India finally showing its metal:

· India is on its way to 3 medals with its best ever Olympics performance

· Sushil Kumar from Delhi won a bronze medal in 66 kg wrestling event

· Vijender Singh is assured of a bronze in 75 kg boxing category and has entered semi-finals in his category. Vijender’s next match is against Cuba’s Emilio Correa Bayeaux, a two-time pan-American champion

· It is good to know that these medal winners are going to make some money. Cricket is not the only sport that will get money now. Other sports too are coming of age.

· Look at the current medal count of various countries

NSG set to decide on the India-specific waivers

· The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will begin discussions on India-specific waivers at Vienna from today. India wants a waiver that is no different from the draft made by the US

· Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon held a series of meetings on Wednesday with diplomats from member countries to press for the speedy adoption of the draft proposal without any changes

· NSG was a club that was formed in 1975 in response to India’s nuclear tests in 1974 as a way of preventing other countries from using dual use technology for military purposes

· Please read this article because it discusses specific issues raised by various countries to the agreement and why they will/won’t object in the meeting.

· The world’s most severely ‘brahminical’ cartel, the Nuclear Suppliers Group: Brahminical here comes from the word Brahmin which signifies elitist tendencies.

Mutual fund houses to sell insurance cover

· The next round of reforms for the MF industry is expected to feature an approval from SEBI for fund houses to offer insurance cover to investors for a fee

· This will enable MFs to compete with unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), the hottest selling products offered by life insurers. The current regulations bar fund houses from collecting any premium from investors

· Only two fund houses, Reliance Mutual Fund and Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund, offer systematic investment plan (SIP) products with an insurance cover now. In these cases, the insurance premium is being paid by the two fund houses

· Why are MFs so interested in this: because distributors, such as banks are allowed to charge high commissions on Ulips. Thus they have an incentive to market Ulips to investors as against plain vanilla equity MFs

· Look at the graphic to know about Mutual fund industry and Ulips

Centre seeking to continue the ban on SIMI

· The Centre on Wednesday filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking to continue the ban on the organization

· Earlier, the Special Tribunal, set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act quashed the Centre’s February 7 notification banning the Students Islamic Movement of India. The supreme court on August 6 stayed the order

· The Centre is of the opinion that if the unlawful activities of SIMI are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will take the opportunity to continue its subversive activities and reorganise its activities/members to disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagate antinational sentiments, escalate secessionism by supporting militancy

Language lesson: What is difference between Center and Centre

· There is no difference. The British spell it "centre" and the Americans spell it "center"

· Many words are spelt with an "er" in American English eg fibre, sombre, and theatre

Madrid aircrash kills 153

· A Spanish airliner MD-82 bound for the Canary Islands swerved off the runway while departing from Madrid’s Barajas airport on Wednesday and caught fire

· A Spanish government minister says the death toll has risen to 153. The airline Spanair says 172 people were on the plane out of which 19 people survived

· Investigators ruled out foul play and consider the crash an accident.

NOTE: Today’s post is contributed by one of our regular readers. He is not a Civils aspirant. He is Mr. Yusuf Kaydawala from Bombay. I convey my thanks to him on your behalf.