• One of you asked me to write something about women’s reservation. I took a shot at it in today’s Discover It blog. Take a look.
  • Lal Masjid stormed
    • The Pakistani military stormed the masjid and ended the seize. Ghazi and 50 others are the casualties.
  • Mining policy
    • In the beginning of the year, the government levied a duty of Rs. 50 per tonne of iron ore fines having iron content of up to 62% and Rs. 300 per tonne for fines with higher iron content.
    • The mining industry is for allowing unbridled export of the ore, saying that what it exports are only fines for which there is no domestic market. The steel industry wants the exports to be capped at 90 mn tonnes, the 2006 level.
    • The Hoda committee has recommended free export of ore.
  • ATF pricing issue
    • Aviation Turbine Fuel which is the fuel for aircraft is very costly in India. It costs 65% higher in India compared to international benchmarks. Even within the country, the rates vary from airport to airport.
    • As the cost of ATF comprises about 40% of an airline’s operating costs, the industry now wants that the AAI (Airports Authority of India) should buy out the distribution infrastructure of PSU oil companies at the airports and provide equitable access to private players.
    • ATF consumption has roughly doubled over the last 5 years with about 22% growth rate per annum.
  • Ever wondered how to launch a well-informed attack on the policies or behaviour of somebody? Take a look at today’s criticism on our Prime Minister’s misplaced (nay, pure populist) sympathies while pontificating on the investigations in to the UK terror suspects. I really liked the second paragraph. Take a look here.
    • In the same article you would come across words like Wahhabism. What is it? The web tells me that it is a conservative and intolerant form of Islam that is practiced in Saudi Arabia; "Osama bin Laden and his followers practice Wahhabism."
    • The Wahhabis consider the Barelvis inferior as they persist with ‘un-islamic’ practices like ‘Shab-e-barat’ involving visiting and lighting candles at mazaars – a custom opposed by puritanical sects like Ahl-e-Hadis. Militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tabligh-e-Jamaat and Deobandis draw their inspiration from Ahl-e-Hadis.
    • Who are Barelvis? Barelwi (Barelvi) is historically the term for the residents of Bareilly, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In modern usage, it usually refers to the followers of Imam Ahmed Rida Khan Barelwi, an important Muslim scholar of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More commonly, Barelwi is used as a pejorative term by South Asian Wahhabis to refer to non-Wahhabi Sunni Muslims.
    • What is a mazaar? It means grave.