• Islamic seminaries issue fatwa against caste quotas in AP
    • The AP government’s move to introduce reservations to Muslims in education and employment on the basis of caste system, did not find favour with the Islamic seminaries.
    • They said that there is no caste system in Islam and that this type of division was unacceptable in shaariat.
  • Scientists closer to therapeutic cloning
    • US scientists say they have successfully created embryonic stem cells from monkey embryos. Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon National Primate Research Centre said he had succeeded using modified Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer or SCNT.
    • Korean cloning scientist Woo Soom Hwang lost his job over fabricated successes using human eggs.
  • About cost audits
    • The ministry of corporate affairs has a cost audit branch. All manufacturing companies are expected to keep cost records as per the rules notified by this branch. It orders cost auditing in companies in specific circumstances:
      • To make decisions related to pricing, excise duty, income tax and in calculating the injury suffered by the domestic industry by dumping from other countries.
      • Cost audit is mandated for companies having more than a turnover of Rs. 10 crore.
  • Is adding more jobs than other BRIC countries good enough?
    • No says today’s ET editorial. While noting that we added about 11 mn new jobs every year during 2000-05, which is about half the number added by the remaining three BRIC countries, it points out that the 61st NSSO survey reveals that while employment grew by 2.48% per annum, labour force grew even faster at 2.54% per year.
  • When can foreign exchange inflow be seen as turning excessive?
    • There is no precise yardstick for this. Foreigners bring their capital to India to generate a return on it. If the capital they bring in plays a role in generating additional value and the suppliers of capital claim a share of the additional value generated, that is welcome. But suppose the capital that is brought in does not get utilized for production at all. And suppose this capital further hinders the production already going on, and the suppliers of capital insist on getting a return on their capital. This is a situation of supply of excess capital.
  • When do we say that foreign capital is being used for investment purposes in the country?
    • Look at the gap between domestic savings and aggregate investment. At present it is just about 1% of GDP. This amounts to about $10 bn. This represents the absorption of foreign capital by our economy.