• FM radio policy changes
    • The FM radio revolution is all set to move to the next level, with TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) making a set of far reaching regulations.
    • Want to know the present state of affairs and the proposed changes? Can’t get a better picture than the one presented in today’s ET. Look at the following details:


TRAI’s proposal

Geographical area for license



FDI cap (for players who also show news)



Without news




Cannot be linked

Linking permitted


No news / current affairs


  • Deactivation regular affair on NSE (National Stock Exchange) now
    • 372 futures and options terminals were deactivated for at least a day in January.
    • Trading terminals are deactivated usually by the exchange when the trading members are unable to meet their margin requirements.
    • The last time NSE resorted to such large-scale deactivation was in May 2006, when around 190 brokers were affected by the move.
    • One concept that you should be familiar with regarding this is MTM – ‘Mark to Market.’ Brokers have to keep topping up their margins deposited on any negative movement in securities. The clients taking positions have to keep depositing their margins with the broker, who in turn pays the exchange. For some reason, if the broker is unable to collect the margins from his clients on time, he has to pay them to the exchange from his own pocket. A failure means deactivation of his terminal.
  • India beats China in mobile additions
    • China, the world’s largest telecom market has added 8.42 mn subscribers in January. But India has added 8.77 mn connections during that month.
    • Tele-density has increased to 24.63% at the end of January in our country.
    • The country has added a record 83 million subscribers during the last 12 months. China’s 534-million subscriber market, in comparison, added 76 million subscribers during the same period. This was the first time that India surpassed all other nations in terms of mobile subscriber additions over a period of 12 months.
    • Total broadband subscribers base has reached 3.24 million by the end of January 2008 compared to 3.13 million by the end of December 2007.
  • Was Jodha really the first wife of Akbar?
    • In the context of the controversy surrounding this movie (Jodha Akbar, the Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan starrer), it is at times necessary for us to keep track of such inanities from the exam point of view or interview point of view. Such questions act as stress relievers during an interview. When the board senses that a candidate is unnecessarily tensed up they try their best to keep the candidate at ease (many boards do this). During such times it is questions like these that you can expect to be quizzed on.
    • Jodha has two more known aliases: Harka and Maryam.
    • Akbar’s first wife: Ruqaiya, the daughter of his uncle Hindal.
    • Akbar’s second wife: Salima Sultan, the beauteous widow of his disgraced mentor Bairam Khan.
    • Jodha was the third wife.
    • Now don’t start a debate on this in our shoutbox. It is a waste of time and effort. It is very unimportant and trivial from our point of view.
  • What is your comment on the banks reducing interest rates at the instance of our finance minister?
    • Many of you may say that it is unnecessary interference on the part of the FM to have intervened in a purely commercial decision that should have been left to the banks.
    • ET editorial notes: “In most of the developed countries, there is an unspoken understanding between the government and the central bank that each will not step on the other’s turf and the central government will not interfere in interest rate setting. But there is no such understanding in our country. The government has caused itself long-term damage by refusing to let oil companies raise prices on their own. It should not repeat the error with interest rates.”
    • What’s your take on this? I have a different take from ET. Should the developed world be treated as a trend-setter in the changed context? Have we not been proved on more occasions than one in recent times that we had done better than them in many respects? Especially in the wake of the subprime crisis and their (mis)handling it, should we keep looking at them with awe and reverence? I think our RBI governor has acquitted himself very well. The FM’s ‘moralsuasion’, if it can be called one, I think is a measure that suits our present state of the economy. And ofcourse the government’s own political compulsions too. I see nothing wrong with it.
    • But on oil prices; yes I do agree with ET.
  • Safety of women employees; especially in the BPO sector
    • You have a lot of grist to the mill.
    • Read today’s ET editorial on this matter here. I am sure you will have your own suggestions in this regard. I welcome any amount of debate on this issue in our shoutbox.
    • Will all the safety measure taken or contemplated by the industry be really of help in enhancing the safety of women employees? What do you think can be the lasting solution?
  • Delhi to have hydrogen dispensing station
    • The country’s first hydrogen dispensing station will be set up in New Delhi this year to address the growing need for developing alternative energy sources. The station would be used for dispensing hydrogen compressed natural gas blend as well as neat hydrogen in vehicles as part of a development and demonstration project.
  • Why did Steven Spielberg back out as artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in China?
    • He blamed China for failing to use its clout with Sudanese government to press for peace in the country’s Darfur region where more than 200,000 people have died in a conflict between rebels and militias backed by government forces.
    • Remember our noting on the subject. Just search for it and you will find excellent links to it.
  • Why is Subhas Ghising now a pariah in his own DGHC?
    • The administrator of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and the uncrowned king of the Gorkhas in the country is facing some tough times. The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has been demanding the immediate removal Mr. Ghising from the post and scrapping the move to grant VI schedule status to the region. It is demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of the Darjeeling hills and certain areas contiguous to it.