- Ethanol-fuelled vehicles less healthy
- We have all been watching closely how ethanol can ultimately substitute petroleum products as fuel. But a study has thrown surprising results. It says that ethanol-fuelled vehicles can contribute more respiratory illnesses than gasoline-powered automobiles.
- The study projects that deaths relating to air pollution would rise by 4% in the
, if all cars and trucks are fuelled by ethanol. US loses the bid to host 2014 Asian games India
- It lost it
. The city of South Korea Incheonin will be hosting the games. South Korea
- BJP MP in human trafficking case
- Babubhai Khimabhai Katara, a tribal MP from
Gujaratwas nabbed by the police in a human trafficking case, while he was noticed taking one Paramjit Kaur and her 16 year old son abroad on his diplomatic passport. He showed them as his wife and son.
- National Skills Registry
- It is a database of third party verified personal, qualifications and career information of IT professionals, and allows employers to view verified resumes of IT professionals.
- It was launched by NASSCOM in January 2006 to address concerns over information security breach and fake resumes.
- So far about 1 lakh people have applied to be enlisted in this registry.
- BOT (annuity) deals in road projects may get the boot
- A BOT (annuity) road project is one where the government bears the traffic and revenue risks but continues to make a fixed semi-annual payment to the developer.
- The PM’s Economic Advisory Council is considering bidding a goodbye to such type of projects as the Planning Commission has also felt that this model is a burden on the exchequer.
- Prof. Abhijit Sen committee
- It was constituted to look into the impact of futures trading on price rise in agricultural commodities.
- In its hearings, the commodity exchanges have argued that:
- Price rise in commodities is a function of supply – not of futures trading; and
- Commodities such as jowar, bajra and moong that contributed to inflation are not even traded on the exchanges.
- The committee is likely to seek more time to finalize its report.
- BRIC countries’s economic power
- They (
Brazil, Russia, Indiaand ) account for around 8% of the global economy while G-6 countries account for almost 65%. The share of BRIC countries will increase due to higher real growth and appreciation of their currencies in future. China
- A good comment on reservation policy
- The reservation regime as it has evolved, particularly in the south, is envisaged as a stable and permanent power sharing arrangement between different communities, not as a temporary measure to remedy disparities as envisaged in the Constitution. In Tamilnadu 69% of the seats are reserved covering over 80% of the population. This means that the views of those in the ‘general’ category are not represented in legislatures and only courts can uphold their rights.
- Is there a case for trade promotion now?
- As we wait on the commerce minister Kamal Nath to announce his latest amendments to the trade policy, let us look at some cogent reasons given by today’s editorial:
- Firstly, the reports of the death of Indian competitiveness, due to the appreciating rupee, are highly exaggerated. A stronger rupee directly cheapens all imported inputs of
’s exports. Import-intensity of Indian exports range between 60 to 90% in most cases. A stronger rupee dampens domestic inflation and reduces pressure on the central bank to tighten credit. The entire economy, including export activity, gains from the resultant brake on rising production costs. India
- Secondly, as the proposed switch over to an integrated GST (Goods and Services Tax) has been kicked off, all indirect taxes of the Centre and the states get subsumed in that GST and credit for taxes that have been paid becomes transparent and automatic. This weakens the case for arbitrary levels of offsets such as DEPB and would allow Indian exports to be shorn of any tax burden without attracting charges of unfair subsidy from rivals in international trade.
- Thirdly, it is natural for an economy like
to witness a leveling off of the share of exports in GDP. That is, it should not be a surprise to see the growth in exports being lower than the nominal GDP growth. India
- For all these reasons, there is no case for desperate acts of trade promotion, argues the paper.
- It is fashionable for some to keep arguing that no cutting-edge research gets done in
India– either by indigenous companies or by MNCs who are allowed to set up shop in . If we look at two examples from GE’s India R&D Centerin , we are sure to become skeptical about such arguments. They have filed more than 460 patents from their Bangalore centre alone. Take a look: Bangalore
- A bumber (for cars) that ensures safety of pedestrians too. Made of a special plastic called XENOY, the bumper is designed to absorb most of the energy of the collision causing very little damage to the pedestrian.
- AutoBone is an application that gives the physicians a 3D image of the brain in a matter of a few minutes from the 2D CT scans. This helps radiologists diagnose the problem more accurately and easily.
slowdown and global boom US
- My favourite Professor from IIMA has written again on a favourite subject of mine. I predicted sometime back in this blog that a
USslowdown is sure to hurt many economies worldwide, including ’s. India
- He has a slightly different take on the subject – and more insightful one at that – about it.
- He writes “Whether a US recession is caused by a factor specific to the
or not is, … crucial in determining its impact on the rest of the world.” He reels out four factors that show that the present global boom can co-exist with a US slowdown. US
- Firstly, the present slowdown in US is due to US specific developments namely, corrections in US housing and manufacturing sectors rather than to broad-based factors.
- Secondly, the
is going through mid-cycle slowdown, not a recession. US
- Thirdly, for some economies, trade linkages with the
have become less important. US
- Fourthly, domestic demand is strengthening in both industrial and emerging economies.
- I sincerely hope that the Professor is right. But stock markets throw nasty surprises most of the time. Hence my prediction that the
housing mortgage blues are going to make a negative impact on our stock markets in the near to medium term. An oil shock (which is unlikely in this horizon) can aggravate the situation, unless other factors which are seen as perking up the mood appear on the horizon alleviating the situation. US
- I was asked to explain “clinical data” in the shout-box by Mahima
- I replied that it is data gathered during clinical trials.
- Look at some details as to what are clinical trials:
- Clinical trial is a carefully planned experiment to evaluate a treatment or a medication (often a new pharmaceutical) for an unproven use. Phase I trials are very preliminary short-term trials involving a few patients to see if drugs have any activity or any serious side effects. Phase II trials may involve 20 to 50 patients and are designed to estimate the most active dose of a new drug and determine its side effects. Phase III studies are randomized controlled trials on large patient groups (300–3,000 or more depending upon the condition) and are aimed at being the definitive assessment of the efficacy of the new therapy, in comparison with current 'Gold Standard' treatment. Phase IV trials involve the post-launch safety surveillance and ongoing technical support of a drug.