- ANNOUNCEMENT: I was out of town on some personal work. Hence there were no posts for the last couple of days. Now that I am back we are resuming as usual.
- We are proud to be one year old now as a blog. We have started on September 17th of last year. Take a look at our very first post. It will perhaps look very amateurish for all of us now.
- The Fed has cut the fund rate. Take a look at some detailed explanation about some terminology in this context on our Discover It today.
- A new term for us to learn. It is going around the city with a WiFi laptop sniffing out wireless networks to gain illicit internet access.
- It was coined after another similar word “wardialing” which itself was coined after the 1983 film War Games, in which the protagonist searched for computer systems with software that dialed numbers randomly to see which ones were connected to a computer or a fax machine.
regaining status as seat of learning? India
- There is a threefold rise in the number of foreigners enrolled in Indian institutions, up from 6,988 in 2000 to 25,947 in 2006.
- There has been a whopping 53% increase in the number of students from the
in 2006 itself. US
- The story is pretty much the same for degree and post-graduate courses.
- IBM’s bid to find cures for Dengue fever and
West Nilevirus infections
- Both these have no known drug treatments. They are primarily passed on to humans by mosquitoes.
- IBM proposes to use the global computer grid to benefit humanity. Researchers estimated that 50,000 years of computing research would be needed to find out drug treatments for these diseases. It plans to cut short this time to 1 year by enlisting the help of donors to use their unused computer time for the research. If you are interested in donating your unused computer time for this research log on to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and join the programme.
- Virgin coconut oil?
- What is this? Normally coconut oil is extracted from copra, which is dried coconut. But virgin coconut oil is one that is extracted from the green coconut or coconut milk. This is said to carry more health benefits with a higher presence of vitamin E and lauric acid and absence of trasfatty acids.
- Mars Odyssey orbiter
- It went into safe mode because of some software glitch. The 6 year old spacecraft helps the mars rovers to send data to Earth.
- Gas pricing formula evolved by the EGoM
- It has four basic elements.
- A floor price of $2.5 per mmBtu
- Linkage to benchmark crude Brent (within a band of $25 to 60 per barrel)
- A dollar rupee exchange rate (based on the average of the last 12 months)
- The biddable component
- The selling price would depend on the biddable component determined in the bidding process.
- Why is a subprime mortgage crisis unlikely to hit
- NHB (National Housing Bank), the regulator for housing finance companies usually monitors the housing market very closely.
- Our lenders are also very conservative. The loan-to-value ratio of a typical housing loan transaction varies between 40% to 60%. That is, the loan sanctioned is only about 60% of the total cost of the house at the maximum. Thus the house financing company has a cushion of about 40% in case of depreciation in the asset value (house value). In US, this value is as high as 95%.
’s securitization market is very nascent. Hence not much of securitization of housing loans has taken place. India
- EMIs in
are annuitised. They are spread equally. There are no balloon payments in the subsequent years. India
- Our banks don’t allow piggybacking of loans. That is, no second mortgage on the same house enabling the borrower to buy a house with little or no equity.
- What is a feed-in tariff? Relates to electricity sector.
- Feed-in tariff is the rate at which one can sell power generated by them to the electricity distribution companies.
- West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission is the first ERC in the country to have announced such tariffs to encourage private distributed generation of electricity through non-conventional methods.
- Power needs of the country
- According to the Integrated Energy Policy (IEP), for a sustained economic growth rate of 8% through 2031-32, India needs to increase its primary energy supply by 3-4 times and its electricity generation capacity by 5-6 times of their 2003-04 levels. That means, the generation capacity must increase to nearly 800,000 MW from the present 160,000 MW.
- Our external debt to GDP ratio
- It is at 16.4% and is one of the lowest in the world.
- Insurance penetration in
- It is one of the lowest. Insurance premium as a percentage of GDP is only 4.1% as against 13.1% in the
UKand 8.3% in . Japan constitutes 16% of the world’s population, but accounts for only 1.68% of the world insurance market. India
- Digital smiley turns 25
- Scott E Fahlman is credited with using the smiley for the first time on September 19, 1982. He used three keystrokes – a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis – as a horizontal smiley face in a computer message. Remember this :-) ?
Convention on Law of Treaties Vienna
- It came into being in 1980.
- It defines a “Treaty” as an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.
’s Chief Mission
- Swami Gahanananda
- He is critically ill.
- CTBT – Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
- It bans all nuclear explosions. Although 140 countries have ratified the accord, it will not enter into force until it has been ratified by 44 states listed in an annexe that participated in a 1996 disarmament conference. Only 34 of those 44 countries have ratified it so far. The 10 that did not ratify are:
China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistanand the . US