators of a financial fraud to compensate investors who have lost out.
  • Attorney General (AG) interprets Supreme Court’s judgement on creamy Dalits
    • The AG of India Mr. Milon Banerjee has said that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Nagraj case with regard to creamy layer for Dalits is only in the nature of ‘obiter dicta’ and hence not binding on the government for implementation.
    • What exactly is ‘obiter dicta’? It means literally other sayings. Obiter dictum is a remark or observation made by a judge while issuing a ruling. Obiter dicta are wholly off the subject of the case currently being decided, and therefore are neither binding nor persuasive upon lower courts.
  • Bangladesh terrorist organization suspected behind train blast in West Bengal
    • The train blasts in which 7 people lost their lives and several others injured are suspected to be the handiwork of Bangladesh based JMB (Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh).
    • This orgnization was floated in 1998. It was proscribed by Bagladesh in 2005.
  • Remarriage is no factor for child’s custody says Supreme Court
    • In a landmark judgement, the court held that remarriage of the woman cannot rob her of the parental right to custody of the child. The paramount consideration should be given to the welfare of the child, said the court.
  • Sanyo Electric Co
    • The Chairman and Executive Director of this company is a remarkable lady – Tomoyo Nonaka. She was appointed to the board in 2005.
    • She believes in the Japanese philosophy of Gaia. It treats earth as a living planet where all life and nature are interwoven with each other and are in sync with the needs of our life and earth. She believes that revenues and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.
    • A very remarkable, off-beat philosophy to take a company forward in the present times when companies virtually live from one quarter’s result to the next quarter.
  • The prediction of future web browsing experience (Web 3.0), according to Philip Evans, the author of the famous book “Blown to Bits” is going to be virtual world in 3D. Web 1.0 and 2.0 are characterised as below:

Web 1.0

Web 2.0

Britannica Online


PC games

Second Life

CD Now

iTunes, LaLa


YouTube, BitTorrent

Personal websites

Blogs, MySpace

    • There are 50 mln bloggers, Wiki has over 1 mln articles, there are 35 mln players in virtual world globally, 70 mln teenagers in MySpace.
    • Second Life is a game played by over 1.2 mln people and is run by San Francisco based Linden Lab.
  • Nanotechnology initiatives by India
    • Department of Science and Tehnology has supported close to $70 mln (Rs. 300 cr) of nanotechnology related initiatives in the past four years.
    • What exactly is nanotechnology? The word which was first coined by K. Eric Drexler in 1986, in the book “Engines of Creation”, refers to the manipulation of matter on the scale of the nano-meter (one billionth of a meter). The goal of nanotechnology is to control individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit.
  • Infrastructure funding solutions
    • It is clear that private sector has to step in through the PPP route.
    • For this to happen one measure that is going to help is an active corporate bond market.
    • As this market is not yet well developed, the government has appointed a committee under Dr. R.H. Patil to recommend ways of developing this market. The committee has submitted its report last December. Action is not yet initiated on it in view of SEBI’s reluctance.
    • Acting on this committee’s recommendations calls for a two-pronged approach – both on the macro front and the micro front.
      • On the macro front we need pension reform and the insurance sector must be opened more fully. This would enable large players to enter and park their funds in long-terms assets.
      • On the micro front, stamp duties, TDS (tax deduction at source) rationalization and trading and settlement systems etc., need attention.
  • Brian Lara equals Sunil Gavaskar’s record of centuries. He hit his 34th test century at Multan in Pakistan. This is just one century short of Sachin Tendulkar’s 35 century record.
  • What are nostro accounts?
    • These are bank balances maintained by Indian Banks, which do not have any branches abroad. They maintain these balances with their correspondent banks abroad.
    • These balances also include capital supplied to foreign branches and arms of Indian banks and profits receivable from them.
  • Edible cotton seed
    • Scientists have genetically altered the cotton plant to reduce the levels of the toxic chemical gossypol in cotton seed, making it fit for human consumption.
    • The interesting point to note is that the level of this chemical is reduced only in cotton seed while maintaining its level in the rest of the plant.
    • This chemical is important for the plant as it gaurds it against disease and insects.
    • For each pound of cotton fiber, the plant produces about 1.6 pounds of seed.
    • Estimates say that if all the cotton seed produced in the world today is made fit for human consumption, it can meet the protein requirements of 500 mln people on an annual basis.
    • This genetic alteration was done by a team of scientists led by Keerti Rathod at Texas A&M University.