o It is the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or EURATOM Treaty) and is one of the founding treaties of the European Union. The Treaty was originally drafted in the 1950s and addresses the issues in the field of nuclear power that were relevant at that time. These include:

§ radiation protection of the work force and the public;

§ supply of nuclear fissile materials for developing nuclear power sector;

§ safeguarding of this nuclear fissile materials to prevent it from being used for unauthorised military purposes; and

§ general aspects such as research and dissemination of information.

o Under the provisions of the EURATOM Treaty, the European Commission acquired the status of a supranational regulatory authority in three areas: radiation protection, supply of nuclear fissile materials and nuclear safeguards.

· Exclusive Economic Zone

    • In international maritime law, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a seazone extending from a state's coast over which the state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. This is the zone within which the coastal State has the right to explore and exploit, and the responsibility to conserve and manage, the living and non-living resources.
    • Generally a state's EEZ extends 200 nautical miles (370.4 kilometers) out from its coast, except where resulting points would be closer to another country.
    • This is subject to the legal regime established in Part V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This convention was signed in 1982.
    • This was formerly called the Fishery Conservation Zone.

· Cap on Exchangeable Bonds

    • Whether it is ECBs (External Commercial Borrowings) or Exchangeable Bonds, there will be a cap of $500 mn for a single company and $22 bn for all companies in the financial year.
    • EB is a financial derivative that is introduced in Budget 2007-08. It will enable companies to raise capital by unlocking value in their strategic holdings in group companies. EBs will enable companies to raise money without actually selling shares at the time the bonds are issued.
    • There is an overall cap of $22 bn on ECBs for the current financial year.
  • Types of twins
    • This is the latest type of twins discovered recently. Two sperms fused with a single egg. Results in semi-identical twins.
    • Fraternal twins: two eggs each are fertilized in the womb by two different sperm cells.
    • Identical twins: one egg from the mother is fertilized by one sperm from the father, and sometime early in the development the embryo splits and two foetuses grow.
  • Power of QRs to be reintroduced
    • With India readying itself to commit to lower tariffs on both agriculture and industrial products in the on-going Doha negotiations of the WTO, the government has felt the need to equip itself with the power to impose QRs (Quantitative Restrictions), if required. As it is intended to be a purely temporary safeguard measure, India is not expecting to fall foul of the WTO norms.
    • Therefore the government is amending the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act of 1992 for this purpose.
  • Thrissur Pooram
    • It is a cultural festival organized for three days in Kerala every year during April-May.
    • On the third day, locally made firecrackers worth an estimated Rs. 1 crore are fired.
    • Two competing temple committees – Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms – organize this festival. They had to approach the Supreme Court as the use of loud speakers is banned between 10 PM and 6 AM.
    • The Court allowed the conduct of the festival with certain restrictions.
  • Drugs market and price control
    • Control free drugs account for over two thirds of all drugs sold in the market.
    • The ministry of chemicals and fertilizers is planning to fix trade margins of control free drugs. It proposes to fix a margin of 15% for wholesalers and 35% for retailers. There is already a cap of 8 to 16% on controlled drugs.
    • With this move, the pharma companies now have to think twice before doling out huge discounts to the retailers. Discounts over and above these margins will be recovered from the manufacturers.
    • There are over 6 lakh chemists and 20,000 pharama companies in the country.
  • Blueberries help fight cancer
    • Scientists found a new compound – a natural antioxidant -- in them that helps fight bowel cancer and diabetes.
    • They have an ingredient called pterostilbene which lowers blood cholesterol.
  • Power companies to get continued tax break under section 80-IA beyond March 2010
    • During the 10th Plan, power capacity addition was a poor 5.1%. The 11th Plan target to add about 68,869 MW. Of this around 31,345 MW is already under construction. If the targeted growth is achieved it means a growth of 9% in capacity addition during the plan period.
    • As large scale capacity additions are the need of the hour, the government is thinking of extending the tax exemption facility up to March 2017.
  • ADB forecasts India’s growth at 8% for the next fiscal
    • Monetary tightening and inadequate infrastructure have made the ADB come out with this conservative forecast.
  • Railways to develop high-speed freight corridors
    • These are going to be product specific corridors. It is eyeing product lines like iron ore, coal and petroleum products.
    • East-East corridor: covers Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa for iron ore, steel and coal movements.
    • South-South corridor: Goa to Chennai, for iron ore movement.
    • North-South corridor: Delhi to Chennai, for raw material and finished goods.
    • East-West corridor: Eastern states to Western parts of the country.
  • What is the peanut bowl of India?
    • Bharuch District of Gujarat.
  • “The most unkindest cut of all” – Mark Antony
    • This is how he described the wound inflicted by Brutus on Caesar.
    • This is how TK Arun describes the restriction of tax benefit for venture capital funds to only certain sunrise sectors.
    • Pass-through: The income generated by the venture fund will be taxed not from the venture fund but at the time when it is passed on to those who have invested in the venture fund.
    • Budget 2007 restricted this pass-through to only 9 of the sectors.
  • Why is IMF becoming irrelevant?
  • Did you think that the subprime mortgage lending was a problem only of the US markets?
    • Rajrishi Singhal says that it afflicts the Indian housing market also. Many home loans were dispensed to sub-prime borrowers in the rush to capture market share.
    • The RBI needs to step in and stem the rot before it can become a systemic risk.
    • Defaults on sub-prime housing loans also might blow holes in bank balance sheets and could impact lending to other sectors.
  • What is policy trading in life insurance business?
    • This refers to assigning life insurance policies to investors for a consideration.
    • Normally a life insurance policy acquires surrender value after payment of premium for three years. Investors seek out policyholders, who own policies with surrender value and which have lapsed. They then enter into an agreement, whereby the policyholder assigns the policy and transfers all the benefits for a consideration. In most cases, the investor pays more than the surrender value to the policyholder.
    • For the investor this is an investment opportunity. For the seller, this gives more money.
    • But the practice is fraught with certain risks:
      • The practice is not suited to social milieu prevalent in India.
      • It goes against the principles of insurable interest and amounts to gambling.
      • It creates a moral hazard. The principle of insurable interest requires that the beneficiary of an insurance policy should suffer an emotional or financial loss for the insured event to occur. This could lead the investor of the policy to put the original policyholder in a situation which would result in the insurable event to occur.
  • 32nd Annual conference of IOSCO
    • International Organisation of Securities Commissions is being held at Mumbai from April 9th to 12th.
    • IOSCO represents securities regulators from all over the world. It sets the standard which ensures that there are certain benchmarks in regulation. It helps lesser developed markets to find their feet in the international space.
    • SEBI is organizing this conference.
  • Annual ATP awards
    • Roger Federer gets 4 awards!!!
      • Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award for his charity and volunteer work.
      • Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award.
      • Player of the Year award.
      • Fans favourite award.
    • Novak Djokovic of Serbia
      • He was voted the most improved player.
    • Benjamin Becker of Germany
      • Newcomer of the year.
    • Mardy Fish of the US
      • Comeback player of the year
    • Bob and Mike Bryan
      • Doubles team of the year.