- Get a feel of size
- Barclays’ – a British bank and ABN Amro have announced that they are going to merge. This will be history’s biggest ever financial services deal. The deal is estimated at $91 bn (or 46 bn Pounds or 67 bn Euros).
- The combined entity will have $3.2 trillion in assets, be world’s fifth largest bank with a market valuation of 85 bn Pounds, 46 million personal banking customers, 1.4 mn commercial clients and 217,000 employees.
- Central board for madarsas mooted
- NCMEI – National Commission of Minority Educational Institutions headed by Justice MSA Siddiqui has recommended to the union HRD ministry the setting up of a central madarsa board through an act of parliament to standardize madarsa education system.
- There are strong opinions expressed both in favour and against this proposal.
- Do-Not-Call Registry
- TRAI has finalized the new guidelines on this.
- There will be a penalty of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 for every unsolicited call.
- Telemarketers’ lines will be disconnected if they violate the regulations thrice.
- Subscribers will not be charged to enroll with the NDNC – National do-not-call registry.
- Human sperm from bone marrow
- Scientists in
have succeeded in making human sperm from bone marrow. Germany
- A team led by Mr. Karim Nayernia from the
took bone marrow from male volunteers. From this, they isolated the mesenchymal cells. Mesenchymal cells have previously been shown to grow into body tissue such as muscle. universityof Goettingen
- Stem cells are immature cells that can be made to follow different functional pathways. Using a form of vitamin A, the scientists have coaxed the mesenchymal cells to become primordial germ cells – the first stage in sperm genesis. Specific genetic markers showed that some of these have developed into more advanced spermatogonial sperm cells. Under normal circumstances these cells turn into mature, functional sperm that can fertilize an egg.
’s efforts to tap the CDM market India
- The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) enables candidates in developing countries like
Indiaand , that have no mandatory obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, to implement CDM projects that reduce emissions. By reducing emissions, one can encash the results by claiming carbon credits. China
- With each tonne of carbion dioxide (or its equivalent) reduced, one carbon credit is claimed. Such credits can be traded with companies or organizations in the developed countries at rates varying between $6 to $16 per carbon credit.
is the second largest claimant of the carbon credits in this fashion. This is entirely from the private sector. So far about 513 projects with a potential to generate about 355 mn CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) have been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. India
- Telecom (cellular) tower sharing
- The sudden interest in the passive infrastructure industry is a function of the needs of service providers to penetrate deeper into the Indian market to sustain the current growth levels as well as cater to the policy initiatives of the regulatory – for instance the extension of the USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) to private telecom operators and independent passive infrastructure providers.
- Estimates suggest that the telecom subscriber base will touch 500 mn mark by 2010 and the number of towers will grow from the current 90,000 to about 310,000 by that time.
- The average cost of a tower is about Rs. 22 lakhs. If tower sharing is followed by all the service providers, this may result in a cost saving of about Rs. 25,000 crores.
- OBC Quota – SC won’t vacate the stay
- The Supreme Court took a strong stand and said that it will not vacate the stay already granted for implementing the OBC reservations in the elite educational institutions.
- Article 15(5) was inserted by an amendment to the Constitution of India mandating quota for educationally and economically backward classes.
- Following this, the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act, 2006 was passed.
- PSLV makes successful commercial launch
- PSLV-C8 carried the Italian satellite Agile, weighing 352 kg and placed it in the exact orbit about 550 km above the earth.
- This has given
an entry into the commercial launch space. India
- The Agile satellite will study the flux of gamma rays on to the earth from deep space. These experiments are important because they can verify the work of Dr. B.G. Siddarth that has said that there will be departures from Einstein’s theory of relativity at high speeds.
- Do you know what can spoil the commercial ambitions of ISRO?
- US export control laws. They prescribe onerous licensing requirements when a
USsatellite or indeed any satellite with components made in the is to be launched from a non-NATO country. US
- This makes marketing of the launch capabilities of ISRO very difficult.
- Power plans for
- About 70,000 MW capacity addition is being planned for the next 5 years.
- Capacity for inter-regional transfer will go up from 11,500 to 37,000 MW.
- Panchayat Divas observed on 24th April
- 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 has brought in lot of changes to the panchayats raj system. Some of the highlights of that are:
- Constitutional status to the Gram Sabha – the assembly of all registered voters of a village, panchayats or group of panchayats.
- Three levels of panchayats – village, intermediate and district.
- Mandatory elections once in 5 years.
- Reservation for women and SC/STs
- Obligatory establishment of State Election Commissions and State Finance Commissions
- Constitution of District Planning Committees
- Boris Yeltsin dead
- He presided over the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the chaotic transition of
to a market economy. Russia
- He died of heart attack.