· I answered a few more shout-box queries in today’s Discover It blog. Take a look at it here.
· Saraswati Rangarajan has sent across this NDTV news link to me today on competition in civil services. Take a look at it. It is here. That is a news item that all of you would surely be interested in.
· Jayalalithaa headed for legal troubles!!
o The Madras High Court has held that there is a prima facie case of filing false election declaration by Ms. Jayalalithaa.
o The rules allow a candidate to contest only from two constituencies at a given time. She had filed nomination papers from four constituencies (Krishnagiri, Pudukottai, Andipatti and Bhuvanagiri) in 2001. This judgment is about these nominations.
o However, all the nomination papers filed by her were rejected on technical grounds. But after the elections, she went on to become the CM as she was invited to form the ministry in May 2001. This appointment was quashed by the Supreme Court in November of the same year, as she was convicted by a lower court in Tansi case. Then she made O. Pannerselvam as CM and ruled the state by proxy. When she was finally acquitted in the Tansi case, she successfully contested the Andipatti seat in a by-election and became CM in March 2002.
· Can MPs become Chief Ministers?
o Yes, said the Supreme Court while dismissing the petition filed against Mayawati, the UP Chief Minister. Mayawati is a Rajya Sabha MP when she was sworn in as CM.
o An MP when sworn in as CM has to resign his membership from the Parliament within 14 days and seek election to the state legislative assembly.
· E-commerce figures in
o E-commerce has touched a figure of Rs. 2,300 crores. About 10.8 mn Indians or 43% of the country’s total internet population are buying goods and services online.
· Export duty on iron ore may be shared with the states
o This is aimed at providing the mineral rich states with some additional revenue in view of the fact that the royalties have remained at abysmally low levels for quite long.
o The budget this year has proposed an export duty of Rs. 50 per tonne on iron ore fines with less than 62% iron content, and Rs. 300 for the remaining iron ore.
o Remember the Hoda committee recommendation in regard to royalties? It said that the royalty should be shifted from specific to ad valorem rates.
· Get fined for not giving information for statistics compilation
o You know there is act called The Collection of Statistics Act, 1953? I was really surprised that one such Act exists!!
o It has a provision wherein a company not submitting information is fined a one time fine of Rs. 500. This is now being amended to encompass individuals and the fine is being enhanced to Rs. 1000 per day of default.
· More info on carbon trading: how to earn money for rural households?
o This exchange has about 300 members at the last count. A Kerala based NGO, Anthyodaya has become the first Indian entity to become a member of this exchange. Its project involves 20,000 rural households that use biogas for cooking. The methane captured and burnt would earn the NGO allowances which it can sell through CCX to entities in the
· About the sorry state of affairs relating to Hydro power in
o The country has a potential of 150,000 MW. But the installed capacity is a mere 33,600 MW.
o Electricity from small hydro projects is considered renewable energy.
o Environment impact assessment studies and approval of the pollution control boards are the legal bottlenecks coming in the way of small projects.
· Kesar mangoes go west!!
o This variety which is grown in the Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat are finally being exported to the
· Why is a currency exchange required for the country? What are the existing arrangements for carrying out currency trades now?
o An independent currency exchange is necessary to facilitate all importers and exporters to manage effectively currency risks while doing business.
o At present currency is traded in inter-bank currency markets – spot and forward – under the aegis of FEDAI under the RBI’s control. There are three platforms that are used for currency trades right now. They are Reuters, FXDirect and FXClear.
· About tackling benami transactions
o The Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 has not come into effect as yet because the rules for implementing the Act have not been passed so far.
o Even if the rules are framed, it is unlikely that this Act can check either the speculative real estate transactions or real estate price bubbles. For that to happen simultaneous action on three fronts is a pre-requisite:
§ Removing the artificial, policy induced scarcity of urban land
§ Creating a system of unique identification for all citizens
§ Tax reform to both lower the rate of tax and enhance the cost of non-compliance.
· IMF Managing Director
o Rodrigo de Rato
· Argentine President
o Nestor Kirchner
· New dinosaur species found in
o Fossil of the feathered but flightless Gigantoraptor erlianensis was found in Erlian basin in