31.05.2007

  • As told in my email update yesterday, I covered something about Sikhism in today’s Discover It blog. Take a look at it here. Hopefully, it would give you a good backgrounder on the Sikh politics.
  • And don’t forget to take today’s quiz here. It would be very difficult for me to keep giving you the quiz database again and again. So take the daily quiz without fail and reinforce your current affairs knowledge.
  • ECB cap breached!!
    • Remember we have been noting that there is an internal cap of $22 bn for mobilizing funds through ECBs (External Commercial Borrowings)? That limit has been breached for the financial year ended March 2007. That is now confirmed.
    • The total amount of money raised through the ECB route is now reported to be $23.35 bn. Of this the Reliance brothers alone have mobilized about $6.5 bn.
  • Are we seeing cleansing days in politics?
    • Mayawati has ordered her own party MP, Uma Kant Yadav to be put behind bars for his alleged attempts at land grabbing.
    • The unbelievable thing about this episode is that the police were informed about the whereabouts of the MP by the Chief Minister herself.
    • Is it time for India to sing “Happy days are here again…”???
  • An interesting story about the Meenas of Rajasthan getting the Scheduled Tribe status
    • Meenas are a rich land-owning community inhabiting the western districts of Rajasthan. Originally they were a ruling caste in Rajasthan, but their slow downfall began with the rise of Rajputs and was completed when the British government declared them a “Criminal Tribe”. This was reportedly done to bolster the British alliance with the Rajputs, as the Meenas were warring with the Rajputs also. But basically these are considered to be kshatriyas.
    • There is another community called Bhil Meenas inhabiting the south-eastern parts of Rajasthan. It appears that it is these Bhil Meenas who actually deserve the ST status.
    • The National SC/ST Commission, was constituted in 1954 with a mandate to rework the list of SCs/STs in view of the changing socio-economic profile of various communities.
    • It appears that the report sent by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Manik Lal Verma contained the phrase “Bhil Meenas.” But the ultimate published report of the Commission had a comma inserted between these two words of the phrase. No one knew how the comma came about.
    • The result is that a rich land-owning community came to be tagged as STs and are garnering a major slice of the jobs meant for the Bhil Meenas.
  • Quality audits for private educational institutions
    • These are about to be introduced for the private institutions, especially those associated with foreign education providers, to help parents and students make an informed choice when it comes to admissions.
    • The present system of accreditation by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation council) may be made mandatory to all such institutions.
  • India’s future gas demand and supply position
    • The government projections are showing that the natural gas availability is likely to increase substantially in the coming years and that from 2009-10 onwards, the country should be seeing a surplus position in natural gas.
  • Green tax
    • It is proposed to levy a cess of 1.44 to 6.33% on coal sales based on the ash content. The more ash content in a coal, the more polluting it becomes.
    • An eco tax of 3% to 5% is also proposed to be levied on passenger cars, jeeps and two wheelers.
  • Some noteworthy comments on our reservation system
    • Our reservation policy, thanks to the preponderance of competitive identity politics, has been made to stand on its head with every social group trying to outmanoeuvre the other in its quest for ever more ‘backwardness’. India’s reservation policy, and the concomitant competition for social backwardness, have become instrumentalities of segregationist identity politics.
  • 10th Plan irrigiation statistic
    • We have spent about Rs. 10,000 crores to bring under irrigation only about 8 mn hectares under irrigation. This is 50% of what the Plan originally targeted.
  • IIPCAG – Interpol Intellectual Property Crime Action Group
    • It estimates the global piracy and counterfeiting to be in the region of 7% of all world trade.
  • Virtual world and “Second Life”
    • I have mentioned at least briefly about the computer game “Second Life” on a couple of occasions earlier. Do have a look at it for at least some time, to understand the emerging trends in technology.
    • Some expert comments that I came across about this:
      • The virtual worlds will enable new kinds of interactive commerce, collaboration and entertainment. With increased realism and immersive technologies, the possibilities are endless for other fields: science, engineering, healthcare, business, education and government.

1 Comment:

Vasudev Behere said...

Sir,
This is regarding Green Tax.
As more traffic is growing in the cities, the tax on the FOUR WHEELER purchase price must be increased to 40% of the sale price, so that no. of purchasers are lesser. Four wheelers because, 1)they consume more fuel/person
2)They occupy more space.
3)More used by upper income group
Regards
Vasudev Behere