• Today is Super Tuesday
    • What is this Super Tuesday? We are at times clueless as to how some words and phrases come into being. Reportedly this term came into use in 1988. This is what I found on Wikipedia regarding Super Tuesday:
    • In the United States, Super Tuesday commonly refers to the Tuesday in early February or March of a presidential election year when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which each party's presidential candidates are officially nominated. More delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day of the primary calendar, and accordingly, candidates seeking the presidency traditionally must do well on this day to secure their party's nomination.
    • In 2008, 24 states will hold primaries or caucuses on this date, with 52 percent of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 41 percent of the total Republican Party delegates at stake.
    • In the US, election primaries are conducted in each of the states to select the parties’ nominees for the Presidential election. This year’s primaries are unique in the sense that the Democrats are have come up with “Democrats Abroad” as a ‘state’ to allow US nationals abroad to vote in the presidential primary.
  • Cable TV guys can stream IPTV into your home
    • Cable TV operators can now compete with telecom companies to offer IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) services. The I&B ministry has approved TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recommendations for facilitating IPTV services. This means that the Cable TV operators can offer IPTV services without further registration and licence.
  • RIL & RNRL seem to be inching closer to resolution of their dispute
    • Remember we noted about this in our blogs earlier? Look at it here for a recount of the issue.
    • Now both the groups are reported to be closer to finding a solution to their dispute.
    • The tussle is about gas sales agreement signed in 2005. According to this RIL had committed itself to sell a portion of the KG Basin gas to RNRL at a prefixed price. However, differences arose over the terms of the contract with the two companies going to court. The central government had refused to accept the contract, forcing RIL to seek a revision in the terms and conditions.
  • World oil production
    • OEPC (the 13 nation oil cartel) produces about 40% of world oil with about 29.67 mn crude barrels a day.
  • What is a seller deposit?
    • This is from today’s “First Principle” column of ET.
    • A seller guarantee deposit is a deposit made by the seller, in order to assure the completion of the project being undertaken, completely and on time. The deposit is made in good faith, and demonstrates the confidence the selling party has in its technical skills and time management abilities. On successful completion of the project, the seller receives the deposit back. If the project is not completed successfully, the seller might lose the entire deposit by way of liquidated damages for the breech of the agreement.
  • Chinese banks rule the world
    • Move over American banks. It is Chinese banks which are financial behemoths today.
    • China’s ICBC has toppled Citigroup as the largest bank by market cap. Let’s take a look at the top 5 banks by market cap:
    • ICBC, Bank of America, HSBC Holdings (UK), China Construction Bank, Bank of China and JPMorgan Chase (US). Three of the top 5 are from China!!!
  • State capitalism and free markets
    • In a very good article MK Venu suggests:
    • That the economies driven by state capitalism now contribute to the bulk of incremental growth globally. The developing economies had 69% share in the incremental growth in world output in 2006.
    • Resource nationalism is sweeping across Latin America. It will also impact economies like India, China and Russia. There is a strong undercurrent of this in India’s political economy.
  • Gross budgetary support
    • One of you was asking me about this. Papers are now reporting that there will be a hike of 17% in the GBS this year, as this is an election year or the last full budget before an election.
    • Look at the procedure and methodology in fixing this GBS in our country. Worth a read once. Look here.
  • Reasons for LPG shortage
    • There is countrywide LPG shortage being witnessed. The reasons suggested are:
      • OMCs (Oil Marketing Companies) are blaming it on diversion of the domestic LPG for commercial and heating purposes.
      • The LPG quota regime that is introduced in 2005, that saves hardly Rs. 300 crores a year but bought bad publicity among the masses.
      • Supply squeeze resorted to by the OMCs because of the unremunerative prices they realize on the sale of LPG.
    • Government provides about Rs. 311 per cylinder as subsidy.
  • Something strange about peacocks
    • Normally we see that any mother in nature never abandons its children (or eggs) and runs for cover. But peacocks reportedly abandon their clutch and the eggs when they sense danger.
  • Some meaningful commentary on resumption of talks with ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom)
    • The noted Assamese writer Ms. Mamoni Raison Goswami (Indira Goswami) has announced that she is resuming talks with ULFA with a view to broker peace between it and the centre.
    • Two more outfits which fall into the same category as ULFA are PCG (Peoples’ Consultative Group) and PCPIA (Peoples’ Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam) have also bestirred themselves in this scenario.
    • The renewal of these facilitatory efforts indicates that these outfits have been facing intolerable pressure from the military and the police.
    • But these outfits are challenging the very territorial integrity of India. They claim that ‘Asom’ was never a part of India, and therefore its sovereignty is non-negotiable. If this were so, what is there for the Indian state to negotiate except its surrender and ceding a part of its territory? This is something that even the weakest of nation states does not do. It cannot be the argument of anyone in their right mind that India, for all its deficits and flaws, is a weak state.
  • Boris Tadic wins the Presidential election in Serbia
    • He is described as a western-style politician in this traditionally conservative Balkan country.
  • Maurice Green retires
    • This former Olympic and World 100 meters champion announced his retirement from athletics.
    • His achievements:
      • 1997: 100 m Gold at World championships
      • 1999: Athens. Clocked 9.79 seconds. World record.
      • 1999 August: First man to win 100m and 200m titles at a single World championships.
      • 2000: Sydney Olympic Gold metal.
  • Sharath Kamal creates record by winning 4 titles
    • In the National TT championships at Siliguri.
    • He won the team event, men’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles.
    • He is currently 79 in the world rankings and hopes to be in the top 50 by the end of the year.


Anonymous said...

It is wonderful to note the comprehensive coverage of our favorite blog. But I feel,regarding the noting on Ulfa & the Peace process, that
PCG (Peoples’ Consultative Group) and PCPIA (Peoples’ Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam)are not outfits of the same Category of ULFA; rather, these were groups formed by some enlightened citizens to pursuade the latter to take pard in the peace process and also to mediate with the respective authorities in the initiative-thus to endeavor to bring about a peaceful environment in Assam .About the views and comments on the issue, I fully agree with what is noted above.

Anonymous said...


i hav been goin thru ur articles regulary...n i found thm imformative n wonderfull...the only opinion i hav is...can u please put up more descriptive details...abt the most imp n top news....

thank u....