• 7 Obstacles to the Indo-US nuclear deal
    • There are two good articles in The Hindu of today on Indo-US nuclear deal. I recommend reading them both. Here is the link for the 1st article and then the 2nd article.
    • There are apparently 7 obstacles as listed out in them:
      • Right of return clause: This clause says that the US will have the right to call back anything sold to India under the 123 Agreement in certain eventualities.
      • Life time fuel guarantees for Indian civilian reactors in return for perpetuity safeguards
      • US insistence on ‘fallback’ bilateral safeguards in addition to IAEA safeguards
      • US refusal to allow India to import components and technology for safeguarded reprocessing and enrichment activity
      • US refusal to allow reprocessing of spent fuel
      • The sequencing of the 123 negotiations and India’s IAEA safeguards agreement
      • Timing and nature of the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s decision to amend its guidelines to allow commerce with India
  • Cervantes Prize for Antonio Gamoneda
    • Spanish poet Antonio Gamoneda has received this prize worth $120,000.
    • His popular works include
      • Sublevacion Inmovil – a collection of poems
      • Edad – a book that won Spanish national Poetry Prize
      • Libro del frio
      • Libro de los venenos
  • Cricket world cup
    • Sri Lanka enters the semifinals beating New Zealand in the semi-finals.
  • RBI’s annual policy statement
    • Those of you who have a penchant for detail should read the actual policy statement once, if not thoroughly; at least a cursory glance is recommended. Take a look at it here.
    • Those of us who are pressed for time, will take a look at the key points:
      • There is no change in any of the key rates – repo, reverse repo, bank rate and CRR remain unchanged at 7.75%, 6%, 6% and 6.5% respectively.
      • GDP growth forecast lowered to 8.5% from 8.5 to 9% and inflation target brought down to 4 to 4.5%.
      • Companies will be allowed to prepay ECBs (External Commercial Borrowings) up to $400 mn.
      • Overseas investment limit to be raised to 300% of net worth.
      • Overseas portfolio investment cap for listed companies to be increased to 35% of net worth.
      • Risk weight on housing loans up to Rs. 20 lakh cut to 50% from 75%.
      • Aggregate ceiling on overseas investment by Mutual Funds to be hiked to $4 bn from $3 bn.
  • Fund to shield small investors
    • Budget 2006-07 proposed the setting up an IPF (Investor Protection Fund) based on the recommendation made by MH Kania Committee. The fund is expected to help the small investors duped by fraudulent practices. The emphasis was on investor education programmes to educate small and retail investors.
    • Government is about to set up the fund.
  • MMT stands for Mobile Money Transfers
    • Do you remember that we noted something about this on 13th February? Take a look at it. This is a novel way of sending money; but this makes mobile telecom companies transgress into the business of banking. So RBI’s permission would be needed.
    • MMT service was launched for the first time in the world at Barcelona (Spain) in February 2007 by the global GSM Association. It works like this:
      • The sender "tops up" his mobile phone with money, similar to "topping up" one's prepaid account. He then forwards the amount using the SMS facility and the receiver gets a PIN-like number on his mobile. The receiver can redeem this for cash at the prepaid distribution points of mobile service providers.
    • The RBI is learnt to have given its regulatory nod to Bharti and SBI to launch this service in India on a non-for-profit basis.
  • Sun’s 3D images for the first time
    • STEREO – Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory. It consists of two space-based observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind. With this new pair of viewpoints, scientist will be able to see the structure and evolution of solar storms as they blast from the Sun and move out through space.
    • It has released the first 3D images of the Sun. These images help studying a type of solar eruption called a coronal mass ejection (solar flares). These eruptions cause overloading of power lines and disrupt satellite communications. They also endanger astronauts on spacewalks.
    • These solar flares typically blow a billion tonnes of the sun’s atmosphere into space at a speed of 1 mn miles per hour. These flares are also responsible for northern lights, or aurora borealis, the luminous display of lights seen in the upper latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

1 Comment:

Nikhil Pavan Kalyan said...

i think in the RBI annual policy for this year, the inflation is estimated to be 5 or 5.5 and not 4 and 4.5

Please correct me if im wrong