• 120 combination drugs to be recalled from the market
  • Developments on subprime fiasco
    • The US and European banks have reportedly suffered about $20 bn loss so far.
    • While the subprime fears have not totally faded away and the losses are still being counted, the fears of recession are not being fuelled partly because US employment scene has been rosy in the last couple of months. Payrolls climbed a steep 166,000 in October.
  • India and innovation
    • It is a well-known fact that a country’s economic progress hinges a lot on its innovative capabilities. India’s luck on this count seems to be improving over the last couple of years with many companies doing cutting edge research in the country.
    • US patent filing and approval is a long drawn process and takes anywhere between 36 and 48 months.
    • The top 5 emerging markets (including India) have filed over 3,500 patents between 1999 and 2003.
    • A US report says that patent applications from China, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan rose 759% from 1981 to 2001, compared with a rise of 116% from the US during the same period.
  • Indian power sector scene and Gujarat
    • Gujarat has reportedly been able to effectively tackle the power problem to deliver reliable power to all, aided by its Jyoti Gram Yojana. It is the only state in India to have provided access to each of its 17,940 villages.
    • The country’s AT&C losses (a euphemism for loss of electricity largely due to theft and partly due to genuine technical transmission losses) are way ahead of the global average of 5 to 10%.
    • The pace of reforms in the country also has not picked up with the fund releases for APDRP during the 10th Plan being a paltry Rs. 1575 crores against the planned Rs. 20,000 crores.
    • An industry study reveals that every 1% reduction in T&D loss can save additional capacity of 800 MW.
    • You may find this article on Discover It useful in this context. It is about the Indian Power Sector.
  • Hypertension control
    • Recent research suggests that hypertension (commonly known as Blood Pressure) is controlled by a protein complex in the kidneys.
  • Why did the immigrant workers in Gulf (UAE) go on strike?
    • It is a manifestation of the growing social inequity caused by the frenzied expansion of the emerging economies.
    • The vast numbers of immigrant workers are treated unfairly, with about half their salary impounded for providing food for them. Their average salaries are also very meager at about $163 to 272 per month compared with the $400 prescribed by the protocols signed by the Indian government with the Gulf countries. In contrast the average monthly salary in UAE is about $2,800.
  • Rowling’s new offering is fairy tales
    • The author of the wildly popular Harry Potter series has come out with “The Tales of Beedle the Bard”. Only 7 copies of the handwritten book are reportedly made. She plans to auction one of them to raise money for children’s charity. The other 6 will be given away as gifts.
    • The copy to be auctioned is expected to fetch more than $62,000.
  • National food security mission
    • It aims at increasing production of rice by 10 mn tonnes, wheat by 8 mn tonnes and pulses by 2 mn tonnes in the next 4 years.
    • It is a Rs. 4,882 crores scheme and was launched in 305 districts of 16 states.
    • The strategy is to bridge yield gaps by introducing modern technologies and improved agronomic practices.
  • Alonso leaves McLaren
    • The 2005 and 2006 Formula One champion has decided to leave McLaren following his stormy relationship with the team. He worked only for one year of his 3 year contract with the team.
  • World Toilet Summit asks Indian Railways to be responsible
    • Experts participating in the summit urged the Indian Railways to stop trains scattering lakhs of litres of human waste across the country every day.
    • The world’s largest network of railways transports 16 mn passengers on 8000 trains daily, spreading an estimated 3 lk litres of human waste from ‘open discharge’ toilets.
    • The experts at the summit suggested that it should adopt the aircraft-style vacuum system to replace these old fashioned toilets in trains that contaminate soil and water. It is estimated that it would cost approximately about $1 bn to fit coaches with vacuum toilets and storage tanks.

1 Comment:

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