• Congress ready to sacrifice the government?
    • The Congress has reportedly decided to go ahead with the IAEA safeguards agreement, even if the Left withdraws its support to the government.
    • This is what is expected given the current scenario wherein the Left sees itself losing some vote bank because of its support to the UPA government and the Congress also feels that it is losing support among middle classes because of its dithering on the nuclear deal.
    • Having lasted more than 4 years of its term, the Congress may be thinking it is time it put its foot down firmly on Left’s intransigence even at the cost of losing its support and let the government collapse.
    • It is really ironical that while Russia and China have such an agreement with the US, the Left in India opposes the country having such a deal.
  • What is driving up international crude prices?
    • Though we have noted about this in the recent past, one more time from a different perspective won’t do us any harm. Take a look at the expert speak:
    • Most economists dismiss the idea that speculation is responsible for the price rise. If speculation were really the cause, they argue, there should be an increase in oil inventories, because higher prices would reduce consumption, forcing speculators to accumulate oil. The fact that inventories have not risen supposedly exonerates oil speculators.
    • But, contrary to economists’ claims, oil inventories do reveal a footprint of speculation. Inventories are actually at historically normal levels and 10% higher than five years ago. Furthermore, with oil prices up so much, inventories should have fallen, owing to strong incentives to reduce holdings.
    • Coupled with this, is the fact that financial firms are increasingly involved in leasing oil storage capacity. The financial markets can now mobilise tens of billions of dollars for speculative purposes. This has enabled traders collectively to hit upon a strategy of buying oil and quickly re-selling it when end users accommodate higher prices — a situation that has been aggravated by the Bush administration, which has persistently added oil supplies to the US strategic reserve, further inflating demand and providing additional storage capacity.
  • Who is the FCI (Food Corporation of India) CMD?
    • Mr. Alok Sinha
  • India’s wheat production comfortable?
    • India’s wheat production has touched a record 78 million tonne in 2007-08 season.
    • The FCI has procured 221.64 lakh tonne till Wednesday compared to 110.37 lakh tonne in the year-ago period.
  • Switzerland asks UBS and Credit Suisse to build buffer capital
    • Still reeling from the shock of seeing UBS (the world's largest bank) write $37 billion off dud investments, Switzerland’s Federal Banking Commission, which is the counterpart of our RBI, has suggested raising capital requirements for the investment banks.
  • China's incursions into Sikkim
    • We have noted this some time back in the recent past. But the incursions seem to have not stopped.
    • In the latest episode, the People’s Liberation Army entered the Indian side of the border around northern Sikkim called the “Finger area” and returned after some time. A previous incursion into this territory was also called “minor and local” by government officials. However, the constant incursions are significant in the light of Chinese claims over the territory in Sikkim.
    • The incursions could be China’s way of putting pressure on India over the border dispute.
    • Whether or not it is a tactic, India should respond appropriately and strengthen its border with China.
  • India signs a DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) with Syria - highlights
    • This agreement has revised a 1985 agreement and will cover all taxes imposed on total income or on elements of income, including taxes on gains from alienation of movable or immovable property, taxes on the total amounts of wages or salaries paid by enterprises.
    • It incorporates improvements over the existing agreement by including anti-abuse provisions and providing for source-based taxation of capital gains from alienation of shares.
    • The agreement provides that business profits may be taxed in the source state if the activities of an enterprise constitute a permanent establishment in the source state. Permanent establishment includes especially a branch, factory, place of management, sales outlet etc.
    • This agreement will provide further impetus to the economic ties between India and Syria by facilitating mutual economic cooperation.
  • JJ Sobha makes the grade to Olympics
    • This may sound a bit like promoting a known face. I hope all of you would allow me to indulge in this. She used to practice in the same grounds where I go for a morning walk and exercise. She is an excellent athlete by all counts and deserves an all-round applause and best wishes from us. Good performance – whether it is in exams or in sports, needs encouragement.
    • She is a heptathlete. Her 6043 point performance in Madurai Inter-State Athletic Championship saw her through with the selection. Her previous bests were 6172 and 6211 back in 2004. But an Olympic win requires somewhere between 6400 and 6500. Olympic Gold winner last time scored 6980.
    • BTW know what all events are covered in heptathlon for women?
      • 100 m hurdles
      • high jump
      • shot put
      • 200 m run
      • long jump
      • javelin throw
      • 800 m run
    • The first four events are contested on the first day and the remaining three on the second day.
    • The version for men is conducted indoors and consists of:
      • 60 m
      • long jump
      • shot put
      • high jump
      • 60 m hurdles
      • pole vault
      • 1000 m
    • The current heptathlon world record is 7291 points. It was set by Jackie Joyner-Kersee at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, on September 24, 1988. Whew! Where do our athletes stand with this kind of performances?

1 Comment:

vinayak said...

Hi Ramky,

I am a silent reader of your this great blog.
I happen to go through some of your opinions on nuclear deal and from your comments I feel that you are in favor of the deal.

however, I do have some concerns which is explained in
thehindu. com /2006/12/16/stories/2006121616171500.htm
and rediff. com/news/2008/jun/24ndeal.htm

Can you counter these allegation or can you please throw some lights on these issues. I would like to know what is your opinion on this analysis.


PS:Sorry for posting URL... as there was no other means to pass that information.. copy paste doesnt make sense