05.12.2006

  • Blocking websites and blogs
    • Government plans to block troublesome websites and blogs with the deployment of suitable technology at the cable landing stations (see my note earlier on cable landing stations on 30.11.2006).
    • The issue of blocking individual websites has come to the fore following the Mumbai blasts in July, when the DoT had directed the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to ban 18 blogs and websites in total. As the ISPs then had no suitable technology available with them to block individual sites (at subdomain level), they had to block sites at domain level, which made thousands of other normal sites also unavailable for users. This led to an uproar.
    • Currently there are 8 cable landing stations in the country: 5 owned by VSNL, 2 by Reliance and 1 by Bharti.
  • Largest telecom tender in the world so far
    • Reliance Communications Ltd., has floated a tender for 90 to 100 mln cellular lines. Of this about 70-75 mln lines are GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) lines and the remaining are WCDMA (Wideband Code Divison Multiple Access) lines.
    • This is bigger than the BSNL’s 45 mln line floated earlier. (See my note on 09.10.2006). Ericsson emerged the lowest bidder for this tender wherein it quoted a price of $107 per line.
    • As Reliance is expected to make use of its existing passive infrastructure for the WCDMA lines, the rest of the lines may come for a price anywhere between $100 - $110 per line.
  • Gaming market in India
    • The market is expected to touch $200 mln by 2010.
  • Online ads business soars in India
    • With about 60 mln internet users, more and more companies are using the online advertising route to reach their consumers. Of this financial services, travel and automobile sectors are having a major share in the ad spends.
    • The revenue from online advertising was Rs. 162 cr in 2005-06 and is expected to touch about Rs. 218 cr in 2006-07.
  • What is cord blood?
    • The blood that is discarded after child birth. It is a very rich source of stem cells, which can be harvested and cryo-preserved.
    • Stem cells: are undifferentiated cells which have the unique potential to produce any kind of cell in the body and self-renewal capacity. Medical researchers believe stem cells have the potential to change the face of human disease by being used to repair specific tissues or to grow organs.
    • Cryo-preservation: The storage of gametes or embryos by freezing at low temperatures.
  • New SPV for coal imports
    • Four of the PSU majors SAIL, NTPC, CIL, RINL are planning to set up a joint venture for acquiring coal assets abroad.
    • They are about to pump in an equity of Rs. 3,500 cr into it. This can mobilize about Rs. 7,000 cr as debt and thus it would be a Rs. 10,500 cr venture.
    • It is expected to help in meeting the coal shortages, particularly coking coal (coal with a quality that allows the production of a coke suitable to support a blast furnace charge).
  • Linkage between JNURM and house property tax
    • The Centre has informed the states that unless they bring in at least 85% of all privately held residential properties in the urban areas into property tax net, they won’t be getting full funding the JNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission).
    • Property tax accounts for about 60% of the revenue for most of the municipal corporations.
  • Totalisation agreement with US
    • When Indians go over to US on H1B visa they are allowed to work there for a maximum of 6 years, after which they have to return.
    • Out of the payments they receive for working there, a certain amount of money (reportedly 16.5%) will be deducted towards social security benefits.
    • But such people cannot avail the social security benefits in the US, because availing such benefits is allowed only when people stay for more than 10 years in the US. That is how our people who go on work there keep contributing for something which they can never avail.
    • Hence an agreement called Social Security Dual Taxation Avoidance Agreement (otherwise called Tatalisation Agreement) is entered into with various countries by the US. So far it has not entered into such an agreement with India.
    • Talks between India and US in regard to this Totalisation Agreement are scheduled to begin during the ensuing visit of a huge delegation from the US.
  • Who is our Cabinet Secretary?
    • B. K. Chaturvedi.
    • Every aspiring IAS officer hopes to occupy this post.
  • Credit scores to assess borrowers
    • Both domestic and foreign banks have been supplying credit history of commercial and consumer borrowers to CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited).
    • The bureau will provide this information to its members in the form of Credit Information Reports (CIRs). The CIR is a snapshot of a borrower’s credit payment history compiled from various credit grantors.
    • CIBIL is thinking of coming out with credit scores for various borrowers from out of the information available with it.
    • Mr S. Santhanakrishnan, is Chairman of CIBIL.
  • How should the rehabilitation of the farmers displaced by the SEZ land acquisition be handled?
    • Paying handsome compensation for the land that is acquired is only part of the deal. The farmers have to be equipped to know how best to invest the money they get so that they can break into the new industrial socio-economic scheme of things.
    • Rehabilitation should be envisaged in terms of building capabilities so that members of traditional social formations do not resent development.
  • The second Indian origin woman to go into space
    • Ms. Sunita Williams, daughter of Deepak and Bonnie Pandya is set to blast off into space on Discovery shuttle.
    • The first lady of Indian origin to do so was Ms. Kalpana Chawla.

1 Comment:

Charu said...

Great work..I am amazed at how you have documented every day in your blog..Its such an enriching experience going through all this !! Do keep writing...